Meanwhile, an article from Tree Hugger:

Brazil’s Santa Rita do Sapucaí prison, following the suggestion of a local judge, recently installed electricity-generating stationary bikes as part of a plan to keep inmates active while letting them contribute to a greater good.

For every 16 hours spent pedaling to charge a battery connected to the bike, prisoners of good standing will shave a day off their sentences. The energy will then be used to power streetlights in the city that might otherwise be dark, making the community a safer place at night for everyone.

Imagine the possibilities: televisions and computers powered by stationary bikes! Decreasing obesity rates; healthier people; plummeting health care costs; Spandex stock goes through the roof. Or even better, what if every teen-age girl had to pedal five minutes to send a text message?


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Mark T. Mitchell
Mark T. Mitchell teaches political theory at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, VA. He is the author Michael Polanyi: The Art of Knowing and The Politics of Gratitude: Scale, Place, and Community in a Global Age (Potomac Books, 2012). He is co-editor of another book titled, The Humane Vision of Wendell Berry. Currently he is writing a book on private property. In 2008-9, while on sabbatical at Princeton University, he and Jeremy Beer hatched a plan to start a website dedicated to political decentralism, economic localism, and cultural regionalism. A group of like-minded people quickly formed around these ideas, and in March 2009, FPR was launched. Although he was raised in Montana and still occasionally longs for the west, he lives in Virginia with his wife, three sons and one daughter where they are in the process of turning a few acres into a small farm. See books written by Mark Mitchell.