Getting Over Car Culture

Question: Can cars ever be fully sustainable?

Felix Kramer: When we talk about cars and making cars cleaner, cheaper and so forth we don’t forget about the fact that we also want to reduce the use of cars. Every solution that involves alternative fuels, alternative energy has to start with conservation, using less, so in the United States we’re the only country whose freight is mostly delivered by truck instead of by rail and we can change that. People… Many people own big vehicles because for a week or two a year they need to bring a… tow a boat or something. They can rent the car. I’m really encouraged about the growth or car sharing and that whole idea. Many people don’t need to own two or three cars. They can own one car and the second and third car can be rented. There are a lot of solutions like that and in the long term smart communities and planning growth so that people can walk to work or take public transit to work. We need a much better public transit system than we have, but right now Americans are wedded to their cars and we have a responsibility to make those cars much better.

It’s one of America’s longest and most iconic love affairs, but even our most innovative approaches to sustainable transportation are futile if we can’t forget our irrational obsession with the open road.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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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
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Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
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