Solar-Powered Vaccine Refrigeration

Search Google for “rural vaccine refrigerators” and all kinds of solar energy projects pop up. Most recently, in June 2002 Kyocera Solar Inc. announced “the worlds most economical solar-powered vaccine refrigeration system.” The refrigerators make it possible to expand the reach of vaccines to areas not presently served. Extra insulation keeps contents cool and improves battery life. Read the press release or download the PDF brochure.

>  5 August 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Depleted Uranium

“Depleted uranium is created as a by-product of the processes used to convert natural uranium for use as nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons. NATO used ammunition and weaponry made of depleted uranium during its air strikes on Yugoslavia in 1999. Suspicious deaths and illnesses among Europeans exposed to the substance are prompting investigators to examine DU’s health risks. The United States has denied any link between illnesses and exposure to depleted uranium.”

Read Trail of a Bullet, a series of articles from the Christian Science Monitor. Join the call to ban the use of DU.

>  31 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in

“Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources [like soybeans]. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with no major modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.” is the official Web site of the U.S. National Biodiesel Board. Lots of good info and resources in PDF format.

>  19 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,


“The Alameda County Computer Recycling Center is a 501c3 nonprofit computer recycling organization that provides computers to those on the Earth who would not otherwise have access to them. We help disadvantaged, undereducated, and disabled humans gain access to technology, computers, and the Internet. We teach... unskilled workers how to build and maintain computers. We give computers to underprivileged peoples, including citizens and governments..... We give computers to physically disadvantaged individuals. We donated over 5000 computers last year, all at no cost to the recipients. We are a 100% Microsoft Free organization. Every computer we donate runs a full and legitimate copy of SuSe Linux. The computers that we place with our recipients are refurbished through our Computer Repair Internship Program. In the process, we ensure that obsolete, non-working, or no longer usable electronic equipment does not end up in landfills.”

>  14 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Computing with Chicken

“In late June, a chemical engineer from the University of Delaware filed a patent that described a new generation of microchips. The patent proposes to replace silicon — which has long served as the basis for microchips — with another material. And what might this mystery component be? Chicken feathers. Richard Wool understands that nonspecialists will find this strange. But he’s used to it. Wool and his colleagues at the university’s ACRES project (Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources) have been developing new uses for plant fibers, oils and resins. Using such raw materials as the humble soybean, Wool and his colleagues are designing prototypes for everything from simple adhesives to hurricane-proof roofs.”

From the Washington Post.

Found via Slashdot.

>  9 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Branding Beijing

“Beijing Organising Committee of the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) opened a two-day Olympic Design Conference in Beijing on Tuesday in a bid to find the most appropriate ways to impress the world visually. Beijing Mayor Liu Qi said in the opening address that through the magnificent and unique ‘Olympic look’, Beijing will unfold the great charm of this global sporting event and the history of China. Meanwhile, Beijing will also ‘promote the concept of “New Beijing, Great Olympics”, and demonstrate and elevate the image of Beijing and China in the world’, added Liu, who is also BOCOG president.”

From the People’s Daily.

>  7 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , , , , ,

These Colors Don't Run

“The people in the apartment across the street have had an American flag hanging outside their second floor window since the day after 9/11. Looking out my window this morning, I noticed that the bottom of the flag is tattered from waving in the brisk San Francisco breeze for ten months. The top red stripe is seceding from the rest of the flag, the wind gradually tearing it away from the other twelve.

I wonder if they’ve forgotten about the flag and the reasons they bought it in the first place, the respect they must have felt for it then and the disrespect with which they are treating it now.”


>  6 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

Universal Bathroom

The Industrial Designers Society of America has announced the 2002 winners of their Industrial Design Excellence Awards. Note the Universal Bathrooms developed by the Kelley Design Group and University at Buffalo for the National Institute of Disability & Rehabilitation Research.

“The Universal Bathroom concept uses two entries, movable fixtures and movable panels to retrofit existing bathrooms for universal design. Because many people are aging, become disabled, etc., and do not want to move from their house, retrofitting the bathroom is an economically viable and a physically easier alternative than moving to another location.”

See also the PediaPod, Automatic Public Toilet, and Universal Bedpan.

>  4 July 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Kills Desert Flies, Lice, and Friendly Soldiers

“Brain scans on Gulf War veterans in the United States who are suffering from debilitating diseases may have resolved why 130,000 US and British servicemen and women complain of mystery illnesses.... The damage to the brain was likely to have been caused by the use of organophosphate pesticides to kill desert flies and lice at the American and British tented camps in Saudi Arabia; the anti-nerve gas tablets and vaccines given to frontline troops and inhalation of chemicals after the Americans bombed an Iraqi chemical weapons store.”

From The Times of London.

>  26 June 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

Greener by Design

Edwin Datschefski specialises in the development and promotion of sustainable product design concept.” His site Greener by Design has a couple of interesting lists of environmentally friendly products. My favorite: the ice cream cone as an example of edible packaging.

>  17 June 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

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