Heated Roads Pave the Way to the Future

My idea that I would want Elon Musk to “invent” is heated roads.  More specifically I would want Musk to come up with a cost-effective way to heat roads and highways in order to melt snow and other inclement weather.  It is clear in recent years that weather patterns have become somewhat strange. Parts of the northeast (US) have been hit with several feet of snow. Perhaps even more worrisome is that many areas of the south have also been hit with snow, and they are not nearly as prepared to remove it.

Heated roads and highways would provide a much safer travelling experience all over the country, and potentially the world. Millions of Americans could be positively impacted by this kind of innovation.  It is not the first time this idea has been proposed. This article shows that scientists and engineers have tried to develop new kinds of roads that could melt roads, but progress has yet to really been seen. I propose a way to heat the current roads that we have now.

The most important aspect to this idea is cost-effectiveness. The cost of installing Musk’s new heating system in roads would have to be less than the current budget for snow removal services such as plows and salt.  The project must have a positive NPV. Additionally, the burden of construction would have to outweighed by the benefits of effectively safer roads. I do not possess the know-how needed to invent such a system, otherwise I would not be asking Elon Musk to invent it for me, but I would imagine that he could come up with an easy way to insert an easily heated material underneath the gravel of roads and highways that could then be activated and initiated from above ground.

If implemented properly, this system could save lives as well as make travelling easier on a daily basis in the winter time.  If Elon Musk could figure out a way to heat roads on an affordable basis, then many people could be positively impacted.


Featured Image: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/11/how-to-drive-on-snow-and-ice-winter-driving-safety-tips.html


Early Indicators of a Concussion

Concussions have become quite a common injury in high school sports. A 2011 study indicates that concussions account for around 15% of all high school injuries for schools with athletic trainers. I specify that these schools have athletic trainers because this injury is often difficult to detect. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics presented a paper that suggests schools with athletic trainers post higher concussion rates than schools without athletic trainers. This is clearly a problem. High school students will not have the discipline or the awareness to put themselves out of the game if they do not have an athletic trainer. Thus, I propose that Elon Musk invents a device for all sports that can be used to detect concussions.

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3-D Food Printers: A Delicious Solution

“Imports by airplane have a substantial impact on global warming pollution. In 2005, the import of fruits, nuts, and vegetables into California by airplane released more than 70,000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to more than 12,000 cars on the road.” according to Food Hub. Rather than reducing the impacts of food transportation, with 3-D printing we could eliminate them.

“Imagine being able to essentially ‘grow’, ‘cook’ or prepare foods without the negative industrial impact – everything from fertilizers to saute pans and even packaging,” says Homaro Cantu, chef and owner of the Moto Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, who has printed sushi using an ink jet printer. “You can imagine a 3D printer making homemade apple pie without the need for farming the apples, fertilizing, transporting, refrigerating, packaging, fabricating, cooking, serving and the need for all of the materials in these processes like cars, trucks, pans, coolers, etc,” he adds.

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Just sit back and relax

Mr. Musk,

The United States Census Bureau published traffic accident data from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that contained some disturbing statistics.  In 2009 there were just under 11 million traffic accidents in the United States.  In the same year there were almost 36,000 deaths as a result of these traffic accidents.  This number does not include the hundreds of thousands of people who are injured to different degrees as a result of traffic accidents.  While the number of car accidents has stayed relatively constant over the past ten years, the death rate in car accidents has decreased significantly over the same time period.  I know there are many other problems across the world that cause significantly more pain and deaths, but I think that this problem is one that is not such a hard fix.

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