Like many developing countries, Zambia does not have detailed forecasts, partly because weather stations are scarce. The density of stations in Africa is eight times lower than recommended by the World Meteorological Organization. Building out a network can be prohibitively expensive, with a single commercial weather station often costing $10,000 to $20,000, plus ongoing funding for maintenance and replacing worn-out parts.
To fill this need, UCAR and NCAR scientists have worked for years to come up with a weather station that is cheap and easy to fix, and can be adapted to the needs of the host country. The resulting stations are constructed out of plastic parts that are custom designed and can be run off a 3D printer, along with off-the-shelf sensors and a basic, credit card-sized computer developed for schoolchildren.
Total cost: about $300 per station. Best of all, the host country can easily print replacement parts.
"If you want a different kind of wind direction gauge or anemometer, or you just need to replace a broken part, you can just print it out yourself," said project co-lead Martin Steinson of UCAR. "Our role is to make this as accessible as possible. This is entirely conceived as an open-source project."
Commentary on prices in current systems from Berkeley's Haas Energy Institute. For reference burning a gallon of gas releases about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. So divide these numbers by 50 to get a rough idea of how much this would tack onto a gallon of gas.
We analyzed data on all firearms currently advertised at Armslist, and found that in the four days following the mass shooting in Orlando — from Sunday, June 12, through Wednesday, June 15 — 15,500 unique new listings for all types of firearms were posted to the site; 3,625 — or about 1 in 4 — were listed as semi-automatic weapons by the seller; more than 2,000 firearms were not categorized by weapon type.
here’s a story about yet another way to crowdsource a map of the city. If you’re riding your bike and you feel unsafe, you can push a special yellow button on the handlebars. The idea is that, if enough people do this, city planners will find out which roads are unsafe for cyclists. Or at least where people FEEL unsafe. I find this last application especially interesting, because it results in a map that displays how the environment makes people feel. The landscape thus revealed is subjective. Subjective, but extremely useful. It is an affective map.
In this case the affect is one dimensional and based on explicit reporting: I feel safe/I don’t feel safe. But hypothetically, let’s suppose your phone can infer your mood at any given time. If it reported it back to a Big Affective Map, we could get a sense for where the world makes people feel good and where it makes them feel bad