Fresh - October 3rd
Would you buy a cup of coffee from a man on a weird home-made bicycle? Of course you would, because the Velopresso features those two keywords that we're not allowed to ignore: 'eco' and 'sustainable'. It's basically a trike that hijacks the kinetic energy of pedalling to grind coffee. There's a gas-powered boiler on board, so the whole thing is completely functional without having to stop near a socket and plug anything in.
...and the possibilities are manifold. Imagine if the vehicle was commercially available: we'd see scores of Londoners riding to work whilst brewing their own coffee. Multitasking like a boss. Yeah, look out Costa!
If you were cool in the nineties (which I, er, wasn't), you'll undoubtedly have owned one of those revolutionary Global Hypercolor t-shirts. For the uninitiated youngsters, these were plain shirts - usually blue - with 'Global Hypercolor' written on the front; they had thermochromic pigment that changed the colour according to temperature. In theory, this meant that you had an awesome, futurey, NASA-esque garment. In practice, you generally had light circles under your armpits all the time.
Recreating this nineties magic is Rainbow Winters - a clothing line designed to change colour according to light, water and sound. For example, if you're wearing the 'Rainforest' dress indoors it'll be black and white, but if you wander out into the rain it'll turn gloriously multicoloured. The 'Thunderstorm' dress has lightning bolts across it that appear in response to loud sounds. Why? Well, why not?
The traffic lights outside our office have been a bit temperamental this week. It's not too bad today thanks to the various police officers that are out there acting as human stop-go boards, but Monday was quite entertaining - huge amounts of traffic converging from four directions and trying to weave in between each other. Messy, beeping carnage.
...and that's what all of Cairo is apparently like all the time. There are 17m people in the city - that's more than double the population of London in a city less than a third of the size. Traffic is always an issue. And the problem with sitting in traffic is that, Twitter aside, you don't have any real-time info on why you're stuck, so any alternative route you choose is pure guesswork.
For this reason, the Egyptian government has launched the 'Cairo Transport App Challenge' - a crowdsourcing initiative to get the city flowing a little better. Why crowdsourcing? Because they have a lot of eyes on the ground, with 90% of citizens having mobile phones; they could just develop their own app and try to convince people to use it, but it's the everyday commuters who know how the traffic operates and thus what they need to know. Makes sense, really.
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