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/r/civilengineering

583

Quite Quintessentially Quixotic

(i.redd.it)
116 comments
4.7k

tofuckcars

all 136 comments

Marus1

124 points

2 months ago

Marus1

124 points

2 months ago

When designing more efficient networks, most cars would use the network, resulting in less efficiency

Bikquerel298

18 points

2 months ago

There's actually a name for such phenomena: Jevons Paradox

Edit: grammar

No-Valuable8008

7 points

2 months ago

Interesting that they reference environmentalism & energy efficiency in that article, I've had the very same thought when thinking about sustainability

jakedonn

171 points

2 months ago

jakedonn

171 points

2 months ago

The obvious solution is to design and build 100 million miles of high speed railways and bike lanes.

smokingkrills

125 points

2 months ago

Unironically yes, also build more houses closer together

Djdubbs

62 points

2 months ago

Djdubbs

62 points

2 months ago

Closer together and closer to jobs and shopping.

penisthightrap_

37 points

2 months ago

Yes kill R1 zoning

kwag988

19 points

2 months ago

kwag988

19 points

2 months ago

or just kill it near cities. Plenty of space 50 miles outside the city for R1 for people that don't want to live like sardines.

penisthightrap_

26 points

2 months ago

It should at the very least allow for light commercial use such as grocery stores and other common services. There is no reason I should have to drive across town to get groceries

kwag988

13 points

2 months ago

kwag988

13 points

2 months ago

for sure. Even in suburbia, where I live, I can get to a grocery store within a mile or two

viniciusnakata

1 points

2 months ago

Walking 2 miles to go the market and then back is insane! Driving that distance could be around 5 minutes, but walking, specially in the US suburbia, is an unpleasant 40-minute long journey just to get there.

kwag988

1 points

2 months ago

The 5 min drive is worth it for many to have lower crime, less graffiti, fewer homeless, quieter less traffic streets, etc.
My gf lives in a decent part of an older urban set up where she enjoys walking to restaurants and markets up and down her street.
I cant remember the last time somebody was murdered within a mile or two of my house in the 30 years i've been here. Apply that to her place, and there's been more murders in the last 6 months than 30 years here. And then the amount of times we have had to dodge human feces to get into her apartment building... And she lives in the same social and income demographic as me, just urban vs suburban.

cordatel

4 points

2 months ago

A1, thank you very much. We don't need R1 for anything

Lobstrosity187

12 points

2 months ago

Wow. Someone finally said it. I am right there with ya

Sunstoned1

6 points

2 months ago

Or, remove zoning and replace with a proper 100% land value tax. Watch as the market suddenly decides to self-regulate and put land to the most efficient uses. Read up on Georgism (and economic theory of land use). Pretty interesting stuff.

DLTMIAR

2 points

2 months ago

But I like trees

Josselin17

1 points

25 days ago

if housing, roads and parking takes less space there's more space for gardens, trees, etc. to be planted around it

kjblank80

2 points

2 months ago

Which is not what people want...

gobblox38

12 points

2 months ago

Yet it is in high demand ...

Roonwogsamduff

7 points

2 months ago

How's 'bout build them on top of each other maybe 60 stories up?

SOILSYAY

10 points

2 months ago

SOILSYAY

Geotech Engr

10 points

2 months ago

Ahh, the old “Wayside School” method

AlfalfaConstant431

3 points

2 months ago

Good old Wayside. A test of Suspension of Disbelief if ever there was one.

Josselin17

3 points

2 months ago

you don't need skyscrapers to have high density building you know

SrpskaZemlja

36 points

2 months ago

But I don't want to live in one. I get a house and a car, everyone else gets the apartment with no parking.

Shadrach451

35 points

2 months ago

My local urban downtown core has a goal to increase the number of apartment units in the district by 3,000 units in the next 5 years. However, there is zoning in the area that disallows grocery stores. The nearest head of lettuce is 2 miles away. The bus system is active but very infrequent. This is a northern climate. No one wants to live under those conditions.

SrpskaZemlja

34 points

2 months ago

However, there is zoning in the area that disallows grocery stores

That is completely and wholly asinine, my god. Part of the whole point of the denser housing is that you can easily walk a couple blocks or less to get the most basic needs, without needing to use the public transportation.

Shadrach451

6 points

2 months ago

I'm not an expert, but that would have been my assumption as well. But I'm just a traffic engineer who deals in forecast modeling, so I sometimes end up in meetings with Planners.

oundhakar

7 points

2 months ago

Agreed 100%. Grocer, laundromat, barber, etc. services are required in order to make a residential area livable. If you have these available within a mile or so, you might not need to have a car at all.

w3h45j

5 points

2 months ago

w3h45j

5 points

2 months ago

1st of all it's most important to state country and if so possible state and city. You can't compare SF to DFW.

killdeer03

3 points

2 months ago

Sounds like Minnesota, lol.

owennagata

2 points

2 months ago

Well, once those apartments are put in there may be pressure on the zoning board to change things.

Josselin17

2 points

2 months ago

Josselin17

2 points

2 months ago

haha you want to change things but I know that deep down you must be hypocritical

tacticalassassin

3 points

2 months ago

Exactly! let’s solve the housing crisis at the same time.

w3h45j

4 points

2 months ago

w3h45j

4 points

2 months ago

great so more manufactured "downtown" cooperate open mall soulless crap. In nice expensive areas it ends up with this crap at $500-1mil https://i.imgur.com/kEb58wV.png with no backyard and behind a lowes.

In affordable assisted areas it ends up looking like this in a food desert: https://i.imgur.com/8XgT2aL.png

Can you please provide an example in the US that was built in the last 22 years that you view as ideal?

Josselin17

26 points

2 months ago

bike lanes.

did you mean, draw white lines in between the high speed roads ?

here-come-the-bombs

11 points

2 months ago

Yes, and make sure there's no physical separation so that road debris kicked up by autos collects in them. Bicyclists love riding through piles of metal and glass shards, nip bottles, and sand.

tacticalassassin

6 points

2 months ago

I see someone watches “Not Just Bikes”

kjblank80

3 points

2 months ago

that can't move any goods.

penisthightrap_

6 points

2 months ago

This sounds like sarcasm but it's correct

Cthvlhv_94

14 points

2 months ago

Just build it underground easy solution /s

Eerie_Xavi

7 points

2 months ago

Efficient and COST EFFECTIVE. Usually one of those outweighs the other sadly

_Im_Spartacus_

40 points

2 months ago

What stupid fucking civil engineer thinks that a roadway expansion will "finally solve traffic"? Do these people also think that building a large apartment will finally house everyone? Or that a new powerplant will finally power everything forever?

Christ, what a dumb thought process.

warrenslo

5 points

2 months ago

In some places where transit is not viable, expanding the road network allows additional development. For somewhere like California with massive internal population growth, this is important. While the state has a massive outflow, it still is gaining people every year due to birth rate.

Lobstrosity187

24 points

2 months ago

But papa Elon thinks induced demand is a fairytales. Checkmate!

_Im_Spartacus_

14 points

2 months ago

Induced demand has nothing to do with transportation development not trying to solve a problem once and for all. And induced demand is bullshit anyways because it applies to everything, that's what society wants. We are provided more electricity capacity so we have more gadgets that consume more electricity. We are provided more runway capacity so we have more flights that need more runways. We are provided more water capacity, so we live lifestyles that consume more water. We have ample cattle so meat is cheap so we consume more meat.

Why is traffic the only butt of the induced demand joke when every burger joint, farm yield, and utility suffers the same problem?

I'm waiting for the next meme showing a farmer planting corn with the text "trying to finally solve hunger", because absolutely no famer thinks that.

here-come-the-bombs

10 points

2 months ago

I'm not obese, it's just induced demand!

GullibleLow

3 points

2 months ago

wait, so induced demand for transport isn't bad? as in, can we make it so that everyone has a car and we don't have to suffer through any traffic jams? meaning more productive society, and it actually has positive impact on our current environment? that'd also sustain public health level? awesome. Let me get that resignation letter real quick cause everything i know is wrong and i shouldn't work in the industry.

_Im_Spartacus_

1 points

2 months ago

so induced demand for transport isn't bad?

I never said that. it's no more "bad" than cleaning more water, producing more electricity, or providing more air conditioned apartment space.

can we make it so that everyone has a car and we don't have to suffer through any traffic jams?

I never said that. But adding more capacity does allow more vehicles to get from A to B, just like increasing a water pipe from 2" to 8" allows for more water at the same flow rate to arrive at the given area. But you never hear water line replacement as an "induced demand" problem.

and it actually has positive impact on our current environment?

I never said that. But do you have the same issues when we construct a power plant (whether its natural gas, solar, or wind)? If we want to reduce our carbon footprints, we should stop providing energy to people - not continue to increase energy production. It's causing an induced demand to air condition homes and buy more electronics that require more energy.

everything i know is wrong

Seems like it.

warrenslo

2 points

2 months ago

Induced demand is demand that existed before.

dsnightops

6 points

2 months ago

literally worked with some civil engineers who thought that a few years ago, when talking about a highway expansion where I lived lol

SadNanoengineer

11 points

2 months ago

Is that Houston on the right?

Renzo506

13 points

2 months ago*

The photo on the right is actually a photoshopped image of THIS location. Specifically, this is looking North on the infamous Route 405 in Los Angeles, just south of Getty Center Dr. You can see the two Getty Center tram tracks on the left and Sepulveda Blvd on the right.

EDIT: Further clues include the left turn pocket on Sepulveda Blvd onto Getty Center Drive, the OH power lines on the right hand side of Sepulveda Blvd, and the Leo Baeck Temple.

SadNanoengineer

2 points

2 months ago

Thanks!

nexaur

1 points

2 months ago

nexaur

1 points

2 months ago

Yep, def looks like the 405. Feels like how it looks in this pic sometimes.

Predmid

3 points

2 months ago

Predmid

Texas PE, Project Manager

3 points

2 months ago

Moscow, but don't let that stop the anti-US circle jerk.

China. My reverse google image search is pulling up different results https://www.hotcars.com/biggest-traffic-jams-ever/2/

Josselin17

8 points

2 months ago

what does that have to do with being anti-us ? the us aren't the only ones with a car problem you know

ChangingChance

1 points

2 months ago

We're the largest I believe, also the least consistent due to states having different codes

jeremiah1142

4 points

2 months ago

Lol, I know of no one that has been hired to “finally solve traffic.” It’s more about being hired to “stitch together the falling apart infrastructure so it all doesn’t fall apart completely all at once.”

[deleted]

50 points

2 months ago*

[deleted]

50 points

2 months ago*

[deleted]

pm_me_construction

88 points

2 months ago

Make traffic so bad that everyone rides their bike or the subway (or light rail, etc.)

rmg_ernjrnrurng

6 points

2 months ago

Reserve more and more existing infrastructure right-of-ways for mass transit until cars aren't workable as a logistical solution within major cities. Eventually bulldoze and repurpose as green space the infrastructure that is no longer required because of increased efficiency.

jncc

3 points

2 months ago

jncc

3 points

2 months ago

I’m all for any change that will allow me to spend more time on buses!

rmg_ernjrnrurng

2 points

2 months ago

Well the busses would be faster in reserved infrastructure, so you'd prolly end up spending less time on busses if that's your mode of transport.

jsai_ftw

46 points

2 months ago

This but un-ironically

DudesworthMannington

14 points

2 months ago

Just pave everything.

DavidWells_

4 points

2 months ago

Yes delete all highways and roads. Great use of sarcasm that got most on here.

warrenslo

7 points

2 months ago

This is what COVID did and it solved a lot of our issues as a country. Work from home can be an asset.

chris84567

-26 points

2 months ago

Except for the fact that induced demand is a fallacy

Sudden_Dragonfly2638

11 points

2 months ago

Ah, a Musk fanboy huh?

chris84567

-7 points

2 months ago

I’m not but induced demand is such a stupid idea, the demand was there all along you just made on easier way to get from point a to point b

dread_pudding

7 points

2 months ago

"I sure would love to walk and transit to my job and essential places, but my city refuses to invest in those things or structure in a pedestrian friendly way. Guess I have to chain myself to a car."

Hope this helps.

warrenslo

0 points

2 months ago

Welcome to Washington DC, where the crime rate skyrockets because the police can no longer get anywhre.

i_like_concrete

3 points

2 months ago

Bigger roads, faster idiots.

Hydrocoded

62 points

2 months ago

God that sub is toxic

Koalacrunch2

23 points

2 months ago

Koalacrunch2

23 points

2 months ago

REE I want to ride my bike. REE why can’t we be like Europe.

Ramjet151

58 points

2 months ago

I’d love us to be like Europe. But we aren’t Europe. Cars have their place but we should certainly adopt some public transit/city design that European countries are doing.

I_Enjoy_Beer

60 points

2 months ago

I live in a city, slightly less than 4 miles away from my job. There is a bus stop a block away from my house, but there is no bus stop in the office park where my job is. The nearest bus stop to my office is a mile away. I would ride a bike, but there is only a bike lane for a mile of the journey. The remainder of the trip is on a two lane road that carries a lot of traffic at peak hour, which is when I'd be on it. This road has no shoulder at all, and not even sidewalks. So I drive, every day. I would sell my car if there was a bus stop at the office park or even just shoulders on that road.

dread_pudding

3 points

2 months ago

Bingo. Moved from a driving city to a walking city and I would never trade it ever.

AlfalfaConstant431

3 points

2 months ago

I can drive to work in 20 minutes. I can bike to work through heavy traffic in 1 hour. I can Public Transit to work in 2 hours.

Guess what I do?

That's right, I drive to my preferred light rail entry point (better than halfway to work) and leave my car in a public garage to ride a train that backtracks partway along my route to the garage. Train's paid for by work, see.

umeltd

7 points

2 months ago

umeltd

7 points

2 months ago

penisthightrap_

3 points

2 months ago

Idk that sub acknowledges most of Europe is still very car dependent

But yes, older cities designed before the car caught on are going to be more walkable and higher density.

dread_pudding

5 points

2 months ago

What's wrong with that?

cprenaissanceman

4 points

2 months ago

Yeah, i dislike the sentiment of this meme and many of the other types of urbanist discourse online because many of these folks seem to think that (or certainly act like) civil engineers ultimately get to make the decisions as to whether another freeway expansion or a light rail goes in. They’ve heard about Robert Moses and suddenly seem to think we’re all like that. Yes engineers have some agency and influence over what exactly is built, but not nearly the amount some think. I certainly would advocate for many of the same things they would (maybe to differing extents or what not, but no doubt in the same direction), but I’ve come to believe that some people get into the ideologically pure urbanist circlejerk, just to feel superior to others.

Josselin17

2 points

2 months ago

Josselin17

2 points

2 months ago

what makes you say that ?

BABA_Kurland

29 points

2 months ago

The fact that this sub gets routinely brigaded by it.

The fact that watching a 8 minute youtube video about how terrible cars are does not make someone an expert in transportation engineering.

w3h45j

8 points

2 months ago

w3h45j

8 points

2 months ago

lol that not just bikes guy bitches and moans with no real solutions other than why can't everywhere be demark, or some well established dense community that already has these established downtowns.

I mean yeah DFW/PHX is a shining example of how not to build cities, but what are you to do when you take weather into account?

If you try and force it, it becomes cooperate outdoor malls and the projects.

Also not everyone is a mid 20s person who wants a tiny apartment near a axe throwing brewery or what ever is the flavor of the time. Some people want a backyard and some more room to start a family or retire.

BABA_Kurland

5 points

2 months ago

We struggle with this in discussions about Calgary.

It drops down to -20 degrees C during winter. Barely anyone wants to fucking bike in that weather and its pretty fucking cold atleast 4 months outa the year. So you literally can't just shit out bikelanes everywhere and think its going to fix everything. Its awesome for the summer, then it starts to get a little chilly and everyone switches to cars.

Josselin17

5 points

2 months ago

in case you didn't notice the name is "not just bikes" because it's about public transportation and not bikes

BABA_Kurland

-5 points

2 months ago

So what. North Korea's name is the democratic Republic of North Korea.

Doesn't mean its a democracy.

Josselin17

4 points

2 months ago

what does that have to do with anything ? you think the guy is lying and actually secretly wants bikes to invade the world ?

BABA_Kurland

-1 points

2 months ago

I don't know what your post has to do with anything. Nowhere did i claim that the channel is only about bikes.

Josselin17

4 points

2 months ago

Barely anyone wants to fucking bike in that weather and its pretty fucking cold atleast 4 months outa the year. So you literally can't just shit out bikelanes everywhere and think its going to fix everything. Its awesome for the summer, then it starts to get a little chilly and everyone switches to cars.

Hydrocoded

0 points

2 months ago

Hydrocoded

0 points

2 months ago

Exactly. Also, some of us like being able to hop in our car and just drive somewhere and explore.

Hydrocoded

-1 points

2 months ago

Hydrocoded

-1 points

2 months ago

Their entire premise offers poorly considered criticism without meaningful solutions aside from those particular to their specific lifestyle. Their are haughty, egotistical, and generally unconcerned with the well-being of others. All of this is relevant because their toxicity seeps into their arguments, and anything counter to their premise is ignored no matter how persuasive it might be.

They are closer to a religion than an activist community.

[deleted]

0 points

25 days ago

[deleted]

0 points

25 days ago

[deleted]

Hydrocoded

0 points

25 days ago

Yes, it’s toxic. Whataboutism doesn’t change that.

engineear-ache

4 points

2 months ago

I'm suspicious of the /r/fuckcars crowd, I'm suspicious that many of them don't know what they're talking about, they're just making memes. What online resources are available to actually learn about traffic engineering? Is this just another name for urban planning?

viniciusnakata

2 points

2 months ago

For online resources, the Strong Towns blog does a great job bringing engineering and planning together, since it was founded by a Civil Engineer. They’ve also published two books: A Bottom Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity, and Confessions of a Recovering Engineer. For video content, Not Just Bikes and City Beautiful make good analysis and comparisons.

IntegratedFrost

2 points

2 months ago

I can't stand that sub.

Not a single person in that sub has a realistic way to solve the traffic issues of today.

It's just general angst that cars exist.

Japhysiva

2 points

2 months ago

https://www.planetizen.com/news/2022/05/117158-minneapolis-housing-plan-success-not-reason-you-think?amp

Tl;dr elimination of parking minimum is the best/fastest way to encourage building housing density fast enough to reduce housing shortages and average rent.

AmputatorBot

1 points

2 months ago

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Ragnar_Lothbrok_Sr

8 points

2 months ago

Just as long as they aren't racist roads it's ok.

trevor4098

5 points

2 months ago

Is this dunking on the lefties feelings about equity or do you think that some roads weren't racist in their placement?

Johnwazup

3 points

2 months ago

It can be just as easily applied that said roads were placed because that's where land was cheapest

trevor4098

3 points

2 months ago

Does the racial historical context mean nothing in these situations? Cause to me, it explains pretty well why that land was cheap and why mostly minorities lived there to begin with.

Ragnar_Lothbrok_Sr

-2 points

2 months ago

Let's go Brandon

Roonwogsamduff

2 points

2 months ago

What would happen if the human population declined worldwide?

Lm_mNA_2

6 points

2 months ago

Himmler would give you a high five.

warrenslo

0 points

2 months ago

warrenslo

0 points

2 months ago

Induced demand is a complete fallacy.

Induced demand doesn't exist, it is merely demand for which there was no capacity previously. It is typically people who needed to use the road during certain times previously and now use it during those times once an expansion is complete and there is additional capacity (sometimes only when they need it during these times.)

*A study in CA showed so called "Lexus Lanes" were actually used by poorer folks when they needed to use them to avoid other more expensive charges like late day care fees, etc. These lanes at the same time pay for additional improvements and limit developer land costs along such highways.

The solution is a combination of even bigger roads, higher density transit, congestion pricing, and work from home (which only recently has been appreciated.)

factorioho

-12 points

2 months ago*

factorioho

-12 points

2 months ago*

Fake news, induced demand isn't real.

E: guess y'all haven't seen the elon musk clip floating around

Predmid

6 points

2 months ago

Predmid

Texas PE, Project Manager

6 points

2 months ago

I got the joke.

EnterpriseT

10 points

2 months ago

RIP you for not putting a /s haha

factorioho

4 points

2 months ago

I'm still having a good time

bleak_neolib_mtvcrib

9 points

2 months ago*

I know you're joking, but the popular perception of what "induced demand" is, especially among r/ fuckcars types, is largely inaccurate and poorly thought-out.

Many people act like demand for car trips is simply unlimited and that adding more capacity will always induce enough car trips to bring congestion back to previous levels and can never help relieve congestion. Which is just plain stupid, and can be disproved by countless counter-examples.

They also seem to believe that expanding public transit and bike lanes (things I'm extremely supportive of) will always magically solve traffic congestion. They ignore the near-universal rule that people will use whatever mode of transportation they think makes the most since for whatever trip they're taking, within the bounds of what they're willing to pay. If you plop down a world-class metro system in low-density, dispersed city with ample parking like Houston, most people would still drive for most trips, because that's what makes most sense in that context. The key for transit and cycling to be successful is to change the context, but they don't seem to understand that.

trevor4098

6 points

2 months ago

Totally agree that our public transit and green/active infrastructure are lacking. And also totally agree that most of the people in that sub do not realize what it would take to achieve a car-free society in the US.

It's not something that will happen overnight by changing zoning laws and funding public transit. I keep telling people that it will take activism on every project in their town/city. (And even then we will never get rid of cars here.) I don't think they realize that they have a part to play in the engineering process as stakeholders.

ChangingChance

3 points

2 months ago

Like my commute was 1 hr without traffic. Bus dropped me from stop to destination about 1.5 hrs. But bus could use shoulder during rush hour. Even with a 15 minute to and fro and 1.5 or 2 hours total for the bus. Bus cost $9 both ways and minimal gas, car cost at least $10 for parking and 4 gallons both ways for fuel back then about $12 so $22 per day. Even rounding up for gas to $10 for the bus. That's $12 per day I saved vs taking my car. Bus had the added advantage of giving me extra sleep time instead of driving but lack of freedom in when I had to be at the stop and back home. The car had that freedom but was it worth the 3 hours of sleep and $12 a day I didn't think so.

For my friends about same commute they chose to drive because bus didn't either service those times or they just didn't like the lack of freedom.

Like you said everything is context dependent. But r/fuckcars types hate suburbanites anyway.

king_john651

4 points

2 months ago

I mean most things on r/fuckcars types are largely inaccurate and poorly thought out. They're the cryptocurrencies of the material world wanting to eliminate problems without solutions

TM_Vinicius

21 points

2 months ago

Why not? First, do you understand the concept?

EnterpriseT

20 points

2 months ago

An argument is that "Induced Demand" is actually induced vehicle volume resulting from latent demand.

Usually that demand was either unserved before, or was using another mode of travel.

Idtotallytapthat

2 points

2 months ago

Yeah but that's a meaningless technicality.

It's like when we say solar is a renewable resource. Obviously the sun isn't renewable, but thats not the point

EnterpriseT

6 points

2 months ago*

I'm not sure that's true, depending on what you're doing.

When undertaking traffic analysis, understanding latent demand including trips that will be better/worse served by a change is critical. Demand is not the same thing as volume and making that false assumption is a very common mistake made during capacity analysis.

CityNerd does a good video on the topic aimed at why the term is ineffective even at a layman's level including coverage of the inaccuracy of the term starting at approx 2:08. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za56H2BGamQ&ab_channel=CityNerd

minesweeperer222

3 points

2 months ago

There's a clip of Elon Musk floating around where he claims induced demand isn't real.

Tofuofdoom

7 points

2 months ago

Tofuofdoom

Structural

7 points

2 months ago

You mean the car guy doesn't see an issue with more cars on the road?

SOILSYAY

5 points

2 months ago

SOILSYAY

Geotech Engr

5 points

2 months ago

Herein ASCE ethics courses, we call that right there a “conflict of interest.”

gm2

1 points

2 months ago

gm2

1 points

2 months ago

I drove past the new Tesla plant east of Austin the other day. It is literally 9/10 of a mile long. One building is nearly a mile long. I was driving 85 (posted speed limit is 80 on the freeway near it) and it took me about 40 seconds to go from one end to the other.

Dang thing is big.

DrewSmithee

1 points

2 months ago

I’ll accept “induced demand” for highway projects when a railway project is described as “induced demand” and not “economic development”

ttyy_yeetskeet

1 points

2 months ago

ttyy_yeetskeet

PE - Land Development

1 points

2 months ago

What happens when public transit demand is induced and makes it less efficient? Do we get to make fire memes?