Shoot-out in Northfield

July 14th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Todd Thompson and Peter Schmelzer at the Shoot-out

We met at noon under the hot sun in Northfield.

Each carried his weapon, ready to fire at the touch of the trigger.

The gauntlet had been dropped.

Now it was time for the shoot-out.

One man would emerge victorious.

And some students would learn something.

Todd Thompson, wearing his science teacher hat this time, and I, wearing my sunglasses, squared off last month. The primary goal: to teach kids about ballistics, trajectory, pressurized gases, and construction of cannons. Secondary goals included celebrating the start of May Term, to have some fun, and to answer this question: whose potato cannon was more powerful. No ego attached (honest, although Todd’s may have been damaged…)

Todd was sporting his hair-spray fueled gun; I wielded my air-compressor-powered cannon.

As it turned out, I was victorious! My first shot at 80psi went much higher than Todd’s. By dialing down the pressure, we figured out that his cannon produces about 50psi of explosive, potato-flinging force. He had me beat on portability, since he didn’t need an electrical outlet, but power was no contest.

A good time was had by all. I regret having to humiliate Todd in front of his students, but I’m mostly over it now.

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$2,500 Rebate on Solar Hot Water

July 14th, 2008 by Peter Schmelzer

Solar access on top of my old roof

Minnesota is now offering to help you install a solar domestic hot water heat system on your own house.

They are doing that in three ways: property tax exemption (so your taxes won’t increase due to the value of the system,) state sales tax exemption for solar equipment, and now through a rebate of up to $2,500.

Of course, there are some requirements that must be fulfilled to qualify, but they appear to be manageable requirements. For more, follow this link.

Innovative Power Systems also has information on their website; they are contracted to provide solar domestic hot water for one of our current projects.

Thanks for the link go to Bruce Anderson of Sustainable Community Solutions.

We are interested in helping you find the right strategies to help your life become more sustainable.

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