Quality of Chinese-built cars better than European ones, Volvo executive admits

In an interview with Australia’s Go Auto, Volvo’s senior vice-president of design, Robin Page, admitted that some were concerned about the automaker’s decision to build many of its vehicles in China.

“What we’re finding is that the quality of the cars is actually better in China than in Europe. Everyone was worried about quality, but as soon as they [the Chinese – Ed.] started the quality was even higher than in Europe,” Page said.

He attributed the difference to the greater automation in manufacturing at European factories. Chinese factories produce such high-quality vehicles because they rely less on automation and have tighter tolerances, the official explained.

“To be honest with you, if you talk to the (European) manufacturing guys, they’ve put so much automation into the system, you haven’t got that manual adjust. They’ve [Chinese factories –Ed.] got more people on it, less automation, which actually gives you that ability to get tighter on the tolerances … and make finer adjustments.

“It’s not a massive difference, but if you do scores-to-scores and averages, China’s pretty damn good, so we’re not so worried about that now,” said Page.

Volvo started exporting Chinese-built vehicles around the world four years ago. First, it began sending the long-wheelbase version of the previous-generation S60 to the United States. The company has also shifted production of its range-topping S90 sedan from Sweden to China at the end of 2016.

The automaker plans to build various electric Volvos and Lynk & Co models in China, and export them to foreign markets.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/business/426662-volvo-chinese-cars-quality/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

How many LEGO skyscrapers could be built from a year’s worth of ocean plastic?

TIME crunches the numbers to determine how many life-size skyscrapers could be built with ocean plastic turned into LEGO bricks.

OK first things first, this little experiment does not imply that there are skyscrapers’ worth of LEGO bits in the ocean, because who throws away LEGOs? (Yes, sometimes they get shipwrecked, but that’s another story.) However, LEGOs or not, the oceans are becoming increasingly chock-full of plastic.

Research published this year reveals that a mere 9 percent of plastics are currently recycled; meanwhile, plastic use is expected to double in the next 20 years as “as manufacturers find new and varied uses for the material, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF),” writes TIME magazine. As Lloyd points out, the fossil fuel industry is sinking all kinds of money into new plastic-making facilities, promising that the poor beleageuered planet will continue choking on the eternal stuff into the foreseeable forever.

Most of us know by now the staggering amount of plastic waste that ends up in the oceans; but to hear that 8 million tons of plastic finds its way into our seas annually … well, what exactly does that look like?

So this is where TIME comes in, with a little (big) experiment, asking: “If all the plastic that winds up in the ocean over a single year was molded into LEGO bricks, how many life-size skyscrapers could you build with them?”

Figuring that the standard LEGO brick weighs 2.32 grams, that 8-million-tons of plastic-bonanza waste would create a mind-spinning 3.4 quadrillion such blocks. They then did a simulation and built a pretend full-scale replica of NYC’s Empire State Building with said imagined bricks.

The typical 2-by-4 block is 31.8 millimeters long by 15.8 millimeters wide and 9.6 millimeters tall. The way LEGOs stack together leaves a tiny amount of space between them, so this simulation treats the length as 32mm by 16mm. Our life-size LEGO Empire State Buildings have a volume of about 900,000 cubic meters, close to that of the real thing.

The final tally? NINETEEN life-size Empire State Buildings. If you’ve ever stood anywhere near this iconic skyscraper, you know how massive it is. It has a footprint of approximately two acres and is comprised of 102 stories; and we allow 19 times that amount of plastic – in teeny-tiny bits – to enter our oceans each year. It’s really pretty profound.

You can see the simulation over at TIME, it’s a very good visual … and a great reminder to curtail plastic use, especially single-use plastics and products containing microbeads (which basically go straight from sink and shower to sea).

See related stories below for more on plastic.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/how-many-skyscrapers-could-be-built-years-worth-ocean-plastic.html

Gangsters for Zion–How Jewish mobsters built the Jewish state and helped it gain its independence

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Source Article from https://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/gangsters-for-zion-how-jewish-mobsters-built-the-jewish-state-and-helped-it-gain-its-independence/

12 Storey tall wood tower to be built on Toronto waterfront

Things are happening so fast in the wood world these days that it is hard to keep up; we had not even covered Toronto’s George Brown College short list of architects for a tall wood building for its new waterfront campus when they announce the winner. It is Moriyama and Teshima, a long-time favourite in these parts, and Acton Ostry Architects, who built what is for the moment the world’s tallest timber tower in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Atrium Arbour 1© George Brown College

The 12 storey tall Arbour Building (sorry for all the Canadian spelling here, lots of extra e’s and u’s) “is expected to be net-positive, reducing the college’s carbon footprint, and in turn, lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Once built, students and researchers will learn to design, construct, operate, and monitor climate-friendly buildings.” It is also going to be a “smart” building, ” networked, intelligent, sensitive, and adaptable. With building automation at the forefront of design and development innovation, this project provides an opportunity to create a facility that can integrate, adapt, monitor, and test latest technologies as well as share best practices with industry and students.”

Persective Arbour 1© George Brown College

According to the press release,

In selecting the winning design, the jury said, “the concept excelled across all aspects of the selection criteria: innovative use of wood throughout; excellent energy use that makes the building resilient and future-proof; exquisite space planning that supports a range of classroom, lab and other academic needs; and spaces that will have a strong resonance with students and the broader East Bayfront community.”

Stair arbour 1© George Brown College

Once complete, The Arbour will host Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute, allowing students and researchers to generate innovative ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction. It will also become home to the college’s School of Computer Technology, and a new child care facility.

Construction will start in 2021, presumably to allow building code changes that make 12 storeys legal in Ontario.

The architects are happy campers: “We look forward to ushering in a new era in Canada’s design and building industry for our collective low-carbon future,” said representatives from Moriyama & Teshima Architects + Acton Ostry Architects.”

Perhaps better late than never, here are the runners-up:

Shigeru Ban + Brook McIlroy© Shigeru Ban + Brook McIlroy via George Brown College

 Patkau Architects + MJMA © Patkau Architects + MJMA via George Brown College

Provencher Roy + Turner Fleischer © Provencher Roy + Turner Fleischer via George Brown College

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/12-storey-tall-wood-tower-be-built-toronto-waterfront.html

Ann Coulter: “Trump Wall is a Fake and Will Never be Built”


US President Donald Trump’s border wall prototypes are a “fakeout,” a “a ridiculous waste of time,” border wall prototypes and a ploy to never actually build any wall, New York Times best-selling author and populist conservative columnist Ann Coulter has said.

Speaking in an interview broadcast on KABC Radio Los Angeles, Coulter—known previously as a Trump supporter—said that the border wall prototypes—which have been standing for over half a year without any further action—were only “very good at stopping any illegal alien prototypes.”

Coulter went on to say that she didn’t understand “why we need prototypes, except that it’s all just a fakeout and the whole thing about building a wall is just ‘I’m going to get four years saying I’m going to build the wall and inspecting prototypes, but I’ll never actually build the wall.’ … No, it’s a ridiculous waste of time.”

Coulter went on to discuss Israel’s border wall, and how that works perfectly in keeping illegal invaders out of the Jewish state.

“I’ll take whatever Israel has because it’s working 100 percent. … And they have a big problem because they are surrounded, . . . and its weird, because Jews are usually so good at real estate [laughter] but look at what they are surrounded by, a tiny little outpost of civilization. . .

“So they have a huge problem with illegal aliens and they’re fantastic. I mean, I have a whole chapter in ‘Adios, America’ about ‘Why can’t we have Israel’s plan on immigration?’ … They take illegal aliens and just fly them to other countries and drop them off in the desert.

“There’s no integrating you, putting you in houses, giving you welfare, no, they’re in prisons or jail facilities right there at the border and you can leave on your own or you can stay in jail and eventually they might get sick of you and just fly you to another country but when they first put the fence up.”

She went on to point out how the Jews had even boasted about how good the border wall in Israel worked.

“For close readers of the New York Times, they would be bragging, Netanyahu, bragged [about the wall] and this year, zero illegal immigrants got through [into Israel].

“Yeah ok it’s a smaller country, but you know they also have a much smaller budget. How much are you guys spending on the bullet train [in California] $77 billion? We could have three walls [for that]. I never want to hear about the cost of the wall again.”

Coutler is possibly being harsh on Trump, as he has yet to secure the funding to build the wall, but his most recent offer—of allowing millions of illegal immigrants amnesty in exchange for Democratic support for the wall budget—does not augur well for the future of the project.

Trump has requested $18 billion to complete the wall. His 2019 budget request includes roughly $1.6 billion to add 65 miles of walls in the Rio Grande region. Congress has so far only allocated roughly $341 million to replace some fencing and “add gates to existing barriers.” Even if lawmakers were to approve Trump’s request, that would still fall short of the up to $21.6 billion needed to seal off the entire border, as the president originally proposed.

Only a few days ago, a NBC report preparing to cover Trump’s recent visit to the prototypes, captured a family of four nonwhites brazenly jumping the border as it currently exists in the immediate area of the prototypes.

No matter if the wall gets built or not, it will also not affect the current changing demographic of America, which is rapidly seeing that nation be invaded and overrun with nonwhites from Mexico, Central and South America.

Perhaps the most recent pertinent example of this mass nonwhite invasion has come with an article in a recent National Geographic article, which revealed that the town of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, has shifted from just two percent Hispanic in 2000, to 51 percent Hispanic in 2016.



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Source Article from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TheEuropeanUnionTimes/~3/DxitR0o4CoM/

World’s Highest Capacity Grid Battery Might Be Built in Colorado

World’s Highest Capacity Grid Battery Might Be Built in Colorado

March 14th, 2018

300 MWh.


Via: Electrek:

After breaking a few energy storage records with its battery system projects in Australia, Tesla looks to come back to the US to build a new world’s largest Powerpack battery system in Colorado.

In South Australia, Tesla’s 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project is known as “the most powerful battery system in the world� and while this proposal in Colorado would not be as powerful with a power capacity of 75 MW, it would be able to run for 4 hours, which would require a much bigger energy capacity of 300 MWh.




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Source Article from http://www.cryptogon.com/?p=52506

Magnificent spiraling hives are built by stingless sugarbag bees (Video)

The idea of a stingless bee may seem as strange as an octopus that can run, but they exist. Case in point is Australia’s amazing sugarbag bees (Tetragonula carbonaria but previously known as Tragonula carbonaria), which not only do not sting, but also construct these amazing spiralling hives.

No one is sure why sugarbag bees build their hives in this way, but National Geographic has some guesses:

[Australian entomologist Tim] Heard says no one’s quite sure why carbonarias make their hives in spiral formations, but the architecture could help queen bees navigate them easier. It could also make for better air circulation, because generally, other bee colonies are not well ventilated.

The way sugarbag bee hives are built offer an interesting clue into how these sugarbag bee colonies function: according to Heard, sugarbag bee hives only have one entrance, and it’s protected by a bevy of guardian bees and covered with sticky, resinous material cerumen — a mix of beeswax and propolis — that kills any outside germs that might have hitched a ride on its member bees, as well as repelling intruders. Any invaders that do make it through are apparently “mummified” in mud and soil.

Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0

Heard’s website — which focuses on this one of 21 stingless bee species around the world, with 14 being endemic to Australia — notes that:

Stingless bees are highly social insects, with one queen and thousands of workers who live together in a protected place, which, in nature, is usually in a hollow tree.

Tim HeardTim Heard/via

Tim HeardTim Heard/via

Once again, these amazing bees and their spiralling domains prove that nature is full of diverse wonders. To find out more about sugarbag bees, check out Tim Heard’s website, Facebook, or his book, Australian Native Bee.

[Via: Core77]

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/animals/spiraling-hives-stingless-sugarbag-bees.html

Sturgis tiny house is built with sturdy & renewable cross-laminated timber (Video)

The tiny house movement has come a long way in the last decade or so, having evolved from its rustic, DIY roots into a flourishing field where we’re seeing a lot of tiny homes using innovative materials and building systems, as well as prefabricated, high-tech smart tiny housing units.

Cubist Engineering is offering this 170-square-foot modern gem of a tiny house that’s built with one of our favourite materials: cross-laminated timber. CLT has been popular in Europe for decades, and is now making its presence known in North America — it’s a strong material that is not only lighter than concrete, but also sequesters carbon and is renewable. Here’s a quick tour of the 21′ by 8′ long Sturgis:

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

As the company explains, the use of CLT from SmartLam allows them to gain almost a foot of extra width, as CLT is strong but light:

In our CLT buildings, the walls, floor and roof are all solid wood panels, up to 3.25 inches thick. CLT panels consist of lumber glued together to form a big sheet; then multiple sheets, oriented perpendicular to each other, are glued together in a massive press. The more layers, the stronger the structure. Our buildings are structurally engineered to withstand the most stringent building codes, as well as drive down the road at 70mph.

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

Clad with shou sugi ban wood siding on the outside, and white oak wood flooring and reclaimed white oak trim inside, the Sturgis’ airy interior boasts one big space-saving trick we are now familiar with in tiny spaces: a retractable queen-sized bed that can be lowered down from the ceiling with the push of a button.

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

The kitchen sits in the centre, and is outfitted with plenty of storage, a two-burner induction cooktop, and an under-counter refrigerator and freezer. The bathroom has been designed as a 4’ by 8’ wet spa bath. The frosted glass makes the space feel more continuous and therefore larger.

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

There’s also what the company calls its “obsession space”: a raised platform located on one end of the unit, which has its own remote-controlled gullwing door. Seems a bit over the top, but the company envisions it acting as a display case and storage unit for prized things: perhaps a nice work of art, a walk-in closet, a wine cellar, or a mini-garage for a motorcycle or some mountain bikes. If anything, it’s basically an extra-large storage space.

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

Cubist Engineering© Cubist Engineering

The Sturgis doesn’t come cheap at a base price of USD $99,000. But as the idea of creating functional, livable and well-designed small spaces becomes more mainstream, it’s an encouraging thought that more innovative and eco-friendly materials will be at least integrated into the mix, as we’ve seen here. Get a more detailed look at the Sturgis’ specifications, or visit Cubist Engineering.

[Via: Inhabitat]

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/sturgis-tiny-house-cubist-engineering.html