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re’s a little known fact: The human body, at any given moment, produces energy equivalent to a 100 watt light bulb. In that sense, we’re always wasting our energy—energy that can be used to, well, power a light bulb. It’s this line of thinking that led a 16 year old to invent the first flashlight powered entirely by body heat.
Ann Makosinski’s “Hollow Flashlight” isn’t the only manually-powered light out there. But whereas other products generate energy with shaking or even hand cranking, her award-winning prototype shines the moment you pick it up.
"I thought, why not body heat?" she told The Oregon Herald. "We have so much heat radiating out of us and it’s being wasted."
Not until recently did researchers look into ways to capture excess body heat as a means of powering devices like hearing aids and pacemakers. Four years ago, engineers in Sweden figured out a clever (and somewhat sneaky) way to siphon the biothermal energy of passengers at a central train station to heat nearby office buildings. Still, much of the challenge in developing these technologies has to do with the fact that electricity produced from residual thermal energy is usually too weak to run most common devices. The inner ear, for instance, produces just 70 to 100 millivolts of potential electricity, which isn’t even enough to power a sensor or Wi-Fi chip, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Makosinski, a high school sophomore at St. Michaels University School in Victoria, British Columbia, initially thought of the idea after learning that a friend in the Philippines, who didn’t have electricity, was failing in school because she didn’t have enough time to study during daylight hours. Her friend’s dilemma is surprisingly common among a growing number of people in developing regions that either can’t afford or don’t have access to a power grid. For Makosinski, it served as an impetus to apply what she had learned about energy-harvesting materials from experiments she’s been conducting since the seventh grade.
Today, there’s often a perception that Asian children are given a hard time by their parents. But a few hundred years ago northern Europe took a particularly harsh line, sending children away to live and work in someone else’s home. Not surprisingly, the children didn’t always like it.
Around the year 1500, an assistant to the Venetian ambassador to England was struck by the strange attitude to parenting that he had encountered on his travels. He wrote to his masters in Venice that the English kept their children at home “till the age of seven or nine at the utmost” but then “put them out, both males and females, to hard service in the houses of other people, binding them generally for another seven or nine years”.
The unfortunate children were sent away regardless of their class, “for everyone, however rich he may be, sends away his children into the houses of others, whilst he, in return, receives those of strangers into his own”. It was for the children’s own good, he was told - but he suspected the English preferred having other people’s children in the household because they could feed them less and work them harder.
We could’ve used this when we were in high school.
Jezebel: Officials have established control over what a Wisconsin high school paper can write after the lead story, addressing what the editor in chief defined as ‘rape culture’ at the educational institution, caused an uproar in the community.
This week’s cover: Christine Keeler the 19 year-old “honey pot” at the center of Britain’s biggest Cold War controversy - The Profumo scandal” which brought down the United Kingdom’s war secretary in the 1960s.
Teens tells adults how Facebook is “drama central.” [via pew pdf]
Adults asked a bunch teens how they Internet. Here, a 15-year-old female tries to explain the appeal of tumblr. [via pew pdf]
Harry Styles and Taylor Swift try and do the ‘Dirty Dancing’ lift!
How are we feeling about the Harry/Taylor thing, followers?
“So, what’s your big move?”
SHE IS LIVING IN A DREAM.
This is not actually Taylor Swift. It’s a random blond. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Not according to the premier chronicle of all things teen, Teen.com, which we trust and follow blindly and wholeheartedly.
Here’s a quick taste of what you’ll get in the first few minutes of MTV’s new teen drama, Skins: Masturbation. Porn. References to “girl-on-girl.” Parties, vomit, and a whole lot of prescription drugs. The plot of the first episode? Figure out how to get Stanley, a quirky, shy 16-year-old who’s in love with his best friend’s girlfriend, laid before his 17th birthday. How to do it? “We go to a party and get some girl’recaucusly spliffed,” his friend tells him. “In her confused state, she comes to believe—momentarily, of course—that you’re attractive. And then she bangs your brains out.”
In which NEWSWEEK asks, Is Skins the Most Dangerous Show on TV? (Photo courtesy MTV)
In his new book, Dr. Joe Allen has concluded that our urge to protect teenagers from real life – because we don’t think they’re ready yet – has tragically backfired. By insulating them from adult-like work, adult social relationships, and adult consequences, we have only delayed their development. We have made it harder for them to grow up. Maybe even made it impossible to grow up on time.
Basically, we long ago decided that teens ought to be in school, not in the labor force. Education was their future. But the structure of schools is endlessly repetitive. “From a Martian’s perspective, high schools look virtually the same as sixth grade,” said Allen. “There’s no recognition, in the structure of school, that these are very different people with different capabilities.” Strapped to desks for 13+ years, school becomes both incredibly montonous, artificial, and cookie-cutter.