Now THIS is seriously cool.

A few years ago I had this idea.

I was working out on the elliptical machine at the gym and thinking about all the energy that I was using to do a 30 minute workout. According to the little electronic calorie counter, it was roughly 300 calories. And almost every machine in the room was being used. There were thousands (or maybe even millions) of calories being burned!

I thought about how much I hear in the news about finding new sources of energy. And I wondered why someone hasn’t come up with a line of cardio machines that can collect the energy used to operate them and convert it into a power source. If this was possible, then a gym could basically power itself. No electric bill. They simply store up the energy collected from the cardio machines and use that to power their lights or computers or air conditioners or whatever.

Now obviously I have no idea about whether or not this is even scientifically possible. Someone smarter than me should definitely weigh in here. Can a calorie be converted into a kilowat? If so, someone should invent this and patent it. (And then when you make millions, if you want to share a small portion with me, I wouldn’t mind.)

I always thought of this as a silly dream made up in Beckyland.

Apparently not.

A guy I work with forwarded an article to me this morning. It is about an awesome organization called PlayPumps International.

Basically this guy invented a water pump that is also a merry-go-round for kids. As they play on it, the wheel turns, which operates the pump and stores the clean water in a tank. Then families in the community can draw water from the tank.

Currently there are nearly 900 pumps throughout South Africa and a few other countries in southern Africa. But doesn’t this sound like something that could be used all over the world? You can find out more about this organization through their presence on many social networking sites.

Aren’t you pumped? (Sorry.)

10 thoughts on “Now THIS is seriously cool.

Add yours

  1. Yes, a calorie can be turned into energy.It converts into approximately 1.21 gigawats, and breaks the space-time continuum and will send everyone in the gym back to November 5th, 1955.The problem is, you can only get back to present day by getting everyone running on their treadmills at precisely 88mph while holding plutonium and listening to Huey Lewis and the News.This is why the government has banned converting calories into energy.

  2. Hi Becky, Thanks for the mention of the article. PlayPumps International is working hard to put 4,000 water pumps in schools and communities in sub-Saharan Africa by 2010. We appreciate every mention we can get. And, thanks for the adding our badge, it looks great. Please come by and visit our website at You can learn more about the PlayPump Water System and how you can help. Thanks again.

  3. Oh CRAP, Becky! You totally just ruined your brother’s financial future.I KNOW that there’s no way in H that I’m going to get you to believe this, but I had THAT EXACT SAME IDEA about a year ago. While I was sitting on an exercise bike at Bally Total Fitness nonetheless.For reals.I thought to myself, I thought: “I just burned a bunch of energy. And tons of other peeps are doing the same. I wonder why they don’t create exercise equipment that could harness all that burned energy and use it to run stuff. Surely they could at least run this building.”I’m not joking. I literally thought that. And then I decided not to share it with anyone. As illogical as it now sounds, I guess I just figured that I didn’t want anyone else to capitalize on my great idea. Makes total sense since A) I’m not an engineer and never would be able to implement such a great idea, and B) it’s obvious that no one else could ever come up with such a genius plan.Welp. There goes that. Thanks for thinking of the same great idea, and thanks for telling THE WHOLE WORLD. There goes our chance at making untold billions while simultaneously curing America’s energy crisis and our obesity problem. I had it all worked out in my head. That’s why I haven’t been saving for retirement. This idea WAS my retirement plan.I’ve taken this plan a step further … .

  4. I thought of this several years ago, actually. No kidding. And if you want to know the truth, I think I mentioned it to you guys. That’s probably why you both had this “brilliant” idea several a few years later . . . the seeds I planted are finally blooming! It’s beautiful, really.I wrote it up when I was trying to get an inventor’s scholarship way back in the day. They said that I needed to invent it, not just have the idea. I said they needed to shut up. I didn’t get the scholarship.

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