OBAMA PROMISES ACTION CLIMATE CHANGE, CHECK IN MAIL
Barry, Barry, Barry. Really, dude? Newly re-inauguralated President Obama made climate change a significant theme of his address yesterday, promising that dealing with it will be a major part of his second and final term in office, using executive powers to circumvent flat-earther, a.k.a. Congressional, opposition. Rather than tackle something like cap and trade by wrestling the alligators on Capitol Hill, which got nowhere in term #1, Obama will use his pen and charge the EPA with reducing even more emissions from power plants, cutting Uncle Sam’s carbon footprint, and making home appliances more efficient. Tackling emissions from existing coal burning power plants could be cut by 25 percent in the next seven years, says the Natural Resources Defense Council. Will it happen? This was Obama’s last election, so maybe, just maybe. Via NY Times.
PETER MEL CLAIMS MAVERICKS IN UNINSPIRING CONDITIONS
Pity the contest director who says, “It’s on” only to discover that the waves rolling in for his big wave contest are anything but BIG. The seasonal Northern California comp went off on Sunday, even if the surf didn’t: Peter Mel took the $50,000 first prize in a day filled with long lulls and sets that pushed 30 feet, not the 50 everyone would have liked. “Out there today, it was just a matter of accepting that it would be a little difficult to find good waves,” said director Gary Linden. “But it was still contestable. If it had been a lake out there, of course we wouldn’t have sent them out there to do water ballet. It had to be legit, and I think we did okay.” As has become tradition, the six surfers who made it to the final round agree to split the winnings evenly as they were paddling out. Via Surfer.
BPA ALTERNATIVE MIGHT BE JUST AS TOXIC
You can just imagine the chemical manufacturers of America sitting around a conference table talking about the problems with BPA, which is thought to wreak havoc with your hormones. “Let’s replace it with something called BPS! There’s no baggage with that name!” Um, yeah. Well, it turns out that bisphenol-s might be no better than BPA, according to a recent study. BPA can mimic the effects of estrogen, and though it doesn’t leach from plastic as quickly as BPA, it’s still toxic even in very small doses. The good news? The plastic that many water bottle makers use now, Tritan, contains neither BPA or BPS. Via Fast Co Exist.
GPS BELT GUIDES WITH VIBRATIONS
Insert vibrator joke here. A new high-tech belt from Intelligent Systems Lab at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, links to GPS smartphones and gives cyclists turning directions using a vibrating device. The unit can signal left, right, straight, or back and also uses codes vibrations to tell how much farther they have to travel. Volunteers tested the smartphone GPS with and without the belt; not surprisingly, those using the belt could keep their eyes on the road and had a better sense of landmarks. Via New Scientist.