Morning photo: Sunny SoCal

So sunny!

Sprawling metropolis it may be, but LA has that certain something that defines world cities. It’s alive with art and food and ethnic diversity and hums with energy 24-7. In my opinion, most of the people who badmouth Southern California have probably never been there, so I say, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Besides, who can argue with a 70-degree day in the middle of winter?

Morning photo: Austria revisited

Countryside

All I can really say about this set is that I want to go back and see all these places in all their other seasons — and that, if you’re ever in Upper Austria, be sure not to leave without trying a portion of Speckknödel, a delicious dumpling variety stuffed with bits of crisp bacon and baked with a fluffy milk and egg wash.

New NASA-developed technologies could cut jet emissions by 75 percent

sdfg

Emerging technologies could cut the airline industry’s carbon footprint. @bberwyn photo.

New designs, materials could also deliver huge cost savings for airlines

Staff Report

Airlines could cut costs and air pollution by adopting some of NASA’s latest green aviation technologies.

The nation’s airlines could realize more than $250 billion dollars in savings in the near future thanks to green-related technologies developed and refined by NASA’s aeronautics researchers during the past six years. Continue reading

Morning photo: Market colors

Ahhh, Provence!

Even in mid-November, the markets of southern France were bustling with vendors and shoppers all jostling over a fine selection of goodies for those pre-holiday season meals. Its not all that far from the Provence to areas where certain types of produce can grow nearly all year round, and the tangerines from North Africa were among the best I’ve ever had, while other market stalls feature more local and seasonal fruits and veggies like persimmons. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a market day in France without a slice of fresh-baked apple tart.

Morning photo: Paris by night

Metro tour …

I spent the better part of last week in Paris covering the COP21 climate talks at the Le Bourget conference center, where nearly 200 countries agreed to try and curb global greenhouse gas emissions and to shift the world to a low-carbon, sustainable future. I didn’t have a lot of time to be a tourist during this visit, but each day, on the way between the conference center and my downtown apartment, I chose a slightly different Metro route, stopping along the way to check out some familiar Paris landmarks by night. See if you name all the different spots and stay tuned for links to stories about the historic climate talks.

Morning photo: Celebrate mountains

International Mountain Day

People around the world today are celebrating International Mountain Day as a way of recognizing the importance of mountains to the environment, culture and spirituality. High peaks have been sacred places for wisdom seekers since the dawn of humanity, but like the rest of the Earth, they’ve been exploited for economic gain the past few centuries. It’s time to stop the plunder, like mining and clearcutting, and time to start respecting mountains for what they give us. And the world’s mountain regions ‚ including the Rockies — also face serious threats from global warming. Share some mountain love today and check out more on social media channels under the #mountainsmatter and #IMD2015 hashtags on Twitter. #FriFotos also has a mountain theme today.

Morning photo: Winter color

The brighter the better …

The only possible theme you could find running through this set of images is my love of bold and bright color, and when I saw the bubble-blower on the Mariahilferstrasse in Vienna a few days ago, I definitely got back in touch with my inner child, whose voice always tells me, “The brighter the better.” The heck with grays and blacks! Especially during the holiday season and the short days of winter, a splash of color can warm your heart and soothe your soul.

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