Who needs electricity!? This handheld crank radio powers my surround sound system!

Now, I’ve had this little radio for over a year now and pretty much right before hurricane Sandy hit my area, I had just broken its built in speaker. Do not ask me how, It’s just the way things go. If this idea had crossed my mind, say, before October 29th, maybe my experience through the storm would’ve been a tiny bit more enjoyable.


To make this contraption, I started out finding which wires went to the speakers – easy enough. A smart person would then solder the wire to that connection, but of course, tape would suffice. After many attempts to get the speaker wires to stay even when pulled a bit, I closed up the casing and there you have it, a working crank radio that actually handle some real bass.


I don’t know why I didnt try my entire speaker system at this point, probably a lack of faith for the little contraption, but eventually I realized it’s true power.

Running 11 full sized speakers, the radio can’t handle such a long time without needing a crank or two (You can obviously figure out why) but here are my results:

10 minutes of music = 50 cranks. How long does it take to crank it 50 times? Give me 20 seconds.  As a secondary attempt, I got 25 minutes of music after a minute of cranking. Cranking is such an odd verb.

Regardless, that’s pretty awesome considering it’s running completely off the grid. Now if I could just get it to run my phone….


Why Are Hand Dryers So Much Better?

“What makes a hand dryer eco friendly? The power consumption of the dryer or watts used. Most eco friendly hand dryers tend to cut out the heating element therefore reducing the wattage. The American Dryer EXT model is only 540 watts of power and cost 18 cents per 1000 dries.”

-Taken from

Now, that sounds fine and dandy, but I find it pretty difficult to comprehend the claim that an electric device is more eco friendly, especially from a site that sells them. I’m going to do quite a bit of researching, to prove or disprove the above, because unlike 95% of Americans, I actually sit there drying my hands, pondering whether or not this is the right way to go.

It’s no question that it costs less to run a hand dryer, which require about $14.58 per month to run, saving you more than $60 per month as a business  but the actual environmental friendless is nowhere to be found online, or so I thought.

I stumbled across an MIT study which conveniently answered all my questions in one foul swoop.

“This study clearly concludes that the Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer has the lowest environmental impact compared with all other possible hand drying systems – collectively scoring the lowest across all possible measures. This examination includes not only GWP but also potential human health impacts, ecosystem quality, energy demand, water consumption, and land occupation, and including all life cycle stages, from cradle to grave.”

Yes, it focused on three specific hand dryers, but those three make up the greater part of our country’s offices, stores and restaurants but also took account for the general heated dryer.

Simply put, there is NO comparison to the energy consumption from the making of a paper towel roll that will have to be replaced in a matter of days to the energy consumption from creating and running a newer dryer. I never thought I’d say this, but: In terms of environmentally friendliness, land occupation, and pretty much every category tested, the dryer wins hands down. Take a look at the full study to see more of the comparisons.