All posts for the month July, 2010
Posted by Gillies on July 31, 2010
China plans to build 13,000 km of high-speed rail lines by 2012, more than the rest of the world combined. Trains will travel at a maximum speed of 350 km an hour on 8,000 km of the track and at 250 km an hour on the rest. The Beijing-Shanghai line due to open next year will halve the travel time between the two cities to 5 hours.By 2020 the network will have expanded to 16,000 km, serving more than 90 percent of the population, at a total budgeted cost of 2 trillion yuan ($295.1 billion), according to the government’s blueprint.
Posted by Gillies on July 30, 2010
But part of what gets us through tough times is music, the arts, the ability to capture that essential kernel of ourselves, that part of us that sings even when times are hard.
Posted by Gillies on July 29, 2010
DOE announced on July 27 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between itself and the U.S. Department of Defense to accelerate clean energy innovation and enhance national energy security. Both agencies are committed to reducing U.S. vulnerabilities through improved efficiencies, reduced fossil fuel use, and on-site renewable power generation.
So NESI would identify weapons systems or other programs that are arguably unnecessary. NESI would propose that those programs be replaced by new programs in renewable energy. The new programs would be located in the the locality (city, state) where the work previously got done. The previous contractors would be eligible to run the new programs.
Take, example, the alternate engine for the F-35, a program that costs $2.9 billion. The Defense Department doesn’t want it, but politicians (and contractors) fight furiously to keep it alive. Under NESI, something like the alternate engine for the F-35 fighter jet would replaced by a renewable energy program, located in the same state and perhaps involving the same contractor (GE/Rolls Royce).
As I see it, the aim would be to distribute NESI money as evenly distributed as possible geographically. Each region of the country would build out its respective strengths in renewable energy. The Southwest would primarily do solar, the upper Midwest wind and biofuels, the Northeast and wind and tidal, and so on. Nonrenewable energy would not qualify. So no “clean coal” or nuclear.
I guess I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
Posted by Gillies on July 28, 2010
It’s too bad they took those tracks out. More interesting archival photos can be found at the DDOT Flickr page.
Compare with this shot of Pennsylvania Ave. in 2010:
Posted by Gillies on July 27, 2010
Posted by Gillies on July 26, 2010
Posted by Gillies on July 25, 2010
This one, which I recorded back in 2004, popped up on the iPod the other day.
Posted by Gillies on July 24, 2010
I really do appreciate my local transit authority, so I probably shouldn’t overdo the complaining. Still, the escalator issue is vexing. It’s hard to watch the system break down. This evening all the major escalators were busted at both my work stop and home stop. Here’s the scene at the latter at around 6pm:
Posted by Gillies on July 23, 2010
Although our Metrorail system has never been perfect, it has always been a marvel of architectural beauty and engineering achievement, and once was the envy of the nation for its cleanliness, comfort and efficiency.Sadly, that is no longer the case. Today, access to the system is made difficult by broken escalators and elevators all over the system; service can be slow and unpredictable; cars are dirty and crowded; air conditioning systems sometimes provide mediocre cooling in DC’s sweltering summer heat.
Posted by Gillies on July 22, 2010