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Five Awesome Things You Won't Believe Run on Biofuel

With innovations in renewable fuels made every day, biofuel is popping up in some unexpected, exciting, and high-performance places. Here is our list.

Some people associate biofuels—those derived directly from renewable biological resources—with long hair and environmentalism, and that’s fine! In fact, you’ll see Mr. Willie Nelson featured prominently on our list. But with innovations in renewable fuels made every day, biofuel is popping up in some unexpected, exciting, and high-performance places. Here's a list of a few of the most remarkable.
1. NASCAR has run on E15 ethanol-based biofuel since 2010 when it began running practice and qualifying laps with the green fuel. No significant modifications were made to the cars in order to run on E15, and the low-carbon fuel emits 20% less greenhouse emissions than unleaded gasoline. NASCAR claims to have seen improvements in performance, with a 5 to 10 percent increase in horsepower depending on the race and the conditions.
2. The Royal Train that Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Edinburgh, and the Prince of Wales use on long journeys around the United Kingdom has run on biodiesel derived from used cooking oil since 2007. The train is capable of speeds up to 125mph, but restricted to 100mph when on royal duty.


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Image (cc) flickr user class56jonzeyz\n
3. The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels
 air show that wowed crowds at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Air Expo in Maryland last year was powered by a 50/50-blend of jet fuel and camelina-based biofuel. Camelina is a drought resistant crop that can be used as a rotation crop for wheat. Sustainable Oils, the company providing the fuel to the military, says camelina-based biojet fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 75 percent over traditional petroleum-based jet fuel. By 2016, the Navy plans to deploy the Great Green Fleet, an aircraft carrier strike group powered entirely by non-fossil fuels.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC_1JKWTRbU&feature=player_embedded
“As public representatives of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the Blue Angels take pride in leading the country’s efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase our energy security,” said Capt. Greg McWherter, Blue Angels commanding officer/flight leader.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6tB8Lf7YoU&feature=player_embedded

4. Formula One Race Cars: In 2010, Scuderia Ferrari, the racing team division of the Ferrari automobile marque, began using a blend of biogasoline and next-generation ethanol sourced from straw. Virent, the Wisconsin company that produces the biogasoline portion of the blend, says its energy content is the same as or better than premium gasoline and can be blended seamlessly into conventional gasoline. Virent also says the sugars can come from non-food sources such as corn stover, wheat straw, and sugarcane residue, as well as conventional biofuel feedstocks like sugar beet, corn, wheat, or sugarcane. A Formula One race car running on biofuel isn't just a n the environment. Like NASCAR, Formula One teams are focused on winning, and a nod to biofuels from this group is a nod to the performance potential of biofuel.

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Image (cc) flickr user sBerna \n
5. Willie Nelson’s Tour Bus
 has run on biofuels since 2004 when Nelson's wife bought a diesel Volkswagon that ran on vegetable oil. He was so impressed with the performance of the fuel that he got a Mercedes diesel right away. Willie even has his own biofuel, BioWillie, named in his honor. As the video below shows, Willie Nelson’s tour bus is fueled by local biofuel wherever he goes with the help of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, a nonprofit group cofounded by his wife Annie Nelson.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_mChKzaG8&feature=player_embedded
The biofuels in this list are made from a wide variety of raw materials, otherwise known as “feedstocks.” Some forms of biofuel, like Green Crude and waste grease biodiesel, are considered “drop-in” biofuels. In other words, they can be used as a direct replacement for fossil fuels in a machine’s existing engine. Other forms of biofuel, like ethanol, are considered ‘alternative’ fuels. They do not replicate the chemical properties of fossil fuels and therefore require blending with conventional fuels like gasoline in order to be used by a typical combustion engine.
Biofuels are domestically produced, renewable sources of energy that burn cleaner than fossil fuels. The playing field for emerging advanced biofuels is wide, and there are plenty of competing technologies and methods. It remains to be seen what the future holds for these individual forms of biofuel in the U.S., but it seems clear that biofuels in general hold much promise as a fuel source that could eventually ease our nation’s dependence on oil.
Nicole Rogers is a writer and the editor of the Sustainable America blog, which focuses on the link between food and fuel in the United States.\n
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Articles
via Collection of the New-York Historical Society / Wikimedia Commons

Fredrick Douglass was born into slavery in 1818. At the age of 10 he was given to the Auld family.

As a child, he worked as a house slave and was able to learn to read and write, and he attempted to teach his fellow slaves the same skills.

At the age of 15, he was given to Thomas Auld, a cruel man who beat and starved his slaves and thwarted any opportunity for them to practice their faith or to learn to read or write.

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Culture
via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

On April 20, 1889 at the Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria Salzburger located at Vorstadt 15, Alois and Klara Hitler brought a son into the world. They named him Adolph.

Little did they know he would grow up to be one of the greatest forces of evil the world has ever known.

The Hitlers moved out of the Braunau am Inn when Adolph was three, but the three-story butter-colored building still stands. It has been the subject of controversy for seven decades.

via Thomas Ledia / Wikimedia Commons

The building was a meeting place for Nazi loyalists in the 1930s and '40s. After World War II, the building has become an informal pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis and veterans to glorify the murderous dictator.

The building was a thorn in the side to local government and residents to say the least.

RELATED: He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

For years it was owned by Gerlinde Pommer, a descendant of the original owners. The Austrian government made numerous attempts to purchase it from her, but to no avail. The building has served many purposes, a school, a library, and a makeshift museum.

In 1989, a stone from the building was inscribed with:

"For Peace, Freedom

and Democracy.

Never Again Fascism.

Millions of Dead Remind [us]."

via Jo Oh / Wikimedia Commons

For three decades it was home to an organization that offered support and integration assistance for disabled people. But in 2011, the organization vacated the property because Pommer refused to bring it up to code.

RELATED: 'High Castle' producers destroyed every swastika used on the show and the video is oh-so satisfying

In 2017, the fight between the government and Pommer ended with it seizing the property. Authorities said it would get a "thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building."

Now, the government intends to turn it into a police station which will surely deter any neo-Nazis from hanging around the building.

Austria has strict anti-Nazi laws that aim to prohibit any potential Nazi revival. The laws state that anyone who denies, belittles, condones or tries to justify the Nazi genocide or other Nazi crimes against humanity shall be punished with imprisonment for one year up to ten years.

In Austria the anti-Nazi laws are so strict one can go to prison for making the Nazi hand salute or saying "Heil Hitler."

"The future use of the house by the police should send an unmistakable signal that the role of this building as a memorial to the Nazis has been permanently revoked," Austria's IInterior Minister, Wolfgang Peschorn said in a statement.

The house is set to be redesigned following an international architectural competition.

Communities
via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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Politics
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

RELATED: The 1975's singer bravely kissed a man at a Dubai concert to protest anti-LGBT oppression

In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

RELATED: Alan Turing will appear on the 50-pound note nearly 70 years after being persecuted for his sexuality

Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?

Lifestyle

Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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