Solving Problems One Doughnut At A Time

I love doughnuts. I haven’t had one in over a year and since I happened to be near Krispy Kreme, I figured tonight would be the night. I pulled into the parking lot, entered the sugar-haven of sin and proceeded to order a chocolate glazed, a chocolate creme cake (fitting since I had my King Ding Dong shirt on), a maple bar, and a Diet Coke (kidding, I ordered a small coffee). I gorged myself on at least 1,000 calories of decadent sweetness. I drained the coffee cup. Mmm, that was good. I probably could have eaten just one, two, or none, but I was satisfied.

As I was leaving they were making fresh original glazed doughnuts and I stared hypnotically at the machinery that delivered the dough to the oil, the automatic flippers turning the doughnuts, the waterfall of glaze and the cooling conveyor belt. I giggled in glee at watching the doughnuts being flipped automatically. I know, I know, I need help. The night couldn’t be any better.

I decided to go on a Sunday drive (the best kind of drives on Saturday night). I headed for the country roads north of Krispy Kreme. That was when the heaviness in my stomach started making my brain think about how long I would have to be on my exercise bike tonight to burn the calories from everything I just ate. I imagined myself on the bike. Cool, I think I can handle that. Then I envisioned myself working with a laptop while riding my exercise bike. I wonder what kind of laptop-holding apparatus could be built in order for that to be possible. The brainstorming session was just beginning.

I started asking myself a bunch of questions: Why don’t we have bike pedals attached to generators that are connected to batteries powering our computers? Why don’t large office buildings use the principles of crowdsourcing and have bike pedals that are connected to larger power storage units for the entire building? How much energy could be generated by one building of people pedaling at a leisurely pace as they go about their work day? Would it be possible to focus on your work while pedaling? Would this affect and change the way people think about their relationship to the environment and to the production and consumption of energy? Would this make a dent in our nation’s obesity problem?

It would be interesting to build a device for my house that would allow me to store the energy produced by my daily exercise routine, thus powering all of the devices that I daily use. I’m not a scientist or engineer so I’m not sure if it’s possible, but imagine the good things that could come from this idea. We could change the way energy is produced, thus changing the way we selfishly use energy. We could get a grip on the nation’s obesity problem by turning sedentary lifestyles into subconscious energy producing lives. The effective reversal of obesity would dramatically change health care to health management, giving a collective middle finger to the health care oligarchical system. We would no longer think about a power bill measured in watts, but in miles per hour. Imagine the incentive programs that could turn energy production into a game. Meritocracy in its finest form. The highest producer of energy would win a prize, perhaps a gift card to a clothing store, or even a coupon for three doughnuts and a small cup of coffee from Krispy Kreme, where they could solve the world’s problems, one doughnut at a time.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get on my exercise bike before the sugar high wears off.