Things Are Good: Using Snow to Cool Buildings in Summer

During winter snow is cleared from the roads and put into massive piles to melt when warmer weather returns. This might seem simple enough, but it’s a big challenge dealing with the snow because of the sheer volume in colder climates like Canada. Researchers in British Columbia are proposing that the snow gets taken to ...

Dead Wild Roses: Solar Powered Roads – A Followup

A while ago I wrote a post, Roads: Why Are They Still Asphalt? In it I expressed my desire for the future of road materials. No more hours idling in construction zones as they pour more oil to patch another season’s worth of a billion or so potholes. Better drainage and more traction during slippery conditions. Why ...

Dead Wild Roses: Solar Powered Roads – A Followup

A while ago I wrote a post, Roads: Why Are They Still Asphalt? In it I expressed my desire for the future of road materials. No more hours idling in construction zones as they pour more oil to patch another season’s worth of a billion or so potholes. Better drainage and more traction during slippery conditions. Why ...

Dead Wild Roses: Roads: Why Are They Still Asphalt?

We live in an age of innovation. Using the great scientific advances of previous generations and implementing them in new and creative ways is huge part of our progress. No longer burdened by what we can do (mostly), the question for most fields now is how we can do it better. Can we do it ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Blast Furnace Canada Blog 2013-05-27 20:00:00

I often don’t change my mind on a lot of issues unless I can be convinced.    But this is one of them:   LRT is a stupid idea for the City of Hamilton.    We would be much better off with BRT – Bus Rapid Transit. Metrolinx has said, along with the revenue proposals it put forward ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Canada’s F-35 — the $46 billion dollar boondoggle

Later today, the Amsterdam based accounting firm Kynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG ™) will issue a report regarding the proposed procurement of 65 Lockheed-Martin F-35-A Lightning II fighter jets for the Canadian Air Force.   If media previews are to be believed, the program will be way higher than the $9 billion originally claimed by PMS ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: What passes for road maintenance — in Hamilton (Part 1 of an unending series)

Really. This is one of Hamilton’s busiest routes – the Claremount Access which connects the lower city at Victoria (northbound) and Wellington (southbound) with the upper city at Upper James. They rebuilt part of this route about two or three years ago, along the upper section where the southbound lanes actually are carried over a ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: When you can see the rebar sticking out, you have a problem

The idea behind reinforcing concrete with steel rebar is to ensure the concrete doesn’t rip itself out during the expansion and contraction caused by temperature swings. Yet just walk or drive around Hamilton.   You can easily see one or more rebar lines sticking out of light standards, overpasses, tunnels and so forth.   It could just ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Railway bridges are falling down in Hamilton

You’d think that if a bridge carries a railway then it should be the railroad company that pays for repairs and/or replacement.    Not necessarily.   Hamilton has about 400 bridges across the vast city, many of them downloaded to the city years ago.   And there are seven, all of them for the steel wheels, where no ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: (Provincial) election week in Canada

It would be nice if we did it as the States do — schedule all federal, state and local elections and by-elections such that they all happen on the same day (except in the case of death).    Would save a ton on multiple manual revisions of the voter’s list.    But as it is, ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Legacy of sports or legacy of debts?

Heaven help Hamilton on this one.    Another round of Pan Am chicken. No sooner did it seem we call Red Hat owner Bob Young’s bluff and offer to do a renovation of Ivor Wynne than it turns out that the proposal as set was for bleachers and not seats with backs.   So the whole place ...

Blast Furnace Canada Blog: Where to build the so-called "Road to Nowhere"? There’s really no where else to put it

Now this is interesting … the “Canadian Transit Company,” which sounds like a coalition of the urban public transit providers in Canada but is in fact the Canadian face of the American-owned Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario with Detroit, Michigan, is running a series of ads claiming Premier Dad wants to build a two billion ...