Perth 18th November 2011
A mixed back of happenings today…President Obama has come and gone in a whirlwind visit to Australia addressing the House of Parliament yesterday, doing his best to throw some Aussie slang in his speeches (G’day, mate!). All regular TV programs were turned upside down to broadcast the event live, including his landing, arrival etc! What struck me most was “the beast”, his armoured car(s!) that were sent ahead to transport him. Two cars (one a decoy) that were built to resist any known types of missile and bomb attacks. The car door only resembled those thick bank vault doors! I found a picture on the net for reference. The car is equipped with night vision camera’s. I would imagine the inside has LED lighting??? Did anyone see the video of “the beast” caught stuck on a hump leaving the American Embassy in Ireland earlier this year? For all its millions of security it got stuck on a hump! Hilarious…
In another news flash Australia announced that its forensic services had acquired a so called Tracer, a 8W machine that produces a green laser light (at 532nm to be precise) costing “only” $75,000!! The laser light is said to use the inherent luminescent characteristics of materials to detect residual evidence left on crime scenes. The interesting part for me is that the light produced was not a single pin stripe beam as we are used to but an actual diffused regular light beam allowing you to project on surfaces and hence bring up visual images of finger prints and other residues that may be of interest to the crime scene investigators. I wonder if there is any architectural use for the laser light beam? Knowing that laser can now be produced in any possible colour, just like
the RGB mixing of LED, there could potentially be some application for white light laser? Hmmm, interesting thought ….
Finally in a more shocking revelation I learned today during a meeting with an architect discussing potential solar energy applications, that the power companies in Western Australia have stopped buying back electricity produced by consumers, homeowners and other solar energy producing private installations. It appears that the solar schemes promoting PV by the government have been so successful that the current electricity network cannot take the load. As the power companies are mostly private nowadays you can imagine they are not in a hurry to upgrade the network, nor seems the government. But the result throws the whole renewable energy story out of the window!!! There goes your ROI! You now have to invest in your own storage capacity and cannot sell back (and create a zero energy balance) on your monthly electricity bill… quite a shocker for those who where planning to switch to solar!
Have a meaningful weekend!