Tag Archives: innovation

Thank you, Woolworths! Paper bags!

My shopping in the boot of my car

Right from the start of this pandemic, one of the two largest supermarket chains here in Australia has been leading the way when it comes to innovation.

  • First they got online shopping with a contactless home delivery service running smoothly.
  • Then they set up a ‘Direct to Boot’ service that allows me to order online and have someone bring the shopping out and deposit it straight into my boot. Quick, efficient, NO CONTACT! And free.
  • Today Woolworths gave me something I’ve wanted for years – paper carry bags.

We’d all just become used to taking our own bags with us [for shopping] when the pandemic hit. Since then, if you wanted contactless shopping you had to accept the old plastic shopping bags. I have about a million of them stashed away. Now, at last, I can have the convenience and peace of mind of contactless shopping without the guilt of all those damn plastic bags.

Seriously, I’m just about jumping for joy. I haven’t checked the composition of these paper carry bags yet, but I’m hoping they’re made from recycled paper. That would kill two very big birds with one stone.

And in case you’re wondering about the strength of these paper carry bags, have a closer look at what I bought:

What’s inside the bag?

This first bag contains butter, yoghurt, and…ta dah…chicken thigh cutlets in the big paper parcel. Yes, the chicken is inside a single use plastic bag inside the paper, but it’s still ‘leaky’ stuff, and quite heavy, but the bag held up without a single problem.

The second closeup shows fruit and veg – not in individual single use plastic. Brilliant. Again, not a problem at all:

Fruit and veg

The best part though, is what happens once those bags are emptied. I’m going to fold them up and put them straight into the recycling bin. Easey peasey. 😀

Seriously, Woolworths deserves to be congratulated on all the innovations it has implemented these last two years. I hope the other supermarket chains take notice and follow suit.

Well done Woolies!

Meeks


Ballet as you’ve never seen it!

My thanks to My OBT who posted about this incredible duo and introduced me to their unique synthesis of ballet, acrobatics, music and the glorious shapes that two bodies can make. Think of a moving work of art, or multiple works of art all telling a single story.

There are some truly fantastic video’s showcasing the work of AcroDuoBallet, but this is my favourite:

Click here to be taken to their Youtube channel, but be warned, you may not leave for a while, a long, long while…

-Meeka-acting-like-a-stunned-mullet-


Storage for renewable energy

One of the criticisms always levelled at renewable energy is that it’s intermittent. Or in layman’s terms, unreliable.
In recent years, that failing has become less acute thanks to all sorts of batteries, but to supply the kind of energy the modern world needs, the capacity of batteries has to become bigger, much bigger.

The link below leads to an article that describes an energy storage system being developed by MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology]. The system uses a variation of hydro power…under the sea:

The idea is that you’d build humungous hollow concrete balls and place them on the ocean floor. When wind farms floating on the surface produced energy, the excess energy – i.e. the energy not immediately needed by the grid – would be used to pump seawater out of the balls. Then, when the wind farms stopped producing energy, water would be allowed back into the balls via generators. That water would turn the turbines which would produce electricity until the balls filled with water again.

The bigger the ball, the better. 😉 Ahem…

I love the simplicity of the MIT concept. My Dad was a mechanical engineer and I loved watching his prototypes working simply because the laws of physics or whatever made it so. Think gravity, or water always flowing downhill etc. As a result, I absolutely love the idea of this underwater hydro system. Nevertheless, achieving such apparent simplicity would not be cheap. As the article says, there is no ship currently powerful enough to tow even one ball from the land to its resting place on the ocean floor. The problem is not insurmountable, but the startup costs would be substantial.

I’m really looking forward to the next ten years when so many of today’s wild ideas become reality. I hope this is one of them.

cheers,
Meeks


Popcorn foam!

If you thought this was going to be a post about food…sorry. It’s a tech post about an innovative way of creating foam packaging [amongst other things] out of, yes, popcorn. 🙂

Georg August University

You can find the full article here: https://newatlas.com/environment/popcorn-expanded-polystyrene-foam/?utm_source=New+Atlas+Subscribers&utm_campaign=b2daaabfa4-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2021_11_18_11_54&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_65b67362bd-b2daaabfa4-92416841

Climate change is too big for any one person to do much about, but if we all demanded non-plastic packaging, we might clean up those garbage patches in the oceans.

I’m still getting supermarket stuff home delivered [about 4 weeks until I’m fully vaccinated], and the thing I hate the most is that the packer puts each kind of fruit and veg. into a separate plastic bag. Back when I did my own choosing, all my fruit and veg went straight into the trolley or straight into one of my own bags. I know that’s not possible now, but… -sigh-

Anyway, I’m looking forward to edible packaging. 🙂

Meeks


New disruptive tech – aircraft

Just had to share an article about the D-Dalus [a play on words from Daedalus] that appeared on Gizmag, my new, favourite, future-tech site:

http://www.gizmag.com/d-dalus-uav-design/18972/pictures

The D-Dalus could become one of those ‘why did no one think of this before’ type  of innovations that influence future tech for decades to come.

cheers

Meeks

 


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