Archive for July 2008

Defective By Design: Cycling in Seattle

Jul 26th, 2008 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Transit

East Aloha street is the city’s designated route for cyclists to get East and West across Northern Capitol Hill.

Roll that in your mind, if you’re prone to think the Critical Mass people were asking for it.



If Obama Were My New Bicycle

Jul 24th, 2008 | By | Category: 2008

Obama’s post-clinching pander-fest failed to improve his prospects for November, at least according the the polls.



Wind Power

Jul 23rd, 2008 | By | Category: Energy, Featured Articles, Lead Article

For wind power, consistency is everything. The rub is, all of the pollutants we’ve added to the atmosphere are changing how the atmosphere interacts with sunlight in difficult to predict ways. Our continued belching out of greenhouse gasses makes building a wind farm increasingly risky (and therefore less attractive) than building a fossil fuel plant.



Purdue LED Us to More Efficient Lighting, Less Mercury

Jul 21st, 2008 | By | Category: Environmental

Longtime readers know of my aversion to compact fluorescent lightbulbs. LED (light emanating diodes) have a similar energy efficiency to fluorescent bulbs with a far friendlier environmental impact, but much higher cost as they currently require sapphire. Purdue scientists have figured out a way around this problem.



Carbon-Free Energy

Jul 18th, 2008 | By | Category: Energy, Featured Articles, Lead Article

If we’re going to replace fossil fuels, we should understand why they’ve become such a central part of human life and civilization. Because, fossil fuels are pretty damn amazing.



Every Visit to the Seattle Central Library Reminds Me of the Cheese Shop Sketch

Jul 18th, 2008 | By | Category: Where I'm Writing

“Customer: It’s not much of a cheese shop, is it? Owner: Finest in the district! Customer: (annoyed) Explain the logic underlying that conclusion, please. Owner: Well, it’s so clean, sir! Customer: It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese….”



Science, Trashed

Jul 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Dear Science Column

What happens to biodegradable trash in a landfill? Entombed deeply in a landfill, your biodegradable trash is forced to degrade without oxygen, creating copious amounts of methane gas. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas, far worse than carbon dioxide. If you’re sending something to a landfill, it’s better for the planet if it never degrades. […]



What Bush Got Wrong on Stem Cells

Jul 17th, 2008 | By | Category: Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Featured Articles

Everything.



Congratulations, Taxpayer, On Eating That Shit Sandwich For Us.

Jul 16th, 2008 | By | Category: Economics, Featured Articles, Lead Article

The bailout of Bear Stearns was a mere appetizer to the cliff we’re falling over now.

Market theory would tell us the government should not intervene–these institutions should be allowed to fail, the unwise investments allowed to collapse and the money to be lost. At the last height of Laissez-faire economic policy, in the 1920′s, that was the plan. The institutions were allowed to collapse one-by-one, causing the Great Depression.

That didn’t work out so well. In the 1930′s, sifting through the rubble of the US economy, the next plan was regulation.

We’re now left in the worst situation: Propping up failing deregulated markets with taxpayer dollars.



The Success of the War on Drugs.

Jul 1st, 2008 | By | Category: Public Health

For our little war on drugs, we’ve willfully ignored vast chunks of the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments. We might imprison the highest percentage of the population and the greatest absolute number of people in the world–leaving #2 China deep in our dust in this one measure–but, surely, our population is one of the most […]