Monthly Archives: September 2023

AC as necessity, not amenity – a future of life-support

Imagine Prometheus bringing ice rather than fire, to a new age.

The age of air conditioning. A complicated history. Conspiracy theories. Fading stoicism. Where would we be without AC? Something we take for granted. Yet, increasingly a Catch-22.

When I taught public school in the 90’s, there were times when I brought in my own fans for the classroom. Multiple fans. Is learning possible in sweltering school buildings not designed even for cross ventilation? No AC. Distant water fountains.

When will air conditioning be standard in cars and trucks – no longer optional?

Heat zones, longer summers, wildfire smoke, grid instability, … climate migration …

This article has historical photos and useful visuals, including a timeline chart “How air conditioning arrived in U.S. households” from 1915 to 2020.

• Washington Post > “Addicted to cool” by Philip Kennicott (Sept 21, 2023) – How the dream of air conditioning turned into the dark future of climate change

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The price of free

If something appears to be free …

… the old Earth saying, “if you are not paying for the product, you are the product.”


No such thing as a free lunch” (alternatively, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”, “There is no such thing as a free lunch” or other variants) is a popular adage communicating the idea that it is impossible to get something for nothing.

The acronyms TANSTAAFL, TINSTAAFL, and TNSTAAFL are also used.

The phrase was in use by the 1930s, but its first appearance is unknown.

The “free lunch” in the saying refers to the formerly common practice in American bars of offering a “free lunch” in order to entice drinking customers.

The expanding universe – cosmic dynamics

The universe is expanding. For billions of years. How fast is the expansion? Measuring this rate is a big deal in physics. Why?

Gravitationally lensed supernova
Galaxy cluster PLCK G165.7+67.0 is shown, with the features of background, gravitationally lensed galaxies appearing behind it. The big orange arc at left, called “Arc 2,” contains the second-most distant type Ia supernova, and it was seen by JWST on repeat in all three images, as annotated here. Credit: B. Frye et al., ApJ submitted, 2023; Annotations: E. Siegel
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Longevity and happiness? – Blue Zones

Is there a relationship between longevity and happiness?

Blue Zones? Five places around the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives.

• > “5 tips for living to 100 from a top longevity researcher” by Stephanie Thurrott (Sept 8, 2023) – Dan Buettner, who has been studying people who live the longest for 20 years, shares their secrets.

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