Friday, December 10, 2010

What I've Been Reading and Watching This Week, 12/10

1. In this Grist article entitled "Confessions of a recovering engineer," Charles Marohn explains why the priorities of the general public when it comes to street design are fundamentally at odds with the factors first considered by the professionals who design them, and the consequences this disconnect has for road safety.

2. In this Brown Daily Herald Op-Ed, my good friend and fellow environmental leader at Brown, Spencer Lawrence, spells out why fighting climate change is the greatest challenge of the 21st Century and why you should pitch in even if you could care less about tree-hugging.

3. The CNN clip above highlights a small house in Tokyo the size of a parking space. In a city where density is already high and space is limited, seemingly extreme measures like these are necessary for further growth. (Seriously, it doesn't take long cruising around Google Earth to figure out that Tokyo may have just used about every square foot available.)

4. The above video is also about reducing something's typical scale, but instead of a house the size of a car, it's a car the size of a, well, small refrigerator. From the geniuses at TopGear (the BBC version, the US one is pretty awful), 6-foot-4 Jeremy Clarkson drives this Peel P50 microcar to, and through, BBC headquarters. You have to see it to believe it.

5. According to this TreeHugger article, Rhode Island may become home to the first offshore wind farm in the United States, boasting 200 turbines and a 1,000 Megawatt capacity with transmission lines stretching from Massachusetts to New York. This project is one of the largest in development anywhere in the world.

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