December 5, 2014 |
Dust off your high-school physics knowledge for a moment, and recall the difference between batteries and capacitors. The former can store a lot of energy but take a long time to charge, while capacitors have more limited storage but can be charged in seconds. Lately, engineers have been developing devices that combine the best attributes of both: so-called supercapacitors that charge quickly and have improved storage capacity - some of which have been in use for several years in China, in fast-charging public buses.
November 21, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA is in the heart of the Northeast rail corridor, where more than 2,000 passenger trains move 75,000 riders daily between Washington,D.C. and Boston on speed-restricted tracks across aging bridges and through ancient tunnels, powered by 1930s-era equipment. The whole system needs an extreme makeover as desperately as the Phillies do. Yesterday, at SEPTA headquarters in Center City, the Federal Railroad Administration's NEC (Northeast Corridor) FUTURE program unveiled a public glimpse of what that makeover might be by 2040.
November 17, 2014 |
T HE PAST AND future of North Philadelphia will be the topic of four gatherings this week. Tomorrow, the Wagner Free Institute of Science will screen archival news footage, donated to Temple University Library by 6ABC News,in a program called "Unedited North Philadelphia: Girard to Lehigh. " The program, from 6 to 8 p.m., is free. The institute, which has been on Montgomery Avenue near 17th Street since 1865, will accept donations. Ken Scott, president of the Beech Companies, will moderate a panel discussion afterward.
November 16, 2014 |
HOUSTON - After nine games, after two humiliating drubbings, after zero victories, the 76ers are battered and beaten. Michael Carter-Williams talks about the team's desire to continue to fight. Coach Brett Brown, who had a successful career as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, doesn't want anyone's pity. But what else do you expect the face of the franchise and his coach, who demands high energy and effort, to say publicly? You'll get the real answer by glancing into the eyes of the players and coaches during this three-game Texas road trip.
November 13, 2014 |
FINALLY, after all of last season and an 0-7 start to this one, we will get to see Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie's master plan in action. Tonight in Dallas, Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel are expected to play together in an NBA game for the first time. Because of knee surgery that kept Noel from playing last season and offseason shoulder surgery that kept Carter-Williams out action to begin this season, the first core pieces of the Sixers' rebuilding have done little more than share some practice time together since both were 2013 lottery picks.
November 11, 2014 |
LAST YEAR, Angela Pannell was a young single mom on welfare who had debt from a community college nursing program and no money to continue earning her degree. She was an intelligent, ambitious woman with a child, no job and no prospects. "Every day, I was harassing Welfare to Work," said Pannell, of North Philadelphia. "I'd call and say, 'Hey, how you doing? It's me again. You have anything for me?' " Last January, they did - Philly Future Track, a life-changer. From winter's freezing cold to summer's sweltering heat, Pannell and 132 other unemployed, at-risk young people cleaned waist-high trash, needles and dead rats out of the city's alleys in return for city-paid job-skills training.
November 9, 2014 |
When I visited Berlin recently to update my guidebook, I also scouted locations for a new TV show. I found the city as vibrant as ever - with massive infrastructure projects in progress all around town. The cranes speckling the horizon in every direction put an end to the idea of filming anytime soon - but the commotion is not a problem for visitors. If anything, seeing all the changes in the works made me eager to come back soon to see the Berlin of the future. But even as the city busily builds itself into the 21st century, Berlin has made a point of acknowledging and remembering its past.
November 9, 2014 |
Liberty Energy Trust L.L.C., founded by a Russian-born, Harvard-trained former Enron executive, had several strikes against it when it bid to buy the city-owned Philadelphia Gas Works. Liberty has no assets and no utility operating experience. Its offer to buy PGW was $160 million shy of UIL Holdings Corp.'s winning $1.86 billion bid. It finished out of the running. But Liberty had one winning quality that seems to have intrigued members of Philadelphia's City Council: political juice.
November 2, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will hold a one-day session on Nov. 14 at Drexel University to explore plans for Philadelphia Gas Works in the aftermath of a collapsed deal to sell the city utility. The session will not be aimed at dissecting the collapse of the $1.86 billion agreement to sell PGW to UIL Holdings Corp., but will address how PGW plans to address its high rates, aging infrastructure and low-income programs in the absence of a sale, said Jennifer Kocher, the PUC's spokeswoman.
November 1, 2014 |
THE REC LEAGUE basketball season hasn't started yet in Monkton, Md., so neighbors A.J. Burnett and Scott Proefrock haven't worked on the coaching sidelines together since the Phillies season ended a month ago. Proefrock, the assistant general manager, hasn't even seen Burnett, the veteran pitcher, in October. "I've been up here [Philadelphia] and in Florida," said Proefrock, who coached with Burnett on their sons' basketball team last winter. "I know he went away for his wife's birthday last weekend.