Microplastics…they’ve made their way into your kitchen now

Microplastics are just what the name implies….tiny bits of plastic from a myriad of sources, like washing fleece material in a washing machine for example. It’s been described as a problem affecting the food chain in oceans, but guess what? Around 90 percent of table salt brands were found to contain these (since I had of our salt comes from the ocean). So, we’re all ingesting these, not just marine life. Unfortunately, no one’s really sure what health risks, of any, this poses. Read this article for more on this:

apple.news/AJXMEllyITvutRKlwht1myQ

Embark startup in the news

So, a funny set of stories passed through my newsreader this morning (Feedly, if you’re curious).  The first was about a company in Texas called Embark, offering DNA testing for dogs!  It’ll tell you your dog’s pedigree, as well as what diseases they may be suceptible to.  Cool!

The second article was about a company working on self driving trucks called…Embark!  Yeah, same name!  Though I don’t really envision these companies going head to head and confusing consumers!  🤣

Stupid Design of the Week: Toyota Yaris

Rental cars can be fun!  Some say a rental car is the ultimate off road vehicle.  For me though, it’s a great chance to examine different product design philosophies, in some of the most expensive consumer products on the market.  On this trip, my rental car was a bright blue Toyota Yaris…a class of rental car I usually avoid but have been curious about. 

So, the good: drop this car into a low auto gear (3 or 2), and it’s a peppy, fun car that reminds me a lot of a Mini Cooper.  Driving dynamics are downright decent. 

The bad: everything else.  No, really,  the stereo is one of the most counter-intuitive I’ve seen.  A peice of plastic trim came flying off when I removed my laptop bag from behind the driver’s seat.  The brakes work eventually.  The driving position is reminiscent of bad Italian design from decades ago, with arms extended and legs crunched up around either side of the wheel.  The worst design detail though?  The door locks,  I haven’t had a car without remote locks in ages, but that’s not a big deal.  What’s bad is how the locks work.  Unlock the doors by rotating the key clockwise.  Ok. Got it.  Now unlock the rear hatch…by rotating the key *counter* clockwise.  What kind of moron decided they’d actually ship a mass produced vehicle like this?  Redesign the locks so they work the same, it’s just idiotic to do otherwise.

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