Cutting-edge science and long-pondered questions explained in plain English. Bad science gutted. Great science extolled.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Kunati Wins Huge Award

The publisher that published my two novels, RABID and CALLOUS, has won one of the largest awards that an indie publisher can win.

Kunati Book Publishers was honored with INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR AWARD at BookExpo America in Los Angeles, California on May 30, 2008, by FOREWORD MAGAZINE, one of the five dominant trade magazines in the book publishing field. Joshua Corin, a Kunati author, accepted at BEA on Kunati's behalf.

The new honor was created to celebrate ForeWord's tenth anniversary and to recognize Kunati's innovation and fearlessness.

Kunati, a year-old publisher, produces book trailers for every new release, maintains a blog, and encourages its authors to blog and actively participate in marketing their books. The publisher currently has several movie deals in the works, and its roster of authors includes Pulitzer Prize winner John E. Mack.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Toyota Prius is Destroying the World

TK Kenyon, your intrepid scientist for non-majors, is not surprised to tell you that if you're thinking about buying a Toyota Prius because you think it will help the environment or halt global warming, STOP!

Because a Prius guzzles the equivalent of 1000 gallons of gas in its manufacture (because its Ni batteries are very energy-consuming to make), you have to save 1000 gallons of gas to break even on the "carbon expense" of its manufacture.

A Prius supposedly gets about 45 mpg, but that number is greatly disputed and more like 38 mpg.

Most cars get 30 mpg, so you're saving 8 mpg. At 10,000 miles per year, you save 70 gallons of gas with a Prius than if you drive your old car. "Paying off" the carbon debt to manufacture the Prius would thus take 14 years, 3 1/2 months to break even.

If you accept Toyota's vastly fudged MPG figures, a Prius burns 222 gallons per year, versus your old car's 333 gallons per year, to go 10,000 miles. At that difference of 111 gallons per year, it will take 9 years to break even on the carbon debt.

So, to save the planet, keep your old guzzler. You've already paid off the carbon debt of its manufacture; plus, junking it will fill up a landfill and create solid waste pollution.

Reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can't shop your way to environmentalism.

Global warming vs. traditional environmentalism trade-off article:

TK Kenyon