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  • zzfranksinatra.png

    Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" was the best-selling album in the United States for five weeks in 1958, but the irony of its popularity (or, perhaps, the source of its aspirational appeal) is that practically none of us could take up the offer to "glide, starry-eyed" on an aircraft with anybody in those days. More than 80 percent of the country had never once been on an airplane. There was a simple reason. Flying was absurdly expensive.

    The Atlantic
  • zztoyotaI-Road.jpg

    ...It’s a reverse trike, similar to the Can-Am Spyder, but features a fully enclosed cockpit with seating for two and a footprint that Toyota claims is about the same size as a traditional scooter....But it’s the Active Lean technology that’s most notable.

  • San Francisco residents will be getting thousands of new neighbors in the next 30 years, and it's time to start figuring out where they will live and work. Between 2010 and 2040, the city will need 92,410 new housing units and 191,000 more jobs, said city Planning Director John Rahaim, numbers well above San Francisco's current growth rate...For the city to meet these goals, the focus must be on increasingly dense development south of Market Street, a transit-rich area where much of San Francisco's dwindling supply of buildable land is located.

    SF Chronicle
  • ... The focus placed on metrics like car level-of-service lead to decisions that remove any obstacles to automotive speed and mobility — even a crosswalk can slow down traffic too much for a planner's liking. The upshot of this approach, of course, can be seen on any of America's congested city roads.

    Atlantic Cities
  • zzbaybridgelights.jpg

    For decades the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been considered, when it is considered at all, as a headache for commuters and a place not to be in an earthquake. But that reputation is set to change (tonight) when the artist Leo Villareal will switch on what is being billed as the world’s largest L.E.D. light sculpture. The public art installation, “The Bay Lights,” will illuminate the bridge’s 1.8-mile western span with 25,000 undulating white lights.

    New York Times
  • Think your commute stinks? Try being one of the Bay Area's "mega-commuters" - a new census demographic that defines the worst of the worst commutes: workers who spend at least 90 minutes plus 50 miles to get to the office in the morning. And the Bay Area, with its sprawling suburbs and nasty traffic, has a higher percentage of these road warriors than any other major metro area in the country...

    Mercury News
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    ...New York City’s Department of Transportation has done amazing work in carving out more space for pedestrians and reducing traffic fatalities. But in a city where life is lived on the sidewalk, where pedestrians have opinions about the right and wrong way to walk down a busy street, where street seating is provided by businesses and government alike as an essential public amenity, drivers still all too often jump the curb and strike pedestrians in the one part of the streetscape that is supposed to be reserved exclusively for them. And while you might think there would be automatic criminal consequences for doing so, you would be wrong.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...The research consortium Folium (from the Latin word for leaf), which includes the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Kentucky, has taken genes from those types of bacteria and algae and inserted them into tobacco plants. In the first year of work, it produced a crop and then used organic solvents to extract the oils out of the leaves. 

    New York Times
  • Researchers from Germany and Italy have developed an efficient low-temperature catalytic process to produce hydrogen from methanol. Hydrogen generation by this method proceeds at 65–95 °C (149-203 °F) and ambient pressure with excellent catalyst turnover frequencies (4,700 per hour) and turnover numbers (exceeding 350,000). This could make the delivery of hydrogen on mobile devices—and hence the use of methanol as a practical hydrogen carrier—eventually feasible, the team suggests in a paper published in the journal Nature.

    Green Car Congress
  • Is it time to start rooting around the compost pile for discarded coffee grounds? This waste substance is proving to be remarkably versatile, first as an odor-remover for sewers and now as a fuel for a souped-up British vehicle that recently set a record for fastest coffee-powered car.

    Atlantic Cities