Michelin’s New “Puncture-Proof” Tire Promises to Make Flats a Thing of the Past

Flat tires have been an issue plaguing drivers ever since the dawn of the automobile. At this point, learning to fix a flat is a vital skill that literally every driver on the road should be familiar with.

That knowledge may not be as necessary for much longer, however, as Michelin is here for us!

They’re working with General Motors to develop and test a tire called Uptis (Unique Puncture-Proof Tire System) that doesn’t use air – and therefore, cannot go flat.

They debuted the groundbreaking design at the Movin’ On Summit in Montreal and I’ve gotta say…sign me up.

Image Credit: YouTube

Even though the Uptis has conventional treads on the outside, the middle layer is made of composite rubber and resin-embedded fiberglass spokes. Air would typically provide the support for the outer treads, but in this case, the spokes do the job just as well (arguably better).

Michelin and GM believe these tires will also last longer, because they aren’t in danger of wearing down more quickly due to over or under-inflation. For the same reason, they claim the tires are more environmentally-friendly, since fewer tires means less tire waste over all.

 

Image Credit: YouTube

Right now, over 200 million tires are tossed into the rubbish every single year.

The company plans to test the Uptis tires on a fleet of Chevy Bolts (electric vehicles) later this year. If it goes well, you can expect to see the tires on all new GM vehicles as early as 2024.

Right now, it’s not clear whether or not the tires would be available for purchase separately, so don’t let those tire-changing skills go dormant just yet.

But fear not! A brighter future with less squatting by the side of the road in the heat or rain could be on the very near horizon.

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A Look Inside the U.S. Military’s “Doomsday Plane,” Built to Withstand the Aftermath of a Nuclear Blast

The plane is officially known as the U.S. Air Force’s E-4B, but most people just call it the “doomsday plane.” The aircraft is used to take the Secretary of Defense all over the world, and it is a monster of an airplane. The plane is also known as the National Airborne Operations Center.

The E-4B is almost six stories tall, has four enormous engines, and can withstand the immediate aftermath of a nuclear explosion. How’s that for technology? A member of the U.S. Air Force said, “It’s like a backup Pentagon. There’s always one plane on alert and ready to go 24 hours, seven days a week.”

Just like its sister aircraft Air Force One, the E-4B is like a flying command center, and many of the plane’s capabilities are classified. There are four “doomsday planes” that have been in operation since 1980, and they are based at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.

The aircraft truly is a marvel of technology. The large hump on top of the E-4B is called a “radome” and houses satellite dishes and antennas that allow people onboard to contact submarines, ships, aircraft, and phone lines anywhere in the world. Because of the humongous fuel tanks and the ability to refuel while flying, the E-4B can stay in the air for several days without ever having to land.

The plane can accommodate up to 112 people. It has three levels, 18 bunks, 6 bathrooms, a briefing room, and a conference room. Interestingly, the E-4B is not up-to-date technologically and relies on analog technology.

A crew member said, “It’s a common misconception, but this plane doesn’t have digital touch screens in the cockpit or elsewhere. The conditions that this plane is meant to fly in call for analog, since digital tech would fry during a nuclear war.”

Yikes…

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This Samsung AI Can Create a Fake Video of You From Just One Photo

Samsung researchers have developed a new software that requires just a single source image to create “living portraits” using just one photo of a person’s face.

Photo Credit: Egor Zakharov

The program works by using a dataset of multiple talking head videos featuring people with a wide variety of facial features. Researchers then trained the program to identify the “landmark” features of those faces: the eyes, the shape of the mouth, and their noses. Instead of pasting one face onto another and using the expressions of a specific person (which is what most deepfakes currently do), the new program uses common human facial expressions to puppeteer a new face on its own. It even works on the Mona Lisa!

Hopefully, they don’t figure out how to make the hair look real… or else.

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Amsterdam Enacts a Ban on All Gas and Diesel Vehicles

Pollution is the global issue of our time, and around the world more and more cities are trying to take measures to reduce their carbon impact.

Most recently, the city of Amsterdam has taken a MAJOR step towards cleaner air: the Dutch city has announced that it is planning to phase out all gas and diesel vehicles by 2030.

Amsterdam’s traffic councillor recently said, “Pollution often is a silent killer and is one of the greatest health hazards in Amsterdam.” You might be surprised that such a world-renowned bike-friendly city (30% of Dutch commuters travel by bike) has such an awful pollution problem, but air pollution in the Netherlands is worse than European rules permit. This is mainly due to the heavy traffic in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

The city’s plan is to replace all gas and diesel engines with electric or hydrogen cars, or other emission-free alternatives, by 2030. The plan will begin next year when diesel engines built before 2005 will be banned from Amsterdam. The plan then calls for gradual banning of more vehicles from city streets.

The current levels of nitrogen dioxide and particle matter in Amsterdam’s air can cause respiratory illnesses and shorten life expectancy by more than a year. The city plans to get rid of public buses that run on gas by 2022, to increase the number of electrical charging stations to 23,000 by 2025, and to offer subsidies and special parking permits to encourage residents to make the switch to electric and hydrogen cars sooner than later. We all know how crucial a nice parking spot can be, right?

Hopefully, other cities around the globe will take note – and in fact Brussels, Belgium, is already looking to follow Amsterdam’s lead.

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Scientists Discovered a Way to Treat Burns Using Fish Skin

Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: a team of Brazilian scientists has figured out how to treat burns using fish skin. This is absolutely insane, and more than a little creepy and also… who in the world even comes up with an idea like that?!?

Ok, in all seriousness, it’s actually a really cool invention!

Researchers at the Federal University of Cearà in Brazil came up with this innovation. They use tilapia skin, which is high in collagen (a healing protein) and moisture. It reportedly speeds up healing and reduces the need for pain medication.

In modern medicine, burns are often treated with grafts of human or pig skin, both of which transfer collagen to burn victims’ healing skin. The alternative is to use burn creams and gauze strips that have to be changed out frequently, which involves a lot of pain for victims.

But in Brazil, it’s not easy to get human or pig skin for grafts. Thus, the foray into fish skin. Fish skin works similarly to other tissues — and it may even be MORE effective.

“We got a great surprise when we saw that the amount of collagen proteins, types 1 and 3, which are very important for scarring, exist in large quantities in tilapia skin, even more than in human skin and other skins,” said Dr. Edmar Maciel, a burn specialist at the José Frota Institute.

Even better, tilapia is a cheap, abundant fish. It costs 75% less than the burn cream used in Brazil. While it’s still under study and has yet to catch on mainstream, it has been used experimentally in the US on bears.

And yes, it does look really bizarre. But the tilapia skins are sterilized first, so it’s totally safe.

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15 People Share Their Generation’s Version of Trusting Technology

You know how, in this day and age, someone saying “I don’t use a computer” would literally make you stop in your tracks? Well, even though the world has changed and technology has advanced like crazy, it turns out that every generation has had their hold-outs – and below are 15 examples of what the “cool” kids might not have been doing along with everyone else.

#1. The mark of the beast.

I’m not an older generation, but my grandparents are very old-fashioned for their generation, if it counts.

My grandfather worked as a grocery manager for years. He finally quit when his small Mom & Pop store buckled down on bar scans and electronic cash registers.

He was convinced that bar codes were going to be the “mark of the beast” from Revelations, and that if people use computers to access porn, then all computerized items must be banned. So there’s that.

#2. Ice was a luxury.

My grandmother drinks only hot decaf coffee. 95 degrees with 100% humidity? Hot decaf coffee. Feeling parched after a day of hard work? Hot decaf coffee. And what to drink with your hamburger and French fries? Hot decaf coffee. Every meal, every day.

“When I was growing up, we never had ice. That was a luxury. Cold drinks aren’t good for your stomach.”

Edit: Grandma’s from the States. Grew up during the Depression.

#3. I get paid by check.

I am the web designer for a local organisation. Their treasurer refuses to accept card payment via their website. People have to print out forms, fill them out and post them with a cheque. I also get paid by cheque with a handwritten note. They would be a much more popular and successful business if they just modernised a little!

#4. Such an amazing sentence.

When remote control TVs came out, I suggested that my father buy one, and he said said, “It will be a cold day in Hell when I’m too lazy to tell one of you boys to get up and change the channel.” It was such an amazing sentence that I committed it to memory, and I still remember it word for word 50 years later.

#5. People thought they were unnecessary.

When I was a kid (late 50’s early 60’s) seat belts in cars were an option. Lots of people thought they were unnecessary and refused to pay extra for them

Heaters and windshield defoggers were likewise optional (my parents bought a new 1964 Plymouth Valiant and didn’t get the option).

#6. She didn’t want to mess up her hair.

My dad once told me a story about his grandmother refusing to fly in planes because she didn’t want to get her hair all messed up from the wind.

#7. The forward pass.

My dad is 65. He remembers old folks complaining about the forward pass in football.

#8. I was given a typewriter.

My grandparents laughed at the idea of a mobile phone or sending messages through the phone line when fax machines were a thing. My grandparents didn’t like computers they still had a typewriter or wrote by hand. I was given a typewriter as a kid but by then I was using windows 95.

#9. She wouldn’t use it.

Back in the 80s I knew an old lady who used one of those really old toasters that could only toast one side of the bread at a time. As a present, we went out and bought her a modern pop-up toaster, but she wouldn’t use it. She preferred to use her old one.

#10. He called them machines.

My grandmother is 89. When she was a kid, she had an uncle who hated cars. He called them machines and refused to drive one. It could’ve been job security though, her whole family worked for the railroad.

#11. They were laughing.

Some people still had outdoor toilets and were laughing at those who had them installed inside because “they are shitting their own houses”.

#12. A depression-era baby.

My 89 yr old mom pays for cable but insists on watching only PBS and occasionally NBC, CBS or ABC. The other channels are too much technology to find on the remote. She also buys multiple boxes or cans of food, dates them in sharpie marker, records the price (less coupon or sale special) and has a rack of all her finds. She will never eat all the oatmeal or beans in our collective lifetimes. But she was a depression era child so I get why the urge to stock up on food is strong.

#13. A time when literacy wasn’t a given.

My grand-aunt still believes that 15 is the age of adulthood, that schooling isn’t necessary beyond that point. She grew up in a time when literacy wasn’t a given.

#14. The age of answering machines.

My grandparents refused to get an answering machine.

My mother, who has a smartphone and uses email, still refuses to communicate via text messages.

#15. She got promoted.

My mom was just telling me about when answering machines were new, and how people were so fearful of them and refused to leave a message.

She got promoted at a job because she didn’t mind calling clients and leaving messages.

Hipsters, man. I guess they don’t know there’s nothing new under the sun.

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Bluetooth technology is named….

Bluetooth technology is named after Harald Bluetooth, the 10th-century king of Denmark who united various Danish tribes into a single kingdom. The symbol is a combination of the runes representing his initials.

8 Awesome Facts That’ll Make You Seem Like The Smartest Person in the Room

I think it’s pretty important to learn something new every day. It makes you a better-rounded person, and also makes you a much better partner in a conversation.

So, enjoy these 8 facts that’ll make you feel smarter right away!

1. Hmmmm

Photo Credit: did you know?

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2. Obese pharaohs

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3. Gay griffons

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4. I notice this all the time

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5. Just in case

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6. Oh, great!

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7. Xennial

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8. Panic in the streets

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Say it again, “I did not know that!”

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This Passenger’s Conversation with Jet Blue Airline Is Absolutely Terrifying

Are you the type of person who believes in conspiracy theories and doesn’t trust 90% of what the government says? Then you may not want to read about this conversation between airline passenger MacKenzie Fegan and Jet Blue Airlines.

She went to the airport and was in line to board her flight, ready with her boarding pass in hand. But it turned out she didn’t need it – all she had to do was look into camera. No one asked her for her pass. No one asked her if she wanted to opt out or in to whatever was going on, and MacKenzie went along, because that’s what we do when we’ve been trained to keep the line moving and people are waiting.

She started to think about it later, though, and sent the company a tweet.

The ensuing thread should make each and every one of us wonder what’s ours, what can the government claim without asking, and how will things like our images be used without our consent.

Not that there’s anything we can do about it, apparently, but…the more you know?

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