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Powerball: a Winner

May 13, 2013
May 13, 2013

Table of Contents
May 13, 2013

LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
SIDNEY CROSBY
  • CONCUSSED, CRACKED IN THE MOUTH WITH A PUCK—YOU CAN'T KEEP SIDNEY CROSBY DOWN. YOU CAN ONLY MARVEL AT HOW HOCKEY'S BEST PLAYER KEEPS COMING BACK EVEN BETTER THAN WHEN HE LEFT

HORSE RACING
  • ON A DREARY DAY AT CHURCHILL DOWNS FAVORED ORB CHARGED TO A ROUSING VICTORY IN THE KENTUCKY DERBY, PROVIDING SWEET REDEMPTION FOR TWO OWNERS AND A TRAINER WHO HAD EACH ENDURED MOMENTS OF EPIC MISFORTUNE

NBA PLAYOFFS
  • THE DURATION OF THE PLAYOFF JOURNEYS OF MANY TEAMS (THE SUPERSTAR-LADEN HEAT INCLUDED) WILL BE DETERMINED IN LARGE PART BY THE SEDENTARY SHOOTERS WHO GIVE THE BIG NAMES ROOM TO OPERATE

DRINKING AND DRIVING
  • PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES DON'T CAUSE MORE DUI FATALITIES THAN OTHER AMERICANS—THEY JUST MAKE MORE HEADLINES. BUT WITH SO MANY HIGH-PROFILE TRAGEDIES IN RECENT YEARS, WHY DID JOSH BRENT AND JERRY BROWN NOT LEARN FROM THEM?

YOENIS CESPEDES
  • Money-conscious Oakland shelled out $9 million a year for a Cuban slugger no other team would touch at that price. Now Yoenis Cespedes is drawing comparisons to Bo Jackson and, ahem, Willie Mays—and proving yet again that the A's know a baseball bargain when they see one

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Powerball: a Winner

A soccer ball that harnesses kinetic energy is bringing light to children with limited electricity

On visits to her parents' homeland of Nigeria, Jessica Matthews saw a developing-world problem. "Power is so erratic. Those who have access to it get it from kerosene lamps and small diesel generators," she says. "You're breathing in disgusting fumes that can make you sick and are horrible for the environment." Her unlikely solution? A soccer ball.

This is an article from the May 13, 2013 issue

In 2008, Matthews and three Harvard classmates created Soccket, a ball that, merely by being kicked around, can generate and store enough energy to power a light for three hours. The latest iteration is a solid foam ball that looks and feels like a regular soccer ball but doesn't need inflating. It weighs a couple of ounces more than a standard ball and doesn't bounce as high, but it's a vast improvement over makeshift balls kids use in the developing world.

When the Soccket moves, a device inside turns and a generator harnesses the kinetic energy, storing it on a battery. The lamp is then plugged in and can charge in less than a minute, so 10 kids can power lights off of one ball. "They can play at school, get the power they need there and then bring it home," Matthews says.

To fund the distribution of more free balls overseas, their company, Uncharted Play (which raised nearly $100,000 on Kickstarter) will begin selling the Soccket at its website, unchartedplay.com. And the company has more energy-producing sports equipment, such as footballs and jump ropes, in the works. Says Matthews, "We're trying to combine play with cutting-edge technology to make the world a better place."

THEY SAID IT

"Todd is too old to go out on a rehab assignment."

WALT WEISS, Rockies manager, on 39-year-old first baseman Todd Helton, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday.

PHOTOGARY C. CASKEY/UPI/LANDOV (WEISS)PHOTOCOURTESY OF FUNDACION TELEVISA (SOCCER BALL)BRIGHT IDEA Soccket earned its creators kudos and grants from organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative.