Consumption Week 14

My notes from some of the media I consumed this week.



  • Destinus claims that its technology will make a flight from Frankfurt to Sydney last just 4 hours, 15 minutes, and a flight from Frankfurt to Shanghai would take 2 hours, 45 minutes.
  • The company has tested its prototype Eiger for the past two years and announced successful test flights at the end of 2022.

  • Helixx vehicles are locally manufactured within the company’s licensed Mobility Hubs and are available through a business-to-business fleet subscription pricing model starting at just $0.25 per hour, providing an accessible option for commercial users.


  • I recently had the opportunity to ride in a car made by the British company Wayve, which has a fairly novel approach to self-driving vehicles. While a lot of AVs can only navigate on streets that have been loaded into their system, the Wayve vehicle operates more like a person.

  • Stagecoach’s self-driving vehicles will begin service on a 14-mile (22.5 km) circuit that includes Edinburgh’s famous Forth Road suspension bridge on May 15.
  • Five single-decker buses will be in service, carrying approximately 10,000 passengers weekly.

  • The only reason we think we need cars to get around, is because we have wasted most of our space on accommodating cars, which spread everything out so far (and made everything so loud and dangerous) that nobody feels like walking or biking! [JG: Particularly in the US]



  • Electric cars could replace 20 gas power stations during peak winter electricity demand.
  • ECIU said the potential of V2G technology in helping to balance the grid would rely on high adoption of battery-powered vehicles - potentially as many as 13.5 million on UK roads by 2030.
  • [V2G] could enable drivers to sell enough power back to the grid to collectively generate EV owners almost £7.6bn by 2035.

  • The company’s waterproof and shock-proof charging robot uses deep learning, 5G, V2X, and simultaneous localization and mapping technologies to create a smart and unmanned EV charging experience. The robot offers one-click ordering, active vehicle locating, precise self-parking, automatic docking, charging and undocking via mechanical arms, and automatic return and recharging functions.

  • Laminated wood is stronger than steel proportionate to its weight making for lighter more practical towers.

  • The study showed that replacing 30 percent of the cement in concrete with clean coal fly ash made it 51 percent more robust and 28% more flexible. Moreover, it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent and heavy metal emissions by 41 percent.
  • The process involves mixing fly ash with carbon black, which makes the mixture conductive, placing it between two electrodes, and supplying a short current pulse. This raises the temperature to about 5,432 °F (3,000 °C), which makes the heavy metals evaporate and be caught. The removal efficiency for various heavy metals ranges between 70 percent and 90 percent in just one second.

  • Constructed from modular designs, The Float boasts a sleek and modern appearance. Wood was used throughout the home, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The outside of the home was clad in high-density dark cork, which is a sustainable and modern material that seamlessly blends with its surroundings while maintaining its unique personality.
  • Inside, low-density cork was used as a natural insulator, providing excellent temperature regulation, noise reduction, and water resistance. The layers of high-density outer cork and low-density interior cork were connected with a cork-based mortar layer.

  • Nike’s Space Hippie shoes include everything from extra material to leftover packaging.
  • Rothy’s are a brand of flats that are made entirely of recycled or sustainable materials.
  • Green Toys makes 100% recycled plastic kids toys — recycled milk jugs and yogurt containers.
  • Dakine backpacks are manufactured using recycled materials.
  • All Birds makes recycled clothing products with tree fiber.
  • Saalt Period Underwear makes its products out of recycled water bottles.
  • Chilean startup Algramo offers an innovative refill-on-the-go distribution model. After a one-time container purchase, a customer may refill a range of liquid cleansers from dispensing machines at participating stores.

  • JG: Plastics are incredible materials, but the environmental damage is horrific. Perfect recycling is the panacea. Fortunately, more and more enzymes are being discovered or created that can break down plastics for reuse!

  • Black mass is the industry term used for the material that remains after expired lithium-ion batteries are shredded and all casing removed. It contains valuable elements such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, copper, and graphite that can be recycled in order to produce new lithium-ion batteries.
  • According to data from McKinsey & Company, available battery material for recycling is projected to increase by 20% each year up until 2040, so there will be plenty of materials to process.
  • Electra Battery Materials Corporation is ahead of the curve with its demonstration plant that has successfully extracted lithium, nickel, cobalt, manganese, copper, and graphite from black mass in batch mode.

  • The battery first needs to be ground where the material reacts with aluminum to form metallic composites. Lithium, which is water soluble, is recovered by mixing water with the ground mixture and then heating it separately to make the water evaporate.
  • The researchers found that up to 70 percent lithium recovery can be achieved with this method, which does not require the use of corrosive chemicals or high temperatures.

  • Where an old-fashioned tungsten filament can generally be trusted to be either intact or broken, the drivers and diodes inside the new bulbs are subject to the kinds of glitches and compatibility errors you get from other electronics, especially once dimmers get involved. They can crash or hang, or audibly buzz from electromagnetic interference, or go haywire from being fed the wrong kind of power signal. LEDs, in other words, can be broken even when they appear to be working. “It’s still on. You still have light coming out,” Nelson said. “They don’t just fail or burn out like a halogen source does. Oftentimes, there’s light loss or there’s color shift.”
  • It’s true that CRI numbers are kind of useless. All else being equal, if light on an object gets dimmer — if you start with an object outdoors, in full sunlight, then bring it indoors to that same daylight, but less of it, now coming through a window — the object will appear more gray. The way color rendering is defined, the diminished light is performing at the same level as it did outside. The color-rendering index scores it the same. But the object looks worse.
  • Many [LEDs] cannot dim at all; those that are advertised as dimmable do not reduce their temperature or even reduce the intensity of the light they put out. Instead, a common method is to adjust how frequently they switch off and on, which is dozens of times per second. Extra-sensitive people can sometimes detect this flicker or find themselves with unexplained headaches and dizziness. For everyone, the light gets even duller looking than before.

  • The process begins with removing lignin from wood, which opens pores in the wood as well as strips the color—resulting in transparent wood. The wood gaps are then filled with citrus (limonene acrylate) and coconut-based molecules.
  • When the sun shines, the wood becomes transparent and stores more energy, while at night it becomes cloudy and releases the heat stored during the day.

  • When placed under sunlight, the films were an average of nearly 40°F cooler than the surrounding air and generated over 120 Watts of cooling power, rivaling many types of residential air conditioners.

  • The team has created a prototype made of eight mm steel tubes and a transducer (a device that converts one form of energy into another). When the transducer was activated, it sent pulsating sound waves through the metal tube. As a result, the particles moved and vibrated, allowing small pieces of plastic to accumulate in flowing water as they passed through the system. For instance, consider a loudspeaker that vibrates the ground, thereby bouncing dust particles toward each other.
  • The device was able to remove over 70 percent of the small plastics and 82 percent of the larger-size microplastics.
  • The device would cost approximately seven cents to operate for an hour and a half to clean one liter of water.

  • To the surprise of no-one, ExxonMobil finally canceled its long-running algae biofuel research program earlier this year.
  • “In contrast to traditional portland cement, Prometheus Materials’ microalgae-based bio-cement emits little-to-no CO2 and recycles 95% of the water used during its production. Following production, the bio-concrete has the ability to sequester embodied carbon throughout its lifespan,”


  • Billions of single-use gloves are used by the NHS and in most cases they’re not needed (the majority are not sterile). They’re mostly used for signalling hygiene, when washing hands is more effective.
  • It can be cheaper to buy reusable and sterilise between uses, but the habit has become to buy single-use and dispose - especially operating gowns.
  • Inhalers for asthma are 40% of GSK emissions - but alternatives are coming/available.
  • Mangroves are amazing.

  • A group of biologists and robotics experts over at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanna (EPFL) in Switzerland and the University of Graz in Austria have designed an innovative robotic beehive that is designed to provide thermal support to bees during events of cold weather, ensuring that the bees don’t experience coma and death.

  • The device called Static Droplet Microfluidic (SDM) device, which is a “3-D-nanopatterned microfluidic chip,” could successfully detect cancer markers in the tiniest drop of blood or in a component of the blood called plasma. It can quickly detect circulating tumor cells (CTC) that have split from the cancer source to enter the bloodstream.

  • Taking that as a starting point, researchers in Spain concocted a number of new compounds with a gold ion as its foundation, and have found that all 19 of the ones they tested were effective against at least one bacteria of concern that has proven resistant to modern antibiotics.
  • Fibre:sugar ratio affects how much blood glucose spikes. This means rye bread is best (high fibre, low sugar)
  • Sourdough is great, but most supermarket sourdoughs are fake - so buy from a bakery or make your own.
  • Baked sourdough kills the microbes so little benefit as a probiotic.

  • As the Kia Soul pulled up next to the Silverado, everything seemed normal until the truck’s driver side front wheel suddenly spun itself off and rolled in front of the Kia. The Kia ran over the upright wheel at highway speed, causing it to roll onto the tire and launch into the air. The vehicle soared to almost double the height of the Silverado before crashing back down on its roof.
  • While it’s unclear what caused the wheel to fall off the Silverado, it’s possible that it was due to a wheel spacer or lug nut failure.
  • Despite the dramatic nature of the crash, the driver of the Kia Soul was able to walk away unharmed.

  • A new 13-sided shape is the first example of an elusive “einstein” — a single shape that can be tiled infinitely without repeating a pattern.
  • The answer was just discovered by David Smith, a retired printing technician from East Yorkshire, England.

  • But even though it was 1875 math, I’d say it was pretty close.



  • JG: Data from 2018. Very interesting. Most companies are “Professional, scientific and technical”, but highest revenue is from “Finance and insurance”. “Finance and insurance” also dominates revenue per company, but is followed by “Mining, quarrying and utilities” and “Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply” - they have very low counts but high revenue per company. However, for small companies, “Finance and insurance” has much lower per-company revenue. “Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles” is consistently pretty good.
  • For reference, SIC codes:
  • Start with design as it’s easiest to differentiate with. Take risks. Be unique. Large companies have to satisfy large audiences so end up needing to compromise. Apple is a good example.
  • Marketing - find the next way. TV and Facebook ROI are similar now. What’s next?
  • Fun. Community. Innovation through collaboration.

  • JG: Showing how music, movies, and games - all media - is a remix (copy) of something that came before it. AI is simply the next step. Really interesting.
  • “More of the same, but different.”
  • “AI is derivative by design and inventive by chance.”

  • JG: This came from the video above. This is only 40s. Never realised how it was completely stolen.

  • JG: Surprisingly entertaining, if the whole tech/coding side was nonsense. 8/10.