The Blank Incident

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The Eighth Transcript: Brandon Horner

[The subject moves to another part of the hall, close to the platform. He interviews another intentor.]

[General hubbub is heard in the background.]

HJ: ''Hey guys! Back again for the last time! It's day 3 of the Technology and Science Expo, the final day of this action-packed event that contains all things techy and sciency! [Laughs briefly] So, now we are on to really big inventions, such as ones that cannot probably even fit in here today, or ones that we may not, unfortunately, be able to show you demonstrations of. But there should be some really cool ideas that we need to hear about, so let's get a move on, shall we?''

[The subject moves through a crowd on his right and walks forward. He spots a man standing beneath a banner emblazoned with the words 'SMARTECH INDUSTRIES' on it a few metres away and proceeds to go to the man.]

''Hello there, how do you do?''

[Man replies ''Fine, thank you.'']

''I am Harrison Jepp, a journalist from the technology magazine Technos, and I wanted to know if it was possible to interview you at all?''

[Man replies in a deep American accent ''Yeah, yeah, that's OK.'']

''OK, good. So, would you like to start by saying who you are, where you are from, what you do for a living and your background in your studies please?''

Interviewee - Brandon Horner: ''Yes, sure. I'm Brandon Horner, I'm a Environmental Analyst working for Smartech Industries, and, er...I'm originally from a small town called Logan in Utah, and I have a degree in Environmental Studies.''

HJ: ''Awesome, that's great. So, your studies led to this job, did it?''

BH: ''Yeah...well sort of. I first worked at Project Geo in Florida for four years, then I moved to San Diego to do an internship with Smartech Industries, where they eventually took me on 8 months ago.''

HJ: ''Alright! And what have you brought here with you today?''

BH: ''We've developed a prototype for a wind reversal machine.''

HJ: ''A wind reversal machine? Cool! Does it do exactly what it says?''

BH: ''Yep. As we all know, tornadoes are unbelievably destructive weather events that can hurt or even kill anything in its path, so I thought of a way of maybe, lessening its strength and force when it makes contact on the ground.''

HJ: ''Oh, so, you've come up with an invention that can...reverse the way the wind is blowing within a tornado, so that it can lessen its destructivity, I'm guessing?''

BH: ''Yeah, you've hit the nail on the head. We know its impossible to prevent a tornado from occurring, so I thought maybe there's a way of dampening its effects on the environment and on people's lives. So my team and I at Smartech developed a giant wind turbine, that would be installed in the ground, especially in places that we've identified as 'problem areas' in the country where localised tornadoes occur more often. This turbine is extremely wide, so we've put sensors in it to detect when a tornado is in the area, and it gets to work 10 minutes before any sighting of the tornado. This is due to the time it would take for the turbine to generate enough speed to enable it to counteract the effects of the tornado.''

HJ: ''Wow. You have put a lot of thought into this. That's amazing! Now, of course, there are no tornadoes here, and I certainly hope one doesn't form at all here today, [briefly laughs] so, we can't be shown a demonstration, but [he looks on a screen to the left with a poster of a giant grey wind turbine] I can see you have a video simulation of how it would work. Could we possibly have that shown please?''

BH: ''Yeah, of course. [He guides the subject and the cameraman over to the screen] So you can see here [he points to the animation on the screen] that the turbine would be underground, and when these sensors [he points to objects highlighted on the screen] detect the onset of a tornado, these doors will open and the turbine will begin spinning. It should be able to generate speeds in excess of 300 miles per hour, so that it can stand a chance of trying to dissipate the strong winds caused by a tornado.''

HJ: ''But tornadoes can be unpredictable; what if the winds were to spin the same direction as the turbine, and it instead fuels the tornado?''

BH: ''We've thought of that scenario, so that if that does happen, the turbine will detect which direction the tornado is spinning in, so that it can reverse its direction.''

HJ: ''Awesome. So, is this all done automatically, or does someone have to push a button to activate it?''

BH: ''No, it is all automatic. Due to the speeds the turbine will be generating, no human should be within a mile of it, so everything is operated by the turbine itself.''

HJ: ''Oh right, that's true! And does it turn off itself once the tornado disappears?''

BH: ''Yes, it does. If it doesn't detect any more tornadoes in the area, it will power down.''

HJ: ''That's...mind blowing. [Laughing with Horner] Excuse the pun! OK, so since you are already a worker at Smartech, there's no one you need to pitch to. Your company is the headliner and sponsor for this Expo. You're just here to showcase this device and show how it works. Do you know when this would be available for the public?''

BH: ''The government has issued tests on it already, but it should be greenlighted for production in the next two years. So by 2017, or 2018, we should see these being built in areas such as Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.''

HJ: ''Cool. That would be very helpful to people and the environment. [Sighs briefly] This is an amazing invention, Mr Horner, and I'm very happy to have interviewed you today. Thank you for taking the time to speak to me about your ideas and your invention.''

BH: ''Thank you as well. See you later.''

HJ: [Smiling] Bye.''

[The subject departs from Horner.]

''A wind reversal machine! What a great idea! Tornadoes are the bane of most people's lives in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and other places, as they have to deal with them, practically, on a yearly basis. Most people have to rebuild their homes every year because of the damages sustained in a violent tornado. It rips apart people's lives as well as their homes. So this invention would be a welcome relief for those who thought they would have to put up with this destructive force for the rest of their lives. This machine would help to end the countless lives lost in storms and tornadoes that occur every year. Even if this machine cannot prevent a tornado, it can help to alleviate its atrocious nature, and it could even buy time for families and people to evacuate to safety. I am happy I got to talk to Mr Horner about that. And I thank Smartech for their positive contribution to society. [Clears throat] There are more ideas just like this guys, so don't go anywhere while we find the next life saver of the future!''


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