Technology

The beastly machines

I sat there one day watching a frog flex his leg, back and fourth, back and fourth; it reminded me of the motion that a piston on a train wheel made. As I sat there I wondered what it would be like if frogs could ride bikes, then we could have a frog circus or a frog train. As I sat there watching the frog I saw how it captured the fly and how the fly attempted to escape. The wings rippling, creating a synchronized wave as they flapped up and down, my mind jumped to a plane where the wings didn’t move at all, wondering why. The death of that one fly inspired me to watch all other moving things, including fish, birds, squirrels, and even people. I watched and began to find that the animals didn’t move the same way that mechanical texts explained it to me. The Wright Brothers wing pressing air down with a foil, Bernoulli’s suction ideas seemed to only cover part of the phenomena. The wings actually ripple with the smallest current of the air around them, further more they were soft and flexible. As I continued to listen to pilot and engineers I found that many planes have an issue of climbing when there angle gets too high and they begin to fall. Bugs do not seem to do this; they hover, sway and bob in every direction with no worry of falling. Fish do the same thing, there fins wave with the smallest currents of water around them. The wings reciprocating not only up and down, but also move at a slight diagonal with the slope ending toward their forward bottom. It is almost like they are paddling the air back, pushing it behind them. They don’t have rudders or any rear wing to keep them balanced, rather they curve in continues flows, scooping the air and pushing it down. As I saw more and more phenomena like this the more I wondered why we don’t just let nature do what it can already do well. What if we had giant fly wings atop a cabin, with the flies’ instincts guiding the craft in the direction we wanted to go? As I thought upon it further, the more I found that it wasn’t that far fetched of an idea. Charles Lindbergh worked with a French doctor to keep organs alive outside the body for years, before he flew his historic flight. Today doctors do things like this on a daily basis when transplanting and graphing organs, what would be so hard about keeping some muscles alive inside of plastic sleeve, and attaching it to a machine to allow it to be the power source. There was only one problem, how to control these muscle and machines? The answer came from a History Channel special on controlling the brains of mice, written in the early 1980’s. I then considered how we add mechanical parts to our bodies; why not add our bodies to our machines? I was then pointed to the fact that machines were created to do things for longer and with more strength then people could. But then that wasn’t true, entirely, the human heart beats an average 80 times a minute for your entire life, many more than 50 years. That’s what, 126,144,000,000 times in 50 year span. That’s years more than any pump that I could find, or the men who use muscles that weigh only about 40 pounds (the biceps of a power lifter) lift hundreds of pounds at once. It’s our support systems that took up the majority of our weight and energy. So much so that when you are in flight or fight you digestive system shuts down. What if we used modified animal hearts to pump clean water into plumbing lines, or a mass graft of the Rhino Beatle’s muscles to lift boulders in bulldozers. There is a famous saying in engineering, “We invent nothing, but rather barrow it from the original inventor, mother nature.” My question is why don’t we latterly work nature into our designs and or machines? With technologies that are more than thirty years old, why hasn’t anyone used these together? We use animals as test subjects for the cruelest and most estranged experiments. Why not let them be a part of the more natural part of our lives, working. Think of the bunnies that sit in cages getting fat as our pets, what if we just trained them run in a wheel, as they run in their natural habitat, how much of their energy could we recuperate? Why don’t we grow things as the Native American’s did using one attribute of a plant to directly benefit one that can share its space, like they called them, the three sisters; each supporting the others both physically and chemically. All life seems to want to be put to a useful and meaningful life that doesn’t inhibit their ability to experience it to the fullest. Why not use the natural instincts of a certain life form to our advantage and theirs. Why not breed worms and bacteria to break down the trash in our landfills, rather than to add chemicals? Why not use our medicine to benefit our mechanics? Why not train penicillin to grow in sewage, or algae to produce edible proteins. Notice I say breed, not genetically engineer, because the eco system of the planet already has balancing measures in place to curtail overgrowth. Why not use rice rather than silica beads to keep things dry, when it’s use is gone it could then feed something to continue the next part of the eco system, rather then just throw it away. Find a purpose for it after its first use, and plan it to be used in that way from the beginning. We should treat our planet as a garden, not an over fertilized garden, but rather we should ask ourselves, would you eat this if it were your only source of food? If you can’t answer yes in every aspect, then you know that this isn’t the correct course of action.





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