This Fire Hydrant Provides Free Drinking Water to Dogs and People

iStock
iStock

Under ideal circumstances, fire hydrants are rarely used. But an industrial design graduate from ÉCAL in Switzerland has designed a hydrant that serves as a water fountain when it's not putting out blazes, Fast Company reports.

Dimitri Nassisi's Drinking Hydrant doubles as a source of drinkable water for both people and their dogs. The pipes release water at two different pressures: fire-fighting strength and a gentler stream for drinking. Pushing the black switch on top of the blue fountain in one direction shoots out water that pedestrians can drink right there, and pushing it the other way activates a different faucet meant for filling water bottles.

There's also a water dish built in to the bottom of the structure: Overflow from the spout fills the bowl so pets can drink from it. And should the hydrant ever need to be used for its original purpose, a nozzle on the side makes it easy for firefighters to access.

Nassisi came up with the redesigned fire hydrant after taking his dog for a walk one day. He noticed that while there weren't many public places to refill a water bottle, fire hydrants were everywhere. He designed the Drinking Hydrant for his thesis project at the Swiss design school École cantonale d'art de Lausanne.

Across the globe, people are buying roughly a million plastic bottles per minute, and throwing 91 percent of them in the garbage (or on the ground). Reusable bottles are one proposed solution to this problem, but numbers for their usage also look grim: According to a UK survey, only 36 percent of people regularly carry a reusable water bottle with them, while the majority of respondents said they wish free tap water was more accessible.

[h/t Fast Company]

This Cool T-Shirt Shows Every Object Brought on the Apollo 11 Mission

Fringe Focus
Fringe Focus

NASA launched the Apollo 11 mission on July 16, 1969, ending the space race and beginning a new era of international space exploration. Just in time for the mission's 50th anniversary this year, Fringe Focus is selling a t-shirt that displays every item the Apollo 11 astronauts brought with them to the Moon.

The design, by artist Rob Loukotka, features some of the iconic objects from the mission, such as a space suit and helmet, as well as the cargo that never made it to primetime. Detailed illustrations of freeze-dried meals, toiletries, and maintenance kits are included on the shirt. The artist looked at 200 objects and chose to represent some similar items with one drawing, ending up with 69 pictures in total.

The unisex shirt is made from lightweight cotton, and comes in seven sizes ranging from small to 4XL. It's available in black heather or heather midnight navy for $29.

If you really like the design, the artwork is available in other forms. The same illustration has also been made into poster with captions indicating which pictures represent multiple items of a similar nature.

The Reason Sneakers Have an Extra Set of Holes

iStock/PredragImages
iStock/PredragImages

If you examine your favorite items of clothing closely enough, you may start to ask questions like: Why are shirt buttons on different sides for men and women? (Because, historically, women didn't dress themselves.) Or why do my jeans have a tiny pocket? (To hold your pocket watch, of course.) Both of the clothing quirks mentioned above are relics of a different time, but if you look at your sneakers, you'll find a commonly-ignored detail that can be useful to your daily life.

Most sneakers have an extra set of holes above the laces that are often left empty. The holes may not line up exactly with the rest of the laces, indicating that they're there to serve a special purpose. For many situations, ignoring this pair of holes is totally fine, but if you're tying up your shoes before a rigorous run or hike, you should take advantage of them.

The video below from the company Illumiseen illustrates how to create a heel lock with these extra holes. Start by taking one lace and poking it through the hole directly above it to create a loop, and then do the same with the lace on the other side. Next, take the ends of both laces and pull them through the opposite loops. Tighten the laces by pulling them downwards rather than up. After creating the heel lock, secure it with a regular bow tie.

What this method does is tighten the opening of your shoe around your ankle, thus preventing your heel from sliding against the back of it as you run. It also stops your toe from banging against the front of your shoe. The heel lock is especially handy for long runs, walks, and other activities that often end with heel blisters and bruised toes. Even if you aren't slipping on your shoes for exercise, lacing up those extra holes can make a loose-fitting sneaker feel more comfortable.

Of course, the trick only works as long as your laces stayed tied—which even the most expertly-tied knot can't guarantee. Here's some of the science behind why your shoes often untie themselves.

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