We want to save the world from global warming, and we want to reduce our dependency on foreign oil, and we want to reduce pollution, and save money on electricity.

But we have to admit -- a big part of why we like the alternative energy lifestyle is that we get to play with all the gadgets.

Yeah, we're geeks.

Gadget of the Month

In the upper left corner of this page is a clickable list of all our categories. You can go there to see our reviews of all kinds of neat gadgets we have researched and collected.

But this space is here to showcase a gadget, system, or service that caught our attention recently, either because it was just plain fun, or because it is vitally important to mankind. Or useful. Useful is good.

Usually we go for fun though. We like fun things. Sometimes they are useful. If you see something that is fun and vitally important to mankind, please drop us a line to let us know about it!

Stirling Engines

This month's gadget is the Stirling Engine.

There are lots of great Stirling Engine models you can find on the web.

Some are beautiful, precision crafted engines that spin from just the heat of your hand, or a cube of ice.

Some are small engines that do something useful, such as the little fan that uses the heat from a wood stove to move the hot air around the house.

There are kits you can buy if you want to build one yourself.

Some run on candle power, some from alcohol lamps, some from solar power.

Some are very simple, such as the test tube stirling engine, which tilts a test tube full of marbles up and down.

Others are marvels of low friction pistons and bearings that can run on very small temperature differentials, such as the heat from your hand, or the morning sun.

There are many Stirling Engine sources on the web that explain how the engines work, or how to build them yourself.

And, of course, the advertisements on this page may direct you to where you can buy them.

Or, if you like, a Google search for "stirling engine" will find many resources.

Whether your budget is big, and aesthetics are important, or your interest is big, and no challenge is too great, Stirling Engines are just plain fun.