Almost all mammals have a network of veins near a hairless part of their skin that controls rapid temperature management--and it's no different for people. For us it's the palms (as opposed to, say, a dog's dangling tongue). But like some other biological processes, the technique can be gamed, with engineering topping physiology. That's the case with a body-cooling glove out of Stanford that researchers say might be more potent--and obviously much more legal--than steroids.
When my little flashlight or my electric toothbrush goes dead, some atavistic impulse leads me -- and I suspect I'm not alone -- to stare for a moment at the misbehaving gadget and then give it a violent shaking, as though the electrons are stuck and just need a little encouragement.
Soon, thanks to Brother Industries, that caveman approach to technology could actually work. The Japanese company is demonstrating standard AA and AAA batteries that incorporate vibration-powered induction generators, so they actually charge when you shake them.
When you think about it, it's ridiculous to spend the effort lugging around spare batteries, hand-cranked chargers, piezoelectric gadgets, and all the other half-baked solutions we depend on to resuscitate a dead phone. There's a potent supply of free power just waiting to be tapped, right above our heads. No, not the sun -- overhead power lines.