Saturday, February 27, 2016

Reel Buggy - A Child's Invention

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog []
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM, [] 8-9 evening class Monday to Friday

If only my Reel Buggy take the road, people would wonder where on earth did it come from?
Because anything that comes from a child is strange to the grownup, and the child a stranger.
Strange this world, every car is a copy of another, and another, millions, perhaps billions, 
The game? Invention.  Invention from another invention, imitating and putting in some change.  
But they are all the same: gas fed, inflated tires, body, bumper, seat - all of the same pattern.

My Reel Buggy has little, if ever, of these.  It is bare to the basics when the wheel was made.
The wheel is not an invention.  It was serendipity that led to its use. Some round stone rolled off.
Then an axle was fitted, then a cart on it. The ox was tamed. Road laid. Communities grew.
Beyond that the wheel became useful in many ways, and took the high road to sophistication.
And stopped at man's yearning for freedom to travel fast, to go to the moon and outer space,

To build machines, machines to build other machines, to robots, to explore and tap everything.
And Eureka! A new order.  A new ecosystem under man's command, the world shrinking fast,
All in the name of globalization, a term we least understand, and the world a roaring wheel. 
Losing the essence of invention on the grassroots, which itself bears the subsidy of invention:
From rubber to ore, to labor, to land supporting industries and cities, all spawned by the wheel.

We love momentum though dizzying - momentum for super economy, affluence, ad infinitum.
Pity the only rational being, his very own inventions taking him fast to his demise and doom;
Nuclear armament, genetic engineering, cyberspace conquest, probing deeper into sea and sky.
And looking back at the Tree of Knowledge our forebears violated, where are we headed for?
I look back sixty years ago on a sketch of my invention, pure and simple, and almost bare.

All I needed were an empty spool, rubber band, stick, a slice of candle - presto! a Reel Buggy!
Its power stored by the torque of rubber, stored inside the reel, released slowly by the wax,
Steered and balanced by a stick, and a smaller one at the other end to release excess torque.
There my buggy would move forward slow and steady, on the playground, smooth or rough. 
 Kids cheered and copied it.  Soon each one had his own Reel Buggy.  And that's the beginning of this story. ~ 

The famous Moon Buggy (left), and a simpler version. In 1971, the Moon Buggy was first used by during the Apollo 12 landing to explore the Moon. The inventor Eduardo San Juan (aka The Space Junkman) worked on the team that worked invented the Lunar Rover or Moon Buggy. Eduardo San Juan graduated from Mapua Institute of Technology. He then studied Nuclear Engineering at the University of Washington. In 1978, San Juan received one of the Ten Outstanding Men (TOM) awards in science and technology.

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