Matt sends what is quite possibly one of the coolest TED talks I’ve ever seen (Stephanie, you’re going to love this).
August 16, 2012
Self-contained, solar powered domestic toilet wastewater treatment plants.
Pretty amazing tech using relatively simple chemical reactions and low power requirements. It’s a bit expensive for global use right now, but that’ll change with economies of scale. Read more about it here. I think if you could couple this with a Kamen water purifier (which distills pure water from any source) as well as some of the Star Wars inspired “Moisture Vaporator” tech that’s coming online, you’d have a real winner. Get free water from the air. Use it to flush your toilet. Use resultant effluent for fertilizing crops or filter for flushing or even consumption. A neat cycle, all powered by the sun, that significantly reduces resource usage and also decentralizes utility use, making homes more self-sufficient and less dependent on the grid. Neat all around.
As funny as it is to see Bill Gates with imitation poo, I think the implications of such a “dirty tech” as a reinvented toilet represents a pretty noble technological ideal.
Pallets: The single most important object in the global economy.: “And yet pallets are arguably as integral to globalization as containers. For an invisible object, they are everywhere: There are said to be billions circulating through global supply chain (2 billion in the United States alone). Some 80 percent of all U.S. commerce is carried on pallets. So widespread is their use that they account for, according to one estimate, more than 46 percent of total U.S. hardwood lumber production.”