If you make a list of the mind numbingly important inventions that created major change the list might include plant cultivation, domesticating animals, writing, music, money, the scientific method, tapping fossil fuels, hygene (sewers and water treatment). The more recent innovations are still playing out, but at the beginning of the list cooking might appear. Some believe it was a major driver of evolution, but early evidence has been missing. Until now.
The 2012 Freedom to Connect conference will take place soon and the agenda looks terrific. I've been to a few of these (David, the guy who hosts them, is a friend and is terrific at this) and they have all been great.
Recommended for those who really care about the Internet.
It can be done, but is very expensive - here is an estimate that was presented last week:
You can strip CO2 from the air with chemical filters or by boosting reactions occurring as rocks weather. Colin Axon of Brunel University in Uxbridge, UK, and Alex Lubansky at the University of Oxford estimated what it would take to remove the 30 gigatonnes of CO2 we emit every year.
That would mean processing 75,000 Gt of dry air. Scaling up proposals to filter air would use 180 Gt of clean water per year, depriving 53 million people of water, on top of the 66 per cent of the world's population who will face water shortages by 2025.
Enhancing rock weathering is no better. It would call for 100 Gt of olivine, a common mineral. This is 12,500 times more than is produced worldwide. To deal with 30 Gt of CO2 we would need to spread the olivine 1 centimetre thick over 3.6 billion square kilometres of dry land, 1000 times more than Earth has available.
Axon says his calculations are rough. "Still, I'm confident that a CO2 removal scheme would have to be in the order of 1000 times larger than any existing industry."
The problem is much easier to deal with upfront...
Of course it is a long way from fact, but it might be useful if you already exercise and have some caffeine - at least it is an excuse. For those who only take caffeine I doubt it would get them to exercise, but if it did it would be beneficial for many other reasons.
Some of the Renovo bamboo bikes are wonderful - I saw one in the flesh (bark?) last year in Central Park. They are even nicer in person.
The Appalachian is made of hardwoods from the Appalachians. Handmade to measure (no problem for Colleen) and a bit on the spendy side at about $3k for the frame. Figure another $1.5 to $3k building a great bike - of course you can go much higher, but $5 or $6k total would give a great bike that would probably last a long time.
The interesting thing about bikes is you can build something very exotic for less than five figures .. try that with a car, boat or house.
If you want to have a practical commuter they make something less made to measure that would be great for about $3,400 ready to roll.
Wood, it turns out, is a great material for bike frames. My favorite is steel lugged construction, but I'd certainly take one of these..
Many people are interested in this one. I've played with an 800 for about an hour and came to a similar conclusion - great hardware and some aspects of the software and design are great. The Verge has a good representative review.