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California

The Bay Lights installation will begin to shine from March 5

Since its creation 75 years ago, the San Francisco Bay Bridge has remained a familiar feature of the city’s skyline. However, from early March, the west span of the bridge is set to be transformed into the world's largest animated light sculpture, courtesy of artist Leo Villareal and his project The Bay Lights.  Read More

The Sutter's Mill bolide caught from near Reno, Nevada (Photo: Lisa Warren)

On April 22 this year, a daytime fireball was seen throughout the western United States, accompanied by a loud booming sound heard over much of California's Sierra Nevada mountains around Lake Tahoe. Scientists have now carried out a thorough analysis of the meteorite and found that it was the fastest meteor ever recorded at 28.6 km/s (64,000 mph).  Read More

Google co-founder Sergey Brin gave a summary of the potential benefits of autonomous vehic...

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that will allow Google (and other companies) to test autonomous vehicles on state-owned roads. The bill – which is similar to those already enacted in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and Oklahoma – allows the state to oversee safety and performance standards.  Read More

A specially-designed truck is carrying the massive 340-ton rock to Los Angeles at 8mph

If nothing else, large-scale works artist Michael Heizer gets major points for persistence (and thinking big). After over 40 years of searching for the right rock, the Berkeley, California, native's dream of creating a massive installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is finally beginning to materialize. His monolith of choice, a monstrous 340-ton (308.44 mt), 21.6 ft (6.6 m) high behemoth, is slowly making its way to the museum where it'll eventually perch above a 456 ft (139 m) trench as the centerpiece in his upcoming work Levitated Mass.  Read More

During the first 15 years of the Tobacco Control Program in California, which cost in the ...

In the past decade a line has been drawn in the sand in most major cities. Tax revenues from cigarettes are higher than ever, and most bars and restaurants no longer allow smoking within their confines. The days of smoking being the social norm are quickly turning into times when those lighting-up are viewed as an outcast minority, and when it comes to quitting, the evidence is clear that it's not just the smokers themselves who stand to benefit.  Read More

Model rendering of ISEGS, the world's largest solar power tower being built in California

Google has chipped in a US$168 million investment in what will be the world's largest solar power tower plant. To be located on 3,600 acres of land in the Mojave Desert in southeastern California, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) will boast 173,000 heliostats that will concentrate the sun's rays onto a solar tower standing approximately 450 feet (137 m) tall. The plant commenced construction in October 2010 and is expected to generate 392 MW of solar energy following its projected completion in 2013.  Read More

Molten salt technology was demonstrated at the Solar Two project

One of the biggest problems with solar energy is that the sun doesn’t shine 24 hours a day. This means that unless users are only planning on using electricity when the sun is shining, some form of energy storage system is required. Since storing excess electricity in rechargeable batteries isn’t really practical for large-scale solar power plants, another storage system is needed. U.S. utility-scale solar project developer SolarReserve has now received approval for the first solar power plant in California that uses molten salt technology to store the sun’s thermal energy as heat so it can generate electricity when needed, at any time of the day or night.  Read More

Olivier Chalouhi in his new Nissan LEAF

San Francisco Bay Area resident Olivier Chalouhi has become the first person in the world to take delivery of a Nissan LEAF all-electric vehicle. At a special presentation on Saturday at North Bay Nissan of Petaluma in California, Chalouhi, a 31-year-old Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was the first person in the U.S. to place a LEAF order, took possession of a black LEAF SL in what Nissan described as an historic event representing “the first delivery of an affordable, mass-market, all-electric car since the first days of the automotive era.”  Read More

The mushroom-shaped solar evaporators of the winning Project Umbrella entry

Mushroom-shaped solar evaporators have taken out first place in a competition asking architects, landscape architects, designers, engineers, urban planners, students and environmental professionals to create an innovative urban vision for a several-mile-long development zone on the eastern edge of downtown LA. The Project Umbrella submission features a series of umbrella-like structures designed to clarify black water from city sewage which would then be used to encourage the growth of surrounding trees and plants.  Read More

Ferrari HELE system adds a tinge of “green” to Ferrari red

There’s been a number of battery electric and hybrid supercar concepts on the stands at this year’s Paris Motor Show, and with the impressive performance stats of vehicles such as the Jaguar C-X75, the Lotus Elite GT and the Exagon Furtive eGT, automakers are closing the gap between the performance of electric vehicles and those powered by internal combustion engines (ICE). However, there’s still some way to go before electric vehicles can match it with conventional supercars, but even companies like Ferrari can’t ignore the change in attitudes. In an effort to add a tinge of green to its iconic red, the company showed a Ferrari California in Paris that is fitted with a new HELE (High Emotion Low Emissions) system designed to reduce the environmental impact of its supercars, while boosting their performance.  Read More

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