Put Wind in Your Tank—Vroom!

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Now this is an intriguing new technology from Germany’s ENERTRAG, via the WindSector blog — the hybrid power plant makes hydrogen from wind power to fuel automobiles! The techies among you will want to click through to see the technical drawings on how it works, but I’m hoping the economic development folks will get busy trying to figure out how we can get one going in Vermont, or at least somewhere in New England….

Cars Don’t Waste Fuel. Drivers Waste Fuel.

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The 30% improvement in fuel economy referenced in this article from Wired magazine is a good reminder of the critical role of feedback and behavior change in our efforts to minimize climate change and move toward sustainability.

I must confess to being torn between the advantage of immediate feedback as I drive, and the very real disadvantage of distraction. For those of us driving on Vermont’s rural highways, distraction may be less of a problem, but in many cities it’s a real danger to add anything else to the driver’s mental over-stimulation.

Due in part to this concern, as well as my more subjective preference for the feel of a responsive manual transmission car over a hybrid’s automatic transmission, I’ve opted for a Fiat as my next car. It will be interesting to experiment and observe as I aim to change my own driving behavior…

The Thought-Controlled Prius Bike

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Toyota’s answered a question no one ever thought to ask: What if the Prius were a bike?

The answer suggests it wouldn’t be as boring to ride as it is to drive. For one thing, the bike uses neurotransmitters to change gears. It looks a whole lot cooler than the car, too.

So starts of Jason Kambitsis’ “review” of one of the projects developed within the Prius Projects campaign from Toyota, which encourages inventors and dreamers to tinker with its technology.

Fresh from a family birthday celebration weekend of cycling (and new eco car test drives), this article jumped right out at me.

I’m a big fan of labs like this in part because I see them as one of the best sources for ideas to help humankind tackle some of our most pressing problems.

Meanwhile, have some fun exploring this idea…

Warmer Weather Is Officially the New Normal?

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Just when the term ‘Climate Change’ has gained traction and ‘extreme weather events” can be found in top-tier media outlets worldwide, comes this news from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Wired Science: Warmer Weather Is Officially the New Normal in the United States.

Though the report cautions that normals are not necessarily indicative of long-term climate change, it feels like a semantic game to me.

Yipee! An interstate highway system for bikes is coming

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It’s always bothered me that when my extended family gets together for a biking vacation we usually travel by plane, train or car to get to our destination — where we unload our bikes and ride for days. This is not to say we’d have enough time from work (or be in good enough shape) to bike the whole route, but there’s rarely an option in the US.

The approval of six new bicycle routes is a small sign of progress. Now it’s time to let your congressional delegation and state legislators know we need a lot more.

Personal Food Consumption Visualized

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Beyond the visual appeal of this study from information aesthetics on “Personal Food Consumption Visualized in 40 Different Ways,” I am struck by its potential as a tool to encourage healthy eating.

A mobile app that enabled people to visually catalog their food choices just seems to offer such potential as a preemptive tool — building a mental image of different colors and balanced plates during the day would certainly appeal to me!