Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Beggars Energy Crank

Your mom's so poor, she turned the crank and physics was like "my bad."
  (+8, -4)
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This is an energy generating crank that beggars can turn to create instant dough. Or if you are not a beggar and 75 cents short on that pack of Doritos you want, just turn the wheel for ten minutes and it will spit out change or put it on your card. Can be used for charging phones or other mini devices (a service would manage this.) Get's you in shape too, which studies have shown is beneficial for your state of mind.
leinypoo13, Mar 20 2009

More power from the homeless homeless_20people
Everpopular, it would seem. [bungston, Jul 23 2010]

A Modest Proposal http://en.wikipedia...i/A_modest_proposal
Not without merit [8th of 7, Jul 24 2010]

[link]






       why the huge subsidy? there is no way that ten minutes of human exertion can possibly yield 75c worth of energy. How much are you paying per KWH? (that's 1000 watts for an hour or 6000w for 10min) We pay around 7.5 cents per KWH here so your beggar is going to need to put out more than 60,000 watts, for ten minutes, more than the peak output of most cars AND more than slightly impossible.
WcW, Mar 20 2009
  

       On the other hand, this could work in he third world where people live on pennies a day and electricity does not come as cheaply.
cindik, Mar 20 2009
  

       The subsidy might make more sense if you consider the the offset in costs to the national health care system. It may also offset criminal justice system costs, on the precept that idle hands do the Devil's work.
Laughs Last, Mar 20 2009
  

       humans produce about 100w without moving (heat), and another 100w power at low-grade exercise: top-notch athletes can bump that up to 300w (not bad considering that's almost .4hp). But you could combine the two in a cogeneration system that heats the building as well.
FlyingToaster, Mar 20 2009
  

       [anno deleted]
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 20 2009
  

       Blimey - warped minds think alike. Deleted my anno in deference to the foresightful, inciteful Zimmy.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 20 2009
  

       Penny for the wind sir?
eight_nine_tortoise, Mar 20 2009
  

       The problem with this is if beggers wanted to work for money they would already do it. You'd probably come out one day to find a stolen lawnmower hooked up to your energy crank.
GodSquadMandrake, Mar 20 2009
  

       really? Every single person on the street is there because "they simply refuse to work" , who are you, Ebenezer Scrooge?
WcW, Mar 21 2009
  

       //find a stolen lawnmower hooked up to your energy crank//
Probably... and I'd go right to the beggars... and I'd ask them which one(s) of the teens/20'ishes living in the neighbourhood of the person whose lawnmower was stolen, had done it.
  

       Or are you talking about when you're walking down the street and a reasonably well-dressed person says "excuse me" and when you turn to them, it isn't somebody informing you that you've dropped something, or asking directions or time, or giving you a compliment about your suit...it's somebody that wants to sell you some legal'ish scam or another.
FlyingToaster, Mar 21 2009
  

       I could see this working if units were hooked to the grid and had a network id of some kind. Hand out the units to anyone who wants one and the utility company pays the standard rate minus 1% to cover the cost of the unit(once the unit is paid for the user gets 100%). The money would go onto some sort of debit card that could be used in stores and such. It wouldn't be a very high paying way to make money, but it would be something. The creative(lawnmower/gear ratio users) would be rewarded, not for making cleaner energy, but for making more.
gryphon327, Jul 23 2010
  

       I think this could be made to work. The energy content of a beggar, if clothed, is probably quite high.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 23 2010
  

       <obligatory>   

       "Soylent Green is people !"   

       </obligatory>   

       <link>
8th of 7, Jul 24 2010
  

       No, no, no. One creates the energy crank devices, gives them to beggars, who then stand around asking people to turn the crank a few times for them.
normzone, Jul 24 2010
  
      
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