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Really, really alternative energy

Solar too mainstream for you? Bored with windpower? Don't worry -- there are plenty of other ways to harness a watt. (They might not be viable right now, but don't you worry; they will be.) Check out these super-alternative energy sources, courtesy Inhabitat.

Kinetic Wind Power
Fusing art, architecture, and renewable energy, California-based Michael Jantzen's Wind Shaped Pavilion is literally head-turning. The pavilion is a proposal for a large fabric structure that rotates in segments around a central support frame, generating enough electricity as it moves to light the pavilion at night. Just think of the opportunities available in building the pavilion large enough that every level becomes an apartment or a commercial space, and the view from inside changes at the whims of the weather!

Poo
Yes, poo. Twenty times more potent than C02, cow emissions contain massive amounts of methane, which can also be harnessed and turned into a viable energy source. "While they haven't yet produced a specific module for bovine emissions, Velocys, a company in Ohio, has come up with a method to refine the methane gas that is the byproduct of a number of industrial processes. The methane is moved through microchannels, mixed with carbon and then frozen, allowing the nitrogen that is in the compound to pass through, thus purifying the gas, so that it may be used as a power source." Sounds like a load of ... oh, never mind. Human and other kinds of poo also have some of the same potential, by the way.

People power
We've mentioned the tube station in Britain powered by footsteps, and the gym in Hong Kong powered by people burning calories on treadmills and Stairmasters. Now there's also the Sustainable Dance Club in Rotterdam, the lights and speakers of which are kept abuzz by the pitter-patter of ravers' feet. Can this technology be harnessed for use in the home? Certainly -- though your household's ratio of occupants-to-square-footage (and the age/rambunctiousness of those occupants) may ultimately decide the cost-worthiness of such an option.

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
iStock
iStock

When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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