Solar-powered ice-cream carts hit Bangkok streets
: "Bangkok ice-cream vendors who currently pedal their carts in the baking sun are hoping to benefit from a locally invented device that will allow them to store energy and drive their carts using solar power. A 50 x 60cm solar cell built into the cart roof will capture solar power in a battery. Pracha Prakoonsuksapan, the managing director of AHT (Asia), a local freezer-manufacturer who has developed what he calls a solar-cell ice-cream cart, told The Nation that once the battery is fully charged, the vendor can switch to a mode that allows the motor to drive the cart. It should be able to store energy for two hours after the sun has disappeared. An initial prototype is expected to carry 150kg of ice cream at 15km per hour." 2:59:33 PM
Politics & Science
: Great little website from a House investigation. "The report Politics and Science in the Bush Administration finds numerous instances where the Administration has manipulated the scientific process and distorted or suppressed scientific findings. Beneficiaries include important supporters of the President, including social conservatives and powerful industry groups." 9:52:08 AM
Korea road maps: "With the agreement to hold six-sided talks (among North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, Japan and the United States), an opportunity again exists for resolving the crisis. Provided, that is, that the parties this time have a comprehensive road map .. The goal would be, in effect, to facilitate the transformation of North Korea into a large economic development zone rather than an assembly line for weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles...
For Beijing, the building blocks with which it can assemble a road map are the following. The first is a U.S. non-aggression assurance to North Korea, co-sponsored by China. The second is South Korean and Japanese economic aid in the form of development project funding. The third comprises nuclear inspections conducted by China and Russia -- in close collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency -- to verify the complete dismantling of North Korea's plutonium and uranium-based weapons programs. Each of the above countries is singularly suited to carry out the specified activities based on an assessment of political feasibility and capabilities. For example, it would be politically unfeasible for Japan to participate in nuclear inspections in North Korea, given the intrusive nature of such an activity. Furthermore, the Pyongyang regime would not agree to Japanese inspectors, but would be less objectionable to Chinese or Russian inspectors if the incentives were deemed acceptable...
The basic fact of this current nuclear crisis is that Pyongyang needs assistance for its economic reform while Washington requires strict verification of North Korea's nuclear rollback. Left to these two parties, however, a long-term resolution would be remote and the nuclear crisis will increasingly threaten stability in Northeast Asia. If China were to sponsor a multilaterally agreed road map as discussed above, it would become more difficult for either side to renege on core commitments. The primary benefit of a Chinese road map would be a continuity of political support -- a feature that the ill-fated 1994 U.S.-North Korea Agreed Framework lacked from its inception when the Republicans won control of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The ensuing Republican effort to undermine the nuclear accord -- combined with North Korea cheating on its obligations -- contributed to the agreement's demise."
Also, a high ranking defector offers his advice, emphasizing the Chinese role, and including acceptance of tens of thousands of defectors from North Korea. 9:12:58 AM