"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Wednesday
Oct112017

The Problem of Growth

We are told that at the dawn of agriculture, which is believed to have occurred around 8000 B.C., there were approximately 5 million people on this earth. By the year 1500 this number had increased to about 450 million. Do the math and you will see that the annual growth rate was around 0.05%. Why, you may ask, such a low growth rate? Famine and plague! Without the means to store a lot of crop or to transport crop easily, a few consecutive years of crop failure results in famine. In a famine people die – sometimes many. Without an understanding of the germ theory and access to modern medicine, diseases like smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague easily became plagues and wipe out whole villages.

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Wednesday
Oct042017

Making a Wood Fired Outdoor Pizza Oven

Traditional clay ovens date from antiquity and are both beautiful and effective to this day. One of SETIs long time members has built one of his own, and has documented the process for our benefit. Download the PowerPoint slideshow below for a walk-through of the process, from design to completion!  

Tuesday
Oct032017

Population Overload

Recently there was an item on CBC radio that set my little grey cells working, and this was that the population of Newfoundland was going down. In a world with 7+ billion people a declining population is just what we need. It has been said that 5 billion might be a sustainable number whereas others have suggested 2 billion. Simple logic tells us that the world population cannot go on increasing and increasing until we are standing shoulder to shoulder all over the planet, so clearly at some point in time people have to stop having so many children.

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Tuesday
Sep262017

Time to Save Gas

There is an additive, little known by most people, that can reduce your car’s fuel consumption by 20% or more. It isn’t new either - back in the early days of the automobile, fuel consumption below 5.0 L/100km was common because of this additive. (Today, an average compact car gets 9.5 L/100km; and a typical SUV: 13.3) Its supply is strictly limited, yet every driver still has access to the same amount as drivers of the past, at no cost. No engine modifications are necessary, and the additive is 100% non-polluting. Too good to be true? Well, kind of. If you haven’t guessed what this miracle additive is, here’s a clue: You probably misread the title of this article.

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Tuesday
Sep192017

I Just Bought a Plug-in Electric Hybrid Car

Plug-in police car Chevy VoltMalcolm Gladwell has written a number of best-selling books like Outliers and Blink but the one I wish to focus on is called The Tipping Point. Gladwell contends that all ideas succeed based on the same three rules. He got this idea from studying the spread of disease. How do epidemics occur? It turns out that ideas spread by following the same three rules that influence the spread of a disease.

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