Sunday, January 31, 2010
The article “The Mechanical Battery” talks about a flywheel which is basically a cylinder on a spit. When a flywheel is spun, the gathered kinetic energy from the spinning will create energy that can be stored or used. The flywheel has been used in the past but hasn’t been used to its full potential. In Switzerland there was a bus with a flywheel engine which weighed around three tons. The bus could stop and the battery would take 30 seconds to 3 minutes to charge and could go about 3 to 6 miles at 30 to 40 miles per hour. But since the motor weighed so much and the friction of the motor was so great that the bus would have to stop regularly to keep moving. Today NASA is using the flywheel in space because there wouldn’t be any friction. While using two flywheels in an orbiting shuttle, we are able to steer the shuttle. If both are moving at the same speed then the shuttle will go straight but if one slows down and the other stays the same, then you can turn. The great thing about the flywheel is that it is 85%-95% more efficient then any other motor on the planet right now. If we figure out a way to use a flywheel in a car, then we could be very green very fast because the flywheel doesn’t have any emissions. The flywheel sounds like a great motor but I think that we should take the motor part off keep the arm and cook something on it.
On Dr. Warschauer's blog, he has the question posted: Lots of people think that computers are a waste of money, and that students should be learning important skills like writing and reading rather than wasting time on computers. Do you agree that computers in the classroom are a waste of time and money? Why or why not? In my opinion, computers are not a waste of time and money because they improve productivity. Prior to the mass use of personal computers there was the typewriter. Typewriters required you to completely retype your document after you had edited it and typed it for the first time. Computers enable us to type, edit, email and print documents without having to retype the document two or more times. This makes us more productive. If you are working on a project for school you can save the document on a thumb drive and take it with you anywhere to be used on any computer. You can also email the document to another person in your group and combine the documents. The productivity rate since computers were introduced has skyrocketed. We are now able to do research, copy and site our research in our papers without leaving the computer. Lastly, online shopping is available for everything that we can purchase in stores and have it shipped to us. Now there is no need to use your own gas when you can use someone else’s. Those are some of the reasons that I think computers are not a waste of time and money.