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October 27, 2005

Decentralised power generation breakthrough

The nuclear lobby is trying to portray nuclear power as the inevitable solution to Britain's future power needs. But their campaign has been dealt a potentially lethal blow by a schoolboy called Peter Ash. The young inventor attached a generator to his hamster's exercise wheel and connected it to his phone charger - thereby meeeting the most important power need of a whole generation in an environmentally friendly way. Some sad adult examiners gave the teenage inventor a miserly C for this brilliant project when, by rights, he should be knighted for services to sustainability. (Thanks to Jennie Winhall for the lead).

Posted by John Thackara at October 27, 2005 04:34 PM


The problem, of course, is all of the energy it takes to grow, refine, and ship the hamster food to the said hamster.

When you look at the full picture this kind of setup is actually in energy-debt.

Posted by: Superkuh at October 28, 2005 02:09 AM

Energy debt? Not necessarily true. If the full picture includes *Mama Ash giving the hamster table scraps from the Ashen dinner experience, it seems to me to be a gain. Hamsters don't need refined and shipped food even more than we do. Plus, Hamster Ash gets a firm tuchas. In this scenario, everyone is happy.

Posted by: Debra Solomon at October 29, 2005 05:49 PM

I used to have a hamster, and no way was it as tough-looking or limber as Peter's... so I suppose scientists could look into building a small army of testosterone pumped hamsters as opposed to building a nuclear power plant in Britain.
By the way, does the diameter of the wheel have an effect on the power generated?

Posted by: Thomas Tichar at November 7, 2005 03:56 PM

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