MagLev Highway

Glenn Streiff
California, USA

Instead if using 100 billion dollars to build a high speed rail system that will serve a limited pool of Californians, we should explore the possibility of creating a maglev rail system (MLRS) adapted for use by the majority commuters who still drive in single occupant vehicles. Existing vehicles could be retrofitted and new vehicles could provide the feature as an option.

The Department of Transportation could choose an existing High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane to begin a pilot program. Existing internal combustion engine vehicles that have been retrofitted with a MLRS skid underneath the chassis would access the lane just as they do a traditional HOV lane.

The rail gently sloped in the center of the lane would be oval shaped (similar to Bott dots but continuous and larger surface area). Once a vehicle gains access to the MLRS its speed, load and lift would be centrally controlled, creating a truly intelligent highway that is commuter friendly, green and cost efficient.

Tree Planting Partners

Davidson, SK Canada

Dozens of donation-based websites exist promoting tree planting, locally and globally. But as a city apartment dweller, if I really wanted to plant a tree myself, maybe this idea would work.

Let’s say I buy a nice Spartan apple tree from some guy on Craigslist. Then I walk around my neighbourhood and see if anyone with a little patch of sunny space would accept my gift of both the tree and its planting.

Who knows, I might make a new friend, and even feast on the fruit of this simple labour over the years to come.

Just an idea.

Passive solar building exterior

RJ Watts
Toronto Canada

The sun-facing exterior of a building could be clad with a passive solar collection system such as black tubes enclosed in a translucent casing. In winter, a solar-powered fan at the bottom could draw in cool air and circulate the hot air at the top back into the building. In summer, the hot air could potentially drive a turbine to generate power to cool the building.