Sunday, December 27, 2009

INTRODUCTION: Two Institutions Required in Every Watershed: Commodity Ecology and Civic Democratic Institutions

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Introduction: Two Institutions Required in Every Watershed: Commodity Ecology and Civic Democratic Institutions. Read that link for an explanation. And this one about maintaining biodiveristy and the bioregional state.

No where is required to entirely reinvent the wheel. Related intimately to the book Toward A Bioregional State (2005), this PARALLEL blog will be a clearinghouse of interesting technologies and materials showing that the wider window of known possibilities that can be utilized, instead of reinvented, for institutionalizing sustainability materially, in a particular watershed.

Unlike most blogs, it will be associated with a permanent number of 94 updated threads--one for each of the human commodity choices, as follows:

1. textiles
2. dyes/colorants (murex, cochineal, synthetic chemicals, derived organic coal based chemicals)
3. building materials/tool construction
4. metals
5. garbage/garbage disposal
6. soils/dirt
7. drugs/medicines
8. infant food
9. animal based food
10. vegetable based food
11. mycelium based food (mushrooms)
12. insect based food
13. transport
14. pollinators (introduced bees where none exist; or in some cases required hand pollination, in vanilla for instance; ultrasound/birdsong pollinators)
15. fertilizers
16. herbicides/pesticides
17. mineral food (typically only one: salt, sometimes earth/clays/dirt)
18. preservatives (salt, smoke, sun-dry/dehydrate, chemical, sugared, vacuum sealed, pickled, dry freeze, etc.)
19. communication/transmission technology (voice/sound, paper, mud brick cuneiform, silk rolls, papyrus, digital computers, pony express, telephone/telegraph, smoke signals from fires, semaphore, electrified metals/conductors, electromagnets, etc.)
20. condiments/flavorings
21. scents/incenses/fragrances
22. purifiers/cleansers/concentrators (soap, water, membrane sieves, clays, diatomaceous earth, ultrasound, gas diffusion/heat, etc.)
23. protectants (paint, plastic, electroplate, glass, bulletproof glass, etc.)
24. retardants (asbestos, inflammable materials, deoxygenators, glass, etc.)
25. insulators (wool, ice, straw, fiberglass, rags, vacuums, solid glass, plastic, stones/marble, etc.)
26. abrasives (diamond dust, carborundum, sandpaper, etc.)
27. lubricants
28. elastics (rubber, synthetic rubber)
29. coolants (ice, caves, chemicals, oils)
30. ambient heat (chemicals, caves, oil, hot springs, tallow, wood fires, antifreeze)
31. light/artificial light (sunlight, chemicals, oil (whale or abiotic), tallow, electricity/blubs, fire)
32. potable liquids (water, wine, sake, beer, cider, milk, tea, coffee, koumiss, etc.)
33. war materiels
34. energy (oil, solar, wood, nuclear, hydro/waterpower, charcoal, horse power, human labor, AC electricity, DC electricity, tides, zero-point technology, water based electrolysis engines, electromagnetic dynamos, etc.)
35. catalysts/mordants
36. energy storage (batteries, computer memory (a peculiar property of silicon only discovered in the 1950s), cynanobacteria (being linked as silicon substitutes in experiments) etc.)
37. aesthetics (brought into consumption simply because of perceived beauty, spirituality, and/or symbolism/ideology interests instead of a ‘material functionality’ prominent in many other consumptive positional categories)
38. musical instruments
39. toiletries
40. conductors
41. nonconductors
42. superconductors
43. semiconductors
44. environmental-proof/waterproof/airtight materials
45. adhesives
46. solvents
47. industrial tools/machine tools materials
48. tunneling/drilling materials
49. humans themselves as a ‘designed commodity’ (i.e., materials for those of eugenic bent, gene knowledge, etc.; or replaceable human parts whether transplants or cyborg machine substitutes like dialysis machines, artificial hearts, or artificial kidneys, etc.)
50. sense extensions (different from simply communications technology, actually going into human sensory areas that humans are ill equipped to do without aids of some sort)
51. calculation (human minds, abacus, computer, copper, silicon, superconductors, cynanobacteria, etc.)
52. software (from Jacquard’s loom to programmable Chinese textile machinery from the Later Han, etc.)
53. hardware
54. timekeeping (archaeoastronomy, moons, garden/plant clocks, calendars, mechanical clocks, water clocks, chronometers, Foucault pendulums, cesium atomic clock, etc.)
55. spacekeeping (string, plumb line, geodetic pyramid, compass azimuths, compasses)
56. climate manipulation (seeding, etc.)
57. money (state-financial decisions about money and exchange are equally a commodity and infrastructural issue influenced by the materiality of the commodity in question and politics of choice; local currency strategies, rice, metals/coins/bullion, paper, checks, digital transfers, stones, shells, salt, cider, cigarettes, etc.])
58. remediation (chemical or nuclear remediation; zeolite, recycling filtration, etc.; various types of water and soil cleansing technologies dependent upon physical characteristics of the materials utilized; learning options, etc.)
59. dentistry
60. stimulants
61. hallucinogens
62. intoxicants
63. narcotics
64. hypnotics
65. psychedelics/entheogens
66. anesthetics
67. chemically inert materials
68. poisons/antidotes/purgatives
69. surgical tools
70. experimental models
71. antiseptics
72. packing materials
73. fodder
74. shock-absorbents
75. real estate
76. services
77. funeral services
78. levitation
79. invisibility
80. transparent materials
81. anti-gravity / inertial variation
82. light-proof / electromagnetic-proof materials
83. insect repellents
84. sound-proof materials
85. contraceptives
86. breathable air
87. chemical fractionation
88. desiccants
89. moisturizers
90. life-extension
91. road materials [recent additions separated out see below comments]
92. cooking oils [recent additions separated out see below comments]
93. human anti-radiation drugs/human remediation
94. skin sunscreens (physical sunscreens that block UV radiation and chemical sunscreens that absorb UV light)

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[larger image]

Some people already working on this are those like William McDonough--working in a few 'cradle to cradle' materials. Clipped from the parallel book blog post on this topic:

We've seen the dystopian plan of the "World Bank's world". Here's William McDonough's version of a "cradle to cradle" world and of urbanization without wastes--where urbanization is intimately fitted to a particular landscape. We might even say urbanization fitted to support the ethnosphere durability that Wade Davis speaks of in his talk above. In McDonough's world, wastes become useful items back into the city with the aim for durability of "all time." Just so you avoid thinking this is some "pie in the sky" plan, he shows you some schematics of the already agreed upon plans to build twelve cities in China in a "commodity ecology" sustainable fashion.'

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(McDonough hired by Chinese Government to build cities based on Cradle to Cradle, starting 2012)

When built as a model to us all, China once more may justify the title of Middle Kingdom, core of the world. This talk is only twenty minutes as well, though represents a lifetime of work in which many other similar ecological design projects are mentioned.

TEDTalks: William McDonough
20 min 11 sec

"Architect and designer William McDonough asks what our buildings and products would look like if designers took into account "All children, all species, for all time." A tireless proponent of absolute sustainability (with a deadpan sense of humor), he explains his philosophy of "cradle to cradle" design, which bridge the needs of ecology and economics. He also shares some of his most inspiring work, including the world's largest green roof (at the Ford plant in Dearborn, Michigan), and the entire sustainable cities he's designing in China."

However, to be more systematic with a larger view, commodity ecology requires integrating each of the 90 above in particular watersheds.

This blog will aid in creating a scalable model for use anywhere in the world based on interactions myself or others post It will obviously be based on noticing different climactic, material, and interactive requirements in different watersheds worldwide (i.e., even ones that are desert, for instance).

A great deal of the history of the world can be said to be 'bad material choices'. This may be for a variety of 'purposes', though two main purposes can be detailed. First, there is only the short term interest involved in commodity choices, which tends to yield externalities that destroy the biodiversity of particular areas.

Second, more nefarious is the history of intentionally forcing people to consume certain items and reducing their choices in the category--to gain political and economic power over citizens and consumers.

So let's ponder the project of an ideal watershed commodity ecology that will maximize human commodity choice, remove political clientelism, remove environmental degradation, and preserve local biodiversity. Though the ideal watershed would be a varied solution, the project of making any of them sustainable and closed loop involves pondering the social dynamics of different commodity productions, wastes, and local material and biota availability.

Janine Benyus's short talk may inspire how to learn ideas from natural interactions for commodity ecology interactions: what life with its "3.8 billion years of field testing" might teach in terms of human design. This is known as "biomimicry."

This might mean a biologist sits that the design table, or the engineers go out into the natural world to learn ideas. Benyus's short talk opening with the story on the resistant engineers is instructive, how they learned to apply an IDEA from an organism instead of simply utilizing materials and organisms. Benyus says of life: "3.8 billion years of field testing....These are solutions solved in context, and these are...conscious emulation of life's process...taking the design principles and learning something from it."

Janine Benyus shares nature's designs
Length: 23:24

"With 3.8 billion years of research and development on its side, nature has already solved problems that human designers and engineers still struggle with. In this inspiring talk, Janine Benyus provides fascinating examples of biomimicry -- the way humans mimic nature in the products we build and the systems we implement. And because the champion adapters in the natural world are, by definition, those that can survive without destroying the environment that sustains them, biomimicry can contribute to the long-term health of our planet."

From her described "heat, beat, and treat" of most current human commodity production (with 96% wastes and only 4% product on average), to an integrated 100% of products without wastes, since "life doesn't really deal with 'things', things divorced from their system." HER lucid points in the talk describe TWELVE PROBLEMATIC ASPECTS OF HUMAN DESIGNS in turning massive waste streams into metabolically sound arrangements--that we are dealing with right now.


1. Ideally, another strand here is that it deals with institutionalizing biodiversity in human uses, instead of leaving them out of the social human loop (like in utilizing native bees for pollination, for example). Once they have a social use, there is a systemic human desire to innately preserve them and their ecological interrelations. When the local biodiversity is integrated in commodity production, then humans take over--for their own self-interest and politics--the protection and representation of voiceless plants and animals that is in sync with them.

2. As a corollary, when they are integrated, areas of plants/animals/environments of local biodiversity that are left out of integration are less likely to suffer degradation if there is a closed loop of human commodity production that runs in a parallel track, to to speak, without 'leaks' of externalities that poison the area.

3. This blog may additionally be of use in rekindling such ecologically sound commodity relations in 'emergency recovery efforts' after natural or human disasters to aid in the organization of sustainability in destroyed and/or polluted communities and ecologies, to start out on a footing already thought of in terms of interactions.

Post away!

Note Bene: Ideally, this is a beta test for how to archive such information. Ideally, one would post one example only once, and then have a drop down list of all the numbers you could 'check' to make it appear in different sorted streams of the 90 commodity choices simultaneously--instead of having to post multiple instances of the same thing on each thread. This may require a design solution closer to a separate website with a database attachment (perhaps designed through Dreamweaver Ultradev).

Give me an email (or just post to this thread) if you know of something readymade, or if you want to be in on the website design issue.

One nice solution to direct posting over the internet is the self-categorization motif inbuilt into the left column of Portland Indymedia. There you can post once, though it allows the post to be instantly self-categorized in multiple ways, so it creates separate slowly amalgamating lists of many different self-categorized posts appearing in multiple places, though with only one post required.

- I've got another idea about users of the website capable of ranking such items for how well they like it,

- or how they could set up separate watershed filters on the idea it if is specifically to integrate a particular locality's biodiversity.

- or how particular watersheds could have open ended debates on what are their priority issues for solutions and/or integrations.

- and people could be notified by email when someone updates a particular thread they are watching, etc.


Here's a summary of commodity ecology that I posted elsewhere:

Re: 'sustainable development', moving away from abstract terms to more grounded uncooptable terms: commodity ecology

Joan Mencher writes:

>> What words are people who are working for a truly alternative model of the
>> future where people consume much less, where cooperation and community are
>> more important, and where food production for example, is primarily local
>> (for nearby towns, villages, and maybe cities), etc. and not for a vast
>> globalized work market -- where most of what people eat is grown within 100
>> or so miles of where they lives --where most energy (including electricity)
>> is produced by solar or wind energy locally, etc.

>> I would like to know what
>>>> term to use instead of sustainable development for such systems.

I've suggested "commodity ecology" as a term. It's a more 'grounded' definition in particular geographically locused materials and institutions, instead of using abstract double terms 'sustainable' and 'development' which I think we can all agree can be shuffled to mean and have signification toward anything people want to stick it to unfortunately.

Unlike that, 'commodity ecology' is a very grounded and un-cooptable thing because it describes a sense of institutional forms, localization, and material interactions themselves as desired in sustainability. I additionally provide some institutional suggestions on how to get there at the links below.

"Commodity ecology is the local watershed democratization of commodity choice and their interactions."

Quoting this link:

Wednesday, May 03, 2006
COMMODITY ECOLOGY: From Living Machines "End of Pipe" Dead Ends, to Ecologically Engineering Commodity Interaction for Sustainability in a Watershed


"Most people I know consider that sustainability means only a form of agroecology, socially speaking, a continuation of the whole 1960s ‘back to the land ethic’ revisited--and little else. I have nothing against that, and it's very important, though, however, food is only one of the 54 different materials** and material choices (or lack of choices!) we consume daily in social relations....

[**everywhere I say 54 below, insert 90 as updated in the comments ongoing: ; particularly see a suggested watershed commodity ecology planning diagram for facilitators and institutions mentioned there or here: Saturday, May 26, 2007, "Two Institutions Required in Every Watershed: Commodity Ecology and Civic Democratic Institutions," ]

Food can hardly be the alpha or omega of a movement of sustainability because it is only a small 1/90th part of commodity relations--however important food is.

What is required is a larger vision and knowledge base for how to integrate all materials in sustainable relationships--instead of only food. This post moves toward that commodity ecology.

First, a commodity ecology of a watershed would integrate all 90 commodity choices. (Just what these 90 are will be addressed in section two.) A commodity ecology will be a human invention of how to interact the 54 different commodity choices we all use worldwide, to fit a variety of different geographic concerns concerning issues of remediation as well as sustainability of commodity choices that potentially can be as different and perfectly suited to each microclimate, soil type, people's political economic local desires, or general ecological specifics for each watershed worldwide. And if they get out of bounds with externalities, there is the political feedback from their neighboring watersheds in the bioregional state as well as from within their own as a political feedback because these watersheds are additionally electoral districts.

I personally see nothing the matter with economic scale expanding outside of a particular watershed (unlike more puritanical foodsheders, for example)--as long as externalities are successfully avoided within their home watershed. The issue of avoiding institutionalizing externalities in the first place is the greater point I think. If people wished to self-limit themselves to exclusively buying and selling within a particular watershed, well, who can or should critique that? That is the point. That is the "local jurisdictional dominance over developmental paths" that is important in the bioregional state:

Bioregional democracy (or the Bioregional State) is a set of electoral reforms (and commodity reforms) designed to force the political process in a democracy to better represent concerns about the economy, the body, and environmental concerns (e.g., water quality), toward developmental paths that are locally prioritized and tailored to different areas for their own specific interests of sustainability and durability. This denotes democratic control of a natural commons and local jurisdictional dominance in any economic developmental path decisions--while not removing more generalized civil rights protections of a larger national

There should be variation within the theme of sustainability. Sustainability is the theme of variability, institutionalized--institutionalized and protected from being undermined from environmentally degradative frameworks of commodity production elsewhere.

Second, as mentioned, this commodity ecology would be done on the criteria to minimize externalities in the beginning by entirely removing the whole category. Instead of a flippant after the fact "end of pipe" concern, materials as a group would be chosen holistically inside the factory wisely through a producerist-consumerist democratic process described below (in section three). [or described at links above: ]

Instead of attempting to deal with pollution politics AFTER pollution has already been institutionalized in the poor choices of material choices in factories via chemical/technological processes used--which puts producers typically at odds with the consumer politics of pollution remediation and safe health, ecology, and economy--instead the 90 different commodity producers get together in the first place led by their vision for sustainability for their watershed. In this sense then the consumer and the producers will be more of one family on the same side.


Third, another criteria of this human invented commodity ecology would be adjudicated on whether producers' commodity choices for their positions can be integrative or supportive--instead of degradative--of the other 53 different commodity choices in a particular watershed.

To do this, it is suggested to institutionalize a producer-consumerist deliberative interaction between all 54 different commodity producers by a regular democratic process of collective work in each watershed to create this commodity ecology as a living practice. Each "watershed of 54 heroes" and their consumer feedback of improvement or critique can be supportive of cobbling together how to institutionalize local developmental paths that are germane and particularly suitable to a watershed. This is done by an open political process to suit and protect each specific watershed's contribution to sustainability (which includes preservation of the local interaction of health, ecological security, and economic sustainability).

Each watershed can draw upon the experiences and "commodity ecology" plan of interaction of another watershed for ideas about the interactions in general, though each watershed would have a nugget of 54 interactions of commodities especially suited to its democratic producerist-consumerist process. This interaction of a democratic, watershed-specific developmentalism is where people, in the local area, can have jurisdictional dominance in the oversight of the demotion of their own pollutions and create their own 'local wing' solutions. This is implied in the short definition of the bioregional state. Each watershed has the dominant jurisdiction in its own health, ecological, and economic concerns, though within the larger civil rights rubric of the bioregional state. (See this other post for more details on this point.)



The challenge of sustainability is to integrate ourselves into ecology politically, with the mental focus that people used to devote to thinking up novel cogwheels or flywheel designs for clocks or heavy machinery. Instead, a means is required where we can integrate our politics and consumption into ecologically durable relationships, because it is the organization of our consumption choices that pays little heed to this which leads to environmental degradation and habitat destruction--instead of our consumption by definition in the abstract per se. However, a vocabulary for commodity ecology is lacking for the most part. I hope to provide a few ideas below for that by a comparison with some ideas that have been toyed with approaching commodity ecology without touching on it. I will show that each lack crucial material and/or socio-political insights that makes them far from sufficient for achieving sustainability as commodity ecology would. These insufficiencies relate to their lack of appreciation of socio-political institutional dynamics and/or knowledge of the major 54 commodity choice puzzle pieces. Many still view commodities as neutral abstracts. However, materials are always politically informed choices which have very different material and political ramifications.

As an introduction to commodity ecology and what I would call its applied science of ecological engineering, there are several different strategies aired in the past 20 years where I think all this is leading.

The mental prowess now required is for raising a generation of "ecological engineers." This desire--actually this requirement--for sustainability means that such "ecological engineering" of human and environment to take each other into account from the start by knowing of the biological issues and material science issues and social science issues of each item chosen. Ecological engineering would ponder the long term iterative health, ecological, and economic durability issues with each policy, commodity choice, technology, or formal institutional design change, and how each change whether biological, physical or social will give rise to a whole different kind of interaction in a particular watershed.


the rest here:


Since much political corruption flows from consumptive clientelism across ostensible political borders, it turns into the 'real' political borders through these tendrils of material dependence.

Therefore, all material and technological changes toward sustainability in the bioregional state should be judged on how well then can be decentralized as much as materially sustainable--optimized to a particular watershed or bioregional area's own sustainability.

In other words, this decentralized material sustainability is its own political sustainability. This means judging novel technologies and materials on more than simply soft sustainability (material sustainability), it means hard sustainability that integrates a degree of judgment on whether the technology or material can be implemented locally and in a decentralized fashion to avoid future cross-border political economic dependencies that become the source of corruption in the watershed, and soon a source of a political developmentalism that encourages more unsustainability through more political corruption, etc., in a feedback loop of corruption that is political and material.

The current more bioregional opposition to a huge liquefied natural gas terminal in Oregon (that is not even to be utilized by Oregonites!) is starting to show these type of oppositions to such political corrupt developmentalism as unsustainability in practice.

73. Fodder

This is another social commodity category of use that is different than vegetable based food, as it strictly goes toward animal populations. It might though be loosely considered a subsection off 'garbage/garbage disposal, though of course it fails to have to be so its artificial to always include it in that manner there, though it would perhaps be better for us all if fodder was treated as biological organic matter waste disposal for animal feed--instead of the concrete dust and remaindered dead animals they fed on many occasions.

One use for agricultural wastes, instead of as fodder, can be their use for other materials:

Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic?
9:05 min

"Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment. Eben Bayer is co-inventor of MycoBond, an organic (really -- it's based on mycelium, a living, growing organism) adhesive that turns agriwaste into a foam-like material for packaging and insulation."

And in the below:

algae as a choice for fodder creation: energy and sequestration of carbon and fodder; energy and sequestration, if required for sequestration, is a win-win situation, though of course any form of thermodynamics based burning energy is hardly optimal...when there are other options that entirely remove the thermodynamic dependencies on energy (like air car, water car, the videos in the original post above as well, etc.]

Possible Fix For Global Warming? (sic, the anthropogenic aspects of this claim are uncovered to be a huge scientific fraud, just google up "Climategate", still: an interesting technological and material strategy addition)
Environmental Engineers Use Algae To Capture Carbon Dioxide

April 1, 2007 — Engineers have designed a simple, sustainable and natural carbon sequestration solution using algae. A team at Ohio University created a photo bioreactor that uses photosynthesis to grow algae, passing carbon dioxide over large membranes, placed vertically to save space. The carbon dioxide produced by the algae is harvested by dissolving into the surrounding water. The algae can be harvested and made into biodiesel fuel and feed for animals. A reactor with 1.25 million square meters of algae screens could be up and running by 2010.

Global warming's effects can be seen worldwide (editor: it's a sham, google up "Climategate"), and many experts believe it's only going to get worse. In fact, America is by far the largest contributor to global warming (editor: it's a sham, google up "Climategate") than any other country -- releasing a quarter of the world's carbon dioxide -- the primary cause of global warming (editor: it's a sham, google up "Climategate"-- besides water vapor is far more important than CO2). But now engineers have found a natural way to eliminate one of the worst contributors to our environment's decay.

What's coming from power plants, traffic jams and industrial smog is causing our ozone to disappear, ice caps to melt, and temperatures to rise. The latest international report says carbon dioxide responsible for 60 percent of the greenhouse gases. (editor: the anthropogenic causality through CO2 is a sham, google up "Climategate")

Now engineers say a simple, sustainable and natural solution may come from algae. "If this sort of technology can be developed, it can be deployed anywhere there's sunlight," David Bayless, a professor of mechanical engineering at Ohio University in Athens, tells DBIS.

Bayless, with a team at Ohio University, created a photo bioreactor that uses photosynthesis to grow algae just like a plant would take carbon dioxide up and, through the energy of the sun, convert that into oxygen.

"That passes the carbon dioxide over these membranes," Ben Stuart, an Ohio University environmental engineer, tells DBIS. "These membranes are fabric just like your shirt. It's a woven material, and as the carbon dioxide pass by them, that carbon dioxide dissolves into the water."

That carbon dioxide is broken down by the algae.

Nitrogen and clean oxygen are released back into the atmosphere.

But to capture the CO2 created from a power plant, algae would have to fill a building the size of Wal-Mart.

"The size of these things would be enormous, about an acre worth of land space. And so the flu gases would run through this huge building and the algae would be growing on the suspended vertical surfaces." Stuart says.

But what makes it cost effective? The algae can be harvested and made into biodiesel fuel and feed for animals.

Bayless says, "You are talking about definitely home-grown fuel, a win-win thing. You know, you are taking a potentially very negative thing in carbon emissions and turning it into a fuel that we can use domestically." He says a full-scale reactor with 1.25 million square meters of algae screens could be up and running by 2010.

There are already some test facilities working right now -- and just in time! In the past 50 years, the U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have almost doubled. Texas ranks first in the nation for the highest emissions ... And just remember, once carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, it stays there for about 100 years. (editor: the anthropogenic causality argument through CO2 is a sham and found to be a scientific fraud by November 2009, google up "Climategate")

The American Geophysical Union, American Society for Microbiology, and the Optical Society of America contributed to the information contained in the TV portion of this report.


[though 'Climategate' showed anthropogenic global warming by carbon dioxide was a global empire-driven sham discourse.]

72. Packing Materials

Perhaps better to go back to wax and paper products for storage of minor things and transshipment instead of permanent polluted forms of plastic (around my biscotti for instance).

Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic?
9:05 min

"Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment. Eben Bayer is co-inventor of MycoBond, an organic (really -- it's based on mycelium, a living, growing organism) adhesive that turns agriwaste into a foam-like material for packaging and insulation."

Sawdust packing materials, strips of recycled paper, etc., at the destination can go into mulch/soil category, etc.

Well, even plastic bags are solved.

[Canadian] WCI student isolates microbe that lunches on plastic bags

May 22, 2008
Karen Kawawada


Getting ordinary plastic bags to rot away like banana peels would be an environmental dream come true.

After all, we produce 500 billion a year worldwide and they take up to 1,000 years to decompose. They take up space in landfills, litter our streets and parks, pollute the oceans and kill the animals that eat them.

Now a Waterloo teenager has found a way to make plastic bags degrade faster -- in three months, he figures.

Daniel Burd's project won the top prize at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Ottawa. He came back with a long list of awards, including a $10,000 prize, a $20,000 scholarship, and recognition that he has found a practical way to help the environment.

Daniel, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student at Waterloo Collegiate Institute, got the idea for his project from everyday life.

"Almost every week I have to do chores and when I open the closet door, I have this avalanche of plastic bags falling on top of me," he said. "One day, I got tired of it and I wanted to know what other people are doing with these plastic bags."

The answer: not much. So he decided to do something himself.

He knew plastic does eventually degrade, and figured microorganisms must be behind it. His goal was to isolate the microorganisms that can break down plastic -- not an easy task because they don't exist in high numbers in nature.

First, he ground plastic bags into a powder. Next, he used ordinary household chemicals, yeast and tap water to create a solution that would encourage microbe growth. To that, he added the plastic powder and dirt. Then the solution sat in a shaker at 30 degrees.

After three months of upping the concentration of plastic-eating microbes, Burd filtered out the remaining plastic powder and put his bacterial culture into three flasks with strips of plastic cut from grocery bags. As a control, he also added plastic to flasks containing boiled and therefore dead bacterial culture.

Six weeks later, he weighed the strips of plastic. The control strips were the same. But the ones that had been in the live bacterial culture weighed an average of 17 per cent less.

That wasn't good enough for Burd. To identify the bacteria in his culture, he let them grow on agar plates and found he had four types of microbes. He tested those on more plastic strips and found only the second was capable of significant plastic degradation.

Next, Burd tried mixing his most effective strain with the others. He found strains one and two together produced a 32 per cent weight loss in his plastic strips. His theory is strain one helps strain two reproduce.

Tests to identify the strains found strain two was Sphingomonas bacteria and the helper was Pseudomonas.

A researcher in Ireland has found Pseudomonas is capable of degrading polystyrene, but as far as Burd and his teacher Mark Menhennet know -- and they've looked -- Burd's research on polyethelene plastic bags is a first.

Next, Burd tested his strains' effectiveness at different temperatures, concentrations and with the addition of sodium acetate as a ready source of carbon to help bacteria grow.

At 37 degrees and optimal bacterial concentration, with a bit of sodium acetate thrown in, Burd achieved 43 per cent degradation within six weeks.

The plastic he fished out then was visibly clearer and more brittle, and Burd guesses after six more weeks, it would be gone. He hasn't tried that yet.

To see if his process would work on a larger scale, he tried it with five or six whole bags in a bucket with the bacterial culture. That worked too.

Industrial application should be easy, said Burd. "All you need is a fermenter . . . your growth medium, your microbes and your plastic bags."

The inputs are cheap, maintaining the required temperature takes little energy because microbes produce heat as they work, and the only outputs are water and tiny levels of carbon dioxide -- each microbe produces only 0.01 per cent of its own infinitesimal weight in carbon dioxide, said Burd.

"This is a huge, huge step forward . . . We're using nature to solve a man-made problem."

Burd would like to take his project further and see it be used. He plans to study science at university, but in the meantime he's busy with things such as student council, sports and music.

"Dan is definitely a talented student all around and is poised to be a leading scientist in our community," said Menhennet, who led the school's science fair team but says he only helped Burd with paperwork.

Other local students also did well at the national science fair.

Devin Howard of St. John's Kilmarnock School won a gold medal in life science and several scholarships.

Mackenzie Carter of St. John's Kilmarnock won bronze medals in the automotive and engineering categories.

Engineers Without Borders awarded Jeff Graansma of Forest Heights Collegiate a free trip to their national conference in January.

Zach Elgood of Courtland Avenue Public School got honourable mention in earth and environmental science.



As he says, perhaps best to go back to a form of glass as well given this pollutant in most plastics--at least current non-biodegradable ones:

"I say let's bring back glass containers. These are highly recyclable, and when melted down are absolutely sterilized even against the most vicious diseases like prions that cause CJD, commonly known as mad cow disease. The only drawback with glass is the extra energy required to recycle it. But doesn't that extra energy have a much lower price tag when compared to the health care costs induced by the effects of bisphenol-A?"

Hazardous Bisphenol-A Embedded
Deeply In Modern Life
The Far-Reaching Effects Of BPA Are Unknown
By Ted Twietmeyer

A recent article about the FDA reversing itself on the safety of bisphenol-A [1] echoes concerns I wrote about this chemical compound in December 2007 ("Lexan, Bisphenol-A and the Big Berky water filter" [2] )

Anyone who uses products that contact food or drink made with flexible plastic should give some thought to the bisphenol-A issue.

This includes all types of soda, soft and drink bottles, but there is much more to it. It just might be that bispenol-A might be among the silent pathogens in our environment, responsible for the increase in cancer cases.

Smoking has greatly decreased, but cancer has not. Science would logically indicate that in our environment must be either new carcinogens, or the public is increasingly exposed to more existing carcinogens.

What I had not considered in my article written in 2007 about Lexan and other plastic products was the impact that a bisphenol-A ban will have on numerous other plastic products.

Hospitals and doctor offices generate a staggering amount of medical waste every day all around the world.

Disposable plastics are a required medical evil in this era of endless communicable diseases.

Everywhere around you are flexible plastic products which can contain bisphenol-A. Consider the plastic wrap and foam trays used to package meat and vegetable trays in stores. Cold-cuts are packaged in direct contact with plastics. Chemicals with preservatives and salt are used to prolong shelf life. What is known about bisphenol-A leaching out of plastics into food consumed by millions? Does this also create complex carcinogens?

What about take-out food, such as Chinese? More and more Chinese food is packaged into flexible plastic containers instead of paper. Won-Ton soup is very hot when it's served in plastic take-out containers. Is it possible heat from soups and hot foods accelerate the leaching of bisphenol-A into food?

Take-home fish-fries are usually packaged Styrofoam containers. What effects does the heat from hot fish just removed from 400 degree hot oil have on the plastic? How much bisphenol-A is leached out into the food? Ever open a container and pick up a plastic scent? What does the hot oil that drips from the fish do to the plastic? It is well-known that heat accelerates chemical reactions - and with it the breakdown of plastic compounds.

Hot coffee has been served for decades in Styrofoam cups. Coffee is highly acidic and could rapidly leach bisphenol-A from the containers into the coffee. If this coffee and bisphenol-A creates a carcinogen, countless millions of coffee drinkers from drivers to office workers to construction workers who consume this everyday may be unknowingly shortening their lives.

Here are a few commonly medical products used daily in doctor's offices and/or hospitals - all made with flexible plastic:

1. IV bags. Everything from simple saline, morphine, anti-biotics, blood donor collection bags and many more all use flexible plastic bags. Only a few extremely powerful drugs which have a PH level that will react with plastic, such as the anti-biotic Methicillin must be packaged in glass IV bottles. Everything else is in plastic. The real question is - has any company or university tested for bisphenol-A leaching out of the plastic into the medicine?

2. IV tubing - including the end of the IV line itself which inserts into a vein in the patient. This tiny plastic flexible tube smaller than a regular pencil lead left in a patient's vein after an insertion needle is used to deposit it there. It can remain in the body in contact with the blood stream in a vein up to three days (or more for some institutional standards) before it must be removed.

3. Syringes are used to inject just about every drug there is. Inside the syringe are synthetic polymer seals for the piston.

4. Plastic stents are used to keep veins or arteries open. These can remain in the body for the life of the patient.

5. Respiratory apparatus - hoses, nasal cannulas, masks, etc... are made of flexible vinyl or other polymers and are used for administering oxygen.

6. Numerous throw-away, one-time-use medical devices such as pre-loaded incision staplers used in operating rooms during surgery.

7. Catheters and other tubing inserted into the body during treatment temporarily or permanent .

8. Lens implants for the human eye for curing cataracts. These must be flexible in order to focus light on the retina. It's unknown if lens implants contain bisphenol-A, but fortunately these do have a great track record in restoring eyesight.

9. Food bags use special esophageal tubes to feed patients who cannot swallow or are in comas. Tubing is inserted through the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach. These remain in place for long periods of time for some patients who cannot eat.

It simply comes down to one thing - if something is made of plastic and it's flexible, it might contain bisphenol-A. Are we facing a medical equivalent of "Don't ask, don't tell" with this issue?

Certainly there are other flexible plastic medical devices used in doctor's offices and hospitals. For medical applications, biomedical engineers must specify plastic products for manufacturing medical devices which only use FDA approved materials. These approved materials must withstand the salinity and various chemicals found in the human body. It is not known at this time which medical devices contain bisphenol-A.

The impact caused by the FDA removing bisphenol-A from plastic products will be difficult to completely implement with patient care products, if not impossible.

Only scientific testing will be able to prove whether detrimental effects are taking place. Scientific studies of the effect of cell phones on humans and animals in America all seemed to conclude there is little or no effect from microwaves on mammals. Yet in Europe test results concluded that tumors were formed. A connection has been found between the results of microwave radiation and who funds the studies. If you have doubt, consider how your microwave oven cooks meat.

How many decades passed until the serious health effects of smoking were revealed?

Logically the implication of bisphenol-A effects makes us ask the following questions:

Will the public ever be told about the effects of bisphenol-A on human beings?

Who will fund the numerous studies and tests required to find out?

Whether or not this is ever revealed, the safest thing is simply to limit personal exposure to flexible plastics containing any food or drugs.

I say let's bring back glass containers. These are highly recyclable, and when melted down are absolutely sterilized even against the most vicious diseases like prions that cause CJD, commonly known as mad cow disease. The only drawback with glass is the extra energy required to recycle it. But doesn't that extra energy have a much lower price tag when compared to the health care costs induced by the effects of bisphenol-A?

Ted Twietmeyer

[1] -



74. Shock-absorbents

[more fine-grained changes: different than 'protectants']

What is d3o? (2:18 min.)

"An explanation of what d3o is given by Richard Palmer, founder of d3o lab."

shock-absorbent material d3o is taking the world by storm

Holy batcapes! The age of the superhero suit is upon us

ITS rock-hard surface can take a full- on assault from a baseball bat, yet remains flexible enough to allow you to kick, leap and roll with perfect ease.

Crafted from cutting-edge science, its unique molecular structure means that while providing armoured protection against crude concrete and even barbed wire, it remains light enough to allow you to run at high speed.

It sounds like the stuff of Batman comics - but the superhero suit is here.

Identified as a major breakthrough that could impact on every sector from the military to motor sports, the revolutionary shock-absorbent material d3o is taking the world by storm.

Blessed with the kind of properties your average costumed crime fighter would kill for, it is being hailed as an invention with the potential to change entire industries and save real lives.

"It has been a battle against the odds to get this far. I've had to struggle against ignorance of the major players, work out of a back bedroom and beg, borrow and steal to keep development going, but I never doubted that it could be done," said inventor Richard Palmer.

"What we've developed is already being incorporated into everything from police body armour to protective sportswear, and the number of applications is almost infinite.

"At the moment a complete superhero suit made of our material would be a bit too heavy and far too expensive, but those challenges should be overcome within the next few years."

Speaking at an awards ceremony in London last week, where he was named the O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year 2007 in recognition of his achievement, Palmer told the Sunday Herald of a torturous invention process which saw him laughed at and driven to the edge of ruin.

In a nutshell, d3o is an advanced polymer with an intelligent molecular structure that flows with you as you move but, when shocked, locks together to become rigid enough to absorb impact energy.

In its simplest form, it is like an automatic knee-pad that can be sown seamlessly into a pair of jeans.

Yet when former DuPont scientist Palmer approached the world's largest polymer companies with his invention, they said it was impossible. Despite his evidence, several key industry boffins refused to believe such a fabric could ever be successfully manufactured.

"I stood there telling them that I'd already done this, but they outright refused to entertain the possibility. Were they calling me a liar? A fool? I really don't know, but I was frustrated, furious and appalled by the lack of imagination that commercial science exhibited."

In 1999 Palmer sold his house and car, moved into a friend's spare bedroom and did it himself.

Providing funding out of his own pocket, he kick-started the process in a garage lab, calling in academic help from friends where needed and pushing d3o to the point where it was ready for production.

Today the material they said couldn't happen is fast becoming a common component of cutting-edge protective equipment, with the d3o brand beginning to feature in a range of winter and motor sports products worldwide.

It has been adopted enthusiastically by the likes of US Olympic ski team, the four-times Everest climber Kenton Cool and Olympic cyclist Craig McClean.

Industry observers predict the miracle cloth could be earning annual global revenues of $2 billion within five years.

"The hardest part now is keeping focused. Every day brings fresh enquiries about potential new applications for d3o from airlines, police forces, and car manufacturers," said Palmer.

Presenting his award on Thursday, O2 director Simon Devonshire said: "Richard is an inspiration to anyone with a dream and the drive to realise it."

While he intends to continue developing and enhancing his revolutionary new material, Palmer's Brighton-based development lab team has already produced a range of other products.

They include a rigid Frisbee that folds like a soft handkerchief when you catch it, and the world's first bullet-proof wallpaper, a lightweight protective covering that absorbs and contains the deadly shrapnel generated when a projectile pierces most buildings.

"I know it must sound like we're trying to build a Batlab here, but I make no apology for that," said Palmer. "This is what science is supposed to be; something that excites the imagination and inspires the mind."

8:20pm Saturday 7th July 2007

By Iain S Bruce, Technology Editor

[more on d3O]

Military to use new gel that stops bullets

A new "bullet-busting" shock-absorbent gel is set to save the lives of British soldiers by substantially reinforcing their helmets.

By Thomas Harding Defence Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:34PM GMT 27 Feb 2009

d3O gel: New gel to stop bullets
Richard Palmer invented the D3O shock absorbing material that locks instantly into a solidified form when it is hit at high impact


The Ministry of Defence has awarded £100,000 to a small company that has developed a special substance that hardens immediately on impact.

It is hoped that the shock-absorbing substance will soon be fitted onto the inside of soldiers' helmets reducing in half the kinetic energy of a bullet or piece of shrapnel and hopefully making them impenetrable.

The gel, called d3O locks instantly into a solidified form when it is hit at high impact.

"When moved slowly, the molecules will slip past each other, but in a high-energy impact they will snag and lock together, becoming solid," said Richard Palmer, who invented the gel. "In doing so they absorb energy."

The d3O gel has already expanded into a range of sporting goods and is found in ski gloves, shin guards, ballet shoe pointes and horse-riding equipment. The substance relies on "intelligent molecules" that "shock lock" together to absorb energy and create a solid pad. Once the pressure has gone they return to their normal flexible state.

The gel is stitched into clothing or equipment that is supple until it stiffens into a protective barrier on impact.

If the product is taken on by defence contractors it could be used to reduce the current bulky and restrictive armour used by troops in on the frontline with gel pads inserted into key protective areas.

Mr Palmer said it was the equivalent to comparing "cumbersome" RoboCop to Spiderman with the latter's protection "nimble covert and flexible".


76. Services

(knowledgeable value-added manipulation/treatment of materials: for example, wine is hardly only grapes, it is the vintner's art that makes the wine; there is an art in the many steps of preparing coffee or tea for consumption--it's not raw coffee or tea; can you make your own paper or bookbindings? mine and refine your own metals?; there's a dangerously fine line between delicious alcohol and a mix that lees you blind or dead)

This is another social commodity category of use that is different than mere 'energy/labor', as it goes toward specific uses of selling an experience or expertise instead of selling a commodity, per se, or at least a particularly treated commodity experience.

I'm just attempting to be accurate and refine the utility categories of uses of human commodities--in how they are socially different.

I originally was thinking about merely sexual services (like prostitution (in its worst cases a form of female/male slavery) as well as inert sexual toys) in competition with each other in the same category here.

However, it occurred to me that a number of other services are equally specialized and experiential/expertise driven forms of commodities (and equally subject to computerization or mechanization to demote knowledgeable labor competition in the category) so it was hardly a general issue of sexual services that could be justified in a category by itself, since there are a number of services.

It's still somewhat unsatisfactory to me to lump all services into a singular category of 'services' because it goes against one principle of the categories themselves: do they compete with each other for the same position? On the one hand, there are so many kinds of services that they hardly compete with each other in the same category. On the other hand, I suppose they could compete in many ways though--in terms of prioritization expenses of the purchaser.

Therefore, the general category of 'services' are included. It would be a mistake to ignore a category of expertise, selling general knowledge expertise and handling 'refinement' in human history. Issues of knowledge and technique are general to any service instead of 'services' meaning only one service.

The theme here is the selling of knowledge, experience, and expertise in a hired performance or commodity creation.

75. Real Estate

(the spatial world as it is: particular geographies or land reclamation strategies)

Land is quite a commodity choice as well: how it is reclaimed, maintained, and geopolitically organized makes certain areas strategically important.

78. Levitation

Three methods I know of of cancelling out gravity for levitation:

1. the electromagnetic route (superconductors though a small emf effect) as well as

2. something that actually reduces inertial weight (mentioned in the Nick Cook book "The Race to Zero Point" about antigravity and the black projects of the U.S. military and what is known about it and some select patents from after 2000.

3. just straight 'canceling gravity' otherwise known as the anti-gravitational force--with super-fast spinning materials.

This could be known as the "Bruce DePalma effect" after its first rigorous discoverer who was aware of how it revamped all classical physics to be a 'universal' only about non-rotational bodies.

Rotational bodies have different 'classicial' principles that he went into deep analysis of such as

- variable inertia,

- variable gravitational acceleration either up or down (the spinning ball launch experiment)

Bruce DePalma is (or rather, was, he died suspiciously) the "second Newtwon."

His research implies that if you spin something fast enough, it would levitate off the ground somehow canceling gravity. this was a factor of course of its mass as well as weight and the spin.

There is physical proof of this effect. DePalma summarizes this "postmodern classicial physics effect".


We are all familiar with the great experiment of Galileo in 1590 when he showed that objects of different weights fell at the same rate when he dropped them from the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This experiment has been formulated as a principle by later thinkers. The Einstein principle of equivalence is the contemporary expression of the idea that the acceleration of gravity is the same for all objects, and, for this a construction is possible which represents gravity as a property of a geometrical interpretation of space. This is the current "standard interpretation." Of course if a situation were found wherein the rate of gravitationally induced acceleration could be varied, constructions and theories based on the original Galilean experiment would be rendered void. As well, control of the rate of fall of objects is the entré into the construction of a practical mechanical antigravity machine which could be ultimately developed.......

The basic experiment is the discovery that a rotating object behaves differently under the influence of gravity than a non-rotating one. The basic experiments are:

1) Rotating objects falling in a gravitational field are accelerated at a rate greater than "G", the commonly accepted rate for non-rotating objects falling in a vacuum.

2) Pendula utilizing bob weights which are rotating, swing nonsinusoidally with periods increased over those of pendula with non-rotating bobs.

3) A precessing gyroscope has an anomalous inertial mass, greater than its gravitational mass.

4) An anomalous field phenomenon has been discovered, the OD field, which confers inertia on objects immersed within it. This field is generated by the constrained forced precession of a rotating gyroscope.

These simple experiments which can be verified by any experimenter with simple equipment, form the basis of a new interpretation of physical Reality. As well as being the most fundamental physical discoveries since the experiments of Galileo, to mathematics must be added a new fundamental proposition, such that the phenomena be described. This proposition may be stated: No numerical quantity, representative of a physical measurement, may be infinitely subdivided. For example, a contemporary mathematician would claim that the center of a rotating disc was not rotating. This is false to fact. At the other end of the spectrum this paradox is represented by the topological fixed point theorem of Euler and the aleph null and aleph one transfinite denumerable non-denumerable paradoxes of Georg Cantor.

The limitation of the Newtonian laws of motion to the special case of non-rotating objects, (and other limitations as to the rate of change of acceleration), places our present level of physical understanding on the threshold of the resolution of these paradoxes and the generalization of our conception of motion. The spinning ball experiment which shows a greater rate of fall than a non-spinning object is the stone of David which slays the Goliath of the ideational constipation which clouds the best minds of our race. It is not germane to the purpose of this paper to engage in further exposition of these ideas. Spontaneous interest must be sparked by the individual verification of these ideas by the motivated investigator. For the present it is sufficient to say that a much greater theoretical and experimental context now exists into which these primary results fit.

With the variability of inertia established, and the interaction of a rotating object with the gravitational field, several kinds of antigravity machines may be constructed. Without going into constructional details here, the machines take two forms. The first kind involves the generation of an OD field of sufficient strength to neutralize the gravitational attraction of the mass of the machine itself and associated masses. The second form of the machine - the linear force machine - is a direct conversion of rotational energy input to a unidirectional force output through the principle of variable inertia. Details of this machinery are available from this source.


The Political, Social, and Economic Implications of The N Machine / Space Power Generator

by Bruce De Palma

It is said: "The whole Universe and created world is a thought in the mind of God."
- The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
If that be the case, wouldn't He want it to be the finest show in town?

As a long time worker in the field of Free Energy physics, and the inventor of the N machine which extracts energy from the Free Energy field of Space, sooner or later I would have to face the political nature of progress. It is not simply enough to violate the established laws of physics with a new experiment. (1)

We are facing at the close of the 20th century a situation unique in the history of the world. In the past the inventor had to serve the requirements of a vital and expanding society. The telegraph, the telephone, long distance communication, the railroad and automobile covered the globe and finally satellite communications making a truly global and planetary society. With the coming of the global society the planetary Earth became a floating island in space with only resource wars on the horizon as a foreshadowing of things to come.

Limitation of resources as opposed to development of uncharted territory poses a new challenge to the inventor. In the case of Free Energy, it is not a case of being able to accomplish something which had not been done before but being able to accomplish the same things which had been done before without consumption of gas, coal or oil or the pollution of natural resources by exhaust fumes or combustion by-products.

Take the case of the electric car. An automobile which could exceed the presently accepted performance while not consuming or burning oil or gas - which could be switched on before a journey and off after reaching your destination. The power unit for such a machine would extract its energy directly from space without noise or pollution.

With the growth of society limited by the finite planetary surface area the Space Power Generator offers the only hope for avoidance of resource wars. In fact, planetary renewal can be affected with the availability of unlimited non-consumptive and non-polluting Space Power. It must be recognized that advancement in society always means less manual labor and that finally we must accept the condition of un-employment as the fulfillment of the nature of progress itself. A new source of energy in our society, a new prime mover, can make possible a new kind of independence. A kind of independence for the common man where he can take pride that he has fulfilled his role in free society and now he can make his own life in the certainty of a new source of prime energy which can make him independent of the feeling that he must take orders from someone else in order to feel he has a job.

That total un-employment is the ultimate goal of capitalistic society. When all the natural forces of Nature have been harnessed man is released from the state of slavery. At this point politics becomes a form of state or option from which he can launch his platform to the stars.

If energy and transportation costs were zero, society would center around quality of life, small communities would form in which all basic life support requirements would be met locally. Money would still be required to purchase manufactured high-tech items and money could be earned through sale of community grown or manufactured goods.

A political administration would be elected to provide global planetary coordination for projects outside the scale of simple community organization. This does not imply the necessity of a global one-world government; a loose federation of autonomous states and countries would be sufficient.

In our present 1993 society Mammon has been elevated to the position of a god, i.e. nothing can be accomplished without money. The challenge is to replace promises on paper with real quality of life.

When Isaac Newton formulated his "Principia Mathematica" in the late 1600's he violated his own admonition "Hypotheses non Fingo", "I make no hypotheses" in his third law of motion: "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." This statement implies there is an "equal" and "opposite" reaction to every action. The statements "equal" and "opposite" are in themselves an hypothesis, since every experiment in physics would have to be tested, including experiments not yet to be done, in the future, to substantiate the truth of such a statement. Newton's first two laws, the law of inertia, and the law of mass, are laws of experimental observation which define inertia and mass and do not in themselves include a foreshadowing of the results of those experiments, to wit equal and opposite. Einstein, whose theories are based on the definitions of Newton's 1st and 2nd laws and the conservation laws which grow out of the hypothesis of the third law, are in themselves a conjecture resting on the hypothesis of equality of action and reaction.

Free Energy transduced through the reactionless self-running electric engine will replace all other forms of internal combustion machines. Society will reformulate itself around the new reactionless prime mover. Man and his activities will hitch themselves to the very wheelwork of the Universe, the forces which cause the planets to rotate and move in circular orbits around the Sun.


(1) Magnetism as a Distortion of a Pre-Existent Primordial Energy Field and the Possibility of Extraction of Electrical Energy Directly from Space, Bruce de Palma; the proceedings of the 26th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC), August 4-9, 1992, Boston, Massachusetts; sponsored by The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

77. Funeral Services

(quite a variety of different treatments of the body, few with the larger commodity ecology in mind)

Funeral Services can be considered another category of specialized commodity handling practices unlike others so far. It is unable to be fitted into the previous categories well, so it deserves its own category.

Cremation, though sold as 'clean' practice, actually can release a huge amount of heavy metals from past dentistry into the air and other pollutants.

Some people are already being composted, by their wishes, leaving few bodies around.

Besides pumping the toxin formaldehyde and others into every dead body and then putting them in a heavy metal capsule underground is rather polluting as well--particularly during floods when many coffins of this type tend to surface. In floods, they can be a huge air bubble surfacing when the water loosens the soil over graveyards, and leading to a lot of rotten corpses with heavy chemical treatment being carried around in floodwater.

80. Transparent Materials

[more superconducting wire, and transparent superconductors as well]

Room Temperature Superconductors, Inc.

Has developed what are believed to be the world’s first, commercial, ambient-temperature superconducting polymer materials, trademarked Ultraconductors

RTS has three issued U.S. Patents.

The very large
pending application is in the process of division. It will become ten additional patent applications.

To read more about this exciting technology

Click here

Room Temperature Superconductors Inc. (RTS),
a subsidiary of Magnetic Power Inc., has developed the world's first ambient temperature superconducting materials, trademarked Ultraconductors. The company has worldwide rights to this technology, with landmark process and materials patents U.S. #5,777,292 and #6,552,883.

RTS also has achieved significant polymer technology breakthroughs and experimental demonstrations for film applications, enhanced materials properties, and additional superconducting materials.

The company's primary technology objectives are:

* To develop commercial processes and core fabrication technologies

* To reach application-ready platforms for commercial film and wire products

* To achieve proof of concepts for additional product applications

WHAT is an Ultraconductor ?


- A Primer -

By Kevin P. Shambrook, Ph.D.

ULTRACONDUCTORtm n. "Electrical conductors, which have certain properties similar to present-day superconductors. They are best considered as a novel state of matter."

Ultraconductors are patented materials being developed for commercial applications by Room Temperature Superconductors, Inc. They are made by the sequential processing of amorphous polar dielectric elastomers.

They exhibit a set of anomalous magnetic and electric properties, including: very high electrical conductivity (> 1011 S/cm -1) and current densities (> 5 x 108 A/cm2) over a wide temperature range (1.8 to 700 K).

Additional properties established by experimental measurements include: the absence of measurable heat generation under high current; thermal versus electrical conductivity orders of magnitude in violation of the Wiedemann-Franz law; a jump-like transition to a resistive state at a critical current; a nearly zero Seebek coefficient over the temperature range 87 - 233 K; no measurable resistance when Ultraconductor(tm) films are placed between superconducting tin electrodes at cryogenic temperatures.

The Ultraconductor properties are measured in discrete macromolecular structures which form over time after the processing.

In present thin films (1 - 100 micron) these structures, called 'channels', are typically 1 - 2 microns in diameter, 10 - 1000 microns apart, and are strongly anisotropic in the Z axis.

RTS was founded in 1993 to develop the Ultraconductor(tm) technology, following 16 years of research by a scientific team at the Polymer Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, led by Dr. Leonid Grigorov, Ph.D., Dc.S. There have been numerous papers in peer-reviewed literature, 4 contracts from the U.S. government, a landmark patent (US patent # 5,777,292). and a devices patent (US patent # 6,552,883.)

Another patent is pending and a fourth now is being completed.

To date 7 chemically distinct polymers have been used to create Ultraconductors(tm), including olefin, acrylate, urethane and silicone based plastics. The total list of candidate polymers suited to the process is believed to number in the hundreds.

In films, these channels can be observed by several methods, including phase contrast optical microscope, Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), magnetic balance, and simple electric contact. The channel structures can be moved and manipulated in the polymer.

Ultraconductor(tm) films may be prepared on metal, glass, or semiconductor substrates.

The polymer is initially viscose (during processing). For practical application the channels may be "locked" in the polymer, by crosslinking, or glass transition.

The channel's characteristics are not affected by either mode.

A physics model of the conducting structures, which fits well with the experimental measurements, and also a published theory, have been developed. The next step in material development is to increase the percentage or "concentration" of conducting material.

This will lead to films with a larger number of conducting points (needed for interposers and other applications) and to wire.

Wire is essentially extending a channel to indefinite length, and the technique has been demonstrated in principle. Connecting to these conducting structures is done with a metal electrode, and when two channels are brought together they connect.

From an engineering point of view, we expect the polymer to replace copper wire and HTS in many applications.

It will be considerably lighter than copper, and have less electric resistance.



The wonder stuff that could change the world: Graphene is so strong a sheet of it as thin as clingfilm could support an elephant

By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 7:39 AM on 7th October 2011

Revolutionary: Graphene, which is formed of honeycomb pattern of carbon atoms, could be the most important new material [transparent, electric, and strong building material as well] material for a century [it's a completely unique mixture of consumptive categories in this material: a thin, transparent, super-strong (harder than diamond) structural building material that has electrical conduction properties better than copper (copper is hardly a structural material), though graphene's lack of semiconductor principles may make it difficult for some fantasy computer operations that currently are based on mostly silicon's physical capacities of 'on/off' switching in the material itself (there are other options for this switching though than polluting silicon industries: see the category on communication materials for more options); thus with graphene always 'on' in other words, and very efficiently so, it makes it difficult to do any anticipated Boolean/operations in the material itself in base 2--the insight of all computers from Shannon onward.]

Revolutionary: Graphene, which is formed of honeycomb pattern of carbon atoms, could be the most important new material for a century

It is tougher than diamond, but stretches like rubber. It is virtually invisible, conducts electricity and heat better than any copper wire and weighs next to nothing. Meet graphene — an astonishing new material which could revolutionise almost every part of our lives.

Some researchers claim it’s the most important substance to be created since the first synthetic plastic more than 100 years ago.

If it lives up to its promise, it could lead to mobile phones that you roll up and put behind your ear, high definition televisions as thin as wallpaper, and bendy electronic newspapers that readers could fold away into a tiny square.

It could transform medicine, and replace silicon as the raw material used to make computer chips [perhaps everything except this however, see note above.]

The ‘miracle material’ was discovered in Britain just seven years ago, and the buzz around it is extraordinary.

Last year, it won two Manchester University scientists the Nobel Prize for physics, and this week Chancellor George Osborne pledged £50 million towards developing technologies based on the super-strong substance.

In terms of its economics, one of the most exciting parts of the graphene story is its cost. Normally when scientists develop a new wonder material, the price is eye-wateringly high.

But graphene is made by chemically processing graphite — the cheap material in the ‘lead’ of pencils.
Every few months researchers come up with new, cheaper ways of mass producing graphene, so that some experts believe it could eventually cost less than £4 per pound.

But is graphene really the wonder stuff of the 21st century?

For a material with so much promise, it has an incredibly simple chemical structure. A sheet of graphene is just a single layer of carbon atoms, locked together in a strongly-bonded honeycomb pattern.

Pledge: George Osborne, pictured visiting the University of Manchester lab where graphene is being researched, has said £50m will be set aside to help with development of technologies based on the substance

That makes it the thinnest material ever made. You would need to stack three million graphene sheets on top of each other to get a pile one milimetre high. It is also the strongest substance known to mankind — 200 times stronger than steel and several times tougher than diamond.

A sheet of graphene as thin as clingfilm could hold the weight of an elephant. In fact, according to one calculation, an elephant would need to balance precariously on the end of a pencil to break through that same sheet.

Despite its strength, it is extremely flexible and can be stretched by 20 per cent without any damage.

It is also a superb conductor of electricity — far better than copper, traditionally used for wiring — and is the best conductor of heat on the planet.

But perhaps the most remarkable feature of graphene is where it comes from. Graphene is made from graphite, a plentiful grey mineral mostly mined in Chile, India and Canada.

A pencil lead is made up of many millions of layers of graphene. These layers are held together only weakly — which is why they slide off each other when a pencil is moved across the page.

Graphene was first isolated by Professors Konstantin Novoselov and Andrew Geim at Manchester University in 2004. The pair used sticky tape to strip away thin flakes of graphite, then attached it to a silicon plate which allowed the researchers to identify the tiny layers through a microscope.

Discovery: Professors Andre Geim, left, and Dr Konstantin Novoselov first isolated graphene in 2004. They later won the Nobel Prize for Physics last year

Russian-born Prof Novoselov, 37, believes graphene could change everything from electronics to computers.

‘I don’t think it has been over-hyped,’ he said. ‘It has attracted a lot of attention because it is so simple — it is the thinnest possible matter — and yet it has so many unique properties.

‘There are hundreds of properties which are unique or superior to other materials. Because it is only one atom thick it is quite transparent — not many materials that can conduct electricity which are transparent.’

Its discovery has triggered a boom for material science. Last year, there were 3,000 research papers on its properties, and 400 patent applications.

The electronics industry is convinced graphene will lead to gadgets that make the iPhone and Kindle seem like toys from the age of steam trains.

Modern touch-sensitive screens use indium tin oxide — a substance that is transparent but which carries electrical currents. But indium tin oxide is expensive, and gadgets made from it shatter or crack easily when dropped. Replacing indium tin oxide with graphene-based compounds could allow for flexible, paper-thin computer and television screens. South Korean researchers have created a 25in flexible touch-screen using graphene.

Ancient history: If the development of graphene is successful it will make the iPad and Kindle seem like toys from the age of the steam train

Imagine reading your Daily Mail on a sheet of electric paper. Tapping a button on the corner could instantly update the contents or move to the next page. Once you’ve finished reading the paper, it could be folded up and used afresh tomorrow.

Other researchers are looking at many ways of using graphene in medicine. It is also being touted as an alternative to the carbon-fibre bodywork of boats and bikes [and car tires?] Graphene in tyres could make them stronger.

Some even claim it will replace the silicon in computer chips. In the future, a graphene credit card could store as much information as today’s computers.

‘We are talking of a number of unique properties combined in one material which probably hasn’t happened before,’ said Prof Novoselov. ‘You might want to compare it to plastic. But graphene is as versatile as all the plastics put together.

‘It’s a big claim, but it’s not bold. That’s exactly why there are so many researchers working on it.’

Dr Sue Mossman, curator of materials at the Science Museum in London, says graphene has parallels with Bakelite — the first man-made plastic, invented in 1907.

Resistant to heat and chemicals, and an excellent electrical insulator, Bakelite easily made electric plugs, radios, cameras and telephones.

‘Bakelite was the material of its time. Is this the material of our times?’ she says. ‘Historically we have been really good at invention in this country, but we’ve been really bad at capitalising on it.’

If graphene isn’t to go the same way as other great British inventions which were never properly exploited commercially at home — such as polythene and carbon fibre — it will need massive investment in research and development.

Core material: Graphene comes from a base material of graphite and is so thin that three millions sheets of the substance would be needed to make a layer 1mm thick

That’s why the Government’s move to support its development in the UK got a warm round of applause at the Conservative Party conference.

But compared to the investment in graphene in America and Asia, the £50 million promised by the Chancellor is negligible. South Korea is investing £195million into the technology. The European Commission is expected to invest one billion euros into graphene in the next ten years.

Yet despite the flurry of excitement, many researchers doubt graphene can live up to such high expectations.

It wouldn’t be the first wonder material that failed to deliver. In 1985 another form of carbon, called fullerenes or buckyballs, was hailed as the revolutionary new material of the era. Despite the hype, there has yet to be a major practical application.

And there are already some problems with using graphene. It is so good at conducting electricity that turning it into devices like transistors — which control the flow of electrical currents, so need to be able to stop electricity flowing through them — has so far proved problematic.

Earlier this year computer company IBM admitted that it was ‘difficult to imagine’ graphene replacing silicon in computer chips.

And sceptics point out that most new materials — such as carbon-fibre — take 20 years from invention before they can be used commercial use.

You might think from all the hype, that the road to a great graphene revolution has already been mapped out.

But its future is far from certain. In fact it’s barely been penciled out in rough.

Read more:

86. Breathable Air

(oxygen tanks, proper percentages of breathable air, house plants--see below for which ones)

The Current Air Regime: Composition of dry atmosphere, by volume, ppmv (parts per million by volume)

Gas Volume

Nitrogen (N2)780,840 ppmv (78.084%)
Oxygen (O2) 209,460 ppmv (20.946%)
Argon (Ar) 9,340 ppmv (0.9340%)
Carbon dioxide(CO2)383 ppmv(0.0383%)
Neon (Ne) 18.18 ppmv (0.001818%)
Helium(He) 5.24 ppmv (0.000524%)
Methane(CH4) 1.745 ppmv (0.0001745%)
Krypton(Kr) 1.14 ppmv (0.000114%)
Hydrogen(H2) 0.55 ppmv (0.000055%)

Not included in above dry atmosphere:

Water vapor (H2O) ~0.40% over full atmosphere, typically 1% to 4% near surface

Minor components of air not listed above include:

Gas Volume

nitrous oxide 0.3 ppmv (0.00003%)
xenon 0.09 ppmv (9x10-6%)
ozone 0.0 to 0.07 ppmv (0%-7x10-6%)
nitrogen dioxide 0.02 ppmv (2x10-6%)
iodine 0.01 ppmv (1x10-6%)
carbon monoxide trace
ammonia trace

Many of these smaller toxics may be at higher concentrations in areas because many are a product of the world's badly organized cities. So protect yourselves with the below ideas to get breathable air in your homes and offices while returning to an economy that grows the world's forests instead of destroys them.

How easy it is to neglect what is all around us and required with every breath.

The fish definitely forgets it lives in a world of water for it to appear this late in the list. Perhaps it's an appropriate near cap to the list to ponder how we wrap ourselves and the commodity ecology in the gaseous chemical effect from ecological relations, unconsciously everyday.

We breathe a network of the whole commodity ecology, the air.

we drink in a network of the whole commodity ecology with water.

We raise our food in a network of the whole commodity ecology in the way the soil is treated in human agriculture and industry, etc. (huge demineralization over the past century in industrialized agriculture is slowly raising systemic disease levels; though there are solutions that are known and posted under the 'soil/dirt' category, read there).

KEEP IN MIND that all 'services' of oxygen production are dependent upon the 'accidental' history of the ecology in which we have come to be dependent.

Oxygen is 'not natural.'

Oxygen is a biological product of the history of the larger ecology as a whole.

Clean oxygen upon which we depend for our every breath really is a 'biological pollutant'. Developed as 'industrial waste' by early chlorophyll-based life on the planet (for green plants were industrious in expanding all over the face of the planet), this oxygen 'waste' is instrumental currently of our healthy ecology because of all the other creatures that depend on this 'biological waste', oxygen. Ecology itself historically developed like ecological modernization--taking wastes into itself and associating 'cradle to cradle' forms of production instead of letting oxygen wastes be unintegrated in life.

Oxygen-based life production then became another whole level of life as it became a durable infrastructure making up 20% of the atmosphere. (It was a pollutant because it killed off a lot of early bacteria that hated oxygen, which receded into the depths of the earth or deep underwater, or as most people know it, through forms of food poisoning from anaerobic bacteria that only grow in the lack of oxygen.)

Oxygen waste became so stable, that reptiles and mammals started to take advantage of the free oxygen service. These forms of life flowed from the seas (with its dissolved oxygen in the water), then this mobile life went into the land later.

Oxygen wastes from plants still flows into all of us, and oxygen is the chemical which we are the most dependent upon as mammals I would argue.

Moreover, mess up the durable percentages (i.e., more CO2 (carbon dioxide), CO (carbon monoxide), or more ozone (O3), or less oxygen) and we die or our health is impaired. Ask the canary in the coalmine. Ask the emphysema patient.

1. To help your home or office air:


Kamal Meattle on how to grow fresh air
4:07 min


15 House Plants You Can Use As Air Purifiers
Feb 18 2010

Here are 15 plants that could clean your air for just the price of a few drops of water each day. First lets check some of the evidence behind the claim that plants can purify your household air:

b1. NASA Research

A NASA research document came to the conclusion that “house plants can purify and rejuvenate air within our houses and workplaces, safeguarding us all from any side effects connected with prevalent toxins such as formaldehyde, ammonia and also benzene.”

Here are the results of the NASA research study:

Common name.....Scientific name.................................Score
1 Areca palm......Chrysalidocarpus lutescens......................8.5
2 Lady palm.......Rhapis excelsa......................................8.5
3 Bamboo palm.....Chamaedorea seifrizii...........................8.4
4 Rubber plant....Ficus robusta.......................................8.0
5 Dracaena “Janet Craig”....Dracaena deremensis “Janet Craig”.....7.8
6 English ivy.....Hedera helix....................................7.8
7 Dwarf date palm.Phoenix roebelinii..............................7.8
8 Ficus Alii......Ficus macleilandii “Alii”...........................7.7
9 Boston fern.....Nephrolepis exalta “Bostoniensis”...............7.5
10 Peace lily......Spathiphyllum sp. ..................................7.5

[rest here and here]

Other research at the weblink above.

2. The Forests

For a larger remediation than your personal home, bring back the lungs of the planet, the forests:

Willie Smits restores a rainforest
20:39 min

Everything is possible.