Category Archives: Tech

Easy Folk Art Reindeer project

folk art reindeerWhat a great use for scraps from  2×4’s!  My son wanted to build something, but at the time he was only a third grader, and I’m not very handy with building tools.  So we created this simple folk art project from scrap 2×4’s laying around the garage.  Using a combination of nails and screws, we attached the boards, then painted them with outdoor paint.  The sponge clown nose is attached with a nail, and the antlers are Continue reading

Cook a turkey in a solar oven

Who would have thought you could cook a turkey in a solar oven?  My how solar ovens have improved.  It wasn’t that long ago when the only solar ovens were the ones you made at home with a pizza box and tin foil.  Then, websites became available to donate solar ovens to people in countries with not much firewood, or who had trouble affording gas/oil/etc. for cooking.  Now, people in first world as well as third world countries can purchase and use solar ovens to bake, boil, and steam food, enhancing taste and benefitting Continue reading

Vegetable/herb garden, worm bin, and fish tank all rolled into one

Wouldn’t it be great to have a vegetable/herb garden, worm bin, and fish tank all rolled into one?  Such an invention already exists, and the easy at-home version is called a Fishy Farm.  I like the littler version for a fun take on indoor gardening with fish tank aquarium, but in the bigger outdoor version you can grow rainbow trout or tilapia for consumption as well.  The fish wastewater is piped up to the veggies/herbs to be used as fertilizer.  No soil is used, only clay type balls and volcanic rock, and around those balls are red worms that eat anything that the plants don’t use.  The water then drains Continue reading

Pee generated electricity

A urine-powered generator  has been created by teenage girls!  Their invention turns one liter of urine into six hours of electricity.  These girls are actively working to solve major world problems.  These generators would be great as emergency back-up, or even everyday use.  This aligns with cradle to cradle methodology.  When this idea becomes an actual product, please let me know and I’ll post it here.  Until then, take a look at this article, and if you are a decision maker, help Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola  bring this invention to market!

Build-A-Building: The all-in-one doghouse, chicken coop, playhouse, shed

Imagine a backyard building system that was so easy to put together and take apart that a 5th grader could do it.  Imagine instructions you could download free online that were as accurate and easy to follow as IKEA or Lego kits.  Imagine not having to get rid of the dog house, the shed, the chicken coop, the play house when you were done with it…. but instead be able to re-form the components from the old building you no longer use, into a new building you CAN use?

Wouldn’t it be great if you had re-usable, interchangeable building pieces that you could reconfigure as your needs changed?  Let’s say Continue reading

Hand powered flashlight is fun and funky

Use your own energy to create light!  Here’s a hand powered black cat flashlight with LED eyes.  When I squeeze the lever by my thumb repeatedly, it charges the flashlight.  No batteries to replace.  This is a productive way to use your frustation energy or keep grade school kids busy… “hey, Tommy, (stop torturing the dog and) come charge the flashlight!”  The fact that this particular flashlight is in the shape of a black cat makes it all the more fun – I display it on a shelf as a decoration so it’s always in easy reach should I need it.  I purchased this several years ago at our local New Seasons Market around Halloween, but you can find similar hand powered flashlights at places like Lehman’s Catalog and Ikea.

A better roof (possibly with a rain water purification system)

I have an idea I want to share to create a non-toxic, food-grade roof, since we need a new roof for our modest Portland Oregon home.  I want to replace my aging roof with shingles made of a non-toxic food grade material to provide clean rainwater for watering my edible landscape, and possibly for emergency drinking.  My current patch-job asphalt roof is made of petro-chemicals, which flake off into my rain barrels, which then is used to water my edible plants.  The roofers, builders, and rain barrel sellers I’ve talked to say there is no such thing as a non-toxic food-grade roofing material that is reasonably priced and would work on my home*.  I’m looking for a product already in use possibly elsewhere in the world, or a company willing to invent/sell a food-grade roofing product for a reasonable price.

Why are roofs made that pollute clean rainwater? Everyone living in Continue reading

Why do we poo in our fresh drinking water?

With the scarcity of clean drinking water in the world, why do we still poo in our fresh drinking water? Modern sanitation has wiped out diseases and stuff, and it’s convenient to poo in a toilet, flush, and have a stream of water wisk our load away  quickly out of sight.  But this system was developed when clean water was an endless resource, and times have changed.

Here’s a few things for thought leaders to mull about.

1. We could use gray water instead of fresh water Continue reading

iweb/wordpress snafu solved

My hero today is James ‘Jamie’ Pollock, computer consultant.  I’ve been talking to web design people for months trying to solve an issue on how to put a category feed from a wordpress site into my  iweb site’s home page.  They’ve all told me point blank “get rid of iweb and start a wordpress site!”  And although I realize that would be, in a perfect world, the ideal thing to do, the problem is I’ve got a LOT of content on my iweb site I’d have to transfer over.  I would rather archive the content and just add new content in my chosen (albeit unconventional) way – content I can blog about in a category on my current wordpress site.

This is where Jamie comes in.  I’m doing my usual online searching Continue reading

Bike fitting

As my kids grew into teens and got new bikes, it seemed that I was always huffing and puffing to keep up with my family on bike rides.  Since I enjoy biking this was getting annoying.  So I went to The Bike Gallery and told them my situation:  “I love to bike with the family but it seems like lately I feel like I’m always peddling uphill in mud while the rest of the family breezes by…plus my right hand goes numb on longer rides.  What can I do?  Do I need an electric bike? Do I need a three wheel trike?”

The Bike Gallery took a look at my old bike and pointed out that it was much heavier than my kids’ and husbands newer bikes, meaning I was working Continue reading