Sci/tech

High Speed Rail Advances Globally, Crawls in the U.S.
February 12, 2008 10:50 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Somewhere deep in the pages of President Bush’s proposed 2009, $3.1 trillion budget is a 40 percent cut in Amtrak funding. A cut so deep that the quasi-government interstate passenger rail service could screech to a halt. The lame duck’s plan is to give Amtrak $800 million. Nearly on the same day that the President unveiled his budget Alstom, of France, unveiled its latest high speed train, the AGV (Automotrice y Grande Vitesse) ) a next generation replacement for the TGV (Train y Grande Vitesse). The company already has orders: 35 trains, with an option of 10 more to Italian rail operator NTV

Germany harmonises development and research
February 12, 2008 10:47 AM - , SciDevNet

[BERLIN] The German research and international development ministries have signed an agreement to coordinate their activities and streamline their approach to research for development. The state secretaries for the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) finalised the agreement last month (25 January).

Russia warns of new arms race without space ban
February 12, 2008 10:35 AM - Reuters

GENEVA (Reuters) - Russia proposed a treaty on Tuesday to ban the deployment of weapons in outer space, warning that their development could lead to a new arms race and a repeat of the Cold War. The draft treaty, also backed by China at a U.N.-sponsored forum, would prohibit the deployment of weapons in space and the use or threat of force against satellites or other spacecraft, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Fake malaria drugs made in China
February 12, 2008 10:31 AM - ENN

A unique collaborative study between scientists, public health workers and police has led to the arrest of alleged traders of fake anti-malarial drugs in China. The epidemiological investigation, involving teams from across the globe and published in this week's PLoS Medicine, highlights the growing threat posed by fake pharmaceuticals and the complexities of tracking down those responsible for their manufacture.

Insects ravaged more plants in ancient hot period
February 12, 2008 09:46 AM - Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Insects ate more plants, and did more kinds of damage to them, during an ancient hot period that offers hints of what might happen this century if global warming forecasts hold true, scientists reported on Monday. Earth warmed by about 9 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 5,000 years at the end of the Paleocene Era, some 55 million years ago, sending hordes of hungry insects from the tropics and subtropics into the temperate zone, where the climate was suddenly warm enough for them to survive.

Invention: Flexible wings
February 11, 2008 09:47 AM - New Scientist

Micro air vehicles with wingspans of less than 20 centimetres are of huge interest at the moment because they can easily carry small payloads such as cameras and microphones over battlefields, disaster zones, and other areas of interest.

Vintage Record Coasters for the eco-audiofile
February 10, 2008 09:50 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

I would never do this kind of thing to those Moby Grape and Savoy Brown lps I’ve got in storage but it is a good use for my Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks collection. To make them really utilitarian, the discs are sealed so moisture won’t seep through to the surface. Come in a set of six assorted labels packed in a clear, round case. Made in scenic Brooklyn.

Mechanically Energized: Readily Commercialized
February 8, 2008 09:36 AM - , Private Landowner Network

Current conventionally powered vehicles, gasoline-electric hybrids, natural gas vehicles, biofueled vehicles as well as rechargeable battery electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles all have something in common: They’re refueled by way of a “tether” that links them to a stationary energy source. A hose is used to replenish a supply of gaseous or liquid fuels, or a cord is used to supply a flow of electrons.

World Bank plans clean technology fund for poor
February 8, 2008 07:55 AM - Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Poor countries will soon receive billions of dollars from a new World Bank fund to help them cut pollution, save energy and fight global warming, the international organization said. Developing countries such as India and China are already trying to reduce their carbon emissions, mainly to save on energy, but have baulked at doing more without technological help from Europe, Japan and the United States.

Sweden Uses Humans to Heat Building
February 7, 2008 09:51 AM - ,

The gorgeous Greta Garbo was from Sweden. Uma Thurman, Candice Bergen, and the wide-eyed Gyllenhaall sibs all trace their pretty genes back to that icy country, too. We've got to say, as a people, the Swedes are pretty smokin'. And now, the people of Sweden are joining their hot bodies together for a good cause: To help the environment.

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