Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Once upon a time, whilst in the middle of attacking one another via foot jabs on a swing set, the idea of turning common playground objects (such as a swing set, slide, see-saw, merry-go-round, etc.) into energy generating tools was thrown out there for discussion. It seems like some smart ladies and gentlemen out there could come up with a way to do this, right? The spinning of the merry-go-round, the back and forth motion of a see-saw or swing, or the friction from a child going down a slide could all be turned into energy somehow. Granted, I know basically nothing about this subject but it seems like a pretty good idea.

Well, hey. Turns out it wasn't all that far fetched.

It's called the PlayPump. Installed in more than 1000 African communites, just by "spinning on the merri-go-round, clean water is pumped from an underground well into a 2,500-liter tank which is built seven meters above the ground." Neat. It's not quite what we had in mind, but it's sort of the same deal. Plus, it's clean water (which is so super important that I can't even get into it...okay, maybe it's just because I'm lazy. Either way, clean water = important). And I mean, look how much fun they're having! Hands in the air, pumping water, smiles...But then again, despite the obvious benefits of the PlayPump and surely future inventions in the same vein, what's the point of a playground if there is a point?

Also, if you really need to kill some time. Like, we're talking major time and intense boredom levels here. Only mildly bored? Try harder, you can find something better to do than listen to this. Thanks to the Alfred Wegener Institute's autonomous research observatory PALAOA, you can listen to all the exciting, adrenaline fueled, hardcore action underneath Antarctica. Like, totally rad, man. You can just, like, chill out to the constant undersea static hiss while eagerly anticipating every click and pop that's coming your way, bro. I'm twenty two minutes in already. Time flies when you're under Antarctic ice.

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