fastcompany
fastcompany:

There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels. 
The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground). 
More…

fastcompany:

There are a lot of roads just sitting there in the sun, doing nothing with all that energy. Why not use them to collect it? Introducing the Solar Roadway, a road built out of solar panels. 

The road is made of three parts: a hard-wearing translucent top-layer with the solar cells, LED lights (for road markings) and a heating element (to keep off snow and ice); an electronics layer to control lighting and communications; and a base plate layer that distributes power to nearby homes and businesses (and perhaps electric vehicle charging stations). Plus, there’s a channel at the edge to collect and filter run-off water (including anti-freeze and other chemicals that normally leeches into the ground). 

More…

ccindecision
Mitt Romney appeared like a kid who showed up for his science project and the teacher said, ‘Explain it,’ and Mitt couldn’t do it. His ‘dad,’ Paul Ryan, explained it to him, but Mitt didn’t get it… That’s why we lost the last election.

- Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), on why Mitt Romney lost the election.

No, Mitt Romney lost because he was the kid who insisted that 47% of the science fair geeks had their model volcanoes made by the government.

(via ccindecision)
lrmartinjr

lrmartinjr:

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s back when it comes to GreenTech Automotive’s choice of Mississippi over Virginia for a manufacturing plant. As he runs for governor this year, McAuliffe has been frequently challenged about the decision to have the electric car company build its vehicles in the Delta rather than the state he wants to lead. Republicans have seized on his claim Virginia economic development officials were cool to the project — records show state officials had interest and unanswered questions as they evaluated the company’s business pitch in 2009. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli contends McAuliffe’s conflicting comments about the car company undercut his election argument that his business experience positions him to be governor. Bolling is more understanding. “I certainly couldn’t criticize Mr. McAuliffe and GreenTech about taking the project to Mississippi,” Virginia second-ranking Republican said in an interview Monday. “The truth is Mississippi offered them a very attractive incentive package … . Virginia would have been unlikely to match.”

Source: The Virginian-Pilot

"A week after a blast at a Texas fertilizer plant killed at least 15 people and hurt more than 200, authorities still don’t know exactly why the West Chemical and Fertilizer Company plant exploded.

Here’s what we do know: The fertilizer plant hadn’t been inspected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration since 1985. Its owners do not seem to have told the Department of Homeland Security that they were storing large quantities of potentially explosive fertilizer, as regulations require. And the most recent partial safety inspection of the facility in 2011 led to $5,250 in fines.”

This just makes too much sense.

The Steelers are the second best drafting team and the Redskins are one of the worst. Actually point #3 talks specifically about the ‘Skins major issues in the draft:

"Thanks to their penchant for trading picks in exchange for overvalued-and often unproductive-veterans, the Redskins have made the second-fewest picks per draft (6.8( , and their Expected AV per year is the lowest in the NFL over this span (102.5)

Which is partly why I’m still a Mike Shanahan fan (although I disagree strongly with how he handled RG3 late in the season). The man at least understands that the draft is important… or at least so far. 

Your Most Ridiculous Quote of the Week: “Guns, Gays and Immigration - it’s too much”

The opening to Ezra Klein’s wonkblog this morning is really, really, good: 

“Guns, gays and immigration — it’s too much,” an unnamed Senate Democrat reportedlytold the White House. “I can be with you on one or two of them, but not all three.” Judging from President Obama’s comments over the last two days, he didn’t find this particular excuse persuasive.

But it does seem to be the rationalization du jour on the Hill. I heard it from pro-gun bill staffers who said, hopefully, that the breakaways were simply husbanding political capital for immigration reform. Paul Kane got it on the record from Sen. Joe Manchin, who says he heard it while looking to whip support for his legislation.

It’s rare that the psychodrama of the Senate comes on such full display. But to state the obvious, this isn’t just an explanation for a vote. It’s a salve for a guilty conscience. This is not the sort of rationalization that would be leaking from the chamber if senators were confident they’d done the right thing. It’s a rationalization for people who feel they did the wrong thing, and want to tell themselves it’s the cost for doing the right thing later, on an even larger scale.

American politicians talk often about the concept of “political courage.” This means, in general, voting for something your constituents, your allies, or powerful political interests won’t like. It’s a deeply self-serving idea. Every time it’s uttered, it underscores the idea that the work of the legislator is, in some way, tough and dangerous, and that those who do an honest job of it are winning an epic struggle. It’s how politicians prime the rest of us to nod our heads when we hear them say that voting with their conscience and their best judgment in three tough votes in a row is simply too much.

At a Wall Street Journal breakfast yesterday, Manchin put the idea of political courage in a more appropriate context. He recalled a trip to Afghanistan with a handful of other governors. ”In Kabul, they let us meet with some of the provincial governors. One was a Taliban that had converted over to Karzai’s side. Some of them could speak pretty good English. And I’ll never forget this. We were talking to them one night at the embassy, and the one asked, out of the clear blue sky,  ’what’s the greatest danger or the greatest price you pay being a governor?’”

“I thought about that, and I said, I guess either I could do something embarrassing and really embarrass my family, I could make a big mistake and hurt people unintentionally by a financial decision I made, or I could get defeated.”

“No expression [on his face]. No expression at all. He said, Can I tell you what I face every day? They try to kill my children. They try to kill my family. They try to kill me and any of my associates. That’s what I face every day to be a governor.”

Think about that the next time you hear an anonymous senator complain that three votes on broadly popular issues are “too much.”

"Question: So what we’re seeing is that the world can no longer increase its production of “easy” oil — many of those older fields are stagnant or declining. Instead, we’re spending a lot of money to eke out additional production from hard, expensive sources like Alberta’s tar sands or tight oil in North Dakota.

Energy analyst Chris Nelder: Right, and that’s entirely consistent with peak oil predictions, which said that extraction would plateau, that the decline in conventional oil fields would have to be made up by expensive unconventional oil. Right now, we’re struggling to keep up with declines in mature oil fields — and that pace of decline is accelerating.

Mature OPEC fields are now declining at 5 to 6 percent per year, and non-OPEC fields are declining at 8 to 9 percent per year. Unconventional oil can’t compensate for that decline rate for very long.

Even all the growth in U.S. tight oil from fracking, which has produced about 1 million barrels per day, hasn’t been enough to overcome declines elsewhere outside of OPEC. Non-OPEC oil has been on a bumpy plateau since 2004….”

Bill McKibben wrote about Peak Oil in his book, Eaarth (spelling correct). Some have told me that argument is now “wrong” or “out of date.” No, it’s quite the opposite actually. It’s proving to be true, and we’re doing very little to do anything about it.  

[T]he ostensible tax rate on corporate income is no higher than 35 percent — and the corporate-tax share of federal revenue has fallen to about 9 percent…[T]here’s no downside to replacing payroll taxes with increased taxes on corporate profits, wherever they’re made or held. By doing so, we make the tax code more progressive, and mobilize capital that is otherwise inert.
James Livingston in The New York Times