Spaghetti diagrams, part 2 — “Spaghetti box”


In earlier years of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s spaghetti diagrams, such as the above example from 1976, the ends of the swaths were more like the simpler energy flow diagrams. On the above diagram it’s easier to see that the height of the lines on one side would end up around the height of the lines on the other side than it is on some of the newer versions with oversized boxes that serve as labels. But the boxes are a useful tool, and can let us think about embedding another diagram form — box diagrams — into the spaghetti diagram.

Box diagrams are used for teaching electricity, and were developed by Peter Cheng and David Shipstone in the UK. The picture below is from part 1 (Word doc) of their introductory paper (here’s the Word doc part 2). Since power is the voltage across a bulb multiplied by […]

Choosing fun and beauty over high energy. Motivating positive behavioural change.

I like the general concept of motivating behavioural changes for the low energy option by using fun, beauty, or good design. The larger message here is that personal changes for climate change really need to be better, either more beautiful, more fun, or more healthy, than the other choices.

Energy literacy, circa 1982

Here’s a document from 1982, A Conceptual Framework for Energy Education, K-12, commissioned by the Department of Energy. On page 7 is a description of an “energy-literate citizen”:

Understands that we can’t make energy. Finds more efficient ways to use energy at home, at school, and on the job, for example through the use of waste heat. Has some historical perspective on energy use and extraction; for example, has an informed notion of where we stand on the fossil fuel depletion curve. Compares life-cycle costs in deciding on major purchases. Invests to save energy, for example by purchasing home insulation when it is cost-effective. Knows how much energy is being used in his/her household and where it goes. Is aware of the major sources of the energy used in his or her immediate job and in the economy as a whole, including their relative size. Understands that all energy use […]

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