Sunday, May 23, 2021

Oakland homeless get tired of waiting, make their own place


Tucked under a highway overpass in West Oakland, just beyond a graveyard of charred cars and dumped debris, lies an unexpected refuge.

There’s a collection of beautiful, small structures built from foraged materials. There’s a hot shower, a fully stocked kitchen and health clinic. There’s a free “store” offering donated items including clothes and books, and a composting toilet. There are stone and gravel paths lined with flowers and vegetable gardens. There’s even an outdoor pizza oven.

The so-called “Cob on Wood” center has arisen in recent months to provide amenities for those living in a nearby homeless encampment, one of the largest in the city. But most importantly, it’s fostering a sense of community and dignity, according to the unhoused and housed residents who came together to build it. They hope their innovative approach will lead to big changes in how the city addresses its growing homeless population.


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this is pretty cool.  I hope the cops don't come and tear it down.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Ford F-150 goes electric. And it's great!


This truck starts at just $39,974, not including a still-unknown destination charge, which makes it more affordable than a similarly equipped F-150 XL -- the gas model's entry-level trim. The jaw-dropper is that that price is before any applicable state or federal incentives -- that includes the $7,500 federal tax credit that the vehicle will be eligible for. All of this is a rather miraculous accomplishment given that EVs have, up until now, always been costlier than their gas equivalents -- often significantly so.  ..

Every example will feature a dual-motor setup that provides standard full-time four-wheel drive. For those keeping score at home, that means that a base Lightning's equivalent gas F-150 would be a 3.3-liter V6-powered XL SuperCrew 4x4 with a 5.5-foot bed.  


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 As always, though, the sticker with electrics is how far you can go on a charge.  I think this is supposed to go 300 miles, but that's not towing or hauling any big weight.  Still, it looks amazing.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Why US cops are so quick to shoot? Training


Grossman does not address the social construction of crime and criminality, or the historically racist coding of “tough on crime” policies and rhetoric, or the political origins of this country’s endless drug war, or any other factors that might complicate his Manichean thesis. He sees no oppression in the sight of warrior cops forever riding roughshod through “bad” neighborhoods like members of an occupying army. He does not stop to consider that treating the “war on crime” like an actual war tacitly encourages cops to take less care with the lives of their “enemies”—nor does he acknowledge that those disposable lives are all too often Black ones.

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 I fear that we train cops to be on a hair trigger, assuming that every person they come into contact with is ready to harm them.  No wonder there are so many shootings that are inappropriate for the situation.  Has your community police department hired this guy?

You wanna know why this generation doesn't want to work?


Kroger grocery company CEO Rodney McMullen cut COVID-19 hazard pay for food workers last year just months into the pandemic — then scooped up a record $22.4 million in compensation for himself, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

McMullen’s pay package was revealed Thursday in a regulatory filing. His compensation rose almost 6% from the prior year, padded by a bigger bonus, a salary hike and stock awards, Bloomberg noted. That was McMullen’s biggest take ever since he became CEO in 2013. 

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The minimum wage in the US is $7.25 an hour.  You couldn't live on 2 full-time jobs at that rate.  Why go to work when you're just digging the hole deeper?  Meanwhile, the big-shots take huge bonuses, and for what?  

I'm glad this generation is standing up to the lousy wages.  Don't work for scraps.  Demand a living wage.


finally a way to recycle plastic?


Once this high-pressure system is depressurised and the waste exits the reactors, the majority of liquid flashes off as vapour. This vapour is cooled in a distillation column and the condensed liquids are separated on a boiling range to produce four hydrocarbon liquids and oils: naphtha, distillate gas oil, heavy gas oil and heavy wax residue, akin to bitumen. These products are then shipped to the petrochemical industry.

As with other feedstock techniques, there is no down-cycling as the polymer bonds can be formed anew, meaning the plastics can be infinitely recycled. With a conversion rate of more than 99%, nearly all the plastic turns into a useful product.


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FINALLY!  This sounds like it uses a lot of energy, but that's better than having the world drown in plastic.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Battery breakthrough?


“The cycling performance of the lithium metal anode paired with a LiNi0.8Mn0.1Co0.1O2 cathode is very stable, with an 82 per cent capacity retention after 10,000 cycles at a 20C rate and 81.3 per cent capacity retention after 2,000 cycles at a 1.5C rate,” the academics emphasized. “Our design also enables a specific power of 110.6 kilowatts per kilogram and specific energy up to 631.1 watt hours per kilogram at the micrometre-sized cathode material level.”

The battery, according to the academics, also has self-healing properties, as it should be able to backfill holes created by the dendrites. Its creators claim it has the potential to recharge electric vehicles within 10 to 20 minutes.


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Once we get a good battery, electric cars will be the norm.