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People Are Awesome: Office Supply Salesman's 40-Hour Tahoe Swim

Jamie Patrick's Labor Day weekend plans: Test the limits of human capability by swimming the entire circumference of Lake Tahoe.

Got big plans this Labor Day Weekend? While the rest of us are plotting our escape from the city for one last summer getaway or gathering in the Nevada desert to await the ritual burning of a gigantic human effigy, Jamie Patrick, office supplies salesman and adventurer, is going for a very, very long swim.

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America's National Parks, as a Subway Map

There isn't actually a subway connecting all the National Parks, but this map is still fun.

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Fighting Pollutors Pits Environmental Groups Against Each Other

The EPA announced new rules to govern new power plants carbon emissions. Where does that leave environmentalists?


Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency released proposed rules governing carbon emissions by the next generation of power plants. These rules recognize that carbon pollutes—that it poses a danger to the health and livelihoods of America's citizens—and that, in the future, electricity cannot produce as much carbon as it does today. Plenty of people in this country, including the Republican candidates for president, wouldn't agree with either of these ideas, so environmentalists can count the existence of any rules governing carbon pollution as a victory. But it's a small one, and it leaves two polluting industries—coal and natural gas—with enough strength to pose a continuing threats.

The new EPA rules forbid the construction of coal-fired power plants until the technology to capture coal's carbon becomes economically viable. But they're lenient enough that today's gas-fired power plants will get through. These rules only apply to yet-to-be-built power plants: Although the EPA has the power to create rules for existing power plants, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson indicated that the agency doesn't plan on it—at least, not any time soon. That leaves environmental groups with two challenges: shutting down coal plants that already exist and fighting against the natural gas plants that are gunning to take their place.

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