Tag Archives: united states

Historical World War II air map – Denver as the center of the universe

To understand this map, think of Denver as the center of the universe. Created during World War II when airplanes were becoming common. It was an “air age” that shrunk the world down to flyable chunks, and new maps were created to show distance – in one tank of gas or two.

 

From Mapping the Nation

 

source: Mapping the Nation

Global solar power surged in 2011 – 73% growth

2011 was a great year for solar power with an increase of 73.3% in generating power – the fastest growth since reporting began. Germany and Italy led that charge by installing 57.1% of the new power. Worldwide there is now 63.4 gigwatts (GW) of solar power – of which 29.3 GW were brought online in 2011.

In graphical terms that is exponential growth:

 

source: Smart Planet

 

Of course, Europe is leading the charge into solar having recently passed the 50GW milestone. Which makes the United States look tiny in comparison, having only recently surpassed the 4GW mark. We are just as far behind in wind power with Europe having 100GW and the United States at 50GW.

The good news is that both are rapidly constructing new installations – both solar and wind – and growing at an exponential pace.

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For more details and a graph of the United States’ exponential growth, visit Solar’s Dramatic Rise.

China launches its first aircraft carrier

But it’s used and has no planes. China bought the vessel in 1998 from Ukraine and had it refurbished – few details of its capabilities are known. But, from Reuters, “defense experts say it lacks the strike aircraft, weapons, electronics, training and logistical support it needs to become a fighting warship.” And so it will stay in the training fleet until they figure out how to land a plane on it.

The response has largely been mocking, from the Brisbane Times, ”if it is used against America, it has no survivability. If it is used against China’s neighbours, it’s a sign of bullying.” And those neighbors are the ones in the crossfire. Japan has disputed territory with China in the East China Sea and the Philippines are arguing over a shoal in the South China Sea.

Still, it is a sign of the rising military power of the Chinese – after all, only 9 countries have an aircraft carrier. Seven of them only have one, Italy has two, and the United Kingdom only uses theirs for helicopters. So the launch could be a symbol of pride, that the Chinese are equal to the other powers. But they have a long journey ahead to challenge the United States and our 11 aircraft carriers.

 

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Map of coal and oil-fired power plants in the United States

In 2010, coal-fired power plants represented 45% of the electricity generated in the United States and oil a smaller amount, 1%. Combined together they are the dominant air polluters and facing tough new restrictions from the EPA.

Unfortunately, they have a few years to clean-up and that doesn’t help if you live in one of the toxic twenty states. Visit the previous link to see how your state compares, or scan this map to see if any of the polluting power plants are close to you.

 

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Celebrating 40 years of Title IX with 40 amazing female athletes

Celebrating 40 years of Title IX

It simply reads:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

When it became law on June 23, 1972, Title IX changed the landscape of collegiate athletics.

Its impact over the last 40 years has been profound from coast-to-coast.

 

Such a great piece of legislation!

The perfect time to celebrate this landmark act after the woman of America so dominated the London 2012 Olympic Games.

My alma mater, UCLA, is writing about the 40 greatest women athletes since Title IX, and the list is quite impressive.

Among the athletes are Florence Griffith-Joyner (Flo-Jo), who according to Wikipedia is “considered the “fastest woman of all time” based on the fact that she still holds the world record for both the 100 metres and 200 metres, both set in 1988 and never seriously challenged.”

Jackie Joyner-Kersee (JJK), from Wikipedia, “ranked among the all-time greatest athletes in the women’s heptathlon as well as in the women’s long jump. Sports Illustrated for Women magazine voted Joyner-Kersee the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century.”

And, 40 more!

 

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A refreshing look at climate change in America – what are we doing about it?

A refreshing, well-balanced look at climate change in America.

 

You don’t have to be a climate scientist these days to know that the climate has problems. You just have to step outside.

The United States is now enduring its warmest year on record…Meanwhile, the country often seems to be moving further away from doing something about climate change, with the issue having all but fallen out of the national debate.

Behind the scenes, however, a somewhat different story is starting to emerge — one that offers reason for optimism to anyone worried about the planet. The world’s largest economies may now be in the process of creating a climate-change response that does not depend on the politically painful process of raising the price of dirty energy. The response is not guaranteed to work, given the scale of the problem. But the early successes have been notable.

Over the last several years, the governments of the United States, Europe and China have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on clean-energy research and deployment. And despite some high-profile flops, like ethanol and Solyndra, the investments seem to be succeeding more than they are failing.

 

Keep reading: N.Y. Times - There’s Still Hope for the Planet

 

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United States loans three satellites, worth $1 billion, to Mexico – MEXSAT

Did you know that America had an Export-Import Bank?

 

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) approved a $922 million loan guarantee to support the export of three satellites and related equipment to the Mexican government for the MEXSAT regional mobile satellite system. Mexico’s Secretariat of Communications and Transportation will purchase the satellites from Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, Calif. Boeing will produce two satellites with mobile service satellite (MSS) capacity and will subcontract a third satellite with fixed service satellite (FSS) capacity from Orbital Sciences Corporation in Dulles, Va.

The three satellites will be used to deploy the MEXSAT system, a next-generation, space-based communications platform that will help support social and economic development within Mexico. Various sectors will benefit from MEXSAT, including programs focusing on education, health care, disaster relief and rural telephonic service.

Mexico is one of Ex-Im Bank’s nine key markets and accounted for $8.3 billion of the Bank’s worldwide credit exposure at the end of FY 2011. In FY 2012 to date, the Bank has authorized approximately $1.8 billion in financing for U.S. exports to Mexico.

 

Source: Embassy of the United States in Mexico

 

 

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20% of America’s Olympic athletes come from San Diego

This has become the world’s five-ring capital, a place where the Olympic flame is more like a raging beach bonfire, a place that increasingly produces more Olympic athletes in more sports on a more regular basis per capita than anywhere else maybe on the planet. The 2012 Summer Games begin Friday in London, and San Diego — a city of 1.3 million, a county of 3.1 million — can claim 80 athletes who either grew up here or currently live and train here.

And that doesn’t include another two dozen rowers who have wintered on Lower Otay Reservoir for the past several years, which would push the number north of 100 — or roughly one in five members of the U.S. Olympic team. San Diego County has roughly one-hundredth of the U.S. population.

Jarred Rome, a discus thrower who moved here in 2003 and like Schmidt is headed to his second Olympics, put it like this: “When you’re around greatness, you become great.”

There are race walkers and kayakers, a fencer, an equestrian dressage rider, a track cyclist who cut her teeth on the oval in Balboa Park. The U.S. women’s field hockey team relocated here in 2008.

 

Keep reading: U-T San Diego - San Diego: America’s Olympic capital

 

 

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Tiffany & Co. celebrates 175 year anniversary with a new jeweler’s metal – Rubedo

A robin’s-egg-blue box never fails to elicit delight – the kind of unparalleled magic Tiffany & Co. has carefully created during the last 175 years. While the company has become synonymous with covetable jewels and memorable moments (who could forget Audrey Hepburn’s morning gnosh in front of the Fifth Avenue flagship in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?), its commitment to constant innovation is equally remarkable.

From Tiffany’s 1880s revamp of the Great Seal of the United States that’s printed on every dollar bill today, to tapping some of the world’s most renowned designers, to creating a new metal (the blue-hued Rubedo unveiled this year), Tiffany’s brand of elegance always seems perfectly suited to the times – with a little extra sparkle, of course.

So what’s next for the legendary jeweler? First, a celebration in the form of a magnificent new setting for the Tiffany Diamond, one of the largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds in the world. And in August, the design house will grace us with Enchant, the latest jewelry collection, inspired by the natural world. Here’s to another 175 years and many, many more blue boxes.

 

Source: Riviera Magazine – Rock On! Tiffany & Co. celebrates 175 years of legendary design

 

 

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The best sports photos of the week – Tough Mudder, Championship Hurdlers, Chinese Gymnastic schools for kids

Eric Futch of the United States prepares for the start of the 400-meter hurdles at the IAAF World Junior Championships on Wednesday, July 11 in Barcelona, Spain.

 

 

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