Steorn, the discredited peddler of free energy dreams, is back with a shiny new website pushing their perpetual motion technology called Orbo, which they now have slated for a 2009 relaunch.

In 2006 they placed an ad in The Economist claiming to have developed "technology that produces free, clean and constant energy. Our technology has been independently validated by engineers and scientists — always behind closed doors, always off the record, always proven to work."

It's as silly as it sounds. On the day that they were to demo the machine, they announced that their test unit wasn't working. They suspected the hot camera lights as the culprit.

They basically said they found a way around the principles of the conservation of energy but won't name the scientists and engineers who verified their claims because they didn't want to get caught up in the drama.

You can put lipstick on a dead pig — you can even tattoo pretty eyebrows on — but at the end of the day it's still a dead, stinky pig. Steorn didn't invent a machine that produces free energy and never will, no matter how much ill-invested money they throw into it.

It's not hard to see how a company like Steorn can exist. About 20 percent of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth. Millions of Americans think Rush Limbaugh is a legitimate source of news and information. There is a healthy population of people on the planet with poor scientific literacy who easily get boondoggled by slick executives with fancy websites and professional produced videos.

Or maybe they really ARE just video game publishers playing a very long game of PR stuntery.

Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

There's no such thing as free energy
The Orbo, from Irish company Steorn, is supposed to break the laws of the conservation of energy. If only it worked.