Saturday, July 10, 2010

Facebook Wall Post Archives June 3 - June 15 2010

 "I have been impressed with the urgency of doing.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we
must do."

-- Leonardo Da Vinci (quoted at the entrance to the Da Vinci Technology Exhibit in the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC)

June 15 at 5:23am ·

 Okay, we did give up composting all our kitchen waste once we built our biogas digestor and brought an insinkerator to Germany (we now just compost grass, leaves, fruit pits, corn cobs, paper, paper towels and tea bags). Still we love composting and for those who don't go for the more efficient biogas solution we are happy to promote this automatic indoor compost bin made for under the sink.

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www.naturemill.com
The NatureMill compost bin makes compost all year round. Automatic mixing, no trash odors, and no worms. Compost from NatureMill offers composting the easy way. Easier than compost bins or compost tumblers, for indoors or outdoors use. For more information visit NatureMill.com

June 15 at 5:33am · · · Share

Joseluis Ortiz
Joseluis Ortiz
Heck yea this is pretty cool, if you have the space i have found Red worm colonies are the way 2 go, but again if you have the space otherwise the nature mill Auto is one sweet machine
June 17 at 5:16pm · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
Hi Jose, glad to be connected to share ideas! I used the worm hotel for years - indoors! -- and when I left L.A. left it as a gift to the Los Angeles Eco-Village (they use it outdoors now). Worm castings and worm compost tea are marvelous, and I am an enthusiast of integrating more wildlife into our homes as our little helpers. Again, as you say, it is about the space, but that may ultimately be about the design. We design cities all wrong and waste space, don't we?
June 17 at 7:00pm · ·
Joseluis Ortiz
Joseluis Ortiz
yes we sure do its horrible but things are changing and with people like you that have amazing ideas this world is slowly changing. take detroit for example, over 50% of its population has left since the 1990s so now 50% of homes bldgs warehouses etc. are empty and turning into drug houses or illegal opperations. so instead of just shutting down ... See Moreaccess or rebuilding they are taking alot of the space and turning them into community gardens, detroit now has over 100 community gardens, i beleive that this should be done now in the building of new cities and parks, can you imagine if every park had a garden that is maintained by garden skilled city employees, the food then goes back to the people, this would cure our need of oil based food and the import of foods so we are not so dependent on mexico and other countries for our produce,now imaging if each garden has its own Compost,,, its all about planning and making this apart of legislation and law, right now were working on makign it law that builders plant a minimum of 2 fruit trees per home when planning and developing new communities ... Your an amazing man
June 17 at 7:20pm · 


Thomas Henry Culhane All over the world Ecological Demonstration Homes are popping up, reminding us that we HAVE the technology to lead comfortable lives without destroying our environmental heritage. This one near Bethlehem shows us that the holy sites are also fille...



Thomas Henry Culhane This short clip illustrates a beautiful merging of the melodious muezzin singing about the greatness of God and the brilliance of the Eco-Palestine geniuses who are working to protect all God's Creation, teaching others that we can build windmill...

Source: www.youtube.com
None

Thomas Henry Culhane Is some blockade (political or emotional) keeping you from solving your energy crisis? Learning from the brilliant Palestinian Engineers without Borders that you can make a wind generator mostly out of an old plastic sewer pipe and a washing machi...

Thomas Henry Culhane

Thomas Henry Culhane The amazing work of Engineers without Borders Palestine needs to be shared around the world. The fact that they are making efficient wind generators out of old sewer pipes (for the blades) and treadmill and washing machine motors (for the generat...

Thomas Henry Culhane ‎@Paula Peng: You will note that yes, the plastic blocks produced DO float, but because they do not resemble jellyfish any more they are unlikely to be deliberately ingested by sea turtles or cetaceans - they would probably be treated by wildlife a...

  I need to point out that because we live in Germany, Sybille and I rarely have any plastic bag waste to deal with at all -- supermarkets actually charge money for plastic bags for those who want them and most of us bring permanent canvas bags wit...

Thomas Henry Culhane

  ‎@iamaGod357 If you are a God, you would do something to keep your waste from getting into other peoples faces too.

Guillermo Jaimes
Guillermo Jaimes
So cool....any thoughts on using a solar oven to accomplish this task?
June 15 at 12:24am · ·
Paula Peng
Paula Peng
Better if you can make something useful out of it yourself. Plastics recycling is little more than a greenwashing myth! Do you know about Heather Rogers' work? "The least recyclable of packaging materials, plastic, loses its infrangible flexibility when made molten again. Also, synthetics are highly sensitive to contamination, so even trace ... See Morelevels of a different type of resin, say a stray laundry detergent cap mixed with milk jugs, can mean that the whole lot gets trashed. (A homogenous type of plastic, sat PET with no contaminants, downcycles less rapidly.) Moreover, a huge proportion of virgin resin must be mixed in to reinforce the weakened plastic to create a useful substance." http://itsagreengreengreengreenworld.blogspot.com/2010/02/heather-rogers-and-recycling.html
June 15 at 1:00am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thanks for the info Paula. My goal here isn't so much to jump into the downcycling, though I am doing some work there, it is to honor and assist the work of Nicaragua's Jose Urteaga who I spent this past week at National Geographic with. Jose is trying desperately to protect sea turtles from extinction and part of that effort means keeping ... See Moreplastic bags out of the ocean. We are getting close to being zero waste in our household and this simple effort helps -- transformed into solid lumps the bags cannot be blown into the air and water. But then, as you will see if you look at my other two little youtube videos (http://solarcities.blogspot.com/2010/06/you-can-try-this-at-home-working-toward.html) there are products that we are trying to create -- the lumps of plastic can be made into bowls and building blocks. I agree that there is a lot of greenwashing, but this is by corporations. Solar CITIES works at the household level so our plastic downcycling efforts are more about allowing people to take responsibility for their own impact on their environments. It would please me if we no longer had to joke about the plastic bag being "the national bird of Egypt" -- when we go the Pyramids we have to suffer the sight of plastic bags flying through the desert and alighting on these ancient monuments and they clog streams and water pipes. So it is to erase this indignity that I am focusing my efforts. Thanks for your thoughts and insights, which are very valuable!!
June 15 at 1:46am · ·
Thomas Henry Culhane
Thomas Henry Culhane
Hi Guillermo! I think solar ovens could be used for this task. What I don't know is how we would regulate the temperature so we don't overboil the vegetable oil. But this is a technical detail that can be worked out. Perhaps what we might do is get up to a few hundred degrees F with the solar cooker and then use a backup electric element on ... See Morethermostat to maintain the temp with minimal input (photovoltaics would work for this). Oil tends to maintain its temp for quite a while in an insulated container so it wouldn't take much electricity to maintain the temp -- it is getting it up to the boiling point (about 350 F) that takes the most energy. So this is a great suggestion which I will try to work on in future. Thanks! If you get a chance to run some experiments please do let us all know the outcomes -- with "citizen science" and cloud computing and crowd sources we can surely solve most of these silly urban problems in no time!
June 15 at 1:50am · ·
Paula Peng
Paula Peng
One question: do they float? Using the fryer is definitely an inventive approach to get more lay-people holding onto plastic waste a little longer and to keep bags from flying around and chocking sea turtles! I just wonder if the lumps actually get recycled unless we make our own stuff out of it? I don't mean to say that you are greenwashing - ... See Morebut I don't trust plastic recycling facilities. Most of what we "recycle" is sold to Asian countries, which end up dumped or burned without ANY regulation. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1942906.ece
June 15 at 2:17am · ·
Paula Peng
Paula Peng
Technical solutions, however revolutionary, will not do enough good unless they are also points of contact between people and groups, in my opinion. We must work both ways - as you are! In addition to household/diy methods of reinvention on the "back end" of production, we need pressure to limit plastic production from the front end - and ... See Moreenforcement of this. California is starting a "ban" on plastic bags in 2012. I hope it will lead to drastic reduction.
Some friends of mine started this project: http://crochetcoralreef.org/index.php - they have been making hyperbolic-crochet reefs out of plastic trash to call attention to these issues, and invited Capt. Moore (http://www.algalita.org/) to speak about the garbage patches - masses of plastic floating in the ocean approx twice the size of Texas.
It's a big issue!
June 15 at 2:42am ·

‎@iamaGod357 I think it is more stupid to contribute to the extinction of large charismatic marine mammals like sea turtles that have been on earth for tens of millions of years simply because we are too lazy to take care of our own wastes at home....


Slide 1:(33 seconds)Hi, I'm T.H. Culhane. I'd like to thank National Geographic, Cheryl Zook, Pat Black, John Richardson and the Blackstone Ranch Foundation for the opportunity to be here in person and for supporting our work...

Thomas Henry Culhane
Thanks you guys! The water bottle, by the way, is a symbol -- we've built entire solar water heaters out of them. I myself never buy bottled water. These days all we use is the "Life Saver Water Bottle" which enables the use of almost any source of freshwater -- from ditches and sewers -- and turns it into drinking water. The idea is "don't ship ... See Morewater around the world, ship the simple membrane's that enable us to clean all our local water". See http://www.lifesaversystems.com/. Meanwhile, we will continue collecting used water bottles to build things out of -- I call them "bottle bricks" and there is a ton of things we can use them for! But your point is well taken Lara -- it does require explanation.
June 14 at 10:23pm · ·
Brian Wildrick
Brian Wildrick
i should've have known a super hero would have a master plan for the water bottle! Symbolism and practicality!!
June 15 at 12:20am

Thanks for sharing this excellent site filled with the kind of ideas we believe in! Hope we are featured there someday!


eco-ideas.net
Be part of a greener, healthier planet. Enjoy videos and stories about the environment. Discover simple eco-friendly actions that show you care.

  Next to her home in the hills of Kigoma, Tanzania, overlooking beautiful Lake Tanganyika, fellow National Geographic Emerging Explorer Grace Gobbo builds a 2000 liter kitchen-waste-to-cooking-gas reactor in partnership with Solar CITIES and the Blackstone Ranch Foundation. Our idea is to have each Explorer personally ...using the solutions we share with others so that we become true experts in sustainable technology through lived experience. This one should give Grace up to 4 hours of gas per day.

See More

June 14 at 11:16am · · · See Wall-to-Wall





Thomas Henry Culhane
Fantastic Grace! I can't wait to hear how your new biodigestor works! This is a great picture showing the "bacterial fuel rods" in the center! Is that a chicken coop to the right? A good source of waste material for the digestor -- but careful not to overfeed!

 Hi TH, hope you had great presentation at NGS. we are progressing well. The tank is supposed to arrive today, I have already built the digester. By the way I got a two plate gas cooker from town, but it has a less than 1/2'' connecter, any idea what I should to?


This won't be a problem Grace, just hook it up with a rubber hose that reduces the size. Sometimes I simply shove a smaller diameter hose into the half-inch hose. If necessary, use a hose clamp to make sure they don't get pulled apart. My stove from Cairo has a 1/4" connector so I use the 1/4" hose and shove it into the half inch hose. Thanks for ... See Morethe pictures! It was great watching videos of us singing with the villagers in Kalinzi and you demonstrating the gas on the big screen at National Geographic! Wish you had been there! On our next trip you must join us to the village of this years EE from Kenya, Kukenya of the Masai! Check out her profile at the Nat Geo site; she is building a girls school near the border with Tanzania and has invited us to build biodigestors.

  ‎"I was really raised to think that if something needs to be done, and you can do it, it's your job" -- Filmmaker Carol Dysinger, director of "Camp Victory, Afghanistan" at the Human Rights Watch Film Festiva


Slide 1:(33 seconds)Hi, I'm T.H. Culhane. I'd like to thank National Geographic, Cheryl Zook, Pat Black, John Richardson and the Blackstone Ranch Foundation for the opportunity to be here in person and for supporting our work. I'll let National Geographic School Publishing star

  Here is the official site for our motley crew of perhaps un-caped but certainly colorful crusaders -- the "Nat Geo E-Team!" Action figures and comic books to follow?


kids.nationalgeographic.com
Meet National Geographic's team of explorers! Explore the interactive and click on the figures to learn more about each person.

Um, er, Steve, I wasn't joking -- not only have I been a comic aficionado from childhood into my late 40s, but have a sister-in-law (Amy Weingartner) who used to work for Marvel (and then, as now, is producing comics for Disney) and a brother (Mike Culhane) who used to work for DC. But we haven't started the dialog about working across entities. It would be a dream of mine, of course, I just don't know how to put something like that in motion. As a teenager I marched up to Stan Lee at a comic con and announced that one day I wanted to work for him (he was very kind and said to send him my portfolio when ready) and I once pitched a comic idea to the late Ringling Bros. Circus President Irvin Feld for a circus superhero who travels with the Greatest Show on Earth working to save the earth. Most recently I presented alongside Watchmen's Dave Gibbons on Tali Krakowski's marvelous "5d" panel at the FMX conference in Stuttgart, talking with him about "play as life" and our agreement that comic books have a major effect on our perception of self and society and that we need them more than ever so that we can be inspired to bring our own heroics to the fore in an age of terror. All that said, YES I would love it if you could hook us up with folks in that business who would be sympathetic to the idea of creating a real comic book from the National Geographic E-Team members and interested in creating the right prototype and pitch that might interest both Nat Geo and one of the comic companies in taking the concept forward. Heck, if Marvel could come up with a fun comic based on the real life rock band "Kiss" (which I've bought in several different countries in several different langauges) a comic about the real life heroics of the Explorers could be quite fun and important in inspiring impressionable readers to get involved with real life solutions. I would love to dialog more with you about this and yes yes yes, hook me up by all means (and action figures, as I know well by watching my young son play with the one's we collect, are also very important, so I hope that will happen too!)

Hi Lauren -- I think the age range is universal - while the E-Team is featured in a cartoon caricature on NG Kids website, the links are to very real and important research and conservation efforts that all are making which ranges from the most media friendly explorations to the most esoteric but important scientific discoveries. Nat Geo strives ... See Moreto put out various takes on the works that are best suited for specific age groups, but as Steve's comment above indicates, the "comic" nature of the illustrations doesn't restrict the appeal. I guess the best thing is to introduce your son to the page and see what he thinks. His comments would be very valuable! Thanks!

It is a privilege and honor to be "in the picture" with this amazing group of problem solvers who get the big picture and to be able to share with them solutions to the urgent problems facing humanity and our non-human relatives. The circle of life and the circle of family and friends keeps widening, particularly t...hanks to the tireless efforts of Cheryl Zook who brings us all together to create synergies.

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www.nationalgeographic.com
Read about the National Geographic Explorers Symposium and get videos, information, facts, and more about from National Geographic.

  Spending the week and being onstage sharing the "applications of innovative technology" panel with FrontlineSMS founder Ken Banks was certainly a highlight of our U.S. trip. I hope all our friends around the world will make immediate use of FrontlineSMS's important (and cost-free!) communications technology to help end... the "tragedy of the commons" and bring sustainability back to the social and biosphere.

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www.frontlinesms.com
A lack of communication can be a major barrier for grassroots non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in developing countries. FrontlineSMS is the first text messaging system created exclusively with this problem in mind.

Just as we are finishing the National Geographic Explorers Symposium, where we have been talking about our collaboration with the Palestinian Wildlife Society, this picture has come in from our colleagues in the West Bank showing the production of flammable gas from just a few kilograms of dry horse manure introduced at the end of May. Mabrouk!


‫القنصلية الامريكية والحياة البرية ومهندسون بلا حدود يننظمون حلقة نقاش حول انتاج الغاز الطبيعي محليا تظمت جمعية الحياة

  Two days of fantastic National Geographic Explorers presentations just concluded with messages of sobering urgency and a good measure of hope. My own presentation on our Blackstone Ranch/Nat Geo Innovations Grant progress working with Katey Walter, the Jouberts, Grace Gobbo, Beverly Goodman and Nathan Wolfe in Alaska, ...Kenya, Tanzania, Israel, Palestine and the Congo was tremendously well received and the synergies are growing, amplifying, and extending through our Emerging Explorer Family -- a kind of "Justice League of Explorers". See our marvelous caricatures on the link!

See More


Hey TH, Alex has a science project due on Monday and her subject is solar energy. She wants to make a mini solar panel. Can you point her in the right direction of how to get started.


Hi Is! Sorry I haven't responded -- I'm in Washington DC at the Nat Geo symposium where I presented and haven't had a moment to get to email or facebook. Running now to more meetings. If Alex is talking about a solar hot water panel then the best thing to do is to take an old car radiator (or any small old radiator) and put it in a box on top of a sheet of aluminum, paint everything black, run water in the bottom and out the top and put a plate of clear glass on top of the box and seal with plumbers silicone so no heat can escape. Lean this panel at a 45 degree angle toward the south, Put a bucket of water on a small table on top and take the cold water out of the bottom of the bucket through a tube to the bottom of the solar panel radiator pipe and take the hot water out of the top and put it into the bucket about 3/4 or the way up. Then you can see and feel the hot water moving into the bucket. Look for more ideas on instructables.com. Let me know if I can help out more; I may be able to get to stuff on Sunday when I'm back in New York. Hope that helps!


Thanks to Todd Blaisdell and Brian Wildrick for providing vital data on the Alaskan biodigestor at Harborside Pizza just in time for my National Geographic Presentation in DC -- Guys, the picture is now in the presentation and will be seen by legions of caped crusaders around the world striving to make a difference.


www.flickr.com
This is the flame from a burn on day 106 of our Lake Eyak mud methane digester.


Brian Wildrick T.H., I am almost 100 percent certain that the only thing we have in the feeding tank at Harborside is only lake mud, mixed with water, oil, and sugar. Then compost. I don't believe the students mixed any Fairbanks juice in there. I am glad that our digestor is working, and I have begun the experiment with 4 differ...ent basil plants. One tap water, one effluant, one mix of water/effluant, and one Shulz's plant fertilizer. If we can show results against a name brand, we're in!

See MoreJune 8 at 5:51pm ·

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