How the Border Patrol uses tech to combat smugglers

TUCSON, Ariz.--It's summer in the Southwest, and there may not be a hotter border anywhere in the United States. For one thing, the mercury is easily over a hundred every day. And then there's the steady flow of organized smugglers trying to sneak themselves and their substantial cargo -- of migrants and/or drugs -- across Mexico's long desert frontier with Arizona.

There are nine U.S. Border Patrol sectors stretching across America's southwestern frontier. And back in 2000, the agency was snagging more than 2,000 people a day for crossing illegally into its … Read more

Vintage military planes fly high in art exhibit

If there's one medium that you wouldn't expect to see get taken on by graffiti and other contemporary artists, it's military airplanes.

But thanks to the folks behind the Round Trip: Art from the Boneyard Project exhibition, now on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Ariz., visitors can see just that.

Although only five full airplanes have been painted--out of dozens in the museum's full collection--the show also includes two cockpits and a large group of airplane sections, all reimagined with an artist's flair. The exhibition, which runs through May 31, &… Read more

Nissan to help Tucson get EV-ready

Nissan recently announced a partnership with the city governments of the Tucson Metro Area and the Pima Association of Governments (PAG), a nonprofit metropolitan planning organization in the Tucson area, to help them prepare for the anticipated wave of electric cars.

Most of the market research to plan and implement an EV-charging network will be done by ECOtality, a clean-electric transportation and technology company in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Part of Nissan's role will be to help PAG acquire electric vehicles. Nissan has been promising to come out with an all-electric car in late 2010, although it won't say what it is. Nissan has been adamant that the electric vehicle will not be the prototype electric Cube that was displayed in car shows last year, but it has committed that the car will be able to get up to 100 miles on a single charge. The five-passenger compact car will be about the size of a Sentra.

The new electric car will be equipped to handle the next-generation of 440-volt fast-charging stations, says Nissan spokesperson Katherine Zachary. The fast-charging stations are able to charge Nissan's electric car in 26 minutes and will be critical to extending transportation corridors and easing consumer fears of being stranded for hours with a drained battery. … Read more

Lake Mead may go dry by 2021

There is a 50 percent chance that Lake Mead, which was created by the Hoover Dam and the Colorado River, will go dry by 2021 because of escalating human demand and climate change, according to a study by Tim Barnett and David Pierce of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California at San Diego.

Lake Mead straddles the Arizona-Nevada border, and Lake Powell is on the Arizona-Utah border. Aqueducts carry water from the system to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other communities in the Southwest.

By 2017, there is a 50 percent chance that the … Read more