Farming – Return to the Past?

In former times, farmers used to rotate their crops, so that a field would have different crops grown in it each year over three of four years until the cycle started again. Often, in mixed farms, one year’s ‘crop’ would be the livestock allowed to feed on the field, resting the soil and replenishing it with their manure. The rationale for this was that different plants used different nutrients and attracted different pests and diseases. By moving the crops around, farmers could avoid depleting the soil of key nutrients and prevent the build-up of parasites. Then modern farming vastly reduced … Continue reading Farming – Return to the Past?

Powering Up For the Future

In a hundred year’s time people will probably look back to today and be scandalized by how much energy we waste. Currently, heat energy leaks out into our atmosphere at a phenomenal rate, energy that could be saved and converted into power. Researchers in the United States have developed a new material, a derivative of the semi-conductor lead telluride, that is highly efficient at converting thermal energy into electricity. Described by Tom Nilgesa of Munich Technical University as “a giant leap for thermoelectrics”, this new invention gives us hope for a more energy-efficient future. Continue reading Powering Up For the Future