Solar Ricardo

Solar Ricardo

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fuck you, Brother! Cheating Printers for Fun and Profit.

I used a red cartridge so it would show up better
"So what if I'm out of yellow ink, you bastard!  I'm printing in black and white.  Like always. Black and FUCKING WHITE!!! Goddam it! Just print, you prick!"

 This is the one-sided conversation I have on a regular basis with my Brother printer. When one ink cartridge gets low, I AM FUCKED.
Look at all that ink in there! Come out, Dammit!

"No printing today, Asshole!" it beeps back at me. "You forgot to buy more yellow, at Staples, 65.5 miles from here. And despite the fact that I clearly show 20% full even on my own sensor, you need to drive 2 hours and replace the 20% full cartridge before you can print your pathetic ramblings."

"Holy Mother of fuck... I want to smash you."

It just winks.
Electrical tape. The great equalizer.

In sullen desperation, I take out the yellow cartridge. I turn it over and over in my hand. I hold it up to my ear and shake it. I hear fluid in there. It pisses yellow ink right in my ear.

Then, I notice something- a little window on the front of the cartridge. When you tip it up you can see the ink in it. Mocking me. Then it comes to me.That little fucker looks in the window. It's not little Brothers fault! It's those fucking engineers that are to blame! 

Fuck you, Brother!
I  grab a roll of black electrical tape, cut out a little square and put it over the window. VIOLA! Brother thinks yellow is full, and prints away, merrily in full color.

Now, I'm assuming that if that goes dry and the head sits without ink in it for a while, it will probably clog up. So, this is only a quick fix. But If I remember to get another yellow cartridge and have it on hand as soon as the old one runs out, everything will be dandy.

The problem is, I won't remember.

Crimethinc. Tour Coming to Iowa City

This Friday evening, an international panel of activists from around the globe will come together to discuss how "To Change Everything ." This touring panel is visiting 50 US cities this fall, and brings together organizers from Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and North America to discuss the significance of anarchist ideas and tactics in the 21st century.  All of the presenters are contributors to a recent Crimethinc. outreach and dialogue project, To Change Everything (TCE), which appeared earlier this year in over twenty languages. A free pdf of the book can be downloaded from the TCE webpage.

The participants will compare experiences from the wave of protests and uprisings that has swept the world since 2010—exploring the role of demand-based politics in both catalyzing and limiting movements, examining a variety of forms of repression, and critically evaluating experiments with direct democracy. They will conclude by assessing the prospects of contemporary struggles for self-determination in an era of globalized capitalism and state control.

Held at Public Space One in Iowa City, this event includes a light dinner- Kalmia's homemade vegan tamales! A suggested donation of $5 goes to pay for travel expenses for the speakers group.  Visit the event facebook page for more details.

CrimethInc., “The Ex-Workers Collective” is a radical anarchist media outlet started in the mid-1990's. They produce high-concept propaganda, including a biannual magazine, Rolling Thunder.  According to their website, it covers “passionate living and creative resistance in all the forms they take: from consensus process to streetfighting, from workplace struggles to graffiti art, from gender mutiny to subversive humor.” They produce a podcast, “The Ex-Worker,” as well as a number of books, posters, stickers and other anarchist media.

Public Space One is an artist-run, nonprofit arts organization that aims to provide an independent, innovative, diverse, and inclusive space for making and presenting art provide cultural educational opportunities, and advocate for the importance of art in everyday life for any and everyone. Public Space One is home to The IC Press Co-op, which offers community access and education in intaglio, relief, and silkscreen printmaking. 

Friday, October 2nd, 7:00 PM
Public Space One
120 N Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA
Contact: Rich Dana, 319.530.6051

Sunday, September 13, 2015

UK Solar Industry Takes a Beating from New Government

What can the US learn from Britain’s Solar About-Face?

In the election of May of this year, England’s Conservative party ( whose members are known commonly in the  media as “Tories”) won a surprise victory and secured enough seats in parliament to form a majority government.  Despite the lack of support for renewables in the conservative platform, solar advocates attempted to remain optimistic.  Leonie Greene of the Solar Trade quoted shortly after the election as stating that,   “I am confident support for solar will remain, the question is whether they will treat it as a sideshow to old centralized technologies or if they will recognise the technology tide is now changing dramatically internationally and that the UK urgently needs to retain and strengthen its position in the booming global solar market.”
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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Meta Shop Class as Soulcraft Book Review and Book Repair How-To

book1I recently picked up a great book from a used bookstore. Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford is a fabulous book about what it means to be a person who works with their hands. Ironically, before I was finished, the hardcover edition from Penguin Books began to fall apart. So much for quality construction! A large section came loose in the middle, and then became completely detached from the spine. I’m faced with one of the modern dilemmas that Crawford points out in his book. Do I keep reading the book, letting it slowly fall completely apart? Do I simply throw it away and buy another copy? Or, maybe download an electronic version to my smart phone, perhaps? No, Dammit! I will fix it! [Read more…]

Sanders on Solar

Bernie Sanders presidential campaign is catching fire. What is his plan for solar?

This week, in our continuing coverage of the candidates vying for the presidency in the 2016 election and their record on solar issues, Solar Tribune look at Senator Bernie Sanders. The curmudgeonly Independent from Vermont may seem an unlikely front-runner for the Democratic Party, but recent polls show that he is rapidly closing the gap with presumed shoe-in Hillary Clinton. With all of the buzz surrounding the Sanders campaign, let’s look at what a Sanders presidency would mean for the solar industry.
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Monday, August 31, 2015

The Dymaxion House: The Tiny House of the Future, circa 1930

Buckminster Fuller understood the need for a move to tiny houses. Unfortunately for Fuller (and the rest of us), he was 80 years ahead of his time.

In the past 10 years, tiny houses have become extremely trendy, and not without good reason. The real estate market has proven to be turbulent, to say the least. Down-sizing to live within your means is a concept that is increasingly popular not only among millennials, but with their aging baby boomer parents as well.

Tiny houses – compact, single family dwellings under 400 square feet– stand in stark contrast to the American trend toward larger and larger homes that started in the 1970’s and peaked in the early 2000’s. The current fad in tiny houses utilizes highly designed, compact interior spaces that include most, if not all of the modern conveniences, while maintaining a very traditional, cute cottage exterior appearance that makes them more enticing to tiny house newbies. Despite their small footprint, tiny houses retain a warm, cozy feel, which is key to their appeal.

This charm factor, or more precisely the lack of perceived charm, may have lead to the demise of an early 20th century precursor to the tiny house movement of today. In 1930, visionary architect R. Buckminster Fuller designed the Dymaxion House, an 1,100 square foot cylindrical aluminum yurt-like dwelling that is as radical today as it was in the last century.
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Solar and the Stock Market

As of this writing, the global economy is on an insane roller coaster and US stocks have lost $2.1 Trillion in the last week. Do we have any idea what this means for solar?

trina-solar-limited-adr-tsl-reports-strong-earnings-stock-up-244The recent problems began with news of a cooling Chinese economy, and this is important to solar watchers for a number of reasons. Although no one can say for sure how long the stock sell-off will last, some solar market watchers are looking at the implications for the solar industry in both the near and long term. Many investors are watching companies like Trina solar, who are being dragged down with the rest of the market, as good opportunities to buy and hold. Professional investors at Seeking Alpha believe that Trina, Junko and other Chinese solar manufacturers that have sound financial fundamentals and are showing growth may be looking at a strong rebound when the market finishes its correction.
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