COOL STUFF I'M LEARNING

Random Things I've Found Interesting

Solar Energy

SOLAR POWER

Traveling through California from Las Vegas, you encounter the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility. Being curious and being the passenger, I Googled the facility and learned quite a bit about both the facility and mega watts (MW).


SNAPSHOTS

Physical specs (source):

  • When it opened in 2014, it was the world's largest thermal power station.

  • Cost US$2.2 billion to build.

  • Occupies 3,500 acres.

  • Has three towers to collect the power.


Power produced:

  • Gross capacity: 392 MW

  • Annual output729 GW-h

  • 1 GW = 1,000 MW

  • 1 MW is needed to power 100 homes

  • NYC uses 11,000MW-h on average each day (source)

The town of Ivanpah is an old silver-mining ghost town. (source)

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25 BEST FEEL-GOOD MOVIES WHEN YOU'RE FEELING DOWN

Trying to come up with a Christmas present for my early octogenarian parents in 2020 was tough. With Covid-19 lurking around every corner, they seldom went anywhere that required them to leave their car. But they had started calling me and my brother for movie recommendations, some of which they could find on their cable service but many of which were available only on streaming services.


Enter subscriptions to movie streaming services and a list of feel-good movies, along with a variety of snacks and gift cards for treats (think Frosties) to enjoy during those movies. Here is the list I gave them (in the form of a scratch-off poster).

Raindrops on Leaf

ONLINE EMPATHY

Part of teaching, for me, requires connecting emotionally with students and participants through empathy--to use empathy to gauge needs and concerns to help them learn.


With face masks and social distancing and virtual work, the usual means of non-verbal communication and connection (facial expression and body language) are curtailed. Read this PDF for tips on promoting empathy in online courses.