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Sep 10, Fiona rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , animal-books , humour , adored-and-re-read. I adore this mans work - I do wish that he would write more!! He is so funny - on a par with Bill Bryson His pathos and humour are brilliant Sadly I have recently heard that Deric is very ill and has not long to live - so sad that we will get no more books from this wonderful writer,, Who else could give us such wonderful and silly situations as a Cat Whisker up the nostril!!!! Please re I adore this mans work - I do wish that he would write more!!

Please read this if you love cats and brilliant British humour Sep 29, Barbara rated it it was amazing Shelves: own. Longden saw a white kitten in his backyard during rainy weather and rescued it, not knowing it lived next door. Thermal's presence in the Longden house changed things forever. You will have to read the book to discover why he is named Thermal. I love all of Langden's books because cats are his favorite subject and he tells the stories with such humor and affection. Jul 21, Charlie rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics , favorites.

The heartwarming story of a kitten called Thermal and his pet sultana Ralph. This is my all time favourite animal story book with the possible exception of Black Beauty. I have read it several times and will probably read it several times more. Thermal is a white kitten that Longden sees sitting, bedraggled, in the rain in his neighbour's garden.

He brings him in and adopts him, even though he belongs to the neighbours and they would actually have quite liked to have him back. Derek's blind wi The heartwarming story of a kitten called Thermal and his pet sultana Ralph. Derek's blind wife Aileen has a few problems with the new kitten, but only shuts him in the fridge for the day by mistake once. Derek Longden is a people watcher and an animal watcher, who writes about the world, people and cats around him with warmth, passion and quirky sense of humour.

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He has a consumate skill in making the reader empathise with all and sundry - and there are quite a lot of sundries. When you find yourself empathising with a kitten's pet sultana, you know you've been Longdened. View 2 comments. Mar 09, Carro rated it it was amazing. First read this years ago from a library then just had to buy my own copy. A really hilarious, well written, heart warming account of life with a cat and life in general. Do not approve of him basically nicking the neighbour's cat - but it turned out OK in the end.

There is also the very "cat" thing that he took the cat in because it was so cold and wet out in the garden, then a long while later noticed the neighbour did have a cat flap. So the cat was doing the classic cat thing of picking some First read this years ago from a library then just had to buy my own copy. So the cat was doing the classic cat thing of picking somewhere even better. I like the rest of the series too. Nov 20, Otherwyrld rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , reading-group. A funny and entertaining little book about a man, his blind wife and his cat s and the strange things that happen to them.

Enjoyable if you like cats of course as I do , but possibly not for everyone.

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Manages to deftly avoid becoming too twee or sentimental, which is always a danger when writing about small furry animals. Written almost like a diary - things happen, more things happen, the end. Not particularly deep, but then it doesn't need to be, nor does it have any such pretensions. Just r A funny and entertaining little book about a man, his blind wife and his cat s and the strange things that happen to them. Just read, and enjoy. Wonderful, heartwarming and well written true story about Thermal the kitten.

A great little read. Apr 30, Peter rated it really liked it Shelves: contemporary-non-fiction , fantasy. A lot of fun. My bed mate complained she could not sleep while I read the book because the the bed would shake with silent laughter.

I think you might have to be a cat owner or have been one to fully appreciate the silliness of this book. Apr 15, Sarah added it. This is a very charming light read for people who enjoy being manipulated by cats.

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Mar 01, Shalea Reece rated it it was amazing. This was an amazing story. Super recommended. Unlike the typical adopting a cat changed a man's life book, the man in question is married and a father of four grown kids. He doesn't come off as particularly cantankerous or curmudgeonly. That's not to say the people in his life aren't highly amused by the lengths he goes to in order to please the cat, Thermal. Thermal was a neighbor's kitten that Deric and his wive adopt when the kitten is left out in the rain and he feels sorry for it. It's not until much later he learns that the cat did ha Unlike the typical adopting a cat changed a man's life book, the man in question is married and a father of four grown kids.

It's not until much later he learns that the cat did have a cat flap and could have gone inside his neighbor's house at any time. It's a sweet, very funny story, but as someone who has owned cats and is very attached to the cats my parents have, I can't imagine how I'd feel if someone took my cat s for whatever reason.

Then again, my cats and my parents' cats have all been indoor animals. Once you get past how the kitten is required and while the neighbor seems somewhat concerned when the kitten doesn't turn up, he doesn't appear to be grieving it really is a great read. Like Cleveland Amory , Deric gives his cat Thermal a voice and a personality all his own. Later accidentally adopted cats, Tigger and Arthur, as also given voices, though none are as erudite and haughty as Amorey's beloved Polar Bear. Instead, Thermal is more of a man's man, er, cat. More of an average Joe. The kitten and his antics are adorable and incredibly funny, and Deric's affection for both his cats and his wife comes through loud and clear.

The other thing that makes this tale a little different is that Derric is English, and all the other man adopts cat books I've read have been written by American authors. The change in vernacular is charming and unlike other times when I've read a book by an English author and occasionally had trouble figuring out what a particular word meant due to the difference in word choice for the same object or just a different spelling "kurb" still throws me for a moment I didn't have any trouble with this book.

Deric also reminded me more than a little of my dad, who my mom and I joke has "cat phermones" and is without a doubt the "alpha dog. Other animals probably are to, but he's around cats the most. Sep 08, Jen rated it it was amazing.

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I've read this book a few times, and come back to it every time as an old friend. The conversational style of the narrative can be a little hard to parse, but worth it for the comfort and humor in the read. My favorite element of these sort of rambly anecdotal chapters is how Deric, the narrator, anthropomorphizes his entire world.

From Thermal the kitten, his beleaguered sidekick the raisin and a host of neighborhood pets, to kitchen devices, buckets, rakes and delivery vans - everything has an I've read this book a few times, and come back to it every time as an old friend. From Thermal the kitten, his beleaguered sidekick the raisin and a host of neighborhood pets, to kitchen devices, buckets, rakes and delivery vans - everything has an opinion on its lot in life.

It's all delivered in a deadly droll humor, with the effect of creating a brilliant, living world for what's essentially a series of everyday occurrences for a person with a new pet. I recommend reading this book aloud to someone - Thermal's misadventures in damson wine are even more hysterical when you can make someone else shriek with laughter in the telling. Jul 08, Megan rated it it was amazing Shelves: books-i-own. When I was about 9, my family embarked on a road trip and took a number of books-on-tape with us. Londen's tale of adorable kittens, raisins, and such became an instant family favorite and we checked it out of the library for almost every trip after that until we no longer had a tape deck in the car.

About 2 years ago, my mom found a copy for me for Christmas. It was wonderful reliving this text. It's not your typical animal book there really isn't a Marley and Me moment, thank goodness. It's When I was about 9, my family embarked on a road trip and took a number of books-on-tape with us. It's just funny and clever.

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  • If you can find a copy which is not easy , definitely pick it up. Oct 29, Jean rated it liked it Shelves: favorites , fiction. If the substrate is protons a relatively well established catalytic process yields the hydrogen fuel. A carbon-based fuel, for example, an alcohol, might be easier to use, but is probably more difficult to make since it would involve less established catalytic processes.

    A highly critical aspect is that the catalysts should be made from earth abundant metals like cobalt, manganese, iron and nickel, while scarce elements like iridium, indium, palladium, platinum, rhenium, and ruthenium are not available in amounts large enough to allow development of processes and materials of a scale sufficient to replace fossil fuels. Molecular and semiconductor nanostructure processes. The physical limitations are equal and the scientific problems are of equal magnitude. The development of catalysts that can assist the light-driven oxidation of water is the main research problem.

    The capture of solar energy and the formation of hydrogen are easier to achieve. Systems combining the two reactions light-driven water oxidation and hydrogen formation have the highest potential with respect to solar energy to fuel conversion of all systems envisioned today Fig. The catalysts and maybe the entire system for artificial photosynthesis can be entirely molecular in nature. They can thereby be varied through small, deliberate synthetic modifications to improve and fine-tune their properties.

    They are also amenable to studies with high-level molecular or kinetic spectroscopy. Thereby, the catalytic process can be followed and understood to a very detailed level. A special angle to this research involves biomimetic approaches. Here, knowledge and chemical principles from extremely efficient enzymes are applied in entirely synthetic systems for artificial photosynthesis. A successful scientific example involves the development of di-iron catalysts for the reduction of protons to hydrogen.

    These are designed from deep knowledge about the structure and function of so called hydrogenase enzymes and there are recent examples of very efficient catalysts in the category Tamagnini et al. Another example involves mimics of the natural photosynthetic reaction centres, with both catalysis and light harvesting in future artificial photosynthesis devices Magnuson et al.

    In non-molecular systems the light-driven catalysis occurs on metal surfaces, semiconductors or nanostructured carbon-based materials while the catalysts involved for water splitting are often cores of metal oxides, sometimes doped with other metals. A severe limitation is that systems many times are based on catalysts made from scarce and expensive metals.

    Another disadvantage when compared to the molecular systems is that it is much more difficult to study the mechanism for the reactions involved. An important advantage is that many non-molecular systems are seemingly sturdier against degradation and inactivation while most molecular systems studied to date are unstable and easily break during illumination.

    It is not obvious that this situation will always prevail when more functional systems have been better characterized. A rapid development involves ideas where molecular and non-molecular systems are mixed. They are sometimes known as hybrid systems and the science is very broad and collaborative, involving several scientific fields. Here, the solar energy capture system is semiconductor based or made from some other nanotechnology while the chemistry is carried out by linked molecular catalysts.

    Often catalysis is driven by light via incorporation of a photo-sensitizer between the semiconductor and the catalyst. It is not unlikely that these mixed hybrid systems will become dominant in research and maybe technology since they combine advantages from both fields. Thermochemical cycles. A totally different technology is the employment of thermal processes Pagliaro et al. This results in a solar fuel when the high temperature is achieved in a reaction vessel in a solar tower by concentration of solar energy in a heliostat.

    The technology represents interesting engineering and physical science and is very demanding technically involving very high temperatures and huge systems like heliostats. They are mainly suitable to very sunny locations. For large-scale implementation of direct solar fuel technologies, water will necessarily be the ultimate electron source for reducing the fuel-producing substrate, protons, CO 2 , etc. New and highly efficient catalysts for water oxidation and fuel generation are urgently needed, as well as sensitizers based on abundant elements:.

    Photo-sensitizers frequently contain noble metals ruthenium , which have to be replaced with cheap and abundant elements. Iron is one example but dyes based on Fe and similar transition metals have unfavorable properties for solar energy conversion, necessitating scientific breakthroughs. At the same time fully organic dyes are appearing.

    Thus, it can be expected that sensitizers suitable for most applications and for large-scale implementation are likely to appear in not too distant future. To achieve highly efficient catalysts for water oxidation and hydrogen liquid fuel generation is a considerably more difficult and complex problem. Catalysts may be either molecular complex or solid state e. Understanding the mechanisms of O-O and H-H bond formation is key to the development of efficient catalysts.

    Here, scientific breakthroughs are needed, both concerning efficiency and developing new catalysts based on abundant and cheap elements. Liquid solar fuels would facilitate the use of existing infrastructure for the utilization of the fuel. By combining the protons and electrons released as a result of water oxidation with CO 2 in a catalytic process, alcohols or other liquid fuels could be synthesized.

    This is a scientifically challenging task and there are today no good catalysts for CO 2 reduction. Another problem is that the concentration of CO 2 in the atmosphere is low, necessitating an energy-consuming concentration step, or coupling of the solar fuel production to CO 2 -emissions from e. No complete device for direct solar fuel production exists. New concepts to assemble sensitizers and catalysts into a functional device producing a fuel through light-driven water splitting have to be developed.

    One possibility that is considered within the field is to attach sensitizer-catalyst assemblies to a nanostructured electrode surface and placing these electrodes in separate compartments, one for fuel hydrogen generation and the other for oxygen evolution. Here, suitable electrode systems have to be developed—methods for sensitizer-catalyst assembly attachment to the electrode must be developed, and electrochemical properties of catalysts and electrode materials matched.

    Like for PV, large-scale implementation of solar fuel technology requires cheap and earth abundant materials. This may take a considerable amount of time and effort, since the photophysical, photochemical, and catalytic properties of materials based on the abundant elements are frequently very different from those of the metals used today. It will require extensive development work to achieve requested properties and efficiencies of the abundant materials. VS would like to thank S. Styring for useful discussions and for providing parts of the text on solar fuels.

    His research interests are in polymer optoelectronics and bioelectronics, conjugated polymer physics, and polymer electrochemistry. His research interests are in light-induced processes in photosynthesis and materials for solar energy conversion. Various forms of time resolved laser spectroscopy are used in this research. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Ambio v. Published online Dec Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Chemical Physics, Lund University, P. Box , Lund, Sweden. Corresponding author.

    This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Solar energy conversion into electricity by photovoltaic modules is now a mature technology. Introduction Renewable energies are still dominated by bio-energy and hydro-energy. Open in a separate window. Photovoltaic Current scientific status Photovoltaic devices generate electrical power upon illumination Fig. Current technological developments Developments of silicon photovoltaic markets and technology The goal of 0.

    Decreasing the energy payback time of solar cells Measures and means needed Reducing the energy input in photovoltaic modules production. Materials design Designing the electronic properties of carbon-based materials by understanding and controlling the path from single molecular structures via nano-morphology to film growth. Identification of research needs of the coming decades Nanophotonic strategies for light trapping in thin structures The well established Yablonovitch limit for light trapping in the limit of geometrical optics is not relevant when arriving at thin film structures that must be analyzed with the wave optics approach.

    Beyond S—Q limits? Solar fuels: Artificial photosynthesis Direct conversion of solar energy into a fuel mimicking the catalytic processes of photosynthesis would be a way to solve the problem of storing solar energy. Relenting, Superman saves Booster and visits his mother, telling her that Booster is a trusted friend and ally.

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    As they activate the time sphere, Booster thinks they can visit Krypton without risking further damage to the timeline, but the Eradicator damages the time sphere, and they crash-land into a mysterious planet that worships General Zod. They attempt to infiltrate the city but they are discovered and captured by General Zod's forces.

    Superman and Booster are sentenced to a public execution by Zod and his family, who also destroy Skeets to prevent them from escaping. The villains attempt to kill Superman and Booster with their heat vision, but Booster uses his suit's force field to protect them. The protection will not last long, however, and Superman knows he only has seconds to formulate an escape plan. Skeets extends his hacking skills into the rest of the Eradicator's android army, giving Superman and Booster the opening they need to escape and fight back.

    Zod's prisoners are inspired to overthrow their captors, especially after Superman defends them from Lor and Ursa, but before Superman can help the slaves, Booster tells him they must return to their original time. Skeets reconstructs the time sphere and Superman convinces Booster to let him see the final moments of Krypton. Booster reluctantly agrees, and Superman watches as a mysterious blue light takes Jor-El away from Krypton's destruction, confirming that he is indeed Mr.

    Upon returning home, Skeets tells Superman that his family is being attacked by Logamban forces, so Superman flies to Logamba to save them. What he doesn't know, however, is that by the time he arrives, Lois and Jon will be dead; so Booster uses the time sphere to rewind time and give Superman the time he needs to save his family. Upon hearing that Lois' father, Sam , is visiting the Kent apartment, he helps patch things him between father and daughter. Although Superman is still mortified by Jor-El's predicament, he can still take comfort on the fact that his family is safe.

    Shortly after the city of Metropolis paid him a tribute for years of heroism, [] Superman found someone was burning down Metropolis, one building at a time. The Kent family also receives an unexpected visit from Jor-El, who asks the Kents to let him take Jon in a journey across the galaxy so he can learn how to be a proper Kryptonian. Clark refuses, but Jon insists he wants to go and Lois agrees to stay at Jon's side so she can look out for him. Clark is reluctant to see his family go, but nevertheless accepts their decision. Superman was in the process of tracking down the mysterious arsonist when someone broke into his Fortress, leveled the place and, worst of all, smashed down the Bottle City of Kandor.

    Rescued by his cousin and healed by the Justice League, Superman figured out if Rogol intended to cleanse the Kryptonian "plague", he was also going to blow Earth up. Superman and Supergirl work together to defeat Rogol, with Superman confiscating the explosive device Rogol was going to destroy Earth with, and Supergirl trapping Rogol inside the Phantom Zone.

    Unfortunately, with the Fortress destroyed, Superman cannot communicate with his family and make sure they are safe. Supergirl has also decided to leave Earth in order to find out where Rogol came from, but not before the remaining Kryptonians and the Justice League hold a memorial service for the murdered Kandorians. After constructing a new Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle, Superman has a conversation with Martian Manhunter, who tells Superman to consider the possibility of becoming a leader to the global community, so he can lead Earth and humanity to a better tomorrow.

    Superman cannot consider this notion for too long, however, as he realizes that, for some reason, the Earth has been trapped inside the Phantom Zone. Unfortunately, this grabs the attention of Rogol Zaar, who uses this opportunity to gather an army and invade Earth, forcing Superman to conform him yet again. Labs theorize a plan that could help pull the planet outside the Phantom Zone: it involves the Atom miniaturizing the entire planet, making it small enough for the Flash to pass it through the Phantom Zone projector.

    The plan succeeds and the Earth is returned to its rightful place in the Solar System, but Superman is left to fight Rogol alone in the Phantom Zone. Superman cannot help Zod for long, though, as his allies from Earth pull him out of the Phantom Zone and ask him to help in the relief efforts. Although disappointed that he lost his only chance to discover Rogol's motives, Superman chooses not to return to the Phantom Zone and stay on Earth. Around that time, Superman reunited with Lois [] and Jon, who had become a teenager after travelling with Jor-El for seven years.

    Superman and Superboy use special technology on Superboy's new suit to teleport into deep space [] , where they reunite with Supergirl and Krypto and defend Jor-El from an alien armada led by Rogol Zaar. Superman battles General Zod, who admits he needs Superman's help in defeating Rogol []. As they reach a parting of ways, Superman returns to his family. Jor-El tells his son he was a member of the Circle, a secret cabal of intergalactic rulers that controlled the galaxy from the shadows.

    After helping the Circle ensure their dominance across the galaxy, Jor-El expected the Circle to help him save Krypton, but they refused. Superman is disappointed that his father worked with such disreputable people [] , but cannot dwell on these feelings for too long as Rogol and his forces resume their attack.

    Fortunately, Zod betrays Rogol, giving the House of El the opportunity they need to incapacitate Rogol before a Thanagarian fleet arrives, informing them that the galaxy has been plunged into war. To defuse hostilities, Superboy suggests the creation of a system that gives freedom and equality to all people in the galaxy: the United Planets. Suddenly, the Legion of Super-Heroes arrives from the 31st century and asks for Jon's membership. As Jon considers joining the Legion, Superman is informed by Adam Strange that the nations of the galaxy have forcibly returned Jor-El to his original time, where he will die at Krypton's explosion.

    Although Superman is nervous at the thought of losing his son yet again, he chooses to respect Jon's decision. For now, however, Jon wants to think about it and the House of El returns to Earth, but not before Zod and his family inform them of their decision to create a "New Krypton" in order to save their race and the House of El is welcome to join them if they so desire.

    Superman Family member This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Superman , and a member of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the " Superman Family members " category. Daily Planet Staff member This character is or was an employee of the Daily Planet , a daily newspaper based in Metropolis. This template will categorize articles that include it into the " Daily Planet Staff members " category.

    This template will categorize articles that include it into the " Justice League of America members " category. This template will categorize articles that include it into the " Sinestro Corps members category. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Looking for a different version of this character? His whole planet was destroyed. He's the last of a holocaust.

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    • He grew up in the dirt. Finding out slowly how different he was. A stranger discovering every day how strange he was. He has the power to tear the world apart. And he could. With a pinkie. It's not his world. We're not his people. We should be ants to him. Imagine that. Always being on the outside.

      The pain that would come from always being on the outside. And yet, he took that pain and became the symbol of hope. Contents [ show ]. Baby Kal-El's escape from a dying planet. Main article: Superman and the Men of Steel. Superman debuts in Metropolis. Main article: Justice League: Origin.

      The Justice League is formed. Main article: Superman: H'El on Earth. Superman vs H'el. Main article: Superman: Psi-War. Main article: Krypton Returns.