EDITORS NOTE

Show me the money Assertiveness is a quality that shoppers could use more of. If you’re not satisfied, say so and say why. Demand what you paid for. For that matter, if you are satisfied, say so, too. Don’t be apologetic; be honest. Something like this: “I know it’s been two years, but we’re returning this product and we’d like our money back. The main thing is, it’s just too big. When we buy an M, particularly for this kind of money, we don’t expect a 5XXL. “And – we know it was agreed upfront – but we’ve thought about it and, actually, we think ...
show morewe overpaid. “So please take your trains back. And, before you ask, no, a credit won’t suffice. We’d like a cash refund.” I can attest to the fact that this technique works, at least when returning a too-big shirt. Locomotives, though… hmm. Two years after we joined in the chorus of praise singers hailing a South African revolution in rail travel, the train has not left the station. As we know by now, the thing was more or less a con and a sham. Having said that, I’m not sure though that I share the touching belief, implicit in the High Court judgment rendering the rail deal null and void, that we can simply march in and demand our money back. Besides, there’s money that has been smartly diverted away from the main line, likely never to be seen again. Perhaps it puffed majestically away from Platform 9¾? Still on the subject of getting from A to Hogwarts, though it wasn’t entirely planned, there’s a mobility thread running through this month’s Popular Mechanics. From monster airliners on the fringes of outer space to the ideal city car, from smart farming implements to an app that beats check-in queues, from grizzled riders contesting the vets motocross worlds to artworks that celebrate our rides, the act of getting from A to B definitely rocks our world. Or gives us an ache in the clutch-pedal leg, as the case may be. The most significant story of the lot, from a continental point of view, must be the outrageous droneas-cargo-plane concept that’s being pushed by the Kenyans. Almost casually dropped into a presentation, it certainly woke up the crowd from the pre-lunch torpor at the recent Drone Con, the meeting place for the professional UAV industry. Along with other fascinating nuggets from this Gauteng conference, Lindsey Schutters's report provides insight into how Africa is set for a breakthrough in this Cinderella industry. We can’t wait to find out more. In the meantime, a heads-up to next month’s Popular Mechanics, when we take a look into the future – in a manner of speaking – with a wide-ranging report on the technology that will energise the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Coincidentally, as this issue of Popular Mechanics was being put to bed, we got the news that in October we would be journeying to the Japanese capital for its biennial motor show. What’s particularly interesting for us is that our focus for the show will be next-generation mobility solutions, which we’re expecting to see plenty of. Of course, like good petrolheads, we’ll spend our free time drooling over some of the great current-generation machinery that’s bound to be on display, too. show less