Hydrogen As a Fuel Source

From water to air, there are a number of ways to energize your car. Alternatives to petroleum are a hot topic today. The growing concern for the environment is steadily increasing. It’s an important issue that many people want to feel personally connected to. Hydrogen as a fuel source is not an entirely new idea. But science is taking a closer look at the impact that using hydrogen could have on both the environment and the economy. The best solutions are the ones that have more benefits than drawbacks.

Hydrogen burns in a vehicle much the same way that petroleum does. This makes it a good imitation even though it is not at all the same thing. Many alternatives are not this easy to work with.

Hydrogen makes a great fuel option for more than just automobiles. It can also be used in airplanes and even bicycles. A bicycle is already a great alternative to driving a car. By powering it, you make it faster and more efficient while still avoiding the use of a vehicle.

Major car companies such as Daimler Chrysler are already investing in hydrogen options for drivers seeking a hydrogen vehicle solution. These types of things certainly do not develop over night but the fact that they are in production at all is a great sign.

Hydrogen is an energy source that can be obtained from both renewable and non-renewable resources. This makes it much more environmentally friendly than some other petroleum alternatives currently being used and studied. It is much more flexible.

One really positive aspect of hydrogen fuel is that it can be produced and used continuously. It is highly renewable which is exactly what many consumers are waiting for. Making a fuel change is not a light decision to make. Benefits like this can help to aid your choice.

Every positive thing always has a negative counterpart. It’s just the way the world works. Hydrogen is not a fool proof fuel option. The burning of hydrogen actually produces more emissions than regular petroleum gas does. Since less emissions is what we really need, that just is not acceptable.

There are economic aspects that do come into play here. Hydrogen without fossil fuels is not economically friendly. When it comes to money, unfortunately that is where a lot of decisions are made. Anything that is not good financially just won’t take off no matter how good a fuel it is. The two must go hand in hand.

If hydrogen was to be a leading fuel alternative to diesel and petrol, then plenty of preparation work would have to be undertaken first. In order to properly produce clean, useable hydrogen, new facilities and systems would have to be built. The cost of that would be substantial. These types of developments cannot be done without intense amounts of study and planning.

Hydrogen is a realistic fuel source that is in use in some places. However, it is not yet ready to become a worldwide solution.

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How to Save a Ton of Money on Your Energy, Power, and Electricity Bill!

We all would like to save more energy each month. Sometimes we are just so busy with are lives that we tend to forget the little things that can save us hundreds of dollars on our energy and electricity bill. As energy rises up during different seasons like the summer and winder, it is important that we save this energy doing seasons like fall and spring. So here are some tips to help you do this!

1) Never run the heater or AC on when no one is home!

2) Always make sure all your air filters are clean!

3) Use the heater and AC only when in occupied rooms (Do this by closing room windows and doors)

4) Use florescent lighting which saves about 50% of your lighting energy bill!

5) Always shut off lights that you’re not using!

6) When buying new appliances, look for the energy star symbol as it is a good indicator of sufficiently saving energy compared to other appliances that don’t have that symbol!

7) If you can use ceiling fans instead of AC, do it! (it is equivalent to lowering the air temperature to a couple degrees)

8) Always close the refrigerator door! (a typical family spend about $10-$20 a year just by opening it 40-60 times per day).

9) Always turn off your computer when not in use! (this can save more than $100 per year)

10) Finally, shut off all other electrical equipment when your not using them!

Hope these ten tips can help you save the earth as well as help you save a ton on your money on your monthly bills! Good luck!

Who is to Blame For High Gas Prices?

With only the possibility of John McCain and Barack Obama, I would say that whose to blame for high gasoline prices has been the most played news story across every media network over the last month or two. The national average for gasoline peaked earlier this month around $4.11 per gallon or regular 87 octane and has recently come down to about $4.03 per gallon. This obviously is a stark increase from the price range around ~$2.50 that we had seen during 2006 and 2007. The issue becomes even more important than “just an extra” $2.53 per gallon as our economy and lifestyle are based on the consumption of gasoline for transportation. The biggest question on everyone’s mind is who is to blame and how can we fix the problem? Like many other questions concerning energy, the answer is not nearly as simple as the media would have you believe. Warning: The information you are about to read may be completely foreign to you as none of the 6 major media networks have ever reported truthfully on this topic in the past.

It must be the E&P companies, right?

Not as much as you would think. While it is true that the exploration and production companies have to make some profit, when you look at the numbers the results are not as horrifying as you may have previously thought. Let’s take a look at the profit margins of some of the larger E&P companies (all of the numbers are for the trailing twelve months):

* Apache Corp. APA – 29.95%

* Anadarko Petroleum APC – 3.78%

* EnCana Corp. ECA – 14.77%

* Occidental Petroleum OXY – 29.2%

* Suncor Energy Inc. SU – 17.98%

* Microsoft Corp. MSFT – 29.26%

Now its time to play the which one of the above is not an oil and gas E&P company game? If you guess Microsoft, you probably have a bright future ahead of you and I wish you my sincerest congratulations.

This is only one example, Goldman Sachs GS has a profit margin of 23.68% and Intuitive Surgical ISRG has a profit margin of 24.68%. Many of the energy companies actually have lower profit margins than companies in other sectors. They are not the ones that are charging you too much for the goods you rely on, they are just participating in the free market economy and helping you achieve economic satisfaction more so than most of the other companies in the world.

Well then it has to be refiners?

This is definitely the last person who is causing your wallet to thin. The refiners (excluding the major integrated companies that incorporate refining and marketing activities into their overall business structure) bring the least to the bottom line when compared to the other sub-sector of the energy universe. The problem with the refiners is that since they do not produce the oil, they are reliant on spot market prices for the input of their product. This difference is called the crack spread. The crack spread is the margin refiners make when the take a barrel of crude oil and “crack” it into another form, either gasoline, heating distillate, diesel, or a number of other products. Generally crack spreads are quoted in the 3:2:1 ratio, or 3 barrels of crude are cracked into 2 barrels of gasoline and 1 barrel of heating distillate. Recently the crack spread has been in a state of free fall as highlighted by the stock prices of Valero Energy Corp. VLO, and Tesero Corporation TSO falling more than 45% each while the rest of the energy sector rallied.

Gas station owners, thats it!

Unfortunately for gas station owners, they fall into a similar category as the refiners. They do not produce the gasoline, so their input prices are out of the control. Because there is a high level of competition and a bunch of stingy consumers, they are not able to raise prices as quickly as they would need to in order to maintain historical profit margins. More than 1,000 gasoline stations closed in the United States last year, many of which were actually losing money every time they sold you a gallon of gasoline because of the rate at which gasoline spot prices were rising over the last year and a half. You should expect more gas station closing through 2008 and maybe into 2009. The business has become so unprofitable that Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM has recently announced that they are planning to sell at least 2,500 of their company owned gas stations in the United States during the next year, mostly likely at steep discounts to their worth even 3 months ago.

What about the government?

If you read my article concerning McCain’s Gasoline Tax Holiday you would know that the government sponsored gasoline tax really has little to no effect on the price of gasoline that consumers pay at the pump. The government definitely has an indirect effect on the price of gasoline due to the current drilling policies. If all United States territory was opened, not only would the markets discount this news into the future and lower energy commodity spot prices but the supply that would come online within 2-3 years would cause the price to be pushed downward in the long run. There is also a counter argument that some day we may actually need those reserves for something truly important, not just saving you a few dollars per fill up. That type of ethical issue is one that is difficult to address because facts will not allow either side to be completely “right” or “wrong” no matter how long the topic is argued. I’ll let you make your own decision on that one.

Wait a second, it can’t be my fault can it?

Actually, yes it can. The unfortunate news is that we as consumers are the cause for almost all of the rise in gasoline price. It is not just “us,” it is actually consumers all around the world who are driving up the price. Because crude and gasoline trade on global exchanges, it is not just the United States thats affects the prices, contrary to popular belief. Increased demand from India and China as well as the rest of the developing world is one of the major factors contributing to the price inflation. For example, an American used 25 barrels of oil per year while the Chinese only use 3 barrels per person per year and the Indians only use 1 barrel per person per year. Gasoline prices could become really frightening if the rest of the world would demand even 25% of the consumption that we have grown accustom to over the past century.

Another important factor is worldwide inflation. Inflation rates are growing at historically fast rates around the world. The United States has year-over-year inflation growth of 5% (if you believe the government data which many experts are suggesting you should not), China is over 8%, Russia is over 9%, so on and so forth. With all of this extra money, it is easy to see that a good portion of the price appreciation is do to the fact that people have more nominal dollars to spend, even if each one is worth less and less every day.

Our modern American economy is so heavily based on petroleum products to function that there is only a certain amount of demand that can be destroyed at these low levels of gasoline prices (I know that sounds ridiculous to say, but bear with me). Children have to go to school and adults must go to work, no matter the price of gasoline. Use yourself as an example. Would you quit your current job because of gasoline prices? At what price would you consider quitting your job? At what price would you have no choice but to quit your job? For most of you, these numbers are going to be much higher than the current price of gasoline. Many of you would be shocked to believe that gasoline spending per capita is actually only half of the historical high percentage that was reached during the 1910s and the 1980s. Do not believe for any moment that gasoline prices cannot or will not appreciate from here.

So what can we do? Are we doomed?

We are not doomed. I for one am long on the idea that the United States will be able to innovate and solve this problem. The solution won’t come from the government, but from the free markets. Only time and extreme necessity can drive us closer to the solution, but I assure you that one day it will come. I will discuss the solutions in another later article, but you should not feel as if there is no hope for America because there most certainly is going into our bright future.

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Unemployment and Housing Data Point to Bleak

Existing home sales fell to 4.86 million units, about 2.6% below consensus estimates of 4.94 million units. The report also cited a huge deterioration in median home prices, down to $215,000 or down over 6% from last year. This highlights the bleak outlook for the housing market, as the housing market has yet to find a bottom. With mortgage rates set to only head higher in the coming months, I would expect more defaults on mortgages as there seems to be no slowdown in the turmoil of the housing market.

Weekly unemployment numbers also came in worse than consensus estimates, at 406,000 for the week ending July 19th, 2008. This can only mean bad things for the overall July unemployment numbers that come out next Friday, as some analysts expect the overall unemployment rate to head higher from the 5.5% that was posted in May and June. If you do not remember what happened the last time unemployment increased, just look back and you will see that the Dow lost well over 300. If we really are in a recession, it is also important to note that unemployment during a recession has always hit at least 6%, if not more. Being that the unemployment number is a leading indicator, it seems as though a recession could be imminent, if we are not already in one. That being said it seems even more likely that we will head into a consumer recession as consumers struggle to receive a consistent stream of income without a steady job, which they have become accustomed to over the past few years.

Spending habits will clearly have to adjust for this change in net income per household, which should weigh negatively on the economy, especially for discretionary companies. The further deterioration of the housing market will continue to weigh negatively on financials and home builders until there is a clear sign that there is a turn around in the hosuing and mortgage industry. It also does not help that commodities have had a huge run up in the past year, weighing on corporate profits along with food and energy prices on the consumer. I would continue to recommend staying in traditionally defensive sectors, such as Consumer Staples and Healthcare, as they seem poised to weather the current downturn since over 70% of Staples and Healthcare companies have reported earnings better than analysts estimates. With the strong possibility of a consumer recession, sticking with staple stocks such as Proctor and Gamble PG, Wal-Mart WMT and medical suppliers such as Becton Dickinson BDX, should continue to prove a beneficial strategy as these companies offer dividends and reduced volatility in one of the most volatile markets in years.

This article is brought to you by the authors at BullishBankers.com, a brand new and wildly popular stock market community on the internet.

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What Are the Top 10 Home Businesses in 2008?

If you want to join the thousands of people who are starting to work at home, there are many great opportunities available to you today. However, you definitely want to make sure you get the best possible opportunity for your needs. So, here is a list of the top 10 home businesses in 2008 to consider getting involved in to make money from home.

Home Business #1 – Medical Transcription – One of the top 10 home businesses this year is medical transcription. For those who are great with a keyboard and fluent in English, this is a great choice. Doctors often will outsourcer transcription and it offers the opportunity to make great income without costing a lot to get it started.

Home Business #2 – Gift Basket Sales – Another of the top 10 home businesses in 2008 is gift basket sales. Gift baskets have become extremely popular in the past few years, and more people are finding that making and selling gift baskets can be a lucrative stay at home job.

Home Business #3 – Offering Home Renovation Services – Home renovation services are another of the top 10 home businesses this year. People are always wanting to renovate their home to make it look better and to make it easier to live in, so this is a top home business.

Home Business #4 – Home and Office Cleaning Services – Home and office cleaning services have also become quite popular this year as well. You don’t even have to do the cleaning yourself but you can find great jobs and hire a crew to do the cleaning for you, making a great profit.

Home Business #5 – Data Entry Jobs – Data entry continues to be one of the top 10 home businesses. Data entry is a simple home business to try and many companies today hire out their data entry tasks to people who work at home. There’s a whole lot of potential in this field.

Home Business #6 – Affiliate Programs Online – Of course you’ve probably heard of affiliate online programs, and they are also some of the top business opportunities for those who want to work at home. Simply sign up with companies, promote their products, make sales, and get paid.

Home Business #7 – E-book Publication – Informational products are hot, which is why e-book publication is one of the top 10 home businesses this year. If you are knowledgeable on a topic, write an e-book about it and sell it. It’s an excellent way to work from home.

Home Business #8 – Wedding Planning – Weddings are always hot, and now wedding planning is soaring into the top 10 home businesses as well. Wedding planners plan out weddings, get clients in contact with the right caterers, and make sure everything happens at the right moment on the wedding day.

Home Business #9 – Freelance Writing – Freelance writing is another top home business that many people are finding successful. It involves writing web copy, for magazines, newspapers, and more, and it’s all done from home.

Home Business #10 – Dietary Consulting – Last of all, on the top 10 home businesses of 2008 is dietary consulting. More and more people are concerned about their health and their diet, so they are turning to these dietary consulting services for help.

This article written by Mark Johnson.

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The Top 10 Most Wanted Toys For Christmas 2008

Christmas is coming faster than you think!

Each year the same thing happens to millions of parents, when they have to tell their little one that “Santa didn’t have time to deliver this year”. Instead of running around like a headless chicken trying to find that special toy during the Christmas rat race, why not shop early and take a look at some of the most in-demand toys for Christmas 2008.

Basically there are 10 toys that are going to be hard to find by the time Christmas comes, so shop early for the best selection of Christmas gifts in 2008.

Toy Number 1

The Nintendo Wii

Nintendo’s Wii video game system (pronounced “we”) is designed to attract people, regardless of their age or video game experience, to sit down and play together–whether they’re in the same room or on different sides of the globe. The system’s name reflects this simple idea. It’s easily pronounced in a variety of languages, and the distinctive spelling suggests two players side by side. The two Wii features Nintendo thinks will create new levels of gaming community are built-in Wi-Fi access, supported by a new online gaming service, and Wii’s intuitive, wireless, motion-sensitive game controller.

Toy Number 2

The Wii Fit

Wii Fit is designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. In Japan it has been encouraging family members as a whole to discuss the topic of fitness and take an active interest in understanding their own fitness in a fun and entertaining way, all in the comfort of their own home.
Wii Fit comes bundled with the Wii Balance Board, an accessory developed exclusively for the Wii console that will have a far-reaching impact for all who use it. It’s innovative, exciting and most of all fun and simple for all to use. It is a pressure sensitive, wireless balance board that goes on the floor – so someone can stand on it in front of the TV. It senses weight and shift in balance in any direction and therefore by standing on the Wii Balance Board during activities allows players to follow along to movements ensuring they have full control of the on-screen activities. This allows personal improvement goals to be set to effectively help you and your family to train and stay fit.

Toy Number 3

The Nintendo DS

Sleek black and white may have been the must-have look this summer, but now it’s all about pink as the hugely successful Nintendo DS Lite turns pink. Nintendo’s latest console includes all the existing features of the Nintendo DS, yet includes a variety of distinctive changes which truly sets it apart from other handheld consoles. Nintendo DS Lite retains the advanced touch screen technology, allowing players to control the software with a stylus or even their finger, as well as dual screens, voice recognition and Wi-Fi capabilities of the Nintendo DS but is now both smaller and lighter. Weighing nearly 60g less than the original, it is just two thirds of the original size. The redesign isn’t only cosmetic though, the Nintendo DS Lite features adjustable screen brightness with four settings, a repositioned microphone for ease of use and a larger and more comfortable stylus. With its new design and unique features, this console is perfect for everyone regardless of age, gender and gaming skills.

Toy Number 4

Sony Playstation 3

The PS3 features IBM’s “Cell” processor and a co-developed Nvidia graphics processor that makes the system able to perform two trillion calculations per second. That makes the PlayStation 3 40 times faster than the PS2. Along with the traditional AV and composite connections, it also boasts an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) port, which delivers uncompressed, unconverted digital picture and sound to compatible high-definition TV and projectors. The system is capable of 128-bit pixel precision and 1080p resolution for a full HD experience. This console also provides for a sound experience by supporting Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, as well as Linear PCM 7.1. A pre-installed 40 GB hard disc drive allows you to save games as well as download content from the internet. Unlike the other models of the PlayStation 3, the 40GB does not offer backwards compatibility.

Toy Number 5

Xbox 360

In comparison to the Darth Vader inspired design of the original Xbox, the Xbox 360 a thing of (near) wondrous beauty.

In addition to playing games and movies, the Xbox 360 can stream music and video from a wide variety of electronic devices, including iPods and the Sony PSP.

Toy Number 6

Sony PSP

All other portable consoles seem like chess to this. what is the point of making them. The PSP slim and lite has out classed the original and out classed all other portable devices. You can even get satnavs now for PSP! FANTASTIC!!!

Toy Number 7

Lego Mind Storm

Build-your-own Star Wars droids with the Droid Developer Kit. If you have ever wanted your own R2D2, now’s your chance. With a little time and patience you can create a droid that can be programmed to do what you want it to.
At the heart of the Droid Developer Kit is a small, intelligent brain called the Micro Scout. This minute computer can react to light, has a motor to bring movement and has seven pre-programmed routines as well as a programmable option via your PC. If R2D2 is not your ideal choice of robot then you can build one of the two other droids in the pack: L-3GO Training Droid or the Jedi Knight Droid.

Toy Number 8

Silverlit PicooZ Twin Blade 3 Channel Helicopter

Be warned. This is no ordinary radio controlled helicopter. This is the TandemZ. A full three channel, auto stable system with twin propellers and an advanced multi-role set-up that requires skill, brains and determination to master. In appearance, the TandemZ closely resembles the iconic Sea Knight Helicopter, a vehicle famed for its assault transportation of combat troops and its ability to land on aircraft carriers. The twin propeller system is a striking feature of this unique style of helicopter, and providing greater stability, greater control and added power when airborne. With the TandemZ being a full 3 channel radio controlled unit, users are able to control the flight altitude, forwards and backwards movement and the direction of flight. Easier said than done. The handheld control unit (which doubles as the charging base for the TandemZ) is more complex than the standard R/C chopper, incorporating controls for Yaw trimming (direction), Pitch trimming (hovering angle), Throttle (altitude), Direction (forward/backward movement) and an additional headlight switch for flying in the dark. With guidance from the instruction booklet and a little practice, users will quickly appreciate the added control that the TandemZ offers and once mastered, can attempt more challenging stunts than ever before.

Toy Number 9

Speed Racer & Snake Oiler

Chase the robbers in the air and catch them at sea. This police seaplane is perfect for difficult police missions. Open the side door, take your seat, spin propellers and get ready for takeoff! Total wing span 40 cm/ 15.7 inches. Includes one police pilot.

And Finally – Toy Number 10

Original Rubix Cube

One of the most famous toys in history, Rubik’s Cube is the incredibly addictive, multi-dimensional challenge that has fascinated fans since it arrived in 1980. Over “43 Quintillion” (that’s 43 with 18 zeros to you and me) moves are possible with this original 3×3 Cube, but there is only one solution! A must for puzzle lovers, the aim is to twist and turn the Rubik’s Cube to return it to its original state, with every side having one solid colour. For those who struggle to master this challenge – or simply lack the patience – the enclosed guide provides the simplest ever 7-step Rubik’s Cube solution and introduces a number of other fantastic games to play. So, whether you’re into simple siding or prefer a spot of classic cubing, hours of challenging fun lie ahead.

Darius Diamond specializes in writing video gaming, DVD & entertainment reviews, free tips guides and more.

To view a large selection of games, consoles and DVDs at great prices visit :

http://astore.amazon.co.uk/toys-and-games-superstore-21