I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Don't let the kids have all the fun
I suppose you think that swinging is just for kids. But why should they have all the fun? At South Bank, next to the Wheel of Brisbane, from Wednesday 9th to Sunday 13th March, you can enjoy the rhythmic action and the feel of the breeze in your face on the CSIRO Infinity Swing. And it isn't all about the relaxing pastime of swinging; while it may look like kids' playground equipment this swing's purpose is to engage Brisbaneites in a conversation about sustainable and affordable energy production.
Image from CSIRO website
The CSIRO, Australia's premier and innovative research organisation has some serious scientific creds. They're the people behind significant research and inventions including plastic bank notes, Wi-Fi and fabric softener. Their current groundbreaking work in the field of energy production includes the development of solar cells printed on plastic, a prototype for an energy-harvesting backpack that could charge your laptop while you walk and using solar energy to generate hot and pressurised 'supercritical' steam.
All work and no play could make these leading scientists dull indeed but that's where the swing comes in. The eight-person energy generator has been developed as a fun and playful way to get people thinking about the serious energy production issues of our present and future.
The principle is simple. Lights above the head of each swinger spell out the word I-N-F-I-N-I-T-Y. The motion created by each person's exertions powers the light above. Lights on the swing, as well as music, change with the speed and strength of the swinging. It will be an engaging light and sound experience and you'll see just how hard energy production is.
The CSIRO kinetic energy Infinity Swing has already brought smiles to the faces of Sydneysiders and Melbournites. The almost 10,000 people who attended in those cities spent 580 hours swinging to generate electricity.
So how much electricity do you think that produced? Enough to power a tumble dryer for seven hours? How about powering the lights of the Sydney Opera House for an hour? Wrong on both counts. The more than three weeks of continuous movement only generated enough electricity to run a small air conditioner for fifteen minutes. That's right, just fifteen minutes.
Come along with your friends to South Bank from 9th to 13th March for this free event and pretend you're back in the playground when the world was a simpler place. But while you're there, spare a thought for those intrepid scientists who hold the future of energy production in their hands. You may even get to talk to one about CSIRO's ongoing research into energy solutions.