electricity

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2012 Solar Blast Nearly Sent Earth to Stone Age

We almost lost electricity, GPS, running water, at least for a while

(Newser) - Imagine life without electricity or running water, and you'll understand what nearly befell our planet two years ago. Scientists say that on July 23, 2012, the sun belched its biggest solar flare in more than 150 years and barely missed us, CBS News reports. A week earlier and the... More »

70% of Venezuela Goes Dark

President Nicolas Maduro blames saboteurs

(Newser) - Activity in Venezuela effectively ground to a halt yesterday, as a blackout plunged 70% of the country into darkness just after noon. Parts of the capital, which the AP reports normally escapes such outages, were affected, rendering traffic lights dark and forcing companies to send thousands of workers home. The... More »

iPhone Uses More Power Than a Fridge

While ICT takes 10% of global electricity: report

(Newser) - Is your iPhone running? Better shut it off, because that device is using more energy than your refrigerator. A new report says that a fridge uses just 322 kWh per year, compared with the 361 kWh for an iPhone, if you include its wireless connections, data usage, and battery charges,... More »

Why Pakistan Made Workers Stop Wearing Socks

Because it's hot, and the electricity grid is a hopeless mess

(Newser) - Just how bad are Pakistan's power grid problems? This bad: The government has ordered civil servants to stop wearing socks, reports Reuters . The weird order goes hand in hand with another edict that forbids government offices from turning on their air-conditioners. That makes things so unbearably hot that the... More »

Kenya Plunged Into Darkness

Entire nation loses power

(Newser) - The entire nation of Kenya is experiencing a blackout, Reuters reports. The power grid failed today after two transmission lines went down, causing a ripple effect. Kenya Power, the country's only power distributor, says it's attempting "to restore power as quickly as possible." It's not... More »

Tree Falls, 35% of Vietnam Loses Power

Clumsy crane operator plunges country into darkness

(Newser) - One mistake by a clumsy crane operator caused a 10-hour blackout over about a third of Vietnam, exposing the fragility of the nation's power grid. State electricity company EVN said in a statement today that the blackout occurred yesterday after the crane operator knocked a tree down onto the... More »

Why Tonight's Earth Hour Is Misguided

Bjorn Lomborg: It's just 'vain symbolism' that sends the wrong message

(Newser) - The annual Earth Hour celebration in which locales and individuals across the world turn off lights at 8:30pm local time is under way once again today. You will not catch Bjorn Lomborg in the dark, however. This gimmicky stunt sends the message that beating global warming is easy and... More »

Flowers Use Electricity to Talk With Bees

By changing charge, flowers keep away bees until nectar refilled, says study

(Newser) - "Say it with flowers," went the old advertising slogan, but who knew flowers were this talkative? It turns out flowers give off electrical signals that bees can pick up on, telling potential pollinators whether a flower has plenty of nectar or has recently been tapped, reports NPR . According... More »

Super Bowl Blackout Explained at Last

Power company takes responsibility

(Newser) - Power company officials revealed today the cause of the infamous Super Bowl blackout , and took full responsibility for it. A faulty relay device designed to prevent a failure in the Superdome's electric cables was apparently to blame, the AP reports. Entergy New Orleans officials said they were replacing the... More »

As US Electricity Use Stalls, Utilities Scramble

Household use to expand just 0.7% per year: feds

(Newser) - Sure, you're attached at the hip to your iPad and like to crank your air conditioner, but electricity guzzling isn't what it used to be in the US. In the middle of the 20th century, electricity use grew about 8% yearly; now, it's set to expand just... More »

Attacker Breaks Jaw of Long Island Utility Worker

Tempers still boiling as thousands remain without power

(Newser) - Nearly 20,000 Long Island residents remained without power as of this morning, reports AP , and a utility worker has paid the price for people's frustration. An assailant got out of his car and sucker-punched John Applewhite as Applewhite headed into a restaurant after a 16-hour shift with the... More »

Sandy Victim Powers Home ... With Prius

Bob Sakala uses inverter to power lights, TV, computer

(Newser) - Hey, turns out that the Prius is good for more than just saving on gas: Bob Sakala, a New Jersey resident who lost electricity during Hurricane Sandy, managed to power some of the lights in his home as well as his TV, laptop, and modem using only some heavy-duty extension... More »

Katie Couric: Perky Face of Iraq's Spotty Electricity?

Iraq ministry uses unwitting anchor's face in marketing campaign

(Newser) - Iraq's electricity ministry is trying to put a happy face on its inability to provide adequate power—a very happy face. Around Baghdad, the ministry has erected billboards for its electricity news bulletin, bearing the beaming mug of Katie Couric. No, Couric doesn't have anything to do with... More »

Singapore Scientists Invent Remarkable Toilet

It uses 90% less water and turns your, ahem, No. 2 into electricity

(Newser) - Imagine if every time you went the bathroom you did a little good for the planet. That green dream could soon be entirely possible, thanks to a new invention out of Singapore: a toilet system that transforms human droppings into electricity and fertilizer and uses 90% less water per flush... More »

Scientists Invent Paint-On Batteries

Spray-painted power source is half a millimeter thick

(Newser) - If you tend to associate spray paint with nefarious behavior involving graffiti, prepare to have your mind blown. Scientists have invented batteries that can be spray painted onto any surface. Researchers at Rice University demoed the new technology by coating steel, glass, and a beer mug with painted-on batteries. "... More »

6 Things You Should Unplug to Cut Your Energy Bill

Weirdest entry on list: digital picture frames

(Newser) - You're probably spending $100 per year on energy costs for devices that are plugged in—even if they're switched off, an EPA spokesperson tells Mother Jones . She lists six of the worst offenders you should consider unplugging first if you want to save energy—and cash:
  • Cable boxes:
... More »

Next-Gen Generators Are Viruses

Device uses viruses to harvest electricity from movement

(Newser) - Scientists have unveiled what they say could be the forerunner of many virus-powered gadgets. A team at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has created a tiny generator powered by a benign virus, reports the BBC . When a finger touches an electrode coated with viruses, they converted... More »

How Much Does the Internet Weigh?

As much as a strawberry ... or just one grain of sand

(Newser) - How much does the Internet weigh? No, it's not a Zen koan. The answer is about 1.8 ounces, around the same as a single strawberry, reports the Telegraph . How did anyone figure this out? Well, the Internet runs on electricity, and electrons have a tiny amount of weight—... More »

New York Cuts Power in Zuccotti Park

Cops seize protesters' generators

(Newser) - Lights out at Zuccotti Park: New York officials seized generators and gas canisters from Occupy Wall Street protesters today, the New York Daily News reports. Police and firefighters arrived at the site this morning to ask protesters for the items, citing safety concerns. “They made an announcement on a... More »

Your Electric Bill Is Going Up

Utilities have to pay for needed upgrades: Daily Beast

(Newser) - The Daily Beast delivers some bad news after looking at the regulatory filings of utilities across the country: Electric rates are going up, and they won't be coming back down for a while. The problem is that the utilities have to make badly needed repairs to the nation's... More »

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