This bike does everything for your lazy ass

Grist

Bike nerds and the physical activity-averse, rejoice! Ford Motors has released its latest smartbike — or eBike, or whatever you want to call it — the Mode: Flex. Unlike the company’s previous folding bike models, the Flex was built with the smartphone (and smartwatch) crowd in mind. While a motor and battery-backed bicycle might not appeal to bicycling traditionalists, it still sounds pretty damn neat. The Verge has the deets:

[T]he bigger device can interact with your smartphone, enabling a “no sweat” mode that will calculate how much effort you need to put on the pedals to get to your destination without any serious physical exertion. In addition to advancing human laziness, the MoDe:Link app also informs riders of real-time weather, road, and traffic conditions up ahead.

Ford says the app comes with an Apple Watch extension that can somehow detect potholes on the road. Riders will feel their handlebars vibrate…

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The U.S. is cutting out trans fats from processed foods by 2018

Grist

Time to start hoarding vintage Cheetos for eBay: This morning, the FDA announced it will ban the largest source of trans fats in the American diet. In 2018, partially hydrogenated oils — a major preservative and general nastifier of processed foods — will no longer be “generally recognized as safe.” The reasoning? Uh, it kills you:

“In this case, it has become clear that what’s good for extending shelf-life is not equally good for extending human life,” said Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in the announcement. The FDA said it expects the action to result in reductions coronary heart disease and fatal heart attacks.

Industry giants like ConAgra and General Mills have already banned trans fats from 90 and 95 percent of products, respectively. Companies can, however, petition the FDA for exemptions. Let’s see: Thousands of lives saved vs. oily donuts? Tough call.

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This power plant slurps up water for Arizona — and burns 15 tons of coal a minute

Grist

This story was produced through a collaboration between ProPublica and Matter.

A couple of miles outside the town of Page, three 775-foot-tall caramel-colored smokestacks tower like sentries on the edge of northern Arizona’s sprawling red sandstone wilderness. At their base, the Navajo Generating Station, the West’s largest power-generating facility, thrums ceaselessly, like a beating heart.

Football-field-length conveyors constantly feed it piles of coal, hauled 78 miles by train from where huge shovels and mining equipment scraped it out of the ground shortly before. Then, like a medieval mortar and pestle machine, wheels crush the stone against a large bowl into a smooth powder that is sprayed into tremendous furnaces — some of the largest ever built. Those furnaces are stoked to 2,000 degrees, heating tubes of steam to produce enough pressure to drive an 80-ton rod of steel to spin faster than the speed of sound, converting the heat…

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Here’s another reason why oil refineries (literally) suck

Grist

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

What do almonds, golf, fracking, and Kim Kardashian’s lawn have in common? They’ve all been publicly shamed for their outsized water use during California’s ongoing drought.

But you likely haven’t heard as much about one of the state’s major water sucks: oil refineries, which are estimated to be the second biggest water user of non-ag businesses in the state (after golf).

The plants process more than 80 million gallons of oil per day, turning it into products like gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each gallon of oil takes between 1 and 2.5 gallons of water to refine, most of which is either dumped into the ocean after it’s used and treated or evaporated as steam. Once in the ocean, the water is…

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Meet Nigerian woman who has no formal education but lectures at Harvard, other top varsities

Welcome to Barbrah Musamba Chama Mumba's Blog

Not many in her homeland appear to know about her unique story. But in other lands, especially Europe and America, she is a ‘goddess’ whose works are cherished by kings and presidents.

Without a doubt, the story of Nike Okundaye, the face behind the huge success story of Nike Arts Gallery, located in Lagos, Abuja and Osogbo, is as compelling as it is inspiring.

At a time when young Nigerians are in desperate need of a role model and inspiration in what self-belief and hard work can achieve, Nike’s rise from the status of an unknown village girl born into a seeming insignificant family in a rustic village to a globally celebrated icon would make an A-list inspirational novel.

Born in her native village of Ogidi, Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State, young Nike had high dreams about what type of future she wanted for herself. But her dreams were…

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