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greening it up – wed 28 feb 07

Submitted by sproutingforth on Wed, 2007-02-28 10:59

Why you should be buying organic or rBST-free milk. If you’re not already doing so, there are very good reasons to buy rBST-free milk (Woolies & Pick ‘n Pay produce rBST-free milk). Despite Monsanto’s “study” showing no difference between milk from rBST-free cows and those injected with the hormone, a scientific study by the Physicians for Social Responsibility has shown that the hormone poses risks to animal and human health. [organic consumers] Read a brochure released by the group [know your milk]

SA’s ‘revolution in transport’ announced by the Transport Minister, now standing in for the Health Minister as she recuperates in hospital, outlines the R-billions soon to be injected into the public transport and infrastructure system to prepare for 2010 – but not a word about green alternatives or an endeavour to cut carbon emissions.[M&G]

tesla roadster part 3 - the south african connection

Submitted by turbosprout on Thu, 2007-01-18 11:14

I first heard about the Tesla Roadster last year, but was unaware of the connection between Tesla Motors and Elon Musk until last week. Actually, I'd never heard of Elon Musk until last week when I read Wikipedia's List of South Africans and stumbled upon this entry: "Elon Musk, Internet and space launch entrepreneur (1971 - )".

Now tell me you wouldn't be intrigued. Another SA internet entrepreneur turned spaceman? The parallels with Mark Shuttleworth seemed uncanny. And how come I'd never heard of him until now?

It turns out Elon Musk left South Africa in 1989 after matriculating from Pretoria Boy's High to avoid conscription to the SA Defence Force under apartheid. He was able to get to the US via his grandmother's Canadian citizenship and was awarded a scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned undergraduate degrees in physics and business.

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tesla roadster part 2: the back story

Submitted by turbosprout on Tue, 2007-01-16 17:04

The Tesla Roadster represents a paradigm shift in motoring, and so its natural that it's creators are not your usual car makers. Surprisingly the roadster has it's roots not in the Motoring world, but in the IT world. The epi-center of US car design and manufacture is traditionally in Detroit, Chicago while Tesla Motors has as its home Silicon Valley, California, home of electronics geeks and internet entrepreneurs.

The founders, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpanning, had no experience designing or manufacturing cars before they embarked on creating the Tesla Roadster.

Eberhard was the creator of the Rocket eBook, a handheld digital book (e-book) reader that was available in the late 1990's but was ultimately shelved by the company that bought him out after it never really took off. After Eberhard had flogged the company for millions he was in the market for a flash new sports car but, being the practical sort, he wanted something that was fast but also economical. He quickly realised that no such car existed and that with the combustion engine, fuel efficiency and high performance are mutually exclusive.

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tesla roadster part 1: the hype, the specs

Submitted by turbosprout on Fri, 2007-01-12 13:01

Incredulous. Skeptical. Stupified. Amazed. Converted. Evangelist.

These are roughly the states of mind that you rapidly transition through as you first read about the Tesla Roadster. You go from "I don't believe this" to "I've got to tell everybody about this" in just over the same time it takes for the Roadster to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (around 4 seconds).

There is no doubt the Tesla Roadster is going to revolutionise personal transport: electric car and sexy never went together before now. It is desirable and good for the planet at the same time and I can't think of any other big ticket items that have merged "I need to own this" with "You're trendily saving the planet" before.

It's no wonder the kudos poured in at the end of 2006 with the Roadster scooping some big awards:
- Time Magazine: Best Inventions 2006 - Transportation Invention

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the urge to use public transport

Submitted by turbosprout on Mon, 2006-10-02 15:57

Gauteng's transport minister Ignatius Jacobs is encouraging commuters to make use of public transport, admitting that although underdeveloped it's also underused.

As a green-minded individual I would be the first to make use of public transport, but...

(and here follows a list of buts when it comes to using public transport in SA) would have to be:
- safe (ever been the only one on the carriage and Mr Threatening gets in?)
- convenient / practical (although a man of principal, I'm not going to cycle / walk / crawl for 5km to get to a station or bus stop)
- reliable (arriving at work 30 min late, three days in a go is not conducive to good employee-boss relations!)

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