Pollution is a Great Source of Clean Energy

Today's top science news story today will make Hedorah the Smog Monster happy.

  • Heat emitted by smokestacks belching gloop could be harvested for thermal energy. Apparently there are nearly 50 thousand smokestacks in the United States alone whose emissions are hot enough to produce 50,000 megawatts of power. [Worldchanging]

  • A University of Minnesota researcher has proven that materialism in young people is connected to low self-esteem. Apparently kids want to buy stuff more when they're going through puberty because they hate themselves. [Eurekalert]

    Who's afraid of nanotech after the jump.
  • Apparently people haven't been reading enough science fiction about gray goo because a recent national study shows that nobody is worried about nanotechnology except egghead scientists. Maybe molecular machines that can rewrite our DNA are just too small to worry about? [Science blog]
  • It turns out that people can understand each other even if they don't understand themselves. A recent study of brain-damaged people with no sense of their own identities could still put themselves in other people's shoes. Apparently this completely messes up anthropologists' theories of how self-consciousness developed in humans. [John Hawks Anthropology Blog]