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Friday, July 8, 2011

Stanford Wants to Install an Earthquake Sensor on Your Computer

Posted By on Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 2:50 PM

My sensor saw it coming.
  • My sensor saw it coming.

The bad news: The Big One is coming. The good news: At least you can measure it. 

Geophysicists are looking for "citizen seismologists" in the Bay Area to install a tiny earthquake sensor in their home, classroom, or office this weekend as part of building the densest network of seismic sensors ever to learn about earthquake activity. The network is part of the Quake Catcher Network, based at Stanford University, which has already installed a web of sensors in earthquake-prone Chile and New Zealand, according to news reports.

The project will last three years, though the organizers say anyone willing to host a sensor for at least a year can volunteer.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Could "Thrashed" Ocean Beach Become a Blissful Playland?

Posted By on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Nice, but it could be better...
  • Nice, but it could be better...
Nice, but it could be better...
Imagine a dense, beautiful city bordered by a sandy, public beach.

Now if you're Los Angeles, you will see palm trees, basketball and volleyball courts, cafes, bars, galleries, ice cream parlors, and surf shops. It's paradise.

Go to San Francisco, and you will see Ocean Beach fronted with a four-lane highway and a graffiti covered seawall. There won't be bathrooms and you let the whole thing turn into a massive, post-apocalyptic bonfire pit.

"It's a little bit thrashed," acknowledges Ben Grant, a planner with the think tank San Francisco Planning and Urban Research. "Whether that's a lack of bathrooms, a seawall that's beat to hell, parking lots in rough shape and falling into the beach. To me that speaks to the fact there's no agency that looks at Ocean Beach as a place, that looks at creating an experience for visitors, or protects a natural resource."

Grant's organization has received a grant for more than $400,000 to devise a plan that will ultimately improve the beach. Called the Ocean Beach Master Plan project, the idea is to coordinate the various agencies responsible for the beach and hold them accountable so that the city's beachfront doesn't remain a wasteland.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Man Did Not Threaten to Piss on Neighbor, Jury Finds

Posted By on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 4:19 PM

A resident of San Francisco's Kean Motel was acquitted yesterday on charges that he forced his way into a neighbor's room, ate his Snickers bar, sprayed him with air freshener, and threatened to urinate on him.

Prosecutors said Willie Smith, 42, pushed his way into the room of a 73-year-old neighbor, Gordon Gantz. After allegedly slapping Gantz in the face and demanding money, Smith began eating a Snickers bar he found in Gantz' apartment. He then sprayed him with air freshener and threatened to urinate on him, Gantz told police.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Help Endangered Species Stick Around For Another Decade Or Five

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Marching against global warming - VIA FLICKR BY LAWRENCE OP
  • via flickr by Lawrence OP
  • Marching against global warming
The buzz of the decade has been about going green. So it only seems apropos that San Francisco would ring in 2010 with a competition to save local endangered species.

On New Year's Day, participants will start the search for the 36 endangered species that live in Golden Gate National Parks and then take some sort of action to help protect and preserve these species. Participants have until Dec. 31, 2010 to locate and help as many endangered species as possible.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

EPA Threatens North Face With Potential $1M in Fines Over 'Unsubstantiated Product Claims'

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 2:30 PM

Does this shoe fight germs or not?
​If you're selling a shoe you say fights germs, you better be able to back it up. The North Face's parent company, VF Outdoor, Inc., learned that lesson the hard way recently when the Environmental Protection Agency accused it of selling and distributing unregistered pesticides (in the form of bacteria-fighting shoes). VF could face up to $1 million in federal fines.

"At issue were more than 70 styles of footwear that incorporated an AgION silver treated footbed," said an EPA press release, which also listed several public health claims that the company made online and on its packaging about the footwear's ability to inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacterial and fungal growth. 

The EPA collected its evidence against the North Face both online and at The North Face store on Post Street in San Francisco. When the federal agency notified The North Face of the violation, the company stopped claiming that their footwear protected against germs. All the claims were subsequently yanked from the company's Web site, and the product packaging was revised, according to the EPA.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eco-Curious: Open Source Carmaker to Build Electric Car Inspired By S.F.

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Unlike the vehicles in this classic Quinn Martin production, the S.F.-inspired car LocalMotors hopes to build won't be a giant gas-guzzler that gets great air on the hills
  • Unlike the vehicles in this classic Quinn Martin production, the S.F.-inspired car LocalMotors hopes to build won't be a giant gas-guzzler that gets great air on the hills
Carmaker LocalMotors is planning to build a vehicle based on San Francisco. But here's the catch. You have to design it.

The competition--which starts today--has just three requirements: The vehicle must be electric, it must be a shooting-break design, and it must capture the spirit of our City by the Bay. Of course, there couldn't be better timing. There's been a lot of mayoral chatter lately about making San Fran the electric car capital of the United States.

The final product must be a single-engine car that goes from 0-60 in about nine seconds and will have an end-of-life battery range of 80 miles. Similar in build to a Volkswagen Scirocco, the car should be a two- (or possibly four-) passenger vehicle. And the door style needs to provide easy access but also be workable for tight parking spots or steep hills. Designers, here's a hint: rent Back to the Future.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"