“But the female mind has demonstrated a capacity for all the mental acquirements and achievements of men, and as generations ensue that capacity will be expanded; the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose. Woman will ignore precedent and startle civilization with their progress.”You can celebrate Tesla in lots of ways, for instance, right now you can visit the Mining Exchange and see paintings of him by local artist Phil Lear.
Transmission/Frequency: Tesla and His Legacy features contemporary artists whose works reflect — deliberately or not — Tesla’s maverick spirit and enduring legacy. Featured projects engage some of Tesla’s ideas, such as free-floating electrical current, self-sustaining systems/movements, electrical and fluorescent light, and magnetic fields. The exhibition will also include images and reproductions of Tesla’s inventions, with a focus on his time in Colorado Springs.In addition, I.D.E.A. will host a number of talks about Tesla's legacy, his contributions to science and engineering, and much more. Read it all after the jump.
The fee for Tyson's Google Hangouts video chat is $3.00 per person, plus admission to the Discovery Center, which is: $9 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 65+), $7 for college students with I.D., $3 for children ages 4-17. Military fees are $4.50 for adults with I.D., and $1.50 for children ages 4-17. Children age three years and younger are admitted free.The Space Foundation also announces that its 30th Space Symposium, held May 19-22, at The Broadmoor set a record for attendance at 11,000, making it the largest annual citywide convention in the Springs. Representatives from more than 600 companies from 26 countries attended.
Astronomy-themed daily activities at the Discovery Center June 24 - 28 include:
FREE Make-Your-Own-Solar-System Sticker set for the first 25 paid children admitted each Tuesday through Friday and first 100 paid children admitted on Saturday (age 4-17 only, includes Discovery Passport holders)
Science On a Sphere® Presentations Astronomy Apps Presentations (iPhone and Android)
Mars Robotics Laboratory Presentations (11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.)
Astronomy-themed crafts include:
Astronomy Coloring Pages
Constellation Station - make your own necklace, bracelet or keychain ($3 extra fee)
Star Chart or Astronaut Window (available Tuesday-Friday)
Space-themed Door Knob Decor or Make-A-UFO (available Saturday)
Register to win one of these great prizes:
Tickets for the Rio Grande Railroad Starlight Express
Gift Certificate for the Name A Star Registry
Tickets to the Space Foundation's 3rd Annual Space & Science Fiction Costume Ball
Drawing to be held Saturday, June 28 at 4:00 p.m., need not be present to win
Activities Wednesday, June 25:
3:00 - 5:00 p.m. - Showing of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Fox television show)
6:00 - 6:30 p.m. - Google Hangouts video chat with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson ($3 extra fee per person)
Activities Friday, June 27:
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 — 7:30 p.m. - Sabrosos Tacos Food Truck
6:00 p.m. - Presentation with Dr. Devin J. Della-Rose: "Exoplanet Research & Discoveries from the Last Two Decades"
8:00 p.m. - Star Gazing with Southern Colorado Astronomical Society
Activities Saturday, June 28:
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Sabrosos Tacos Food Truck
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. - Solar Gazing with Southern Colorado Astronomical Society
4:00 p.m. - Prize Drawing (see details above)
Please see our website for further details at www.spacefoundation.org/events/summer-discovery. Activities are subject to change.
Thank you to our "Astronomy" sponsor Ent Federal Credit Union.
Other Summer of Discovery themes include:
Astronomy, part 2, July 1 - 3 (the Discovery Center will be closed July 4 and 5)
Mars, Rovers & Robots, July 8 - 12, July 15 - 19
Rocketry, July 22 - 26, July 29 - Aug. 2
A Taste of Space Technology, Aug. 5 - 9, Aug. 12 - 16
Dr. NakaMats believes that the right food and drink, moderate exercise and an unflagging love life will keep him alive until 2072. “The number of sleeping hours should be limited to six,” he advises. “Alcohol, tea, milk and tap water are bad for the brain and should be avoided. Coffee is also very dangerous. One meal a day is optimal, and that meal should be low in oil and no more than 700 calories.”Nakamatsu is now well into his 80s, but his systems seem to be working, given his trip all the way from Tokyo to Manitou Springs, and he's even bringing some of his newest inventions. Plus, his website looks like this:
His own diet consists of a single serving of puréed seaweed, cheese, yogurt, eel, eggs, beef, dried shrimp and chicken livers. He seasons this concoction with Dr. NakaMats’ Rebody 55, a dietary supplement comprising 55 grains and several mystery ingredients. “It is ideal for sprinkling on soup or cereal,” he says.
In fall 2012, Leigh got an email from a chemist who had recently left Neumann Systems Group. Although Leigh would not disclose the name of the sender, The Gazette confirmed it was Boris Nizamov, who was instrumental in creating the Neumann technology and shares credit on 17 patents with David Neumann.The article also quoted Nizamov as saying the NSG system was initially going to cost $13 million and now is estimated at $130 million.
"I left NSG last summer when I came to the conclusion that NSG has no future because there will be no customers other than CSU," he wrote in the email.
In response to the March 2, 2014 article in The Gazette regarding emissions control at the Martin Drake Power Plant, I want to provide the following points to clarify several inaccurate and misleading statements:On March 30, The Gazette came back with another article, "Cost of scrubbers at Colorado Springs power plant keeps rising."
The NeuStream scrubber is the correct option for Drake Power Plant to comply with emissions control requirements.
* It is cheaper and more efficient than competing scrubbers;
* Compared to other technologies NeuStream works best for the facility's
unique space requirements;
* It has lower capital, operating and maintenance costs, and
* Uses less water and power than conventional systems.
The cost of the Neumann system on which the 2011 decision was made was $121 million, which includes required plant upgrades (due to inflation current total cost projections are $131 million) compared to an independent study estimate of $168 million for conventional technology (including plant upgrades). Cost estimates quoted before 2011 are not pertinent as there was no design work done and no agreement to build scrubbers at that point.
Our 3-year testing process showed that the NSG system reliably removes 97 percent of sulfur dioxide from plant exhaust compared to 90 percent removal for conventional technology. In addition, an Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) study was performed which verified the system was scalable to the level needed and provided realistic cost estimates. Early testing indicated that the NSG scrubber could also remove nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, but we chose to go only with SOx removal based on regulatory requirements and financial considerations.
The royalties on future sales were not a factor in the decision to move forward with NeuStream. We are confident that a market exists for the scrubber, and such proceeds would always be an added benefit. Using the NSG scrubber is a sound business decision for our community even if no future sales are made.
Chief Energy Services Officer
Colorado Springs Utilities
Recent news coverage about an emissions control project at the Drake power plant has lacked complete information, and Colorado Springs Utilities would like to share the facts about the approach we are taking to meet new EPA mandates by the end of 2017.The release also contained this comparison:
Colorado Springs Utilities and its board selected a wet scrubber process, called NeuStream in 2011 - a technology developed by local business Neumann Systems Group (NSG). The NSG technology has been rigorously tested and is proven to control sulfur dioxide emissions. Springs Utilities recommended and the Board has supported this solution because it will allow us to meet strict federal regulations, cost less than other technologies, and accommodate the unique construction requirements of the Drake plant.
A Sound Decision
Colorado Springs Utilities is moving forward with construction of the NSG project. Our goal is to hire as many local contractors/vendors as possible to build the system, providing needed economic stimulus for the local economy.
Changing direction at this point is not in our customers' best interest. Springs Utilities has already made the majority of the required investment in the NSG project. And based upon extensive testing, we remain confident that the NSG technology remains the best approach for Drake.
Facts about Drake
Drake reliably generates about one-third of our electricity and is a key reason we can deliver cost effective electric service to our customers. Colorado Springs Utilities electric rates for residential and commercial customers are lower than both Xcel and Blackhills Energy in all categories. Additionally, Drake and all of our power plants meet or exceed all EPA air quality standards.
Answers to frequently asked questions
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Has the price increased?
The cost of the Neumann scrubber on which the 2011 decision was made was $111.8 million. When accounting for required and expected site improvements (necessary for any type of scrubber), as well as price escalation for construction and materials, the 2013 projection is $131 million. Cost estimates quoted before 2011 are not representative as there was no design work done and no agreement to build scrubbers at that point.
Does it work?
The 3-year testing process, verified by an independent 3rd party, demonstrated that the NSG system is capable of reliably removing 97 percent of sulfur dioxide from plant exhaust. An Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) study was performed which verified the system was scalable to the level needed and provided realistic cost estimates. NSG system components are commonly used in a wide variety of applications, including power plants. The proprietary NSG process has been effectively used in other applications as well.
Did NSG originally expect removal of all emissions?
Early testing demonstrated positive results for removal of SOx, NOx, particulates and CO2, and NSG believes there is market potential for removing these substances. However, Colorado Springs Utilities purchased only SOx removal to meet regulatory compliance requirements at the lowest cost for the following key reasons:
Particulate removal and mercury standards are already being met with existing emissions control equipment;
NOx removal can be achieved at lower cost using other methods, so NOx was not purchased from NSG; and
No regulatory mandate currently exists for CO2 removal.
Has Colorado Springs Utilities benefitted from the sales of NSG to other customers?
Using the NSG scrubber is a sound business decision for our community even if no future sales are made. We believe that a market exists for the scrubber, although, no other company has purchased the technology at this point. As scrubbers are sold, our agreement with the vendor allows for proceeds to benefit our customers.
Why invest $131 million on an aging coal plant?
While the Martin Drake site has been in operation for over 80 years, the three units currently in operation are units 5, 6 and 7, built in 1962, 1968 and 1974, respectively. The Drake power plant has been well maintained over the years to operate efficiently and reliably while meeting regulatory requirements. The units have had continuous runs exceeding 100 days several times in recent years, which is an industry benchmark of excellence. The plant complies with all EPA environmental regulations.
The Drake facility provides about one third of the community's electricity needs. Shutting the plant down would require purchasing power from for-profit utilities or spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a new power plant, which would have adverse rate impacts for our customers. The Utilities Board and our customers are currently reviewing a third-party study on decommissioning options and will make a recommendation on the future of the plant.
Neumann Systems Group, Inc. (NSG) has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Boris Nizamov alleging violations of the employment agreements he signed when he was employed by NSG. The suit is tied in part to actions by reporter Dave Phillips and the Gazette in publishing information provided to them by Tim Leigh and Dr. Nizamov. In his employment agreements with NSG, Dr. Nizamov agreed to, among other things, not disclose confidential and proprietary information that he obtained when he was employed by the company. NSG has alleged that Dr. Nizamov disclosed NSG’s confidential and proprietary information, including technical, project-specific, cost, and customer information to third parties on several occasions. An initial hearing on the case will be held Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in El Paso County District Court. Joel Neckers of Wheeler, Trigg, O’Donnell LLP will represent NSG. The hearing involves NSG’s request that the Court enter a temporary restraining order against Dr. Nizamov preventing Dr. Nizamov from disclosing information in violation of his employment agreements.At a court hearing Tuesday afternoon, attended by one reporter, yours truly, District Judge Gregory Werner granted NSG's request for a temporary restraining order against Nizamov disclosing information. A hearing for a longer-term injunction is set for April 11.
During the almost five and one-half years Dr. Nizamov was employed by NSG as a senior scientist, he received total compensation in excess of $700,000. While at NSG, Dr Nizamov was named as co-inventor on 39 US and international patents and patents pending for which NSG holds all the rights. He also gained his US citizenship during his time at NSG. When Dr. Nizamov voluntarily resigned from the company, he gave notice in writing and stated, “I appreciate the opportunity I was given at NSG and I want to thank you for it.” During his out-processing from the company less than two weeks later and after he had been denied a follow-on consulting agreement with the company, he made broad accusations of wrong doing by the company. He declined, in writing, to elaborate. Dr. Nizamov did not respond to a subsequent second written attempt by the company to obtain specifics. More recently Dr. Nizamov interviewed with Dave Philipps, reporter from the Gazette, and released an email and statements about NSG which he had previously sent to Mr. Tim Leigh under a false name.
According to recent publications, Dr. Nizamov works for a company in Denver called either Pioneer Astronautics or Pioneer Energy where his work involves development of a carbon capture system for application to enhanced oil recovery. Dr. Neumann, NSG’s President, said: “This is an area that NSG has been involved with dating back to laboratory experiments in 2007 and 2009 measurements at the Martin Drake plant. I am concerned that given Dr Nizamov’s demonstrated disregard for his legal responsibilities to protect NSG confidential and proprietary data, he may have employed NSG owned intellectual property and trade secrets in the performance of his duties at Pioneer.”
NSG is an advanced technology company conducting externally funded research and development projects in emissions controls and carbon capture. Its largest contract is for desulfurization equipment for the Martin Drake power plant owned by Colorado Springs Utilities. Most of the forty+ contracts and grants received by NSG over the past decade have been competitively awarded by the federal government. NSG is pursuing national and international market opportunities for its NeuStream® emission control and carbon capture systems. More information on NSG can be found at www.neumannsystemsgroup.com.
Drake Task Force to Recommend Firm to Board
In today’s meeting, the Drake Task Force chose to recommend HDR Engineering Inc., to the Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) Board as the firm to conduct a Study of Alternatives Related to the Potential Decommissioning of the Martin Drake Power Plant.
The Task Force received six proposals and created a short list of three firms to give oral presentations at today’s meeting.
HDR Engineering Inc. was selected based on the following criteria:
· Most Relevant Expertise
· Depth of Knowledge of Martin Drake Power Plant
· Understanding of Effort and Implementation
· Superior Risk Analysis
· Management and Staffing
Task Force co-leads, Brandy Williams and Val Snider, will present the recommendation to the CSU Board during the April 9 City Council meeting.
HDR Engineering Inc. is headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich., with five offices in Colorado, including Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Springs office is on Briargate Parkway.
In the eight months since online education site Coursera started up, some 2.5 million people have used it to take university-level classes in everything from computer science to Aboriginal culture.
Courses generally range from six to 10 weeks, and there are hundreds to sign up for. You can, for instance, study music improvisation with jazz legend Gary Burton, take artificial intelligence or equine nutrition classes from the University of Edinburgh, or explore the social context of mental health and illness with University of Toronto professor Charmaine Williams.
While I haven’t personally taken any classes yet, a friend who’s a math professor in Europe recently posted online about the experience:
“I have never seen online math presentations quite like the ones in my class. (The University of Pennsylvania professor who teaches the class estimates it takes 20 hours to produce each 15 minute lecture.) While it seems you can take a class and do nothing more than watch the videos and get something out of it, in reality these courses — or at least the one I am taking — are not meant for the casual learner. My class is broken up into 5 topics, each topic consisting of a series of lectures. Each lecture is a 15 minute video. There are a total of 57 lectures in all. So we are talking a real commitment.
“In addition, each lecture includes a homework assignment that is automatically corrected upon submission. Videos often require multiple viewings in order to fully get the material and do the homeworks. In addition, there is an exam at the end of each topic. There is a deadline for taking exams and handing in homeworks. There will also be a final. The homeworks have taken me about an hour apiece. I expect a lot of the students are spending much more time than I am.
“At the moment you cannot get course credit, at least nothing that will transfer to another university. But once that day comes, I think you can say farewell to a great deal of the clunky distance education programs out there.”
Warning: The following video from Dr. Elsa Barkley Brown will make you want to take her course:
The futurist inventor — who’ll be speaking this evening at CSU-Pueblo as part of its free Distinguished Speakers Series — made headlines last month when he was hired by Google to a high-level position where he’ll essentially be teaching its machines how to think. (Read our Indy interview for more on that Google gig, among other things.)
But while the name may still be new to some, the controversial scientist's theories have been of interest to Animus Invidious for a while now. In fact the local musician sought Kurzweil’s permission to use excerpts from his writing as the basis for his 2009 track “Rampant Misconception.”
“I thought he was cool when he responded directly to an email inquiry about using some text of his in a song via text-to-speech synthesis,” says the electronic musician. “Afterwards I Wikipedia'd him and realized he helped develop that very same technology.”
You can listen to the track below.
Meanwhile, note that doors open at 6:30 p.m. for this evening’s talk, which will be held at Hoag Recital Hall. (Our Seven Days to Live write-up contains more event details.) Organizers tell us that, due to an anticipated overflow crowd, a live feed will also be simulcast in the university’s Life Sciences Auditorium.
Gee, I might have decided to be a scientist if there were cool things around when I was kid to motivate me like the Science On a Sphere I saw today at the Space Foundation. Although it's hard to do it justice with my little camera, here's a shot of it.
The Space Foundation held a grand opening today for the Northrop Grumman Science Center at the foundation's new headquarters at 4425 Arrowswest Drive.
The center was funded with a $375,000 donation from Northrop Grumman and features a replica of the moon module built by the defense contractor.
Lon Rains, director of strategic communications for Northrop Grumman, says such investments are made to advance educational programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). "These are exciting careers," he says before the dedication. "Things like this really grab their interest. This is about making sure we give opportunities so the next generation of dreamers can build things in space. They think it's our destiny."
Already, 350 students from the area have toured the facility during soft openings in the past few weeks, says Iain Probert, the foundation's vice president for education. Fourteen classes from kindergarten to high school have experienced the center, which is open for field trip bookings. "The children were blown away," he says. "The teachers were blown away."
The centerpiece of the exhibit is the sphere, a dynamic spherical projection system developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that uses special software and satellite imagery to render dramatic, full motion views of the Earth, sun, moons and planets, the foundation says in a press release.
"The Space Foundation has long dreamed of creating a space where we can offer students and visitors an extraordinary educational experience. Northrop Grumman made it possible for us to do this very quickly and in a spectacular way," Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham said in a news release. "We are thrilled that, through this collaboration, we are offering teachers and students a compelling platform for STEM education and we are launching a new visitor destination in northwest Colorado Springs at time when the community needs it."
More shots of features in the exhibit: