100,000 sq mile sunshade to stop global warming?
27th Feb 2009 | 12:45
Plus bullet-crushing orange goo and more in Weird Tech
A giant 'sunshade' consisting of trillions of mirrors fired into space to reflect the sun's rays could be the answer to global warming. That's according to astronomer Dr Roger Angel from the University of Arizona, who claims the method is "guaranteed to work".
A cannon with a barrel measuring a massive 0.6 miles across would be needed to shoot the mirrors one million miles above Earth – not to mention some £244trillion to fund the project.
And, being 100 times more powerful than conventional weapons, the gun would require an exclusion zone of "several miles", reports the Telegraph.
Investigating the sun shield theory is a British inventor, who was commissioned to build a four-metre long scaled-down version of the gun.
"It was immensely dangerous. I was attempting to build a gun to produce 1,500G of force, but it ended up creating about 10,000G and we had to turn the power down," he told reporters.
If tests for Dr Angel's sun shield are successful, the mirrors could be launched within 20-30 years time.
Fake plastic trees
Strange things have been happening on land this week, too. Artificial trees could soon be providing our energy – thanks to SolarBotanic, a company that specialises in an emerging tech called biomimicry, which uses nature-inspired methods to solve human problems.
Even better than real trees, its Energy Harvesting Trees are adorned in Nanoleaves, which harness the sun's energy using nanotechnology, and convert the radiation into electricity.
'Just like a tree!' we hear you say. Correct, except SolarBotanic's trees also support nano-piezovoltaic material in their stems and twigs, serving as a generator to produce electricity from any movement caused by wind or rain, as well.
The company is looking for funding to develop the project further. No comment as to whether Thom Yorke is involved.
Not that we'll notice any of this going on, mind. Yesterday brought yet another report that World of Warcraft is more addictive than crack, while Facebook and Twitter are busy turning the rest of us into demanding babies.
Meanwhile, soldiers could soon find that a layer of orange jelly is all that's protecting their heads from high velocity bullets.
A Brazilian man looking to collect a debt of £77 broke into the home of 66-year-woman and held her hostage for 10 hours – using a Sega Light Phaser.
Unfortunately for police, the man wasn't just armed with the Sega Master System weapon, but also with two kitchen knives. According to reports, the man, who finally liberated his victim after 10 hours of negotiation, unsurprisingly has a history of drug abuse...