Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×
User Journal

Journal Journal: True "Muscle" Cars

I've had this idea for the last couple of years so I'll finally write it down and maybe get some feedback on it.

Power systems, particularly for small scale power generation and vehicles have all revolved around old technologies like internal combustion, external combustion engines and recently around pie in the sky fuel cells.

The direction I feel power system development needs to go is towards muscle power. Muscle power doesn't mean human or animal power but artificial muscle (which mimics natural muscle) and/or the use of lab-cultured and bioengineered muscle to power machines. The reason natural muscle would have to be bioengineered is because it would have to withstand extremes of temperature, moisture and activity.

Such power systems must get their energy from organic matter: "nutrients" (inherently so for the bioengineered muscle) so they would naturally be both sustainable and environmentally clean. They would also have completely silent operation.

In fact, it would be splendid if individuals cooperatively developed such power systems publicly and in a way that just about anyone could make their own. If goats can be made to produce spider webs in their milk then certainly such muscle can be developed through genetic engineering.

In practical terms, the simplest version would be a sealed container with a shaft having at least two eccentrics (like a V-Twin crankshaft) held in bearings on both ends. The "muscles" would have one end connected to the shaft's respective eccentrics with rings containing their own bearings and their other ends anchored perpendicular to the shaft (like the connecting rods in the V-Twin) to the container via similar rings.

Besides this "Muscle Motor" of course, a tank for it's energy source, a pump to convey it, perhaps a tank to collect the used fluid and the respective plumbing would be needed.

Needless to say, the applications for such technologies are as diverse as those of electric motors and combustion engines, not to mention hydraulics and pneumatics.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Priceless

"Reuters - 44 minutes ago Oil prices spiked up above $51 a barrel on Wednesday as increasing signs of an electoral victory for President Bush raised the prospect of continued high demand in the world's biggest energy consumer." (from the news page at Google)
User Journal

Journal Journal: Litmus test for the slant of the media

How many times have you ever read or heard of a government or group being described as "rightist", "Right wing", "Right leaning", "Facist" etc. in the media?

How many times have you ever read or heard of a government or group being described as "Socialist", "Leftist", "Left leaning", "Communist" etc. in the media?

What would this indicate?

User Journal

Journal Journal: He's already won?

It's interesting how the mass media repeat the idea that in polls "most respondents believe Bush will be reelected." Even in some polls where more respondents opposed him, the greater number of them are reported as believing he'd win anyway.

Surely, they couldn't be trying to impress upon everyone who would otherwise vote against Bush that "You may as well not vote because he's already won."


User Journal

Journal Journal: Politics and the "people"

Has there ever been a presidential candidate who appealed to your intellect as opposed to your emotions? Has there ever been a party that has? Has there ever been a political commercial that has? How about a politician?

What implications do the answers to these questions have on the sincerity and truth of your political system?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Just as you are

How many times have you ever been told "You're fine just the way you are." ?
User Journal

Journal Journal: The unimaginable

Why is it so easy for us to believe that other governments abuse and destroy their own people, yet it's forbidden to think the same is possible of our own?

Slashdot Top Deals

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.