Humanitarian Fast Food Delivery

I’ve been a bit of a fan of The Great British Bake-Off since I was introduced to it a few years ago.

While it’s fascinating for me to even see someone bake bread (I can, but it’s far from an effortless pursuit for me), some of the best bits are the sculptures that the contestants can make out of various baked goods.

A British start up is going one step further, though.  Windhorse Aerospace are designing an edible drone called “Pouncer” to deliver food to people facing starvation in the wake of natural disasters such as drought or civil unrest.  I understand that the idea is for the drone to drop food packages within seven metres of their target destination before crashing / landing and being eaten itself.  The airframe is intended to break up to provide shelter and fuel.

It’s one of those ideas that sounds both ingenious and stupid all at the same time.  It sounds even worse when you hear that this drone could be built of honeycomb or compressed vegetables, with salami serving as the landing gear, according to a new interview in the Financial Times. Why salami? Because it’s “physically strong with good tensile strength and flexibility.”

Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children, had a few choice words on the subject:

This is someone who’s come up with a crackpot idea based on the assumption that technology can solve all problems.  Many [currently in Somalia] are in a life-threatening situation. One episode of pneumonia or diarrhoea will tip them over the edge.  This is where you need the mechanism of state to kick in. This is not drone territory. It’s ridiculous.

But is it really? Is it really ridiculous? If you need to get food somewhere as efficiently as possible and it works, why not?  It won’t save the world and it won’t stop the situations occurring in the first place, but if will fix an important symptom, is that not worthwhile looking at?

If Save The Children aren’t interested, at least Paul Hollywood might be.

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you’re out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn’t because I didn’t know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Possibly [radio version]
probably [album version]

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice, that’s my only advice

Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you’re in control

Well, I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
I think you’re crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it’s no coincidence I’ve come
And I can die when I’m done

Maybe I’m crazy
Maybe you’re crazy
Maybe we’re crazy

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

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