Earth Notes: Diarycast - Interview Snippets (2021-01-14)

Updated 2024-04-04.
Teasers from an interview with Ian Mundell for Imperial College's Grantham Institute #podcast #teaser
For Imperial Stories and the The World in 2050 feature.
237s "20210114" (captions) Uploaded . Downloads:


Hi, I'm Damon Hart-Davis, and welcome to Earth Notes podcast on all things eco and green and efficient @Home!

14th January 2021.

So, we're under another national coronavirus lockdown in England, with a post-Christmas surge in infections and all the rest, but free virtual meetings can still happen!


Imperial College's Grantham Institute has been creating content to celebrate the success of the Grantham Institute's Accelerator program.


Recently, Imperial College published the "World in 2050" which shows how a sustainable positive future is possible using technology being developed today.


The interview that I have lifted a couple of bits from is for a section about Radbot and retrofitting.


How does Radbot use light to infer occupancy?


I mentioned level and edge sensitive stuff and a risk-based approach and Radbot's rolling memory of room use.


Well, there's a few things. So there's both to be engineering about it, both level and edge sensitive stuff there.


So the strongest signal, the one that Radbot has always used basically from the start,


that you're there is a sudden rise in light levels, either you flicked a light on


or you've drawn a curtain. And in winter when you need heating, you're not going to sit in the dark all day.


That was the first clue. The second thing is there's a kind of risk-weighted view in there


And then it also has a rolling memory of what it's seen you do before and if it thinks you're generally around at this time


and it can't see you now, it will apply an even smaller setback.


What beyond Radbot might I do to fix the climate?


I talked about forever tinkering, energy storage and redeveloping my local council estate right


so as to reduce fuel poverty and climate change and how I believe in encouraging active travel.


What is the best thing I can do to fix the climate?


At the moment the best thing I can do I think is this. I mean I'm always tinkering so if you go and


look at my Earth.Org.UK site you'll see I've got all sorts of things. There's a project which got


suspended because of lockdown where I want to tinker with some, I've got online AC coupled mains storage, I've got offline storage, I want to try some heat storage...


I'm always agitating for things to be better done. The council estate I'm on is going to, my house is going to get pulled


down under compulsory purchase and they're proposing to rebuild a whole lot of stuff and


the thing I've been bellyaching about is well a) not ripping me off but b) making sure they build


these homes to a high enough standard to eliminate fuel poverty amongst the tenants and the need to


retrofit to avoid climate change. So if I am instrumental at getting space to house 2000 people


built to much much better building standards than what otherwise has been that would be a great win


right? So things like that but you know and you'd think I was a mad cyclist if you looked at my


Twitter account but I'm very strongly in favour of supporting non-car based travel


but you know I'm putting all my energies that I possibly can into Radbot.


I will add a link to the finished piece in the show notes when it's done.




There's more on my "Earth Notes" Web site at Earth.Org.UK.

Show Notes

I captured the Skype chat. That capture downloads as an MP4 video file, of which the audio is described by mediainfo as:

ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AAC LC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Audio Codec Low Complexity
Codec ID                                 : mp4a-40-2
Duration                                 : 33 min 4 s
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 74.9 kb/s
Maximum bit rate                         : 89.0 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 1 channel
Channel layout                           : C
Sampling rate                            : 16.0 kHz
Frame rate                               : 15.625 FPS (1024 SPF)
Compression mode                         : Lossy
Stream size                              : 17.7 MiB (12%)
Language                                 : English
Encoded date                             : UTC 2021-01-14 14:02:28
Tagged date                              : UTC 2021-01-14 14:02:28

I extracted the 16ksps audio as FLAC for Audacity to work with:

ffmpeg -i Video.mp4 -vn output-audio.flac

Given that the Skype recording is 16ksps, that could be a sensible encoding rate for the whole podcast. Interestingly, the track extracted by ffmpeg is also mono, but 24-bit.

I also recorded locally in Audacity with my Blue Yeti mic, and my Zoom H1n field recorder, though those only capture my side of the audio.

In the end for clarity of the audio, I used snippets from the Blue Yeti, so I get stereo 48ksps...