Above is a video titled “Solar Freakin Roadways”, which is the campaign kick starter by Indiegogo that was intended to capture the attention of big time investors. With a goal of one million dollars to get an initial prototype project underway, the campaign was flooded with more than two million dollars and over 48,000 supporters in just a couple of months. Needless to say, these solar powered roadways, sidewalks and parking lots are pretty amazing. Aside from providing energy solutions, these roadways could open up a new market for job creation and also generate income from an unlimited supply of renewable energy.
As you watch the video, you’ll notice that the benefits of having solar powered roadways are countless. The installation of these roadways would call for an underground electrical channel which could be used in conjunction with each cities electrical infrastructure to remove the use of power lines. Heated solar roadways would also prevent the buildup of snow during the winter months which would result in less corrosive damage from salt, safer travel and savings from minimizing snow plow costs. Regular streets have to constantly be repaved and patched up wherever potholes appear, another possibly obsolete problem solved with solar roadways.
Each of the solar panels is lined with a high impact resistant material to prevent damage and also with LED lights which could be used in a number of configurations. For instance, let’s say there’s an accident up ahead, the LED lights could signal for you to slow down or merge lanes. Parking lots could be rearranged as needed in seconds because with the LED lights in place, painting the space will not be necessary. Like I said before, the benefits are seemingly endless so it’s best if you watch the whole video. I myself was a little skeptical at first, but the video convinced me otherwise. I believe this stuff could change the world one day and it could make our country an energy independent nation if taken seriously. So enjoy the clip and thanks for stopping by!
Hacking. This may be the most misunderstood and complicated term that makes the news on a daily basis. Whenever I hear the word “hacker” I immediately imagine some petty thief sitting on his computer buying things online with my stolen credit card information. Surely I’m not the only person who has received a phone call from their bank asking them if they are aware of fraudulent charges on their account. I imagine that if this happened to you, that you were sent a new card in the mail a few days later and that the money was safely transferred back into your account later that day. But what happens when someone is able to hack more than just your money? What if they are able to hack into your life’s work and then use that information for their own benefit? Well, that actually wasn’t a question, it’s a fact. As of May 1st, 2014, five members of China’s military were indicted for corporate cyber-attacks.
This is the first time that individuals from a foreign government are being charged with cyber-crimes against major U.S. corporations. Sun Kailiang, Huang Zhenyu, Wen Xinyu, Wang Dong and Gu Chunhui are the five members from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of the Republic of China who were indicted for their cyber-crimes. The victims of their cyber-crimes include U.S. companies such as Westinghouse Electric Co, SolarWorld AG, United States Steal Corporation, Alcoa Inc., Allegheny Technologies Inc. and a workers union. The hackers not only stole valuable information about trade practices and procedures, but they also stole vital energy information. While conducting their cyber-attack, the criminals did everything from send false emails requesting secret information to downloading schematics for power-plant production. These expert hackers were able to gain access to nearly all aspects of these major U.S. companies.
After looking into the investigation, I discovered that each of these corporations were in some way involved in more than just business with China. As stated by the FBI, “… those companies were engaged in negotiations or joint ventures or were pursuing legal action with, or against, state-owned enterprises in China”. These hackers were able to access vital information about U.S. competitors and their negotiation strategies with these Chinese enterprises. Of course the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson denied any government or military responsibility for the crimes stating that, “The U.S. accusation against Chinese personnel is purely ungrounded and absurd”. This latest case of suspected cyber-attacks from China is the first to actually move forward with official criminal charges and is likely to strain the U.S.–Chinese relationship even further.
I would love to hear from someone living in China about these accusations. Though I’m fully aware of the U.S.’s capacity to lie about such accusations, I want to know what you think about this. Do you think that these charges were fabricated by the U.S. or do you believe that the crimes committed are legitimate? Does this case latest case of cyber-attacks strain the relationship between the U.S. and China as much as the news says it does? Whether from China or not, please leave me a post and let me know what your thoughts are on this case.
Do you remember the last time that you ate a child’s heart so that you could be invincible in battle? Can’t recall ever doing so? Well take a look at this documentary that I found on youtube.com. The documentary was produced by Vice News, a news agency that does in depth reporting across the globe. In this documentary Shane Smith, Vice News co-founder and field correspondent, travels to the west African nation of Liberia to investigate the so called Cannibal Warlords that live there. Let me warn you that the documentary has some strong content.
After exploring several parts of Liberia, Shane Smith lands a shady interview with former General “Butt Naked.” The general, who gave himself the name “Butt Naked”, explains the origin of his name to Shane. He tells the reporter that he chose this name because of his combat strategy during Liberia’s civil war. A strategy in which he would instruct his rebel soldiers to strip down completely before battle. Once fully nude, he would have his soldiers bring an innocent child to him for ritualistic purposes. He would then cut the child’s heart out of his/her chest, while still alive, and have each of his soldiers consume a piece of it. General “Butt Naked” explained to his soldiers that this sacrifice would bring them magical powers in combat and make them invincible. Only then would the General and his soldiers go into battle, while still completely nude I should add. This ritual of sacrifice was repeated before every single battle, thus causing the needless slaughter of hundreds of innocent children during the war.
Today General “Butt Naked” spends his days preaching to his community. He converted to Christianity after the war and now preaches at churches around Liberia about his struggle with his violent past. Former victims of his cannibal rituals say that he converted to Christianity only to avoid punishment for his war crimes. So the former general’s life is now in constant danger of attack from people affected by his military past. According to him these are false accusations. He says that the reason he converted to Christianity was so that he could be a better person and more importantly a better father to his young daughter. Though he takes the full blame for his actions, he recognizes that if his parents would have raised him instead of abandon him, then he might be a different man today. That thought is what motivates him to be a better father and a better person with the help of Christianity.
I tried to put myself in his shoes and imagine what life must have been like for him in Liberia. I wonder what kind of trauma he experienced before deciding that killing children and eating their hearts was the right thing to do. Maybe he’s just a psychopath with no remorse, incapable of distinguishing right from wrong. However it seems odd to me that a person who is incapable of knowing right from wrong would choose to devote the rest of his life to Christianity seeking forgiveness for his sins. The question of whether or not this man should be executed for his crimes remains a mixed issue. Does punishing a person’s ignorance with death solve the issue of ignorance? Does not punishing this man solve the issue of ignorance? I’m not sure what the solution is, if there even is a solution, but what I do know is that this country and its people are completely foreign to me. I will pray for them and hope that change comes sooner than later…
I would love to hear from someone living in Liberia. If you are from there or have family that lives there, please reply to this blog post. I want to hear your story and know what it is like for you as a citizen of Liberia. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.