Opening of the Silver Line: Suburban Planning in Action?

The unfortunate truth of the suburban planning argument is that wealthier neighborhoods will be able to play with sustainability initiatives far easier than communities grappling with state budget cuts, unemployment, and faltering economies. Kaid Benfield writes more on this phenomenon occurring in the DC suburbs, a subject that hit particularly close to home, as it happens to be where I live.

This past weekend, WMATA was pleased to announce the opening of the Silver Line - the long awaited extension of the DC Metro System that connects the existing Orange Line with Tysons Corner and a new transit hub in Reston just down the road from Reston Town Center. Eventually, Phase II will continue all the way to Dulles Airport and beyond into Loudon county.

Being the transit nerd I am, I decided to ride the Silver Line on its opening day - and was astounded to see the neighborhood I had grown up in transform into a reverse-engineered city: enormous office buildings and hotels now create a cityscape of Tysons, and from afar, the area looks as urban as downtown Baltimore or Wilmington.

While the Silver Line is an exciting improvement on the car-heavy infrastructure of Northern Virginia, big challenges still pose threats to the region’s enduring sustainability. Just as Tysons alone, Route 7, 495, and 123 converge into an enormous unwalkable sprawl of eight lane roads. Whatever happens next - sinking the highways, creating pedestrian bridges - Northern Virginia will have to continue thinking seriously about alternative transportation and more mass transit. If anything, I hope the Silver Line is only the beginning.

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highbloodcrocker replied to your link:Like One Sundered Star - Chapter 19 - oriflamme - Homestuck [Archive of Our Own]

Read this fanfic, they said. It’s funny and entertaining, they said. It won’t rip out your fucking heart and stomp on it in practical hero work boots, they said.


it took me 19 chapters and 800k to make it to the plot twist that inspired me to write this damn thing in the first place i feel so alive

Perlan ll project aims to fly a glider to the edge of space

In an ambitious attempt to break every wing-borne sustained flight height record for a manned aircraft, the Perlan ll project intends to construct and fly a glider higher than any sailplane has gone before. Riding on the colossal stratospheric air waves generated over mountains, the team plans to fly their craft to more than 90,000 ft (27,000 m), which will shatter their own existing glider altitude record of 50,671 ft (15,400 m) set by Perlan l in 2008… Continue Reading Perlan ll project aims to fly a glider to the edge of space

Section: Aircraft

Tags: Aircraft, Flight, High Altitude, Oshkosh

Related Articles: Self launching glider packs a retractable jet engine First of four autonomous Wave Glider robots successfully crosses Pacific ocean E-Fan electric aircraft makes first public flight Stratospheric airship reaches near-space altitude during demonstration flight Solar powered plane flies through the night BEAR-4: The first amateur HD video in (near) space

Gizmag Emerging Technology Magazine:
August 01, 2014 at 05:47AM

NASA looks to produce oxygen on Mars with next rover

The next Mars rover is going to be home to numerous ambitious experiments, including one that will see NASA try to produce oxygen on the Red Planet.

If successful, the project could help lead the way for a sustained human presence on Mars, as well as offer astronauts an effective method for producing rocket fuel that could be used for return trips to Earth.

According to the Associated Press, the device would accompany the next rover NASA will use to explore Mars in 2021. Dubbed “MOXIE,” it wouldn’t even create one ounce of oxygen every hour, but a successful operation has big implications for future missions.


Hybrid Canal-Rail Transit Connectivity

In 2012, I wrote a peer-review paper in the book “The Design and Development of Sustainable Cities: International and Thai Perspective on Urban Design in the 21th Century”. The book was published by  Thammasat University. Professor Peter G. Rowe from Harvard University help reviewed the book while Professor Vimolsiddhi Horayangura provided the main editorial framework.

The paper calls for resurrecting Bangkok’s ancient canals and connecting them with Metro Rapid Transit (MRT) system. There are over a thousand waterways in Bangkok.  So, why not take advantage of a slower but wide-spread network of canals and connect them to a faster network of Metro transit?

In terms of the city’s overall connectivity, such hybrid linkages of canals and metro transit would provide rapid – and random – long distant “jump” across the city, a phenomenon that could not be provided by any one type of transit system alone.

By April 2014, I’m have initiated a research project with Rockefeller Foundation and Thammasat University to further study this canal-Metro connectivity issues. This research is still on-going and involves multiple stake-holders ranging from private companies to public sectors.

Ever noticed that you tend to find love through a distant friend rather a close friend? The same is true of jobs; you usually find the right jobs through distant friends because your close friends are far less likely to provide you with new unexpected information.

Small Work Network Graph (Watt and Strogatt, Cornell University) shows us that information tends to move more rapidly when dissimilar nodes connect with one another.

In the graph shown above,  if you are represented by ‘A’ and your prospective lover is ‘C’, then it would take you across many nodes to arrive at ‘C’. In this case, you are trying to find love through your close friends; and you’d end up saying: “True love is hard to find”.

On the other hand, if you speak to a distant friend (‘B’), who is someone you don’t really know too well, then you could jump across and connect to person ‘C’ right away, with only 1 degree of separation. In this case, you’d say “the true joy of life is to live dangerously!”

Similarly, people could find jobs and new economic opportunities through a hybrid system of transit that connects distant nodes together in unexpected ways. This would lead to new opportunities such as being able to jump across the city and go to schools that were inaccessible before; or being able to take new jobs and employees that are not part of your close-knitted canal circle.

Advantages of Canal-Metro Connection

1. Connection Speed:

It provides an opportunity for a faster connection speed between nodes. (Within a given city) Hybrid Transit network allows for the phenomenon of Small World Network to come into play.

2. Connectivity:

The number of possible ‘connectivity’ within a given city – regardless of connection speed – could be expressed using the permutation function. Since we want two-way directional connectivity, so we use permutation rather than combination function (*Note that the combination function is being used in ‘Metcalfe Law’ to express telecommunication network connectivity).

‘Connectivity’ and ‘connection speed’ are two different things. For example, you could have a very high internet speed with very few nodes of connectivity. Or you could have a city-wide network of connectivity at a very low connection speed.

The connectivity of a given city can be expressed as:

P(n,r) = n(n-1)(n-2)(n-3)…(n-r+1) = n!/(n-r)!

 Where ‘r’ = 2 (two connecting nodes such as A-B, B-A, or B-C etc.)

           ‘n’ = number of nodes

So with ‘r’= 2, we ended up with:

 P(n,r) = n(n-1)

In this example, if you double the number of nodes, you don’t double the number of connectivity – but you quadrupled the connectivity. The connectivity increases exponentially as more nodes are added.

Opportunities for Investors

1. Retail Shops at Canal-Metro Stations

The intersection(s) of canal lines and Metro stations is an ideal place for retail activities. These canal-to-Metro stations could act as catalysts in regenerating the much needed economic activities and jobs for the informal settlements along the canals. They would also enable informal residents to gain faster access to healthcare facilities and service along rail lines that were previously out of their reach.

2. Community Ports

Local “Community ports” could be set up along the canals to transport small cargo. Small consumer goods and products could be delivered continuously throughout the day – unlike automobile transport which is limited by fixed delivery time in the early morning or night time.

The Community Port could operate by charging fees for using its service; the money collected will be shared with the community and the investors.

3. New Fleet of Boats

Investment should be made in new enclosed boats that are safe and accessible to seniors and working professionals. People should be able to work while in transit –similar to being in a subway.

No subway car in the world is open to the tunnel (exposing the riders to rats, garbage, and other unpleasant odor); why should canal boats be open to smelly waterways?

The current canal boats in Bangkok are very much sub-standard and are not accessible to seniors and kids. They are open to polluted water and the riders must hold up plastic curtains to keep their face dry.

It’s a chicken and egg scenario. What should come first? Clean waterways? Or transit riders? I opted for more transit riders as a tool for economic development around the canals so that the standard of living of along the canals could be improved. There would be more demand to clean up the canals once there is more ridership.

Bangkok is a mega-city with a population of over 10 million. The average Bangkokian spends 4 hours in traffic jam – half of their productive work life. This leads to high anxiety level combined with high environmental problems.

Resurrecting the ancient canal networks could help alleviate Bangkok’s connectivity’s problem, free up commuting time for its residents, and develop new economic activities. 

anonymous said:

what do you hope to achieve in life? like life goals and places you want to travel and things you want to do and what not!

I mean I have no idea what career I want but I want one where I have enough money to sustain myself and a little more so I can travel and everything! I want to travel a lot but also stay at home, don’t care how big it is as long as I’m alive and have sustenance. If I get married I’ll travel with my partner maybe have some children who knows but I want to be happy. So I hope whatever situation I am in when I’m older no matter how shitty I’ll smile through it because honestly my life is very valuable to me and life isn’t forever so I don’t want to be unhappy no matter what so I just hope to achieve happiness until the day I pass on:)

Watch on

Pela graça de Deus venceu o câncer e nessa nova luta diária para recuperar os movimentos Ele também tem nos sustentado. Nosso Maximus com determinação e garra evolui pouco a pouco. Obrigado Deus!
By God’s grace overcame #cancer and this new daily struggle to regain the movements He also has sustained us. Our Maximus with determination and grit evolves slowly. Thank God!
#MaximusEduardo #Baby #babyboy #child #children #strong #fighter #son #giftofgod #love @vivianesepp

A few weeks ago, I wrote on the need for suburban planning - why suburban and exurban communities need to be given makeovers similar to the denser cores of America’s revitalizing cities.

Over at Citylab, Kaid Benfield wrote an excellent article arguing even further:

We need more and better models of suburban revitalization, and not just in growing affluent areas where investment dollars are relatively easy to come by. What about in places where it remains pragmatically important to accommodate drivers, and where change can occur only gradually, over time?

Benfield uses the example of South Miami to illustrate just how possible different kinds of communities can achieve more sustainable goals - walkability, alternative transportation, public space, local hotspots and arts and business districts, etc.  I highly recommend his investigation of South Miami to see some truly innovative local leadership.  Mr. Benfield concludes:

Like it or not, rapid and comprehensive change isn’t available in much of America. In the case of South Miami’s Hometown District, the city has a great master plan that will continue to guide further investment and progress toward walkability as more opportunities come up. Meanwhile, what the suburb has achieved so far is really impressive.

I could not agree more.  Keep up the good work, South Miami - I can’t wait to see other suburban planning models develop around the country.

Remender and Tocchini Present a Different Family to Fathom in “Low” #1 [Review]


by Keith Dooley

Earth has been unable to sustain life for thousands of years and its people were driven to the depths of the ocean in order to survive. With “Low”, Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini pull us toward the depths of their wonderfully unique world. Artist (and Remender’s frequent collaborator) Tocchini has stunningly realized an underwater world and its inhabitants in breathtakingly exuberant and ominous ways.

Read more

The risks of a short-term society

During the summer so far, I’ve been able to get a lot of reading done. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of books about risk, and have come to see that there are some especially troubling and deeply flawed aspect of how our financial and economic systems function. At the same time, I’ve realized how applicable the basic concepts of sustainability are to economics and financial markets and how integrating them be could be highly beneficial. 

Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, is an excellent and comprehensive work focusing on the widespread, and often misunderstood, risks and rewards of our society. Taleb compares two main systems. The first has constant, but mild, volatility. The second experiences rare, but violent and influential shocks. He advocates the importance of embracing the first system. Unfortunately, the financial system of the U.S. is most like the second system: highly fragile and unsustainable in the long-term. 

Over the past fifty years, the U.S. has seen significant and impressive economic growth. However, amid this growth, there have been multiple intense recessions. Every 7-10 years or so since the 1970s a strong period of growth (in the stock market, for GDP, in the job market, etc.) has been interrupted by some type of adverse shock that throws the country into a recession and erases nearly all gains achieved over the period. In my lifetime alone, there’s been the dot-com bubble of the early 2000s and the most recent subprime mortgage crisis of 2007. Prior to each crash, the country and the stock markets had seen relatively undeterred positive growth for an extended period. But suddenly, as had happened before, the tides turned and all gains that had been accumulated over a number of years vanished. For instance, from the trough of the dot-com recession in mid-2002 to the height of the recovery in mid-2008, the S&P 500 nearly doubled. These 6 years of consistent growth were quickly wiped out with the subprime mortgage crisis, as the index plummeted, losing over fifty percent of its value in less than two years. The same thing occurred with the dot-com bubble.

I find it astounding that after multiple intense recessions, it seems that we never seem to learn. There is always a large positive boom followed by an often larger bust. Would it not be better to have a more fluid and smoothly operating financial and economic system that grows at modest rates and sees more frequent, but less intense downturns? We certainly wouldn’t have a recession every 5-7 years as we have for decades. 

So what has been at the root of these booms and busts? I think at the heart of the problem is the widespread short-term thinking that exists throughout society. For the most part, people only consider actions and the consequences of their actions in the near term. In the housing crisis, banks did not think about the possible implications of providing housing loans and mortgages to practically anyone that walked through the door. They didn’t consider how pervasive the fallout from their fraudulent behavior would be and how many people it would adversely affect. The U.S. government tried to improve growth and quality of life of the country using an approach that was bound to fail. Providing cheap credit to millions of unaccredited borrowers did boost home ownership, which is a positive outcome. But, it all came crashing down when defaults began to pour in. The government’s plan had worked well for a few years, but its solution wasn’t a long-term one. It was merely a band-aid that could only post immediate results for so long. These kind of short-term actions needs to change.

As Taleb voices, we need to reduce the fragility of our systems (financial and otherwise) and work to transition towards more antifragility, more robustness. I think the way to achieve this is to start acting with a larger focus on long-term solutions that have long-term outcomes. While changing to this kind of approach will be difficult and might yield fewer immediate results, I would certainly argue that long-term gains with more distributed volatility are better than periods of growth bookended by devastating losses. 

Sustainability is all about preparing for the long-term and perhaps making some short-term sacrifices to achieve long-term vitality. As a society we do not currently function this way (the government is only one example). Lamentably, the way it looks right now, with financial markets inflated once again (to an even larger extent than in the past) we could be heading towards another crash after nearly 5 years of practically constant growth. 

Full recommendations to not approach Rinne when she is on the brink of hunger because:

a) Being a ghoul, she might lunge at you because of sustaining herself from devouring for so long. 

b) Alike in her childhood (eating her parents), her more ghoulish instincts and self takes control over her subconsiousness to where she can only smell meat, whether its another or human. She will mainly attack anyone surrounding her and not calm down until she is satisfied if not contained quick enough.


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A Seismic Shift in Improving the Behaviour of Large Companies? Guest Post from Phil Bloomer

My former boss, Phil Bloomer is now running the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (check out its smart new multilingual website). Here he sees some signs of hope that the debate on corporate responsibility is moving beyond trench warfare over
New Post has been published on Intimate Apparel Discount Shop

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Amazing Honeymoon Destinations in India

Honeymoon in India is a terrific thought. India has some genuine locations where married couples acquire a possibility to recognize each various other far better within an aura of fantasy. The amazing destinations in India make it one of the top most locations worldwide to spend a honeymoon. The most effective honeymoon destinations in India are its peaceful coastlines, serene hill hideaways, unique landscapes and above all the majestic Taj Mahal. These areas never ever fall short to leave a sustaining perception on the honeymooners.

Honeymoon destinations of India provide everything imaginable. The prime honeymoon locations of India are:


Those who appreciate plant and natural charm greater than other point on earth have to select Kerala as their honeymoon destination. It is really a haven that packs sights of incredible scenic appeal. Whether you remain amidst the tranquil mountains of Munnar or hang about on the sun-kissed coastlines of Kovalam, attributes will certainly kindly you similarly. Book a houseboat boat trip on Kumarakom Shallows to enjoy a fantastic one-of-its-kind experience.

Major Attractions in Kerala– Kerala backwaters: Veli & Akkulam(Trivandrum) Alleppey(Alappuzha)Kumarakom Cochin(Kochi)Kuttanad Kerala seasides &: Alappuzha beach Quilon seaside Kovalam seaside Bekal seaside Chowara beach Wildlife havens: Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary Soundless Valley National Park Nagarhole Wild animals Refuge Periyar Wild animals Shelter Eravikulam National forest Temples: Jain Temple

at Palakkadu Kodungalur Bhagawati holy place Sabarimala holy place Ambalapuzha temple Vaikom Shiva

holy place Guruvayoor

holy place Ideal Season to

travel Kerala– August to March is the very best time of the year to go to Kerala. Goa

Goa is a lovely location of the

sea and the sunlight that attracts honeymooners from all pockets of the world. Goa’s shimmering seasides, water sports and premium cuisine are its highlights. Head to the remote coastlines of Goa for

investing some quality time with your

spouse. Significant Destinations in Goa

-Bhagwan Mahavir Wild animals Haven Goa Carnival Anjuna Coastline Flea Market Churches Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary Old Goa Dudhsagar Waterfall and Springs

Ideal Season to take a trip Goa

– Best time of the year to see Goa is from November to March. The weather condition is really enjoyable

during these months

. Hillside Stations Those which favor investing honeymoon days in the middle of the captivating picturesque elegance of

relaxed hillsides, Kullu Manali, Coorg, Shimla and Jammu and Kashmir are perfect getaways for them. A lot of hill terminals in India encounter enjoyable weather condition problems throughout September-November, when the plant is additionally at its full bloom. The hotels and resorts in India will certainly be as sensational as the destinations they are situated in.

This component of the globe certainly establishes an excellent charming state of mind and offers you the finest possibility to invest some unforgettable time with your spouse. Be sensible enough while choosing the most effective out

of an endless variety of India

honeymoon bundles. Select one that caters to your demands and provides a hassle-free

trip. Customize it continue to as each your inclination, if required. Satisfied Honeymooning! Associated

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