MySpace, kids today and the NHS

Floating beds

Next up, to cheer us all up, we'll consider the fun things you can buy online. How about a free energy generator? No?

I wonder if the device in question is a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.

These are often powered by plutonium and are used for providing electrical power, particuarly useful for unmanned installation where you don't want to employ someone to keep the diesel generator topped up, like spacecraft and unmanned lighthouses. There's a lot of these gizmos unaccounted for in the former soviet union.

Regards, Jim


Looking at the pictures of the free energy generator I can see: An electric motor ( leftmost grey cilinder ) united by a shaft to a gearbox (rigthmost screwed grey lump) which is mechanically coupled to a turbine (green lump in the bottom middle ) which receives some kind of fluid by the yellow pipes, which is generated by the other green cilinder, in the upper part of the machine. As I can see, the trick of the thing resides in the upper green cylinder. In other pictures, I can see some kind of recirculation of the fluid done with the grey fat pipes (2), which return the fluid to the upper cilinder, possibly at a much lower pressuse.

I wanted to ask the seller how much heat the device wastes, but my e-mails got undelivered. I think that the device (if it works at all) is a termal engine, which possibly uses some kind of "unaccounted" way to generate the pressure to make the fluid flow. Inside the yellow pipes must be water or some kind of high pressure steam. On the other way, the amount of fluid needed to generate 100kw makes the use of air (at least at a pressure of less than 10bar) unlikely to work whith that pipes. The pics also show the procfess of building (and painting) the machine.

Good luck to the poor sod that buys it.

Albert.


Great stuff! You must of course check out the recent Q&A's posted by eBay members on the subject. For example, the seller clearly gives away the secret to the magical device:

Q: Now i may not be some big city engineer. But it seems to me that theres some phisics rule thing, saying that you carnt get energy from nothing.

A: you are right We can not get energy from nothing and we get energy from gravity using tornado effect. Hmmmm... Sounds like these guys are getting the most out of their Dyson vacuum cleaner, but don't you still have to plug them in?

Cheers, Alex


Marvellous !

Actually the manufacturer of the generator has a US distributor already. It is the Acme Co. of America.

I believe their main customer is a Mr. W. E. Coyote.

Mark T. Professional Mechanical Engineer


My money is that it runs on compressed air from a modified wind turbine - but why they don't just stick a generator on the windmill like everybody else is anyone's guess... :-(

Or maybe it's just the scam it appears to be... :-)

Robin


Continuing with the silly stuff, we also brought you news of a floating bed. But there are problems with such a device that even we hadn't considered:

Does this mean that when you have to turn the matress the bed slams onto the floor never to be moved again? Adam


There is, of course, one fatal flaw with such a bed, which is where on earth does one tuck the sheets in? I don't know about you, but fitted sheets really get on my wick, wrinkling up the way they do. A proper sheet would have to just hang over the edges thereby hiding the legs the bed hasn't got, and be even more wrinkle prone than a fitted sheet as a result.

Magnets you say? Well, there's another flaw. Just imagine you accidently drop something made of steel, something that at that moment is critically important in one's life; a pair of stout handcuffs, for instance. Whang! They stick to the magnets. Now what? Release of the said item would mean switching off the magnets, assuming they're not permanents. So does one go find a suitable number of books to prop the bed up in the meantime, or deploy the legs the thing has folded away for this eventuality, let it fall to the floor with a bump, or what? Clearly, the vital moment would pass resulting in rows, derpression, additional nicotine consumption, prolongued discussion about the stupid bed he bought, etc.

And news that one's wallet was under the bed would cease to be a relief and would become a moment of credit card mourning. At least you wouldn't be able to buy another stupid bed.

Have you seen those naff exec. toys involving a pen magnetically levitated? In my limited experience one slight nudge and ping, the fields get all misaligned and the pen goes hurtling off. Scale that up to a bed, and who know what could happen should things get a bit rocky? The bed equivalent of pulling the table cloth off a set dinner table perhaps?

I'm sticking to legs. You know where you are with a good set of legs.

Matthew


Yes, something for the wishlist. Also will prevent that annoying squeaking sound while actively improving your partner's condition. However, lateral movement of the floating top may be a problem when located next to a wall, making an even worse banging sound. I still want one though ;-)

Bertho


In the picture, why does it look like the guy in the background is looking to jump? Does he, perhaps, want the floating sensation of free-fall, rather than just the floating bed?

John


Hi, sounds like a generous use of the word "demod". So they actually showed something a bit over a foot long and six inches wide hovering 8cm off the floor? I've got a rather nice magnetic pen thingy that hovers about 3cm up and it only cost me 4 quid. And my cat has a tiny little magnet around her neck to activate the cat flap, but the amount of time she spends wandering around with screws, pins, paperclips, even the odd kitchen fork dangling from her collar makes me think that the Uber geek's uber cat had better not be into ferrous accoutrements or it could have some nasty surprises.

Rob


From last week's letters, you had some more comments on a range of topics:

As much as I admire your valiant efforts in coining up various neo-colloquialisms, I should point out that your cousins down-under have you severely beat. I therefore postulate you should quit while you're behind.

Best Wishes, Bruce

P.S. I wrote this on my lappy via my mobe while having a barbie sporting my sunnies and swimmies and looking at some sheilas. (or not)


Chromoplasticity has been around for a while, as a quick Google would have told you, and is therefore not a recent El Reg coinage.

The best reference I found is: S. B?lan, S. R?utu, V. Petcu: Cromoplasticitatea, Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Romine, Bucharest, 1963 (in Romanian).

Tim


Hehe. Nice play on words, oh great hacks. '...a bunsen of German/UK boffins is about to fire up ...' 'A "bunsen", btw is the correct collective term for boffins.'

That makes El Reg a bunsen burner, doesn't it?

Alex


Your friend Ralph Williams is taking the piss. Not much uranium? Not enough to replace oil? Does he think you burn it in O2 like oil to make heat? Is he a politician or something? Maybe he works nights for the RIAA?

Hey Ralph! Its the main element that causes the heat in the earth baby! The earth will be a cold dark husk by the time you've managed to use it all. And it decays naturally! Which means use it or lose it! Limited? Yeah, by the imagination. Thankfully not yours for which it's clear if imagination was dynamite up your nose you wouldn't need a hanky.

Oz has around 1,142,000 TONNES of the stuff recoverable at around $80/kg according to the uranium information centre in melborne. At even at only 0.7% U235 that's a LOT of energy... And at a half life of 7x10^8 years that'll be lasting a LONG time. (Hell it lasted since it was created in the supernova that spewed out the earths particles, so it'll be round for a wee bit longer than the human race as well).

If we didn't have people like you we wouldn't still be stuck on this stupid ball of rock either. We'd be in space. With limitless energy from powersats etc. Go crawl back under your rock. If you want to live safe, move to antarctica.

Hamish


Just a quibble about the letter posted by Ralph Williams (Amazing...I thought he was dead, too. Hosted a TV show in the US 50 years ago).

He wrote, "Current nuclear technology cannot be ramped up enough to replace oil as an energy source, because the world supply of uranium is limited as well"

Well, Ralphie, there's a lot more thorium than uranium, and it can be bred into fuel. I remember estimates in the ''70's that claimed there was enough thorium to run the planet for close to a thousand years.

Steve


Wow, you printed my botany letter! Does this give me a licence to take the following pot shot at the chap who says 'planes are the cleanest, safest way to travel - WTF?

The cigar-tube-and-two-hairdryers industry has been claiming safety based on the wrong measure for decades. Worse, the DoT and journalists let them get away with it. Deaths per million passenger kilometres is not a measure of a real risk. The correct measure is deaths per million passenger trips.

Nobody takes the 'plane to the corner shop for a pint of milk (except in Nebraska, maybe). There is a fundamental skew to make long journeys by 'plane, and short journeys on foot as a corollary. The correct question to ask before walking out the door is: what are my chances of being alive at the end of this trip? On that measure, 'planes are as dangerous, if not more so, than cars, and a *lot* more dangerous than trains or feet.

No doubt, if the same legerdemain is being used for pollution stats, this is where the "cleanest" claim comes from too. He's telling the truth about the incentives to improve efficiency, though.

Richard


That's all folks. More next time.

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