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Friday, January 18, 2008

Body heat used to warm office

Imagine using the body heat of commuters to heat up an office. This would be a very useful step; imagine harnessing the energy of a large crowd and using this to effectively save other means of generating energy. The technology described is fairly simple, using pumps, pipes, and ventilator aggregates; the crowd being used to generate energy is already there through the commuters in a Swedish train station. Read the story:

A Swedish state-owned firm has found a cheap, eco-friendly source of energy to warm one of its offices: body heat from a quarter million commuters steaming through Stockholm's central train station.
Body heat already warms the station itself but the surplus, currently let out in thin air, will be redirected to provide as much as 15 percent of the heating in a planned 4,000 square meter office building, real estate firm Jernhusen said.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Finding mice aboard a flight

Imagine being on a long flight, in pretty close quarters (it's a packed flight after all). You are dreading the confinement, the claustrophobic environment, and the odd passenger in the seat next to you; what could make it worse is if you find mice next to you. Well, such a story could really happen:

BEIJING - Eight baby mice were found aboard a United Airlines flight from Washington but tests showed they were free of dangerous viruses, the Chinese government said Thursday. The mice were found by a cleaning crew in Beijing after the flight arrived Sunday, according to the airline.
The mice were found in a pillowcase in a bin for unused pillows, said Robin Urbanski, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based United. She said no passengers were on board at the time. "Our customers on this flight were always safe and unaware of the situation," Urbanski said.

Unaware is the correct word. If rats can breed aboard a flight, then one does not know about the safe part.

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