By Jay Teitel - Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 0 Comments
For example, he once made 5,127 prototypes of a vacuum
Recently I had lunch at my neighbourhood mall, and afterwards I retired to the food-court facilities to wash my hands. Done with rinsing, I looked, as is my wont, for the paper-towel dispenser. It wasn’t where it normally was. Nor was the air hand-dryer, of the standard useless type that had turned me into a paper-towel devotee in general. In place of both was a waist-high, pewter-coloured apparatus with a pair of scooped, hand-shaped cut-outs, bordered in canary-yellow plastic. Dyson Airblade, read the name on the machine. “Insert hands to dry. Raise and lower hands through airflow. Your hands will be dry in 12 seconds.” I inserted my hands, feeling like a bit of an idiot. The machine hummed on immediately; the air that assaulted me was like a blade, albeit a room-temperature blade, powerful and sharp, but pleasantly so. Hoping against hope, I counted to 12. I removed my hands.
They were dry.
My hands were dry. It was a miracle. Here was a hand-dryer that actually worked, and not only worked, but worked without using heat to evaporate the water on my hands; instead it scraped it off with 640 km/h blades of forced cool air, in the process saving 80 per cent in electrical costs and making the Airblade more environmentally sustainable and hygienic than hot air dryers or paper towels. It was enough to make me want to find the person responsible, and offer him my congratulations and gratitude. Continue…
By Paul Wells - Friday, February 17, 2012 at 10:50 AM - 0 Comments
The prime minister’s trip wasn’t about trade, goodwill or pandas. It was about crushing his opposition at home.
Foreign ships have been putting into the Cuntan port in Chongqing, on the Yangtze River 1,700 km west of Shanghai, since 1891. But these days the whole region has a new vocation. All of a sudden Chongqing has become a major assembly and export centre for cheap laptop computers designed in Taiwan. Very soon, 50 million laptops a year will be leaving the port, bound for the world.
Sometimes ships come into port too.
On Feb. 11, Stephen and Laureen Harper strolled along the Cuntan dockside, chatting with International Trade Minister Ed Fast while a Canadian television news camera crew recorded the moment for posterity. The Harpers paused next to a dirty white steel shipping container draped with a Canadian flag. Work crews opened the container’s steel doors. The Harpers watched as somebody opened one of the cardboard boxes inside the container.
“It’s pork,” somebody said. “From Canada!”
“All the way from Winnipeg,” the Prime Minister chimed in.
By Jason Kirby - Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 11:00 AM - 0 Comments
Procter & Gamble has told its suppliers to regularly report their energy consumption rates
Procter & Gamble, the consumer products giant behind Tide, Crest toothpaste and Gillette, has told its suppliers to regularly report their energy consumption rates. The thinking is simple: if P&G can drive down its suppliers’ energy costs now, it could enjoy a price advantage over competitors later on if oil prices keep rising.
The program began last year with a survey to P&G’s raw material suppliers and even ad agencies, asking for information on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, according to a story in Fast Company. More than 80 per cent responded, and of them, 94 per cent reported their electricity usage. This year, any company that doesn’t fill in the form won’t be able to do business with P&G.
The company has a big carrot to accompany its sizable stick. Suppliers who lower their energy consumption or offer useful energy efficiency advice get a higher rating, which will translate into a boost in business from P&G.