Cleantech Jobs on the Rise


I am not surprised to read (Newsweek via MSNBC) that job opportunities are on the rise in the cleantech “green-revolution” sector. Notable niche areas mentioned include solar energy, biofuels. The article describes an upcoming trend:

Based on the flow of venture capital, K. R. Sridhar, CEO of the fuel-cell
start-up Bloom Energy, believes the clean-tech sector could produce 50,000 new
jobs by 2010. Peter Beadle, president of Greenjobs.com, cites estimates that the
solar sector alone could employ 2 million people by 2020.”

Interestingly, these jobs are geographically dispursed (across the US), unlike clusters of high-tech startups found in Silicon Valley during the tech boom.

From a finance perspective, analysts at Lux Research state that venture-capital investments in the clean-tech sector jumped from $623 million to $1.5 billion (2005 to 2006), led by solar power and biofuel.

Just In: Sub-Zero Beer and Ice hotter than boiling water?!


Looking for a new venture to finance? Here are a few business ideas based on cutting-edge physics. Talk to Daniel Dolan who has turned water to ice in nanoseconds, but having a temperature hotter than the boiling point of water! Alternatively, he also says that water in a glass could be cooled below freezing and remain as water in a supercooled state – now that could be a refreshing beer!

Here’s an interesting point that the article mentions:

In the Z experiment, the volume of water shrank abruptly and discontinuously, consistent with the formation of almost every known form of ice except the ordinary kind, which expands. (One might wonder why this ice shrank instead of expanding, given the common experience of frozen water expanding to wreck garden hoses left out over winter. The answer is that only “ordinary” ice expands when water freezes. There are at least 11 other known forms of ice occurring at a variety of temperatures and pressures.) “This work,” says Dolan, “is a basic science study that helps us understand materials at extreme conditions.” [right … basic science.]

Read the full article originally adapted from a news release issued by DOE/Sandia National Laboratories.

Who knew? 11 forms of water ice. Cool. You learn something everyday… to learn more about WATER, one of Earth’s precious resources, check out this book called Water, by Marq de Villiers .

All-nighters, Caffeine and Better Colons?


For all you busy finance geeks, and entrepreneurs working 80+ hour weeks buzzing on caffeine from your last quad-americano from Starbucks, there’s a little bit of good news for you!

A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that brewed coffee contains soluble fiber which aids in digestion, helps the body absorb nutrients, and fight cholesterol. An article from Scientific American gives some interesting statistics and insight:

According to the National Coffee Association, 82 percent of adults in the U.S. drink an average of 3.2 cups of java every day. A traditional eight-ounce (237-milliliter) cup of coffee could contain as much as 1.5 grams of fiber and 3.2 cups nearly five grams of fiber. But, of course, a “cup” is relative these days. A “grande” (medium size) cup at Starbucks, for instance, is 473 milliliters (or 16 ounces) and could pack as much as three grams of fiber, about the same as a raw apple and 20 percent or more of the average American’s daily intake.

But that does not mean you should drink coffee in lieu of veggies and whole grains to up your fiber intake, says ADA spokesperson Katherine Tallmadge. “There are so many other sources of fiber [that are healthier]. Should you drink tons of coffee to get those benefits? No,” she says, noting that coffee also contains caffeine—around 100 milligrams per cup. It is far better, she says, to get fiber from a variety of foods that do not contain caffeine and are also packed with other healthy compounds, such as protein and vitamins. “It’s the whole diet that’s important,” Tallmadge says, adding that she would not recommend more than two cups of coffee a day.

So there you have it. You can have your coffee and digest better too.