Sunday, January 29, 2017

CBS Sunday Morning on January 29, 2017; Pogue on low tech batteries

Jane Pauley introduced the stories for January 29, 2017. First up was David Martin's piece on the new warship, the USS Zumwalt. Tracy Smith does the Sunday Profile on Dennis Quaid. Margaret Brennan on architecture in Palm Springs. Nancy Giles on the movie Moonlight. Serena Alschul on mapmaking. David Pogue on batteries.

The news for January 29 started with Kenneth Craig on rulings by federal judges staying the impact on Trump immigration orders. Protests at JFK and LAX. CBS highlighted a tweet on the topic made by Hillary Clinton. Trump phone conversation with Putin. The weather shows no big storms. Chinese New Year on January 28: the year of the rooster.
The Martin story on the USS Zumwalt noted that the USS Missouri was christened 73 years ago and then stated if Batman had a waship, it would be the Zumwalt. CBS noted the captain of the Zumwalt is James Kirk. A theme of the story was the cost of the Zumwalt: 4 billion dollars. Part of the reason was that the design was being done during the building. An example was the initial plan for the Zumwalt (a destroyer) to support ground troops with shells that could reach targets at a distance of 60 miles. These cost $800K per shell. The crew complement is 147 and the Zumwalt is based in San Diego. The story emphasized the novelty of the design concept but noted the high costs caused the initial plans for 32 ships in the class to drop to 3. The story did discuss Admiral Zumwalt, chief of naval operations in 1970 to 1974, and the famous Z-grams.

The almanac feature touched both on intellectual property and New Jersey. Seeing Eye, Inc. was incorporated on January 29, 1929, with the corporation having trademark rights in "seeing eye." The company is based in Morristown, New Jersey. The company has 500 puppies born every year, with the average work length of seeing eye dogs 8 years.

Serena Alschul talked about ski slope mapmaker James Nayhaus (sp?) . He designs maps by taking photographs, projecting them on a screen and hand painting with water color on the projection. Of note, James said "I can't use a computer." While he may have the best job in the world, one questions "how long" this approach will continue.

CBS noted the death of Barbara Hale of "Perry Mason" fame, who was the last survivor of the major cast.
Nancy Giles did a piece on the movie "Moonlight," which was made in 25 days for less than $5 million.
Margaret Brennan talked about the mid-century architecture of Palm Springs, CA. Mid-century modern aesthetic. Allusions to the tv show "Mad Men."

David Pogue talked about batteries, which will also be discussed in the coming week on Nova. Pogue noted two reasons for cheap batteries: 1. to create load-leveling to balance times of high demand (day) with times of low demand (night). This would be to efficiently use power generated from sources such as fossil fuel, nuclear, or hydroelectric, and not waste what is made at night. 2. to store energy from intermittent sources such as solar and wind. "Batteries" in this context are broadly contemplated. The first example was pumped hydro in Bath County, Virginia, wherein energy from low demand periods is used to pump water up to a higher reservoir, which "high energy" water is then released to a lower reservoir during periods of high demand. Another example was "ice energy" wherein energy from low demand periods is used to freeze water, which ice is later used for air conditioner cooling. A third example was flywheels designed by Amber Kinetics. A line in the story: American inventors are not finished yet.

A press release from Amber, one year ago in January 2016 noted:

Amber Kinetics’ technology offers critical advantages over batteries. Even with unlimited cycling during their 30-year lifespan, the systems have no degradation. Because they are 98% steel by weight, they pose no risk of fire, chemical explosion or hazardous materials release. Most important, because they are manufactured from readily available, abundant raw materials and don’t need replacement at regular intervals, they are significantly more cost effective than batteries. wrote in 2013:

The Bath County Hydro Pumped Storage Facility is not really a battery in the common sense of the term, but it is the largest pumped storage facility in the world. It stores a lot of energy, which helps 60 million people in 13 states (and DC) served by the regional transmission organization, PJM Interconnection.

Both Rita Braver and Jane Pauley mentioned the influence of Mary Tyler Moore on their lives.

Moment of nature was bighorn sheep in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

**As a footnote to Clinton's tweet, recall the long ago "Avengers" episode "The Bird Who Knew Too Much," which had the character Twitter. Edgar Twitter was the caretaker for "Captain Crusoe," a blue & gold macaw "a king, an emperor among parrots." The macaw could learn any phrase, and mimic the tone and intonation of the person who taught it to him. The last attribute allows the Avengers to identify Cunliffe as the evil doer in the episode. The macaw even does his own thinking; after the bad guys are caught, Captain Crusoe demands political asylum. Apart from the display of various parrots, the episode is notable for Diana Rigg's outfit in the final "joke" scene.


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