Finest hr pt3: Hiriko

The all-electric Hiriko city car. Image courtesy BBC.

Some things don’t move me but this is just fabulous! The MIT-designed Hiriko is a two-seater all-electric, designed-for-the-city car that can be folded up like a baby stroller. The idea behind this compact 1,100lb car is simply to provide transportation between transit points just like the bike-share programmes in cities. It can run 31m/hr for at least 75 miles before it needs to be recharged and takes 15minutes to fully charge. Each of the hiriko’s four wheels has it’s own motor and can turn either way at 60 degrees so you can pack sideways. It has no doors, entrance is through the front windscreen which lifts up like a hatch, and for navigation the steering wheel has been replaced with a yoke which you also use for acceleration/deceleration and turning. In short it is hoped the car can help decongest cities by freeing up parking space. It is projected to be commercially available beginning late 2012 into early 2013 at $16,000-$18,000. Cities in Europe and North America (Berlin, Barcelona, San fransisco and Boston)have already placed orders for fleets of cars for the car-share programme. No exhaust fumes. No parking fee headaches. Bliss. Some men see things as they are and ask why. Some men see things as they never were and ask why not.

where in the world are you?

A ship on the high seas. Paper is a major product in international trade.

The world continues to sustain it’s romance with paper and with newspapers, despite electronic media alarmists’ prediction that our love with it would fizzle with the advent of kindle. What, i mean, what say you kindle?  They were wrong for that and also wrong in that paper has a life and health all it’s own which cannot be threatened by any modern gizmo. Paper is essential for commerce both to record transactions and as packaging materials. The existence of paper is an enduring aspect of civilization and not only as print medium but also as a practically indispensable  part of everyday life. Please do not touch my paper. Tell me in what way our love has not endured. Sadly, we also discard a lot of paper, i think most refuse comes in form of paper. These days, i try to recycle kitchen and bathroom paper towels.  Each time after i have rinsed my hands at the kitchen sink, i wipe them off and spread the towels out to dry. I do the same thing after using the bathroom only this time i put them away, in my pull-out drawer part of the bathroom.  They dry fast, maybe 15 minutes and i will use them at least two more times before discarding. It has conditioned my mind to minimize on their use actually.

Lately, and whenever i can help it, i also turn down plastic bags at the local store not only because we already have a closet full of them but because i have begun to feel as though we are fighting a losing battle.  We are not doing enough. Is there somebody else who thinks we have got to curb  run-away population growth? I know there is plenty of folks concerned about this. Less is more. More is less. I await a new day.