There are times I look at how much life had changed from when I was the same age as my brats and I find it staggering; then I think in terms of how much it has changed from when my Dad was their age; how strange and fast the world must seem at times to him and wonder will I feel that way when I am in my mid fifties.
Some tech advances come out of the blue and just explode the mobile phone was one of them, I remember when I first started reading Iain M Banks Culture novels pondering the communicator which kept every member of Culture connected and plugged in to the same sprawling data comms array and wondering when such a thing would happen. It has esp with the new generations of handhelds with roaming net access.
Other common use of tech has taken a lot longer for it to filter down into things I see everyday. Solar panels is one of these. The original photovoltaic technology invented in 1955 and there have been now 3 generations of solar cells, but it is only in the last few months I have seen them finally in what I consider to be practical every day use.
I have seen them mounted on the road signs which signal you are approaching a school zone. These signs have amber lights which flash when the schools are letting out children and it’s great to see them change from being hard wired to having solar panels atop them.
Solar panels have also been added of late to all the road variable message signs, you know the big orange ones which we have all seen all over the country where there are road works. No longer do they have two car batteries attached to them but instead have a solar panel array.A solar panel roof it was also added to the roof of the toilets in the playground in the millennium park in Blanchardstown but that setup is primarily for heating the water for the toilets but it is great to see it.
Currently there is a call for solar panels to be placed on all schools which I think is a good idea esp when so many of our schools have had to do fund raising over the last two winters just to cover the cost of oil and gas to keep the schools warm enough.
The topic of alternate power supplies has been part of a lot of conversations in this house hold as both my brats are encouraged to listen to the news and read what takes their interest in any newspapers which come into the house. We did take part in earthwatch hour and made it family time with us all sitting playing cards by candle light and discussing the issues and what type of a world they want to have when they grow up and what we can do to make that happen as many people making many small changes can change the world.