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UnDisciplined: A fantastical idea just might be our solution to viable energy storage

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Flywheels have long been derided as a fanciful idea — a sort of perpetual motion machine that stores energy and produces electricity without a battery — but now these contraptions are getting a second look. And it might not be so fanciful after all.

Nate Walkingshaw is the founder and CEO of Torus, which has built and is selling the world's first home flywheel energy storage system. And he's still a part-time tree farmer.

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Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling <i>Lifespan</i> with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning <i>Longevity Plan</i> with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, <i>Superlative</i>, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.<br/>