Thursday, July 21, 2011

Clip of the Week

I don't have a whole lot to choose from this week, especially since I used up my favorite clip from the past few days when I excerpted it for Quote of the Week on Tuesday. I do have a few amusing clips, including this clip of kitten DJs and this incredibly strange (and awesome) cartoon summary of Yao Ming's just-concluded NBA career.

But my main man the Red Cowboy has been slinging a lot of traffic my way recently, so I thought I'd show my appreciation by sending some back his way (or at least giving a well-earned shout out). In this post, the Cowboy shares a video that resulted from the American Express Members Project, about a group of Harvard students who developed an energy-storing soccer ball.

It's a cool video, but an even cooler concept. As we try to solve our global energy crisis and move away from our reliance on petroleum-based solutions (a fight that's been going on for about four decades now), there's been a significant focus on searching for "renewable" sources of energy.

Of course, I've always thought this search presented a somewhat strange phrasing of the problem. According to the law of conservation of energy, energy (like wealth in the stock market) can be neither destroyed nor created--it can only change form or type. Therefore, in theory at least, essentially every source of energy is (or can be) renewable--it's simply a matter of figuring out how to store the energy that is being produced when the other source of energy is consumed. This soccer ball is one example of exactly that, as is the piezoelectric energy technology that is currently being developed.

Now, clearly there are certain types of energy that can't feasibly be captured or renewed, and I'm absolutely not a physicist or someone who pretends to know all there is to know on the topic of renewable energy. But it's cool to see a creative way of storing and re-using the energy that we unconsciously expend every day, and I salute the Harvard students for their creativity.

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