Re: Re: Why hybrid cars?

Jim Woolsey’s talk is wonderfully logical and practical. I would respectful disagree on one point, i.e., the notion that cars are not part of "the problem." A major problem with cars is that the government pays subsidies that are so pervasive that we fail to recognize them (google "car subsidies"). Moreover, as the energy efficiency of cars increase so does the total distance traveled per person. If these subsidies were gradually withdrawn, we would be compelled (by market forces alone) to cease urban sprawl and build compact living/working spaces (as in arcologies) that would not require any cars. Walking is the ultimate form of transportation- reducing both cancer and cardiovascular disease. Walking will also help reduce the epidemic of childhood obesity that would otherwise bankrupt our health care system. Yes, in the old days I walked many miles to school through the snow.

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Increased air travel may decrease the chances of a global pandemic

The closer together we get, the argument goes, the healthier we'll be.

Surprising Science
  • The more exposed we are to each other, the less surprising a pathogen will be to our bodies.
  • Terrorism, high blood pressure, and staffing issues threaten to derail progress.
  • Pursuing global health has to be an active choice.
Keep reading Show less