Tesla is finally making a car you can afford – here’s when it will be released
During Tesla’s earnings conference call on Wednesday, Elon Musk finally disclosed when Tesla plans to reveal what the highly anticipated Tesla Model 3 will look like. What’s more, Musk at long last gave us a launch window (read: year) that, we can only hope, won’t be subject to change in the months ahead.
According to Musk, Tesla will take wraps off the Model 3 sometime in March of 2016. Given how sleek the Model S and the upcoming Model X are, there’s going to be a lot of pressure to deliver a stunning design with the Model 3 which, it’s worth noting, will be about 20% smaller than the sizeable Model S.
As for a launch window, Musk said that Tesla will be releasing the car in 2017. He did qualify that statement, however, in saying that a launch window in late 2017 is more likely. Now keep in mind, Tesla has a pesky history of delivering its cars a bit late, so hopefully the Model 3 launch won’t be pushed back into early to mid 2018.
For those unfamiliar with the Model 3, the car represents the linchpin in Musk’s grand plan to bring affordable electric cars to the mainstream. Sure, the Tesla Model S is incredible, but cheap is not a word you’d ever use to describe it. Same thing goes for the upcoming Model X, the Tesla crossover vehicle slated for release later this year, albeit in limited quantities.
Lastly, Tesla will be aiming to price the Model 3 at around $35,000.
Strong quake rocks Papua New Guinea, tsunami threat lifted
SYDNEY (AP) - A powerful earthquake rattled Papua New Guinea on Thursday, the fourth strong quake to hit the South Pacific island nation in a week. The temblor prompted officials to issue a local tsunami warning, but it was lifted shortly afterward with no reports of damage.
The 7.1-magnitude quake struck about 150 kilometers (94 miles) southwest of the town of Panguna on Bougainville Island at a depth of 23 kilometers (14 miles), the U.S. Geological Survey reported.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves of up to 1 meter (3 feet) were possible within 300 kilometers (186 miles) of the epicenter on the coast of Papua New Guinea. The agency lifted the warning about an hour later.
There were no reports of damage, said Chris McKee, assistant director of the Geophysical Observatory in the capital, Port Moresby. Because the epicenter was so far offshore, the chance of serious damage on land was less likely, he said.
"The earthquake appears to have not been as big as first estimated," McKee said. "I think the threat from that event is basically passed now. So we'll just wait for the next one."
Thursday's quake was located in a different area of Papua New Guinea than the previous three temblors that rattled the region over the past week, and was therefore an unrelated event, McKee said. Still, the area has been unusually active.
"We think it's probably something along the lines of just regional readjustment - movements in one area allow stress to be redistributed and that allows other areas to rupture," McKee said.
Betha Lorenz, owner of Rising Sun Lodge in the town of Arawa on Bougainville Island, said the quake delivered a powerful jolt, but did not appear to have caused any damage.
"One of my neighbors. she ran down the stairs and I was laughing and she said, 'Am I gonna live?' and I said 'Yeah, nothing will happen - just relax,'" Lorenz said.
When the shaking started, Lorenz ran outside, but the rumbling ended a few seconds later. Her lodge weathered the quake with no damage, and she hadn't heard of any tsunami waves hitting the coast.
"Everyone is OK," she said with a laugh. "We are happy."
Papua New Guinea sits on the Ring of Fire, the arc of seismic faults
around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes are common.
Cancerous fish caught in Susquehanna River
This shocking catch is a testament to the realities of water pollution. A smallmouth bass was pulled from Pennsylvania's Susquehanna River with a massive tumor jutting out of its body.
Following the catch, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat commission ordered lab testing to further investigate the state of the Susquehanna River. The lab found that the smallmouth bass' tumor was indeed cancerous, a clear indicator that water pollution was adversely effecting the river's inhabitants.
Not only is the water pollution a major environmental threat, it puts Pennsylvania's thriving fishing industry at risk as well.
"As we continue to study the river, we find young-of-year and now adult bass with sores, lesions and more recently a cancerous tumor, all of which continue to negatively impact population levels and recreational fishing," said John Arway, the executive director of the commission.
California approves first statewide seawater desalination rules
(Reuters) - California regulators on Wednesday adopted the first statewide rules for the permitting of seawater desalination projects that are expected to proliferate as drought-stricken communities increasingly turn to the ocean to supplement their drinking supplies.
The action, which sets uniform standards for minimizing harm to marine life, was welcomed by developers of the state's two largest desalination projects as bringing much-needed certainty and clarity to the regulatory approval process.
"It reaffirms that the Pacific Ocean is part of the drinking water resources for the state of California," Poseidon Water executive Scott Maloni told Reuters after the rule was enacted on a voice vote in Sacramento by the State Water Resources Control Board.
The measure leaves the permitting process in the hands of the state's regional water boards while establishing a single framework for them to follow in evaluating applications to build seawater treatment plants, expand existing ones and renew old permits.
But regional decisions could now be appealed to the state board for review if opponents of a project felt a permit was wrongly approved.
Before Wednesday's action, developers and regulators of desalination plants had no specific guidance for meeting federal and state clean water standards, complicating review of the projects, state water board spokesman George Kostyrko said.
Desalination has emerged as a promising technology in the face of a record dry spell now gripping California for a fourth straight year, depleting its reservoirs and aquifers and raising the costs of importing water from elsewhere.
Critics have cited ecological drawbacks, such as harm to marine life from intake pipes that suck water into the treatment systems and the concentrated brine discharge from the plants.
The newly approved plan sets specific brine salinity limits and rules for diffusing the discharge as it is pumped back into to the ocean.
It also requires seawater to be drawn into the plants through pipes that are sunk into beach wells or buried beneath the sea floor, where possible. Such subsurface intakes are viewed as more environmentally friendly.
The Western Hemisphere's biggest desalination plant, a $1 billion project under construction since 2012 in the coastal city of Carlsbad, California, is due to open in November.
It will deliver up to 50 million gallons (190 million liters) of water a day to San Diego County, enough to supply roughly 112,000 households, or about 10 percent of San Diego County's drinking water needs, according to Poseidon.
Approval is being sought for a final permit to begin construction of a second plant of similar size in Huntington Beach, south of Los Angeles, next year.
About a dozen much smaller desalting plants have already been built along the coast, state water officials said.
On Tuesday, the state water board enacted California's first rules for mandatory statewide cutbacks in municipal water use. The emergency regulations, which require some communities to trim water consumption by as much as 36 percent, were approved unanimously just weeks after Democratic Governor Jerry Brown stood in a dry mountain meadow and ordered statewide rationing.