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Archive By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Aluminum has wide variety of helpful every day uses

Imagine we had a perfect "dream material" in real life. It would be so strong that you could build an entire airplane with it. It would be lightweight, yet much tougher than plastic. Even heated past 200 degrees, it would remain nontoxic, and you could safely eat food from it.

July 29, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Lightning creates hazard for lives, electronic devices

When thunder rumbles several afternoons in a row, as it's been doing this month, one might be tempted to ignore it and continue with outdoor activities. Young people, including my sons in their 20s, often underestimate the closeness and hazards of lightning.

July 22, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Ultraviolet radiation can damage cars, tires, skin

This is the season of strong ultraviolet radiation. It's not a new thing. Ultraviolet is part of the sunlight that reaches the earth. In simple terms, it's a color the eye can't see.

July 16, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Labels important with fertilizers, electronics

Every day, we encounter labels of some sort. Their meaning isn't always obvious. For example, you want to give the young trees and bushes in the back yard some plant food.

July 08, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Hurricanes move excess heat from tropics

Hurricanes aren't entirely bad. Like their weaker cousins, the tropical storms, they have a job assigned by nature. In North Georgia, we saw this last week when storm bands from Tropical Storm Cindy spread generous rain over the Gainesville area.

July 01, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Native trees are best for your home

North Georgia isn't a prairieland. The native ground cover greeting the first settlers wasn't grass, and it definitely wasn't the "scientifically formulated," chemically enhanced lawns of today's suburbs.

June 25, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Leave extra room for motorcyclists on road

Motorcycles are an interesting study in physics. To people who've never been on a bike, it's a riddle how "these things" remain upright. I've been asked that question at stoplights in two countries, and the answer has always been the same: It's the gyroscopic effect.

June 17, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Check of history shows big variations in temperatures

It's difficult to see the presence or absence of climatic change from looking at temperature records alone, as a quick analysis of data has shown that I did with Johnny Vardeman last week. Vardeman writes a history-focused column for The Times, and obtained Gainesville temperature data from 1919. Brenau University's weather station had a complete 2016 set, supplying close to 9,000 temperature measurements.

June 11, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Local


Earth Sense: Be careful with choices for re-painting house

These last spring days are a good time to check on the status of the paint protecting the house siding.

June 03, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Local


Earth Sense: Recycling old material can pay off

For some reason, late spring is always the time when I need to make another metal recycling run. Aluminum cans from someone's Coke habit have accumulated. Food cans, made of steel, are recyclable also, although at a lesser value than aluminum.

May 28, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Stone Mountain one of many ‘inselbergs’ in US

Easy to reach from Gainesville via Tucker, Stone Mountain Park makes for a fascinating weekend trip.

May 20, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Memories of China seen in snapshots

The first thing that one notices when arriving in China is the population. Wherever you go, lots of people are already there.

May 14, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Turbulence not a reason to be alarmed about flying in a plane

As far as accident statistics are concerned, commercial flights are the safest way to travel. It's understandable, of course, that passengers are uneasy when the ride gets bouncy. This is especially noticeable in small planes like turboprops used by many airlines to handle short-distance connections.

May 06, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Karst formations are something for which Georgia can be proud

If you were asked to name one of Georgia's most outstanding products of features, what would it be? Peaches? Peanuts? Chicken? The fact that Georgia has some of the most spectacular karst landscapes in the U.S. deserves to be mentioned.

April 30, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Hurricanes’ impact is usually unpredictable

Hurricane season starts a few weeks from now. With all the news about climatic change, it raises the question whether we'll have more hurricanes than ever. Will they be more powerful? And most importantly, which land areas will they invade?

April 23, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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Articles By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Beware of static electricity when pumping gas into car

Motorcyclists have to stop for fill-ups more frequently than car drivers because most bikes have small tanks. My frequent gas stops allow for observing a ...

August 12, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Useful to know system information to care for AC

Home air conditioners tend to fail during the hottest time of the year, just when they are needed the most. Repairs are a job for ...

August 05, 2017 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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