Updated at 2:43 p.m. PDT: A couple of keen readers with better engineering backgrounds than us pointed out that the "blue thing" is a generator, not a capacitor. We're sorry our Russian isn't as good as it could be.
Earlier Thursday, we brought you the DIY arcade cabinet, a feat of great ingenuity. But now I find this: a homemade, DIY, dynamo-powered charger. According to English Russia (one of the greatest sites on the Web,) Chechen soldiers made it to keep their phones charged while stationed in the woods without electricity.
This is awesome in every way. Apparently, you turn the crank to pull the strings to activate the pulleys. This, in turn, generates electricity in the generator (the blue thing), which is passed to the phone.
No word on how long you have to work the spools to get enough charge for a five-minute phone call, but while waiting in the cold woods it would be a good way to stay busy and keep warm. My question is: when will we see more dynamo phone chargers made commercially in the States? We have radios and flashlights, this just makes sense.