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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tesla - SpaceX - Elon Musk

Tesla, Inc. (stylized as T☰SLA, formerly Tesla Motors) is an US-American company located in Silicon Valley, California, designing, manufacturing and selling electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster 2, components for the propulsion of electric vehicles and battery storage systems. The CEO and founder of Tesla is Elon Musk.

The core of the company is in the engineering of the propulsion system of the electric vehicle that includes battery packs, motors, power electronics, gearboxes and control software, allowing all components to form one system. The modular design allows to reuse components in different models of Tesla and other manufacturers. The system is very compact and contains far fewer moving parts than a heat engine. Tesla Motors uses three phase induction motors that incorporate a copper rotor and copper windings optimized to reduce resistance and loss of energy. Tesla developed fundamental patents for its manufacture.

Tesla vehicles contain many processors to control safety and power functions. Tesla Motors builds the firmware of many processors with algorithms that control traction, vehicle stability, acceleration, regenerative braking, the state of charge of each cell of the battery pack and security systems.


SpaceX (or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) is an American company working in the field of astronautics and spaceflight. Founded on May 6, 2002 by the billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, it is one of two private contractors to whom NASA has awarded a freight contract to the International Space Station.

SpaceX designs, builds and markets Falcon 9 launchers, the Merlin engines that propel them, and the Dragon cargo ship and its manned version. The Falcon 1 launcher was the first launcher of the company is no longer in service. After three failures in 2006, 2007 and 2008, the first successful Falcon 1 launcher was launched on September 28, 2008, which then put the Malaysian observation satellite RazakSAT into orbit on its fifth flight on July 13, 2009. The space cargo ship Dragon launched by a rocket Falcon 9 is part of the supply program of the International Space Station. SpaceX employs more than 4,000 people primarily in California, also has two launch facilities on the Cape Canaveral base (the SLC-40 and 39A pads), one at Vandenberg Air Force Base (the SLC pad -4E) and another is under construction in South Texas at Boca Chica. SpaceX also has a test bench for its engines in Texas.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Canada plastic bag ban

The City of Montreal is banning thin plastic bags. The law was put in place on January 1st 2018, but merchants were given time until June 5th of the same year to actually follow it. After that harsh penalties would rain down on those ignoring it. Interestingly after the whole of Canada discussed this plan in 2016 only Montreal emerged as the only city enforcing it. I suppose not even her suburbs do, let alone other cities in Quebec.

But does this make sense? Of these bags, the conventional plastic bag banned in Montreal is the one that has the least impact in the category of disposable bags, while the thicker plastic bags and Paper bags ar always allowed, are overall more polluting.

Let's not forget food wrapped in plastic. Like bread, cookies. You might need one plastic bag to carry 5 to 10 articles usually wrapped in plastic from your grocery store. Thus a plastic bag ban only reduced the waste by about 10%. Many bags you take from the cashier are bio degradable. Suppose that means in the landfill they just degrade without harming the environment. If so, why ban them?