If a looming helium shortage isn’t enough to dissuade you from getting balloons for your next birthday party, consider the consequences if they escape from their ribbon moorings and end up brushing against some high-voltage power lines. You might be safer decorating for your kid’s party with hand grenades.
A driver in Ontario, Canada, recently discovered that crashing your minivan into a power pole can have bigger repercussions than just higher insurance premiums. Enraged at nearly getting toppled, the utility pole started spewing fire balls down the line like it was some kind of video game baddie.
Our planet is due to be hit with a powerful solar storm, an event that happens about once every hundred years. New research shows that losses from the ensuing blackouts could total $41.5 billion per day in the US alone, including nearly $7 billion lost in trade.
There’s nothing I want to do more in life than to shoot a Tesla coil gun. Seeing those bolts of electricity fly out of that death ray-looking weapon is basically all I’ve ever dreamed about since I’ve watched Ghostbusters, and this Tesla coil gun is the closest thing to a real-life Proton Pack that I’ve ever seen.
I don’t know what compels a person to run an electric current through a steel chain and then prance around with the glowing fire links of metal like it’s some sort of jump rope. But I’m glad such a person exists, because it’s pretty damn cool to see the steel chain transform into this fiery red hot whip that can pop…
This is definitely what you don’t want to see at a kid’s birthday party: a bounce house flying away straight into the power lines after being swept up in the air by a big gust of wind. You can actually see it first fly away from the power lines but then suddenly make a quick U-turn straight into the transmission…
Everyone knows you can do some crazy stuff with magnets, but things get really insane when you start playing with electromagnets. When you run an electric current through a coil of wire to create a magnetic field, you can chop soda cans in half in epic explosions and send discs flying up in the air that’ll smash into…
Besides shooting an actual human or a pig carcass, the best way to determine the efficacy of a projectile—like a bullet—is with ballistic gel, which has almost identical density and viscosity to human muscle tissue. But how does it fare against extraordinary voltages? According to this experiment caught on video, the…
Anyone who attended this year’s Maker Faire Austin had the joy of catching electrifying live performances by Arc Attack, a team that makes music with two gigantic transformer coils (a.k.a., “Tesla coils”). They’re a popular staple of the festival circuit. Now Caleb Kraft, senior editor for Make, has captured one of…
Electricity is powerful and astonishingly noisy. But why does electricity make this steel drill bit go up in flames?
In a scene eerily reminiscent of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, an escaped chimpanzee sought refuge on the power lines of a Japanese suburb. The chimp was eventually subdued after a frantic two-hour police chase, but you have to wonder: Why didn’t he get zapped by the power lines? Here’s the answer.
Venezuela relies heavily on hydroelectric power generation but has been suffering from a long and heavy drought. Now it’s taking desperate action, introducing a three-day weekend to help reduce demand for electricity.
Did I mention it’s illegal too? Because it’s super illegal.
Yesterday, Morocco switched on the first section of its new Ouarzazate solar power plant. The new installation already creates 160 megawatts of power and is expected to grow to cover 6,000 acres by 2018—making it the largest in the world.
You probably never stood a chance of getting Tesla’s Powerwall home battery first time round. But don’t worry: According to Elon Musk, a second model will be ready to buy later in 2016.
Energy-saving bulbs may have some competition in the shape of an ageing technology. Scientists have developed a new kind of incandescent light bulb that uses modern science to ramp up its efficiency, almost matching that of commercial LED bulbs.
There’s a dark and mysterious force out there that’s intent on attacking the country’s power lines, and this map shows exactly where the culprits strike. The culprits are, of course... squirrels.
Your urine may be of more use kept about your person. At least, that’s what a team of researchers from the University of the West of England think, because they’ve made a pair of socks that use the liquid to generate electricity.
Electricity doesn’t grow on trees—but it can, perhaps, be generated with their help. A new energy recovery system harnesses electrons from the microorganisms imparted into soil by growing plants, producing enough electricity to power a lamp.