Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Sexy, Human-Powered Tractor and No Tech Magazine

There's a fancy device in my workplace that tells me that 25.71% of my body weight is fat and that my Body Mass Index (BMI) is 35.4. Anything beyond 30 is considered obese. Why do I tell you this? So that you will understand how badly I need to stop relying on machines that do everything for me.

So, I have a great fascination lately with human-powered machines. (Those of you with internal soundtracks running in your head should be hearing the beginnings of Queen's Bicycle Race about now.) Yes, I love bicycles. I also love hand-cranked ice-cream makers (Van Halen's Ice Cream Man). And over the last few days I keep seeing articles about a human-powered tractor (that country song where she thinks his tractor is sexy).

(The Culticycle - photo from No Tech)

So I moseyed on over to No Tech Magazine to see about this tractor thing. And it's pretty darned cool, but I don't know that I'd call it sexy. Really, it's downright ugly and a little mind-boggling until you watch the video - you can find the video link at the bottom of the No Tech Culticycle article. The video also lays out how few components are needed for the DIYer to build her own. If function is beauty, then, maybe this thing is sexy. Hmmm...

So, while we are in the neighborhood, let's talk about two online magazines that are most definitely cousins. If you are a fan of human-powered machines and that whole movement that has people reaching back for a somewhat simpler life, you should definitely check these two out.

No Tech Magazine - We believe in progress and technology

Low-Tech Magazine - Doubts on progress and technology

I don't really know how to describe their differences, but I'll try. LT has more history, culture, and cynicism, and a hyphen in the title. They both feature cargo bikes, velomobiles, building skills, alternative power, technology ethics, and other cool stuff for enquiring minds like ours.

May she think your human-powered creation is sexy too!