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Monday, April 05, 2010

GTB Ends US Dependence on Foreign Oil with Single Brilliant Idea

Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona is a genius. He had the idea to force inmates in the Tent City Jail in Phoenix to pedal exercise bikes in order to generate the electricity needed to power their televisions. Every minute they pedal generates enough electricity for them to watch one minute of TV. The inmates get both the benefits of exercise and the benefits of TV.

The simple brilliance of this idea got us thinking. There are about 2.3 Million people currently incarcerated (2008, Bureau of Justice Statistics) in the US. They are in prison for 24 hours a day. Let's (generously) knock off 8 of those for sleep, 3 for things that keep people alive (eating, bathroom breaks, etc.) and 30 minutes for things that keep people alive in prison (shiv-making, contraband trading, guard bribing, gang chapter meetings, etc.). That leaves us with 12.5 hours or 750 minutes of wasted time, per prisoner, per day.

I know this is a lot of math, but stay with me. When I put all these numbers into Excel, it tells me that we could dole out approximately 5 minutes of electricity to every American, EVERY DAY if those lazy, crime-committing criminals would pay their debt to society by pedaling aimlessly for hours upon hours daily (we can more than double this if we make people on parole and probation contribute part of their day to this patriotic cause).

That is 5 free minutes for each and every (law-abiding US) citizen to watch TV, mess around with their DVR, make a pot of coffee, or charge their electric car! The other benefit is that it would keep the prisoners out of trouble. There would be very little time for stealing apples from the dining hall to make liquor or stabbing one's cellmate if you are busy "Powering Freedom".

Prisoners can’t even vote. This idea is unstoppable.

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