Future Cars

I just watched Discovery Channel’s episode on Future Cars, and I’m so amazed on the car designers’ visions of the future. The feature presented the sort of ‘brand new DNA’ for automobiles, wherein there is a convergence of revolutionary technology and artistry for the cars in the future. How would you react on a future car that has no engines, no drivers, no limits and no steering wheel? I think this one is so amazing, indeed, the future never ceases to surprise us.

So what would they look like? The cars. For one thing, the shape is different, but it doesn’t defy the conventions, after all, according to Tom Peters, ‘if you understand classic design, then you’ll understand future design’. Right. There is that unusual blend of form and function and convenient fluid efficiency. The visibility is unpredictable, converging high fashion and high technology. I think these changes are so cool – the car upgrades, model changes, the idea of ‘no-steering-wheel’ – and probably just joysticks to manipulate the car. The GM gathered all the best car designers to design on that skateboard: no engine, and petroleum-free, wherein these designers can attach different shape bodies, attach car parts in different positions – well, to put it simply, they can do anything above the skateboard. The designers came out with really unique revolutionary ideas.

The idea that the future car would be ‘drive by wire’ thus eliminating mechanical linkages and is flexible, totally interests me. Not only that – the future car would have minimum weight and perfect aerodynamics, low resistance mobility, and very efficient. Moreover, the cars would have totally different wheels – new wheels that would eliminate the potential ‘flats’.

I just love the show. So cool!

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In the Field

I still remember the time when I joined the class field trip to General Santos to visit the three seed companies there – Monsanto Research, Syngenta and Dow AgroSciences (DAS). The field trip was memorable because I learned a lot of things.

Monsanto Philippines are currently working on corn, cotton and soybean products. Monsanto uses cry1ab transgenes in their commercial fields. The company’s objective is to raise the genetic potential of the plant to fight yield suppressions such as corn borers, weeds, rootworms, etc. With these, Monsanto products are Bt hybrids with insect or weed control, or a combination of both (Yield Guard, Round-Up Ready, Mon810). The company’s plant breeders said that they were able to fight pests effectively, thus this increases the yield. They can also plant three times in a year, instead of two, and they don’t need to control and manage the weeds too. Currently, they are working on drought-tolerant corn, products with omega-3 proteins or balanced proteins, which will be available in the future. Continue reading