The Institute of Transportation Engineers – Georgia Tech Student Chapter


In the beginning, transportation was crap. In prehistory, walking from one place to another was hard and carried with it the very real risk that you might be eaten. Most of the major advances in human history are major because they made transportation less crappy: domesticated animals, the city, the wheel, the sail, the steam engine, the airplane, etc. But even as we fly through the clouds at 400 miles per hour, our thoughts often lie on how crappy air travel still is. I imagine that matter transporters will probably come with some blistering headache side effect that makes us hate instantly appearing at our destination just as much as we hate getting there now. Continue Reading →

Back to the Future

In the classic Robert Zemeckis movie Back to the Future, Marty McFly explains to Doc Brown that the Delorean/time machine he (Doc) invented is nuclear-powered 1, and that the only obstacle to sending Marty back to the future (1985) is obtaining some plutonium. I love Doc’s response:

I’m sure that in 1985, plutonium is available in every corner drugstore, but in 1955, it’s a little hard to come by.

The irony in this statement of course being that in spite of sweeping changes to fashions, music, politics – and Marty’s own mother – plutonium is still mercifully difficult to obtain, and the future Doc Brown had to contract with Libyan terrorists to get some. Sometimes the future doesn’t come as fast as we think it might. Continue Reading →

  1. “No, no, it’s electrical, but I need…” blah, blah