The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a law that would bar the Obama administration from limiting shipments of lithium-ion batteries by air.
The proposed rule by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the FAA would have eliminated exceptions for small lithium batteries, classifying them as "Class 9" hazardous cargo, and requiring a number of labeling and other safety regulations.
The House will have to reconcile its legislation with the Senate before President Obama can sign a unified joint bill, as Bloomberg noted.
There have been numerous incidents of batteries short-circuiting, and many of those have involved airplanes. (The last major battery incident involved Sony, in 2008; that recall then, however, did not cover airplanes.) The proposed rule noted that out of 21 and 44 incidents involving lithium batteries since 1991 involved passenger aircraft; of those, 16 involved carry-on luggage, and one involved checked baggage. Twenty-three incidents involved cargo aircraft, presumably in pallets of batteries being transported by air.
Put your converters back into their cardboard boxes for a while. The House okayed the bill by 264 to 158 to set the date for the digital changeover to June 12. The Senate had previously approved the measure. Undoubtedly, President Obama will sign it as well. However, there is still no funding for more converter coupons but that may yet come under part of the new stimulus legislation.
Read More | MSNBC
The House today voted down the bill to switch the digital delay from Feb.17 to June 12 by its failure to get 2/3 of the vote. The bill, backed by President Obama, had already passed in the Senate. Many Republicans believe that passing the bill and boosting the coupon program would create more confusion. Nielsen reports that about 6.5 million households are still not ready for the changeover. Stay tuned to see either the bill gets reworked for another vote or if President Obama saves the day.
Read More | Reuters
Pay attention, airlines. Here is a way to recap some of those losses. Imagine having a Boeing 727 as a home. The plane set Joanne Ussary back $2,000.00, cost $4,000.00 to move, and $24,000.00 to renovate. That’s not bad for a $30,000.00 investment. The stairs open with a garage door remote, and one of the bathrooms is still intact. And let’s not forget the personal jacuzzi in the cockpit. Sweet. The Boeing home is featured as part of a collection of creative conversions.
Read More | Web Urbanist
Now is your chance to live in your own flying saucer. The Futuro House was designed in 1968/69 with a height of 500 cm, a diameter of 800 cm and a weight of 2200 kg. Made of glass fibre, it was meant to be mass produced inexpensively by the year 2000. It features 20 windows and a door with a flap that becomes a staircase and can be moved by helicopter. Made by Finnish metal worker Abloy Suomi, it was on sale at Christies in Paris November 27 but failed to bring in the expected quarter of a million dollars. We suspect that if you could come up with a figure close to that, they might be willing to let it go.
Read More | Trendhunter
South Korean Sim Jae-Duck is the head of the World Toilet Association. In order to raise funds for over 2.6 billion worlwide who have no bathroom facilities, he is building a 1.6 million dollar house about 24 miles south of Seoul. Named Haewoojae, the 4,508 square foot cement and glass building contains two bedrooms, two guest rooms, and three deluxe toilets, of course. The house’s grand opening will be November 11, and if you would like to book it for a day, it will cost you $50,000. That will buy a lot of toilets, and sufficient TP to go with it.
Read More | AFP
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