To Save Ten Million Lives…

Here is an email on locale-appropriate technology that I send out to various interested parties.  Please send a copy to anyone you think might be able to help get this information to those who so desperately need it.


Hey, guys! I’m just here to pass on some links on water filtering; safer, more efficient heating/cooking; strong, inexpensive buildings; soil improvement; and safer septic systems. (All five technologies can be easily put into use with local materials and few tools.) Please note that most subjects will require further study to see how best they can be implemented, but, when used together, almost guarantees a substantial improvement in the standard of living, when not outright saving lives.



Main points of rocket stoves:

  • Fuel is completely burned:
  • Because the  combustion chamber is well insulated, the temperature inside of it can reach 1800 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • No smoke.  The operating temperature inside the  combustion chamber is more than double the autoignition point of any fuel you would be using, so everything (even smoke) is burned.  Once at operating temperature, the exhaust mostly consists of warm, moist air, rich in CO2, which is perfect for greenhouse atmosphere.
  • No soot in pipes.  (As one link states, it took over two years for sufficient creosote to build up in the heat exchanger to noticeably effect performance, without becoming a hazard.)
  • No carbon monoxide.  Because of high air flow rate (the reason behind the word ‘rocket’), every carbon atom has lots of oxygen atoms to bind to.
  • Very little ash to clean out.
  • Versatile.  Burn wood chips, branches, leaves, grass clippings, newspaper, entire trees.  It will all burn completely.
  • +90% efficiency.  4-8 times more efficient, compared to regular wood stoves.
  • Safe.  The only high heat is in the combustion chamber, which doesn’t strictly need to be immediately adjacent to where the fuel is burned, or the mass to be heated.  The exhaust is generally as hot as a cup of coffee.
  • Inexpensive.  Almost all of the stove can be made with materials gathered on-sight (clay/straw/etc.)
  • Attractive.  The outer surface can be clay/metal/etc., Whatever you want it to look like.
  • The top of the combustion chamber can be used as a flat cooking surface, contain a stock pot insert, and/or be used for a hot water heater/boiler.


  • Functions almost like a coral reef for sheltering soil micro-organisms
  • Holds water and nutrients until plants remove them, keeping both from leeching further down into soil, and water from evaporating upwards.
  • Component of terra preta
  • Solely mechanical soil improvement



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Gun control is *NOT* the answer.

You will hear a lot of people arguing for gun control and higher security to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook, Columbine, or the Aurora theater, but disarming everyone but criminals and placing armed guards everywhere people might congregate just isn’t feasible.  (The other answer to weapon inequality is to make it mandatory for every citizen to be trained with and own a weapon, which must be worn at all times. That may seem unreasonable, but, if the teachers, older students, and theater patrons had all had guns…) Until you plug the holes in the boat, it won’t stop sinking, no matter how many paper cups you give the passengers to bail with.

To actually solve the problem, every single person will need to go much further.  Tell me this: when was the last time you heard of a kindergarten student taking a civic responsibility class? Probably never, yet that is how early it needs to start to foster a true sense of societal stewardship. For at least the last two generations, children have been taught that they are ‘special’ and taught their ‘rights’, which is enforced mentally/emotionally by the media and physically by the government; in short, they are given power without earning it or being held responsible for what they do with it. (Yes, there are exceptions, where, for example, a child is in actual danger, but they are few and far between, though, because of our own shortsightedness, it is becoming more and more common.  Child abuse has reached horrifying levels.)

Up until around a half a century ago, children were taught, from an early age, their responsibilities towards their family and society as a whole. At some point, however, the emphasis changed to a more self-centered focus, working to build up a child’s sense of self-esteem based on his or her mere existence, rather than what he or she has actually done that is worthy of celebration.  How can such empty teachings NOT lead to spoiled children, when they are told that they don’t have to do anything that they don’t want to, yet can still feel proud of themselves? …and it gets worse; think of how the spoiled children you know behave, imagine that behaviour extending into adulthood, then Google ‘Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)‘ and compare.  (Go ahead.  I’ll wait for you.)

Chilling, isn’t it? In essence, by not teaching children self-control, self-discipline, and respect and compassion for others, modern society is breeding for psychopaths!

Now we’ve come full circle; how yesterday’s parents raised their children has determined how rampant the disregard for human life is today, and why our children are dying at the hands of their children. …and the trend will only accelerate until society as a whole wakes up, seizes the reins with both hands, and teaches its children to be caring citizens, not selfish parasites.

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Image Rescaling Utilities

A while ago, I evaluated some software for a client to resize pics without losing detail, and find that Genuine Fractals 6.0 ($160), PhotoZoom Pro 2 ($240), and Image Enlarger 0.8 ($0) do an amazing job of producing sharp, clear enlargements, as can be seen in this comparison of a 64×64 sample enlarged to 256×256 (4x):

For rescaling high-contrast images by 2, 3, & 4 times, however, there is simply no better algorithm than HQx (Code page)


If you want ‘content aware’ rescaling, but don’t want to pay the big bucks for Photoshop, the generic term is ‘seam carving‘ (software links at the bottom of the page).  You can resize scenes like this

or even remove portions of a scene, like this:

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