Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.
Man Turns Prius into a Backup Generator
After a particularly nasty ice storm knocked out power to more than 1 million in Massachusetts and New England in mid-December, one resident did, well, what any good engineer would do:
“When it looked like we were going to be without power for awhile, I dug out an inverter (which takes 12v DC and creates 120v AC from it) and wired it into our Prius.”
According to the NYT blog post “Prius: It’s Not Just a Car It;s an Emergency Generator” the resident used his improvised power source to run his refrigerator, freezer, TV, woodstove fan and several lights.
Knowing several Patriots fans, I would assert that getting the TV going was paramount to the man’s survival. But one does have to wonder about the need for a freezer during icy weather.