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Thread: Soon they will see the light!

  1. #1
    Information Architect Subway's Avatar
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    Soon they will see the light!

    Nah, I'm not talking about spiritual things.

    Sun-starved Alpine villagers 'see the light' with the help of solar mirrors
    By Clare Chapman in Innsbruck
    (Filed: 16/01/2005)

    Residents of an Austrian mountain village deprived of sunshine for four months of the year have found a way to beat the winter gloom.

    Mirrors will be installed in a sunnier spot across the valley, to reflect sunlight back to Rattenberg and eliminate the shadows that make its inhabitants feel so depressed.

    How the scheme will work
    Click to enlarge

    Franz Wurzenrainer, the mayor, said: "When weather forecasters predict a bright winter's day with plenty of sunshine, we have to take their word for it. From November to February, the sun is too low on the horizon and our small community is permanently in the shadow of the Stadtberg Mountain."

    From next winter, however, an array of computer-guided solar reflectors known as heliostats will be used to bounce the sun's rays to a rocky outcrop close to Rattenberg, where a second bank of mirrors will direct the light on to the streets and rooftops of the medieval village below.

    Markus Peskoller, a scientist at the Bartenbach Light Laboratory in Aldrans which gave the village advice on the problem, said that the 8ft-square mirrors would give residents the feeling of sunlight.

    "We believe we can direct enough sun on to the village to chase away the winter blues and promote psychological well-being," he said.

    Villagers agreed to raise the 2 million (1.4 million) needed to fund the project helped by EU and Austrian government grants after a survey found that lack of winter sunlight was the most common reason given by inhabitants for moving away.

    Many Alpine villagers suffer from a lack of sunlight in winter, and research has shown that too little sunlight can cause fatigue, weight gain and concentration problems all of which can culminate in mild to severe depression.

    Dr Peter Erhard, a local GP, said that lack of sunlight made Rattenberg's 455 inhabitants more prone to sickness each winter than those living in sunnier spots. "People feel more alive and energetic when the sun comes out, so it's understandable that many people in the village feel lethargic and depressed in the winter," he said.

    "Erecting mirrors to shine a bit of light on our village is a great idea."

    Local businesses also suffer in the winter months as the number of visitors dwindles to almost zero despite the village's reputation for fine glass making. Mr Wurzenrainer said: "Visitors simply do not want to come in winter because it is just too depressing, so our businesses suffer for four months each year."

    After studying the village and observing the sunshine just across the valley nearby, scientists from the Bartenbach laboratory decided that reflected sunlight would be a better solution than artificial lights.

    Dr Peskoller said: "Sunlight brings security and a better standard of living. We decided that the light should come from above, not from artificial lights at house-level, and we decided to create an impression that the sun really is there.

    "In the neighbouring village of Kramsach there is plenty of sun and so we can catch the light from the mountain there and send it to Rattenberg."

    The mirrors will be clustered to give the appearance of the sun and will be turned away in spring and summer to avoid confusion with the real thing.

    Dr Peskoller believes that when the system is seen to work, it will be copied elsewhere. "We could help many other mountain villages see the light," he said.


    http://news.telegraph.co.uk/news/mai.../16/walp16.xml

    What a bright idea!

    Fredi
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ihoss.com's Avatar
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    Hmm, I think I know why Subby has been so depreced lately. Lets all get together and make him a giant mirror for his valley

  3. #3
    Information Architect Subway's Avatar
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    I would not say no.

    Fredi

    PS: Did you see the new reputation system at the pmd arcade?
    Mind Share Projects [ <- my latest projects ] [ my splash page -> ] Fredi Bach
    OS X Code (r,s) [ my Mac, web 2.0 and programming blog ]
    Not A Blog [ my personal weblog ]
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  4. #4
    Senior Member ihoss.com's Avatar
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    yup. Everytime you add a new node to the xml file I have to rewrite my code I'm working on a better version now though

  5. #5
    Information Architect Subway's Avatar
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    Hehe, do you let IE parse the xml?

    Fredi
    Mind Share Projects [ <- my latest projects ] [ my splash page -> ] Fredi Bach
    OS X Code (r,s) [ my Mac, web 2.0 and programming blog ]
    Not A Blog [ my personal weblog ]
    jMe Feed Aggregator [ my latest most famous project ]
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  6. #6
    .: Weirded Out :. The_Xell's Avatar
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    Gimmie a slingshot and a stone...

  7. #7
    Senior Member gesteves's Avatar
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    They're gonna have about 7 centuries of bad luck if that thing breaks

  8. #8
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The_Xell
    Gimmie a slingshot and a stone...
    You antisocial git.

    Bet you can't hit it with the first shot.



    I understand that DDD (Daylight Deficit Disorder - or something like that) is a real problem, but seriously...

    *Sam Kinnison voice*

    LIVE WHERE THE SUN IS.
    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Originally posted by hurricaneone
    [B]
    I understand that DDD (Daylight Deficit Disorder - or something like that)
    I think your looking for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). Apparently a cause of depression in the UK (and other places) during winter.
    This information is subject to change without notice and
    is provided "as is" with no warranty.

  10. #10
    bidibidibidi clicky2's Avatar
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    Looks like something right out of a Simpsons episode.

  11. #11
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by the sherrif
    I think your looking for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). Apparently a cause of depression in the UK (and other places) during winter.
    Thank you, sir, may I have another.

    too many bloody acronyms these days. No one can be expected to remember them all AND the code for their voice mail
    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  12. #12
    PAZ nordberg's Avatar
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    Originally posted by clicky2
    Looks like something right out of a Simpsons episode.
    30 helens agree!!!!

    will that thing really work? seems like it, but i'm skeptical...

    Ah, these boys is all swelled up. So this was earlier...getting set to trade. Then, woooaaah differences.
    Blog Photos Book

  13. #13
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    hmmm. and how long has that city been there?

    civil engineering has failed once again.

    [ Hello ] | [ gerbick ] | [ Ω ]

  14. #14
    Phantom Flasher... Markp.com's Avatar
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    Originally posted by clicky2
    Looks like something right out of a Simpsons episode.
    Hehhe... just wait for Burns to erect a huge pair of sunglasses!

  15. #15
    - carly1979's Avatar
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    are sun rays still damaging when reflected like that?

    could they sue the government (or whoever) for damages if they get skin cancer?

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