There’s An Ocean Of Energy In The Sea. And This Team Just Unlocked It.

Breaking news: Japanese researchers just proved wave energy actually works — for humans and sea life alike.

An Okinawan wave breaker prepares to make waves. Photo by Banzai Hiroaki/Flickr.

Earth. Wind. Fire. Coming in the form of fossil fuels, stiff breezes, and solar power, alternative energy has always looked to the most fundamental of natural forces.

But if you’ve ever felt like a big one is missing from the list, you’d be right. Until now.

Hydroelectric power is nothing new, of course. (It’s also the source of international disputes and dangers.) But for the first time, the biggest source of water energy on Earth is open for business — the ocean. And this new method is as safe for the environment as it is for humans.

After four years of testing, Japanese researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology have announced that their creation, a new type of underwater turbine system called the Sea Horse, is ready for market.

In a country still dealing with the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster, this is big news. The institute’s professor Tsumoru Shintake says the combined productive power of 10 nuclear plants, 10 gigawatts, can be produced using the turbines along just 1% of the Japanese coastline. “The energy density of waves,” he notes, “is 100 times greater than that of wind.”

Shintake’s turbines would fit right in anywhere along the 30% of seashore currently dotted with tetrapods, submerged concrete pyramids placed to prevent erosion. His team designed the system to work in concert with the wave-breakers, drawing energy from the ripples as they slow them down. After all, it’s where waves break hardest that coastlines are most endangered — and where the ocean’s force is at its most concentrated and accessible.

None of that would matter much, however, if the underwater system couldn’t hit a crucial criterion. The turbine fans must be strong enough not to break apart and pollute the ocean, but they have to be gentle enough not to harm sea life.

Shintake and company found the solution by looking to nature itself for inspiration. “The blade design and materials are inspired by dolphin fins,” they explain. Like the turbines’ supporting legs, which they compare to flower stems, the blades are “flexible and, thus, able to release stress rather than remain rigid and risk breakage.” Rotating “at a carefully calculated speed,” they ensure any creatures passing through can escape unharmed.

The technology behind the fans incorporates more than thrifty, sturdy, and bendy materials. Key to the whole assembly is a special magnet mechanism that blocks seawater from entering the turbine’s shaft and keeps it turning usefully amid the irregular churn of the surf. Not a bad metaphor for the human condition.


We've all felt lonely at some point in our lives. It's a human experience as universal as happiness, sadness or even hunger. But there's been a growing trend of studies and other evidence suggesting that Americans, and people in general, are feeling more lonely than ever.

It's easy to blame technology and the way our increasingly online lives have further isolated us from "real" human interactions. The Internet once held seemingly limitless promise for bringing us together but seems to be doing just the opposite.

Except that's apparently not true at all. A major study from Cigna on loneliness found that feelings of isolation and loneliness are on the rise amongst Americans but the numbers are nearly identical amongst those who use social media and those who don't. Perhaps more importantly, the study found five common traits amongst those who don't feel lonely.

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He photographed Nazi atrocities and buried the negatives. The unearthed images are unforgettable.

He risked his life to leave a "historical record of our martyrdom."

via Yad Vashem and Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007

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Throughout the war, over 210,000 people would be imprisoned in Lodz.

Among those held captive was Henryk Ross. He was a Jewish sports photographer before the Nazi invasion and worked for the the ghetto's Department of Statistics during the war. As part of his official job, he took identification photos of the prisoners and propaganda shots of Lodz' textile and leather factories.

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WITI Milwaukee

Joey Grundl, a pizza delivery driver for a Domino's Pizza in Waldo, Wisconsin, is being hailed as a hero for noticing a kidnapped woman's subtle cry for help.

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Good News

Rochester NY Airport Security passing insulting notes to travelers caught on tape

Neil Strassner was just passing through airport security, something he does on a weekly basis as part of his job. That's when a contract airport security employee handed him a small piece of folded cardboard. Strassner, 40, took the paper and continued on his way. He only paused when he heard the security employee shouting back at him, "You going to open the note?"

When he unfolded the small piece of paper, Strassner was greeted with an unprompted insult. "You ugly!!!"

According to Strassner, and in newly released CCTV of the incident, the woman who handed him the note began laughing loudly.

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Facebook: kktv11news

A post on the Murdered by Words subreddit is going viral for the perfect way a poster shut down a knee-jerk "double-standard!" claim.

It began when a Redditor posted a 2015 Buzzfeed article story about a single dad who took cosmetology lessons to learn how to do his daughter's hair.

Most people would see the story as something positive. A dad goes out of his way to learn a skill that makes his daughter look fabulous.

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