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Hyperloop

Elon Musk, the dude behind Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and was a founding member of PayPal, announced his intentions for the Hyperloop transportation system yesterday.

The solar-powered system, which Musk previously described as a cross between a Concorde, rail gun and air-hockey table, would shoot as many as 28 passengers in each enclosed capsule through a low-pressure steel tube at up to 800 miles per hour, according to the 57-page design plan.

The plans are also open-source, meaning anyone can build upon and improve them. I suppose it’s too much to hope for that this could be the start of a cross-country high-speed rail system for the U.S., what with the lobbying dollars that the airline industry likely has, but it’s nice to dream.

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Linkin' Log News Politics Society

Stop and Frisk

A judge has ruled that NY City’s Stop-and-Frisk practice violated the rights of New Yorkers.

In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of minorities in New York, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.

Glad to see this, but isn’t calling for a federal monitor to ensure compliance with any amendment in the Bill of Rights like asking Lindsay Lohan to be your sponsor in Narcotics Anonymous?

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Linkin' Log News Science

Cicadas On Parade!

The Huffington Post reports that we’re going to see some crazy on the East Coast this summer:

If you live on the East Coast between Georgia and Connecticut, get ready for the air to be filled with billions of large, buzzing insects known as cicadas, a massive brood of which have been feeding on roots underground for the past 17 years — all in preparation for this one moment… The red-eyed insects, also known as Magicicada, tend to form denser clouds than other varieties of cicada. These swarms can be as dense as 1.5 million cicadas per acre.

Back when I was a kid, I used to take the shells that cicadas grew out of that they left behind on trees and glue giant googly-eyes on them. It was fun. (In other words, it’s time to invest in the companies that make giant googly-eyes, because I am going to be increasing their profit margins single-handedly this summer.)