Look beyond the spectacle at some of the participant projects in the Green Prix and you will find serious enterprise.

Slo-Dog team members: Kyung Lee, Geri Wittig and Steve Durie (Bruce Gardner is not visible)

Four people, cycling furiously, seated on a bicycle platform driven contraption, pedaling either facing forwards or backwards inched their way along South Market Street at a slow pace as part of the Green Prix. These people were working hard. And for what purpose?  To cook some hot dogs! Once parked on South First Street, the team invited you to climb upon the bikes and as a reward for pedaling furiously you got to eat a hot dog which you had just heated using your own energy. The sausages rotated and warmed when two people created about 100W of energy apiece – enough energy to generate the rotating roller cooker.

The inspiration for this whimsical project arose when team-member Steve Durie stood transfixed by the hot dogs rotating slowly and evenly in his local 7/11. A series of questions followed: How long have these sausages been here? How many times have they rotated? And how far have they travelled? (The entire story of his train of thought can be read on their website, here).

The Slo-Dog team of Bruce Gardner, Kyung Lee, Geri Wittig and Steve Durie has been investigating the amount of energy required to create and serve our food and the distance food travels before it reaches the table. The Slo-Dog contraption is a whimsical device which serves as a seriously serious scientific food-study utilizing information technology, a visit to the farmyard, analog sausage grinders and a good dose of the absurd.

The Slo Dog website tells the story much better than I can. Take a look – you will be amused.

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