Knox’s Wireless Green is a rundown of all the week’s most interesting, weird, and popular stories from the worlds of science and the environment.
If you like sustainable energy, this has been a good week for you. First off, we’ve been introduced to the world’s first knee brace generator. The 3.5 pound knee brace generates electricity when the wearer walks, and it creates enough juice to power up to 10 cell phones. Scientists hope the brace can eliminate the need for surgeries to replace batteries in some prosthetic limbs, and let soldiers or outdoorsmen power GPS devices or phones while in the wilderness.
This week also saw some coverage of the world’s largest wind turbine, currently being installed in Emden, Germany. The new turbine is capable of powering 5,000 households a year. Speaking of environmentalism in Europe, how about those Irish? The country has had massive success in reducing the use of plastic bags. Ireland passed a law that charges a 33 cent tax on each plastic bag in 2002. Plastic bag use has since dropped 94%.
There’s been plenty of doom and gloom on the wildlife front this week. First off, the Nature Conservancy reports that most people hate nature now. Seriously. Outdoor activities have declined significantly since the 1980s, and it could have a serious impact on nature. And a BBC documentary showed the first footage ever captured of a rare Panamanian Golden Frog. The frog waved, as if to say goodbye. Shortly after the footage was taken, the frog went extinct.
But don’t let yourself get too down. Nature doesn’t approve of frowny faces. That’s why you all need to check out National Geographic’s awesome photo of the happy face spider. It’ll leave you with a smile.