Who Holds the Record? The Man or the Shoes?

Who Holds the Record? The Man or the Shoes?

Wearing Nike Vaporflys, Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon under two hours.

There is no question that Kipchoge is a great athlete who has been dominating his sport for some time. However, the latest generation of Nike shoes he was wearing may have partly accounted for his extraordinary feat. The midsoles of the Vaporfly are designed to help athletes run more efficiently and cut their marathon times by 3 to 4%. To ensure fairness in competition, experts are reviewing whether shoe design should be subject to specific standards.


Video Spotlight: Is the Vaporfly for You?


This post is based on The New York Times article, Those Superfast Nike Shoes Are Creating a Problem, by A. Burfoot, October 19, 2019, and the YouTube video, Nike Vaporfly 4% Flyknit Review: Worth $250?by Triathlon Taren, April 3, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock/Rocksweeper.

Discussion Questions:

1. What design features make the Nike Vaporfly a superior shoe?

Guidance: The Nike Vaporflys have a thicker midsole which, with the right materials, produces more spring.  The right materials are a special foam called Pebax and a carbon fiber plate. Pebax is extremely lightweight and delivers more energy return. The carbon fiber plate in Continue reading

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Safety, Ethics and Vaping

Safety, Ethics and Vaping

October 19, 2019

Fruity flavors that sound like childhood candy favorites have lured many teens into vaping. Highly addictive nicotine vaping products have drawn in 3.6 million young users, many of whom find themselves hooked and unable to quit.

After a 2016 FDA ruling on the products, sales for Juul e-cigarettes, for instance, increased over 600%, and the trend of declining youth smoking was reversed.

In addition to long-term effects of vaping, some e-liquid flavors, like cinnamon, cotton candy, and bubble gum, are poisonous in high doses.  Recently, the CDC has linked 1299 lung injury cases and 26 deaths to vaping THC, the component in marijuana that delivers a high.  Twenty percent of the deaths were in users 18 to 20 years old.


Video Spotlight: Teens falling victim to the JUUL effect


This post is based on the LA Times article, The FDA tried to ban flavors years before the vaping outbreak. Top Obama officials rejected the plan, by Emily Baumgaertner, October 1, 2019; the USA Today article, Vaping-related lung injury cases jump to 1,299; deaths rise to 26, by Doug Stanglin, October 10, 2019; and the YouTube video, Teens falling victim to the JUUL effect, Continue reading

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Toyota Catches Up On Safety Features For 2020

Toyota Catches Up On Safety Features For 2020

June 26, 2019

To further goof-proof its vehicles, Toyota plans to add two new safety features to some 2020 model vehicles.

One prevents rollaway accidents by automatically switching the car to “park” if it is left running.

The other averts carbon monoxide poisoning in an enclosed area like a garage by automatically shutting off the engine if it’s left running.

These features are increasingly important with hybrid cars that sit silent when the gas engine is off, yet the car is not completely shut down.

Toyota lags behind Ford and GM in implementing these features.  Consumer Reports believes its policies that downgrade ratings on vehicles lacking such safety checks has led to greater willingness on the part of automakers to add these important features.


Video Spotlight: AutoComplete: Future Toyotas will be able to shift to Park and shut themselves off if you forget


This post is based on the Consumer Reports article, Toyota announces fixes designed to prevent rollaway and carbon monoxide deaths, by Jeff Plungis, June 13, 2019; and the YouTube video, AutoComplete: Future Toyotas will be able to shift to Park and shut themselves off if you forget, by Roadshow, June 13, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Continue reading

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