Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jim Morrison Helps A Girl At The Doors Concert

Jim Morrison helps a girl at a Doors concert that was hit by a chair.

Best of the Roses, John French



Thursday, April 23, 2009


Best of the Roses, John French



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Best of Green

So the staff at TreeHugger put their heads together to do one mighty feat: Select the best of the best, the greenest of the green, in the world of culture and celebrity, travel and nature, cars and transportation, science and technology, food and health, business and politics, and let's not forget fashion and beauty. While you may not agree with all of our picks -- and feel free to vent your love and your wrath in the Forums -- all are undeniably cutting-edge on the eco front.

So if you ever wondered about the best-looking endangered species, the best magazine that gives a damn, the best solar boat, the greenest celebrity, the best electric scooter, the best hybrid car, the best biofuels and more, look no further than TreeHugger's Best of Green "It's About Time" Awards. Then, head on over to Planet Green, where you can rate the winners in each category in our View and Vote slideshow polls, open through April 22. Once the picks are in for the highest rated organization, person, product, or idea in each category, we'll have another vote: leaving us with best in show of Best of Green.

Best of the Roses, John French

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Drawing power from the Mississippi

April 2009

Houston-based Hydro Green Energy’s hydrokinetic power turbine recently was installed on the downstream side of a dam on the Mississippi River in Hastings, Minn.

A Houston startup has installed its first water-powered electric turbine on the Mississippi River in Minnesota and plans to have a second unit installed this year.

Hydro Green Energy placed the turbine just downstream from a hydropower plant operated by the city of Hastings, Minn., where it has been cranking out about 100 kilowatts, enough to power about 60 homes.

The turbine, which is suspended under a barge anchored downstream from the dam’s spillway, is the first project of its kind licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said Wayne Krouse, chairman and CEO of Hydro Green Energy. That approval is important because it lets the turbine tie into the local electric grid and paves the way for future projects, he said.

Six percent of the nation’s electricity came from hydropower in 2008, according to the Department of Energy. Most comes from dams also used for flood control.

Hydrokinetic power, such as the Minnesota project, is different in that it taps into existing currents, including tidal currents and wave power, rather than water running through dams.

One other hydrokinetic project is installed in the U.S. — Verdant Power’s pair of turbines mounted on the floor of the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Those units provide some power to a nearby store and a large parking garage, but they don’t have a FERC license allowing them to tie in to the grid.

Water power from hydroelectric dams doesn’t receive tax incentives like wind or solar electric power projects, but hydrokinetic projects are included in a draft federal bill that requires states to have a certain percentage of their power come from renewable sources in the future.

A 2007 study by the Electric Power Research Institute found that the U.S. could develop at least 13,000 megawatts of river- and ocean-based kinetic hydropower project by 2025.

Krouse got the idea for the company several years ago while flying above the Pacific Ocean on a business trip for Exxon Mobil’s chemical business.

“Looking at all those whitecaps for so long got me to thinking about the power of the ocean, and it reminded me of a National Geographic article at my grandmother’s house when I was a kid that talked about ocean thermal energy conversion,” he said.

Krouse scoured patent databases to determine how far along ocean thermal technology had been developed.

He found there had been some patent work completed for capturing wave energy, but very little to get energy from river and ocean currents.

With that area relatively untapped, Krouse set to work designing a system, including determining why previous efforts had failed. By 2005, after investing all of his personal savings and his 401(k), he was awarded a patent for the system, essentially a barge that suspends a water-driven turbine underneath it, he said.

In 2008 venture capital firms invested $49.5 million in wave-energy companies and another $28 million in current and tidal companies like Hydro Green, according to data compiled by Cleantech Group.

Of that $28 million, $24 million was invested in companies based in Great Britain, where there has long been interest in such projects.

Hydro Green closed on $2.6 million in funding last year, including money from Quercus Trust, a venture capital firm that specializes in “green” investing.

Finding investors in Texas has been discouraging, Krouse said.

“Houston has this immense wealth, but it seems people here only understand real estate and oil and gas,” he said. “No one has any interest in renewables, which seems ironic, given we’re the energy capital of the country.”

Best of the Roses,
John French


Hudson River Fish at Risk
Many Hudson River fish species are in serious long-term decline and at risk of collapse if quick and aggressive measures are not taken. Of the thirteen key fish species studied in Riverkeeper’s Pisces Report, ten have declined in abundance since the 1980s: shad, tomcod, bay anchovy, alewife, blueback herring, rainbow smelt, hogchoker, white catfish, weakfish and white perch. Only three species — striped bass, bluefish and spottail shiner — have increased in abundance, mostly due to regulations and circumstantial changes that favor them. Contrary to public perception, this report shows an increasingly unstable ecosystem in the Hudson.
Riverkeeper’s Hudson Fisheries Defense Campaign is aimed at halting the decline of Hudson River’s signature fish species and restoring their numbers to sustainable levels. The campaign will address the many negative impacts on the health of the fish including: habitat loss and degradation, sewage overflows, power plant fishkills, invasive species, ocean bycatch and overfishing.
The Hudson Ecosystem
The Hudson River is not your typical river. In fact, most of the Hudson is actually a tidal estuary where salt water from the ocean combines with freshwater from northern tributaries. This “brackish”, or mixing, water extends from the mouth of the Hudson to the Federal Dam in Troy, NY, approximately 153 miles. The salt front of the estuary, where the freshwater runoff meets the saline water, may range from the Tappan Zee Bridge/Yonkers in the spring to Newburgh Bay/Poughkeepsie in the late summer or during droughts. Because the Hudson River is a tidal estuary, meaning it ebbs and flows with the ocean tide, it supports a biologically rich environment; making it an important ecosystem for various species of aquatic life. For many key species, it provides critical habitats and essential spawning and breeding grounds.

The Facts
Hudson River Fish in Peril – The Pisces Report
Threats to Hudson River Fish
Hudson River Power Plant Fish Kills
Modern Cooling Technologies Protect Fish
History of Power Plants on the Hudson: Hudson River Settlement Agreement

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vision for High Speed Rail in America

Obama Wants To Build High-Speed Trains
Jay Yarow

The Business Insider's Green Sheet

Barack Obama just announced his plan to spend $13 billion to build a vast high speed rail network across the nation. The stimulus will provide $8 billion initially, after that it will require $1 billion each year for the next five years.

Update: This Won't Get Built For Many Years (If Ever)

"There are those who say high-speed rail is a fantasy -- but its success around the world says otherwise," Obama said today. "Building a new system of high-speed rail in America will be faster, cheaper and easier than building more freeways or adding to an already overburdened aviation system, and everybody stands to benefit." Above is the map of how the Department Of Transportation wants the rails to sprawl across the nation.

Developing a high speed rail system falls right in line with two major priorities for the administration. It provides "jobs that can't be exported" and it cuts back on the import of oil as well as greenhouse gasses.

Certainly rail advocates (and train-riders) are excited about this development, but it really just presents a ton of questions.

For example, why does the administration insist upon high speed rail, as opposed to just standard commuter railways? High speed is obviously very cool, and fun to say, but it's not like the government is telling GM to build a bunch of cars like the Tesla Roadster. It's saying it wants cars more like the Prius. Repairing the suffering commuter rails might provider greater benefit to riders over building a massive high speed network.

The current rail business is terrible, so how will this change? If we want to go from New York to Philadelphia we could spend $20 for a round trip ticket on a Chinatown bus or spend $129 to make the same trip on the Amtrak Acela, or on regular speed trains at $64. Even at those high prices, Amtrak's not profitable.

Perhaps the administration will learn from the French who have a profitable rail system. Even the monstrosity known as the Eurotunnel that connects London and Paris makes a profit now, so we suppose anything's possible.


Here in Pittsburgh, I am excited about this and would love to be connected to the middle of the state (Harrisburg) and the eastern sea board (Philadelphia) via high speed.

However, I would also like to see President Obama help intervene and solve an even more basic everyday problem here in Pittsburgh with traffic congestion, carbon emissions and just the simple task of getting to Point A to Point B in a user friendly green way === Oh, let me break it down and explain: Pittsburgh doesn't even have a light rail system connecting its International Airport with its Downtown area. Hello?! And we have high traffic routes leading to and fro our Downtown and around that could hugely benefit from a comprehensive light rail system. But, no, we have a light rail from our South Hills area to Downtown, a few stops in Downtown and we are currently building a light rail to our North Shore (PNC Park, Heinz Field and some trashy casino that's being built).

Best of the Roses,
John French

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"On a Quiet Sunday Afternoon" ...

"Sweet Virginia" live at the Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX. 24th June 1972. This is from the 1st show the Stones did that day in Fort Worth.

Best of the Roses, John French

- Mick Jagger Interview 1971

Mick Jagger on British TV. Specific date and location unknown.

Best of the Roses,
John French

Midnight Rambler

Rolling Stones live from the Marquee Club 1971

Best of the Roses,
John French