Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flying Pigs and Bamboo Bicycles

I read an article which referred to the Druid notion of ternary thinking. So often we classify ideas or choices in binary terms – yes or no, black or white. Ternary thinking invites us to look for a third option that isn’t simply a compromise between the two. It is no longer a choice between capitalism and socialism or bungalows and apartments. It’s about opening our eyes to a whole range of possibilities.

Bamboo Bicycles
Craig Calfee says that bamboo is the ideal material for a bicycle. It’s tougher and lighter than most metals and even more effective at absorbing road vibration. The bamboo frame is held together with lugs made of a hemp/epoxy composite. Calfee is now experimenting with growing bamboo in pre-formed shapes in the field. You can even make your own bamboo bicycle – here are the instructions.

Bicycle Ambulances
And, while we’re on the topic of bicycles, Nepal and a number of African nations turn bicycles into ambulances with the addition of a very basic cart. Bicycle ambulances are built using simple technology so they can be built locally and are highly effective at patients to clinics and hospitals.

Tree Houses
And, finally, why is it only children who have the fun of living in a tree house? This slide show illustrates four fascinating designs – from a geodesic dome to a teahouse built amongst four trees with sliding stairs to compensate for the trees waving in the breeze. There’s even a tree house for pigs that fly!

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