Stuck in the woods with no way to charge your cell phone? Soon, you might be able to solve the quandary with your own urine. Researchers in the United Kingdom have figured out how to use waste-eating bacteria to produce enough electricity to send a few text messages and make a call, with the output steadily improving.
Here’s what Dr. Ioannis Ieropoulos of the University of the West of England, part of the team who worked on the project, explained to the Independent:
“The beauty of this fuel source is that we are not relying on the erratic nature of the wind or the sun; we are actually reusing waste to create energy. One product that we can be sure of an unending supply is our own urine.”
As of right now, the urine-to-electricity device is about the size of a car battery, but it’s expected to get smaller and more portable. Besides charging mobile phones, they could also be installed in bathrooms, allowing us to harness our urine power day and night year-round. In a few years, it might be normal to see pee-powered charging stations at National Parks — or, visitors could just plug in at a luxury hotel nearby.
Start with three key ingredients: Detroit, a bag of urine, and the TSA.
Add an agressive pat-down at security and what do you get? A disgruntled man on a plane, soaked in his own warm pee and a national news headline!
On Nov. 7th, a male passenger flying from DTW to Orlando, Florida was selected for additional security screening. A bladder cancer survivor, the passenger carried an urostomy bag under his clothes–a plastic bag attached to his abdomen for collecting urine. Despite repeated requests to exercise caution in their search, the agents broke the seal on the bag, spilling the passenger’s urine all over him.
Adding insult to injury of the American psyche, the poor guy’s name was Tom Sawyer (not making this up), a Michigan special education teacher who is currently learning the true power of the internet. Obviously, this guy is pissed–he’s already taken the issue to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.
An official response is still unknown, but the current threat advisory level is yellow.
You might not think that writing about SkyMall is very extreme. But I’m constantly dodging marshmallows, defending my lawn ornaments and hiding from biker gangs. The adrenaline rushes are frequent and intense. And while my SkyMall gadgets make my life comfortable and easy, they’ve also made me a bit of a wuss. Thanks to SkyMall, I’m too relaxed. I’m scared of my own shadow. And that means that every sound startles me. Every challenge seems daunting. And every person appears threatening. When your life is cushy and easy, everything new or different becomes extreme. And extreme becomes frightening. And frightening becomes terrifying. Sadly, I don’t handle fear very well. As such, I pee my pants…a lot. With every bump in the night, I get another puddle on my rug. And trust me, when it rains it pours. Since I can’t expect the rest of the world to calm down and take it easy on me, I have learned to adapt to how extreme everything out there is. That’s why I treat the symptom and not the disease (well, that and therapy is really expensive). Now, when things get intense and I get damp, I simply whip out my Urine Gone.Urine Gone is the answer to my prayers. Now, I can wet my pants, my rugs and my friends without consequence. I simply pee wherever my rapidly beating heart desires and then Urine Gone it away once I’ve stopped crying and come out from under the bed (Author’s note: under the bed is a super hiding spot). I simply locate the pee with the included blacklight (yes, you read that correctly) and the Urine Gone treats the stain and the asparagus smell (just because I pee my pants a lot doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop eating healthy).
Think that wearing a diaper would be a more effective solution? I think I’d look pretty stupid wearing a diaper. Besides, a diaper can’t handle the vast amount of urine that escapes my body when I’m scared. And Urine Gone is way more fun than wearing a diaper. Just take a look at the product description:
A UV black light detects the source – the cleaner removes stains and odors! Just darken the room–the black light makes stains glow.
Who doesn’t want to see their pee glow? Finding the glowing urine becomes a game that’s fun for the entire family!
So, the next time that life gets too extreme for you and you find yourself soaked in your own filth, don’t fret. Because urine comes and urine goes, but hiding under your bed is fun forever.
Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.
Who here doesn’t love investigative reports on TV? Twin Cities ABC5 visited several local hotels armed with swabs and a blacklight. Their results? Semen and urine on the remote control, and a host of other nastiness that lit up when hit with the blacklight.
Seriously, this is pretty disgusting, but the results are hardly surprising. For starters, there are still too many people who don’t wash their hands after a bathroom visit. And secondly; those porn movies provided in the room are big business, and it takes a remote to order one. You do the math.
If you are now too scared to handle the remote, carry some disinfectant wipes or spray and clean the remote before using it. While on the topic of disgusting hotels, why not check out our own investigation into the “dirtiest hotel in the United States“.
I’m sure many of you have been awaiting the moment that these new batteries would finally become available for the masses.
That moment has finally arrived!
The NoPoPo battery cells (Non Pollution Power) come in packs of 2, and each set includes a small pipette. The batteries are rechargeable, but only between 5 and 10 times, depending on how you use them. They are capable of delivering about 500mAh, which is only enough to power simple devices like a radio or alarm clock.
Thankfully, pee is not the only liquid you can use to recharge these cells, they’ll also take juice, coffee, tea and plain water. Naturally, a product like this can only come from Japan, where there is clearly a huge demand for batteries that can be recharged by peeing into them.
All joking aside, given the poor state of battery technology, any development like this should be applauded and I can certainly see the NoPoPo batteries being quite handy on a trip where you don’t have immediate access to a charger.