CC BY 1.0 Lloyd Alter, from the Sausalito ferry after bike ride
When I first rented a bike from Blazing Saddles in San Francisco and rode over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, I thought I had died and gone to heaven, it was the most beautiful ride I had done in my life. There was a song in my head that I adapted to “I wanna live in Sausalito.” I continued to tour Mill Valley, then on to Tiburon where I missed the ferry by one minute because I had stopped for ice cream, and then pedaled back to Sausalito and caught the ferry there. I did the trip again with my daughter, although that time we just went to Sausalito, spent a lot of money on lunch and took the ferry back. It is a truly glorious experience that everyone should do. I never even took out my camera until I got on the ferry, hence this bridge shot is my only photo.
Except if Sausalito councilwoman Linda Pfeifer has her way, you won’t be able to what I did. She says that there are too many of us and that the town is being overrun with tourists on bikes. She tells ABC “That’s 1,000 rental bikes a day coming into our small town, and it’s just unsustainable to have those numbers exponentially increase every year.”
Ted is right. There are thousands of tourists of all kinds coming into Sausalito on a nice day, most in big cars and taking up a lot of space in big parking lots that are all over. They spend money and have big trunks on their cars to put stuff, but cyclists spend money too, and have big stomachs to fill after the ride. They pay for their ferry ride home, too.
Councilwoman Pfeifer says cycling is dangerous: “We’re trying to ensure that people, who our our guests, will have good memories, not sad memories of bicycle accidents”. But perhaps there might be fewer accidents if she put a limit on cars, not bikes.
The ride to Sausalito is a truly transcendent experience that everyone should put on that horrible list. Councilwoman Pfeifer should try it and who knows, she might change her mind.
A solar-powered plane has embarked on an unprecedented flight around the world. The aircraft, known as Solar Impulse 2, is designed to fly day and night without using any fuel. The plane took off from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, and will circumnavigate the globe as part of an initiative that is expected to last until July. Check out these photos of the Solar Impulse 2 mission. [Read full story about the solar-powered plane’s flight]
5. I suppose the “stun” setting tipped the TSA off that this wasn’t an ordinary cell phone. Or maybe they were just suspicious of anybody using such old school phone. This stun gun was found at Baltimore Washington International Airport.
8. Although this souvenir monster was holding an inert grenade, that wasn’t determined until after the explosives detection professionals and law enforcement officers were called in. It turns out grenades, live or inert, are prohibited from carry-ons and checked bags. Good to know. Thank you Colorado Eagle County Regional Airport passenger.
9. This one was just a fishing lure in the shape of a grenade, but once again, TSA had to call in the explosives detection professionals and law enforcement to determine that. Never a dull moment with holiday fishers at Anchorage International.
Electric assisted cargo bike RAIOOO is stylish & pragmatic (Video)
Electric assisted cargo bike RAIOOO
From hauling groceries and kids, to getting drunk friends safely home, the cargo bike is extremely useful in urban situations and occupies a special place in many TreeHuggers’ hearts. And these hard-working bikes are a diverse bunch too, coming in folding, solar-powered or upscale, department store versions. From a team of design graduates and professors from Portugal’s Polytechnic of Viana Do Castelo comes this electric-assist cargo bike that sports a lot of style — and eco-minded materials like cork and leather details made by local craftsmen.
RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility
Dubbed Raiooo (“rai” means “spokes” and the triple O’s are a reference to the three wheels), this vehicle was designed for a comfortable and stable ride around the city for urban residents who want to get their daily errands done with a minimum of fuss.
RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility
It’s urban practicality married to the sustainable ideals of reducing waste using locally available materials and digital fabrication. The Raiooo is also an instance of various local and global, handmade and digitally made components coming together: the bike’s aluminum parts represent industrialism, while the locally made leather bags are a work of traditional craftsmanship. The leather bags are detachable, with the smaller one holding an emergency kit. The cork components and plywood panels are digitally fabricated using CNC machines; the seat was 3D-printed using the polytechnic’s digital fabrication lab, while the front fork and handlebars were made from woods like beech, mahogany, and more exotic woods like eucalyptus and sucupira.
RAIDOOO three wheeled mobility
The combination of metal, wood, leather and cork makes for a bike that looks and feels quite organic; the battery, controller and wires all hidden in the central plywood body, lending a clean look to the bike as well. Believing that the cargo bike should have a larger role to play in urban transport, the creators are working with commercial manufacturers to hopefully bring this lovely yet pragmatic prototype from design academia to the market. More about the Raiooo on Domus and Behance. http://www.domusweb.it/en/design/2014/08/11/raiooo_three-wheeledmobility.html
The ELF could replace a car for a lot of people
Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter)
Transportation / Bikes
March 2, 2015
TreeHugger Sami lives in Durham, North Carolina where they make the ELF, a solar and pedal powered hybrid vehicle that is “specifically designed to get the cycle-challenged out of their cars.” I recently was in Durham and visited Organic Transit with Sami, and got to try out the ELF for myself, as well as getting a factory tour.
The ELF is built with as many local components as possible, starting with a welded aluminum frame being handled here by former Ford exec and now General Manager Dr. Apoorv Agarwal, who gave us our tour.
This is the motor (750 watts in the USA) and the black thing is a continuously variable transmission for the pedals. Note how these are both designed to go in the hub of a rear wheel but are mounted in the frame instead. They are constantly refining the design of the ELF, and have found that handling is significantly improved by moving as much of the weight forward as possible. I would have thought the benefit of moving the CVT forward would be offset by the weight of the extra chain but evidently this is not the case.
Sami noted earlier that the ELF is great for the bicycle-challenged but it really is a bike, or actually a trike, and operates like one. The left hand controls the turn signals, horn and a twist of the handle controls the CVT; the right hand controls the throttle on the electric drive. You quickly learn that when you push the throttle and the ELF speeds up, you have to adjust the CVT on the fly to keep your pedals turning at a reasonable rate. You have to work the two together and it takes a little bit of practice.
I wonder if they shouldn’t have a pedelec motor option like Bosch makes, that I tried at CES last year. These detect the resistance on the pedals and add power as needed, reducing the need to use both a throttle and a gear shift at the same time.
Adding some finishing touches.
Those solar panels on the roofs don’t have enough power to drive the ELF, but they will charge its battery in eight hours, which will push the 160 pound trike with a 350 pound payload at 25 MPH for about 15 miles. Unfortunately for Organic Transport, every country seems to have its own rules, so they have to downsize the motor to 500 watts for Canadians and as low as 300 watts in other countries, all to stay within the rules for bikes.
It was just below freezing when I came outside to get a ride with founder Rob Cotter. However they even have a heated seat option: just take this pad of phase-changing material and stick it in the microwave. After a quick nuke you put it in behind the seat, or even around your neck.
Then I went for a ride, with Rob Cotter in the back seat. And I found that it is a terrific urban runabout, with room to carry a good shopping trip’s worth of stuff (let alone a second person) protected from the weather and wind, highly visible with great LED lighting front and back, and easy to park. I can see that in an urban milieu it could easily replace a car and since it is legally a bike, you don’t have to pay for parking or worry about rush hour parking and stopping restrictions. It costs less to buy than a car costs to operate for a year and gets the equivalent of 1800 miles to the gallon.
I think it is a plausible alternative to a car, particularly for those who are not totally comfortable on a bike. Learn more at Organic Transit.
Well looky here, I have been nominated for the prestigious, much coveted and fought over, LIEBSTER AWARD! I truly have to give my thanks and appreciation to Shruti of Shruti Insights, for offering me this unexpected and awkwardly wonderful opportunity. She has offered me a chance to experience a shot at the Golden Ring, the Kewpie Doll, the Final frontier of Fame and Glory in the ” Blogosphere “. I certainly would never have attempted, or volunteered for Honors such as these, on my own, so again Thank you for the inspiration, and privilege, only using my fear of shotguns or Wrathful, and thoroughly disappointed Friends, to make a man of me, and Accept this One Giant Leap For Mankind Test. Shruti, you’re the best!
So there are rules to all of this. Apparently in order to be a big shot around these parts, I have to play by THESE RULES.
Put the Liebster Award logo on your blog.
Thank and tag the blog who nominated you.
Answer their questions and come up with 10 new ones for you nominees.
Nominate 8 blogs with less than 200 followers, let them know you’ve nominated them and link them in your post.
So Shruti, with much pounding of heart, I will under take this feat, and I Thank You sincerely for your having Faith and Belief in my abilities!
These are the Ten questions I get to answer!
1.Among your blog posts, which one is your favourite?
Well thank you for asking! My favorite post was a story I wrote a couple of years ago, called ” The Waiting Game”, and It was basically a true story about circumstances I had no control over. I only embellished it a tad.
2.At what time of the day do you usually write a blog post?
That is tricky because I post whenever I am either inspired by an idea, or feel like I’m not delivering enough, or not giving people what they want.
3.What is your favourite word in your native language?
Wow, I wish you hadn’t asked me that. I don’t believe I have a singular favorite word. My favorite phrase is ” Papa, I love you! ”
4.What do you like to eat in the morning?
That is an easy one, as I don’t eat in the early day. Usually I start getting hungry about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and I’m a guy so it really doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it can be wolfed down easily.
5.Choose one: tea, coffee, milk, hot chocolate. Why do you choose it?
Coffee with cream and sugar. But again, I drink freshly ground dark French Roast. Oh I’m sorry, you asked why? I grew up with good coffee in the S.F. bay area, and I’ve learned coffee really is the cheapest beverage, aside from water, and I don’t like water as fish do things in it.
6.Do you have a close friend? Is there one thing that you can only do with that friend?
I am married to my bestest, closest friend, and the thing we do together, I am not allowed to publicly speak about!
7.What is your favourite book and why do you like it?
That’s a hard one, but I can safely say my nearly favorite book, if I can only name one is BattleField Earth, by L. Ron Hubbard. I like that it’s long and involved, even though some of it is rather childish, I enjoy humanity taking back their home, and making a difference out in the cosmos.
8.What do you really want to learn but you haven’t got the time to do it?
Everything! I want my education to always continue. Right now I want to learn how to make my site work for me. The part about not enough time, unfortunately takes presidence over everything.
9.What do you miss from your childhood?
I miss my mommy! She died when I was 9, and I had to grow up because of that.
10.Where will you go if you just feel bored at home?
I am not at home at present. In December, I had to come down here to Reno Nevada to help take care of my family. I don’t get bored at home, as I live on 20 acres, in the mountains, and if the trailer feels cramped I just go outside.
John Wesley was an Anglican divine and theologian who, with his brother Charles Wesley and fellow cleric George Whitefield, is credited with the foundation of the evangelical movement known as Methodism. His work and writings also played a leading role in the development of the Holiness movement and Pentecostalism.
1827 – The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
B & O railroad
B & O Railroad 3
B & O Railroad 2
1844 – A gun on USS Princeton explodes while the boat is on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.The Princeton’s reputation in the Navy never recovered from a devastating incident early in her service.
On February 28, 1844, during a Potomac River pleasure cruise and demonstration of her two heavy guns for dignitaries, one of the guns exploded and killed Secretary of State Abel P. Upshur, Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer, and other high-ranking U.S. federal officials. President John Tyler barely escaped death in the incident.
1849 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor.
February 28 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay. The California leaves New York Harbor on October 6, 1848, rounds Cape Horn at the tip of South America, and arrives at San Francisco, California after the 4 month 21 day journey.
1883 – The first vaudeville theater opens in Boston
Benjamin Franklin Keith, “the father” of American Vaudeville.
1883 established his own museum in Boston featuring “Baby Alice the Midget Wonder” and other acts. His success in this endeavor allowed Keith to build the Bijou Theatre. The Bijou, a lavishly appointed, state-of-the-art, fireproof theatre, set the standard for the shape of things to come. At the Bijou, Keith established a “fixed policy of cleanliness and order.” He strictly forbade the use of vulgarity or coarse material in his acts “so the that the house and the entertainment would directly appeal to the support of women and children.
1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).
Back on February 28, 1940, W2XBS broadcast a men’s basketball doubleheader from Madison Square Garden. Fordham took on the University of Pittsburgh in the first game followed by a matchup between New York University and Georgetown University. Not many people watched the game as it was estimated that fewer than 400 television sets existed in New York City back then, when a top-of-the-line set, a Clifton, sold for about $600.
First Basketball Broadcast
The game didn’t go well for the Rams, who fell to the Panthers, 57-37, and the fact that it was televised was hardly news, not even getting a mention in The Ram’s coverage of the game. But many years later, no one can imagine television without college basketball.
1954 – The first color television sets using the NTSC standard are offered for sale to the general public.
The first color system was developed by John Logie Baird in 1928. It used mechanical techniques. In the early 1940s, CBS pioneered a system which transmitted an image in each of the three primary colors sequentially. A wheel with segments of red, green, and blue rotated in front of the camera, while a similar wheel rotated in front of the television screen, synchronized to the one at the camera. The system was simple and produced excellent pictures, though it had many drawbacks, including low resolution, flicker, and most signifcant, it wasn’t compatible with existing black and white broadcasting.
1958 – A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunges down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children die in what remains one of the worst school bus accidents in U.S. history.
1958 floyd county bus crash darkest days in eastern Kentucky’s history
On a cold and cloudy morning, after a period of heavy rains and thaw, a Floyd County school bus loaded with 48 elementary and high school students bound for school in Prestonsburg, Kentucky on U.S. Route 23 struck the rear of a wrecker truck and plunged down an embankment and into the swollen waters of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River, where it was swept downstream and submerged.
22 children escaped the bus in the first few minutes as it became fully submerged in the raging flood stage waters and made it safely out of the river. However, 26 other children and the bus driver drowned. National Guard and other authorities and agencies responded. The bus was finally located by Navy divers, and removed from the river 53 hours later.
1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched. It failed to achieve orbit.
Discoverer 1, the first of a series of US satellites that were part of the Corona reconnaissance satellite program, launched on February 28, 1959.
While Discoverer 1 was a prototype KH-1 (Key Hole 1) spy satellite, it did not contain a camera or a film capsule as later such satellites did.
Discoverer 1 launched on a Thor-Agena rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and became the first man-made object ever put into a polar orbit. NASA reports that while difficulty was encountered receiving signals after launch, the satellite broadcast intermittently later in the flight.
1975 – In London an underground train fails to stop at Moorgate terminus station and crashes into the end of the tunnel, killing 43 people.
FEBRUARY 28, 1975: Forty-two Tube passengers were killed after their train failed to stop at Moorgate station in the worst ever crash on the London Underground on this day in 1975.
Getty Images-Getty – The aftermath of a tube train crash
A total of 74 people were hurt on the train, which was later found to have had no faults and appeared to speed up as it entered the station at the peak of rush hour.
1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs Final Episode #TBT, with almost almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.
1991 – The first Gulf War ends.
Alternate title: Gulf War
Iraq WarWorld War IIYom Kippur WarArab LeagueOrganization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)Arab Bank for Economic Development in AfricaOrganization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)World War I
Persian Gulf War, also called Gulf War, (1990–91), international conflict that was triggered by Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Iraq’s leader, Ṣaddām Ḥussein, ordered the invasion and occupation of Kuwait with the apparent aim of acquiring that nation’s large oil reserves, canceling a large debt Iraq owed Kuwait, and expanding Iraqi power in the region.
1993 – Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raid the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
On February 28, 1993, a gunfight erupted soon after federal law enforcement agents raided the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, in an attempt to investigate allegations of illegal weapons and child abuse. When the smoke cleared, four agents and six members of the religious sect were dead. Following a 51-day standoff, the authorities launched a new assault, this time with tear gas. Their plan backfired, however, when an out-of-control blaze, likely started by the Branch Davidians themselves, burned the complex down and claimed at least 75 lives, including those of 25 children. On the 20th anniversary of this tragic siege, take a look at where the key players are now. http://www.history.com/news/waco-20-years-later-where-are-they-now
1997 – An earthquake in northern Iran is responsible for about 3,000 deaths.
Map of Iran
The earthquake occurred at 12:57 UTC (4:27 p.m. Iran Standard Time) and lasted for 15 seconds. At least 1,100 people were killed, 2,600 injured, 36,000 homeless, 12,000 houses damaged or destroyed and 160,000 livestock killed in the Ardabil area of northwestern Iran. Severe damage was observed to roads, electrical power lines, communications and water distribution systems around Ardabil. Hospitals and other medical buildings were overflowing with patients as a result of the earthquake. More than 83 villages experienced some form of damage.
1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.
Gamma ray burst
The burst had multiple peaks in its light curve and lasted approximately 80 seconds. Peculiarities in the light curve of GRB 970228 suggested that a supernova may have occurred as well.
1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
A maintenance crew preparing a Global Hawk at Beale Air Force Base
The Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) surveillance aircraft. It was initially designed by Ryan Aeronautical (now part of Northrop Grumman), and known as Tier II+ during development. In role and operational design, the Global Hawk is similar to the Lockheed U-2.
A RQ-4A in U.S. Navy markings
The RQ-4 provides a broad overview and systematic surveillance using high-resolution synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and long-range electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (100,000 km2) of terrain a day.
Photograph taken by US Navy Global Hawk with an aerial view of wildfires in Northern California, 2008
2001 – The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.
The Nisqually earthquake (also commonly referred to as “The Ash Wednesday Quake”) was an intraslab earthquake, occurring at 10:54 am PST (18:54 UTC) on February 28, 2001. One of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington state history, it measured 6.8 on the moment magnitude scale and lasted approximately 45 seconds. The epicenter of the earthquake was Anderson Island, about 17 km (11 mi) northeast of Olympia.
The focus was at a depth of 52 km (32 mi). Tremors were felt as far away as Scio, Oregon, across the border in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and 175 mi (282 km) east in Pasco, Washington. There were also reports that it was felt as far away as Spokane, Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho
2004 – Over one million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally form a 500-kilometre (310 mi) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947
The 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally (Chinese: 228百萬人手牽手護台灣; Pinyin: 228 Bǎiwànrén Shǒuqiān Shǒuhù Táiwān; meaning literally “228, one million people hand-in-hand to protect Taiwan” – 228 standing for February 28) was a demonstration in the form of a human chain held in Taiwan on February 28, 2004, the 57th anniversary of the 2/28 Incident.
a-giâu – Own work
Approximately two million (estimation ranged from 1.9 to 2.3 million depending on the reporting media) Taiwanese formed a 500-kilometer (310 mi) long human chain, from the harbor at Keelung, Taiwan’s northernmost city, to its southern tip at Eluanbi, Pingtung County to commemorate the 228 Incident, to call for peace, and to protest the deployment of missiles by the People’s Republic of China aimed at Taiwan along the mainland coast.
2005 – A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq kills 127.
The Al Hillah bombing killed 127 people, chiefly men lining up to join the Iraqi police forces, at the recruiting centre on February 28, 2005 in Al Hillah, Iraq.
February 28 – 127 Iraqis are killed by a suicide car bomb outside a medical center in Hilla, south of Baghdad. The bomber, who later turned out to be a U.S. educated Jordanian lawyer from al Qaeda targeted a large crowd of mainly teachers and police recruits outside a health clinic. It was the deadliest single blast in Iraq’s history.
2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church becoming the first pope to do so since 1415. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/pope-benedict-to-resign-citing-age-and-waning-energy/
LONDON — Citing failing strength of “mind and body,” Pope Benedict XVI stunned his closest aides and more than 1 billion Catholics by resigning on Monday, becoming the first pope to do so in nearly 600 years and ending the tenure of a formidable theologian who preached a gospel of conservative faith to a fast-changing world.
Pope Benedict XVI
In keeping with his reputation as a traditionalist, Pope Benedict delivered his resignation — effective Feb. 28 — in Latin, to a private church body in Vatican City. “I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” he said. “For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of bishop of Rome, successor of Saint Peter.”
As if we needed more reason to address our fossil fuel addiction, the federal government has put a number on how many times oil-hauling trains could derail in a year: 10 times annually over the next two decades, at a cost of more than $4 billion. Not to mention the hundreds of people just one accident could kill.
Trains Carrying Oil Are Exploding—Find Out If You Live in a Blast Zone
That’s an estimate from a previously unreported survey by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to The Associated Press. The agency, which completed its analysis in July, examined the risks of moving large amounts of crude oil and ethanol through major cities across the country.
The explosion of a tanker car near Mount Carbon, West Virginia, on Feb. 16 has raised new concern. Twenty-seven of the 109 tanker cars derailed and 19 caught fire in the incident, which a local described as an “inferno.” No injuries other than one case of potential smoke inhalation were reported, but state spokesperson Lawrence Messina said that crude oil is flowing into the Kanawha River, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Investigators reported that the train wasn’t speeding: It was traveling at 33 miles per hour in a 50 mph zone.
The accident was just the latest in a record string of fiery derailments, which some blame on the recent surge in oil production. According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, more than 141 “unintentional releases” from oil tankers were reported in 2014—an all-time high.
“Back-to-back fiery derailments involving crude oil trains should be an unmistakable wake-up call to our political leaders,” Mollie Matteson, a scientist at the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, told The Washington Post.