We'll start by saying that the prison population in the U.S. is far too large, and that there are way too many people trapped in the system for indefensible reasons. Also, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, of Phoenix, AZ, is under investigation for abusing his power. But, setting these items aside for a moment, how's this for an unusual way to generate electricity?
Arpaio is making some of his female inmates generate their own electricity from a stationary bicycle in order to watch TV. He says that the women are overweight and the bike forces them to burn calories while letting them watch the shows they want to watch. This is part one. Part two, thanks to Treehugger, was to do a thought experiment and find out "What if Every Prisoner in the US Produced Electricity?" The answer is that if each inmate in the U.S. pedaled two-and-a-half-hours a day, they would generate 363,642 kWh a day. Step three is to figure out a way to get this energy into electric cars. Crazy? Sure, but so is the penal system. The prisoners aren't going anywhere, but maybe then can help others move about. The video was posted April 1, but we think it's real. Watch it after the jump.
[Source: MyFOX Phoenix, Treehugger]