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Jimmy Carter built a solar farm in his hometown and it now powers half of the entire city

That's the equivalent of burning about 3,600 tons of coal.

jimmy carter, solar power, plains georgia
via Sol America

Jimmy Carter of Plains, Georgia

Jimmy Carter was way ahead of the rest of America when he put solar panels on the White House. On June 20, 1979, he made a proud proclamation:

In the year 2000 this solar water heater behind me, which is being dedicated today, will still be here supplying cheap, efficient energy…. A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.

The 32-panel system was designed to heat water throughout the presidential residence.




"President Carter saw [solar] as a really valid energy resource, and he understood it. I mean, it is a domestic resource and it is huge," Fred Morse, director of Carter's solar energy program, told Scientific American.

"President Carter saw [solar] as a really valid energy resource, and he understood it. I mean, it is a domestic resource and it is huge," Fred Morse, director of Carter's solar energy program, told Scientific American.

"It was the symbolism of the president wanting to bring solar energy immediately into his administration," he continued. Unfortunately, Ronald Reagan, who was no fan of alternative energy took the panels down form the White House when he took office a few years later.

via Popular Science / Twitter

Carter was right about two things he said in that dedication. First, his panels are currently on display at The Smithsonian Institute, the Carter Library, and the Solar Science and Technology Museum in Dezhou, China.

Second, renewable energy has become one of the most important American endeavors of the new millennium.

There's no doubt that President Carter was way ahead of his time.

Carter has always been a man of action, evidenced by his hands-on approach to building homes with Habitat for Humanity. So in 2017, he leased ten acres of land near his home in Plains, Georgia, to be used as a solar farm with 3,852 panels.

The 94-year-old Carter still lives in his hometown of Plains with his wife in a two-bedroom home that's assessed at about $167,000.

Three years after going live, Carter's solar farm now provides 50% of the small town's electricity needs, generating 1.3 MW of power per year. That's the equivalent of burning about 3,600 tons of coal.

via SolAmerica

The system is state-of-the-art with panels that turn towards the sun throughout the day so they generate the maximum amount of power.

"Distributed, clean energy generation is critical to meeting growing energy needs around the world while fighting the effects of climate change," Carter said in a SolAmerica press release. "I am encouraged by the tremendous progress that solar and other clean energy solutions have made in recent years and expect those trends to continue."

"There remains a great deal of untapped potential in renewable energy in Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S. We believe distributed solar projects like the Plains project will play a big role in fueling the energy needs of generations to come," SolAmerica executive vice president George Mori said in a statement.

This story originally appeared on 02.18.20

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?

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English metal detector hobbyist finds a real treasure near Nottingham.

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The discovery was made on a farm in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, 26.9 miles from Sherwood Forest. The forest is known worldwide for being the mythological home of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men. A central road that traversed the forest was notorious in Medieval times for being an easy place for bandits to rob travelers going to and from London.

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Genesis Systems' WaterCube.

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The amount of water it can produce depends on the humidity levels, but Genesis Systems says it can even create water in dry environments.

Much like solar panels provide energy independence, this does the same for water.

"Our first mission is to sustainably solve global water scarcity," said David Stuckenberg, who founded Genesis with his wife, Shannon, told Techxplore. "Once you have this plugged into your house...you can turn yourself off (from) the city water."

"One of the challenges that we're facing, in terms of making humanity sustainable, is the stuff we need for life," he said, according to Techxplore. "Next to air, water is the most important thing."

The WC-100 WaterCube stands more than 3 feet tall, weighs close to 600 pounds and will cost around $20,000 to pre-order. So, even though you may not have a water bill anymore, you will have a pretty expensive monthly payment plan on a WaterCube for a few years.

But once it’s paid off, your water is free as long as you own the appliance.

Genesis Systems believes that the WaterCube creates “an infinite water source” that is “democratizing the water supply.”

Health

Widow defends woman who filmed herself picking up her husband's ashes and grieving

"I wish I had any video evidence of how this felt… Grief needs a witness."

Photo by Fa Barboza on Unsplash, Nora McInerny/Facebook (used with permission)

Nora McInerny explains why someone would make their grief public.

There are basically two universal truths about grieving a loved one. One, there is no "normal" way to grieve—it's entirely individual. And two, no one should judge another person's grief process.

A video of a woman picking up her husband's ashes started an important conversation about what grief looks like and why someone would choose to share such a personal moment with the world.

Adriana Sansam's husband, Eric, died unexpectedly in the spring of 2023 at age 30, turning the beautiful life they were building with their three small children upside down. Since Eric's death, Sansam has been sharing snippets of her grieving process on her Instagram page, and one of those snippets was a video of her in her car before and after picking up Eric's ashes. We see her break down before she leaves the car and again after she returns and cradles the urn that holds her husband's remains.

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More people say that weekends feel 'different' and they'd rather stay home than go out.

Solitude might be the new normal. But perhaps it isn't serving us.

@christinakdub/TikTok, @thefriendshipexpert/TikTok (used with permission)

Not wanting to go out on the weekends could be a symptom of "learned loneliness"

Is your picture of an ideal weekend staying at home, noshing on snacks and television rather than actual peopling?

If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Well, you might be physically, but not in your preference to be antisocial Friday through Sunday.

Recently, a woman named Christina Kwong admitted in a TikTok clip that weekends felt “different” now, that she was perfectly content with “a slice of cake and a maybe can of sparkling water” in lieu of going out.

She wondered if others felt the same, and whether this was just a result of getting older or some bigger phenomenon.

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Woman taking a selfie at the beach

Social media has made it very easy to alter your appearance using filters. They may come in handy when you need to record a video but look a bit under the weather—just turn on a soft glow or a makeup filter, and boom, you're camera-ready in less than two seconds. But there has been a lot of talk around the use of filters and teen girls' self-esteem and unrealistic expectations seemingly placed on women.

One woman has taken it upon herself to strip away the filters to prove that, while she is beautiful, her face doesn't actually look the way it does with the filter on. The most interesting thing about these filters is that they're so good, you can't tell they're filters. Gone are the days of filters that made everyone look like a Glamour Shot from the 90s. These filters move with you and even have pores so no one can tell it isn't actually your face.

Well, it is your face—kinda.

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