© 2009 Lynsey

106 – An triumph of engineering

Being a man is the continuing battle for one’s life. One loses a bit of manhood with every stale compromise to the authority of any power in which one does not believe. — H. Rap Brown

It always gives me joy to see the finest imported technology – the stuff that’s taken millions of dollars and thousands of hours of concerted human effort – working thanks to local low technology. In this case the front of this gorgeous blue sex machine is tied together – not with string – but with a more rustic and authentic strap of flax. Its usage suggests the front of the highly priced surface, low value interior was damaged out on the road, and the nearest solution to dragging plastic and muck metal was the convenient flax bush. Nearer civilisation one surely would’ve gone for plastic strapping, or, more elegantly again, a cable tie or two.

I’ve often wondered why the flax fibres haven’t been used for constructing fibreglass (fibregrass) car panels. I would’ve have thought that the long, strong fibres would’ve been excellent from a strength perspective, as well as been part way towards a more environmentally sustainable solution. The green photosynthesising cells could be diverted off to become fertilisers for the flax farms, or to become biodiesel to fuel the vehicles themselves. There’s a joy in thinking about alternative solutions to life’s everyday little problems, especially if we’re able to push the solution a step or two further down the developmental route.

[The number plate has been edited for privacy protection.]

Manifesto
09. Every day learn something new.
14. Every day the ordinary can be the extraordinary.
17. Every day look through a new lens.

One Comment

  1. Kathryn
    Posted December 18, 2009 at 6:07 pm | #

    What a great eye of appreciation you have for ingenuity. I’ve always been drawn to “pioneers” who, when stopped by a problem, simply look around them to what’s available to solve it with. No need to carry the perfectly formed pre-made self-help fix kit; just look for all the angles for the use of something.

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