Intelligent Energy

The energy of sports: Hockey player levitates

The energy of sports: Hockey player levitates

Posting in Aerospace

Or at least he flies. A video gets you wondering if the world can convert its athleticism, general motion and kinetic energy into renewable power. Piezoelectricity anyone?

It's Monday, some of you are nursing a Super Bowl hangover, and my recent posts have delved into the headiness of British energy policy, Chinese rare earth dominance, and the skewed math of corporate valuations.

So let's ease into the energy blog today with something  lightly off track but thought-provoking. You seemed to like this sort of detour a month ago, when I showed you a female thrill seeker accidentally plunge 420 feet into Africa's croc-infested Zambezi River as her bungee cord snapped.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present you a video (below) of a rocket-propelled Boston Bruins hockey player, lifted into orbit over the weekend not by aerospace engines, but by a human thruster otherwise known as hard-hitting Pittsburgh Penguins player Brooks Orpik. The astronaut skater, Daniel Paille, almost seems to hang in mid-air before plummeting back down to hard ice as fast as solar panel prices are falling.

It all gets you wondering - especially in the year of the summer Olympics -  about how the world might convert its athleticism and physical motion into renewable electricity production and C02 reduction. I like the prospect of hooking exercise bikes to generators, especially en masse at gyms. And the piezoelectric possibilities of tapping power from walkways, highways and bridges merit rumination, if not action. We've touched on this subject here at SmartPlanet (see list at end of this post). Feel free to send in ideas and examples in the comments section below.

First, put your tray table up and enjoy the flight. I'll probably be off the sports desk by tomorrow:

Staying in motion on SmartPlanet:

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Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure