Jury rigging the pandemic: Ford's Powered Air Purifying Respirator

The United States is in a race to produce enough medical supplies and equipemnt to properly outfit our healthcare and other front line professionals. Many US corporations are stepping up to help. Ford has re-purposed parts of the F-150 to construct much needed Powered Air Purifying Respirators.


The job of a powered air-purifying respirator is to draw outside, possible virus—contaminated air into a filtration system before making it available for the person wearing it to breathe. Unlike passive filters like masks which rely on the wearer’s lungs to draw the air through a filter mesh, these powered respirators can enclose a person’s entire head in a hood and flood the hood with filtered air.

To do this means you need to have something that can actually draw the air in, which is why it’s powered, and that’s where the clever, car-part-related bits come in.

Ford is re-purposing seat-cooling squirrel-cage-type blower fans from F-150 trucks to pull in air through the filters and blow the air into the feeder hose for the hood. The 12V needed to drive the fan is provided by what looks to be a standard power tool battery pack, the kind you’d use in something like a power drill.

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Workers at Spin, Ford's e-scooter company, have unionized in San Francisco

Spin is a short-hire/e-scooter company -- one of those firms like Bird and Lime that fill city streets with future-ewaste vehicles that block wheelchairs. It's owned by Ford. Read the rest

Ford CEO frankly admits that the car of the future is a surveillance device that you pay to spy on you

The era of finance capitalism is marked by a curious shift in the desire of the business world: to get out of the business of making things people use, and into the business of getting money for owning, extracting and/or liquidating things. Read the rest

Drivers are successfully not dying in their Ford-made vehicle, thanks to this one simple trick

My Grandfather used to say that Ford stood for "Found Off Road, Dead." It was funny to a kid growing up,  but it isn't true: Ford makes some damn fine vehicles.


According to The Washington Post, Ford announced, earlier this week, that they were recalling 1.4 million vehicles for what's really just a minor defec--OH MY GOD STEERING WHEELS ARE FALLING OFF. If you're behind the wheel of a Ford Fusion or Lincoln MKZ made between 2014 and 2018 sold in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, you might want to swing by your local Ford dealership, provided you can steer, and have them sort it out.

The problem with the faulty steering wheel stems from a simple source: some of the bolts that they used to attach the steering wheels to the steering column were shit. Ford's solution to the problem is to replace these bolts with ones that aren't shit. Why they didn't use ones that weren't shit in the first place is anyone's guess, but here we are.

If reading about Ford's concerns that you could die in a slap-stick-inspired, fiery death isn't enough to drive you into action, you'll be happy to hear that USA Today has a compelling list of 10 instances where Ford drivers have had their steering wheel separate from their car's steering column while driving. My personal favorite from the collection:

“While driving on interstate, steering wheel came loose and car veered off interstate. I regained control but steering wheel is still loose.

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