Saturday, August 11, 2007

Green skyscraper in S.F.

They seem to be the rage now. San Francisco, being full of the smartest, most progressive folk I've ever encountered, is building the world's greenest skyscraper as the centerpiece of the massively huge Transbay Terminal project that will connect SF to LA via high-speed rail trains (like France's TGV but faster and quieter). Think Grand Central Station but 50 times more advanced - and sleek and sexy like something out of a futuristic sci-fi book.

This is one of three designs submitted for consideration. These are my favorite pics from SOM (Skidmore, Owings and Merrill). (Via Inhabitat).

Here are some pics:

Seg-vehicle: running on steaming cow dung

When your name is Dean Kamen, you probably eat really smart cereal in the morning. You probably wear really smart sweaters too. I bet you'd even have a really smart car. Well, maybe not smart, but how about one that doesn't have an internal combustion engine?

Kamen, the inventor of the famously useless but "damn that is cool" Segway, has been focusing all his attention on developing a new kind of green car (something incredibly useful). No, it doesn't run on water. No, it doesn't run on corn, or McDonald's french fries. It runs on heat. With global warming keeping us nice and toasty for the next few millenia we'll have plenty of that to go around.

They're called stirling engines and they're already being put to use in the global south (for those of you still stuck in the '80s and the Cold War that's the "3rd World"). A village in India uses steaming cow dung to power their stirling engine and the entire village. Hot cow dung. Who knew?

The engines actually convert the heat into mechanical energy by compressing and expanding gas inside a small cylinder. The problem here is actually mass producing these little suckers. But Kamen is confident after chatting with green car maker THiNK about putting stirling engines in their electric cars. This move has all sorts of potential for extending the range of electric vehicles by hundreds of miles. And, those cars could run on anything -- even cow dung.

Via EcoGeekand GreenWombat

Friday, August 03, 2007

I Can Has Cheezburger

I've become addicted to this site over the past year after being introduced to it by one Stanley J back in SF. It continues to give me plenty of chuckle but I think only a few people will understand or appreciate its humor. Today's pic gave me a good belly laugh:

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Waiting for that paper trail

How this is still an issue in an state who's history with voting corruption as checkered as your dad's wedding tuxedo from 1975 is beyond me. Why has Diebold not been taken out? Their ATMs don't even work. How the hell do we expect their voting machines to, and why, in God's name would be put the outcome of our most democratic process in their hands? We can host cleaner and more honest elections in other countries than we can here in our own. Pathetic? Yes, absolutely.

Just get a freakin' paper trail. Is it that hard of an ask?