Nokero’s N100 Solar LED Light Bulb.

Nokero Solar Lights at SOCAP11
Nokero Solar Lights at SOCAP11 (Photo credit: photologue_np)

Tim Hornyak over at C|NET wrote about Nokero’s N100 Solar LED Light Bulb in a recent article and I was impressed by the technology – if it works as Nokero describes. Essentially, Nokero is targeting the developing world – offering them a relatively inexpensive device that charges during the day using the sun and then runs at night. Ideally, the Nokero will replace the use of kerosene and other fuel sources for lighting. This has a number of benefits:

  • Reduced cost – the Nokero should pay for itself within a few months time as it doesn’t have the ongoing costs associated with kerosene, etc.
  • Reduced risk – the Nokero will serve as a safer and more stable light source, less likely to explode or catch fire.
  • Reduced pollution – especially indoors, this will result in better health for those in developing countries due to less smoke and chemical inhalation.

The technology is still infantile – a day’s charge is expected to provide two hours of sunlight – with the device holding perhaps four hours total. That said, it may be enough to at least supplement kerosene and other light sources – and if one has two of them, one could use one after the other to provide lighting for four to eight hours.

Movie Review: Traitor (Don Cheadle, R)

Traitor
Traitor (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)

Charity and I recently watched Traitor and thoroughly enjoyed it. Normally, I might not have picked the title up – the preview while interesting wasn’t amazing – but Don Cheadle is a huge draw for me in any film, since his amazing work with Hotel Rwanda (on the Rwandan Genocide) and his advocacy repeatedly for an end to the genocide in Darfur (Sudan).

Traitor tells the story of a American counter-terrorism agent (played by Cheadle) who strongly follows Islam as his religious faith and becomes embroiled in activities which point to his swapping sides and assisting the terrorists. The film excels not because of its action sequences – in fact, those looking for mindless action films should look elsewhere – but because of its flawless maintenance of suspense (is Cheadle a terrorist or a U.S. agent?) and its deep philosophical considerations of the nature of the current war on terror.

Traitor is rated R mainly for language, though there is also violence throughout. While not as heart-string tugging as Hotel Rwanda it certainly deserves an important place on the DVD shelves as yet another title that provokes wisdom inducing and positive action fostering through its faithful and honest struggles with real issues.

World Community Grid.

Introduction

Screen saver of World Community Grid
Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes the problem with accomplishing a charitable objective is not convincing people to support an endeavor but simply making them aware of the need and how they can be a part of the solution[1]. I believe this is the case with the World Community Grid and I want to share with each of you about this exciting project that meets real needs and that each of us can painlessly participate in.

The Problem:

Humans cannot perform the calculations fast enough for many of the massive scientific and medical experiment currently in process. We need the assistance of computers to perform these massive calculations faster and reliably. Unfortunately, super-computers with massive processing power are in limited supply and expensive to either build or rent. This places a strain on medical and scientific researchers as they must secure extra funds or wait for computing resources to become available.

The Solution:

The World Community Grid allows individuals to install an application on their computer that essentially allows their computer to become part of a massive super-computer. Already hundreds of thousands of individuals participate, and well over a million machines are involved. Already we have contributed 195,000 years of processing power to various projects.

The Questions:

  • Will my computer run slower? Yes and no. In a strictly literal sense, it will – because its doing something else in the background. But in a realistic sense, there are generally no tangible changes in system performance. The software automatically reduces its resource utilization when you are actively utilizing the computer[2].
  • What sort of projects are these researchers working on? Cures/treatments for cancers, AIDs, muscular dystrophy, STDs, malaria, and flavivirus infections (e.g. West Nile encephalitis and yellow fever). The projects also model climate predictions and look for effective food hybrids (e.g. a more nutritious rice).

Conclusion:

Go to WorldCommunityGrid.org and sign up for a free account. Its easy, fun, and really makes a difference. In the U.S. alone we have a population of well over 200 million. Right now there are less than one million participants and we are already accomplishing amazing things. Join us for this exciting journey! If you have questions or encounter problems please enter them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer each one.

  1. [1] I do believe in the sickness of mankind – corporately and individually. In other words, I do not believe we are a blank slate capable of perfect good, but rather irretrievably corrupted, redeemable only via super-natural means. In such, I agree with traditional ideas on the depravity on man. However, too often the fact that we are sick has been used to describe us as dead. We yet bear a bit of that perfect image in which we were formed and while we will always make bad choices this does not preclude us from making good choices. Evangelicalism too often has failed to lead causes in arenas such as social justice because of a misuse of the concept of depravity. I consider myself solidly evangelical but unwilling to allow depravity to overcome ideas of social justice, charity, and humanity. It is a partial explanation of, but not a full picture, the nature and future of man.
  2. [2] You can always turn off the application temporarily or permanently.

The Girl in the Window.

Sometimes it is good to weep, to feel compassion in your soul, to remember how blessed we are, to remember how in need others are and to forget our own selfishness for a while. If you are ready to weep, to cry out to God, then I recommend reading this story.

Lane DeGregory is the author and Melissa Lyttle is the photographer, both work for the St. Petersburg Times. The story told is of horrific neglect of a little girl and the redemptive action of love when she is liberated from the abusive home.

My first reaction was, “My God, how can you allow this to happen?” Then, “How can we as humans be so awful?” And finally, “God gives me the opportunity every day to help lessen this suffering…to increase love and peace in this world.”