Link Time

March 10, 2009

I was planning on writing about our new project today, but I screwed up my alarm clock while changing it to DST and slept until 11:30. Not a very notable event, but it pointed out my need for a better designed alarm clock.

Since I don’t have that to write about, I figured I’d share a quick link – check this out. In my opinion, this is a bit more like what we should be taught in Materials (a class that is supposed to be about “sustainable design”). Instead I’m stuck designing a toaster that utilizes renewable energy (when all forms of renewable energy don’t produce near enough power, or would require a massive battery which is going to make the eco-friendly advantage go bye-bye), or ‘deconstructing’ the toaster and rot like that. I understand that this is an important topic, and a concept we need to be very interested in, but it isn’t real world design.

When Braunstine started the class, he laid out his requirements for a sustainable product – my only problem with his definition is that by his definition (and combined with his opinion that we can’t expect future technological advances to bail us out) says that the semiconductor, the technology behind every computer chip since we stopped using vacuum tubes, is unsustainable, and will therefore inevitably destroy the world in the end. It can’t be recycled – once you’ve doped silicon with metals you’re not seperating them back out. You melt little bits together, print circuits, nasty chemicals are involved, and its all sandwiched in a nice blob of fossil fuel based plastic.

In other words, I’ll start listening to him as soon as he starts presenting with sticks and rocks. And, if he presented more than just his opinion, maybe delved into some facts once in a while, that would be nice too.



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