Smart Power Strips

A few weeks ago, I started doing research on smart power strips, mainly for computer usage, to add to my holiday wishlist. A friend of mine has one with a motion detector that his company supplied for his home office set-up. The idea is to shut off non-essential items, such as printers, usb hubs, external flash media readers, cell phone chargers, etc. when the computer is not in use. More often than not, these devices’ power supplies (the ubiquitous “wall wart”) are not designed to stop drawing current even when the device is not attached to the power supply!I sent a tip to Treehugger detailing my find with the hopes that someone else may have used one or knew of others that are available, as I was only able to find two models online. Unfortunately, neither goal was fulfilled, though it did spark some discussion among the readers. Hopefully the more people talk about them and use them, the more awareness there will be and the demand for them will increase.

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Undifferentiated News. Undeferential to Music.

The major local public radio station here in Detroit WDET recently made substantial changes to its weekday programming, most notibly dropping the Judy Adams and Martin Bandyke shows. There have been a number of articles in the local newspapers discussing the changes:

A group of listeners called Save Detroit Radio has formed to protest the changes and may be filing a class action lawsuit against the station for taking donations during the fall pledge drive without disclosing the planned changes.I have to say that I’m quite upset about the changes myself. I was introduced to the station many years ago by my father. Ever since moving back to Michigan from California, it’s been the only local station I found worth listening to for its music programming. I’ve included below a letter that I’ve sent to the radio station regarding the changes. Continue reading

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Provisions for drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the last pristine region in the United States, have been quietly slipped into the completely unrelated defense spending bill by the US House of Representatives. The bill must still be approved by the US Senate.Here’s a letter that I sent to my US Senate representatives Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow.

I am very upset about the provision for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that was thrown into the defense spending bill. What type of refuge are we providing if we’re actively disrupting the wildlife’s feeding and breeding grounds? Not only that, but the oil that can be extracted will have negligible impact to the defense budget, national economy and dependency on foreign oil. Please vote this measure down and do what you can to have your colleagues in the Senate, both Democrat and Republican (especially John McCain, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlan Specter), to do the same.

I encourage you to call, fax, or e-mail your representatives in the US Senate to do the same.Update 2005.12.21: Wow. I received a response from Sen. Stabenow with some informative information. I’m assuming it’s a general message regarding her actions related to ANWR and the defense spending bill (based the mail merge line at the bottom of the message), but I appreciate the response nonetheless. I’ve included it below.I’ve never been one to really consider writing in to a politician or organization to voice my opinion. I’ve always assumed that they’re going to do what they’re going to do and my opinion will likely be ignored. That’s not to say that won’t happen. But I guess I’ve started to get passionate enough about some issues that I’d rather make the effort to do actively influence the situation than take the path of least resistance and do nothing. Continue reading

Snowy Times

I haven’t posted any photos on the website in a while, but I took a few last week that I felt were worth sharing.We received about 6-8″ of snow on December 15th. As I plowed the driveway in the evening I realized it was a terrific night to take some photographs. The temperature was just below freezing (relatively warm), the moon was full, and the wind was minimal (though it did affect some of the photographs of the trees). So I pulled out the tripod and spent an hour or two doing some long exposures. Here are some of the better shots from the night.The next morning I awoke to the words “Brahm, look outside! It’s beautiful. You should take some pictures.” So I did.