The Most Secure Computer is No Computer at All

In the best tv show ever made, Battlestar Galactica, humanity is at war against evil robots called the Cylons. The humans have big battleships that use very antiquated technology in order to protect themselves from hacking by the technologically-advanced Cylons. Using old hardware is their best defense. The Navy appears to be thinking something along the […]

Even More Centrifuges

As I mention in another post, the problem of getting functioning centrifuges in the poor world is a big one. While Dr. Oluyombo Awojobi created a centrifuge from old bicycle parts, Stanfor’d Manu Prakash has solved it in a different way — by using an ancient children’s toy called a whirligig:   See more in this […]

Remember the Old Ways

How many fantasy novels have Our Heroine travel a dangerous path, only to have an old wise woman give them the Sacred Amulet, the Ancient Book, or some other relic of the olden days that can save civilization’s bacon in the knick of time, right here in the present? Well, knowledge in the real world […]

What is This?

Over the years, I have been moved by stories of creative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems — in particular, problems of poverty, disease, and disenfranchisement. These stories of small changes created enormous benefits. As I started to collect these stories, I noticed that many of them had patterns in common. From the story of Mohammed […]

Menstrual Man

This man is my hero. He’s like a mad-scientist crossed with MacGyver. I love this story. A choice excerpt: He created a “uterus” from a football bladder by punching a couple of holes in it, and filling it with goat’s blood. A former classmate, a butcher, would ring his bicycle bell outside the house whenever […]

Clear Trauma

Ever had something really traumatic happen? Ever lived through the death of a close relative? Your thoughts become jumbled and disoriented. Large swaths of your mental computer become unavailable for you to use, often for a very long time. For some people who have been through years of crisis and neglect, every day is full […]