Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service

April 24, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump’s war on science and the environment continues as his administration is set to switch off the Environmental Protection Agency’s Open Data Web site this week. The data service is the United States government’s largest civilian-linked data tool, according to The Independent , and offers information open to researchers on the climate , the environment, and public health . While that would be awful enough, since the tool is vital for keeping people informed about health and climate data, that isn’t all Trump has planned for this week. Private citizens will soon no longer have access to a tool that allowed them to obtain data on climate change , health impact analysis, environmental justice , and life cycle assessment. The EPA’s Open Data Web page provided information on toxic chemicals, and allowed people to see if a treacherous spill had happened near them during the last 30 years. All that information is about to go dark, thanks to Trump. Related: 75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order The move to yank data away from citizens isn’t Trump’s only planned assault this week. On Wednesday he is supposed to sign an executive order  connected to the 1906 Antiquities Act, signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt. President Barack Obama  the act – more than other presidents – to protect federal areas such as the 1.6 million acres of land in Nevada and Utah which he designated as national monuments. The land contains Native American artifacts, and Obama’s move protected the area from drilling and mining . Then on Friday Trump is set to sign another executive order to review rules on offshore drilling and look at areas for offshore oil and gas exploration. Both orders could pave the way for more fossil fuel development. Trump’s been working hard to undo Obama-era climate change regulations, citing goals for improving jobs in the US. An anonymous White House official told Reuters over the weekend, “This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines , innovations in energy production, and reduce unnecessary burden on energy producers.” Whether these moves will create jobs remains to be seen, but the impact on the environment is very real. Via The Independent and Reuters Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Becker1999 on Flickr

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Trump is switching off the EPA’s invaluable public data service

New supersonic jet can fly from London to New York in 3.5 hours

November 17, 2016 by  
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Supersonic air travel is one of those things (like flying cars and instant pizza machines) that we thought would be ubiquitous by this point. Yet, there hasn’t been a supersonic passenger jet in consistent operation in more than 10 years. Aviation startup Boom Technology has unveiled what it hopes will change all that: the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator , a speedy passenger jet that is the modern answer to the Concorde. The supersonic jet will cut the duration of long trips in half – NYC to London would take 3.5 hours instead of seven, while the 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney would be slashed down to a mere 6 hours and 45 minutes. Nicknamed “Baby Boom,” the one-third scale prototype is taking the first steps to drum up excitement about the next generation of supersonic air transportation. The plane was revealed at an event Tuesday evening at the startup’s Hangar 14 at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado. Despite being one-third the size of an actual passenger jet, the Baby Boom was created as an accurate representation of the style, shape, and proportions of the full-size design. Although the unveiling met with oohs and ahhs from the media and industry experts, there was no incredible demonstration of supersonic speed at the ceremony. Baby Boom will not take to the air currents until sometime in late 2017. Related: Supersonic jet will fly from NY to London in 3 hours at half the price of the Concorde Boom’s full-size XB-1 is designed to carry 44 passengers on long-distance flights, and the company says it plans to be operating by 2020. A ticket on the ultra-fast jet will cost around $5,000, which the company considers affordable given the expense of the airplane and its fuel. The supersonic jet makes use of three General Electric J85-21 non-afterburning engines, Honeywell avionics, and carbon composite materials for a powerful yet lightweight aircraft. Boom says the XB-1 takes inspiration from the Concorde , particularly in regard to its design. In order to create the next-generation of supersonic passenger jets, Boom tapped experts from NASA, SpaceX, and Boeing to contribute to the design process. If Boom’s XB-1 is successful in launching commercial operations, it will be the first supersonic passenger jet to due so since the Concorde was retired in 2003 following 27 years of high-speed flights. Via New Atlas and The Verge Images via Boom Technology

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New supersonic jet can fly from London to New York in 3.5 hours

1.5 billion birds disappear from North Americas skies

September 16, 2016 by  
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A startling survey of North American skies reveals there are 1.5 billion less birds flying about than there were decades ago. Some species’ populations have recently become threatened , while others are projected to be nearly decimated within the next 40 years. An array of factors, mostly human-induced, are responsible for the alarming drop. “It’s the death of a thousand cuts,” stated the survey’s co-author Judith Kennedy, of Environment Canada. “We’re really getting down to the dregs of some of these populations.” Numerous government, environmental, and university-based agencies combined to conduct the most comprehensive, up-to-date Partners in Flight survey, which follows trends in continental bird populations . Related: 9 things you can do to help wild birds this summer 86 species of birds were classified as threatened by habitat loss, climate change , and plummeting population sizes. These include the Canada warbler and evening grosbeak, whose numbers have dropped 92 percent since 1970. Even the beloved snowy owl has experienced a 64 percent dip. Logging of forests, pesticides in grasslands, and an overabundance of cats – who kill an estimated 2 billion birds per year – all contribute to the downfall of the continent’s birds. Birds help human populations by gobbling up pesky insects and pollinating plants. Kennedy stresses the importance of making changes in our behaviors that affect native bird populations, stating, “It’s too late for us to worry when we’re down to the last few hundred.” Via The Star Images via Flickr , Wikipedia

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1.5 billion birds disappear from North Americas skies

Is a global aviation emissions deal quietly being prepped for takeoff?

March 29, 2016 by  
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New FlightPath 1.5 campaign aims to build support for historic aviation climate change agreement.

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Is a global aviation emissions deal quietly being prepped for takeoff?

An open letter to manufacturers: The problem with ‘eco mode’

March 29, 2016 by  
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Selling an optional green setting on a product isn’t the same as selling a green product.

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An open letter to manufacturers: The problem with ‘eco mode’

Solar Impulse grounded in Hawaii until April 2016 for repairs to damaged batteries

July 15, 2015 by  
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Click here to view the embedded video. The experimental solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse 2 will remain grounded in Hawaii until at least April 2016, according to the latest update from the team. In the process of its round-the-world journey, SI2 has encountered numerous delays due to shifting weather patterns, but this latest hiccup came about due to irreversible damage sustained by the batteries when they overheated on the first day of co-founder André Borschberg’s flight from Japan to Hawaii . The team anticipated some maintenance on the single-seater solar plane while in Hawaii, but it’s become apparent that the battery repair will take more time than is left in the flight season. Read the rest of Solar Impulse grounded in Hawaii until April 2016 for repairs to damaged batteries

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Solar Impulse grounded in Hawaii until April 2016 for repairs to damaged batteries

Japanese Engineers Create Ultralight, 3D-Printed Ornithopter Based on a Prehistoric Dragonfly!

August 29, 2013 by  
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Since the early days of our existence, humans have always been jealous of flying animals. From bugs to birds, we’ve spent a lot of time trying to copy organisms who have the ability to defy gravity. Our modern planes, helicopters , and yes, even drones  are our best attempts to recreate nature’s engineering, but none have come close to the beauty of a real bird in flight – until now. Osaka-based  Flapping Wing Production Studio  recently released a video of their latest invention: an ultralight orinthopter (a craft that flies by flapping its wings.) Built using simple materials and mechanical parts made with a 3D printer, “Meganeuropsis” is one of the largest orinthopters to complete a successful flight. Read the rest of Japanese Engineers Create Ultralight, 3D-Printed Ornithopter Based on a Prehistoric Dragonfly! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 3D printing , dragonfly , drone , Flapping Wing Production Studio , helicopter , Japan , Makerbot Replicator , Meganeuropsis , Orinthopter        

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Japanese Engineers Create Ultralight, 3D-Printed Ornithopter Based on a Prehistoric Dragonfly!

Man Tries to Smuggle Turtle Disguised as Hamburger Through Airport Security

August 2, 2013 by  
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Images via Shutterstock Flights can be long, boring, and lonely when traveling solo. Which may be why a man decided to smuggle his pet turtle through Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport security by disguising it as a hamburger. On July 29, a passenger with the surname Li placed his shelled companion inside a KFC hamburger, and then packed the animal in his bag. As Li’s luggage went through the X-ray machine, attendants noticed odd, limb-like protrusions emerging from the sandwich. Read the rest of Man Tries to Smuggle Turtle Disguised as Hamburger Through Airport Security Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baggage , flight , Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport , hamburger , kfc , li , luggage , snakes on a plane , turtle        

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LightRails: Rainbow LED Lights Illuminate Disused Alabama Underpass

August 2, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of LightRails: Rainbow LED Lights Illuminate Disused Alabama Underpass Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 18th Street Underpass , Bill Fitzgibbons , eco design , green design , LED installaiton Birmingham , led installation , LightRails , REV Birmingham , sustainable design        

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Naval Research Laboratory Flies Their Hydrogen-Powered Ion Tiger UAV for Over 48 Hours

May 15, 2013 by  
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A team from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have broken their own record after flying their hydrogen fuel cell powered- Ion Tiger UAV for an astonishing 48 hours and 1 minute last month. The UAV , which used liquid hydrogen fuel in its  new, NRL-developed, cryogenic fuel storage tank and delivery system, broke its previous record of 26 hours and 2 minutes which it set in 2009. Read the rest of Naval Research Laboratory Flies Their Hydrogen-Powered Ion Tiger UAV for Over 48 Hours Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: fuel cell , hydrogen , hydrogen fuel cell , hydrogen power , Ion Tiger UAV , liquid hydrogen , Naval Research Laboratory , NRL , UAV        

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Naval Research Laboratory Flies Their Hydrogen-Powered Ion Tiger UAV for Over 48 Hours

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