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Meanwhile, on the Internet
Tribune Reporters
'Meanwhile' is a collaborative blog about all the crazy stuff on the Internet. Here, reporters from various Tribune desks tell you what you (almost) need to know about topics ranging from technology to YouTube sensations. Contributors: Michael McFall, Dave Newlin, Matt Piper, Brennan Smith, Erin Alberty. Edited by Sheena McFarland.

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(Bob Mims | Tribune file photo)
Could a “smog vacuum” save Utah from the awful inversion?

There’s no doubt Utah’s air quality sucks at this time of year, but could we just suck up the pollution and send it elsewhere?

That’s the intriguing possibility suggested by a newly invented "smog vacuum." A Dutch designer invented the vacuum, Urban Times reports, which works by attracting smog particles to the ground where they’re captured and compressed.

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The device works sort of like a static-y balloon attracting hair, except that it uses a copper coil to create an electromagnetic field. The coil would be buried underground.

The downside is that the vacuum would only be able to clear small areas, though given Utah’s horrible air — which despite being beautiful is aggravating Utahns — that might be a welcomed improvement.

The smog vacuum is scheduled for a test run this week in China, aka the only place with worse air than the Wasatch Front. Time will tell if it’ll work, but in the meantime I guess we’ll just have to suffer — or actually get serious about curbing emissions.

— Jim Dalrymple II

Twitter: @jimmycdii

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