Tag Archives: transportation

COULD THIS BE THE WORLD’S FIRST NUCLEAR-POWERED AIRLINER? (NO.)

On January 5, 2011, I wrote the following:

“Designer” is a dangerous term, because it usually means some crazy person with ridiculous ideas who then makes CAD drawings or actual mock-ups of his crazy ideas and yet, for some goddamn reason, I appear to be the only person to notice that said idea is crazy.

That was 65 months ago, and it still holds true. “Designers” with no actual science knowledge or reality filter of any kind are the bread and butter of this blog, whether it’s a transparent toaster or a whole bunch of bullshit cooking tools or a pedal-powered submarine or magnetic roads or a rocket that doesn’t exist or a redesigned bicycle or concept cars or a fridge that tramples every law of physics it comes across like a hormonal bull in a sexy china shop. And that’s like a third of the total posts under my “design” category.

But people take these seriously. People write newspaper articles breathlessly extolling the virtues of a moon elevator or solar panels in space or a rocket that will take us to Alpha Centauri, powered only by kale, even though the crackpot that thought it up has no qualifications other than being able to make pretty 3D renderings on his computer.

And that brings us to this.

BBC_-_Future_-_Could_this_be_the_first_nuclear-powered_airliner_

There’s an old adage that any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered with a “no.” That’s not going to change here. Let’s dive in.

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4 REASONS SOLAR ROADWAYS ARE FUCKING STUPID

The idea of solar roadways has been around for a while, and I haven’t said anything about it because I thought it was self-evident how stupid it was. I was wrong. The Indiegogo page raised $2.2 million and recently, prototypes have been built, to much applause from the environmentally-minded. So now, instead of just being a moronic idea, this is a moronic idea that a lot of people are giving a lot of money to. And since I am sick and tired of the collective societal delusion surrounding this FLAMING GARBAGE PILE OF AN IDEA, I’ve decided to point out the myriad flaws with it.

Solar_Roadway_panels_only_1_580_435 Continue reading

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TRANSPORTATION IDEAS THAT WON’T WORK (BECAUSE OF SCIENCE): PART 2

So in our last post that was titled like this, we visited some douche who thinks that he can get energy out of cars by making them worse.  That was a bad idea.  This idea is quite a lot worse.  Here’s the headline:

In case any of you were hoping some of these ideas wouldn’t be from Inhabitat…sorry.

Again, a preposterously bold claim. The idea is that this train would travel in a vacuum tube, unimpeded by air resistance, and would thus be able to go 4,000 miles an hour.  Here are the problems (I’ll try to keep this one short): Continue reading

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TRANSPORTATION IDEAS THAT WON’T WORK (BECAUSE OF SCIENCE): PART 1

Eventually, there will come a day when people stop listening to “designers” with no background in physics who propose physics-based things.  Until then, the word “designer” will continue to mean “dude with AutoCAD/Photoshop skills, a wild hair up his ass, and no connection to the actual world that real people live in.”

Now when you’re designing a lampshade that is made out of thousands of soda tabs for no obvious reason, that’s fine.  Lampshades are not important.  As long as it doesn’t catch fire or explode, it’s probably fine.  It doesn’t have to “work” in any real sense because it doesn’t do anything.

Yes. Good work. The world is glad that you did that.

But when your headline is “Magneter: Magnetic Highway Harvests Kinetic Energy From Cars To Generate Electricity,” you had better know what the fuck you’re talking about.  And as usual, they don’t. Continue reading

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SHWEEB: TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM (THAT WON’T WORK) OF THE FUTURE

If you’re like me, you’ve always hated that our transportation systems like bikes and buses and cars all operate on an existing infrastructure, rather than one that would require a huge amount of money and disruptive construction projects to reinvent.  Right?  I mean, riding your bike on roads that are already there?  What’s up with that?  Shouldn’t we, I don’t know, ride them in the sky or something?

The answer is yes. Yes we should.

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