ideatrash

Writing, publishing, geekdom, and errata.

Every little bit helps

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While at my university has motion-sensor lights in the restrooms, I realized that many other places do not. (The rest areas in Tennessee are a perfect example.) However, they do have those automatic flushing devices. Presumably, they use batteries or somesuch.

But why not put small solar panels on top of the flushers, akin to those for a solar calculator? They could cheaply recharge batteries and extend life, couldn't they?

An easy in-line recharger like that could have many applications in the business world - hospitals, stadiums, and the like. With energy prices likely to rise (either due to the environmental costs of coal or the market costs of oil), the concept of catching and using otherwise "wasted" light for things like so-called vampire appliances.

Yes, we are talking about small amounts of power, and small amounts of cost. But with the relative cost of solar (remember, I'm predicting "conventional" energy costs to rise) dropping, there is room for near-ubiquitous small solar reclamation of energy.


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Repetitive Learning

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It's arguable whether or not conciousness is involved with learning at all - but if consciousness is not involved, why bother to do drills? Why does drill-work (whether in martial arts, math, etc) help us, when it seems to have little to do with the output?

Perhaps all the repetition is simply to bore our conscious mind into getting out of the picture. There are lots of examples of where "thinking too much" interferes with a well-learned process. Try riding a bike while paying close attention to what you are doing!

If we could bore our consciousness more easily, perhaps we could learn tasks a lot more easily...

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