February 27, 2013
Everywhere on the planet — forget the planet, the Universe! — there's gravity.
It's been there from the get-go and will be there till the end.
Now comes Martin Riddiford, co-founder of London design consultancy Therefore, with a brilliant insight and bit of applied design and engineering that, using just a bag of dirt hooked onto a geared assembly, generates enough light to read by for up to 30 minutes — no batteries required.
Wrote Malcolm Burnley in the March issue of The Atlantic, "1,000 GravityLights arrive in Asia, Africa, and South America for a trial run this spring, and a model selling for less than $10 is slated to hit the market next year."
As he noted, "Many of the 1.4 billion people who lack electricity use kerosene lamps for lighting, despite their myriad dangers. They cause millions of severe burns each year. Kerosene fumes contribute to lung cancer. The fuel is ruinously expensive, and it’s a major carbon emitter. But oft-proposed alternatives, like solar-powered lamps, require expensive batteries."
Much as I praise bleeding-edge, world-changing technologies like Google Glass (oh, yeah, just remembered that my application — actually, three of them: did you know you're allowed to apply three times? — is due by 2:59 a.m. ET Thursday), inventions like this power source that bring light and energy to the have-nothings of the Third World promise to lift these societies wholesale into the 21st Century and unleash a wave of creativity and invention that will wash over us First Worlders like an intellectual tsunami.
How exciting to be here as it happens and ride the big one.
February 27, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink
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It's NOT powered by gravity, or by dirt.
It's powered by the human muscles which lift the weight of the dirt against the force of gravity.
The main purpose of this machine is to release this energy slowly in the form of light.
Posted by: Luke | Feb 28, 2013 7:18:11 AM
Ten bucks? Well worth it, if that price is realistic. Even at fifteen, I might give it a try.
Posted by: John A | Feb 27, 2013 10:20:39 PM
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