GOOD

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In San Francisco, carpool capital of the universe, new rules are reducing the incentive for ridesharing.

For 30-plus years in the San Francisco Bay Area, complete strangers carpooled to work together. Why? Well, for a lot of reasons: carpools were exempt from bridge tolls, a special lane allowed vehicles to bypass traffic, and it was often more convenient than taking public transit. On July 1, 2010, all this changed. A toll-structure revamp eliminated carpoolers' free ride, and a new rule made it so that only vehicles equipped with a FasTrak pass—an electronic device linked to the driver’s account—are allowed to use the carpool lane. In the 30 days since, ridesharing has dropped by over 12,000 cars a day.

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We all do it. Our favorite magazine arrives, we dutifully place it on the coffee table in anticipation, looking forward to spending a leisurely Saturday morning devouring every page. And then, life happens. Turns out this Saturday is that brunch you forgot about. Sunday’s no good either. And so the weeks pass. The magazine gets buried under the detritus of your day.

We now have constant and universal access to information; we pay for connectivity, but we very seldom pay attention. But what if media required our undivided focus? What if journalism became something you couldn’t put down for later? What if that much-anticipated issue became ephemeral? Would it be more valuable if it existed for just one night? Douglas McGray thinks so, which is why he and a group of friends founded Pop-Up Magazine, a unique endeavor that refuses to gather dust on your coffee table.

Pop-Up is a magazine upon a stage, an experience that unfolds with an impressive collection of nationally acclaimed journalists, commentators, photographers, radio producers, filmmakers, and artists. Nothing is taped or recorded, nothing tabled for later—you leave the issue with no proof of your experience, no artifact of the stories you’ve seen.

As Pop-Up’s Editor in Chief, McGray wants to push and expand the conceptual limits of traditional media. “We are all lovers of magazines and photography, and art, and documentary film and radio. With Pop-Up, we aren’t so much addressing a flaw in magazines but rather trying to see what all a magazine could be. Our love of the form inspired a little bit of experimentation. We wanted to know, what would a magazine be if you did it live? For one thing, the contributors will be there and they will feel close to the audience, and the audience will feel close to them, and that connection will allow us to do things that are uniquely suited to the live space.”

What kind of things? Any number of magazines invite you to read a recipe for a hot new cocktail, but in Pop-Up, that recipe includes a live drink demo followed by that same drink being imbibed by the audience after the show. How about a fully-immersive infographic, like when the folks from Wired enlightened the audience on the extreme use of energy at Disney World by cranking every light in the venue to “11” and explaining that to reach the amount of power the theme park uses in just one day, you would need to leave those house lights cranked up for more than 10 years. Another more somber story documented the budding Facebook relationship between a former Guantanamo prison guard and a released Guantanamo prisoner.

In a stand-out moment, a journalist shared a piece on her elderly father becoming a competitive weightlifter. She wryly recounted his unlikely national and international victories in his age bracket. The story was uplifting and people applauded, but when she suddenly surprised the crowd by introducing her father and he stepped onto the stage, the audience erupted into a joyous and extended standing ovation. Remembering the moment, McGray asks, “How often do you get the chance to cheer for an article?”

The magazine is structured like its more traditional cousins. Shorter stories open each issue, followed by gadget and product reviews. Articles on food and family might lead to travel and then on to infographics or sports, culminating with its feature stories. “We like to include both personal and larger issues; we like to do stuff that’s heavy and intellectual, as well as stuff that’s light and funny; we like each issue to teach us about all kinds of subjects,” says McGray.

Based in San Francisco, Pop-Up has so far wrapped three issues, the last of which was held in mid-April before a nearly 1,000 person crowd at the sold-out Herbst Theatre. In an age where our digital footprints are permanent, information a mere click away, Pop-Up thrives because it is unexpected and momentary: There are no back-issues, it can’t be Tivoed, and good luck trying to google it later. “When everything gets thrown online…instantly documented, archived, available in web browsers forever and ever, it takes away the specialness a bit,” explains McGray. “We don’t do Pop-Up frequently. When we have it, people are excited about it and excited to come out and have an experience together. It’s participatory. It’s a community.”

And don't expect it to be online any time soon. But will it visit other cities? “It is really tempting; we are seriously considering it. If you are interested in finding out about when and where we will be having our next issue, sign up for the mailing list, follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook—I promise, you’ll be the first to know.”

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American kids are fat. According to Ken Yeager, President of the Santa Clara Country Board of Supervisors, nearly one in four children in Santa Clara County is overweight or obese. "In certain ethnic populations," he says, "it's one in three.” Obesity has become a national security risk, too: We have supersized a generation of kids to the point that our military is unsure if we’ll have enough soldiers who are fit enough to fight. Even more shocking, parents across the nation are learning that, for the first time in U.S. history, their children are expected to live shorter lives than they did.

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Food Wars: Making Charity Delicious With DIY Cook-offs

How a local competition is restoring the tradition of good food and community. Is your rosemary and basil sourdough better than...

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A Spoonful of Sustainability

How you can take a bite out of your carbon footprint. Eating outside of your home generally requires three things: food, food containers, and...

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How you can take a bite out of your carbon footprint.Eating outside of your home generally requires three things: food, food containers, and food utensils. For the majority of Americans, oil is involved in all three of these components. Food, especially processed food, requires tremendous amounts of oil to grow, process, and transport it. The plastic food containers we use are made from oil. Likewise, the great majority of our disposable forks, spoons, and knives are made from petroleum-based plastics.The plastic forks and spoons we eat with are not recyclable, so what happens to all of these discarded utensils? They end up in our landfills, beaches, and oceans. Americans toss out enough plastic spoons, knives, and forks each year to circle the equator 300 times. Wanton wastefulness doesn't stop with our flatware of course. According to the EPA, the United States produces approximately 220 million tons of garbage each year, the equivalent of burying more than 82,000 football fields six feet deep in compacted garbage. The National Recycling Coalition reports that, on average, every American throws away more than seven pounds of garbage a day.With increased awareness of global warming, more and more people are realizing that long-term consequences can outweigh temporary convenience. After all, the average plastic fork is only used for three minutes before it's thrown away. Three minutes of usefulness leads to 10,000 years in a landfill or a swirling eternity in an ocean gyre.

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A look at the technology, design, and people behind the Mission One motorcycleThe world's fastest production electric motorcycle was built in San Francisco's Dogpatch-an industrial neighborhood bordered by the city's waterfront. It is an amalgam of drydocks, former steel mills, and factories. Constructed in the 1860s and having largely survived the 1906 earthquake, the zone maintains a smoke-stacked atmosphere of sturdy stone and brick, the streets redolent of coal- and oil-powered commerce. It is appropriate then, that from this "earthquake proof" area of the old city, Mission Motors is leading the charge to shake things up in the world of electric vehicles.Mission draws talent from Tesla, Ford, Ducati, Stanford, Yale, MIT, and the Presidio School of Management. Mission's team is powered by a collection of really big brains and really small electric motors. Their goal is simple, if audacious: to create the world's best production electric motorcycle without compromising acceleration, speed, range, performance, or reliability. They endeavor to create a product where green doesn't come at the cost of power, and powerful doesn't mean inefficient. "If people are passionate about the environment, well then that's our core customer group, and if they are passionate about performance, well that's also our core customer group," says founder and President Edward West.The Mission One, their first production vehicle, has reportedly gone faster than 160 mph, and has been officially clocked at 150.059mph. It jumps from 0 to 60 in a time that compares favorably to a high-performance gas bike, but has an even more impressive 60 to 100 mph interval, because it doesn't shift gears, ever. Instead, the watermelon-sized motor delivers all torque, rocketing up in velocity without the shifting gears of a combustion motor.

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