Category Archives: Sustaining Technologies

Elizabeth Coli found in an under cooked hot dog (or the toy store)


The reason that giving massive amounts of antibiotics to farm animals is dangerous is not because the antibiotics may remain in the meat and we humans might get too much antibiotics in our system. It is because the antibiotics will kill all but the most dangerous and most antibiotic resistant bacteria in Mr. Cow. The antibiotics will not kill us, but the super antibiotic resistant bacteria that we eat might make us sick.

Here is a Consumer Reports Petition about it:

more information:


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Filed under Agriculture, Sustaining Technologies

Robots are replacing migrant workers

Migrant workers who pick lettuce, strawberries and oranges are being sent back home, and there are not that many Americans who want their jobs of kneeling and picking in the hot sun all day for subsistance living wages. Farmers are watching the fruit rot on their trees waiting for somebody to pick them. What to do?  Well they are beginning to use robots. At first this was a very slow and tedious process, but there is a company called Vision Robotics that has figured it out. You use 2 robots working as a team – the first robot is the eagle-eye scout. Mr. Eagle Eye scans the orange tree and draws a 3D image of where all the ripe oranges that need to picked are, and calculates the most strategic way to pick all the oranges. He sends this image to his eight-armed octopus robot friend who strips the oranges off the tree, 8 at a time! Problem solved!

Farms Fund Robots to Replace Migrant Fruit Pickers

 They also have a strawberry plant sorter robot as we head to the fully automated Farm of the Future!

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Filed under Agriculture, Robots, Sustaining Technologies

Dust on your iPhone


Dust is a comic book that features stories from the Bible.

The Seven Sons story featured in Dust #3 and on the iPhone and iPod is based on the seven sons of a Jewish Priest who start casting out spirits in Jesus’ name. Their story is told in Acts.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Religion, Sustaining Technologies

Bill Gates is leaving MicroSoft

Bill Gates,52,  just decided to leave MicroSoft. He is cleaning out his desk this Friday.  He is worth $58 billion and has decided to become a philanthropist. Previously he has founded and led a company that made $51 billion last year and employs 78,000 people.




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Filed under America, mission, Sustaining Technologies

Farm Party!

Gretchen had larengitis this weekend so she couldn’t come to a party celebrating the Lisa and Ike Kirschner’s new farm! Ben and I went and had a great time – there was a lot of homemade food and drink and a band. The Kirschner’s sell fruits and vegetables at farmer’s markets – such as the West Chester Farmer Market that just re-opened last Saturday morning. The Kirschners have employed Gretchen and Sam and Josh at various times, and we joined their club where you pay them a lump sum in January and they provide their fantastic fruits and vegetables for you every week from June 1 to November! I am looking forward to that!

Lisa is also a talented writer and she wrote a My Turn column for Newsweek that you must read here – Farming as a Labor of Love. They also have a very organized son – Jay, who is a good friend of Ben’s. Jay and Ben used to be in a homeschool co-op together. He had the cleanest bedroom ever for a thirteen year old! Jay was the photographer for the party. Being on a farm reminded me of Kansas.

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Filed under food, Life, Sustaining Technologies, West Chester

The African Green Revolution

Food yields in Africa are about the same as they were 50 years ago – one metric ton of grain per hectare. Almost everywhere else in the world, farmers are getting three metric tons per hectare. India experienced a Green Revolution when poor farmers started using modern farming techniques – but this has not happened yet in Africa. By using high-yield seeds, fertilizer, and small scale irrigation, crop production could be increased and farmers could go from subsistance farming to commercial farming.

Jeffery Sachs, in an editorial in the Scientific American, (May 2008, p 42) says that poverty could be greatly reduced if farmers had the capital and the know-how to increase their agricultural production. It would be very possible to double grain production in Africa by 2012,  make 3/4 of the subsistance farmers into commercial farmers in a decade, and cut the ranks of the hungry by at least half  by 2015. It would only cost 10 billion dollars a year from the rich countries of the world – which amounts to only $10 per person in donor countries.



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Filed under Africa, Sustaining Technologies

A request for materials from Zimbabwe

I just got an interesting request from the Njeremoto Biodiversity Institute for materials to build a complete solar community in Zimbabwe as a comment here. Here is what is says:


We are implementing a solar project in Zimbabwe funded by GEF SGP in Ward 23 Chipinge. We want to set up a complete Solar Community. We have built a solar charge centre. For sustainability we want the community to set up a revolving solar materials. We urgenytly require trhe forllowing items
ITEM            QTY
Lamp holders, screw type                7
DC energy saver bulbs           7
Switch 4 gang 2 way             1
Switch 1 gang 2 way             2
Switch 1 gang 1 way             4
DSO 13 Amp              6
19 mm conduit PVC               50
Nipples         50
Round Box               45
Gaddles         80
2.5 mm sq red           300
2.5 mm sq black         200
15 Amp MCB              3
5 Amp MCB               2
4 way DB                25
Cable from Battery Station/m            25
6 x 3 surface box               6
Couplings               60
Bulk head light         5
Fisher plugs            2
Insulation tape         3
Cable glands            5
Wood screws box         1
Solvent cement/litre            1
5000W pure sine wave inverter
1400W inverter for Clinic




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Filed under Africa, Sustaining Technologies