Nissan is gifting gilded Leaf EVs to winning Olympic Athletes

July 26, 2016 by  
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Who would even want to win a gold medal when you could have a golden electric car? Some gold medal winners at the upcoming Summer Olympic Games hosted in Brazil will also take home a special prize from Nissan : a shiny gold Leaf EV . The gilded electric cars will be offered to any of the 16 athletes sponsored by the automaker’s British office, provided they earn a gold medal in their sport first. At the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro starting in just a few weeks, Nissan is already providing a fleet of 4,200 vehicles , including the Leaf and the new SUV model Kicks . Once the games begin, scores of athletes from around the world will compete for a shot at the gold, silver, or bronze medals traditionally awarded at the Olympics. Nissan’s British office is sponsoring ten Olympic and six Paralympic athletes in this summer’s games, and hopes the added allure of a shiny gold electric car will be enough to help them bring home the gold (medal, that is). The car is subtly emblazoned (if that’s a thing) with the words “Rio 2016 Gold Medalist” on the hood, both sides, and the rear bumper, so that passersby from every angle will know who is at the wheel. Related: New 2016 Nissan Leaf can travel up to 107 miles on a single charge The Leaf EV is Nissan’s answer to the affordable electric car. First introduced in 2010, the Leaf quickly became the world’s all-time best selling highway-capable all-electric car. As of April of this year, nearly 220,000 Leafs have been sold worldwide, and it’s no wonder. The EV has an impressive 107-mile range and an MSRP under $30,000. Combined with federal and state tax credits, the Nissan Leaf represents a great deal on a zero emissions vehicle. Via Carscoops Images via Nissan

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Nissan is gifting gilded Leaf EVs to winning Olympic Athletes

SOM designs pedestrian-friendly revamp for the heart of Philadelphia

July 26, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTtsmrT7y6k SOM’s masterplan for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station Precinct was selected by Amtrak and designed in collaboration with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN , and HR&A Advisors. The beautiful Beaux Arts 30th Street Station—the third busiest transit hub in the U.S.—will retain its architectural magnificence but be expanded to improve accessibility and comfort for the 30,000 passengers that use the trains every morning. New public plazas and pedestrian-friendly elements will be added, along with a new underground concourse connecting 30th Street Station with the city subway system. Related: Mecanoo designs gorgeous green-roofed train station for Kaohsiung The masterplan will cover 175 acres and connect Philadelphia’s Center City and University City downtown districts. “Through bold development, an activated public realm, and an expanded transit network, the masterplan creates a viable framework for Philadelphia’s next great neighbourhood,” said SOM. New buildings for the expansion of Drexel University will also be added. + SOM Via ArchDaily Images via SOM

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SOM designs pedestrian-friendly revamp for the heart of Philadelphia

8 memorable milestones of the first solar-powered flight around-the-world

July 26, 2016 by  
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The Solar Impulse project began in Switzerland in 2003, when Bertrand Piccard—a veteran balloonist and also a psychiatrist—began designing and building a one-man airplane that could fly without fossil fuels, using only the sun’s energy. After five years of development, Piccard joined forces with Swiss pilot and businessman André Borschberg to finish the aircraft and help organize the project to circumnavigate the globe in their experimental solar-powered plane. The first version of the plane, Solar Impulse 1, became the first solar-powered aircraft to fly for 26 consecutive hours, as well as the first to cross two continents. Solar Impulse 2 would blow those records out of the water, if not out of this world. Leg 1: The adventure begins in Abu Dhabi The experimental aircraft began its round-the-world solar-powered journey on March 9, 2015 lifting off from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. From there, Borschberg piloted Solar Impulse 2 in the early morning hours for what would be a relatively short flight in comparison to other legs of the journey. He flew 13 hours and 1 minute before touching down in Muscat, Oman for the first scheduled stop of the journey that would ultimately take more than a year to complete. Related: Zero fuel Solar Impulse 2 takes off on world’s first round-the-world flight powered entirely by sunlight Leg 3: Longest solar-powered flight in aviation history The 15-hour, 20-minute flight from Oman to Ahmedabad, India on March 18, 2015 marked the first of many world records on the Solar Impulse journey. With Piccard in the cockpit, the experimental aircraft flew longer than any other solar-powered plane had before that date. This set an exciting precedent for the project early in the RTW adventure, as the SI2 would beat its own record several times over before landing back at its starting point more than a year later. Leg 7: Unscheduled landing in Japan After multiple weather-related delays, SI2 took off from Nanjing, China on May 31, 2015 with Borschberg in the cramped cockpit and headed east toward Hawaii. However, it soon became apparent that the chosen route for the longest leg of the round-the-world trip was not meant to be. The poor weather forecast forced the ground team to scramble to make arrangements for Borschberg to detour the aircraft for an unscheduled landing in Nagoya, Japan. The plane was grounded for several weeks while the crews waited for the weather forecast to improve. Solar Impulse 2 was finally cleared for take off again on June 28. Related: Solar Impulse could be grounded for a whole year in Japan Leg 8: Pacific Ocean crossing The longest leg of the round-the-world journey also marked two of the most significant world records for the project: the longest continuous flight by a solar-powered aircraft as well as the longest solo flight in aviation history . Borschberg piloted the SI2 on the 117-hour, 52-minute flight, covering the 4,819 nautical miles between Nagoya, Japan and Oahu, Hawaii. To endure such a long flight in a cramped cockpit, the pilot employed yoga and meditation techniques to encourage circulation in his extremities. After the first 24 hours of the flight, he was also able to take 20-minute catnaps while the plane’s autopilot system kept it on course. As Borschberg landed in the plane in Hawaii on July 3, 2015, thousands of viewers around the world watched the live streaming webcast on the Solar Impulse website. Leg 9: Grounded in Hawaii Although the record-setting longest flight went smoothly, the SI2 had to be grounded after landing in Hawaii due to an overheated battery. As experimental aircraft go, SI2 encountered relatively few technical difficulties along its journey, but this one was a show-stopper. Once ground crews examined the battery, it was determined that the best course of action for the project was to put the journey on hold until replacement batteries could be produced and tested to ensure subsequent flights would be safe. Testing on the new batteries began in early February 2016, and the plane was finally cleared for takeoff in April, and Piccard flew the airplane to California without further incident. Leg 14: SI2’s shortest flight Lasting a mere four hours and 41 minutes, the 14th leg of the solar-powered flight was the shortest by far. After making several stops in its eastbound journey across the continental United States, Solar Impulse 2 took off from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania on June 11 and touched down just a few hours later at its final U.S. destination: New York City’s JFK Airport . A remarkable milestone, SI2 flew over the Statue of Liberty during its approach to the airport, creating an iconic image that represents the ability of clean energy to grant freedom from dirty fossil fuels. Leg 15: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean Flying a 100-percent solar-powered airplane across the Atlantic Ocean was perhaps an easier feat than the Pacific crossing, but secured Solar Impulse 2 yet another world first record. Piccard took off in the early morning hours of June 20—the longest day of the year—from NYC’s JFK airport and successfully flew for 71 hours and eight minutes, landing in Seville, Spain on June 23. Leg 17: Back to Abu Dhabi When Piccard landed SI2 in Abu Dhabi on July 26 , a few things happened. First and foremost, the team nabbed a major victory in achieving the goal of flying a solar-powered airplane around the world. Secondly, Solar Impulse 2 secured an esteemed place in clean energy history, proving the awesome potential of solar power and, with any luck, inspiring engineers around the world to discover new innovations in renewable energy applications. The final leg of SI2’s circumnavigation was a tricky one, occurring during one of the most intense heat waves the world has seen in recent decades. Weather patterns forced Piccard to fly in a holding pattern soon after take off, lengthening the expected 40-hour flight to a final duration of 48 hours and 37 minutes. Although the journey’s last leg was one of the shorter flights, the obstacles only served to enhance the anticipation as the solar-powered electric airplane zeroed in on its ultimate goal: a 26,744-mile trip around the world without fossil fuels. This won’t be the last we hear from Piccard, Borschberg, and the rest of the Solar Impulse support team. A plan has already been discussed to use SI2’s proven technology to create solar-powered drones , and nobody would be surprised if a Solar Impulse 3 were to emerge in the coming years as a bigger, better version of the sun-powered airplane. For now, the pilots will celebrate this enormous victory for clean energy, and perhaps take a little time off after spending so many hours in the SI2’s cramped cockpit. + Solar Impulse Lead image via Abu Dhabi Government , all other images via Solar Impulse

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Soldier kills a jaguar used in Rio 2016 Olympic torch relay

June 25, 2016 by  
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With just over a month to go to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games , the Olympic torch is passing through Brazil in the traditional relay. Although the torch is considered a symbol of unity and peace, the relay turned deadly in the city of Manaus. A soldier shot and killed a female jaguar named Juma, who was used as an extra in the ceremony, after she escaped from her handlers. Activists are condemning the use of Juma in a situation that likely would have been stressful for her. The jaguar was shot with four tranquilizer darts, and then a soldier shot her with a pistol. Juma was likely upset by the commotion, according to University of Brasilia scientist Joao Paulo Castro. He told BBC Brasil, “It’s neither healthy nor advisable to subject an animal to such a situation, with lots of noise and people. Often, jaguars already are stressed by being kept in captivity, that’s only compounded when they’re exposed to hubbub.” Related: Criminal charges possible in Cinncinnati Zoo gorilla Harambe’s death The local committee that organized the event issued a statement saying they made a “mistake” to display the Olympic torch next to a “chained wild animal.” They said, “We guarantee that there will be no more such incidents at Rio 2016.” According to the World Wildlife Fund, jaguars are ” near threatened ,” and in the past they worked with the Brazil government to protect swaths of the Amazon forest as a habitat for the animals. Ipaam, the government authority that manages use of animals, said it was actually illegal to use Juma in the ceremony. They are currently investigating her death. Animal rights groups from around the world condemned the incident. Rio de Janeiro’s Animal Freedom Union said on their Facebook page, “When will people (and institutions) stop with this sick need to show power and control by confining, taming, and showcasing wild animals?” Via the BBC Images via screenshot and Wikimedia Commons

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The Heart of Denmark pavilion to bring a fiesta of light and color to the 2016 Rio Olympics

April 5, 2016 by  
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KREOD Unveils Curving International Trade Pavilion for 2016 Rio Olympics

June 12, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of KREOD Unveils Curving International Trade Pavilion for 2016 Rio Olympics Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2016 Olympics , 2016 rio olympic games , 2016 rio olympics , international trade pavilion , KREOD , KREOD pavilion , olympic pavilion , temporary pavilion , trade pavilion

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KREOD Unveils Curving International Trade Pavilion for 2016 Rio Olympics

Rio de Janeiro’s Trump Towers Are Filled With Greenery on Every Floor

January 18, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Rio de Janeiro’s Trump Towers Are Filled With Greenery on Every Floor Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 2016 Olympics , Alfalo and Gasperini , eco design , green design , Louver System , Porto Maravilha , rio de janeiro , sustainable design , Trump Towers , vertical garden

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Rio de Janeiro’s Trump Towers Are Filled With Greenery on Every Floor

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