The Self-Deploying Flood Barrier That Could Keep Cities Dry Without Sandbags

MegaSecur, YouTube
MegaSecur, YouTube

For many places in the world, the future is going to be wet. Climate change is already intensifying heavy rains and flooding in parts of the U.S., and it’s only expected to get worse. A recent study estimated that by 2050, more than 60 million people in the U.S. would be vulnerable to 100-year floods.

Some cities plan to meet rising waters with protective parkland, while some architects are developing floating houses. And one company has figured out how to replace piles of sandbags as emergency flood control, as Business Insider reports. Water-Gate, a line of flood protection products made by a Canadian company called MegaSecur, is a self-deploying water barrier that can be used to stop overflowing water in its tracks.

The emergency dam is made of folded canvas that, when water rushes into it, inflates up to become a kind of pocket for the water to get trapped in. You can roll it out across a street, a canal, or a creek like a giant hose, then wait for the water to arrive. In the event of a flash flood, you can even deploy it while the flood is already in progress. It can stop waters that rise up to five feet.

According to MegaSecur, one Water-Gate dam can replace thousands of sandbags, and once the floodwaters have receded, you can fold it back up and use it again. Sadly, based on the flood projections of climate change scientists, heavy flooding will soon become more and more common, and that will make reusable flood barriers necessary, saving time and money that would otherwise be spent buying, stacking, and getting rid of sandbags. The auto-deployment also means that it can be used by a single person, rather than a team of laborers. It could just as easily be set up outside a house by a homeowner as it could be set up on a city street by an emergency worker.

As climate change-related proposals go, it sounds a little more feasible than a floating house.

[h/t Business Insider]

C Is for Comfort: Bombas Just Launched a Sesame Street Sock Line

Bombas
Bombas

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you think about the Muppets? You can now wear it on your feet. Bombas just released a limited-edition line of socks inspired by the likes of Elmo, Cookie Monster, and other beloved Sesame Street characters.

Pairs of 'Sesame Street'-inspired socks arrayed on the floor
Bombas

The new Bombas x Sesame Street sock designs are subtle nods to your favorite children’s programming. They don’t feature garish patterns; instead, they rely on minimalist interpretations of characters like Oscar the Grouch, the Count, and Bert and Ernie.

Two pairs of legs wearing Bert and Grover socks
Bombas

The Oscar socks feature a gray, green, and brown-striped pattern, while the yellow Bert socks feature a multi-colored stripe that evokes his signature shirt. The blue Grover socks have a pink circle and red stripe that look like his nose and mouth. The Elmo socks are the only ones that feature eyes, while the Cookie Monster socks feature a single chocolate chip cookie.

A pair of legs wearing Cookie Monster socks
Bombas

A man's legs showing off red Elmo socks
Bombas

In fact, if anyone sees these peeking out of your pants, it’s unlikely they’ll realize they’re Muppet-inspired, so feel free to wear them even to your fanciest events and meetings.

The socks go for $14 a pair for adults, $8 a pair for kids. Toddler socks go for $30 per pack of four. Get yourself a pair (or several) here.

This Modular Bike Goes From Stroller to Trike to Two-Wheeler as Your Child Grows

Monkeycycle, Kickstarter
Monkeycycle, Kickstarter

When kids outgrow their bikes, most parents settle for buying an entirely new model and leaving the old one to collect dust in the garage. The Monkeycycle, a new eight-in-one bike design available on Kickstarter, works differently. After buying the kit, parents can reconfigure and build upon the bike over the years so it changes at the same rate their child does, following them from 9 months old to 6 years old.

The first model in the Monkeycycle's evolution is a stroller that includes an adjustable handle and child seat that can be removed and attached to an adult-sized bike. When children reach 12 to 14 months old, parents can convert the stroller to a tricycle. As kids get taller, the bike can grow, too. The body of the trike curves to provide a low seat when placed one way and a taller seat when flipped over.

Two girls on bikes outdoors
Monkeycycle, Kickstarter

From there, the trike easily switches to a balance bike. Parents can also arrange the wheels to make a quad and a "tadpole trike" with two wheels in front and one in back. Then, once kids are ready to start controlling a two-wheeler on their own, the Monkeycycle can be transformed into a traditional pedal bike.

To get a full Monkeycycle kit, you can pledge $349 or more to the project's Kickstarter campaign before December 13. Monkeycycle is also offering a limited number of basic kits, which only include the balance bike and two-wheeler modules, starting from $200. The stroller option is not included in any of the kits yet, but if the campaign reaches its stretch goal of $150,000, it will be available as an add-on for $150.

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