We live in an age of unprecedented technological advancements. Our daily lives are filled with high-tech gadgets designed to make our lives easier and to make the world a better place.
But don’t ignore the everyday things around your house that you don’t seem to give a second look. These four items can be used in different ways that are not only surprising but are also doing a lot of good in the world.
1. Superglue is used in forensics
Yes, you use superglue to reassemble your kids’ toys and to secretly piece back together your mom’s favorite vase you accidentally broke while playing ball in the house. But this stuff has another, more significant use that is helping forensic experts fight crime.
Criminals sometimes use superglue to cover up their fingerprints, but it can be used by investigators in the exact opposite way to help track down the bad guys.
The process is called Cyanoacrylate Fuming. The fumes from superglue react with the moisture from latent fingerprints and the prints show up with all the smallest details visible.
And, voila, law enforcement can put those prints into a database and get their criminal.
2. Car tires can have a second life as shoes
Once a tire has served its purpose on a vehicle, it’s pretty much useless in addition to not being environmentally friendly. It’s always a major eyesore to see stacks of old tires just rotting away in the sun in a vacant lot.
But there is hope for all of these old tires, and they may even end up on your feet. In Ethiopia, enterprising citizens there decided to take charge and create shoes out of used tires. The shoes are cheap and they’re very durable. One notable company taking charge in this field is soleRebels.
They’ve become a big hit online and the company now has stores all over the world, including one in Silicon Valley!
3. Dollhouses are used to train crime scene detectives
Frances Lee was born in 1878 and her parents forbade her from going to college because that’s just the way it worked back then for a lot of women. But Lee dreamed of doing something big and when a friend who worked as a detective told her about police who were poorly trained and contamination of crime scenes, she sprung into action.
Lee was from a wealthy family and she established the first professorship in legal medicine and the country’s first forensic pathology program at a little place called Harvard University. Lee became an expert in the field and she constructed dollhouses (she called them “Nutshells”) that recreated actual murder scenes with all details intact, including blood splatter. The students studied the scenes as part of their training.
Now that is innovative!
4. Discarded vehicles as artificial reefs
It’s no secret that the world’s oceans, and reefs, are in peril. But there is hope. It may sound hazardous, but old vehicles, including tanks, subway cars, trucks, and even ships are being sunk to the bottom of oceans to create artificial reefs.
The metal from these vehicles acts as a hard shell and coral, algae, and invertebrates cling to it, giving fish something to feed on. These old hunks of metal turn into their own brilliant, thriving ecosystems and can even help restore the numbers of struggling species.