Published in weekly magazine “Der Spiegel” on October 21, 2009,1518,656386,00.html
Original title: “Rolling beer barrel”

[ok… but couldn’t he just have made it yellow or pink?]

Futuristic electro-project from Iran

Mohammad Ghezel, Iranian artist and designer, presents a futuristic study of work about an electric vehicle. The “eRinGo” resembles a beer or wine barrel and remotely reminds us of the rolling battle droids from the more recent Star-Wars-movies.

Two persons are supposed to fit next to each other in this extraordinary vehicle, which so far is just a computerized design model. An electric motor drives the three rings that surround the nacelle. Similar to the City Segway scooter, a gyroscope ensures that the eRinGo will not turn over during the ride.

The propulsion is usually only on one wheel, because the central ring has a considerably larger diameter than the two outer ones, which provide additional stability and allow for more narrow turnings, according to the designer’s vision.

Ghezel is not an unknown figure in Iran. For two of his former works he was awarded at the Iran Khodro Design Competition, an event hosted by the largest Iranian car manufacturer.

“I love futuristic design and believe that basically everything is possible,” said Ghezel in an interview with the online edition of the American technology magazine “Wired”. “Current technologies are found in existing vehicles, but we can shape the future. And perhaps engineers and scientists will be inspired by our work.”

The eRinGo – the name stands for “electric rings that make it go” – in principal can be controlled by both inmates. Once one of the two takes over the control of the vehicle, the control unit of the co-pilot is supposed to be disabled.

The design of this exceptional car is inspired by the basic part of most vehicles – the wheel. Into the wheel, Ghezel then integrated the drive and the passenger cabin. “Probably this form is inappropriate for today, but my motto is: Nothing is impossible. Imagination is unlimited”.

The eRinGo indeed looks fantastic, but there are already similar concepts. So-called Monowheels have been built since 1869 – at that time still with a manual drive. The first motorized unicycle was probably the Garavaglia Monowheel of 1904.

Published in “Die ZEIT” on October 21, 2009


Again, a member of the opposition in Iran has been convicted. The scientist faces many years of detention

As the official news agency IRNA reported on Tuesday, Kian Tajbakhsh’s attorney had said that the sentence amounts to more than 12 years. He announced that he would appeal against the judgement imposed on the American-Iranian scientist. The U.S. State Department called the accusations against Tajbakhsh baseless and demanded his immediate release. A ministry spokesman said, according to his information, the penalty amounts to 15 years.

Tajbakhsh, a scientist specialized in town planning, together with 100 other persons had been detained in August and is charged with infringement of national security.The presidential elections of June 12 had resulted in Iran’s severest domestic crisis since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The opposition claims that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election to be illegitimate. Shortly after the election, severe unrests had taken place.

During the protests, which in parts were violent, against the disputed re-election of incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the brutal force used by the security forces, many people were killed. The opposition claims more than 70 deaths. Apart from that, about 4000 protesters were detained. Almost 100 of them are still in prison, 3 have been sentenced to death.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussawi has to cope with new resistance. On Tuesday, 100 members of the Iranian parliament had called for legal action against Moussavi in response to his protests after the presidential election. In a letter to the Prosecutor’s Department it says that Moussavi had caused damage to the Islamic society. According to news agency IRNA, the signatories of this letter expect more deputies to join them in this action.

Moussavi and former President Mohammad Khatami had pointed out last Friday that the authorities will not be able to stop the protests against the election results. The nation’s demand for democracy was unwaning, they said.