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How to generate human energy

K-Tor tells us how we can generate human energy and charge our devices

Human driven generators have been in existence for over 100 years but with the advent of wall outlets, the power grid, rechargeable and disposable batteries they fell out of popularity.

Recently the renewed interest in green energy and the realization that there are many situations, such as emergencies, adventuring and living off the grid, where they are indispensable they are again growing in popularity. This has also happened in parallel with the explosive growth of portable electronics devices that have become indispensable and are limited by their battery life.

K-Tor was born in 2008 by Ken Torino an electrical engineer who was caught once to many times with a dead battery while traveling and camping. It was not possible to buy a device as they did not exist and so Ken created K-Tor with the idea of making a highly functional modern design hand crank and pedal generator. These were developed after extensive development and testing as the Pocket Socket hand crank generator and Power Box pedal generator and the realization of that vision.

Visit us at K-Tor.com

In the development of a human power generator it is important to keep in mind two things, the human and the electrical device that is going to be powered. The human power generator is the device that goes between these two.

K-Tor started with extensive experimentation of the human. In the case of a hand crank what was the optimum crank length and power. The shorter the crank length the easier it was to turn fast but the harder to crank, the longer the easier to turn but harder to turn fast. The optimum was found via experimentation.  The design goal for K-Tor was to be able to take a cell phone and bring it back from the dead and allow some one to hand crank in a reasonable amount of time and keep a cell phone powered without plugging it in for an indefinite amount of time. It was also a design object to use the most universal interface and the standard wall outlet. Also by going through the wall charger supplied by the product maker it is the safest as these devices are designed to work with the battery they are charging. A universal solution is hard to achieve and the wall outlet is the closest thing to it.  The shortcoming of the crank is and continues to be the human body. In producing human power you want to use the largest muscle possible. The K-Tor hand crank is the best on the market using the arm and hand to crank vs others that use the wrist and fingers but the upper body can only produce so much and it is more like doing reps in the gym., three minutes and rest and three minute  and repeat for about thirty total. Thirty minutes charging at the same rate as plugging in a wall outlet is enough to keep you going day-to-day four minutes enough to bring a dead cell back to life for an emergency call. It is ideal for emergency use or day hiking or other similar uses.

For those that want to create more energy on a sustained basis pedaling is the way to go. Pedaling can be done for long periods of time comfortably even at heavier loads. The challenge in designing a pedal generator is to make it smaller lighter and less expensive so that it is more usable. The few that existed were the size of exercise bicycles and cost thousands. K-Tor did extensive experimentation and testing in developing and creating its pedal generator that is a huge leap forward in pedal generator design. K-Tor in its goal to make human power more available created its award winning pedal generator that folds to the size of a shoe box, is less than five lbs. and is less than $200.  It produces 20 watts that is plenty for most portable electronics up to and including tablets. It can also be used with a 12 Volt charger to charge small 12 volt batteries and run larger devices.

 K-Tor is now the world leader in human power products and has delivered tens of thousands all over the world. Whether you keep one at home for emergencies or it is your life line while on an expedition or in the Peace Corp they are indispensible in keeping communications operating, whether a cell phone, satellite phone or ham radio as well as the wide range of other indispensible portable electronic devices.

More information and a number of videos can be found on their web site k-tor.com and their you tube channel k-tor.  You can also talk to Ken the owner/inventor at 802 777 6229 his personal cell phone for advice or technical information or help.

K-Tor products are made in the US and they ship anywhere in the world.  You can also email ken at info@k-tor.com .

You Heard It First! Go Digital. Get Ahead.

Going digital with your college courses is now more popular than ever

Did you know that 9 out of 10 students who try digital in their college courses don’t go back? Digital tools are quickly becoming one of the easiest and most efficient ways for students to up their game in the classroom. Need convincing? Below we have outlined several reasons why digital learning tools rock.

Personalized Learning

When it comes to how we learn, one size definitely does not fit all. Each person has their own way of learning, and that preferred style guides the way you learn, the way you recall information and the words you choose. Some students might be more verbal learners, while others might be more logical, social or visual learners. Luckily, the use of digital learning solutions allows you to customize your education to suit your own personal learning style. Check out what kind of learner you are here

Better Grades

Want a not-so-hidden secret of an A student?  Build a digital toolkit! Studies show that students who can customize their learning experience not only get better grades, they also get more out of college, period. Using a mix of reading, multimedia, activities and assessments, digital tools bring together a variety of different learning approaches so you can get the most out of studying and increase your information retention. And if you are thinking you have NO idea where to start, no need to fret- CengageBrain has you covered. Visit our Help for Digital Products page, which will help you get the most out of your digital products with “how to” documentation and materials at your fingertips.

Save Money

With the advancements of digital in education, you have more choice than ever before. Beyond just a textbook, for most courses there are a range of digital options at varying price points. In fact, in many cases, an all-digital solution is actually the least expensive solution AND, more importantly, the most effective. Better grades at a lower cost – can’t beat that!

Study Bursts

Findings from a recent study show that time management is one of the biggest challenges for college students today. And with how busy you are, it comes as no surprise that trying to juggle all of your different responsibilities is tough. One major complaint students have is how to schedule in major chunks of time to study. That’s because most students don’t realize that studying doesn’t have to mean cramming for hours. Taking advantage of small chunks of time- even as little as 5 minutes! – can have a major impact on information retention and focus. With mobile study tools, like Cengage Learning’s MindTap Mobile , you can take advantage of small windows of free time while you are on the go. MindTap Mobile features cool study tools like flashcards and quizzes to test your knowledge, in addition to organizational features like scheduling, notifications and messaging to help you stay organized across all of your MindTap courses, all in one place.

Tracking Progress

We get it: it’s college; grades are important. One of the major benefits to using digital is that most tools allow you to track your grades so you can stay up to date with how you are doing. Even better, tools like MindTap even have features that alert you if you start slip in a certain course. This way you can stay on top of your grades throughout the semester, and avoid any unexpected surprises when crunch time comes.

Stay Organized

Digital learning platforms like MindTap offer customizable tools for staying organized. And the cool thing is most of these products are designed based on real student feedback so they incorporate the features that are most important to you! Now you can organize your assignments, due dates and classes in one place helping you stay a step ahead of upcoming deadlines.

Integrating digital learning tools into your coursework and studying is a game-changer for increasing your productivity and improving your grades. Do yourself a favor and give digital a try – you’ll only be sorry you haven’t done it sooner!

What Can Animals Teach Us About Kindness And Empathy?

Studies Of Our Non-Human Friends May Show How Genes Inspire Our Better Tendencies

While humans are capable of acts of cruelty, greed and deception, they also possess plenty of positive characteristics such as kindness, compassion, friendliness and empathy.

But why? Are those better angels of our nature something nurtured in us by our parents, or do we arrive on the planet genetically predisposed for them?

It’s something scientists have puzzled over, and many of them may be finding answers not with human research but by concentrating on animals.

“The idea that we could learn about kindness or compassion by studying animals might seem strange,” says Peter Schattner, a scientist and author of the book “Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human” (www.peterschattner.com). 

“But since similar genes are often found in animals and people, what we learn from animals may well be relevant to understanding human behavior as well.”
Dogs are especially good species to study to learn about kindness, devotion and other pro-social traits because they have been genetically bred to display those traits, Schattner says.

“Look at it this way,” he says. “Dogs are the result of an extended genetic ‘experiment’ carried out by humans to artificially select the very personality traits that we value in them.”

Another reason geneticists like to study dogs is that, as species go, they are relatively young.

“Most scientists estimate people began breeding wolves for gentleness and tameness 15,000 to 30,000 years ago,” Schattner says. “Compare that to humans. We are believed to have diverged from chimpanzees, our closest living evolutionary relatives, about 4 million to 9 million years ago.”

The time span is important because fewer DNA changes between dogs and wolves have had time to develop. That makes it easier – though not necessarily simple – to track genetic changes to determine what genes affect behaviors, Schattner says.

Dogs aren’t the only animals scientists study that could help unlock clues about human traits and their genetic origins, Schattner says. Other examples include:

•  Mice and friendliness. Scientists studying the biological origins of Williams Beuren syndrome are making progress with mice. The syndrome is a medical condition that has several traits, but one of the most striking is that people with this syndrome are unusually friendly, even toward strangers. Scientists can engineer mice to have a similar chromosomal makeup as people with Williams Beuren syndrome. One result of this research so far is that, at least in mice, the friendliness associated with the syndrome appears to be linked to a single gene.

•  Siberian silver foxes, gentleness and friendliness. Research on Siberian silver foxes began in what was then the Soviet Union in the 1950s in an area where local farmers raised the foxes for their fur. A Soviet geneticist began trying to breed a tamer fox that was easier for the farmers to handle. He did this by mating the tamest males with the tamest females. Within four generations – and a silver fox generation is only about three to four years – the animals were showing signs of domestication. Over time, the researchers showed that gentleness and friendliness were genetic. “One result of all this is the foxes became so tame and adorable that allowing them to be killed for fur became difficult for the scientists,” Schattner says. “They began selling them as pets.”

•  Rats and empathy. Perhaps one of the more surprising experiments involved rats. University of Chicago researchers placed two rats in a large cage. One rat was free to wander, but the other was trapped in a smaller cage within the cage. The trapped rat would cry out in alarm and, remarkably, the free rat would try to open the other rat’s cage, which was no easy task. Even with no reward, three-fourths of the free rats in the experiment chose to open the trapped rat’s cage. “The results of these experiments were disturbing to people who believe that only we humans are capable of empathy and compassion,” Schattner says. Some scientists were still skeptical, saying the rats’ may have been pro-social, but didn’t necessarily demonstrate empathy or compassion.

About Peter Schattner

Peter Schattner (www.peterschattner.com) is a scientist, educator and writer with 30 years of research experience in molecular biology, genetics, biomedical instrumentation and physics. He is a recipient of the Technical Innovation Award from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Schattner received his doctorate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg and has held research and teaching positions at the University of California, California State University and Stanford Research Institute. He is the author of numerous scientific articles and reviews, as well as the textbook “Genomes, Browsers and Databases.” His latest book, “Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human,” is his first book for non-scientists.

ALSO READ: IU study finds watching cat videos boosts positivity

More burglaries happen on UC Berkeley Campus

Nine offices were broken into on Tuesday and computers were stolen

UC Berkeley has witnessed a recent string of burglaries down on campus. The most recent burglary happened on Tuesday when police authorities responded to the ninth floor of Evans Hall. On this day they found that nine offices had been broken into and computers appeared to be missing. Just a couple weeks ago on July 21, police responded to another set of burglaries in the Haas school of business where 20 offices were broken into and computers had also been taken.

The recent string of burglaries had also hit Northgate, Dwinelle, Corey, Wellman and Moses Hall. Read more on the Contra Costa Times.  

These productivity tips will make all of the difference

Here are some tried-and-true tips we’ve gathered to help you be more productive, and start you off on the right foot for the year.

Set a rubric or syllabus as your homepage. If you tend to procrastinate, then try setting your browser as the rubric for the big project that’s due in a few weeks, or the syllabus for your toughest class. Forcing yourself to see it every time you open a browser makes it far more likely that you’ll follow through and do it in a timely manner.

Set your font color to dark blue or gray if your printer is low on ink. Sometimes it’ll be 3 a.m. and you’re printing a paper for your 8 a.m. class. That’s inevitably when your printer runs out of ink. Change the font color to blue or gray, and then nab a few hours of sleep.

Keep detergent in a water or gatorade bottle. Nothing compared to the struggle of lugging my laundry basket down three flights of stairs, getting the last open machine, and then realizing the detergent was upstairs. I wish I had thought sooner of keeping detergent in a bottle in my laundry basket, so that I’d never forget it and the load wouldn’t be as heavy.

Proofread your papers backwards to catch mistakes. When you read normally, your brain auto-corrects certain words and phrases, meaning you might miss some mistakes. Read it backwards to avoid that. Or, put your paper into Google Translate and have it read your paper aloud to catch any issues.

Get to know your professors. Go to your professor’s office hours, seriously. I’ve gotten several letters of recommendations from several different professors, some of whom have gotten me opportunities to study abroad, get a job, or get access to certain people. They probably wouldn’t have done so if I hadn’t made the first effort. 

These are just a few of the things I’ve picked up during my time in college. What are some of your tips to stay motivated and productive? 

Looking back on your first love

Nothing will ever quite be like the first time you fall in love

A lot of people, as they get older, tend to brush off teenage love as “puppy love.” It’s infantile, not real, not long-lasting. And most of the time, the cynics are right. People change, and who you are at 18 isn’t who you are at 28. People grow, and they don’t always grow together. There’s nothing wrong with that. People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime, and the shorter seasons aren’t worth less. They’re just different.

In some ways, even if it’s not “real” or long-lasting, your first love is purer in some ways. As you grow older and experience heartbreak, it’s easier to keep your guard up. You’re more skeptical, you worry about if this person is really right for you, you wonder if it’ll be a waste of time and energy, you don’t trust them at first. I’ll admit, it’s all cliche, but true for a lot of emotional people.

But your first love is different. You don’t know yet that feeling of heartbreak, and so you have nothing to hold you back. You love fully and recklessly. There’s something beautiful in that, which is basically the market that Nicholas Sparks and John Green have tapped into: the unadulterated, unfiltered beauty of young love.

It’s the butterflies and the “I love you” and the feeling that you can just be with them. It’s making those inside jokes, having “your” foods at that one place that is special to you, it’s showing someone your childhood toys and telling them about the first time you got hurt and your dad was there to make it better. It’s sharing with them the dreams too ridiculous to share with anyone else, and maybe even incorporating them into those plans for the rest of your life. It’s the feeling that someone loves you like no one else ever has.

And it’s the feeling that you fit together so perfectly, nothing can ever come between you. But then college happens, life happens, everything happens. You’re tested. A lot of people find that they’re not happy, and decide the relationship isn’t working for them. That’s okay.

Looking back at a first love is like feeling sepia. Don Draper said it best in an early season of Mad Men, in the now-famous Carousel pitch. “In Greek, “nostalgia” literally means ‘the pain from an old wound.’ It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone… it takes us to a place where we ache to go again…It lets us travel the way a child travels – around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved.”

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Sigma Nu brother dies in boating accident

UT Student, William Coker who was a sophomore in finance, has died after a boating accident on Chickamauga Lake. He was a a part of the Sigma Nu fraternity and died from injuries sustained in an accident when an intoxicated student riding a jet ski hit Coker.

The fraternity tweeted, “It’s a sad day at Epilsen Eta. Please keep peaceful thought and prayers for the family of William Coker. Rest Easy 1570.” The fraternity also established a relief fund to cover funeral costs that cost over $5,000.

Read more HERE.

Students study LGBTQ histories abroad

The Purdue Exponent reports that students from Purdue go abroad to Paris, Amsterdam and New York to study LBGTQ histories. The program had ten students go abroad to study the LGBTQ histories from the 18th to 21st centuries. Each student wrote about their experiences, detailing the best part of each of the days. The students posted blogs talking about the moments during the trip that touched them the most.

Students did everything from visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to visiting with organizers of Aids Crisis organization ACT UP in Paris, France. Students also got to visit the Louvre where one student said “Amazing, breathtaking; the pictures do no justice for the beauty this great museum held.”

Read more HERE

Gender and sexuality resource director gone after Assata Shakur mural removal

After a mural featuring controversial Black Panther Assata Shakur was taken down from the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center, the director of the resource center has also been fired. Susannah Bartlow, the director of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center was let go from her position after it was discovered that the alleged radical activist Assata Shakur was featured in the resource center mural. The mural was removed on May 17 after this discovery and Marquette noted that it “did not reflect the Guiding Values of Marquette University”. 

Alpha Kappa Alpha, which had a hand in painting the mural released a statment via Leona Dotson, international communications chairman of AKA, where it says that Marquette knew what the mural would entail before it was painted. 

Now students are petioning to get Bartlow reinstated on the staff. A petition that was posted on May 29 had received over 500 signatures after students began rallying to get her back.

Read more HERE

Colorado State University's lost traditions

Remember ‘tubbing’? Colorado State University has a slew of traditions that have been lost throughout the years. The Collegian talked to Gordon “Hap” Hazard of the Archives and Special Collections desk at the campus library. One of the traditions highlighted was the disgusting act of tubbing where students were punished after failing to invoke true school spirit. The punishment included a dragging into the gross pond on campus. 

Another tradition noted was called ‘Bottles Around Hughes’ this is where bottles of liqour were placed from end zone to end zone at Hughes Stadium to highlight the mass amount of alcohol intake that would happen during home games. Hughes Stadium began selling beer after they decided that maybe all of the hard alcohol students were consuming probably wasn’t the best idea.

Football victories used to be celebrated by ringing the bell on top of the ‘Old Main’ building on campus, which met its demise in 1970 when it burned to the ground.

Read it HERE