You may not have heard about it during your local traffic report this weekend, but anyone negotiating the Beijing-Tibet expressway in recent days is painfully aware of the problem: a 62-mile jam that slowed traffic to a crawl between the Chinese capital and Jining city. But while such huge traffic jams aren't unheard of, China’s traffic woes are unique in their duration – the current traffic snarl (it’s still ongoing) has been unfolding since August 14, making for nine days of gridlock.
The DOE released its 2009 Wind Technologies Market Report yesterday, and the results are a mixed bag of highs and lows for the U.S. Americans added 10 gigawatts of wind capacity last year, 40% more than in 2009. But alas, the U.S. is the world's wind power leader no more; China outpaced the U.S. in new wind capacity, stealing away a mantle America had owned for four years.
Public transit in a metropolitan area is all about balance; if there aren't enough public transit options, too many people choose to drive, clogging roadways and adding to pollution. But trains are expensive (and, if above-ground, contributors to traffic) and adding more buses to the road can magnify traffic woes further.
Islands of garbage so thick people can stand on them are threatening China's massive Three Gorges Dam, according to Chinese state media.
Recent heavy rains have washed thousands of tons of trash down the Yangtze River, and it threatens to jam the locks of the enormous dam, which is itself environmentally controversial.
Bits of Chinese space junk are flying near the International Space Station, and the astronauts on board are prepared to take cover. While space junk threats to the station are nothing new, this one is unique -- the debris in question comes from a Chinese weather satellite that the Chinese military used for target practice in an anti-satellite missile demonstration three years ago.
More than 60 ships are being dispatched to ward off a green tide approaching the city of Qingdao, the Guardian reports. Officials in the Chinese coastal city hope an armada can save them from a looming onslaught of green algae.
America's car culture spawned the drive-through restaurant, the drive-through pharmacy, drive-through banking, and such seemingly counterintuitive institutions as the drive-through liquor store and even the drive-through daiquiri stand. But China has the fastest-growing car culture in the world (it's expected to grow 400 percent in the next decade), so perhaps it's fitting that the Chinese are planning the first drive-through museum dedicated to cars.
In the U.S., we often complete the run-up to graduation by writing 25 pages of extremely dry thesis that is typically read and appraised by a single person before being relegated to the library stacks forever. Bi Heng, a student at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China, decided that instead he would create a 4-ton, $43,000 Transformer-inspired sculpture honoring legendary Chinese general Guan Yu.
Add drywall to the growing list of toxic imports from China. Today a report from the largest investigation in the history of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has cited 10 Chinese manufactures as sources of sulfur-laden drywall found in thousands of homes constructed in the United States between 2005 and 2009, when a post-Katrina building boomed created a run on drywall and forced builders to seek out new suppliers.
We’re rolling out our annual invention awards today, so it’s perhaps a fitting coincidence that this video should surface of the so-called peasant inventor Wu Yulu, a Chinese farmer and robot hobbyist displaying his whimsical creations at Shanghai’s Rockbund Art Museum.