Sunday, June 25, 2006

Irony and Piss

I grew up in North Dakota, close to the Canadian border, and in the flight path of a SAC wing bomber unit. The sonic booms of aircraft breaking the sound barrier and the knowledge that planes carrying nuclear weapons were routinely landing 50 miles away was as much a part of my growing up as sandboxes and elementary school. I remember as a pre-schooler watching my mom talking to a uniformed Air Force officer. When he left, I asked her what he wanted and she said he asked her to call a phone number if any planes flew in low under the radar. In grade school, we had nuclear attack drills.

In 1965, a Minutemen missile field was completed and all the B-52s went to Viet Nam. We lived in the middle of 150 nuclear missiles, spread out over 50 miles. Driving to and from the locations we farmed at, it was common to see missile silos and the little signs that showed where the communication cables were laid between them.

Eventually I left, not being comfortable living in a primary target zone, amongst other reasons. Long complicated story – I ended up in New Vrindaban. There I found the discipline I needed at that point in my life. I think I may have ended up more naturally in the military, but Viet Nam was the wrong war at the wrong time for me. In New Vrindavan, my survivalist instincts were easily dovetailed. For the first twenty years I was there, I made sure there was enough grain on hand at any time to feed the entire community for a year. Even while farming, primarily for the purpose of feeding cows, I would plant corn in the spring, and when it was harvested in the fall, a cover crop of rye. One aspect of this was that any given time if there was some societal collapse, we would always have a crop in the field that, if push came to shove, could be harvested by hand for human food, even if our larder had been plundered.

Now, New Vrindavan is just as dependent on the macro society for its inputs as every other ISKCON temple. I had my own personal thing going after the old school management at the temple kicked my family and me to the curb, but that has more or less ended with my descent into disability. No one even noticed when their larder went empty.

So for me, the whole survivalist thing is memory. More ironic than that, due to my now lifelong dependence on anti-rejection drugs due to the transplant, my life is tied to the continuance of industrial society and the pharmafia. Very funny, Krishna; so much for my illusion of independence.

I still have an academic interest in these things. For instance, here is a link to an article that may be of interest to those who are simultaneously addicted to electronic devices and convinced the larger society is doomed.

Scientists harness the power of pee


"A urine powered battery the size of a credit card has been invented by Singapore researchers. A drop of urine generates 1.5 volts, the equivalent of one AA battery, says Dr Ki Bang Lee of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology...

Is it practical?

Foley says the energy generated by the urine-powered battery would be enough to keep a digital wristwatch or a scientific calculator going, but anything bigger would be impractical. "You could probably increase the power by having more of them and loading them up," she says. "[For power on a large scale] you'd probably have to coat the whole of Australia in this paper-based electrode and wee on it."..."


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