Archives For June 2008
In order to survey the impact of massive solar power plants on the environment and wildlife, the federal government is freezing new solar projects on public land for two years! Buying private land is way more expensive for startups than leasing public land.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe the Bush administration has demonstrated more than its share of incompetence. But they semm to have no problem dismissing environmental concerns when it comes to allowing the drilling of oil on public lands, but when it comes to letting the green competetion use that land for solar farms they impose a 2 year freeze to study the problem! Give me a break. This is more than incompetance, this smells like corruption. As a citizen and taxpayer, my vote counts for 1/300 millionth of the US public lands (which I think in this case is mostly desert right? where the sun is always shining.) I say, let them use the land. In fact, let them use it for free and get tax deductions. All of which will help to make this profitable and my energy bill lower and my air cleaner. (Read the story on the NYT)
When I rent a car these days I try to rent a prius. I love gliding silently through the streets, pulling up to fast food windows and not having to shout over the rumble of an engine. Imagine if we could fly in such silent style. Imagine if the airplane was as quiet as a library. This painting made we wish for that. It is a painting by “futurist” Syd Mead who also worked on movies like Blade Runner, Tron and Aliens—but in his most recent work he envisions a future city by the name of Doha, Qatar.
I think we have the building architecture down. But somebody has got to get to work on these wonderful flying machines.
Technically, blimps are soft-body-inflatable aircraft – these are more like zeppelins, rigid-body-lighter-than-air craft. Either way, I would except the longer commutes if I could have a conversation without losing my voice and hearing.
Shared by Ben Shoemate
A few years ago,I lost my ID on my way to Las Vegas. (It turns out I left it on the plane and got it back 6 weeks later with $200 cash still inside. Thanks Southwest!) But I had to fly from Las Vegas to LA, LA back to Las Vegas, and Vegas to Houston with no ID that week. I ended up going through security faster without ID! In Vegas, if do not have ID, the airline will write NO ID – on the ticket. The guard checking IDs will point you to a special line where they “puff test” you for explosives, open all your bags, and xray them. But this line had 5 people in it. The normal line had hundreds! I was though security in 5 mins versus 30!
Consumerist’s Meg Marco sez, “One of our readers describes flying with no ID under the new TSA policy, first hand:”
After about 15 minutes, the main supervisor, Laurie, arrived. Again, Laurie was exceedingly nice and professional, but seemed a little more concerned than Brenda. She asked if I was sure I didn’t have photo ID, like a credit card with my picture on it, or even a CostCo card. I wound up going through my wallet in front of her to show that I didn’t, and she pointed to various cards and receipts in it to ask if they were IDs. I wound up showing her everything to prove I was telling the truth. She repeatedly said they had no way of “verifying” that I was who I said I was, and that someone could have stolen my credit card and traveled under my name. I didn’t want to mention that they shouldn’t need to verify who I am, because I was afraid they could then say I wasn’t cooperating and deny travel on that ground. In fact, I even mentioned several times that I wanted to fully cooperate with them because I was aware that was a component of the new regulation, and they assured me that I was.
Finally satisfied that I didn’t have ID, Laurie took my boarding pass and went away. She came back a few minutes later having photocopied it, and also had an affidavit that she requested I sign. It asked for my name and address, and stated in small print at the bottom that I did not have to fill it out, but if I didn’t I couldn’t fly. It also said that if I choose to fill it out and then provided false info, I would be in violation of federal law.