The Shay Rebellion | Christopher Shay

Why Electric Cars Aren’t Selling

by Christopher Shay

Hong Kong had its worst-ever year in terms of roadside pollution in 2010, according to government data. It also hosts the world’s highest traffic density, says the Clear the Air, a local antipollution organization. But despite rising concern over roadside pollution levels and a government campaign to get consumers and companies to adopt zero-emissions vehicles, electric cars aren’t yet creating much spark. Read the rest of this entry »

China’s Great (Quantum) Leap Forward

by Christopher Shay

Like a pair of male turkeys puffing up their chests at each other, the U.S. and Chinese militaries are back at it again, engaging in tit-for-tat military exercises in the Yellow Sea. On Sept. 4, the Chinese navy finished live artillery maneuvers, using some of its newest planes, ships and battlefield weaponry in a publicly announced show of military strength. Though Chinese state media called the war games “routine,” the timing of the event — just days before a scheduled U.S.-South Korea anti-submarine exercise in the same waters — suggests it’s more likely an attempt to send the U.S. a simple message: This is our backyard.

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Japan: The New Pioneer of the Final Frontier?

by Christopher Shay

The country that invented the Walkman may be back on track to burnish its image as a technological pioneer. Right now, more than 4.7 million miles from Earth, is a revolutionary spacecraft that could be the future of interstellar travel. Japan’s space program, JAXA, confirmed on June 10 they had successfully unfurled the world’s first solar sail — a spacecraft that uses the velocity of sunlight to propel it. Then, just three days later, Japan announced what could be an even more impressive accomplishment: a spacecraft that left Earth seven years ago had returned home. Before brilliantly burning up over Australia, the ship ejected a soccer-ball-sized pod — a modest container that may contain the first fragments of an asteroid ever brought to earth and provide clues about the origins of our planet. Not bad for a spacecraft running three years behind schedule and without three of its four engines. Read the rest of this entry »