GOOD

The GOOD 100: Ray Lahood

The Hottest Thing on Wheels (or Rails) As the new transportation secretary, Ray LaHood has been tasked with remaking our...

The Hottest Thing on Wheels (or Rails)

As the new transportation secretary, Ray LaHood has been tasked with remaking our transportation infrastructure into one that focuses more on sustainability than widening highways. It's a tall order but, so far, we're impressed with his approach.


1. For supporting high-speed rail.

When Obama squeezed $8 billion for high-speed rail into the recent stimulus package, LaHood got on board fast. His grant program for rail projects already has nearly 300 applications. They're being prioritized according to where they'll serve the most people. You'll find out whether your area gets quick, clean transport by the end of the year.

2. For looking for good models.

It's no secret that Amtrak is struggling. But high-speed rail is working in Europe and Asia. Last May, Ray LaHood took a fact-finding trip through France, Spain, Germany, and Japan to find out what they're doing right.

3. For joining up with the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Where we live, how we get around, and whether we destroy the planet with greenhouse gases are related issues. So it only makes sense for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency to work together. That's just what they're doing with the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which will coordinate their various programs.

4. For confronting George Will.

In Newsweek, the columnist George Will attacked LaHood's efforts to create "livable communities" as excessive government intervention. LaHood was unrepentant, responding, "We have to create opportunities for people that do want to use a bicycle or want to walk or want to get on a streetcar or want to ride a light rail. … Everything we do around here is government intrusion in people's lives."

5. For his commitment to bipartisanship.

LaHood-elected to office as a Republican in Illinois seven times-has conservative bona fides. And he's been using that clout with the Right to try to ensure that both sides of the aisle are working together.

Articles

Some beauty pageants, like the Miss America competition, have done away with the swimsuit portions of the competitions, thus dipping their toes in the 21st century. Other aspects of beauty pageants remain stuck in the 1950s, and we're not even talking about the whole "judging women mostly on their looks" thing. One beauty pageant winner was disqualified for being a mom, as if you can't be beautiful after you've had a kid. Now she's trying to get the Miss World competition to update their rules.

Veronika Didusenko won the Miss Ukraine pageant in 2018. After four days, she was disqualified because pageant officials found out she was a mom to 5-year-old son Alex, and had been married. Didusenko said she had been aware of Miss World's rule barring mother from competing, but was encouraged to compete anyways by pageant organizers.

Keep Reading Show less

One mystery in our universe is a step closer to being solved. NASA's Parker Solar Probe launched last year to help scientists understand the sun. Now, it has returned its first findings. Four papers were published in the journal Nature detailing the findings of Parker's first two flybys. It's one small step for a solar probe, one giant leap for mankind.



It is astounding that we've advanced to the point where we've managed to build a probe capable of flying within 15 million miles from the surface of the sun, but here we are. Parker can withstand temperatures of up to 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and travels at 430,000 miles per hour. It's the fastest human-made vehicle, and no other human-made object has been so close to the sun.

Keep Reading Show less
via Sportstreambest / Flickr

Since the mid '90s the phrase "God Forgives, Brothers Don't" has been part of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's football team's lexicon.

Over the past few years, the team has taken the field flying a black skull-and-crossbones flag with an acronym for the phrase, "GFBD" on the skull's upper lip. Supporters of the team also use it on social media as #GFBD.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture