Zero Mines, cheap-low-tech land mine clearing tool

June 6, 2012 · Posted in innovation, sharing · Comment 

Zero Mines is a group of people worldwide working on Open Source solutions for clearing land mines so people can grow food, travel, and live safely. Here is my suggestion.
Cheap-low-tech landmine clearing tool
Over 100 million land mines have been deployed around the world. Most of the places where these land mine are located are impoverished. The area that needs to be cleared is vast. The ideal solution would use cheap, easily available materials, that can be put together by anyone so that local people can quickly clear their own land.

The standard military approach to clearing a mine field is to use a heavily armored vehicle with a motorized flail to trigger the landmines. Armor is one way of staying safe while detonating a mine but not the only way. Distance is another.

A strong rope is cheap and can pull a heavy object across a mine field from a distance to detonate any mines. But you typically must go forward into a mine field. So how can you pull something towards you without first putting it in front of you? There is a very simple way.

The device I described fits those requirements. It is just a big rake rotating on a pivot pulled by a rope or cable from a safe distance to trigger mines.
1. place the pivot
2. pull the rope or cable from a safe distance or behind sand bags
3. sweep the rake over area to be cleared
4. move pivot / rake to cover more area
5. repeat

Dragging an object a distance from the arm would reduce the damage to the arm but even if the arm is damaged it is cheap and easy to replace. This might not be enough for all uses of the land or all types of land but can quickly clear an area for human travel and light use. If you need to go deeper use a heavier object and tines to dig up the ground.

New Form of Life, Discovery Published Creative Commons

March 24, 2011 · Posted in abundance, sharing · Comment 

The Economist reports a new form of life was discovered, very interesting. The actual scientific article is released with a Creative Commons license, awesome.
Economists summary

Actual scientific article

Solution to AT&T Greed, and other corporations as well.

March 21, 2011 · Posted in sharing, strategy · Comment 

Screw AT&TAT&T is going to force customers who already pay for voice and data to pay to connect devices to their iPhones which they were able to do using free software. AT&T is not providing any new service, they are just double charging already paying customers. They can do that because there really isn’t any competition. Verizon similarly abuses customers. The solution is to provide real competition to the government empowered oligopolies.

Several of the comments mention there is a social benefit to using technology and the greed of these corporations is holding back society. Recently I’ve been talking with Frithjof Bergmann, the founder of New Work, New Culture, about ways to provide low cost communication. And I’ve been working on a project to revitalize Detroit by establishing self-sufficient communities. If communication is a community value then it makes sense to have a community owned telecom.

Imagine a cellular co-op where all the users are also owners. The co-op model could potentially operate at much lower costs than the for-corporate model. Additionally, a co-op telecom could be crowd funded for the start-up. It also would not need to be one monolithic organization. It could equally well work as a coalition of regional co-op service providers. Electricity and insurance in rural USA were originally operated as co-operatives and some still are operated that way. This is obviously a big project but it is clearly possible.

For some ideas about how a co-op corporation could operate

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