New book - 'Building a Better World in Your Backyard' - on Kickstarter (sponsored friend)

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Bwb-book-mockup-no-bg.png New book Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys Check currently being funded on Kickstarter. (sponsored friend).


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Solar hot water system for a hotel in Parras de la Fuente, Mexico
Hotel Perote solar pool heating system. Parras de la Fuente is a desert oasis town of about 44,000 residents located in the south of the Mexican state of Coahuila. Along with textile manufacturing, tourism is one of the main industries in Parras. Tourism has become increasingly emphasized after Parras's designation as the "primer pueblo mágico del Norte de México." Parras is warm in the summer, and cooler in the winter, but temperatures rarely fall below freezing, snow falls once every several years.

Antiqua Hacienda de Perote is a hotel, restaurant, nuez (pecan) ranch, vineyard, and winery. It sits on about 500 acres on the western-most edge of Parras. According to Igancio (Nacho) Chacon, Perote's owner, Perote's hotel business has been growing rapidly, and in 2006, the hotel was constructing rooms to meet demand.

Parras Program students Heather Kuoppamaki and Rowan Steele built a rooftop solar hot water system for Hotel Perote in the summer of 2005. Intended as prototype for a larger system to heat a spring-fed swimming pool (alberca), then being constructed, the system was sized to provide heated water for a single hotel bathroom. The 2005 system is no longer located at Perote, and has been moved to the residence of someone afiliated with the local city government. Igancio has requested a system to keep the pool at 28° centigrade from October to March. The design problem revolves on this performance parameter and several state variables.

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Fixable Infant Incubator

A safe incubator that will be used in local health centers in deveoping countries.

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Community action news

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Apr 15 UK Climate news: Thousands block roads in Extinction Rebellion protests across London [1]

Apr 3 Climate news 2019: Parents around the world mobilise behind youth climate strikes [2]

Apr 2 City Of Sydney Announces 100% Renewable Energy Target [3]

Mar 29 Amsterdam: A Modest Proposal to Eliminate 11,000 Urban Parking Spots [4]

Mar 22 Community involvement USA: How the simple act of sharing a meal is creating community change [5]

Read More...


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Helen Keller
The mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that ‘W-A-T-E-R’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, joy, set it free.

Helen KellerW
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Hot topics / In the news

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The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487.
Those who have health have hope, and those who have hope have everything.
Arabian Proverb

An individuals health greatly influences their ability to support themselves, provide for their family, and contribute to the community. Because of this, access to care and the health of a community is central to any development effort.

Unfortunately, health care is poorly distributed around the world. Southern hemisphere countries are much more likely to suffer from lack of access to care. One aspect of this disparity is the health technology gap between developed and developing nations. While developed countries continue to invest in high technology equipment, developing countries often lack the most basic health care tools. Appropriate Medical Technologies (AMT's) can help communities, governments and development agencies create simple, low-cost, and culturally appropriate responses to health care problems.

The use of appropriate technologies is less common in healthcare than other fields such as construction or agriculture. However, there is significant crossover between the public health field and the water and sanitation fields, areas that are more familiar with appropriate technologies. Appropriate technology is often used to develop mobility and rehabilitation equipment as well as tests used to diagnose diseases.

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E215 Introduction to Design projects: This gallery lists some of the projects done by Engr215 Introduction to Design taught at Humboldt State University. All semesters taught by Lonny Grafman, unless noted otherwise.

Spring 2012: Friends of the Dunes

Design and build educational displays, technologies and infrastructure for the Humboldt Coastal Nature Center  
Fall 2011: Flock House

Design and build sustainable technologies for mobile art pods interacting throughout NYC  
Spring 2011: Locally Delicious

Design and build appropriate technology projects for children that promote healthy, local eating  
Fall 2010: HBCSL Somoa Hostel

Design and build eco-projects to support a hostel being designed at the Samoa Cookhouse  
Spring 2010: RCEA

Design and build energy education boxes, housed at Redwood Coast Energy Authority to build, for classrooms in Humboldt County  
Spring 2010: World Shelters

Design, prototype and improve structures by leveraging the resources of Haiti and World Shelters  
Fall 2009: CCAT and Network for a Healthy California

Design and build appropriate technology projects for CCAT and Network for a Healthy CA  
Spring 2009: WaterPod

Design and build sustainable technologies to educate and support artists living sustainably on a barge in NYC  
Fall 2008: Full Belly Project

Design and prototype adaptions to the Universal Nut Sheller  
Spring 2008: Discovery Museum

Design and build educational flume inserts for the Redwood Discovery Museum  
Fall 2007: HBCSL

Designing and prototype model hostel cottages for the proposed Humboldt Bay Eco Hostel  
Spring 2007: RCEA

Design and build energy efficiency displays for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority (Co-taught with Professor Eileen Cashman)  
Fall 2006: CCAT

Design and prototype educational, appropriate technology, infrastructure models  
Fall 2005: Interactive Energy Efficiency Displays

Design and build educational energy displays for the Redwood Coast Energy Authority  
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