Tags: alternative energy

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The winner of an International Design Excellence award is a camera for the blind. No, really.

10 incredibly beautiful aquarium fishes. Freshwater and saltwater.

The Guo-li-Zhuang restaurant in Beijing serves water buffalo penis, yak's testicles, and deer penis juice. Quote: The meals served do not come cheap: A yak penis costs €179, while a hotpot with 10 different penis-and-testicle selections served on an attractive, four-sided plate tower with little statues of animals will set you back €89. For particularly discerning palates, the menu also offers deer and sheep fetuses (€36 and €9, respectively).

Small town mostly supports school principal for witch-hunting a lesbian student. When a high school senior told her principal that students were taunting her for being a lesbian, he told her homosexuality is wrong, outed her to her parents and ordered her to stay away from children. He suspended some of her friends who expressed their outrage by wearing gay pride T-shirts... and he asked dozens of students whether they were gay or associated with gay students.... [but] many in this conservative community still wonder what, exactly, [the principal] did wrong.

What will be the largest solar panel array in the world has been planned for Gujarat, India.
The current largest array generates 900 megawatts of electricity. This one will generate 5 gigawatts.

Intel working on perfecting wireless electricity.
Note the use of the word "perfected," because it's not ready yet, although Intel have vastly increased its efficiency to 75%. Nikola Tesla was the first to pull this off, but no one knows how he did it.
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Lightning's £120,000 all-electric sports car unveilled in London
, uses world-first lithium titanate battery technology that its makers claim will recharge "in minutes," although this needs three-phase industrial level electrical power.

Okay, I have a serious question here.

Concerning electric cars: the biggest problem is that they're less convenient than gas cars. A gasoline car can be filled up in minutes anywhere, but an electric car needs to be plugged into a powerful outlet for at least 6 hours for any typical model from the Reva to the Tesla Roadster. Even if you could have "charging stations" like gas stations, the problem again is that the charge takes a third of a day, not several minutes.

So here's my question, and it's not rhetorical: why not have a swappable battery pack, so what you do instead is pull out the rechargable battery altogether when it's empty and put in a charged one, while the drained one gets plugged in to recharge or whatever? That way your electric car's good to go. Granted there are probably some practical problems with this, but isn't it still more practical than driving your car home and plugging it in overnight every night?

Seriously, what's the reason no one's thought of this? I can't be the first person to come up with this. This system's already being used in hi power radio controlled toys, these battery packs that you remove to plug into the wall to charge. If the battery pack runs out you could swap the drained one for a fresh optional extra pack and keep playing. Why not apply this to the real thing?

Also on Engadget:

GM teams up with utilities to develop electric car charging infrastructure (which kind of triggered this post).

Electric Mini hitting U.S. streets in Summer 2009.
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The world's most bizarre wedding customs. Includes smashing dishes and having the bride and groom clean it up; kidnapping the bride; stealing the groom's shoes and so on.

Japanese nerds build robot girlfriend. Vagina notably absent.

Just graduated college? 21 tips for surviving the real world.

The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination: Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling's commencement address at Harvard.

The world's strangest internet cafes.

The world's smelliest postage stamps.

Inspired by the soaring price of oil and the continued devaluation of the dollar, artist Brian Romero designed the bill for the increasingly-worthless dollar: the Zero Dollar Bill.

The highest-popping toaster in the world.

Some more George Carlin quotes.

A site where one can convey their condolences to George Carlin's daughter, Kelly Carlin-McCall.

HBO to run George Carlin marathon of all his work.

Apparently, Hitler had a really lousy sense of humor and pulled lame pranks on his subordinates.

Pro-life, pro-abstinence Republican congressman paid for girlfriend's abortion and dumped her afterwards.

Man runs himself over with his own car.

God arrested for dealing coke.

Engadget: Combination gas/electric/solar hybrid car gets 150 mpg highway / 117 city, 87 mph top speed, weighs under 600 lbs, will come out by 2012 at the cost of $18,000.

Ex-KGB dungeons still exist under Moscow. Pics.

We're still slowly discovering just how amazingly intelligent octopi are.

Man arrested for drunk driving... on an electric wheelchair. He blew a .31 on the breathalyzer, which is six times over the legal blood alcohol level.