I am very happy to know that you worried about me. I read your article on solar cookers and would like to know more about solar cars.
Vijay R Tripathi
Simply put, a solar car uses the sun’s energy to power its engine. The car has solar panels that are composed of photovoltaic cells. Photo means light and voltaic means electricity. So as the name implies, it converts sunlight directly into electricity, which powers the engine. This is a very advanced battery technology. The system has power trackers that maximize the amount of energy needed to run the car according to how much is required and the level of charge in the batteries.
Several cells are connected in series and parallel to form a module to achieve useful levels of voltage and current. This module is then put in a sturdy frame with a glass cover for protection. Solar cars hold great promise for the future. They’re non-polluting and unlike oil, there’s no danger of solar energy ever running out. Right now such cars are doing well in solar races, where hundreds of funny looking prototypes can be seen.
Honda and Toyota are two such majors making special cars for these races. And almost every car company in the world is doing research on efficient commercial cars. In fact, another popular concept that is catching up is a “hybrid car” which uses both solar energy and fuel. So it might not be long before you’ll be able to buy an eco-friendly solar car from your local showroom.
I have always used Weldon's Art brushes but they are not in the market nowadays. Dealers say the company has stopped making them because mongoose hair is no more available to them. I want to know what is original sable hair and which company manufacturers these brushes? Does Weldon have these brushes? How can we determine which is original sable hair?
The name "sable" was made up by trappers and refers to fur and hair obtained from any of three related species: Russian fitch (black sable), Kolinsky mink (red sable) and Chinese weasel. The red sable is of great interest to the artist because the finest sable brushes are made from its fur. Sable is chosen for its spring (the ability to return quickly to its original shape) and its point (the ability to return to a fine pointed shape). Sable brushes are going out of fashion due to the international campaign against fur. So it’s better to stick to brushes with artificial bristles and be kind to animals.
I am curious to know because of such a heat there would have been more evaporation of water from the earth. Where has all the water vapour gone which has to return back to earth as rain? Are we not supposed to get more rain because of more evaporation? But on the contrary nothing is happening at all. I guess that this enormous water vapour or the clouds would have gone to areas where there are more trees and poured down a lot and created a heavy floods. Am I correct, Panditji?
You ask very intelligent questions and and try and answer them too. You are correct that due to the increase in temperature there is more evaporation and the water vapour travels (in the hydrological cycle) to form clouds – and finally back as rain. But it is not necessary that the clouds are formed over the same region where the evaporation has taken place.
Direction of the winds, atmospheric conditions (high or low pressure) and geographic features (like mountains) of the region and global warming affect cloud formation and hence rainfall patterns. Forests act like a sponge. They prevent the runoff of rainwater and hold all it that pours down. As yet, no studies have yet established conclusively the relationship between forests and increase in rainfall in the same area.
I am an engineering student. I read the article "Unequal and Unhealthy" which appeared in the Gobar Times issue dated May 31. The astounding facts and stark revelations are heart rendering. I like the factual way in which the article was composed unlike other articles that play on emotional factors. However, I would like to see some "possible solutions" offered and "who is to be blamed" sort of thing.
I went through your website and I think it’s great! I have just created an educational weather website for kids (www.weatherwizkids.com) and would love for you to add it to your
site, if you like it.
I am an I.I.T student working with an organisation called Prayas. We organise workshop for school children. We have a one-room school here and around 30 children till class 8th come in the evening. We play for an hour and studies go on for another one hour. These children belong to a lower (so called) society and few of them are still deprived of proper school education. I saw your website and it has lots information on environment issues. I don’t know how I can incorporate such a sensitive issue to the young children can you suggest some ideas?
GT replies: We have children’s books, which you could read out to your class. In fact, why don’t you check the environmental education programmes on the Centre for Science and Environment’s website (www.cseindia. org). Apart from other things, you can learn to do practical experiments which children find very interesting. CSE runs a number of programmes for creating awareness, raising abilities and helping everyone make a move from awareness to action.
Why don’t you read about all this on the site? You can join the Gobar Times Environment Network which will give you free, informative posters and also the Gobar Times Educator’s Network (G:NET). CSE also conducts eco tours, workshops, lectures and presentations.
Probably the only eco-friendly way of using a plastic bottle is to fill it with water or pebbles and put it in the cistern of your flush, to reduce the discharge of water every time it is flushed.
Laxmi Narain Modi
New Delhi 110 030
Reading a Picture
I am puzzled at the two large sized ads for "Four Square Cigarettes, Live Life Kingsize" in the last issue of your magazine.
They are, in my view, totally out of place in a magazine aimed at 12-year-olds, and claiming to be environment and health oriented. If they are meant to discourage smoking, I missed the message.
Greetings and well wishes on the fifth year of Gobar Times. Even though it is meant for children aged ten and above, my seven-year-old son grabs my Down To Earth as soon as it comes to take away his Gobar Times. He reads it carefully and clears his doubts from me. He reads it with the same interest and enthusiasm as he does his schoolbooks.
I was worried to see an ad of a popular cigarette brand on the cover page (and again as a hoarding on page 67!) of the issue dated May 31, 2003. Was it the photograph of a city hoarding cleverly disguised as an advertisement or just the reverse?
GT replies: Sorry that both of you missed the symbolism behind the photo (maybe because of the way the hoarding and slum looked like two separate pictures), which we thought was self-explanatory. The hoarding, which urges the reader to ‘Live Life Kingsize’, is ironically at the entrance of a slum, where the inmates are denied even the basic amenities of life.
The two are also stark contrasts between the comfortable lives we lead in our city homes and the slum dwellers, who fight every day for everything from water to health care (which we take for granted). The rich exploit a major chunk of all the planet’s resources and the poor end up paying more.