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Linkapalooza!

It’s time for a stack of links again – here you go:

There’s a four-wheel velomobile being developed, and the 0-series has now been unveiled: Podbike. It’s a bicycle with electric assist, a fully closed chassis, and it sort of smudges the line betwen car and cycle. To my great and utter delight, as I firmly believe that human-powered vehicles with additional energy sources are the thing of the fture, and one way to make personal transportation more sustainable.

The Lendbreen site has an interesting article about why they are not wearing gloves when handling their finds. Gloves can be a good thing and necessary in some cases, but there’s been a relatively recent development towards handling things without gloves again, also out of the field. The reason? While gloves may protect the artefact from body oils and sweat and DNA traces, they will also reduce feeling in the fingers of the wearer, and handling may then be rougher than necessary – resulting in damage to the objects. So in the end, it’s a trade-off, and when there is no danger to the person handling it (as there might be with contamination with pesticides) and no danger for the object from body oil or moisture (as will be with polished metal, for instance) it may be best to leave the gloves off.

Speaking of pesticides: There’s a public survey run by the EU to learn about citizen’s takes on pesticides, and how much of their use should be allowed. In Germany, the use of pesticides has increased since 2006 – which is not a good thing. You can go here to fill out the survey, and please do spread the word about it.

 

 

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2 Responses to Linkapalooza!

  1. Heather says:

    Podbike is interesting, but there’s a legal issue in the UK.

    It’s got four wheels.

    That means that unless there’s some spectacular legal fudging it would be classed as a car and each rider/driver would need a full car licence. Items that are pedal only that technically don’t also don’t have an electric motor, electric lights, an enclosed cabin etc…

    Previous attempts such as the twizy ran into similar issues. The GWhizz wasn’t classed as a car but was viewed as such by the public, with the expectation that it would be as protective as a car in an impact – with sad results. The legal minefield around mobility scooters means that ideally they should levitate somewhere over the gutter.

    On the plus side, this does produce some wonderful anachronisms that are well known and loved: children can drive 3-wheel electric milk floats which are far larger than a car, 3-wheel robin reliant cars can be driven with a motorbike licence, adult tricycles can be ridden on the open road once blindness has claimed the driving licence. The last one startled a friend who didn’t realise this before stepping out in Cambridge to be met by “the silence menace.” My answer was that perhaps any driving licence holder who can’t see an adult tricycle really shouldn’t be on the road either!

    • Katrin says:

      Well, it seems that almost all the rest of Europe accepts that it’s a bike… but then we all know the UK tends to have its own view of things, right?

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