New York City is proud of its six upcoming Nissan Leaf cabs, but more than a hundred years ago an all-electric fleet of taxis served the city using technology that even today would still be considered cutting edge. Advertisement Here's the story of how their fall from grace killed electric vehicles in the United States — and the world. In the early 20th century, electric cars were actually mainstream. In 1900, there were more electric automobiles on New York City streets than cars powered by gasoline. True, there were only 4,192 cars sold in the United States that year, but 1,575 of them were electric. The advantages were obvious — electrics were quiet, clean, and easy to use. Battery power looked like the ideal choice for personal urban transportation (For what it's worth, both electrics and gas-engined cars were both beaten in sales by steam-powered cars — 1,681 of them, to be precise — but who the hell really thinks steam still makes sense?). Street car … [Read more...] about How A New York Taxi Company Killed The Electric Car In 1900
1910 electric car
It was while recently soaring 10,000 miles above Iceland's famously pulchritudinous interior, looking down through my airplane window at the gentle folds and pastel shades of its rhyolite mountains and the receding white snow atop its glaciers, that I found myself wondering: Is my job as a travel writer morally justifiable any more? Read more: Swedes switch to trains due to global warming I was on my way to update a guidebook and review some hotels for a newspaper. Excellent news for the local economy, of course, and certainly fun work if one can get it; but reports underlining the devastating impact of tourism on the planet — the majority of which occur via air, car, rail and sea transportation, with the rest coming mainly from the hotel business — are by now impossible to ignore. Flying in itself makes up a large chunk of the overall percentage. Although a relatively small industry, aviation has a disproportionately large impact, accounting for between … [Read more...] about Climate crisis: Is travel writing — or even traveling — still morally legitimate?
From the time of the Roman Empire all the way to the Victorian era, arsenic was considered the "king of poisons" as well as the "poison of kings." History is riddled with accounts of both royalty and commoners carrying out assassinations for personal gain using the odorless, tasteless — in other words, poison-perfect — compounds of arsenic. But even with its reputation as a lethal substance, arsenic still holds a very important place in the natural world. A natural chemicalIn the periodic table of the elements, arsenic is No. 33. An arsenic atom has 33 electrons and 33 protons with five valence electrons (those that can participate in forming chemical bonds with other electrons) in its outer shell. Arsenic is a crystalline metalloid found in the Earth's crust, but in its free form it is quite rare. The element is typically found in minerals, such as arsenopyrite, realgar and orpiment, according to the Minerals Education Coalition. Arsenopyrite (FeAsS), an iron … [Read more...] about Facts About Arsenic