Occupy rigs up human-power after generators are confiscated

Looks like New York’s fire brigade confiscated all of the gas (or bio-diesel) generators from Occupy Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park. Apparently the Fire Chief cites the generators as a fire hazard. This seems a dubious claim. One of the shots in the video after the break clearly shows fire extinguishers close at hand, but we’re no experts on fire code. We’d bet the concern is having combustibles around if the scene turns violent… or just wanting to pressure the group with the loss of a heat source.

Instead of going without, the movement received help from a neighboring protest group in Boston. Bicycle power replaces the missing generators as volunteers pedal to produce electricity. Students from MIT plied their skills to help design multiple charging stations that can be used by the community. It won’t be enough to provide heat for the ongoing occupiers, but it does let them charge their electronic devices which helps ensure that current information is still flowing out of this epicenter of activity.

Does anyone have any ideas for hacking up a heat source that won’t ruffle the feathers of local officials? If so, leave a comment. And if you’ve already got a post written up on the topic don’t be afraid to send in a tip about it.

[Thanks 1116 Birchmont]

Comments

  1. jefftoaster says:

    Gas and a match. Juuuuuuust kidding.

  2. Rob says:

    The best heat source is body heat. If you have proper insulation/clothing you don’t need heaters and generators. I am a backpacker and can sit around camp very comfortably in frigid conditions with the proper clothing. I never even have a camp fire unless I am with someone who is willing to do all the wood collecting.

  3. Matt says:

    Enough with the extremely pro-OWS commentary. Seriously.

    Good to see them doing something useful, at least, even if it only benefits them.

    (Seems HAD is ok with political posts since they do it themselves, so I’ll not avoid them myself.)

    • Lace says:

      Ditto.

      Let’s focus on the tech. If I wanted to read political commentary/rhetoric I’d go read the newspaper.

    • Zack C says:

      I disagree. This is a practical engineering problem in which people who patron this blog might have good ideas about. The mother of invention is necessity, and these people should have lights, and some heat (or at least a means to provide it for themselves while out fighting for something they believe in).

      I’m happy to see a post like this as I’ve seen the videos about the OWS people looking for 8g’s to build 11 of these bikes.

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      your post and ours were only very slightly political. I think it is ok when done that way. These posts are very hard to write sometimes without sounding biased one way or another even when you’re not.

    • CG says:

      For the most part I think it’s ok because it leads to the context of the source (or necessity as said) of their builds. The “dubious” is qualified by not being experts in fire-code.

      In New York, many places are shut down by the fire chief based on fire code issues. At times, the given reasons are vague. Many times, inspections are carried out on a surprise basis leading to suspicions of targeting. But there are an endless number of reasons why a place can be shut down or items confiscated in the name of public safety.

      The flip side of this is that New York has had to learn some extremely hard lessons in letting safety concerns lapse. I’m not talking about the WTC here, but other tragedies like CandyLand, gas leaks, exploding transformers, carbon monoxide poisoning, which could have been prevented if safety measures like accessible (and not chainlocked) exits, working fire extinguishers, enforced crowd control, etc.

      For generators there are quite a few regulations to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, explosions, etc. This is also why BBQs are restricted in the city. Sometimes these regulations may not seem immediately apparent, especially to those who live even just outside the city.

    • CG says:

      If only they could use Bank of America’s backpedaling on debit fees to help generate electricity.

    • N0LKK says:

      Obviously you aren’t going to agree but… OWS unlike the baggers is protesting those who train wrecked the economy. The financial sector is the USA or some of those who worked in it anyway. In that light they should be able to do some good eventually. The tea party protestors are the ones protesting in their own best interests, even those like that poor confused old man on Medicare demanded the government stay out of his healthcare.

      • Matt says:

        Hmm. First of all I’m not sure I understood everything you said. Must be English isn’t your first language or you’re very tired. (That’s fine.)

        Second, I don’t see how the primary goals of the tea party (most notably lower taxes) are only in their best interest? Perhaps you’d like to present an example of how that’s the case?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement#Agenda

        Of the 10 items listed on the Wikipedia page about the Tea Party, I only see #7 (repealing the “obamacare” bill) as something you could possibly argue about benefiting only them. And repealing that bill is in the best interest of everyone who pays taxes, and only not in the interest of those who want free healthcare that everyone else pays for. (There are much better ways to solve this problem– I support providing basic healthcare for those who need it and are unable to afford it, but NOT in the way that the ratified bill provides it.)
        It hurts when I pay my taxes every year with my hard-earned money. I don’t see why I should pay for the healthcare of everyone else.

        As for OWS arguing for the good of everyone, it seems to me that the primary thing they’re blaming on everyone else is that they don’t make as much money as they’d like. You can’t tell me they’re arguing for the good of all.

  4. If the occupants would each take turns on the bike they could stay warm without artificial means!

    • PI says:

      Your comment reminding me of something I’d heard once with regard to firewood.

      Firewood, the old-timers said, warmed you twice– first when you chopped it, then when you burned it.

  5. Poe says:

    “This seems a dubious claim.”
    Visit the circus and you’ll understand.
    It was like Chicago….before the fire.
    …of course then it wouldn’t be a conspiracy, right?

  6. Tim Bowers says:

    Protesting is seriously hard work…. they should warm up quite easily doing that.

    Otherwise, get some more bikes and have more than one person pedaling? Riding _REALLY_ warms you up if you go for it.

  7. sneakypoo says:

    I’ve got a tip for them. Keep furiously wiggling those fingers, make crosses with your arms or whatever else stupid shit they come up with next to stay warm. Or you know, put on some damn clothes… People were able to stay warm long before electricity came around.

    • ewookie says:

      yeah? how do you think we stayed warm before electricity? FIRE you idiot…which is exactly what ‘the man’ just took away from them.

      and good for ‘the man’. no goals, no demands, no plan != protest. it equals loitering. it should be referred to as the Loiter Wall Street movement.

      • sneakypoo says:

        You mad? If you took the time to read between the lines instead of just jumping on the opportunity to call someone an idiot you might sound like less of a … well, idiot.

        What I was implying with my comment is that even before electricity, man could figure out ways to warm himself. In the case of the cave man that would be warm clothes, staying close together and using fire. Don’t you think that modern man, with all of his wonderful inventions can come up with a way to keep warm (without upsetting the Fire Chief)? You know, clothes, battery operated heaters, chemical hot packs, moving around, drink hot chocolate/coffee (thermoses are quite effective), and yet again, put on proper clothing (eskimos can stand still for hours waiting for a seal to pop out its head in freezing conditions because they use proper clothing).

        There, get it now, or should I dumb it down further?

      • macegr says:

        Protesting something only means saying you believe something is wrong. Politicians exist to listen to these types of thoughts and then work out the details.

        While it may be useful to offer solutions while pointing out problems, it’s not required. In America we the people express general feelings and thoughts about current situations, then our elected officials try to extract consensus from the babble and confer with each other to create solutions. Or else they don’t stay elected.

        In theory, anyway.

      • N0LKK says:

        Then again your apparent failure to try to learn what the corporate media isn’t telling you doesn’t mean there hasn’t been or isn’t any planning, no demands made or goals stated.

    • Burzmali says:

      Yeah, they had fire.

    • DvD says:

      Exactly. Because taking part in democracy is all just a show anyway- wiggling fingers or poking chads…

      Couldn’t they could use a spring coil with electricity running through it for heat?

      • Bill says:

        DvD, they appear to have means for generating heat, what they lack is electricity.

        A spring coil would be extremely unsafe versus an off-the shelf store-bought resistance heater…

    • ewookie says:

      i understood you the first time, idiot…but feel free to blather on as mush as you like.

      • sneakypoo says:

        No, you didn’t and calling me an idiot again isn’t doing much to save face on your part ;)

        Oh and thanks for the permission to blather on, I’ll be sure to use it.

  8. dude says:

    i’ve always wondered why ther states didnt use VAWT on its highways…

  9. wizardpc says:

    “This seems a dubious claim.”

    You’ve obviously never been around a portable gas generator. I’ve personally seen one burst into flames when an idiot was refilling it while the generator was running. He spilled fuel, then yanked the gas can out of the fuel fill. Gas went everywhere, including hitting the exhaust pipe.

    SWOOSH!

    Guy was lucky he didn’t become a crispy critter. If you had that same situation at an Occupy event, where the tents are closely packed you’d not only have a fire but also a stampede on your hands.

    And that, of course, would be “the man”‘s fault for not protecting the poor downtrodden women’s studies students from their own inexperience.

    Also, don’t forget about the very real risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

    The occupy protesters really are lucky that more of them haven’t died.

    • Caleb Kraft says:

      While your example of someone pouring gasoline on a running generator has virtually no bearing on this article, the carbon monoxide threat very much does.

      During a huge ice storm a tiny generator behind our house set off our carbon monoxide sensors on the other side of the house. It was a bit of an eye opener.

      • wizardpc says:

        Yes, showing that these generators can cause a to fire break out in the middle of a densly populated protest has absolutely no bearing on this post, which said that fire hazard claims are “dubious.”

        Yep, no bearing at all. Completely unrelated.

    • N0LKK says:

      Then again it’s probably lucky more pedestrians in NYC or any large city haven’t dropped dead of carbon monoxide positioning,eh? I’m not belittling the dangers of CO, I couldn’t resist addressing the disconnect. Suggesting that an individual protestor was at greater risk from CO from the power plants, than they are from the CO from traffic, even when understanding that small engine probably creates more CO than a well tune auto engine will CID to CID by comparison.

      • dan says:

        *if* you think that there is as much danger walking about on the street breathing air that is constantly refreshed by breeze and movement, and where CO can simply only make up a very small parts per million count.

        compared to putting a generator next to a tent where it’s a very small enclosed space with little ventilation, no through draft where there is no fresh air and CO and other toxins could easily build up to dangerous levels.

        *then* you missunderstand the possible dangers and are likely not qualified to talk on the issue.

  10. Poe says:

    “Does anyone have any ideas for hacking up a heat source that won’t ruffle the feathers of local officials?”
    Sounds like another ardUINO PROJECT EVERYONE!

  11. Job says:

    I think you might want to take a look at this:

    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2011/05/bike-powered-electricity-generators.html

    TL;DR: There are very many parts which can make the energy generation run very inefficient – it probably pays to run by all of them and see if a simple tune-up can boost the effectiveness of the generators.

  12. grelfod says:

    WTH? Where’s the details on the build? This is nothing more that a BS political commercial…
    Would expect this on government run media but not on HAD…

  13. Josh says:

    So… HAD is damned for taking what you deem to be a Pro-OWS tone… Then 5 clearly Anti-OWS toned posts. Don’t bring politics into this. It’s about the hack.

    • Matt says:

      @Josh: I’ve personally refrained from political commentary as much as possible in the past out of respect for HAD. But when their own editors post flagrantly one-sided political commentary, I don’t see why community commentary should be any different. This is barely a hack; it’s more a political post.

      • Josh says:

        Sorry, Matt. I just re-read the post, and still only see a factual representation of what happened. Generators confiscated, help from MIT students, bicycle generator, any other ideas for generating power? Sounds legit to me.

      • Matt says:

        @Josh:
        “Apparently the Fire Chief cites the generators as a fire hazard. This seems a dubious claim. One of the shots in the video after the break clearly shows fire extinguishers close at hand, but we’re no experts on fire code.”

        I’m seeing a pretty strong indication that the author disagrees with the Fire Chief’s assessment, including a defense of the OWS folks.

        In his defense, there’s no expectation of neutral journalism here. But I think there’s a pretty strong pattern of pro-OWS posts on HAD.

      • eldorel says:

        @Matt Disagreeing with one person does not equate to agreeing with another.

        Especially when there are different debates involved.

        Just because that article has doubts that the generators were a fire hazard does not equate to supporting the political views of the protestors.

        You and Obama might both think republicans are idiots, but that doesn’t make you a democrat.

      • Matt says:

        @eldorel:

        Perhaps a good point.

        But must be you haven’t been around here the past few months. HAD posts about OWS always slightly (or more) favor the OWS folks.
        Why mention feelings about whether the generators were a fire hazard at all? It’s irrelevant to the topic of this site.

        I’ve actually begun to wonder whether HAD does it on purpose because they know it’ll drive a lot of hits when folks get in an argument about it.

      • Dr Zaius says:

        Just a reminder…

        This is HAD’s blog and they can post whatever the hell they like!

        If they want to be Pro OWS and you don’t like it, fuck off and go somewhere else and quit being whiney bitches.

        The article is about creating heat without modern means or with limited tech at best, not determining whether or not the OWS folks should be there or whether or not any of us support the OWS movement. If you have an answer to contribute about solving a heating issue that could just as easily have been presented as a heating issue for a off grid home or something like that, then speak. Otherwise, shut the fuck up and go over to another tech blog that isn’t Pro-OWS and is more to your liking, that or crawl back into your little holes trolls.

      • Matt says:

        @Dr Zaius:

        I welcome HAD to post whatever they like. I am going to voice my opinion about it, though, as I have a right to express my interests as a patron of this site. (Yes– a patron. I visit every day, many times per day, so I drive ad revenue just as much as anybody else.)

        Some of us are just getting sick of all the thoughtless fools supporting the OWS movement and are starting to sound the voice of reason rather than idiocy.

        As for my “little holes trolls”, I didn’t come out of any hole because I’m not a troll.
        I make regular posts here. Do you?

    • Chad says:

      I think if they’re going to post something, they’d better give some details about the build. If no details, no post. Now, I wouldn’t have a problem with them presenting a situation and asking a question like this: “Occupy protesters need methods for generating electricity. Ideas wanted.” Let people submit ideas and go at it.

      I agree that this sounded very political to me…

      • Josh says:

        Chad, that’s exactly what Mike wrote in the article! Different words, same meaning.

        “Does anyone have any ideas for hacking up a heat source that won’t ruffle the feathers of local officials? If so, leave a comment.”

  14. Seshan says:

    What electronic devices do they have? They are protesting corporate america, greed from these big corporations, but yet they are supporting them at the same time? :S

    • Session says:

      The protest is about corporations and banks buying elections and legislature, not corporate america selling products.

      Can the right come up with a REAL counterpoint, already!?

      • CJP says:

        Red herrings are always way waaay easier.

      • PI says:

        I was against the bailouts for the banks and for GM. I was against the “stimulus” package, which amounted to nothing more than cash-payback to whoever supported the current regime. I was against the money we sent to prop up European banks. I think that far too much money flows into D.C from the briefcases of lobbyists, and far too much is redistributed to people who should be earning it on their own. In short, I am sympathetic to the ideas that OWS is *supposed* to be representing.

        Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, the real OWS protest has nothing to do with fixing corruption. A good chunk of the “protesters” are anarchists– they’d be happy if the U.S. was destroyed all together. Another large chunk are social welfare parasites in their own right, they have no right criticizing their corporate parasite bretheren. The balance, perhaps most of them, are either aging hippies or children of hippies who hope that by creating and participating in some kind of retro 60’s movement, that their empty and amoral lives will suddenly have some meaning.

        If I’m wrong, please explain how doing drugs, having free sex in their little tent cities, stealing, threatening and intimidating local shop owners, and crapping on police cars addresses the sins of Wall Street.

      • PI says:

        Back to the hack…I suspect that the issue driving the FD order has less to do with generators than with the gas cans necessary to keep them fueled.

        To authorities, angry mob + gas cans = trouble.

        However, if the FD order was specifically for the removal of generators, then why not bring mopeds, motorcycles, or even small cars to the protest area? Are vehicles prohibited from the protest site? It would be a simple matter to couple a real generator to any of these energy sources.

        Northernhydraulics.com, for example, sells at least four generator heads that could be mounted in an old car’s engine compartment and driven by an accessory belt. The largest is 10kW.

    • PI says:

      These protesters have cell phones, digital cameras, i-pods, laptop computers… you know, all of the modern conveniences and infrastructure developed and provided for by… hmmm… large corporations, I guess…

      It’s just like the hippies who protest the paper industry by waving paper and cardboard signs, or the ones who drive hundreds of miles in their 15-year-old smoke-belching jalopies in order to attend save-the-earth rallies.

      Just so you know, this is what the OWS is *really* about:

      http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/occupy_ball_street_aIoZXVqZ3hU8Zm9oX5aGWM

      • I would trust the NY Post to report on OWS accurately about as much as I would trust Daily Kos to report on a tea party rally accurately…

        anyway, one thing that I’d like is a howto: those generators seem to work fairly well. I was thinking about making one off one or two cordless drills.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        They are clearly protesting the Conservative’s Great Recession, essentially the deregulation of our banking and finance industries, and the resulting economic chaos.

      • steven-x says:

        The bulk of OWS protesters are against the greed that rewards CEOs for sending our jobs overseas, or gives them bonuses for “downsizing”. Or even “golden parachutes” when the are fired.

        I do find it ironic how the government handled the car companies bailouts vs the banks. In many cases we bought up the bank’s bad loans. The banks should of got the same deal as GM.

      • Matt says:

        @steven-x:

        None of them should have gotten any deals. They screwed up, they should have payed the price.

        But unfortunately our commander-in-chief thought differently– he’d rather we all spend the rest of our lives getting out of debt than have gone through a few miserable years cleaning up the mess.

  15. hawkeyeaz1 says:

    A few deep cycle (Yellow Top Optima, for example) batteries in parallel, and a/few Power Inverters ought to do it. The batteries can be swapped out with fully charged batteries (not highly practical, I will point out, but it works), or if a solar/pedal/etc power solution can be made to charge the batteries at an adequate rate.

  16. bs says:

    seems to me like there is enough hot air coming from all sides to keep them warm.

  17. Bill says:

    “Confiscated” the generators? Unlikely, unless nobody claimed to own them. I sure the FDNY said “Owners must remove these generators.”, and OWS said “Nobody owns these, man!” and FDNY said “OK, we’ll have to remove them then.”.

    I generally support OWS, and it is probable the removal was politically motivated, but there is no question the generators were in violation of city codes. Plus, those extinguishers were completely useless sitting right next to the generators. If the gennys were knocked over or fuel leaked and they burst into flames (seen it happen) the extinguishers would have been in the fire. Dumb.

    Still, this is a positive development. I think home-made, human-powered generators are more in keeping with the philosophy of OWS than a bunch of Chinese-made gasoline generators from big corporations. As another poster snarkily suggested, the OWS protestors should avoid hypocrisy whenever they can.

  18. Hamtaro says:

    Another anti-ows commentator here… There’s no info on it. To be honest, HaD, I’d rather see something else like:

    A pedal powered EL Wire bike someone made for burning man…

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Pedal-Powered-EL-Wire-Bike/

    Or, you could share a non-charged generator like the PPPM:

    http://www.los-gatos.ca.us/davidbu/pedgen/pppm_live.html

  19. blah says:

    i say let them freeze and bring this bs ows protest to and, all ots about is people to lazy to.get off their asses and actually work to get to the top. so of course they have complain about people that actually did work to get to the top. of there was a protest in my town i would buy cases of rotten tomatoes and throw ir at them abd yell get off ur ass and work youvmodern day hippie or somthing like that

    • CJP says:

      So all those that inherited family fortunes or used unethical loopholes to rob their fellow man, they’re the hardworking ideal that we should all be striving for, huh?

      • Matt says:

        @CJP:
        Is there a problem with someone doing well financially and then providing for their family afterward?

        The children may be lazy or may be the greatest thinkers/workers of their time. But if they’re lazy, does that mean the OWS protesters are more entitled to that inherited family fortune than the heirs?

      • HackTheGibson says:

        Only about 10% of the wealthy inherited their wealth. Most of the others had great ideas or worked their tails off to get there.

        As for loop holes, that is the law. There are no magical loopholes, they are deductions that are open to all.

      • Colecoman1982 says:

        @HackTheGibson:

        “As for loop holes, that is the law. There are no magical loopholes, they are deductions that are open to all.”

        Yes, they’re open to all…if you happen to, someday, make the same massive amounts of money as the 1%. In exactly the same way, increasing the tax rate on the top tier of earners applies to everyone equally (when, and if, they ever happen to be lucky enough to make that much money).

      • Colecoman1982 says:

        Am I the only one wondering what ever happened to all that big talk, from the Hackaday editors, about finally stepping up and deleting posts that are unproductively negative and/or not related to the technical merits of the hack posted? Is this just proof that all that hot air was just because the ire/perversion happened to be directed at someone they had a personal connection with? So far we have around 200 posts here and almost none of them have anything to do with the technical issues of the hack…

      • Matt says:

        @Colecoman1982:

        Just why is it that you people feel the rich should pay a much higher tax rate than everyone else?
        If 20-25% is good for me and you, it should be good for them, too. There’s no reason to discriminate on income. Raise the tax rate too much and there’s no incentive for them to make more money. And who loses then? Everyone else.

        The “loopholes” on taxes mostly have to do with shifting money around to other places to make it look like you’ve got less of a profit. I say that, rather than arguing for higher taxes on corporations and high-net-worth individuals, everyone’s time and money would be better spent policing the large corporations for the kind of games that lawyers and accountants (two of the most useless jobs in existence) play.

        Or better yet, get rid of every special case in every law. And I mean every single one. No write-offs for anyone under any circumstances. Everyone pays the same tax rate on their income, regardless of anything else. Then no one has anything to complain about at all, right?

    • andar_b says:

      The Corporate Ladder model is every bit as false and elitist as the Great Chain of Being was in the middle ages. At least in the Chain, everyone had a place they belonged. In the Ladder model, if you have nothing, it’s because you’re lazy.

      Revolutions begin when the people cry “bullshit” to ideas like these, it’s only a matter of time.

      Some people say Communism looks good on paper…Capitalism doesn’t even look good on paper. Survival of the greediest.

      • Matt says:

        @andar_b:
        Oh, of course! How could we not see that! It’s so obvious now!
        People who work hard and do well for themselves should provide for the lazy, useless individuals who sit around whining that everyone else has what they want!

        Now I truly understand the OWS message!

        I’m working 18 hour days, 7 days a week, while those wastes-of-space are sitting in tents whining. Maybe they should get up and do something for a change instead of just complaining.

      • Bill says:

        I’m working 18 hour days, 7 days a week, while those wastes-of-space are sitting in tents whining. Maybe they should get up and do something for a change instead of just complaining.

        So… Hows that working out for you? Made it to the 1%? Or still in the 99%? Lift your head up and open your eyes if you are not too tired from working so hard and gaining so little from it.

        I think the problem andar and I have with things as they are isn’t that some people who work hard get ahead. It’s that so many people who work hardest don’t get ahead. The people they work for get ahead by riding on their backs and giving them so little in return. The 1% does this by abusing the political and legal systems to ensure we do all the work and they get all the benefits. The banks got the bailouts, not the people they screwed, for example. Or did you get a bailout check from Uncle Sugar?

      • Matt says:

        @Bill:
        Actually, I’ve done pretty well for myself in the last few years.

        6 years ago I was making $12/hr doing backbreaking labor (for a couple years).
        Now I’m approaching $100k/yr working from home, and on target to do much better in the next few years.

        The problem with your argument is that what most people consider “hard work” is actually barely work at all. I’ve met very few individuals who have the same definition of “hard work” as I do, and most of them are doing quite well in life, financially and otherwise.

        So, to the “We are the 99%” folks, I say:
        Nice to meet you, 99%. I am John Galt. I’m going to make lots of money, live a happy life, and leave you right where you are– whining and in the cold.

      • HackTheGibson says:

        @Bill, hard work does not mean you make it to 1%. Hard work means you get better. That is it. It takes great ideas and hard work to get to the 1%. A little luck isnt bad either. However, I don’t feel that I am entitled to anyone elses money just cause I work 3 jobs and haven’t had a day off in almost 2 years. I work harder, make a little, invest and continue to grow. I have friends with the same opportunity crying about what they don’t have, but they are the first to leave work. Everything I have is paid for including my house. You think my friends should live rent free with me cause I have more money?

      • Pat says:

        6 years ago I was making $12/hr doing backbreaking labor (for a couple years).
        Now I’m approaching $100k/yr working from home, and on target to do much better in the next few years.

        Congratulations, you’re now approaching about the 20% or so.

        You’ll have to continue gaining ~$12.5K/year for the next 88 years to hit the amount that the top 1% of the US earn in a year.

        Apparently you’re not working hard enough!

      • Matt says:

        @Pat:

        Hmm. Must be you didn’t read what I said.
        It’s not a linear curve. (Yup, go read it again.)
        And I expect most people that accumulate a great deal of wealth don’t do so on a linear curve.

        So, go back to your protest buddies and tell them you learned something today: The non-OWS folks are smarter, work harder, and will come out on top. Every time. No matter how many protesters waste their time sitting in the cold.

      • therian says:

        @Matt
        it might be surprise to you but work is not life. I come from country where people have less but they enjoy life because they have time to and protected, they dont worry getting kicked out of apartment or loosing job for getting sick.

      • Matt says:

        @therian:

        As I’ve stated elsewhere here (previously- and you’d know that were you paying attention), I work as hard as I do so that I can enjoy life the way I want to.
        You know the best part about that? I enjoy working. So it works out well for me on both ends.

        The key to the happiness you want is to work hard at something you enjoy, not to blame other people for enjoying the life they want to enjoy.

      • Pat says:

        @Matt

        If you think your earnings are going to continue to grow 25% per year, reality has some very bad news for you.

        And just to even put *that* in perspective, to reach the 1% level, starting from 25K, would take almost 20 years of 25% growth. And that’s assuming that the guys in the current 1% just grow at inflation.

        This isn’t a comment about the protest. It’s just a comment about the current wealth distribution in the US. It’s virtually impossible to go from poverty to the 1% level without some huge jump of some sort. That huge jump is usually “some new idea that someone hasn’t thought of,” but it is worth noting that the way that ideas are being protected in the US now, it’s becoming harder and harder to have some new idea that doesn’t infringe on someone else’s indefinitely-protected rights.

        (Heck, it’s worth noting that the wealth disparity really started exploding in the late 70s – curiously right after the Copyright Act of 1976…)

      • Matt says:

        @Pat:

        You’re right about copyright and patent laws being a major issue in this country. It needs to be addressed soon, and with sweeping, drastic changes.

        On the other hand, it’s not always a new idea that makes the difference. Sometimes just doing something very well is all it takes. There are plenty of businesses with very solid income that simply do something better than most other folks.

        I’m not saying my income will grow on a steady curve for the rest of my life, but when it jumps it jumps enough to make up for the difference. I intend to continue that trend, and I assure you I have the skills, knowledge, resources, and luck to do so.

        Also, I’m not necessarily shooting to be in the “1%”– the 5% or 10% will be fine with me, thanks. How much of a difference is there *really* at that point?

    • andar_b says:

      One thing I’ve always found interesting is that banks are able to dodge the usury laws in many states because they’re not headquartered in that state.

      I’m sorry, but allowing someone to borrow from you at a 25% interest rate is usury, plain and simple.

      • Matt says:

        Agreed.

      • pjp says:

        I don’t quite get this. If somebody needs that credit so urgent that he’s willing to pay that interest, why do you keep someone else from providing the credit?
        What’s the alternative?

      • Matt says:

        @pjp:

        I have very conflicting feelings about usury laws.

        On the one hand, I’m a huge supporter of a free market economy. Supply/demand, etc., etc…

        On the other hand, usury is opportunism to the extreme… I suspect that 99% of the time nobody really needs the money *so* badly that they need to borrow it at extremely high interest rates, so they just get eaten alive by the problem they think they have when, if they were to give the issue some more thought, they could probably come up with a better solution.

        Put simply: usury laws protect the stupid/impulsive people.

    • N0LKK says:

      When I see the term hippie used these days, I to suspect those using it weren’t even alive 1965-1975. No doubt many of the OWS protesters wouldn’t be there if they still had a job, or could find a job, they aren’t Timothy Leary tune drop out sort. Fact of the matter is very few of the hippies during that hippie decade tuned in dropped out. The US economy would have really tanked long ago if they didn’t work for a living to raise families.

  20. CP says:

    Man, what’s with the commenters on these posts? Not only am I surprised at their universal anti-OWS tone, but also at their complete disregard for the hack. Trust me, getting MIT to set up bike generators – it’s a hack.

    “WE DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE ALL INEXPLICABLY HATE EVERYONE WILLING TO STAND IN THE COLD! BWAHAHA STUPID COLD-STANDERS!”

    WTF.

  21. Grovenstien says:

    START RIOTING!!! That’s what the UK set do to keep warm! Smash and grab some gel hand warmers from the local camping store.

  22. jim says:

    Well, this thread just assured me that HaD is as dumb as anywhere else where the common lowest denominator think they’re well-informed.

    Anyway, there looks to be too much friction on the tyre. Maybe they should over-inflate it and move the generator or alternator or whatever they want to use further away.

  23. joushou says:

    If you don’t want more bikes, and/or people continously riding the generators, find a type of combustion that won’t upset the fire dept that is clearly trying to break things apart. (Seriously, a generator being a fire hazard? Was it made of wood?)

    Are cars are fire hazard? If not, use that. You get 12v for your heating elements, and then you could run the exhaust through a pipe to where they reside, through a radiator, and back out. It’s going to cost you in fuel, but energy isn’t free.

    Alternatively, look down the road of chemical reactions instead. It’s probably going to be something fun with acids… But heat will definitely be guaranteed.

    • jim says:

      Some sort of internal combustion engine, if you will. Maybe even a battery.

    • Matthias Welsh says:

      My current apartment complex has informed me over the past 2 months that an empty charcoal grill on my back porch that Iused for tailgating and my room mates scooter which he parks rather cleverly behind a bush to keep it out of sight and under a porch to keep the weather off are both fire hazards that need to be removed. Fire Marshall’s seem to be getting a little overzealous as city budgets tighten.

    • Bill says:

      joushou, I’m guessing you have no experience with generators or cars as, yes, both are indeed fire hazards. A generator much more so than a car. I use a generator several times a year when the power goes out. I’ve seen a generator in use by someone else burst into flames from a fuel leak. It happens.

      Matthias Welsh, how does the fire marshall benefit financially from enforcing fire codes? Maybe because they don’t have to spend the money putting out the fire in your apartment building when you comply with the codes? I agree some of the codes are ridiculous, but then again the apartment building is not yours. I suggest you 1) educate yourself by reading the actual codes, and 2) take it up with your complex if you are not actually violating the codes.

      • joushou says:

        Bill: Obviously, by “fire hazard”, I meant something with a high risk of uncontrolled ignition.
        A car is not considered a fire hazard. Yes, a broken fuel line is a fire hazard, but so is a shorted battery. While you have experience with leaking fuel lines, I have experienced a single lead acid causing quite a fun inferno of flames and acid to be standing in. A simple short circuit was all it took.

        A car is, however, the most safe combustion engine people is likely to have lying around, and unless you smell gasollne leaks (Which you really should be able to smell), there’s not much risk of anything happening at all. Cars have crash tests to pass, after all.
        My secondary reason for choosing a car as idea, was the obvious extra of having 12v power.

        Oh, and as a side comment, I’m raised by a mechanic, fully educated as electrician, and currently studying at the Danish University of Technology. I know my cars and generators. ;)

        Btw, while you are correct that Peltier elements output more heat than electrical energy is added, saying it has an efficiency of more than 100% is still a weird way to explain yourself. While you can indeed isolate part of the system, doing so is pointless.
        Peltier junctions aren’t practical for this, as the “hot side” has a maximum operating temperature, and upon exceeding this, the process thermoelectric properties basically break down.
        Also, you’d have to isolate one side of the junction (the cold side) from the space you want heated. Otherwise, one end will be heating it, the other will be cooling it, and in the end, the only heat will be the electrical loss through the element.

    • Nitori says:

      I know of some safe chemical reactions that can create lots of heat safely.
      Quick lime comes to mind and then there’s a mixture of iron dust,cellulose,activated carbon,salt, and water.

      @Matt you say you work 18 hours a day and has not had a day off in two years.
      If you ask me what good is earning a lot of money that way if you have no free time to enjoy it.
      It also not a healthy life style you’ll probably die of a heart attack or stroke long before you retire.
      The thing is before the kleptocracy people where able to earn a good life working only 40 hours a week.

      • Matt says:

        @Nitori:

        Actually, I never said I’ve worked for two years straight.

        I work very hard, with great results.
        But I do take time out to enjoy myself. In fact, I work so hard so I *can* enjoy my time the way I want to.

  24. nanomonkey says:

    I pedal power heat pump would be useful. One side could refrigerate food, while the other side could heat an appropriately insulated tent.

    Reusable heating pads (sodium acetate) could be taken off site and placed in boiling water to reactivate them for later use. Large pillows made of this stuff would be convenient.

  25. Brian says:

    First-time post for me. Normally, I just enjoy the articles and comments below. However, I feel strongly that I can clarify some things in the comments.

    Josh says, “… only see a factual representation of what happened.” This is provably not true, although I can see why it was not perceived. Let me show some points from the first paragraph. (BTW, I sympathize with some of the goals of the OWS movement, but facts are facts.)

    The first problem is that the article contains many words that have strong emotional content (connotation, not denotation). First sentence, “confiscated”. Second sentence, “apparently”. Third sentence, “dubious”. And so on.

    Second, the article speculates as to motivations in a way that puts the local authorities in the worst light.

    See how slanted I can argue against this article by adding strong-connotation words and implications of bad judgement.

    “Clearly this author has an axe to grind with his dubious guesswork. It is obvious that the hard-working local safety officers had to follow safety regulations to remove the illegal and dangerous equipment from the squatters. Public safety was preserved and the protesters were enabled to continue their free speech despite their impact on public sanitation, park maintenance, and local businesses.”

    A purely factual account would have stated that the OWS protesters worked hard to create a safe and legal alternative for their power needs. Then, the details for the power generation would follow. There is no need to guess as to whether the fire chief was pressuring the OWS protesters.

  26. kuhltwo says:

    Peltier junctions. In-efficient, but workable.

    • Bill says:

      Actually, Peltier junctions are over 100% efficient looking strictly at the hot side – More heat comes out that side than is put in by the electricity. They are more efficient for heating than straight heating coils (which are 100% efficient).

      Where they are inefficient is in cooling which is not relevant here for generating heat.

      • Bob says:

        Actually, over 100% efficiency is impossible, and “more heat than the electricity put in” is also incorrect.

      • Bill says:

        Bob, read more carefully and do more research before making comments that reflect poorly on you.

        Over 100% efficiency is possible if you only look at one side of the equation as I clearly said. If you put 100 Watts into a Peltier Junction, you will get more than 100 Watts of heat out of the hot side. About 30 Watts more. 130 Watts output > 100 Watts input = greater than 100% efficiency and more heat out than electricity put in Q.E.D.

      • PB says:

        1+1=2.3
        Q.E.D.

      • Bill says:

        PB you appear as bad at reading comprehension as Bob, and possibly worse at math.

        100 Watts electric input +
        10 Watts heat pumped from cold side by Peltier effect[1]
        = 110 Watts heat output from hot side of junction.

        110 Watts heat out > 100 Watts electric input.

        What’s so hard to comprehend here?

        [1] I thought Peltier juntions were 30% efficient. Actually only 10%. My mistake.

        https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Thermoelectric_cooling

      • Wm_Atl says:

        I think people are getting confused by the looking at the electricity supplied side of the equation and heat output. This seems to violate the conservation of energy, however the additional energy is coming from the environment, in that it is absorbing heat on the cold side of the device. So if the cold side can be located so that it’s cooling effect does not interfere with the heat generated you appear to be getting bonus energy. Also remember these devices can generate power by heating one side and cooling the other.
        So these are my thoughts on what is going on here. Here is a Wiki entry for those who want to try to do the math. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermoelectric_effect

      • PB says:

        I’m not saying your wrong; just that your proof seemed contrived.

  27. Dougie says:

    Wow. I actually like how so many different viewpoints are represented amongst the HAD readers. It tells me that said readers aren’t just “head-in-the-sand” tinkerers, but are also passionate about their political philosophies; and that’s refreshing (and unexpected). It should also throw up a signal to the commentators on both sides of the proverbial isle that maybe, just maybe, we have a lot in common outside the political arena. I learned long ago that formal etiquette dictates that public discourse avoid 1) sex, 2) politics, and 3) religion. The comments on this post show why that “rule” still exists. If HAD posts articles that even tangentially associated with one of those three topics, then they should be ready with the flame suit on standby.

    • Quin says:

      While I agree it is a good rule to avoid those topics in casual conversations with strangers, I’ve always found that the strangers I would prefer as friends do not clutch their beliefs about those topics so tightly that they are insulted by mear discussion, or by finding out that other hold contrary ideals and beliefs.

      Frankly, knowing that one author on this blog has some leaning towards the OWS movement doesn’t bother me any more than knowing that some commentors are against it. And all that bothers me less than seeing geeks comment on legal matters (apple store webcam hacks). And somehow, with all these things that might bother me, I still manage to sleep just fine.

  28. Zack C says:

    I sent this in as a tip, but why not rig one of those home bicycle exercise stands with a scooter?

  29. Wm_Atl says:

    Boy this story has gotten people stirred up. However this will give the protesters that actually do some time peddling an appreciation on how much work it is to generate power. However it should be noted that this is not a very efficient means of generating power but is less of a fire hazard unless the person peddling is smoking (giving big tabacco tons of money). Personally I prefer solar power, less sweat.

    Now some of the comments have indicated some important safety tips for running a generator. Short Recap.
    1) Stop generator and allow to cool a little before refueling. (this is also a good time to check oil and electrical connections)
    2) Use carbon monoxide detectors inside the living space to make sure you are not poisoning yourself. (never ever operate the generator inside an enclosed space)
    3) Ground the generator!
    4) Locate fire extinguisher in a location that is on your way to put the generator fire out.
    5) Make sure the generator is stable so it can’t roll over.
    6) READ THE MANUAL
    7) Use your common sense if you have none find some who does to help you.

    These are the basic tips I can think of right now.

  30. Andynonymous says:

    Giant hamster wheel.

    It would power their movement and be a metaphor for something.

  31. golddigger50 says:

    The warm glow of my laptop has always been enough, seriously my laptop battery get HOT.

  32. Geekxboy says:

    I’ve built various ways of heating things with very small amounts of electricity… I’m going to throw something together by this weekend when I go back to Occupy Wallstreet. If i cant do it by this weekend then I’m going to have to take a day off of work to go.

  33. temmi hoo says:

    Here in Finland outdoorsy folks usually rely on good insulation from ground instead of heating their tents a lot. I would try capturing body heat from the pedaling effort. Basically I think I am suggesting putting the pedalist inside a big tent that has a raised floor of some sort. People feeling cold could warm up in here and perhaps be inspired to pedal a bit too.

    Getting inspired by tepees and yurts might be good?

    • T80 says:

      This is exactly the sort of comment this post needed. Thank you for being on point, helpful, and providing insight on the topic the article originally discussed. It seems some of HAD’s members are too caught up in drama to look at what the post it’s self is about. We need more people like you around here, Temmi Hoo.

  34. Anthony Dillavou says:

    So, we had “Hot Pots” when I was in prison. Simple, Hot Plate inside a pitcher of water. I see 12v Water Pumps, Pumping heated water through a radiator, fans lightly blowing the heated air into a shelter. Heated water could also be used for hot coffee.

    • Bill says:

      “Hot pots” won’t help if you don’t have electricity. You’re not the first to miss the point here that they have no electricity with which to generate heat.

      What OP was asking for is how do you generate heat without generators, utility power, or anything that could be construed as a fire hazard or “life safety hazard” by the fire marshalls? So combustible fuels, toxic chemicals and similar choices are out.

      A hot plate in a pitcher of water doesn’t sound like a fire hazard, but it sure sounds like a shock hazard!

  35. Doc Oct says:

    The anti-OWS people on here are a hilarious bag of cliche repeaters. Yeah, all OWS protesters are mad about not being able to get a job with their women’s studies degree, right. All OWS protesters are lazy hippies who would get a job if they put that much effort into it, uh huh. There are millions of people unemployed but it’s not because there aren’t enough jobs to go around, it’s because most of them are lazy. Get a brain morans!
    Oh yeah, and the protesters are anti-corporation but they use technical devices made by corporations! You can not possibly be anti-corruption without also being anti-corporation! no way! That’d be like being anti-crime without also being anti-human which we all know is completely impossible.

    Most people who are looking down on the OWS protests for not having a leader are just mad because they don’t have an identifiable target to murder.

    Someone else posted it but I think the PPPM http://www.los-gatos.ca.us/davidbu/pedgen/pppm_live.html would be a more efficient setup. Though I guess with the current setup they can at least unhook it and ride off.
    I can’t wait to see what else OWS comes up with tech wise.

    • pi says:

      Perhaps the description of these protesters are cliches because the protesters themselves are cliches.

    • pi says:

      A derogatory epithet, particularly one implying that the subject is stupid, carries much more weight if you don’t first embarrass yourself by spelling it incorrectly.

    • Joe Bonasses says:

      I think they’re protesting conservative’s deregulation of Wall Street, and the economic chaos that has resulted because of the deregulation and “less government interference”.

      • Matt says:

        I think they’re just protesting not having as much money as they’d like.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        Yeah, $50K in student loan debt and a 50% unemployment rate for college grads tends to make you homeless pretty quick, I guess. This combined with conservative’s deregulation of the banking industry, and the economic chaos that has been created.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        >”There is no law that has come from their complaints, no money handed out to the poor masses, no changes in polls”

        You’re pretty misinformed, actually. There is only one candidate who supports the reregulation of Wall Street, all the other candidates want to repeal the recently passed Dodd-Frank bill that was put into place to reduce the risk of another financial meltdown (remember, the root cause was deregulation, and allowing investment and commercial banking interests to merge). So there is a potential for laws to change if their voices aren’t heard….

      • Matt says:

        @Joe Bonasses:

        I have student loans, too. I’m paying mine. Maybe college grads should have considered the rest of their lives before spending $100k on their political science degree and whining that they can’t find employment where they can sit around and play with facebook all day.

        “So there is a potential for laws to change if their voices aren’t heard”:

        So, what you’re saying is that I was correct that there has been no measurable effect.

        Also, that’s slick how you just slip your opinion into your post as though it’s a fact.

        Cheers.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        >”So, what you’re saying is that I was correct that there has been no measurable effect.”

        Other than the fact that the media is actually starting to report on the protests, Herman Cain dropping to the bottom of the polls, as he was the first to condemn the OWS movement, and Mitt Romney flip flopping regarding his negative statements originally made towards the OWS crowd. I guess we will see longer term, especially after bank transfer day…

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        >”Also, that’s slick how you just slip your opinion into your post as though it’s a fact.”

        It is a fact that banks were deregulated in 99/00, through the elimination of depression era banking and finance laws (clear line of separation between investment and commercial banking). This allowed Wall Street to securitize residential mortgages, which was followed by them giving large sums of money to banks to push sub-prime loans, causing the biggest run up of real estate prices in our nation’s history, ultimately crashing the global economy.

        You should work less and pay attention to the news a bit more.

      • Matt says:

        @Joe Bonasses:

        “Other than the fact that the media is actually starting to report on the protests…”:

        So, once again, you’ve pointed out that what I said originally was 100% correct. Congratulations.
        Are you even paying attention, or just flapping your mouth because it makes you feel smart?

        “It is a fact…”:

        correlation != causation. This is basic logic here, Joe.
        Just because you see a connection doesn’t mean it’s an absolute truth, and certainly shouldn’t give you the apparent comfort you have in vomiting your OPINION forth upon the world.

        Where are your credentials that show your opinion is worth whatever you seem to think it’s worth?

        Since I’m guessing you don’t have any credentials qualifying you to be making statements such as you are, let’s see the [respected] expert opinions that agree the only cause of the financial situation of the past few years is the Republican party. I expect you’ll find none that aren’t extreme left-wing nutjobs (and therefor not respected).
        You have these opinions because your petite one-track mind has been trained to disregard all logic and follow only what left-wing agenda tells you is the truth, regardless of how unlikely. (Really? *nothing* else contributed to the financial problem? Nothing at all?)

        At least many of the people here who disagree with [or are impartial to] you have brains and can respond intelligently in conversations instead of spewing the same propaganda over and over again.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        “It is a fact that banks were deregulated in 99/00, through the elimination of depression era banking and finance laws (clear line of separation between investment and commercial banking). This allowed Wall Street to securitize residential mortgages, which was followed by them giving large sums of money to banks to push sub-prime loans, causing the biggest run up of real estate prices in our nation’s history, ultimately crashing the global economy.”

        Matt, you’re free to challenge any of the above statements. Do you want to take them one at a time? Are any of the above statements false?

        Read up on Gramm Leach Bliley, The Futures and Commodity Modernization Act of 2000, collateralized debt obligations, mortage backed securities, and Phil Gramm (the architect of the Great Recession). After you have a chance, get back with me, we can go through it step by step. If you’re not too busy working….

      • Matt says:

        @Joe Bonasses:

        You didn’t answer my question asking what qualifies you to determine that’s the only cause of the recession.
        Nor did you point out any experts that cite that as the only cause.

        I’m quite well-read, thanks. I just don’t have my head up my ass, so I can see everything that’s going on, not just the one specific thing you choose to focus on. Nothing is ever as simple as you think this is. And if you were really as learned as you try to make yourself out to be, you would know that.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        Matt, you’re free to challenge any of the above facts. Do you want to take them one at a time? Are any of the above statements false?

        You’re not interested in challenging any of the above facts?

      • Matt says:

        @Joe Bonasses:

        Nope. I never said any of it is untrue.
        I’m just saying that you’re missing a lot of the “cause” for the “effect” that you’re trying to explain– there’s a lot more to the story than your simplified-for-the-proletariat-to-screw-the-man version.

        Here’s a little reading to help you out though: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation
        (specifically see the part about the “common-causal variable”)

        Once you acknowledge the myriad of additional factors involved, we can have a meaningful conversation.

        Still waiting on your credentials.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        >”Once you acknowledge the myriad of additional factors involved, we can have a meaningful conversation.”

        Myriad would be a bit strong. Perhaps low interest rates were a factor. However, if you add high interest rates to the mix, you still have sub-prime lending being ultimately driven by kickbacks from Wall Street, a clear conflict of interest. These kickbacks couldn’t exist in a regulated environment.

        Bottom line, the root cause of the crisis would be deregulation and less government supervision, because in the absence of deregulation, the method by which sub-prime loans were shoved onto consumers couldn’t exist.

        Perhaps I could use an analogy to shed some light on the issue. Conservatives voted to take down the speed limits on the highway, resulting in a 100 car pile up. So who is to blame, the guy going 140 mph, or the individuals who took down the speed limits?

        You still haven’t told me what your credentials are yet.

      • Matt says:

        @Joe Bonasses:

        The guy going 140 mph is to blame. How can you imply that the fault lies with the law makers in that example? That’s ludicrous.

        Here’s another analogy for you:
        I pull out of my driveway and some idiot runs into my car. Who’s to blame? The guy that wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing, or the government that gave him his license? The government that didn’t force him to have his eyeballs hardwired to a camera facing forward out of his car?
        (I hope you wouldn’t try to argue anything here? It’s really no different than your example. It’s all about where the blame is placed.)

        You can’t take responsibility away from individuals– people need to be accountable for their actions. Otherwise, using your logic, the fault for this whole mess truly lies with the US public, who voted those politicians into office in the first place, and then let them stay there.

        Also worth noting, if the blame for things going badly is always pushed off to somebody else, no one ever takes the initiative to fix the problem.

      • dan says:

        @matt

        if someone hits you whilst you’re pulling out of your driveway that rather implies that you were not looking where you were going.

        inspite of your self importance your driveway is not a major road, and you would have to give priority to all traffic on the road you’re pulling out onto, and you’d also have to give priority to those on the pavement as you’re also having to cross the pavement.

        it might be that they weren’t paying attention and so didn’t see you, but you should have seen them. -you talk about people needing to take responsibility, yet can’t even take responsibility in your own hypothetical situations

        you missed the point of the 140mph speeding analogy, speed limits are set such the people shouldn’t be able to get into dangerous situations, by your logic we should remove all speed limits and let people go as fast as they like? because everyone has to take responsibility for themselves? people will die because there are idiots out there. but because there are people out there who don’t know what a sensible speed for a stretch of road is, who don’t know that there is a turn right after the blind summit, that there are stop lines right after a blind corner, that school kids regularly walk into the road etc… -here’s some news for you, it’s not always the idiots who die, sometimes the innocent die too when they are hit by said speeding car.

        speed limits protect people from themselves and from other people, and that’s exactly what banking laws used to do.

        but, on the other hand, yeah, you’re right, the problem is other people not taking responsibility.
        the idiots with 110% mortgagues (who therefore owned less of the house after the sale than when they went to view it!)
        the idiots who self certified to say that they could pay back more than they could afford.

        A situation where (in the UK at least) those same idiots that borrowed far too much or lied are now being protected by the Bank of England holding interest rates low, protecting the people in houses they can’t afford, and those low interest rates are driving inlfation up. -so liars can stay in their ill gotten houses, whilst the rest of the country struggles to afford eat.

        But you can’t negate the responsibility of the banks in this, not properly checking people out. -it’s human nature that people lie, and whilst I’m not absolving them [the idiots and liars] of the blame, it’s the banks job to properly check people and their status before lending money.

        the liars and idiots have lost their houses [at least in the US where you guys are talking from], they have paid their penance, meanwhile the idiots in the banks who never properly checked people [did their job] before lending them large summs of money continue to do only the least amount of work, they continue to live in their houses, drive their cars and run their business because they were given a whole load of money [bailout] by the very people that they failed to protect from themselves.

        the only reason that they could afford to not sanity check loans is that they didn’t have to, a side effect of deregulation.

        In short you’re both right, the government should never have deregulated, the people should never have lied about their status, and (though you didn’t mention it) the banks should have done their job properly too.

        basically, if people did their jobs properly, if banks were regulated properly, then this mess could have never started.

        campaigning for regulation of the banks is a good thing, it means that those that are sensible and would only borrow within their means won’t be affectted, whilst those that are idiots that would borrow above their means won’t be able to, the banks that would properly check people out will continue to do so whilst those that didn’t will be forced to. -because they couldn’t afford not to.
        further, campaining that the banks should not be able to be lobbying government whilst they are trying to pass a law to make them do their jobs properly is a good thing. the banks should not be trying to lobby govenment to relax the finance laws (e.g. trying to weaken dodd-frank)

        -in trying to repeal and change laws that are designed such that banks should “never again” be bailed out, the banks are saying they want to mix their funds, because then if their high risk investement arms fail, (as they did before) then the banks have to be bailed out, because it they are not bailed out then 1/3rd of the country loose their lines of credit/savings/mortgagues/loans/pensions overnight too.

        to be honest, it’s more of a complex situation than either of you kids seem able to understand.

        and whilst you’re both pointint blame into correct places, you’re missing important things when you decide to take blame away from others.

      • Joe Bonasses says:

        >”Otherwise, using your logic, the fault for this whole mess truly lies with the US public, who voted those politicians into office in the first place, and then let them stay there.”

        Agreed, I think the conservative movement and its flawed ideology fooled Americans for some time. But I think people are now realizing the truth. Which brings us back to what the OWS movement is all about, protesting the conservative movement and the economic chaos it has created.

        I read an interesting statistic recently, between 1979 and 1999 conservatives introduced legislation TWELVE times to repeal Glass Steagall. Absolutely pathetic.

      • Volfram says:

        @Matt:
        Please don’t waste your life arguing with Joe. His answer to every problem is “I don’t know… so Conservatives.”

      • Joe Bonasses, dogmatic charlatan says:

        @Volfram

        Conservatives believe in less government and less regulation. Clinton signed a bill into law that deregulated Wall Street. Therefore, Clinton’s position on this particular issue was a conservative one. He also deregulated the oil and gas industry, allowing Exxon to merge with Mobil, Chevron to merge with Texaco, BP to merge with Amoco, etc. He also signed NAFTA into law, supported and promoted by conservatives. Why are you so fascinated with me? Do I strike a nerve in the things that I say?

      • Matt says:

        @Joe Bonasses, dogmatic charlatan:
        The only reason we’re intrigued by you is that you have such a ridiculous, one-dimensional way of looking at the world.
        And the “conservative movement” you’re referring to is simply another way of looking at the world. It’s not a “movement”, and goes back to the beginning of time.
        Side note: You can regulate the crap out of whatever you want and it’s not going to make a difference. People will do stupid things. End of story.

        @dan: Sorry; try that analogy again but with me driving by and someone else pulling out of their driveway in front of me. My point still stands.
        I’ve never said that all of the fault lies with people that are idiots. Read this whole thread and see. I’m just saying that Joe’s standpoint is absurd.
        I assure you I have a firm grasp on the complexity of the situation. The OWS folks, however, do not. That’s my whole point.

    • Nitori says:

      I agree here most of the anti OWS posters are just trolls.

      As for people claim to never had a day off for 2 years maybe yopu need to rethink you priorities as that is no way to live.
      What good is money if you do not even have the spare time to enjoy it?

      Of course I think these claims are bull shit.

    • Nitori says:

      I’d look into catalytic heaters such as using activated iron such as in hand warmers maybe even something making use of quicklime.

  36. smoketester says:

    Tap into the fire hydrants or other water sources and do some thermal exchange with a huge loop threaded through the tents in camp.

  37. Schrodinger says:

    The bias in the “article” is obvious.

    If they actually paid attention, OWS, Doc Oct and many other posters above would find that they actually have an amazing number of goals in common to the tea party instead of dismissing it as more republican right-wing super-conservative crap.

  38. Dox says:

    Im curious about the pedal powered heat pump mentioned further up. Something like a bike powered AC compressor from a car to drive the refrigeration circuit charged with Propane (R290 in HVAC terms) would certainly move some heat.

  39. anyone says:

    a few uranium pellets undergoing fission get pretty warm for ya. no noise or exhaust to worry about either!

  40. gmcurrie says:

    Pablo Escobar apparently burned $2million cash in order to keep warm when he was on the run – maybe the guys in the Wall St offices could help out?

  41. Mike says:

    Badass.

  42. will1384 says:

    RE:Does anyone have any ideas for hacking up a heat source that won’t ruffle the feathers of local officials?

    Maybe something like a small Rocket mass heater / stove, there is a PDF, just Google it called

    “Heating Stoves LO-RES.pdf”

    and a few forums like over at

    http://donkey32.proboards.com/index.cgi

    This should give you a few ideas.

  43. pi says:

    OK, here’s an energy scavenging idea that’s out of the box:

    Presumably, this protest area is surrounded by vehicle traffic. If not, there is certainly plenty of foot traffic going on.

    Suppose you laid out rubber tubes… (think: the tubes that ring the customer bells at gas stations.) Every time someone or something compresses the tube, you get a pressure spike.

    Might it be possible to use valving to accumulate these pressure spikes and drive a small compressed air (steam engine) type motor?

    Or, could the spikes be applied to a piezoelectric material to generate small currents directly?

    I doubt the energy collected would be much, but hey… it’s an idea.

  44. Brian says:

    Problem 1 (Heating People):
    It is more efficient to heat from the inside than outside. So, use 12VDC water heaters (electric kettles) to provide hot drinks. Space heaters are great at heating air, not people. Stick to good clothing and hot food/drink for better efficiencies.

    Problem 2 (Powering Devices):
    This applies to the electric kettles as well as the numerous electronic devices people carry. Simply use large marine batteries that are charged elsewhere and brought back on site. Power everything else with car adapters and if you must (bad efficiencies!) use a DC-AC inverter to provide 120VAC output. It is terrifically hard to beat the economics of lead-acid batteries at this point. Weight is unimportant (so no NiMH or Lithium). There isn’t enough space or money for large scale solar. I’m sure NYC wouldn’t approve of geothermal either. :-)

    Note: local human-powered generators would be better with direct gearing than friction-coupled.

    Problem 3 (Politics):
    As suggested in my prior post, discuss elsewhere. Nobody wants to hear my political views (or yours!) just as no one wants to sniff my pits to see if I exercised recently. Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has one, and they ALL stink.

  45. w33d says:

    I love the way they push us with food for thought. As far as i know, leds plus 4k omnicrom sensor video editing mobile edition, plus laser video projection should be enough for communications without considering a 850Wats pc station/250wats projector, 100Wats firefighters record bulb; gathering comfortability energy for more people than basenight camp should be considered through city orders that allowed subway air turbines retrofiting, double-dome iglu tents… Hopefully they will release blueenergy once resistance gets futile.

  46. ejonesss says:

    probably an excuse to take them away so they can shut down the protest.

    if you have money then get a new one

  47. therian says:

    for moths they sleep in rain on ground because police forbid tents or simple umbrellas, now after first snow city attack us again… There is no democracy left we export all we had

  48. therian says:

    every food stand in NYC have generator. This is so sad, I dont feel pride in being citizen anymore

    • Matt says:

      Interesting.

      I somehow feel less pride in being a citizen when I’m being felt up at the airport whilst not wearing any shoes, or walking by the park full of losers holding signs while I’m busy going to work to make money to pay for their medical care…

      Generators being forbidden in a small park in a very busy public area doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to me. At least there’s a long history of accidents involving generators in cramped spaces (where there’s, for example, not a long history to validate the actions of the TSA).

      • therian says:

        Accidents? freezing people to death is no accident

      • Matt says:

        Maybe they should find a better way to handle their problem then standing in the cold, then.

        The problem is them being there, not the fact that the generators can’t be there.

      • henry99 says:

        Come-on, tell me about some generator accidents that occurred in first world countries. Allow for adequate air flow (so people don’t breath carbon monoxide), have a fire extinguisher ready, and keep the fuel storage separate then you’ve eliminated any chance of an accident occurring

      • therian says:

        @Matt right.. they should write letter to congressman it ass effective as writing to Santa

      • Matt says:

        @henry99:
        If you read the posts here you’ll see more than one person citing first or second person accounts of accidents with generators.

        Regardless of how safe or not safe they are, the point is that they’re definitely not 100% safe, and if an accident happened in that tiny park full of people it would be very bad. And who would get blamed? Certainly not the protesters. They would point the finger at the government like they’re doing for everything else.

        For the record, I work on a regular basis with small and medium generators (up to around 500kw– of course it’s less of a problem with the larger ones because of different fuel) and haven’t ever had a real problem, but I’ve seen some near-misses myself. Given the general brainlessness of the folks down there (I’ve been to the NYC OWS protest in person. Have you?), I think it’s good to keep gasoline out of that park.

      • Matt says:

        @therian:
        I didn’t say they should write to their public representation. That’s obviously useless. They could instead find a useful way to deal with the problem.

        Don’t misunderstand me: I have a huge problem with the way the government operates (on a much wider scale than the fiscal situation we’ve found ourselves in for the past few years). I just don’t think standing around in a park whining about it will accomplish anything at all.

      • therian says:

        @Matt
        I was at that park and there is a gyro food stand that have generator, just as thousands other food stands in parks they can fail too. Generator OWS had was not home made so it already passed all required fire test before it was put on sale

      • therian says:

        @Matt
        by the way OWS already acomplish more than anyone could expect, even if it dont bring any changes in near future it already started something larger and wonderful – people around world waking up and saying enough is enough no more corruption no more profit before people no more wars. Just imagine how many terrorist attacks OWS already prevented by showing that people dont support its government genocidal behavior

      • Matt says:

        @therian:

        You truly exist only in your own world.
        OWS has accomplished exactly nothing, except for the waste money it has caused.

        People who work for a living look at it as a nuisance and a waste of the money collected as the taxes we pay.

        And the rest of the world? The rest of the world looks at it and says “Wow, those Americans really are stupid. They can’t even protest in a useful manner.” (Really, I’ve asked my friends from various places around the world, and many of their families, too.)

        As for the generator at the gyro stand, I’m sure the guy running the stand has a higher IQ than all of the protesters put together. Example: He’s making money from the morons standing around pretending to accomplish something.
        (I’d be willing to bet the owner’s American English is at least as good as yours, too.)
        I’d rather have him running a generator than people who can’t think well enough to come up with an effective solution to the problem they have. (Do OWS protesters *really* think the government is going to do something about the problem for them?)

        If you really think they’ve genuinely accomplished something, ask yourself this question: What *measurable* thing have the OWS protesters affected? There is no law that has come from their complaints, no money handed out to the poor masses, no changes in polls. I’ll grant you that they take up a lot of time on the news, and I suppose that’s measurable. But really the news is a waste of time to watch these days anyway. They only cover useless crap– like the OWS protest.

        So before you get up on your high horse about what a wonderful difference you’ve all made, try to come up with an answer to that question in your head. And *if* you’re able to come up with an answer, I want you to consider the millions of dollars it has cost taxpayers to achieve whatever minute change you’re able to think of. And now think about how the big corporations that OWS is complaining about funding government policy really don’t pay anywhere near the taxes they should pay, and how everyone else is going to be screwed by additional taxes to support the nonsensical health policy that was reamed down our throats by our absolutely useless commander-in-chief while everyone was busy whining about the mortgages on the houses they shouldn’t have bought in the first place. Now think who’s really paying the price for the lack of progress OWS is making. I know it’s me. And if you work for a living it’s you.

        But I don’t think you do work, because if you did then you’d know the difference between what it takes to make money and what it takes to whine about it. It’s a huge difference. The working Americans– the productive members of society– have the satisfaction of coming home to a house they’re paying for, with dinner on the table that they earned by their thoughts and labor. What has OWS earned? Nothing.

        What will they earn? Nothing.
        Complaining doesn’t accomplish anything. Action does.

        So, go rally your OWS buddies to use their tiny brains to come up with a solution to the problem and present it to the world. Then they’ll be taken seriously, even if the solution is terrible. At least they would have made an attempt to actually accomplish something instead of expecting the productive portions of society to take the all the risk in fixing the problem while they receive all the benefit.

      • Matt says:

        @therian:

        I didn’t say I’m looking for a solution. Why should I propose a solution to the problem they are having? I don’t see any chance of huge change happening quite yet, so I’m worrying about the things about which, for the moment, I can affect change. (I am fighting hard against the healthcare bill– so far with no effect, but I keep proposing solutions which I think are superior.)

        Re: outsourced jobs:
        I have managed teams of workers in other countries (three other countries, actually) alongside US workers for a number of years now. Prior to that I managed teams of workers solely here in the US (albeit in a different industry). You know what? The outsourced workers [and indeed local immigrant laborers in many cases] are more useful than [more than half] of the local employees I have worked with! They understand that they have to work for a living. They can’t just sit there and play with Facebook all day and get paid. The good outsourced laborers work hard, and they work efficiently. Anyone that can do that will not have trouble finding work, ever.

        So, yes, college grads are having problems finding jobs. That’s a big problem.
        But no one is going to fix that except them.
        They need to be doing useful things for the world instead of protesting. Who is going to hire someone who spent the last few months sitting in a tent when they could have been actively seeking out employment or engaging in projects of interest to them?

        The modern world will hire people based on proof of their utility. There’s nothing stopping people from picking up new skills and documenting those skills– most likely on the internet– to show to potential employers.
        HAD is a great demonstration of how people can be useful no matter what their employment situation is. People document and share their interesting (or sometimes not interesting) projects with the world. And I wouldn’t be surprised if people have become employed, in small part, because of projects that are documented in the manner that is seen here.

        I applaud the folks that built this “generator hack” for building it. Now they need to document it well and then maybe, just maybe, someone will see a shred of creativity and motivation within them and offer them a job. And you know what? After that they’ll be productive members of society instead of moochers. But that won’t happen until they prove their worth to the world. Now is their chance.

      • Nitori says:

        They tried all those options such as writing their congress person etc this is what it came to.

        BTW the only looser I see here is you as at least they have the guts to stand up to a corrupt system.

      • Matt says:

        @Nitori:

        I have two tips for you:
        1) Read the whole thread before commenting. It really will save you some embarrassment. (You obviously didn’t read half of what I wrote.)
        2) Spell check isn’t sufficient. You have to actually pay attention to the grammar. “looser” != “loser”

      • therian says:

        @Matt not everyone born genius or entrepreneur and its unfair in civilized society to tell less gifted to screw themselves

      • Matt says:

        @therian:

        Are you saying that the more “capable” members of society should take care of the less “capable”?

        If so, I don’t think you’ve really considered all of the ramifications of that concept.

        I’ll point out how the world really works: survival of the fittest, right?
        It doesn’t make sense to put social structures to work around that basic truth, because those structures will always break down ultimately.

        But in this case I think really it’s more a matter of survival of those with ambition and follow-through. I don’t have any problem with people who don’t have the ability to do things. I have a problem with people who do have the ability but don’t care enough to do things well.

        I’ve made suggestions for the new college grads who are out of work, but you make it sound like my simple suggestions are too hard for them to implement. I guess that means keeping a job will be too tough for them too, then. So they should either get ready to work their asses off for the rest of their lives like the rest of us, or give up now.

      • therian says:

        @Matt
        “Are you saying that the more “capable” members of society should take care of the less “capable”?”
        No, I suggest that there should be available jobs for everyone, like in soviet union they had jobs for professors and jobs for factory workers… because society made up from all kinds of people

        “I’ll point out how the world really works: survival of the fittest, right? “
        so you suggest killing old people too ?
        “I’ve made suggestions for the new college grads who are out of work …… So they should either get ready to work their asses off for the rest of their lives like the rest of us, or give up now. “
        I see you do suggest killing off unwanted, in Nazi Germany you wold feel right at home

      • Matt says:

        @therian:

        I generally don’t like directly using derogatory terms toward other people, but you’re an idiot.

        “I suggest that there should be available jobs for everyone”:

        Seriously? And by what amazing power of god are you going to just magically grant jobs to everyone? Jobs exist because people can provide products and services for each other. If someone else doesn’t need you to do something for them, there is no job! You can’t force people to pay for your services, so you can’t just create jobs for everyone!

        “so you suggest killing old people too ?” and
        “I see you do suggest killing off unwanted, in Nazi Germany you wold feel right at home”:

        In what manner did I ever suggest killing anyone? Let me rephrase for you: The most fit members of our society will achieve the best results in their lives. Is that a hard concept for you to understand? What kind of deranged thinking are you engaging in? Do you really think you’re smart enough to turn the conversation and make it look like I’m some evil person, when I’m just suggesting that people can’t be lazy and expect the world to hand everything to them on a silver platter?

      • therian says:

        @Matt
        if you dont know that it is not the
        case of being lazy than idiot is on you (ok maybe you just ignorant cant blame you with all this censorship and propaganda going on) (

      • therian says:

        @Matt
        ” “I suggest that there should be available jobs for everyone”:

        Seriously? And by what amazing power of god are you going to just magically grant jobs to everyone? ”

        maybe USSR had magic wand, we should ask Chinease

      • Matt says:

        @therian:
        I travel the world and keep close tabs on news as reported from everywhere I can, except here. So I assure you I’m quite well informed about the world around me.

        And I have yet to have anyone prove to me that if someone makes an effort I consider sufficient, they are still unable to get a job.

        You, on the other hand, based on our conversation here today, are either borderline illiterate or not actually a US citizen. I haven’t decided which yet.

        So, go back to school (or just *go* to school maybe– I think you’re likely about 18 years old, and have very little life experience to draw upon), learn some ideas other than the propaganda you’ve been exposed to (and fell victim to), and then start to question the world around you rather than falling rank-and-file into the far left-wing agenda that promises you you should get something for nothing.

      • therian says:

        @Matt”I travel the world and keep close tabs on news as reported from everywhere I can, except here. So I assure you I’m quite well informed about the world around me.”

        “And the rest of the world? The rest of the world looks at it and says “Wow, those Americans really are stupid. They can’t even protest in a useful manner.””
        you might check occupy worldwide map http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/4e99895669beddcc7b000006/occupy-map.jpg

        P.S. how many languages do you know?

      • Matt says:

        @therian:

        There are idiots in every country. That map is slightly ridiculous in that it makes OWS look much more widespread than it actually is (due to the size of the dots). It’s poor information presentation (or propaganda, depending on how you look at it).

        I know three languages:
        English, [Mandarin] Chinese, French.
        Is this a pissing contest now?
        Are you going to impress me with your 2-4 languages that you speak? I’m not the average American idiot. That’s why I have an opinion– and a well thought-out one, at that.

        Since you came here from whatever Eastern European nation because, presumably, there were better opportunities for you here, I think you should get right out and go home if you think life was so much better there. You certainly have no right to criticize anyone here for doing anything to you, and even less right to presume that you know how things should operate internally here. I wouldn’t dream of telling your native country how it should operate, so I’m not sure why you’d presume to have an opinion about how mine should operate.

      • pi says:

        Matt-

        Your comments are among the more rational ones I’ve seen in this thread.

        Understand, however, that when you debate individuals for whom communist countries are role models, or people for whom no issue is deeper than the thickness of a protest sign, no amount of commentary on your part is going to change them.

        I’m not saying you lose, I’m just saying that there is little point in engaging in a discussion with a tree stump or a cinder block.

      • Matt says:

        @pi:

        Thanks. Sometimes I get caught up in the moment ;)

      • Kris Lee says:

        @therian

        As someone born in the Soviet Union I like to amend your information about it.

        First correction – state did not only provide you with the job but you actually were obliged to work (unless you were studing or serving in the army).

        Peoples oportunities were quite limited and to make career you had to be really top player or join the party (you actually were free not to join the party).

        Demonstrations like these were unthinkable (remember – you had to work but they were also not allowed).

        Things did change (a lot actually) with Perestroika (Restructuring) and Glasnost (Openness).

        The first one gave people more oportunities (by allowing them to open a business for example) and later one gave people more personal freedoms and eventually lead to collapse of Soviet Union because it appeared that other nations actually did not want to live under ruling of Russians.

      • Kris Lee says:

        @therian

        More bits from soviet life.

        Even when you had a job (everyone had) and even when did get money from it you were not really able to buy something with it.

        Simple household items were scarce or really expensive – for example wasching machines, fridges and you did need a permit to buy them. TVs were scarse too, especially color ones.

        You had to wait many, many years to get a car buying permit (and when you were not with a good relations with the party you never received one).

        At the end everything was scarce – even simple food.

    • therian says:

      @Matt so far you dont provide any solution but expect some magical one from OWS. People are there because after graduating 1/3 cant find jobs because we export them to other countries . no one there just for fun

      • therian says:

        what else can people do when government occupied by criminals and thiefs, they made it impossible to fight them by legal way, they made it impossible to fight them by force (you cant go barehanded or even with handgun against tanks and drones, bombs). + recent events prove again our media is more corrupted than in soviet union

      • therian says:

        USA turn into tyrant who under gunpoint force other nation to trade oil for worthless papers

      • Matt says:

        Didn’t realize you posted a level up. See response above.

      • Nitori says:

        It’s best to ignore Matt as he’s just a troll.
        I seen his kind a hundred times before the best thing you can do is not fed the troll.

      • Matt says:

        @Nitori:

        Yup, I’m a troll. That’s why I have intelligently worded posts that you guys seem to have run out of answers for.
        That’s also why I regularly post responses on this site but I don’t recall ever hearing any useful commentary from either of you before.
        So since you don’t have any intelligent responses, the logical thing to do is to call me a troll.

        Have a great night.

  49. drake says:

    Well I guess I violated terms somehow but they do make resistive heaters for car cigarette lighter ports. Search on your local “tool” stores

    • therian says:

      and where protestors suppose to plug it ?

      • kanchoblindside says:

        @therian;
        therian says:
        November 2, 2011 at 6:50 pm
        and where protestors suppose to plug it ?

        I can think of a few places…

      • kanchoblindside says:

        Does anyone realize this park is EXTREMELY SMALL?

        It’s probably a terrible idea even having any overnight stays there. If a group refuses to pull permits and instead protest on public land, they open themselves up for all KINDS of trouble, not to mention you dont necessarily HAVE any constitutional rights on private property. The hot dog vendor can have a generator because he’s paid for his permit and vending license. Want to do it without one, thinking your protest is above the law? It isnt.

        Maybe they should hack up some kind of anti-violence and anti-rape generator, seeing as thats the only thing coming out of this particular gathering.

        OWS wasnt thought-out that much. Again, the proof being it was started on 4Chan/b/ before anywhere else, where all the posters were photosh

      • drake says:

        the bicycle power is used to charge car batteries … those batteries being the ones that power your cigarette lighter port in your car … so device that produces power used in a car + a device that uses power found in a car = works

    • Nitori says:

      I gave this some thought the best solution for heat might be portable propane camping heaters using 1lbs cylinders.
      They can’t spill and have a safety tip over shut off feature.

      The fire Chief shouldn’t get his kickers in a knot over them.

  50. Steve0 says:

    The record sustained power output for an elite cyclist over 1 hour is 430 W. If people with decent fitness were to switch out every 20 minutes, they could probably do 150 W to 200 W

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