“Responding to an outcry that included a passionate Internet campaign and a satiric rap video, city officials yesterday backed off proposed new rules that could have forced tourists taking snapshots in Times Square and filmmakers capturing that only-in-New-York street scene to obtain permits and $1 million in liability insurance.”
NY Times Op-Ed Contributor:
“On its face, the connection between lowering food miles and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is a no-brainer. [snip] But is reducing food miles necessarily good for the environment?”
“Despite a two-year effort to eliminate the threat of poisonous lead in inexpensive children’s jewelry, hundreds of thousands of tainted items are still being sold across the United States, the federal government has found.” You can purchase lead test kits at just about any Home Depot or Lowes.
SF New Mexican:
Wood-burning plant hits snag. Just about every alternative form of energy has detractors; noone wants to look at solar panels, noone wants to hear or see wind turbines, noone wants to smell biomass plants, noone wants to cede land for geothermal, etc. etc. ad nauseam.
SF New Mexican:
North-side Construction: Officials call for size limits on house. “The amendment was aimed at closing loopholes in the original statute that allowed Andrew and Sydney Davis to build a 26,000-square-foot residential compound on a ridge top in the Sierra del Norte subdivision overlooking Hyde Park Road.” And that is an unsightly box, that place. It changes the character of the approach to the SF National Forest and Ski Basin. We need to preserve the ridgetops that remain.
Energy search goes underground. “The United States led the way in demonstrating the concept with the Los Alamos geothermal project at Fenton Hill, N.M. The project begun in the 1970s demonstrated that drilling 15,000 feet deep was possible and that energy could then be extracted. But the project came to a halt in 2000 when it ran out of funds.”
Big storm building to the East ...
a pic or two later.
why, oh why, must human technology be so lazy as to make airplanes at 30,000 feet louder than a hummingbird at 4 feet ... ?
NY Times Travel:
Is Santa Fe Ready for a Makeover? I’ve mentioned this before ... every architect in Santa Fe is sick of doing ‘southwestern’, and crave to do contemporary. When they do so, it’s rarely successful (coming from a Manhattan interpretation of contemporary). When they replaced Woolworth’s on the Plaza, they built a glittery glass and chrome NJ mall space that seems like it was dropped from the moon. It was a ghost town until tourists found there were public bathrooms there, and the Santa Fe Visitors Bureau set up a table of flyers and an office space. Who comes to Santa Fe to enjoy what they could enjoy anywhere in the US? Yet older folks are moving here, loving Santa Fe for what it is, but yet desiring to change it into their native California or Texas or Manhattan. To change a thing that’s already beautiful, is to break it.
The Railyard’s industrial design has been a long time argued over, and many are not happy with the final result ... but that would have been the case no matter what was decided. What in general is happening is you’re getting adobe or southwestern exteriors, and ‘theme park’ interiors ... interiors that are contemporary, or Asian, or other modern influences. So in general, we’re not the crusty dusty bars with hardtack patrons sitting on logs knocking back shots of redeye anymore ... though you can still find that easily, if you wish (Madrid).
Later, related: “Mexican archaeologists using ground-penetrating radar have detected underground chambers they believe contain the remains of Emperor Ahuízotl, who ruled the Aztecs when Columbus landed in the New World. It would be the first tomb of an Aztec ruler ever found.” Now that’s exciting.
UK battles foot-and-mouth outbreak. Foot and mouth. Foot in mouth is popular in political circles ...
“The Oxford University team reviewed 13 US trials involving over 15,000 people aged 10 to 21. They found abstinence programmes had no negative or positive impact on the rates of sex infections or unprotected sex, the British Medical Journal said.” OK, it’s been tried. Time to use our tax dollars for something that works.
Warning of webmail wi-fi hijack. Chipping away at your cookies. Force https if you’re using Gmail.
Charles Krauthammer, Tipsy Captain Kirk. “I dare say that if the standards of today’s fussy flight surgeons had been applied to pilots showing up for morning duty in the Battle of Britain, the signs in Piccadilly would today be in German.” He’s right. The same thought crossed my mind on reading this news, post-Columbia, post-Challenger ... though I’d prefer that the pilots are sober. The crew can be as soused as they’d like. God knows, given the state of domestic airline flights today, many of us use alcohol as an anti-anxiety to ward off the effects of really bad takeoffs, cramped conditions, and especially dreadful landings.
“That’s right: rock is dead, or it definitely might be. [snip] The main problem, to hear some people talk, was the preponderance of those responsible for our Great Rock Crisis: people over 30, who are apparently buying most of the tickets for great musical events, taking the kids and a hamper, and thereby ruining their essential ambience.” What are we supposed to do, cry over our 70’s and 80’s albums at home? The previous generation stayed faithful to their Sinatra, but that doesn’t mean we have to be monomaniacs.
NY Times Editorial:
Stampeding Congress, Again. Wiretapping is not a surveillance technique that has an urgency of seconds. Warrants will not prevent the effective use of them. The ulterior motive here is not clear, but points to something that goes contrary to our Constitution.
NY Times Business:
Countrywide Debt Protection Costs Leap. Insurance fears the subprime debacle.
In its ninth year, Albuquerque’s Great Southwestern Antique Show has evolved. Opens today at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
New Mexico and Albuquerque can boast sturdy bridges. “... Gov. Bill Richardson called for the inspection of four similar bridges in New Mexico. None of those bridges are in the Albuquerque area. They are: I-25 near Nogal Canyon, in central New Mexico; the U.S. 64 Gorge Bridge near Taos; U.S. 54 near Logan on the Canadian River and U.S. 64 near Shiprock in the far northwest part of the state.” My italics. Ever been on the Gorge bridge as a truck goes across? Hold those handrails. Or better yet, in light of Minneapolis ... get the hell off until they inspect it. It’s a 650’ drop.
SF New Mexican:
Employers across the country are preparing to fire workers with questionable Social Security numbers to avoid getting snagged in a Bush administration crackdown on illegal immigrants. “Employers who don’t comply could face fines of $250 to $10,000 per illegal worker and incident.”
SF New Mexican:
Study: Learning aided by pre-kindergarten programs. That shouldn’t be a surprise.
SF New Mexican:
Delivery problems mean some buses will temporarily run on diesel as city works to find alternative-fuels vehicles. “The leased buses will use low-sulfur diesel, which means they won’t belch clouds of black smoke, Bulthuis said. Alternative-fuel vehicles are becoming more commonplace in city government, but with about 10 percent of the total fleet bucking the gasoline habit, officials still have a long way to go meet a City Council goal set in 2004.”