Warmer Weather Is Officially the New Normal?


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.

Windcuts: Amazing 3D Wooden Forms from Wind Movement Data

Windcuts [flickr.com] consists of various experiments that turn quantitative sensor data into visually compelling physical instantiations. Wind movement measurement data, such as wind direction, velocity and temperature, was used as the foundation to generate a 3D form, which was then physically drilled out of a piece of wood.

The direction of the physical line corresponds with the direction of the wind. The width and speed of movement reflects the wind speed. The temperature is mapped unto the height. The materials ‘surface plateau’ height represents zero degrees Celsius. So when the shape dips below the surface, it means the wind’s below zero degrees.

There’s something oddly compelling to me about the very idea of creating a 3D form, in wood no less, from data based on the seemingly ephemeral movement of air — also known as wind.

I see potential here for a wonderful educational tool. For those like myself, more comfortable with words than numbers in volume, these 3D forms bring to life otherwise fuzzy terms such as wind shear or turbulence. Makes me wonder if the climate change debate could have been shortened if displays like this were available for each physical effect discussed. Kudos to Information Graphics, and be sure to check out their other 3D representations.

Disruptive Thinking: 5 attributes to consider

Image and title via sviokla.com


John Julius Sviokla describes an interesting transportation infrastructure concept, and perhaps one to consider across Vermont’s Green Mountains and valleys? An elevated megabus/subway hybrid that slides over the traffic instead of going around it is the proposal in China, but here we’d need some variations — over cows, around curves, and oops, absolutely must work over trucks or it’s a non-starter.

Lag In Intelligent Transportation Could Hurt Economy


The United States lags years behind countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea in implementing sophisticated intelligent transportation systems that make moving goods and people more efficient, and it could hurt the economy, according to a new report.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation that examined what world leaders in transportation are doing and found the United States is far behind in developing vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication and telemetry systems. The report found Japan leads the world in adopting such technology, often called Intelligent Transportation Systems or ITS.

Photo of rush hour in Kobe, Japan: Flickr / sachman75


Duh… The U.S. lags behind other countries in implementing sophisticated technologies to make moving people and goods more efficient, and that might harm our economy? Please don’t just tell me what’s obvious to anyone who has traveled abroad. Offer some bold and practical suggestions for changing the status quo.