KAD's blog

Eradicating Guinea Worm Disease and River Blindness in Africa and South America

      In an interview with BBC News on February 3, former U.S. president Jimmy Carter set a goal of eradicating guinea worm disease (dracunculiasis) within the next two to three years.  Guinea worm is a painful and potentially fatal parasitic disease transmitted through drinking water contaminated with the roundworm.  Carter noted in the interview that his organization, The Carter Center, has struggled at times to provide preventive and treatment technologies to some of the most-affected regions because of logistical challenges facing NGOs in zones of conflict.

Drought and Food Security in Brazil

      January 28-29, 2015 saw the third annual summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in San José, Costa Rica.  The summit was attended by 21 heads of state from across the region.  Included in its plan of action was a resolution to implement a plan submitted to CELAC by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which set a goal of eliminating hunger in the region by 2025.  The threat to regional food security posed by climate change was one of four key strategic points identified in the plan. 

Wacky Technology Wednesday: Izhar Gafni creates a bike from cardboard

A few weeks ago, Gizmag (http://www.gizmag.com/cardboard-bike/24573/) covered the story of Izhar Gafhi, who recently designed and prototyped a bicycle built from cardboard.  In its current design, it cots US $12 to build, can withstand moisture/water/humidity, and can support riders weighing up to 485 pounds.   Additionally, Gafhi uses recycled car tiers for the tires and repurposes a car timing belt as the bike chain.

Welding Complete on Test Greenhouse

On Saturday 12.18.10 the Greenhouse Challenge group completed welding of the test greenhouse structure.  Bill Hess directed the cutting, grinding and assembly.  Three sheets of glass melting are complete and the panes measure approximately 20 inches X 20 inches wide.  On the third sheet, the team attempted a higher temperature melt however the kiln topped out at 1900 degrees F, not hot enough to attain the clarity levels we hoped for.  Pictures from of the glass and steel assembly are blow.  The steel structure is an octagon and is approximately 2 feet wide.

Associated Challenge: 

Nelson County Life Magazine Features Mongolian Greenhouse GIC Challenge

Last week the Nelson County Life Magazine featured the Mongolian Greenhouse GIC Challenge. Local glass engineer Bill Hess and M-CAM's Ken Dabkowski were interviewed. Please read more here: http://issuu.com/nclmag/docs/nelson_county_life_magazine_69/25 on Pages 25-27.

Featured Website Friday: X Prize Foundation Announces Partnership with Govt. of India & IIT Delhi to Develop Cookstoves

Cooking stoves create pollution that causes a significant amount of respiratory illness worldwide. Stoves can be heated using many different fuels and contain thermal properties that range in efficiency. As the X PRIZE folks below have realized, fuel and efficiency combined could significantly reduce this problem.

University of Virginia Work With Dr. Robert J. Swap

As the Global Innovation Commons launches 'Challenges' and other projects, we have begun new collaborations with Dr. Robert J. Swap, Research Associate Professor at the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia.

Dr. Swap has engaged foreign and domestic students on many development, research and service learning projects worldwide with a current focus in Africa. Included below are links to his work and student development work over the past few years. Please read more about the work of Dr.

Featured Company: Gobyn Undur (Gobi Highest)

On our trip to the South Gobi, the M-CAM team was fortunate to meet a very special family. Batbayar ("Baidaa") & Jazei (“Jagaa") became our guides, friends, and partners during the trip. Baidaa and Jagaa's company, Gobyn Undur (Mongolian for 'Gobi Highest') has started development of a large tree farm approximately 15 kilometers from Dalanzadgad, Mongolia. This farm is situated on a flat piece of land which has been cleared of rocks.

The farm has many surface water resources nearby.

Wacky Technology Wednesday: Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense

In the following video, Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense, an interesting technology which has many applications. From our perspective, this kind of technology would help make certain object analysis and meta-data easily accessible via a portable interactive interface. It certainly has the potential to affect all levels of Commons participants by making information accessible and portable.

Featured Website Friday: Global Urban Development (GUD)

Today we feature one of our deployment partners, Global Urban Development (GUD). They focus on enabling every community to peacefully grow and thrive. By bringing the Urban World closer together they hope to create a unified conversation about the future of the world itself. The network is led by the United Nations, the World Bank, and other related institutions such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Take a moment an check out their website www.globalurban.org.

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