Surfers Against Sewage are a group British surfer from Cornwall, England who surf AND campaign for clean, safe waters, free from “sewage effluents, toxic chemicals, marine litter and nuclear waste.” They were founded in 1990 by a group of surfers, who were literally ‘sick of getting sick’ through repeated ear, nose, throat and gastric infections after going in the sea. The eco-warriors specialize in great publicity campaigns; such as posing naked with “no butts on the beach ” written on their bottoms and showing up at an awards ceremony with a golden toilet brush for one of the sponsors.
As a fundraiser they asked ten of Britain’s hottest artist to create a surf board design for them, the theme being the threat of coastal pollution. These environmentally friendly boards would be displayed at several art galleries and then auctioned off for charity. The artists included Damien Hirst, Jamie Hewlett, Banksy, Adrenalin Magazine, and Aphex Twin. That auction netted Â£77,000, with the 2 Damien Hirst boards going for Â£59,000 (love that booming art market). After such a roaring success, another art surfboard auction is planned for October, and the artists participating get even more famous: Sir Paul McCartney, Gavin Turk and Tracy Emin. Start saving. :: Surfers Against Sewage
This could be the 2008 sartorial equivalent of that 1980s classic, the Piano Tie, but it is certainly a lot more useful. Researchers at Iowa State University have glued solar panels using Photovoltaic thin film, onto the symbol of male corporate oppression and hooked it up to a Nokia phone, which sits in a handy pocket at the back of the tie.
Photovoltaic thin film has about the same thickness as paper, and properties similar to camera film. The film can be scratched, punctured, or rolled to a three inch diameter without impairing function. The researchersâ€™ real challenge was to integrate it into an aesthetically pleasing garment. First, the team used a shiny cotton sateen to mimic the reflectiveness of the solar panels. Then they used digitally printed designs to create a pattern that looks, well, almost normal â€“ for a tie.
The inventors even had the decency to laser-print a matching pattern between the panels to stop it looking like a patchwork quilt. The result? Success. The tie outputs 3.6 volts in full sun, enough to keep the Nokia battery topped up. And because the phone isn’t actually running off the tie’s power, even lesser light sources will allow some trickle-charging.