Electric vehicle pioneer Chip Yates is upping the ante in the world of electric airplanes. Today, the world-record holder for electric motorcycles announced plans for an all-electric recreation of Charles Lindbergh’s famous trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. And Yates isn’t content with just retracing the path across the Atlantic. He’s betting that like Lindbergh’s, his airplane will fly non-stop to Paris. Yates plans on flying at least as fast as Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, and for added challenge and recreation authenticity, he’ll fly relatively low to avoid getting an extra push from the jet stream.
Yates is currently preparing an existing airplane to serve as a test bed for his electrical propulsion system. The airplane is a modified Long-EZ, an efficient design from the desk of Burt Rutan. The first flight of the electric test bed is expected in July. And because it’s a Chip Yates project, he plans to set speed and altitude records with the airplane while testing.
“You could fly this route today in an unmanned solar craft at 80,000 feet being blown over there by the Jetstream, or in something incredibly slow, or in a balloon,” Yates said in a press release, “but that doesn’t get our society any closer to realizing long-range, legitimate payload, electric flight capabilities that everybody can actually benefit from.”
…The rest of the world is continuing to demand more broadband, and the industry of undersea cables and long haul broadband providers has spent up to $5.5 billion to meet that demand with new cables coming online in 2012 and 2013, according to TeleGeography.
The analysis firm released its latest submarine cable map that shows all of the new pipelines as well as what carious countries use and prices along major routes. The trend is clear. The world is coming online and these cables are the lifeblood of that online awakening. From the report:
As demand for international bandwidth continues to increase—growing 45 percent in 2011 — operators around the world are upgrading their existing network infrastructure and making substantial investments in new cable construction.
This week, several great white sharks were spotted off the coast of Chatham, Mass., and two more near Cape Cod were swimming just 30 feet from the shore. One of the sharks was measured at 12 to 15 feet.
The summer months induce a chain reaction for shark sightings: Warm ocean temperatures entice more gray seals to the New England shores, and with more seals come more sharks.
The sharks have been paying more attention to New England the past few years because of the larger concentrations of gray seals, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries Researcher Greg Skomal said. The gray seal population off Cape Cod has grown from 10,000 to over 300,000 ever since environmental regulations were put in place to protect the seals.
The United States averages 16 shark attacks each year, with only one fatality every two years. According to the International Shark Attack File, you have a higher chance of being struck by lightning, which kills about 41 people a year.
Zimmerman said there hasn’t been a confirmed shark attack in Massachusetts since 1936.
Verizon already has 100Gbps (gigabit-per-second) connections over its optical core networks across continents. Now the carrier is bringing that speed to its metro networks, which enterprises tap into for high-speed data connections. The metro networks so far have been limited to 10Gbps or 40Gbps.
Though the carrier doesn’t expect many customers to start ordering 100Gbps connections soon, it is preparing for the future.
Verizon’s 100-gigabit U.S. backbone technology forms the basis of a high-speed, low-latency network for financial trades that was inaugurated between Chicago and New York last month. It can complete a stock trade in as little as 14.5 milliseconds, according to the carrier.
Verizon said it has begun to use the same general architecture for high-speed land-based networks that it already uses for its connections across oceans. That architecture, based on a mesh of cables, gives traffic across its core network more alternate routes to take if one cable breaks. This is a step up from a ring architecture, in which the network recovers by sending bits the other way around the ring if one spot on it is damaged.
Verizon already has mesh networks across the Pacific and across the Atlantic, each with eight alternate paths.
“The bicycle was regarded, more than most places in the world — as ‘good for society,’” he writes in an email. “After the bicycle boom in the late 1800s, many cycling clubs merged and then many of them merged again, morphing into cyclist ‘unions’, with political goals. What happened in most countries in the early 20th century was that sports cycling organizations were formed to further cycling as sport…. Not so in Denmark and the Netherlands. The cyclist unions — meaning organizations for promoting cycling as transport, etc. — stayed strong and separate and they gained political influence.”
Still, that didn’t stop planners from ripping out cycle tracks and starting to design streets for cars as Europe modernized in the wake of World War II. By the early 1960s, much of the cycling infrastructure that had existed in the pre-war era was gone, and the percentage of the population using bicycles for transportation fell to an all-time low of 10 percent.
Then history intervened. “The energy crisis in 1973 hit Denmark hard. Very hard,” writes Colville-Andersen. “Car-free Sundays were introduced in order to save fuel. Every second streetlight was turned off in order to save energy. A groundswell of public discontent started to form. People wanted to be able to ride their bicycles again — safely. Protests took place…. The energy crisis faded, but then returned in 1979. More protests. One form of protest/awareness was painting white crosses on the asphalt where cyclists had been killed. This time, things happened. We started to rebuild our cycle track network in the early 1980s. Fatalities and injuries started falling. The network was expanded.
This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through Decemeber 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.
This visualization was produced using NASA/JPL’s computational model called Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2.
ECCO2 is high resolution model of the global ocean and sea-ice. ECCO2 attempts to model the oceans and sea ice to increasingly accurate resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow-current systems which transport heat and carbon in the oceans.The ECCO2 model simulates ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization.
Another writer ponders the similarities to Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night:
What you’re looking at is the surface current flow (not anything deeper) of oceans around the world, recorded from 2006 to 2007. The white lines are the currents, and the darker blue colors of the water represent bathymetry (the fancy word for misnomer “ocean topography”).
The image is wondrous, isn’t it? I had no conception of how many massive whirlpools sit off the world’s coasts. It’s hard to imagine how difficult sea travel must have been to early explorers, trapped in currents without motors, relying only on wind, guts, and the stars to take them somewhere they’ve never seen before. Heck, it seems scary to undertake now.
And all this pontification is ignoring just how unthinkingly beautiful the visualization looks.
A recent study from the USDA released this map of farmers markets. Notice that the Northeast and West Coast dominate (dark blue).
From the report:
“Direct-to-consumer sales are highest in the Northeast, on the West Coast, and around a few isolated metropolitan areas throughout the country.”
“Farms with direct-to-consumer sales are most likely to have neighbors who also participate in direct sales—this is a neighborhood effect”
…choosy moms choose farmers markets and the whole neighborhood improves?
“The West Coast has a long-standing system of farmers’ markets and farmerto-grocers’ marketing channels dating back to the 1970s. Small-scale farmers began selling organic and high value-added niche foods to upscale restaurants in the late 1970s (now a national trend) and are now part of farm-to-school marketing arrangements.”
“Another U.S. hot spot for local food sales is the Atlantic seaboard, particularly the Northeast census division. Local food sales farms in the Northeast generated 14.4 percent of U.S. local food production.”