I know this thing is being treated as a big joke, as it should be, but I think it is awesome. Voltree made news recently by working on a system of forest fire detectors powered by the metabolic energy of the trees. Conventional home fire alarms work by detecting the alteration in conductivity created by the smoke in the air. They also go off all the time while I’m trying to cook (alright, so my cooking methods are a bit…savage, but still), and require a charged battery, which makes them chirp in the middle of the night on a regular basis. The first fire alarm was invented by George Darby, and used a stick of butter. When the butter melted, it closed the circuit and set off the alarm. I think we should return to a similarly low tech solution, at least as backup in our alarms. Sooner or later, powered devices lose their power, whether by power outage, dead batteries, or someone taking the batteries out of the $&@)%! thing to shut it up. A solution based on similar principles to the butter or Jiffy Pop could be as simple as a coil of metal like in an old thermostat that would connect to the power source only in cases of temperature above normal range. In the case of the forest fire detectors, why not just make them heat powered instead of tree powered?