The World I Imagine

A creative manual for ending poverty and building peace. The essays in this collection introduce creative ideas for ending poverty everywhere, in the hope that humans can finally build a truly peaceful society where everyone enjoys at least the basic benefits of prosperity, for the first time in history.

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Lion's Pride

The mystery set in 1911 Arizona, features murder, adultery, polygamy, and a marauding mountain lion threatening territorial residents! This exciting adventure novel was published by Outskirts Press in 2007.

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using cfl's without uv's

All articles originally appeared in the Arizona City Independent Edition.


To read an article, just click on the title below:

CFL Without UV

You say you want to go green for the New Year. At least you plan to be greener in the new year than you were last year. You’re already recycling newspapers, cans, plastic, etc. That’s all good, of course, but now you want to take the next step. You plan to pick up some of those compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs at the store so you can cut your electric bills and save precious natural resources.

Very good--as long as you pick up plenty of sunscreen while you’re at it!

Yes, I said sunscreen. Like all standard fluorescent lighting equipment, the CFLs you buy in local stores emit ultraviolet (UV) rays. Some fluorescent bulbs actually emit UVs at the rate of half the power of sunlight. That means an hour spent in direct fluorescent light has the same effect on your body as if you’d spent half an hour basking in full sunlight.

Okay, maybe you enjoy slathering on the sunscreen, even when you’re staying indoors. But what if you’re sensitive not only to UV rays but also to zinc oxide, the primary ingredient in sunscreens, even the hypoallergenic kind? That’s a problem I have to deal with. For a long time, switching to CFLs to save a few dollars and trees wasn’t feasible for me.

Then there’s that other common source of UV rays, the old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor. You know, that big behemoth you’ve been itching to retire in favor of one of those sleek flat-screen computer monitors! Well, I’m happy to tell you that this upgrade is a real improvement, both energy and health-wise. Go ahead and buy that flat-screen monitor as soon as you can. It’ll cut your electric bills and your UV exposure.

But what about CFLs? It took some serious googling on my part, but I finally found a solution to my problem with the CFLs they sell in the stores. Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting is a company that manufactures lighting for medical use. Among their most popular products are those light boxes that people use to treat seasonal affective disorder, which is well-named by its acronym, SAD. That’s the temporary depression that many people get when they aren’t exposed to adequate outdoor, or at least bright, light during the darker winter months.

Because their products are designed for medical use, the folks at Blue Max know the importance of protecting people from exposure to UV rays. So they went to work on the problem with fluorescent bulbs and developed an entire line of lights designed to cut energy use without hurting the consumer.

Every fluorescent bulb made and sold by Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting is sealed against the emission of UV rays, so it’s safe for folks like me with lupus, and even those who have or are susceptible to skin cancer. That means they won’t cause you to develop any cancers down the road either.

But what about price? Well, an informal price comparison with name-brand CFLs in the store indicates that purchasing just a few bulbs from Blue Max does cost a bit more, especially when you add in the cost of shipping. But we buy a dozen or more at a time, so we get a cheaper rate per bulb and don’t pay shipping costs. That makes the cost for each bulb comparable to cheaper store brands. And the fact that I’m protected from dangerous UV rays, to paraphrase the commercial, is priceless!

If you’re still hesitant about investing in CFLs, remember that they not only save on your electric bills, they last about 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs. Perhaps our experience can show you how much energy--and money--you can save by using CFLs.

When we made our initial purchase of one dozen bulbs, we found that one 14-watt bulb gives off almost as much light as two or three 40-watt or 60-watt bulbs in our ceiling light arrays. When we buy another dozen or two, we might add one more 14-watt bulb to an array here and there, but things are pretty bright now. Just remember that like all fluorescent bulbs, CFLs take a short time to reach their full intensity. Then they stay nice and bright as long as they’re on.

Even though we need fewer CFLs than incandescent bulbs, we’re buying them not only for our house but for our rental properties, so our tenants can save electricity too. Each time I buy a dozen, we give two or three to each of the three families who rent from us. In time, I hope to replace all the lights in all our properties with UV-safe Blue Max fluorescent bulbs. This will not only save the tenants a lot of money, it’ll save a ton of energy all round.

If you want to save money and energy, and protect yourself from UV rays at the same time, you can learn all about the products offered by Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting from their web site at:



In the article above, "CFL Without UV," I explained how the standard compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) that you buy in your local grocery or department store emit ultraviolet (UV) rays that can damage your health.

The solution is to buy CFLs from Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting, because all their fluorescent lighting products are sealed against UV emissions. Now I’m hearing reports of how the “flicker” rates of ordinary fluorescent lights can cause anything from migraine headaches to seizures.

As happy users of Blue Max CFLs for more than six months, I’m happy to say that Blue Max products do not emit the standard “buzz” and “flicker” that people complain about with normal fluorescent bulbs. That’s because the company is the largest manufacturer of medical lighting products, so they’re acutely aware of the need to protect customers from any medical dangers associated with their products. Blue Max offers the highest quality fluorescent lighting at prices that are comparable to merchandise you find in the stores--with none of the dangers.

The biggest argument I’ve heard against buying CFLs and other fluorescent lighting products is the cost. I did the math and found out that we can’t afford not to invest in the right products. In fact, you’ll actually save money while you’re helping the planet. Using just one room in my house as an example, here’s the way the numbers break down for us:

By replacing a total of six 60-watt bulbs in two separate fixtures with three 14-watt Blue Max CFLs, I get plenty of light in my computer room. I also put two 14-watt bulbs in two lamps to replace 40-watt bulbs. Thus, I cut total wattage use in the room from 440 to 70 watts.

Still, I usually use just the three ceiling bulbs when I’m at work during dark hours, bringing normal use down to 42 watts. Then a 14-watt bulb in one of the lamps provides plenty of light for some quiet reading or when I just need a small amount of light. That means I’ve cut the biggest part of my electricity consumption by a factor of six or more.

Then I multiplied that factor by 10 because CFLs are designed to last that much longer than incandescent bulbs--which seemed to blow out even more often than they used to anyway. In fact, some years ago I noticed that “soft white” bulbs have a shorter life span than the plain glass bulbs that are harder on the eyes. And in the last decade or more, I could hardly find the cheaper plain ones in the sizes we use anyway.

At any rate, you can make a good price comparison by dividing the cost of a CFL by a number close to 60, but I settled on a factor of 40. Most people think of replacing bulb for bulb, and one 14-watt CFL works great in place of each 60-watt incandescent, cutting electricity consumption to approximately one-fourth.

The next number you need is the cost of the CFL. As I explained in an earlier article, I buy at least a dozen Blue Max fluorescent bulbs at a time, so I get free shipping and handling along with a discounted price for each bulb. Thus, a 14-watt bulb costs nine dollars. If you divide nine by 40, you’ll see that the CFL price compares favorably to a 40- or 60-watt incandescent bulb that costs 22 ½ cents. Pretty cheap, if you ask me!

Of course, you might pay a bit less for fluorescent bulbs at the store, but I believe the health factor counts for a lot more savings in the long run. Remember, this is all about investing for a better life for everyone. And protecting one’s health is a vital part of protecting the environment.

That’s why it only makes sense to buy lighting products that don’t emit unnecessary UV radiation that can cause skin cancer and aggravate lupus and other medical conditions. And now I can add the lack of annoying “flicker” or “buzz” to the list of qualities to look for in a fluorescent bulb. That’s why I buy all my fluorescent lights from Blue Max.

You can learn more about Blue Max Full Spectrum Lighting from their web site at:


© 2007 Debbie Jordan