When 20 automakers announced this spring they would include Automated Emergency Braking Systems as standard equipment in all cars, they effectively standardized autonomous vehicle technology, an expert said in Chicago Monday.
A dramatic slump in coal production has pushed U.S. carbon emissions so low that, were the trend to continue, the U.S. would achieve its 2030 emissions goals this year, according to an analysis of data from the Energy Information Administration.
The Department of Energy quietly released a draft this month of a plan to double America's nuclear power capacity, not only with the small modular reactors championed by Secretaries Ernest Moniz and Steven Chu, but also with advanced reactors that do not rely on water for cooling.
Most drivers fear driverless cars, but those fears will subside as autonomous features debut in cars piloted by humans, a panel of transportation experts agreed in Chicago Friday. Like a frog in slowly heating water, we'll hardly notice.
Former Energy Secretary Steven Chu doesn't think energy storage can develop in time to back up solar and wind, so he criticized the EPA Clean Power Plan Friday for failing to promote nuclear power. But Berkeley Energy Professor Daniel Kammen ably defended energy storage, gently accusing Chu of outdated thinking.
Climate change may have inspired the clean-energy revolution, but price has made it inevitable, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said Thursday, citing plunging prices in solar, wind and efficient innovations like LED lighting.
The Harvard chemist who gave us the artificial leaf has genetically engineered bacteria to absorb hydrogen and carbon dioxide and convert them into fuel alcohol. Now he reports the process, dubbed the 'Bionic Leaf,' converts sunlight ten times more efficiently than plants do.
Daniel Nocera has given up on the American system for financing energy startups. It brings innovations to market too slowly, he said in Chicago this month, in part because the system is rigged to make professors wealthy.
A Self Made of Words by Carl H. Klaus Iowa, 2013 Recently a Buddhist acquaintance suggested I read Simone Weil because of her work on attention. She writes, for example, that “Absolute undivided attention is prayer,” which lends a Buddhist flavor to her Judeo-Christian theology. Attention can be aimed at anything, after all, not necessarily […]
Since Roger Ebert died I’ve been watching the tribute writers struggle to express his contribution. At The Atlantic, Christopher Orr rightly describes Ebert as a movie enthusiast, but here’s the analysis that follows: “The movies he loved, he truly loved. And the movies he hated, he truly hated.” That’s so truly true Orr can reuse it for […]
It wasn’t the great science fiction novels, “Fahrenheit 451” or “The Martian Chronicles,” that most reflected Ray Bradbury’s life, but a play he wrote—”Something Wicked This Way Comes”— “It’s a metaphor for all of life,” Bradbury said of his play, which you may know better as a 1983 movie starring Jonathan Pryce, Jason Robards and […]
[capti on id=”attachment_2694″ align=”alignright” width=”300″ caption=”By fox_kiyo via flickr”][/caption] When we published the summer issue of Contrary two days ago, we had less than $2 in the bank. We’ve been scraping by since the recession hit, but this marked the first time we had published an issue without knowing how we’d pay for it. Scary, […]
Lauren Berlant speaking on media sensationalism? I couldn’ t miss that. So I found my way to the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center to have a listen. Only to find out I’d overlooked the comma between media and sensationalism. Lauren Berlant is an English professor at the University of Chicago, but that title can’t contain […]
Juliana Baggott wrote a smart and calm defense of the Osama bin Laden death celebration for NPR last week. Americans should be free to release their fear, she contends: their cheering shows they are paying attention, are emotionally invested, and are participating in an act of unity. She didn’t convince me, but she helped me […]
For a lifetime Mary Oliver has gently secluded herself, walked the woods, sent bottles out on the tide bearing simple messages that reconnect humanity to a beauty beyond us. Now we know why. In an interview with Maria Shriver Mary Oliver reveals she was sexually abused when very young, that with eroded trust she withdrew […]
I left the daily life of journalism at the turn of the Century, just before the daily life of journalism collapsed. That left me feeling a bit like Charlie Chaplin, who sold all his stocks in 1928. Since then I’ve maintained journalism as a practice more cyclically, and less cynically, focusing more on reporting and […]
The genius of James Fallows’ new piece in The Atlantic is that he takes some of the best values of traditional journalism—skepticism, research, fairness, eagerness to question authority and topple conventional wisdom—and he applies them to traditional journalism. He disputes the tediously common view that old journalism is better than new. Unless they are different from […]
Last week when my friend David Alm published his lament of digital publishing in these pages, I happened to be writing an introduction for a visiting writer. I recognized in my draft a soft rebuttal to David’s post, but I decided it had to complete its original mission before I could post it. This introduction […]