Good Morning, RVA: Brutal

Stay inside, crank the AC, take the ice bucket challenge just because.

Photo by: CT Senate Democrats

Good morning, RVA! It’s 76 °F now, but watch out–today’s looking brutal. Highs in the upper-90s come to town to terrorize y’all’s neighborhood, and there’s no chance of rain or respite. It’s just you, the blazing heat, the soaking humidity, and whatever remains of your deodorant. Try to stay hydrated!

Water cooler

It took 10 hours (and 150 years) of debate but the South Carolina House of Representatives voted 94-20 to permanently take down the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds.

Graham Moomaw at the RTD has a tiny update on the future of the GRTC bus depot. 12 companies submitted bids for the property, all of which have clammed up about their proposed plans. GRTC will, theoretically, award a contract sometime this fall.

The NFL team from Washington lost another legal battle to protect its trademarks. Next stop: Federal Appeals court and then the Supreme Court. Keep in mind that terminating the trademark registrations wouldn’t prevent the team from using their current name and logos, it’d just make them look extremely bullheaded and offensive–just like how the look on the field!

From Vox: “Why babies in medieval paintings look like ugly old men“, which contains this quote: “These babies look like horrifying tiny men with high cholesterol and strong opinions about housing association rules.”


  • Harrisburg downed the Squirrels again last night, 1-3. Richmond tries to avoid the sweep tonight at 7:05 PM before hitting the road tomorrow.
  • The Nats game against the Red was postponed, and now they’ve got the day off. Lucky guys.

What to expect

We’re in a Thursday way, so that means:

  • Food News by the amazing Kevin Clay
  • 5 Things by the incredible Susan Howson
  • Big Bike race news (which is also by Susan Howson, who remains incredible)

This morning’s longread

Solar power still needs to get much cheaper. Are perovskites the answer?

I definitely thought we’d have pervasive solar power by now. Sometimes science is hard.

And here’s the hitch: Most academics aren’t terribly interested in mundane questions like improving durability. Meanwhile, the US solar industry is still focused on the boom in old-fashioned silicon solar panels — and ignoring perovskites for now. Perovskites could be a potentially revolutionary technology, but they’re having real trouble making the leap from lab to private sector.

In our talk, Sivaram elaborated on why existing solar technology isn’t good enough, why we need major advances, and what could prevent perovskites from actually panning out. The end result was a fascinating portrait of how technological innovation happens — and how potentially sweeping energy breakthroughs could fail to catch on.

This morning’s Instagram

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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