Scotland's "Orcadians" Lead The Way In Energy Self-Sufficiency

The announcement of a prize challenge for renewable energy machine development is a small but shining carrot for the industry. Meanwhile, residents on Scotland's Orkney Islands are leading the way in energy self-sufficiency.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn


What's the Latest Development?

On Tuesday, Scotland announced the Saltire Prize challenge, with £10 million (about $15.8 million) to be given to the first company whose energy-renewable wave and tidal power machines "produce at least 100 gigawatt hours of electricity over a continuous two-year period between now and 2017." The announcement was made on the Orkney Islands, which is already considered one of the world's most self-sufficient energy communities. Four firms have entered their devices to date.

What's the Big Idea?

Although some are skeptical about the prize's cost-to-value ratio, others believe that its existence provides a boost to the renewables industry, which is getting ever closer to creating machines that will replace fossil fuel-based power stations. It's even better news for Orkney residents (known as "Orcadians"), who have long paid some of the highest energy bills in the UK and are extra motivated to harness the power of nature. With publicly and privately owned wind turbines, solar panels, and ground-source heat pumps proliferating, one industry expert estimates that "85% of Orkney's entire electricity demand will be met by its home-grown renewables industry by early 2013."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

A dark matter hurricane is crashing into Earth

Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"

Surprising Science
  • A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
  • It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
  • Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Keep reading Show less

Are we all multiple personalities of universal consciousness?

Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.

We’re all one mind in "idealism." (Credit: Alex Grey)
Mind & Brain

There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.

Keep reading Show less

New study reveals what time we burn the most calories

Once again, our circadian rhythm points the way.

Photo: Victor Freitas / Unsplash
Surprising Science
  • Seven individuals were locked inside a windowless, internetless room for 37 days.
  • While at rest, they burned 130 more calories at 5 p.m. than at 5 a.m.
  • Morning time again shown not to be the best time to eat.
Keep reading Show less