Are Flying Cars just Helicopters?

Image result for car with helicopter blades
@tarafugia

Back to the Future predicted we’d have flying cars by 2015. Now, 4 years later than the promised date, we’ve only seen hints at such a technology. I’ve never been a fan of the flying car. It seems completely ridiculous to me. Especially since drivers in normal cars can barely get their act together. The last thing we need is to have some lady eating a cheeseburger with her mutt on her lap, criss-crossing across the sky in a flying tank. Talk about road-rage (technically it’d be sky-rage right?).

Yes, I know I’m pessimistic about it. I blame Neil deGrasse Tyson. I listened to a podcast with him some time ago (if you’re interested in the video clip, here you go). In that podcast he had described how the search for flying cars has already been solved: they’re called helicopters. He goes on to describe how 3-dimensional travel has already been achieved as well: they’re called bridges and tunnels. Let’s insert Elon Musk’s tunnel plan below.

So, assuming tunnels become the newest way to travel (which quite honestly is a brilliant idea), are we still going to pursue flying cars – I mean, helicopters – for the average person? I stumbled across this hilarious video last night. And yes, I know, there should be better technology than an old tin can with blades on top in a few years. But if you don’t find this terrifying, you should reevaluate some stuff. Let’s hope videos like this make the public reassess the fascination that was instilled in us from the movie adventures of Marty McFly.

Out of thin Air

@gessato

Following my current blogging, sustainability kick this week, I’m featuring a company called Graviky Labs. Based in Bangalore, India, this team of scientists and industrial designers are creating ink out of air pollution particles.

Yes, you read that correctly. Let me say it again: making ink…out of pollution.

How fascinating, right? I’m not a chemist by any means, so I’m not sure how they actually make it work. But let me break it down for the lay people out there. They produced a can that fits over a car exhaust, which then filters the smoke, creating particles of ash, which are then combined with different solvents to make liquid ink. This ink can then be used by anyone – artists have obviously taken an interest, since it’s such a uniquely creative idea.

Image result for graviky labs
@cnn

Of all the sectors of pollution, the discussion around air pollution is often dismissed. As physically visible problems – trash in the ocean, dumping of chemicals in undesignated areas, burning of chemicals unlawfully, etc – often trump the unseen, the air we breathe is very nearly forgotten about. But air pollution has been a large contributor to detrimental health problems over the past decade, specifically in Asia.

What really fascinates me is the language they use to describe the pollution, and eventual ink. Their range of markers currently includes a 0.7 mm and 2 mm round tip, a 15 mm chisel tip, and a 50 mm wide tip. Under each marker description they have specifications on the average time it takes to make the ink. For example, a 2mm round tip marker would take approximately 50 minutes of diesel car pollution to create enough particles for the product. How freaking interesting.

Their website clearly states that the main byproduct of fossil fuel burning, is soot. This soot either ends up in water sources or our lungs. They are trying to directly combat the eventual destination by designing a product that takes those particles, and makes something useful and utterly mesmerizing of them. Sure, the ink looks just like any other ink. But when you see someone describe “oh, I illustrated this poster with 100 hours worth of pollution,” it makes the gears in your head turn about a million miles a minute.

Check out the comprehensive video of the patent pending technology below. Enjoy!