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(Laura Figi/Austonia)

In the futuristic nature of Tesla, the electric car company is bringing its audacious goal of using laser beams as windshield wipers closer to reality.

The pioneering car company earlier this week obtained a permit from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the laser beam-cleaning technology, which it first applied for more than two years ago, according to electric car site Electrek.

Despite the patent news, we might not see laser beams playing such an active role in the lives of Tesla drivers anytime soon. The company is also reportedly developing new electromagnetic wipers, which are closer to traditional windshield wipers and could see action on the company's Cybertruck model.

CEO Elon Musk always has something up his sleeve from jokes that have become actual products (think flamethrower) to possible future projects we can only guess at. Earlier this summer, it was reported that Tesla had applied for three trademarks (one for the word "Tesla" and two for the different logos) in restaurant services.

But the biggest project coming to fruition in Austin's backyard is Tesla's new $1.1 billion Gigafactory in southeast Travis County that is slated to open later this year. And aside from that, the company also announced further plans to build a major residential community in southeast Austin with housing units incorporating Tesla solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations and other features aimed at sustainability.

The company is coming off of one of its best-ever quarters, reporting an income of more than $1 billion and producing more than 200,000 vehicles despite pandemic-related challenges such as a global semiconductor shortage.



Whether you became a home chef when the pandemic began or have always enjoyed crafting delicious meals, it’s undeniable that no home is complete without a cozy kitchen.

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(Chili Cold Blood Chili Cook Off/Facebook)

Sample some spirits
When: 11:30 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Desert Door, 211 Darden Hill Rd. Driftwood
What: Attend Desert Door Distillery’s first Explorer Series of 2022. Guests will be able to sample Caliber on its own or in a delicious cocktail.

Eat some chili
When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sagebrush, 5500 S. Congress Ave.
What: Enjoy great chili and great music at the 14th Annual Chili Cold Blood Chili Cook-Off. All proceeds will be donated to Health Alliance for Austin Musicians in memory of Nick Curran.

Enjoy some local art
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St.
What: The Neil-Cochran House Museum will host a multi-media art exhibition by Austin artist Nell Gottlieb, titled “Land as Persona: An Artist’s Journey.” Gottlieb works in multiple media to reexamine her coming of age, white and female in the Jim Crow South.

Catch some improv comedy
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: GameOn! ATX, 1515 Dungan Ln.
What: ColdTowne ThrowDowne is an improv comedy tournament between troupes that will take place in front of a live studio audience and streamed live to the world on Twitch.

Catch a Johnny Cash-style show
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Georgetown Palace Theatre, 810 S. Austin Ave.
What: Experience music history with a unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and the healing power of home and family set to the tune of the legendary Johnny Cash.