Tags: environment

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Treehugger: No recession for bicycle manufacturers.

Cars Down, Bikes Up

While high oil prices and an economic recession are hitting carmakers hard, bicycle makers are selling more than ever. "Giant Manufacturing, the world’s largest bicycle-maker, sold a record 460,000 units last month and is heading for its best year ever."

Demand is so high in certain places that there are even shortages. For example, it happened it New York City earlier this year, and in Taiwan, people pay deposits before the bikes are even off the assembly line. Read on for more details on why bikes are so hot.

The Economist on soaring bicycle sales.

Also, New York Times: A field guide to the New York City bicyclist (photo slideshow).

(x-posted to bikes)
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Permafrost beneath the Arctic seabed may be melting, releasing massive amounts of trapped methane gas into the atmosphere.

If this is true, this is very bad news.

The first evidence that millions of tons of a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide is being released into the atmosphere from beneath the Arctic seabed has been discovered by scientists.

In the past few days, the researchers have seen areas of sea foaming with gas bubbling up through "methane chimneys" rising from the sea floor. They believe that the sub-sea layer of permafrost, which has acted like a "lid" to prevent the gas from escaping, has melted away to allow methane to rise from underground deposits formed before the last ice age.

They have warned that this is likely to be linked with the rapid warming that the region has experienced in recent years.

Methane is about 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and many scientists fear that its release could accelerate global warming in a giant positive feedback where more atmospheric methane causes higher temperatures, leading to further permafrost melting and the release of yet more methane.

Via warrenellis
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Internet scrapings and offbeat news

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Internet scrapings, offbeat news and other oddities for tonight

Nigerian advises against having 86 wives like he did.
Uh, thanks for the heads up. Bonus: He's a Muslim preacher who credits God for giving him the strength to control them. Oh also, some of his wives are younger than some of his children. Speaking of which, none of them actually work including himself, and he claims God provides the food required to feed and support this massive family - although the article also says his kids beg on the streets for money. LULWUT

Cops drive 4,100 miles from Kentucky to California and back to arrest the wrong man, buy souvenirs on the way, finally realize they got the wrong man upon their return home. The guy they arrested then gave them free haircuts before the cops put him on a plane back. Okay: wat

German police confiscate the world's fastest office chair. It had a lawnmower engine and brakes and was spotted being tested on the streets.

Micropenis defense: The lawyers defending a doctor accused of flashing an undercover cop argue that he could not have actually flashed anyone because his junk is way too small to be plainly visible. Bonus: one of the lawyers' names is Dick.

How to un-Google yourself.

Why you shouldn't grow your weed right on your driveway.

Also, this is why you shouldn't have a fart-lighting contest next to cans of gasoline. Quote from responding fireman: "I think he may have won."

Woman decides to fight shotgun-armed, 6'5", 215-pound convenience store thief... and wins. She actually broke his shotgun during the fight.

Discovery of two-mouthed fish in Alberta fuels oil-sands pollution fears.
This hot on the heels of another Alberta woman who can literally set her tapwater on fire (with pic proof of water spouting a tall blue flame).
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4chan is down again :(

Hundreds of dead / dying baby penguins washing ashore in Argentinia. Also, Many more penguins are being killed off by sudden abnormal rainshowers.

Via ceciliacarnage: Amish people killed in car accident, on the way to a funeral. WAT

Burglar finds out the hard way that heating and ventilation shafts aren't really made as they appear in movies.

French tourist repeatedly smashes 4 year old daughter's head into Italian monument, then repeats process with own head. She's now in a coma.

And now, a knife with a trigger on its handle that releases frozen gas into the stab wound through it's exploding tip to freeze internal organs.

Dominican gang cuts out the middle man, run their own police operations. Dominican gangsters ran their own police network, spanning payment to informants, surveillance, impersonation of police raids complete with counterfeit squad cars, and ruthless interrogation. Fruits of the raids (including at least 1650 pounds of cocaine) were sold on the street. Favored torture techniques involved nut/plier technologies, hot irons, and of course, waterboarding.

State the obvious award: Egyptian men are assholes. Having grown up in the Middle East, I can verify that this is true and obvious for anyone that's met or has known more than one Egyptian man. It's like it's in their DNA or something, I don't know.

NASA needs urine.
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Quick note about some of the stuff I post here: Almost all of it is from the same few handful of sites most of you savvy weblurkers know about, but a lot of what I put up here are for the benefit of some of my friends who don't really know what the internet is about and would never hear about this neat stuff if I didn't tell them. So it's really for the benefit of some of the n00bs in my life.

That said, here's today's dose of amusing internet miscellanea:

The incredible storm water management system under Japan.

A new Hindu temple complex under construction in California will run entirely on solar power and even return electricity back to the grid.

In case you haven't heard yet, Shelby Supercars are builing an electric version of their Veyron-challenging supercar, The SSC Ultimate Aero.
Current plans are for a 500 HP electric engine, but may include TWO 500 HP electric engines together in one car for a ridiculous 1000 plus HP.

Man with elementary school education builds a one man submarine all by himself out of scrap metal and oil drums.

17 amazing electric cars from 2005 to the present day that you must know about.
Pictured is the amazing eight wheeled monster, the Eliica from Japan, capable of a Bugatti Veyron-esque top speed of 400 kmph (250 mph), 0 to 60 mph (o to 100 kmph) in 4 seconds, and it sound like a ferocious jet engine or UFO when it hits higher speeds. Conversely, Criticisms of the GM EV-1, the car at the heart of the documentary Who Killed The Electric Car.

13 things your waiter won't tell you.

20 abandoned cities and towns.

The hottest sauces in the world. I've survived a taste of Dave's Insanity Sauce.

About the amazing, intensely claustrophobic, lightless, lawless, anarchistic Kowloon Walled City, at one point the most densely populated square mile on planet Earth by quite a margin.
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As much as I love Top Gear, the recent episode one of series 11 made me RAAAAAGE when it raced a Prius around the track with a BMW behind it and proved the BMW was more fuel efficient. Then later Jeremy Clarkson dropped the mention that thanks to its heavy batteries, a Prius actually causes more environmental damage than an H2 Hummer, that tired old myth.

First of all, running a Prius at full speed around a racetrack isn't the same as being stuck in stop and go rush hour traffic for hours, like most normal people are, which is why the Prius showed inferior mileage to a BMW, which is a car designed to run really fast.

Secondly, I'm tried of hearing this bullshit about how the Prius "causes more environmental damage" than a Hummer (among many, many other bullshit myths).

Talk about beleiving in something out of sheer effort and desire for it to be true.

So anyway, this link should clear things up so I don't have to type out a long incoherent rant.

Off I go to chug breakfast.
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Torrent links to stuff I've been watching lately and thought I'd share.

Who Killed The Electric Car?
is a 2006 documentary film that explores the birth, limited commercialization, and subsequent death of the battery electric vehicle in the United States, specifically the General Motors EV1 of the 1990s. The film explores the roles of automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, the US government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles, and consumers in limiting the development and adoption of this technology. in 2006, director Chris Paine announced that he would be making a sequel called Who Saved the Electric Car. Wikipedia article.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price is a 2005 documentary film by director Robert Greenwald. The film presents an unfavorable picture of Wal-Mart's business practices through interviews with former employees, small business owners, and footage of Wal-Mart executives. Wikipedia article.

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism is a 2004 documentary film that criticises the Fox News Channel, and its owner, Rupert Murdoch, claiming that the channel is used to promote and advocate right-wing views. The film says this pervasive bias contradicts the channel's claim of being "Fair and Balanced", and argues that Fox News has been engaging in what amounts to consumer fraud. Wikipedia article.

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is a 2006 documentary about the ongoing Iraq War and the behavior of companies with no-bid contracts working within Iraq. Specifically, the film claims four major contractors - Blackwater, K.B.R.-Halliburton, CACI and Titan - are over-billing the U.S. government and doing substandard work while endangering the lives of American soldiers and private citizens. The documentary contends these companies are composed of ex-military and ex-government workers who unethically help their companies get and keep enormous contracts and milk the American taxpayer. The film crew interviews military servicemen, watchdog group affiliates, and former employees of Halliburton. Wikipedia article.

George Carlin: It's Bad for Ya (2008)George Carlin's last stand up show on March of this year.

Russell Peters: Outsourced (2006) Stand-up comedy by the west's most successful Anglo-Indian comedian. Wikipedia article on Russell Peters.

Taxi to the Dark Side.
2008 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary exploring the capture, detention, torture and death of an innocent Afghani taxi driver at the hands of American soldiers, as well as exploring America's policies on torture and interrogation in general. In a move similar to how they treated Beirut to Bosnia, The Discovery Channel bought the rights to the film and then opted never to air it. HBO then bought it from them, after which Discovery changed their minds and said they would also air it, however at a date after George Bush was no longer in office. Wikipedia article.

No End in Sight
is a documentary film that focuses on the two year period following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The film asserts that serious mistakes made by the Bush administration during that time were the cause of ensuing problems in Iraq, such as the rise of the insurgency, a lack of security and basic utilities for many Iraqis, sectarian violence and, at one point, the risk of complete civil war. Rotten Tomatoes gave this film 97% positive ratings, and Metacritic gave it an average score of 89 out of 100. Wikipedia article.

These last two I downloaded a long while ago, but thought I'd throw them up here anyway.

Outsourced is a cross-cultural comedy about a Seattle-based call center who is fired and ordered to go to India to train his own replacement at the company's new call center there. Completely oblivious, India does to him what it does to most hapless outsiders, and this movie captures the cultural clash and ensuing hilarity. An enjoyable, sweet movie. Wikipedia article.

Zeitgetist The Movie
is a 2007 documentary film produced by Peter Joseph about the Jesus myth hypothesis, the attacks of 9/11, and the Federal Reserve Bank as well as a number of conspiracy theories related to those three main topics. It was released free online via Google Video in June of 2007. A remastered version was presented as a global premiere on November 10, 2007 at the 4th Annual Artivist Film Festival & Artivist Awards. Wikipedia article.

Happy downloading :D