Daily Archives: December 19, 2011

Views from the Solar System (16)


                                                                                                                                        
SPACE WATCH

Expedition 30 Soyuz Rolls to the Pad
NASA – he Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft is rolled out by train on its way to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with Expedition 30 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Don Pettit and European Space Agency astronaut and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers is scheduled for 8:16 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Image Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

2011: The Year that Income Inequality Captured the Public’s Attention


By Isabel V. Sawhill – The year 2011 will be remembered as the year when the idea of income inequality migrated from seminar rooms in colleges and think tanks to Zuccotti Park and main streets across America. According to a CBS/New York Times poll, at the end of 2011, two thirds of Americans agreed the nation had too much inequality. The Congressional Budget Office reported that after-tax income for the top 1 percent had tripled since 1979 while that of the bottom 80 percent had declined.

As we head into an election year in 2012, the debate is likely to intensify. Democrats will argue that higher taxes on the wealthy are needed to put deficits on a more sustainable path over the longer term. Polls show that the public does not like higher taxes but makes an exception in the case of the wealthy, lending substantial support to the Democratic view. The Occupy Wall Street movement deserves credit for putting the “one percent vs. the ninety-nine percent” on the national agenda. more> http://is.gd/tnfW4T

How Sweden cut traffic congestion


Looking south above Interstate 80, the Eastsho...

Image @Wikipedia

By Brad Plumer – Traffic congestion sometimes seems like an utterly in­trac­table problem. If a city suffering from gridlock tries to construct new roads to ease the pressure, traffic usually just increases to fill the extra space. Same thing when new bus and subway lines get built. Yet a few cities like Stockholm, London, and Singapore have taken a more market-orientedapproach to congestion.

Stockholm puts a flat $2.60 charge on all vehicles entering the city during peak hours and a $1.30 to $2 levy at other times throughout the day. And, so far, traffic appears to have stayed at reduced levels since the system came into effect in 2007.

Congestion charges have had a hard time getting traction in the United States. more> http://is.gd/m9hb5s

3D CAD Brings Battleships to Life


By Beth Stackpole – Donn McKinney has been obsessed with large battleships for more than 30 years. Now, thanks to his diligence and dexterity with 3D CAD software, he’s close to producing an operational replica of the USS Missouri.

The full-scale CAD model is then being used to produce a 1/32nd scale physical replica, which translates into a 28-foot-long steel ship that will feature the ship’s complete functionality, including radar and fully operational scaled weapons. McKinney is also working with partners who are providing stereolithography services to create realistic 3D fittings based on the SolidWorks model, as well as to add a voice command telemetry (VCT) system that will allow presenters to give full military orders to the vessel and receive an immediate response. more> http://is.gd/wGM41d

Over 100 Tablets Introduced; Why You Can’t Name Any


Retrevo – By our calculation, over 100 tablets were introduced since the iPad however, we defy even the most tech-savvy of you to name more than a few of them . What was so wrong with the competition that it failed to make any inroads in the tablet market, at least until the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble Nook came along? more> http://is.gd/AOzKrN