LaHood is a conservative Illinois Republican with little transportation expertise and almost no administrative experience, who has earned a LCV lifetime voting score on critical environmental issues of 27 percent, and who maintains deep financial connections to the very industries he’s now supposed to regulate.
Everything is not perfect, right? Alex Steffen at WorldChanging comments on the disappointing choice of Transportation Secretary after other notable selections. As Alex writes, transportation is not a department you want to skimp out on especially in wake of crumbling infrastructure and Obama’s promise of rebuilding America.
If you want to book a hotel or make a restaurant reservation you can switch on the Transit Layer and look for the public transport line nearest to the location. If you want to travel from A to B you can quickly familiarize yourself with the public transport network and find out which lines to use and where to change.
Google Maps has added a public transit layer for more than 50 cities around the world to help citizens and tourists obtain information on getting around quicker. I see more European cities than U.S ones. It doesn’t take a genius to tell you what that means.
Beautiful pictures from the collections in the Earth Observatory. These images were taken from many different satellites and astronaut missions. You can see evidence of climate change and nature of human settlement especially in the images of a Las Vegas suburb and South of Khartoum, Sudan.
My university, Texas A&M has floated an interesting (and controversial) proposal for bettering teaching standards – by offering a $10,000 bonus to faculty receiving favorable student evaluations. As expected, there is much consternation and the reality on the ground is that only 300 of more than 2,000 faculty members have opted in the ‘program’.
Matthew Yglesias while understanding that this might not be the best way to better teaching standards, agrees that “financial payoff to effective instruction might be reasonable” but we need to measure that “effective instruction” in a better manner. Measurement issues in a clearly qualitative environment (quality of teaching) is always going to be an issue that no bonus however high is going to solve. The first question ought to be how much really do you enjoy and want to teach as opposed to doing research. Those who love teaching will always do a good job; $10,000 incentive or not.
A review of global studies into the impact of modern office design found the switch to open-plan spaces had been overwhelmingly negative, with 90 percent reporting adverse health and psychological effects.
Open-plan offices not so good? Contrary to the popular opinion in business circles, Australian researchers have found open-plan offices counter productive and in fact, harmful to the health of the employees. Now let me get back to my cubicle and get some work done. Hopefully.
[An] holistic approach to illuminating cities has come to be known as a lighting master plan. While few cities outside Europe have a plan currently in place, the steps involved in creating one help officials evaluate how the layers of lighting – street-level, marquees and directional signage, and monuments or cultural landmarks – should work together and be energy efficient.
An interesting look at how lighting is stepping out from the shadows of historic preservation and being used by urban planners to help improve a city’s character and livability.
The peak toll in the first month of operation on State Route 167 in Washington was $5.75. I know, I know, you would never pay such an exorbitant amount when America has taught you that free roads are your birthright. But that money bought Washington drivers a 27-minute time savings. Is a half hour of your time worth $6?
Eric A. Morris in a two-part essay at Freakonomics weighs in favor of toll roads that vary in response to traffic levels as a way out of congestion and posits that this way, we may even love paying for roads that we generally consider free to us.
The extent of the spillage of an estimated 1 billion gallons of sludge containing years’ of waste from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s coal-burning power plant over an area of 300 acres cannot be better described than these pictures taken by Dorothy Griffith.
The entire region is a brownfield and I wonder how many years, resources, and money will it take to clean it all up. I wonder if anyone will be held accountable.
Or are they leaner because they bike, walk, and use mass transit?
Americans, with the highest rate of obesity, were the least likely to walk, cycle or take mass transit, according to the study in a recent issue of the Journal of Physical Activity and Health. The study relied on each country’s own travel and health data.
Only 12 percent use active transportation in the United States — 9 percent walk, 1 percent ride a bike and 2 percent take a bus or train — while a quarter to a third are obese, the study said.
By comparison, 67 percent of commuters in Latvia, 62 percent in Sweden and 52 percent in the Netherlands either walk, bike or use mass transit. Latvia’s obesity rate is 14 percent, the Netherlands’ is 11 percent and Sweden’s is 9 percent.
Overall, “Europeans walk three times as far and cycle five times as far as Americans” [source].
The headlines of the article undermines the actual findings of the study which in fact highlight the lifestyle choices that are the primary reasons for the differences in addition to Europe’s more dense urbanscape. I’m sure cities like New York, Portland, and San Francisco see significantly higher rates of walking and cycling compared to other cities in the U.S. The United States is more heterogenous than most European countries who have had a longer and continued history of social interaction and more interactive urban living.