January 2009

Monthly Archive

Business of Biomimicry – Harvard Business Review

Posted by on 23 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry

HBR List 2009 logo

Janine Benyus and Gunter Pauli team up on a short list for Harvard Business Review that includes water harvesting from fog and a broader view of solar.

Biomimics draw inspiration for new product designs from biological processes, physical traits, and behavioral strategies observed in nature….Today we look ever more systematically to nature for sustainable solutions to a host of practical problems – for which existing solutions are often environmentally unfriendly or energy inefficient. We believe that now is an opportune time for global businesses to develop profitably around some of the ideas nature offers. Continued at Harvard Business Review…

Wasp Inspires Surgical Robot

Posted by on 22 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: biomimicry

Scientific American reports on a biomimetic invention that will help bypass high-risk areas during brain during surgery:

The female wood wasps of the Siricidae family use a needle-like ovipositor to deposit eggs inside pine trees. This has two dovetailed shafts, each covered in backward-facing teeth. To bore into wood, the wasp rapidly oscillates each shaft backwards and forwards. As the shaft is pulled backwards, its sharp teeth catch in the wood’s tissue and prevent it from retreating, so with each oscillation the ovipositor takes a small step forward.

Continued at Scientific American.

Technology for the (Financially) Poor

Posted by on 07 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: liveable cities

Another via my friend Ben de Vries to check out if you’re interested in another side of the open source movement:

Technology for the Poor’s mission is to develop, innovate and disseminate sustainable technologies to the poor all over the world. http://www.technologyforthepoor.com/

Holiday in the Sun

Posted by on 07 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: events, people

From: Ben de Vries <bendevries1968@gmail.com>
Subject: Your invitation to a work party
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 11:50 AM
This is the invitation:
March 2010
Tropical location, from Florida ~$300 round trip, passport required. If enough people get on the same plane a group rate is possible.
We will be doing work on a permaculture site in the caribbean. Probable work includes building dams, water management features, shade features, and given time, garden expansions. The rainy season should just be over, so there is a good possibility of crops to take in (and eat). Seafood is readily available locally.
What’s in it for me?:
1. a tropical work vacation in the caribbean (lose the winter blahs!)
2. food & accomodations (mostly vegetarian)
3. field experience
4. a letter of reference, if desired
5. your work becomes credit for future stays at an ecovillage site YOU HELPED BUILD
6. a community and workspace WE create
Many places actually CHARGE for this sort of experience, calling it a ‘retreat’ or some such. I don’t feel this is fair, as I want to include young people who don’t have much money to spare. What concerns me is motivation- if you have it, that’s what I want to see. I am against ‘exclusive’ events, and want to include those with motivation but not huge bank accounts. Work or money- but I don’t feel comfortable asking for both. I have been short-ended on occasion because I didn’t have enough money and I am not going to do that to anybody.
In all likelyhood, there will be very interesting people with much knowledge to share with you. Some possibilities for future projects might be encountered from other participants. I can’t make promises- there is no certainty, only opportunity.
The way I see it, with nearly 15 months to plan, save $100 a month in a cookie jar and by next march you will have PLENTY to make sure you have a good time. Locally it is also a good place to get SCUBA certification, and some of the best reef diving in the western hemisphere I am told. I understand it is also the location of the dolphin communication project workshop in may, although we are not affiliated. If you save more, you can extend your stay and explore the surrounding area, etc.
I certainly hope in a years time to see the best and brightest at my door. There will be much to do, and much we can create together. We can coordinate planning as we have plenty of time.
DO respond quickly if you are interested, as I want to gauge how much accomodation space I will need to build. (at least by august 1 this year please).
If you are putting together a crew, please collect resumes or a short essay from each participant for me.
I think people who have worked on previous projects with me have been pretty happy about it. I am quite sure one or two will show up for this one.

Ben de Vries
Certified Permaculture Designer