Monthly Archives: January 2011

Snow in Massachusetts



Snow, originally uploaded by pishkinn.

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Video: GE on Energy & Dynamic Braking

I love physics, and I love high-speed cameras, and this video combines both of those into one demonstration of how you can recapture energy normally wasted in braking. It’s the concept of regenerative braking, and it essentially takes energy that is normally dissipated during braking (in cars, trains, etc) and harnesses it to be used again. GE calls it dynamic braking and focuses on its use in trains, but it’s commonly used in hybrid vehicle designs as well. The video doesn’t address any technical parameters, but it’s still interesting and informative.

Found via FlowingData [original article]

Census Data: New York Times Mapping America

Back in December (it seems so long ago now, doesn’t it?), the New York Times released a set of interactive online maps representing data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, based on samples from 2005 to 2009. The corresponding article points out some interesting observations about the data, including trends in foreign-born populations, ethnic segregation, and education. But it’s well worth a few minutes to look through the interactive maps, to check on your hometown(s) or some of the major cities. I took a few screenshots while I was browsing and attached them below.

Here are New York and Chicago mapped for the distribution of racial and ethnic groups. In the cities, the divides between different neighborhoods seem surprisingly clear.

Here is a view of the West of those people with master’s degrees or higher. Besides the usual concentration around the cities, there are other less obvious concentrations, like this spot in Wyoming.

This view of Albuquerque illustrates the map for change in median home value since 2000. Blue are declines while gold are increases in home value, and different parts of the city have certainly seen different market climates in the past few years.

Here’s Chicago again, this time showing household income distribution. Again, the cities and urban areas tend to show sharp divides in different levels, and there is a distinct divide between the richer North side and the rest of the Chicago area.

Links:
[ Original NYT article ] “Immigrants Make Paths to Suburbia, Not Cities” – New York Times
[ Interactive Maps ] “Mapping America, Every Block” – New York Times