Posts tagged with Social Responsibility

Ecological Sanitation: save the precious water

Our world now faces a huge water crisis. I'm sharing here some work that helps especially poor and isolated peoples to maintain sanitation while conserving limited potable water. He is promoting Ecological Sanitation EcoSan.

You can find on his blog info about other useful EcoSan methods. Many of these he has designed himself, including simple and cheap systems to capture rainwater and dispense in hand washing stations.

I will post the link for the full article excerpted below. He has another article posted at that link.

Author: Christopher Canaday Affiliation and email: Omaere Ethnobotanical Park, Ecuador,,


Three different models of simple and inexpensive Urine-diverting Dry Toilets (UDDTs) are described: a portable one for squatting made from a barrel, another portable one made from wood and linoleum, and a permanent one for squatting made with palm wood. A simple, portable urinal made from two plastic bottles is also described. These can be made at very low cost, with abundant natural materials, salvaged post-consumer waste, and items that are readily purchased almost anywhere. They may be especially applicable in poor communities, slums, farms, disaster relief camps, and temporary events, plus they may be used to train and screen users before building more elegant UDDTs. With these designs, conversion to UDDTs may be more a matter of paradigm shift than capital investment.

· Urine may be diverted with standard plastic funnels or with ones cut from plastic bottles. · Urine may be stored in bottles for later use as fertilizer or it can be dispersed immediately via perforated hoses (at least in the Amazon) · Feces may be collected in sacks or buckets.

Diseases transmitted via feces, including diarrhea, hepatitis, typhoid, and intestinal worms, constitute one of the biggest threats to human health (Conant and Fadem 2008). Especially vulnerable are the people who live in large agglomerations under unsanitary conditions. In Developing Countries, most wastewater goes straight into the environment without treatment and many people do not even have access to the piped water needed to make such wastewater, so the fecal contamination of their environment is even more direct. Globally, an estimated 40% of people live without basic sanitation (UN-Habitat, 2003).

Urine-diverting Dry Toilets (UDDTs) have much to contribute in improving this situation, especially if they are: ü Very low in cost; ü Easily made from abundantly available (often recycled) materials; and ü (in some cases) Portable.

The UDDT is one technique of Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan), a practice in which excrement can be used as a resource for improving the soil, while applying natural processes to control the potential transmission of diseases (Winblad et al. 2004, Esrey et al. 1998). One of the least logical aspects of modern life is that of taking and purifying huge amounts of water, defecating in a large proportion of it, spending great sums of money to then try to purify it again, but never returning the nutrients to farmland, thus depending more and more on chemical fertilizers that are made and transported with non-renewable fossil fuels. To make things worse, pathogens develop resistance to the chemicals used to treat sewage and substances like antibiotics and artificial hormones cannot reliably be removed or degraded. These are the results of an irrational fear of our own excrement that leads us to do irrational things with it. In contrast, EcoSan is a way to control the real risks involved, and make our excrement safe to be added to the soil. In the case of water, everyone wants it clean, so it is best to simply not contaminate it with excrement.

The goal of this paper is to show that conversion to using UDDTs can be more a matter of shifting paradigms than capital investment. People can learn the concept and apply it on their own, with materials that they already have access to.


Ecological Sanitation: coming soon to this blog

Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan) allows peoples who are native/poor to have sanitation without the use of potable water In the next couple of days I will feature a guy who has helped many people by designing and building ecological sanitation. No, I don't agree with some of his ideas. But the EcoSan is pretty cool, it has changed the lives of many people from the poor coastal people of Ecuador to the native peoples of Brazil's western jungle.

EcoSan is intended to answer the question: how do you wash your hands and dispose of human waste when potable water is not available or is just too expensive.

I am posting this "coming attraction" because there may be some in the Lawrence/Haskell/KU community who would find this interesting.

Tune in soon.


“A lawyer walks into a bar …;” He’s marrying a lawyer!

A member of our online community is marrying a lawyer.

I'm seriously hoping that the lawyers among us can share some wisdom for this soon-to-be-husband.

plus, we just don't see enough lawyer jokes, do we?

I could say please keep your entries brief, but I won't.


Rush Returns to Radio Today.

There was so much care and concern posted for Rush Limbaugh under the article announcing that he'd gone to a Hawaiian hospital to have chest pains investigated. It seemed obvious I should post how to listen, so folks who are so interested could tune him in for themselves.

*You can hear his program live at 11a.m. local time on 980AM KMBZ (KC-MO). His is a three-hour program. KMBZ also repeats Rush's program during the night, like at 1a.m.

*If you have a good receiver or are up north, KFEQ (St. Joseph) 680AM runs his program on a delay beginning at 2p.m.

*on the web is a very informative site on all things Limbaugh. You can sign up to hear his program via the web, or support an overseas service person's subscription to the web broadcast. "Stack of stuff" has lots of great reading.

I was so happy that in all those 120+ posts that nobody posted things falsely attributed to Rush, actual lies, and some of his statements taken out of context. Just as some treated Sarah Palin with such respect, and did not post a virulent lie about her son not really being her son...but I digress.

The tolerant, prejudice-free, ever forgiving, liberals who always welcome people who publicly admit their adictions and get rehabbed. They were so forgiving of Ted Kennedy whose addiction actually killed somebody, so I was glad such care was extended to Rush in all those comments. I am also glad that the tolerant liberals of Lawrence join me in celebrating Rush's clean bill of health; his heart is apparently okay.

So, today you can tune him in. For many who sound off about him, it'll be your first time too.


Study shows “true character” of Greenies—more added

Greenies apparently really lie, cheat, steal, lack altruism, according to a well operated study with good experimental design.

Probably not much difference between Canadian greenies and American greenies, locally such as Merrill.

"Green shoppers" displayed some serious deficits in ethics across the tsks involved in this University of Toronto study.

and yes, global warming is now totally debunked because of the "hide the decline" e-mails, data showing that warming didn't occur in the past ten years, and the Russian IEA says that its climate data was cherry picked.

But then, these folks will lie cheat and steal, so what will they do next to maintain the myth of global warming?


Human Trials of H1N1/novel flu? … waiting, anyone?

In looking at many news sources tonight I learned some things about the H1N1/novel flu vaccine. I already knew that human trials had started in Australia in July, and here in the U.S. in August.

I am one who will not get the H1N1 vaccine until the human trials are done. Yes I know how vaccines work and I routinely get the seasonal vaccine. I am in at least two priority groups for the H1N1 vaccine. However, in 1976 the 'swine flu vaccine' resulted in deaths totaling far beyond what that 'swine flu virus' might have caused.

Many countries, including Taiwan and India, have not completed their human trials. Some have had trouble with the stability of the vaccine's virus material.

I find some people in the U.S. saying that this vaccine has "been tested" and "is the most tested" vaccine. Some of these apparently have M.D. after their names but seem to be more functioning as Public Information Officers than medical professionals. The human trials in Australia apparently went off without serious problems, but all I could find was vague generalities in the Australian press.

So, what I did was a lot of looking with Yahoo-news and Google-news along with searching the CDC's website. I would expect that if U.S. trials in humans were complete that our government leaders would make big PR out of that, advising us to build confidence in the current H1N1/novel flu vaccine. Well, mum's the word it seems.

Oh, by the way, Mrs. Gnome is very sick just today with a flu-like illness.

So, if somebody has information on the U.S. human trials' outcome, or details on the australian trials, please post it here. I'd sure like to see it.


One thing I agree upon with Mr. Obama: What kind of country …? #1 in a series of questions by Gnome

Mr. Obama says that it is more than health care. He says it is about what kind of country we want the U.S. to be.

Here, I agree. What kind of country do we want America to be? One of many reasons for the backlash against Obamacare has been the huge number of fundamental social questions being addressed with little or no national dialogue. Rushing through huge programs which change many basic American freedoms and many things we take for granted.

I hope to post a series of questions, to identify some of these very basic questions.

Here, I'm asking: Do we want to be the kind of country that makes health insurance coverage compulsory?*

In order to accomplish this, some of the bills currently in Washington actually empower the IRS to enforce compulsory participation. If you are forced to pay, your employer is forced to pay, or your employer is fined, it all works out about the same. Your employer pays you and has the added expense of employing you tacked on. That is money that cannot go into your paycheck.

Do we as a country choose to require everyone to have health insurance? During the Democrat party primary, Mr. Obama was the only major candidate who opposed such compulsory participation, and he criticized Hilary's compulsory plan. Now, his is just as offensive.

Furthermore, the plans currently in Washington will mandate all kinds of coverage, and control the types of policies the government would "approve." So, if you are a 22-year-old, your premiums will be far higher under these proposed plans than if you got your own coverage today. Higher because you would not have the freedom (according to CNN/Money) to choose a skimpy coverage, high deductable, low premium policy. Also, you would be mandated to take coverage that included, for example, knee replacement even though you're 22 and not at all likely to need it. That's one way these plans try to balance the books, charge the low-risk younger citizens more to provide for the elders and more sickly, such as the 60-year-old who actually does need a new knee.

Mr. Obama says that requiring all Americans to have health insurance is like the auto insurance requirement. Wrong. Women pay less for auto insurance because they're lower risk. All the current proposals seem to go the opposite way: pay more for lower risk.

So, the government compells you to have health insurance, and decides what should be in that policy. If you are prolife, you are forced to pay for coverage for abortions against your conscience. But aside from that small matter [lol] the reach of government is hugely multiplied. Do we choose this?

More questions to come.


Help Lawrence: hit the gas for God’s Sake!-North Lawrence detour/By Gnome

There's a problem at the North Lawrence detour, but you can't blame this on the officials, the road workers, or the people of North Lawrence.

I was by the detour for a while this afternoon and observed something funny. Drivers are flowing off the bridge onto Elm like water through a Funnel. This part is working swimmingly.

But there's a serious problem causing a lot of backup on that first block of Elm. A few drivers pull up to N. 3rd, and they just sit there! Apparently incapable of applying gas to their motors.

I observed two drivers at different times pull up, and sit for two ... three ... four minutes. In both cases they could have turned left according to the posted detour and continued on N. 3rd. Or, they could have driven east on Elm at that moment.

So, do these drivers have trouble with the concept of a detour? Are they pulling out their pocket dictionaries and looking it up?

Would you introspective types please just help Lawrence and give your car the gas for God's sake!

Are these drivers experiencing some existential crisis as they sit at n. 3rd and Elm? Does the thought of being in a North Lawrence neighborhood require a little mental adaptation? Anybody got any ideas about what's going through their minds at that point in their lives?



“Barack was a community organizer, like Jesus was.” Really?

Spoken by Democrat Representative Steve Cohen, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during the week of 9-11-08. This offensive statement is being printed on bumper stickers and campaign buttons; and is being repeated by Democrat party strategists. Well? Was Barack Obama a community organizer, like Jesus was? I'm not a pastor, minister, or evangelist. I simply ride a pew on Sunday mornings, in a church where we still sing "His truth is marching on." And if you feel as I do, please forward this on to others. ______"Barack was a community organizer, like Jesus was."Jesus started his community organizing after the work of John the Baptist.Barack started his community organizing after the work of Reverend Wright. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, surviving on locusts and honeycombs.Reverend Wright lives in a sumptuous mansion, in a gated community. John the Baptist preached that people could find peace with God, have their sins forgiven. Reverend Wright taught his people they are victims, and to "kill the white oppressor." Before his community organizing, Jesus was tested and tempted for forty days in the desert, confronting the Devil. Before his community organizing, Barack went to Columbia University, then to Harvard. He won't release his grades. During His community organizing, Jesus said, "suffer the little children to come unto me."During his community organizing, Barack protected the "right" of women to kill their babies, before, during, and after birth. During His community organizing, Jesus taught people to avoid hell and take the redemption God offered.During his community organizing, Barack cared little for his peoples' eternal souls, promoting Marxism and good-works. Jesus wept, when confronted by unbelief. Barack led his people to fight instead. Jesus said "and thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength" is the first commandment. Barack thinks this is the first commandment: "what you have done unto the least of these, you have done unto me." Jesus said, "go forth, and sin no more."Barack sought to make people comfortable in their sin. Jesus performed miracles. Barack says he will reverse the waters, and "global warming." When Jesus confronted evil, he cast it out, defeated it.When Barack confronts evil, he prefers a conversation. When Jesus died, he made a way for us to reach God. Barack has made no such sacrifice. When Jesus was done with His community organizing, many people knew the peace that passes all understanding. When Barack was done with his community organizing, people's hearts weren't changed. After Jesus left, people remembered that a man who lives by the sword shall die by the sword. After Barack left, murder and violent crime increased dramatically in South Chicago. "Barack was a community organizer, like Jesus was." If you want to learn more about the Tennessee Representative who said that, take the link below. May God bless America.