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Lightning electric motorcycle bests gas-powered bikes at Pikes Peak


Lightning electric motorcycle bests gas-powered bikes at Pikes Peak

By Myriam Joire posted Jul 1st, 2013 at 2:43 AM

With 156 turns over its 12.42 miles (19.99 km) course and elevation changes ranging from 4,720 ft (1,440 m) to 14,110 ft (4,300 m), Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most grueling races in the world for both humans and machines. It's particularly challenging for gas-powered vehicles, since the air contains less oxygen at higher altitudes. As a result, electric cars and motorcycles have gained popularity at the event in recent years. In fact, 2013 marks the first time an electric bike's beaten its gas-powered rivals, with Carlin Dunne and Lightning Motorcycles finishing the race in 10 minutes 0.694 seconds -- ahead of Bruno Langlois who managed 10 minutes and 21.323 seconds on a Ducati Multistrada 1200 S. While electric vehicles are expected to dominate Pikes Peak in the near future, it's going to take a few more years before autonomous cars win the event.

Image Credit: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber
SOURCE: Asphalt & Rubber

LDP only party to oppose zero nuclear policy in public debate

Source: Japan Daily Press

While the Liberal Democratic Party seeks to stand out from its competition in the upcoming Upper House elections, this is one issue that may actually hurt them. In a public debate on June 29, the ruling party was the only one among nine who opposes a zero nuclear policy.

The debate in Osaka gathered all the parties that will be competing in the upcoming elections on July 21 to discuss various issues, like economic policy and constitutional revision. When asked whether they favor a future in which Japan has no nuclear plants operating at all, LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba was the lone voice who voted “No”. He defended his vote by saying that if there are no nuclear plants, there would be a noticeable increase in energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions. He says this would also further worsen the country’s trade balance. He says the government “cannot make responsible political decisions,” unless they take into consideration the negative aspects of a zero nuclear policy.

But Yasuko Komiyama, the Diet affairs committee chairperson for the People’s Life Party, begs to disagree. He says that once they have decided to permanently shut down all nuclear reactors in the country, then they will focus on research and development into alternative sources of sustainable energy. Tadatomo Yoshida, acting secretary-general for the Social Democratic Party believes that the fact that only 2 out of 50 nuclear reactors are online proves that the country can survive on electricity “without operating any nuclear reactors.”

Anti-nuclear sentiment has been spreading across the country ever since the 2011 meltdown in Fukushima, the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. While the government shut down 48 of the country’s nuclear reactors due to safety concerns, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the LDP have been actively seeking to restore the offline reactors. Four electric power companies are expected to apply to restart 12 nuclear reactors when the Nuclear Regulation Authority enforces the new safety standards by July 8.

Read more: http://japandailypress.com/ldp-only-party-to-oppose-zero-nuclear-policy-in-public-debate-0131451

Vt. AG asks for status in California nuke case


Vt. AG asks for status in California nuke case

By BOB AUDETTE / Reformer Staff
Posted: 06/28/2013 03:00:00 AM EDT
Friday June 28, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The attorneys general of Vermont and New York have joined a national environmental group in criticizing the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission's response to a nuclear plant closing in California.

Last month, the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruled that restarting a troubled reactor at the San Onofre plant could not go forward without extensive public hearings. Plant owner Southern California Edison then decided to close the plant down. Last week, the NRC moved to vacate the safety board ruling.

Now Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has joined his New York counterpart, Eric Schneiderman, and the green group Friends of the Earth in criticizing that move.

The attorneys general are asking that they be allowed friend of the court status because both states “have fundamental and longstanding concerns about the development of fair and transparent decisionmaking … within the (NRC),” stated the June 24 filing.


Via http://fairewinds.org/media/in-the-news/vt-ag-asks-for-status-in-california-nuke-case

Stevie Wonder Talks Upcoming Symphonic, Gospel Albums


Stevie Wonder Talks Upcoming Symphonic, Gospel Albums

June 26, 2013 1:57 PM

Stevie Wonder discussed a couple of upcoming albums on Saturday night (June 22), as mingled with fellow musicians at the Hollywood Bowl Opening Night Gala Saturday (June 22), where he inducted pal John Legend into the venue’s hall of fame and revealed details on some upcoming projects.


“Gospel Inspired By Lula, [is] a gospel album I’m doing in tribute to my mother,” Wonder said in the interview. “I promised her I would do it. She always wanted me to do it before she passed away, the untimely passing away. We’ve been working on some songs and some ideas. So we’re going to complete that as well.”

Wonder emphasized that he hopes to spread the word of gospel to all his fans, regardless of faith or religion, and even intends to perform a song in Arabic.

“I’m going to twist it all up in different ways, because I think everyone needs to hear the word of the gospel,” he said. “The word of gospel really is love and it really is about people following the word, whether they read the Quran, the Torah or the Bible, whatever they read. At the end of the day, whatever you read, you know the god you believe in talking about people loving one another. It’s not about the religion – it’s about the relationship that you have with the one you serve and you worship.”


Protest at Enbridge's Hamilton site ends with 18 arrests

Source: CBC News (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Eighteen protesters were arrested at the Enbridge pumping station in rural Hamilton on Wednesday morning, ending a six-day-long occupation of the site by a group that opposes changes to how it's used.


"They had told the police liaisons they would give people a chance to leave," Gayle said. "They didn't. They started arresting people who wanted to leave. That was surprising because of what we had been told by police."


Freelance journalist Tim Groves was with the group overnight and woke up to a commotion just before 7 a.m.

"It was all really fast, then I just started packing up my bags and almost immediately the police were there, and the first thing I saw was them handcuffing people."


Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2013/06/26/hamilton-enbridge-arrests.html



JUNE 26, 2013


CONTACT: 1-226-678-8903 (on-site); Syed Hussan, 416-453-3632, [email protected] (off-site)

(Hamilton, ON) -- Hamilton Police moved on to the #SwampLine9 protest action in Ontario this morning mass arresting almost everyone on site including activists further up the street and the police liaison.

Activists have been occupying an Enbridge pumping station north of Hamilton, Ontario early Thursday morning. This action, dubbed Swamp Line 9, aims to prevent construction on Line 9 and block the transport of Tar Sands through Ontario and Quebec. This action is also part of the Idle No More campaign Sovereignty Summer.

News is developing. Much of the photographic evidence was seized but some video footage will be coming soon.


"This pipeline puts the health of drinking water of millions of people at risk of an oil spill yet Enbridge used the courts and police to arrest 20 people who wanted to protect their lives and our future.

This was a political action. We demand the immediate release of those arrested and insist that their charges be dropped.

The police went above and beyond the limits of the court order by arresting people off the property - people who were on the side walk, and even the police liaison who was on the street. This heavy-handed tactic comes at the heels of Hamilton police receiving over $44,000 from Enbridge recently.

Destructive Enbridge projects across Ontario, and Tar Sands projects across the country will continue to be resisted."


Press Statement on Injunction, June 25: http://swampline9.tumblr.com/post/53851715699/swamp-line-9-press-conference-statement
Media Advisory on Injunction: http://swampline9.tumblr.com/post/53838872671/swamp-line-9-locks-down-and-rallies-after-receiving
Solidarity Action in Support of Line 9: https://www.facebook.com/notes/swamp-line-9/update-swampline9-continues-support-actions-in-13-cities-sovsummer/191416174354528




Gil Levin on The Space Show

Good interview, he designed one of the Mars Viking experiments which detected life on Mars in 1976.


Broadcast 2034 (Special Edition) Listen to the show!
Aired on June 23rd, 2013
Guest: Dr. Gilbert Levin

Guest: Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin. Topics: Mars Viking lander, search for Martian life, organics, & needed experiments.


Note that about 1 hour six minutes 20 seconds into this program, we had a power fluctuation for about 30 seconds. Please excuse the interruptions in our recording as a result of the brief outage.

We welcomed Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin to the program for this 1 hour 25 minute broadcast. For more information, please visit Dr. Levin's website, www.gillevin.com.

We started our interview with a question from Leonard David asking "why is NASA running away from answering the life on Mars question?" Dr. Levin said he had been asking the same question for 37 years and suggested several reasons including no organics, thus no life, religion, a conspiracy theory, and the most likely scenario in that such an announcement would delay or possibly prohibit human flights to Mars. Dr. Levin went into more detail on each of these reasons, then later in the discussion Doug called in and suggested another reason, the fear of failure.

Dr. Levin talked about his experiments during this segment, the results so far, and the meaning. He was asked many listener questions including one about perchlorates on Mars, liquid water, and searching for life via other Mars instruments including Curiosity. Sandra emailed in a question about the religious paradigm he had mentioned earlier and Curt asked a series of questions including the subject of radiation. We talked about the private sector taking on more and more of the Mars searching for life missions, then Dr. Levin talked about the need for a fresh look at the Viking data by a truly objective panel. He said all of the data was online and accessible. John called with a series of questions/comments just before our break.

In the second segment, we talked about Complexity Analysis & the Wave Guide Theory. Several questions came in regarding the Viking Labeled Release Experiments, then Gil was asked if initially he had anticipated the level of controversy resulting from Viking. A listener asked about detecting DNA like molecules on Mars and Gil explained why DNA would not work.

Many other topics & issues were discussed including his patents & other research so don't miss this interview. We also talked about using Kickstarter to fund a fresh, objective look at the Viking data. Post your comments/questions on TSS blog per above. You can email Dr. Levin at the address he provided at the end of the program. You can also see his Mars papers and work on his website.

About our guest...

Dr. Gilbert Levin

A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Gilbert V. Levin graduated from Forest Park High School and entered the Johns Hopkins University School of Engineering in 1941. In 1944, during World War II, in his junior year, he joined the U.S. Maritime Service, where he trained as a shipboard radio operator. After serving on various merchant ships in the Atlantic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Pacific and Indian Ocean combat zones, Levin left the service in 1946. He returned to Hopkins where he obtained his B.E. in Civil Engineering in 1947 and his M.S. in Sanitary Engineering in 1948.

He then served as public health engineer in the health departments of Maryland, California and the District of Columbia before joining Dr. Louis McCabe, former Director of the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District, in founding Resources Research Inc., an environmental consulting and research firm, in 1955. While still working at the company, Levin went back to Hopkins as a full-time student and obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering in 1963.

In 1967, following the sale of the company, Levin founded Biospherics Research Inc. (now Spherix Inc.), where he was CEO and President until 2003, and served as Chairman of the Board until 2007. He retired from the Company in 2008. In 2007, he was appointed Adjunct Professor in the Beyond Center of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences of the Arizona State University. In 2011, Dr. Levin was made Honorary Professor in the Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology of Buckingham University in the UK.

Among Dr. Levin’s inventions are low-calorie sweeteners, therapeutic drugs, including one that passed Phase 3 Clinical Trial for type 2 diabetes, several drug uses of the rare sugar tagatose, radioisotope methods for the rapid detection and identification of microorganisms, the application of the firefly bioluminescent ATP assay to microbial detection and to the measurement of biomass, safe-for-humans pesticides, and wastewater treatment processes including biological nutrient removal, along with the associated instrumentation and equipment.

His innovative approaches to detecting microbial life led NASA to award him a series of contracts to develop methods for the detection of extraterrestrial life in spacecraft missions. Dr. Levin was appointed by NASA to a committee to recommend experiments for the Biosatellite Mission. NASA also asked him to serve on its Planetary Quarantine Advisory Panel. He then became Principal Investigator for a study of NASA’s still-pending Mars Sample Return Mission. Dr. Levin was a Team Member on the Goddard Space Flight Center’s IRIS Experiment flown aboard Mars Mariner 9 in 1971 to study the atmosphere of Mars.

Based on his sensitive radioisotope microbial detection method, Dr. Levin proposed to NASA and was selected for the Viking Mission to Mars. He was designated Experimenter of the Viking Labeled Release life detection experiment which landed on Mars in 1976. The experiment got positive responses at both Viking landing sites. However, a consensus did not accept his results as proof of life. After years of study, in 1997 Dr. Levin concluded that the experiment had, indeed, detected life on the red planet, and published his conclusion.

Subsequent findings of environmental conditions on Mars and research on organisms found in extreme environments on Earth have been consistent with his claim. Pursuing the life issue, Dr. Levin was a member of the Scientific Instrument Team for NASA’s experiment on the ill-fated Russian ’96 Mars Mission. He has since developed, proposed and published on a Chiral LR life detection experiment as a way to remove any doubt about the original Mars LR results.

He has published over 150 papers in scientific and technology journals, and has been awarded more than 50 patents for his inventions. A Trustee Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Levin is a member of its National Engineering Advisory Council, and has served on its National Library and National Industrial Advisory Councils. His awards include the Distinguished Alumnus Medal from Johns Hopkins, the Public Service Medal from NASA, the Newcomb-Cleveland Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the IR-100 Award from Industrial Research Magazine. He is a Member of the Sigma Xi, is listed in Who’s Who in America, and is a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC.

(The original is a wall-of-text, I broke it out into paragraphs to make it more readable.)

Comments and questions can be posted to http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/dr-gilbert-gil-levin-sunday-6-23-13/

I will be walking across the tar sands: Not as protest, but as a path to healing


I will be walking across the tar sands: Not as protest, but as a path to healing

The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jun. 21 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

I was arrested on the front lines of Clayoquot Sound, I have marched in climate protests in Ottawa, Washington, Copenhagen and Durban, South Africa. I have sat in the board rooms of major corporations arguing the merits of taking action to protect the planet. But now I find myself on the precipice of what feels like a new experience.

On July 5 and 6 I will be walking a 14-kilometer road through the tar sands, supporting the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations, Keepers of the Athabasca, and the people who live in the region as they take time to heal from the devastation caused by reckless tar sands development.

Unlike other times that I have toured the oil sands, this time I will not be there to do research, to do media interviews or get new photos or videos of the devastation. I will just be there. Quietly walking with my teenage niece.

Unlike many of the other things I have done in my life, this is not a protest. This is a spiritual event where elders will lead us through traditional ceremonies designed to heal the people and the land that is in peril.


The First Nations I have spoken to want to find a way to have economic development in their communities and to protect the land and water that sustains them. To open the dialogue on how to do this, the Keepers of the Athabasca and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations have invited Minister Joe Oliver and Premier Alison Redford to come to the tar sands and walk the land, breath the air, and drink the water that the local people deal with every day. So far over 7000 people across Canada have also sent invitations.

I urge Minister Oliver and Premier Redford and MPs and MLAs of all parties to join the Healing Walk and walk a mile on the shoes of the First Nations and Metis of Northern Alberta. Maybe then we will be able to stop falling into the perpetual trap of the jobs-versus-environment argument that has plagued this country for far too long, and we can start working on creating good jobs and a healthy environment.


The Tar Sands Healing Walk: http://www.healingwalk.org/tarsands

link problem


LDP's Takaichi retracts death toll comment after sparking anger in Fukushima


LDP's Takaichi retracts death toll comment after sparking anger in Fukushima

June 19, 2013

Amid calls for her resignation and growing outrage in Fukushima Prefecture, the ruling party’s policy chief on June 19 apologized for saying the Fukushima nuclear disaster has not directly caused any deaths.


Politicians and families of people who died in the evacuation process described Takaichi’s June 17 comment as insensitive, baffling and inaccurate.


Takaichi later said she wanted to emphasize that no one has died due to radiation exposure from the Fukushima disaster. But opposition party leaders said Takaichi was missing the point.


Mizuho Fukushima, leader of the Social Democratic Party, was more blunt.

“The LDP, which has promoted nuclear power, is most responsible for the Fukushima accident,” she said. “(Takaichi’s remark) was outrageous. She should resign her post as the policy chief.”


The LDP’s Fukushima prefectural chapter filed a protest to the party headquarters on June 19, demanding Takaichi retract her remark and apologize.


UK's nuclear clean-up programme to cost billions more than expected

Source: Guardian

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority declines to predict final lifetime clean-up cost amid fears total bill could exceed £100bn

The public body charged with overseeing the dismantling of Britain's network of atomic power and research stations will reveal on Monday that its estimates for the lifetime cost of the programme has risen by billions of pounds.

Despite this, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) will say in its annual report that it is getting to grips with the clean-up problem because the rate of cost growth is slowing year-on-year.

Yet the soaring costs will alarm industry critics at a time when the government is trying to encourage construction of a new generation of atomic power plants while plans to construct a permanent home for high-level radioactive waste are stalled.

In the NDA's 2011 annual report the provisional cost of dealing with the UK's nuclear legacy was put at £53bn, compared with a 2010 figure of £49bn. The new number in the 2012 set of accounts is expected to be around £55bn. But under previous accounting methods, the figure historically used has risen to well over £80bn with some predicting the final bill could exceed £100bn.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/23/britain-nuclear-atomic-clean-up-decommissioning

Via https://twitter.com/DrHCaldicott/status/348975347632574464
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