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    For and Against Rail

     
    I am in favor of a better, more extensive rail system, but I wonder if high-speed rail is cost effective and what we really need. As if to read my mind, The Infrastructurist features a four part series, For and Against High-Speed Rail, each with a con and pro position. 
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    2012 Prius Plug In Prototype

    Alex from TTAC in a very informative video about a plugin Prius with very impressive fuel efficiency.

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    EVs on the Grid

    When I flew to Los Angeles for the 1999 AEC Systems show, in which vendors showed all the latest and greatest cad and other software products to architects, engineers and contractors, my high school buddy Jim picked me up at the airport in his EV-1. It was an impressive vehicle, very sleek and stylish compared to the EVs I had seen before or had imagined from Popular Mechanics covers.  

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    Free Energy

    Americans select dilithium crystals to power the next generation
     

    In a Gallup poll released today, Americans chose dilithium crystals as the top choice of fuel to run both cars and power plants, with 84% of Americans choosing the crystals over other options including nuclear, hydrogen, corn ethanol, shale gas, and photovoltaic solar panels.
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    The Last Mountain

    Miller-McCune profiles a new documentary about destroying the environment to get coal.

     

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    Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus

    A vimeo about the badass code weapon for Hungry Beast on Australia's ABC1. 

    Another interesting vimeo by Patrick Clair is How Green is Your Internet?

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    Brick and Mortar

    In architecture school in the 1970s we learned a fair amount about passive solar design. We learned about orienting a building to take advantage of solar angles, about trombe walls, overhangs and brise-soleils. Although, back then, a lot of passive solar designs tended to look alike, it certainly seemed to us that in the midst of an energy crisis, we'd be doing energy-efficient buildings in our careers. 

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    Doom, Doom and More Doom

    New Society has published three new books telling us that we're doomed. Or are they? When you see that humanity is running up against a problem, and you write a book about it, are you actually a doomer?

    Take Thomas Malthus, whose name has become synonymous with population overshoot. His contemporary, the Marquis de Condorcet, had written Outlines of an historical view of the progress of the human mind, which described a world getting better, for example:

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    Mazda Demio & Hybrid Suzuki Swift

    The Mazda 2 now for sale in the US is already one of the two most affordable green cars on the ACEEE list, but Green Car Congress talks about an advanced evolution of the Mazda Demio with, "hybrid-like fuel consumption at a lower price." 

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    The Last Mile

    I like to promote cycling, but The Infrastructurist notes that in many cities it isn't even safe to walk next to the roads much less to bike in traffic: 

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    Sweating Details for the Solar Decathlon

    Here are the animated walkthroughs prepared by college teams for the 2011 Solar Decathlon, to be held in Washington DC from Sept 23rd through Oct 2nd. I put the animations that kept my interest first, and the ones that were less interesting farther down.

    Team New Jersey I like the assembly presentation of this one, the design, and the integration of music into the video.

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    Will Micro-Hybrids Catch On?

    Several automotive blogs -  Autoblog Green, Green Car Congress and GreenPowerTrain, below - have recently cited an announcement from battery maker PowerGenix:

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    Getting Around On Less Fuel

    Last week, lots of experts were predicting that lower oil prices would lead to lower fuel prices at the pumps this summer. I wondered about that because Tom Whipple had noted that gasoline stocks were very low. The Kansas City Star takes the fuel stocks story a bit further: 

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    Oil Crunch from ABC Down Under

    A Peak Oil special from Catalyst on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 

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    Innovation Trough + update

    With new gizmos, drugs and financial instruments appearing all the time, it certainly seems like technical and scientific innovation continues fast and furious from the 20th century.

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