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    Entries in transportation (3)


    Sir Richard Branson decides to step into the high speed rail market, in America

    The hopes for high speed rail in the United States has been kept together by various groups trying to keep awareness of the need for high speed rail in the American people's radar. Even though they have been raising millions of dollars for the projects, and the idea has been wildly talked about and promised with in the Obama administration, a name and a face behind high speed rail in America (and more importantly the capital), seems to have been missing after the past few years of promises, promotion, and hope.

    Enter Sir Richard Branson. Chairman of Virgin Group, a collection of airplanes, music, and now spaceships, has decided that it is time to break into the American market, with high speed rail. Branson has taken on other various philanthropic efforts, including currently working on a Center for Disease Control in South Africa. Branson's spirit, past accomplishments (involvement with the X-prize), and his availably of large amounts of capital and investors, might just be what American high speed rail has ordered!

    ‘I think it’s important for the States’ and Federal government to help support these trains but it’s also important for companies like ours and other investors to be involved, too,’ explains Branson

    Hear, hear! Welcome to American Sir Branson, Cheers!

    whole article can be found:


    ---Justin J. Stewart


    Link the Lake!

    We here at Slay Energy Vampires! are now back from a short vacation, and we have a big announcement regarding this website's founded, Jay Fretz.

    It has been announced that on December 4, 2010 that the Not One More Foundation, a group that raises bicycle safety awareness in the state of Arizona,  will be sponsoring and organizing a benefit ride for Angie and Anika Fretz. They have posted an open call to all of the bicycle organizations in the state, from the Link The Lake Facebook page:

    Not One More Foundation Announces to all Arizona Cycling Teams, Clubs, Community and Friends a special Fundrasing Ride to "Link the Lake" for Jay Fretz. Sat Dec 4th.

    On May 17, 2010, 36-year-old environmental and bicycle advocate, Jay Fretz, was struck and killed by a vehicle while commuting home from work on his bicycle.

    Jay was a draftsman for a Tempe architectural firm. He left behind a young wife, Angie, and a 5-year-old daug hter, Anika. Aside from the difficult emotional consequences that encircle this tragedy, meeting the needs of comfort throughout this grieving time has taken the back seat to meeting another life or death need: supporting Angie in all of the ways a human can be supported as she endures chemotherapy for a diagnosis of breast cancer and ultimately, a mastectomy. She was diagnosed the week before Jay was killed.

    Angie Fretz is without health insurance now that Jay has passed, is self-employed and does not earn an income unless she is working transcribing accident tapes and must raise her daughter alone. She is currently on a leave of absence from her contracted work.

    The “NOT ONE MORE” Foundation and the cycling community mourns this great loss and is planning a Fund Raiser Event on Sat Dec 4th to help ease Angie’s & Anika’s burdens.

    This will be a Valley Wide Sat morning ride to Tempe Town Lake for All TEAMS & CLUBS as we join together and “LINK THE LAKE” for JAY FRETZ.

    Look for details soon here, in Club/Team emails and on flyers in Bike Shops on how to participate and how to donate to help the Fretz family.

    We hope THOUSANDS OF CYCLISTS will join us to completely “LINK THE LAKE” with our bicycles as a cycling community and say... “NOT ONE MORE” senseless cyclist death in our Valley and State.

    Sterling Baer & Dara Schulenberg

    Founders, Not One More

    Contact Info - 480-641-0755


    This provides to be a great opportunity for cyclists to stand in solidarity, for those that bike for commuting, reducing their carbon footprint, or just enjoy biking as a recreational activity. Tempe has now had three bike related deaths in just as many months, and this issue needs to be addressed, especially in a city that prides themselves as a bicyclist community. The Fretz family has shown an amazing amount of strength the past three months, and every little bit of continuing support makes their lives that much easier.

    Links of interest relating to Link the Lake:

     Not One More Foundation website

     Not One More Foundation Facebook page

     Red Mountain Brumbys bicycle club

     Link the Lake Facebook even page

    Now that we are back, look for more updates and articles! Some future articles include airline recycling, Tempe recycling, Tempe public garden, urban gardening, and an update on my own energy use! Plus, much much more! 

    As always, if anyone has any article ideas, or would like to contribute to Slay Energy Vampires! in any way, let us know! Thanks!


    --- Justin J. Stewart


    Solar power transportation, at night?! The future of commerical air flight. via Kendall Crever


    Now, this is still far off, but pretty impressive. We are not going to be flying in carbon neutral planes tomorrow to go visit the aunts and uncles, but it could very well be in our life time, and the first steps are being put in place right now. A Swiss Company named Solar Impulse, has successfully tested a solar powered airplane that lasted in flight for over 26 hours, including through the night on July 7th and July 8th. Their overall goal is an around the world flight via solar power, and a trans-atlantic flight by 2012. The craft flew just over 28,000 feet above sea level, and the wingspan of 208 feet same as a Boeing 747-400. This was just a lightweight prototype, but it shows that the technology is sound by staying aloff for 26 hours. It set records for the longest and highest solar powered flight. How does the power work? According to the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, part of the U.S. Department of Energy:

    "The aircraft's nearly 12,000 silicon mono-crystalline solar cells—mounted on its wings and on its horizontal stabilizer—absorbed the sun' rays on the ascent and supplied the craft's four electric engines and lithium-polymer batteries, enabling Impulse to average about 26 miles per hour for the flight"

    The Solar Impulse HB-SIA in action, in the great blue yonder.What are the implications of this for you and I. Like I said before, these are babysteps, but they are important movements towards commercial aircrafts using this technology to create carbon-neutral flights for you and I. According to the Carbon Footprint Calculator at Terrapass a round trip for 2 to JFK Airport in New York from LAX Airport in Los Angeles would be about 3,468 pounds of CO2. If we can cut into that number in the future for normal passenger flights using this technology it would be a great victory. Right now the airline industry accounts for about 12 percent of all of the CO2 released into the atmosphere. This technology is a step in the right direction, and is exciting in a very nerdy type of way (the way I like it). I hope to see more developers get into this arena and hope to see solar panels on my flights in future years to come.

    Whole article from the EERE can be found here:

    Swiss Solar-Powered Plane Makes First Night Flight


    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Kendall Crever)