Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Butt Power ... Where Do We Go From There?

I’m a fan of alternate energy. I love reading about advances in wind and solar, but I almost busted a gut at my desk laughing, not from reading the article itself, but from imagining the people using this. I have to give special thanks to Sean Fallon at Gizmodo for providing me with my topic for today. I couldn’t have hoped to see a better application of the idea for this post if I wrote it myself.


The idea is sound. The device attaches below the bicycle seat and generates power from the compression of the seat springs. The stored power can be used for lights, other portable devices. Sounds great.

What hit my funny bone was the picture in my head of people doing a little extra bouncing on their bike seats to get a little more juice into their iPods. Harnessing the unused kinetic energy for generating power is great but some of these ideas make for more humorous ideas than practical solutions.

A few years back I bought a couple of those Forever Flashlights. The ones you shake to charge, last forever and never need batteries. I was in love with the idea. The tech was simple but the application brilliant. It worked fine. The earlier versions didn’t get very bright but there have been advances in LED technology and the current versions of this make a decent emergency flashlight.

As much as I love the tech, I haven’t used it in years for two reasons. First, you have to shake it vigorously. Maybe I’m just lazy but I find the crank wheel variation of this strains my arm less. Second, I can’t charge the damn flashlight without breaking out in laughter.

The first time I came to this realization that I could not charge this flashlight in a public place withouth a childish grin was the first time my wife came downstairs to ask what was so funny. “Nothing dear”, my reply, “Just sitting here in the dark charging my flashlight”. Picture me with the lights off vigorously shaking this foot long cylinder up and down.

Can you picture it? “You’ve been in the bathroom a while Johnny. Are you OK?” “Yeah ... Mom ... just ... charging ... my ... iPod. Kind of fitting though. The porn industry helped spur the internet industry. Maybe masturbation sex toys can help green the planet.

No comments: