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Science Friday, now brought to you with the power of Procrastinatex! (at least it's here before it becomes Saturday)

All too often, stories of the environment are presented as corporations versus wildlife.  Certainly the administration wants you to buy into that world view, the kind of view where fuel mileage can't be increased without killing auto makers, and climate change can't be battled without breaking the back of the economy.

This story is about a corporation that makes millions, a CEO who was born rich, people in terrible poverty, disease, pesticides, and water-borne pestulance.  And the CEO is the hero.

35-year-old Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen is the CEO of Danish company called Vestergaard Frandsen.  Quite a coincidence, eh?  When Frandsen first took a position at the company started by his grandfather, the fabric and clothing company made most of its money on hotel uniforms.  But young Mikkel had spent some time in Africa, and he had some very different ideas.

His first task was to find something to do with more than 1 million square yards of surplus fabric the company didn't need. He had the woolen material cut into blankets and sold to aid organizations.

The deal made money for the company, and provided NGOs with a low-cost source for blankets.  Expanding from there, Frandsen worked out ways to coat fabric with pesticides and invented a treated mosquito net.  By doing so, these chemicals could be used effectively to protect people, without pouring millions of gallons into the environment.  

"Ninety percent of our business is malaria prevention," says Vestergaard Frandsen. (The workwear division was sold off in 1997.) PermaNet remains the company's most popular product, with nearly 4 million sold every month. According to the World Health Organization, such nets have helped reduce childhood-mortality rates by 25 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Going from a company that made uniforms, to one that saved approximately 400,000 lives might seem like accomplishment enough.  But Frandsen's newest invention looks to be even more important -- the LifeStraw

More than 1 billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water, and 6,000 people die each day of waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera and dysentery. In regions like sub-Saharan Africa, half of most people's water consumption takes place outside the home—either while they're working, or walking to and from school.

...

The $3 LifeStraw will drastically lessen their chances of getting sick. "It's a product that can save lives without spare parts, electricity or maintenance," says the firm's CEO.

...

Each LifeStraw contains layers of increasingly fine mesh filters that block bacteria. Iodine beads kill remaining bacteria, along with viruses and many parasites. Active carbon neutralizes the taste of the iodine and knocks out remaining parasites.

Each of the blue, kazoo-sized tubes if good for about a year, or 185 gallons of water.  And the $3 LifeStraw will work in areas without the infrastructure to support more complex systems.  

Vestergaard Frandsen's next project is to create a large-capacity household water filter, as well as an insecticide-coated fence to protect crops. He describes both ideas with a zeal that's equal parts commercial and crusading.

The pesticide-coated fence may not seem all that environmental, but using it means that farmers don't use much greater levels of pesticide on their crops.  Less pesticide to damage the environment -- and less pesticide in the people.  Doing good by doing well.  Not as impossible as AEI and the Bush administration would like you to think.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:39 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wonderful write-up ... (32+ / 0-)

    knew about the Life Straw and its value. Did not know the story of the CEO/company behind it.  Thank you.

    Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

    by A Siegel on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:35:43 PM PDT

  •  You don't have to be rich (15+ / 0-)

    to care for the less fortunate and help the world. Thanks for this story.

    •  I mean you can be rich (14+ / 0-)

      and still care for the less fortunate. I had a long week, so excuse my mind being a little bit off.

    •  Yes but I take this as something I call (5+ / 0-)

      "enlightened capitalism" or "ethical entrepreneurism".

      I have long believed these kinds of things possible... it just takes the kind of PEOPLE like this person to have the desire.

      Yes, it's true you don't have to be rich to help the world. But sometimes you need serious resources to reach the escape velocity needed to prototype things and push them into viability as products or services that meet the needs of people and are reasonably priced.

      Most good idea die on the vine for lack of resources to go inot prototype and PROOF OF CONCEPT so that less visionary people can even tell what the hell one is talking about. Not a lot of business people are oriented this way -- and I think the point of this story -- as I see it -- is to not simply see "oh look, a good businessman, how rare!", but rather to see that the wheels of capitalism can turn and generate profit and do good as well.

      And, again, of COURSE you don't need to be wealthy to help the world. But to me the celebration is -- give some applause to thse kinds of entrepreneurial efforts. It's easy to kind of nod and say "yes, that seems very nice". It's another thing to recognize that sometimes some ideas can ONLY be implemented if you have the critical R&D resource capabilities up front.

      One of the hardest things for inventors is raising seed capital and angel money. It is extremely hard and time consuming and enery depleting and spirit-breaking -- especially when the inventor or idea person is not money driven (whuich is of course great). But I have learned that to solve the worlds most pressing problem , business IS needed, because govts waste and waste and there's graft and corruption -- so if business can intersect with problem solvers, it's all a major win.

      I just love stories like this ...

      A friend of mine has been at Scripps Institute for years -- and the stuff he was working on 20 years ago re sea  plankton and sea solar power are finally becoming things the world needs -- especially for al who've seen An Inconvenient Truth.

      I'm repeatingt myself -- but it just is so uplifitng to hear things like this. The events of yesterda so depressed me that I have guven up on government. Not in totality. But THIS CONGRESS we have, and thwir unwillingness to answer the call of history that soundin a 5-alarm fire while they fiddle about Presdiential elections.

      You might call this kind of story some variation of the Third Way -- which is pushing the idea of enlightened capitalism further.

      Hope this makes some sense. i'm nodding off and going to bed, but i saw this and was really happy to read it.

      _____________________________
      --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

      by rhfactor on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:24:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ps. and I meant to say the "Life Straw" is (4+ / 0-)

        friggin brilliant.  It's kind of a flipped variation of "you don't need to bring the mountain to Mohammed; instead bring Mohammed to the mountain".

        Which is my crazy way of saying: filtering and cleaning an entire water supply is huge huge logistical and financial problem, as well as educating people about the dangers of untreated unfiltered water.

        But have these "perosnal filtration devices" for drinking water is just so smart. I love this kind of thinking. It's inspiring.

        _____________________________
        --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

        by rhfactor on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:28:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was a typo. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sherri in TX

          The phrase, you do not have to be rich to do good things, was a typo.

          As you said a person does need a little money, or a lot, to do this kind of good.

          I wish more people would go back to these threads within a few hours, even within 24 hours, to respond to each other.  That is one of the best things about this site.

          Very few do it.  I hope you read this, and respond, rh.

          I liked it so much, I made it my sig line!!

          by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 04:36:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, I see that now: (0+ / 0-)

            First pass - with "typos"

            You don't have to be rich to care for the less fortunate and help the world.

            Revised pass - with that thought clarified:

            I mean you can be rich and still care for the less fortunate.

            Which I now see more clearly. Translation:

            (1) Not all business people are assholes/ greedy bastards.
            (2) Fantastic work that benefits the less fortunate is sometimes performed by top business minds who have amassed wealth over the years.

            agreed.

            I know one such person in Texas -- a fantastic man who, 1st generation American, son of Greek Immigrant, built a company from scratch into a Fortune 500 company, and constantly worked on side projects that benefited society using the capitalism engine... including creation of one of the first successful "planned communities" just outside of Houston called "The Woodlands". Back in late 1970's he also created a conference/symposium attended by experts from around the world called "Limits to Growth".

            In his 80's he hosted Stephen Hawking and other top world physicists to a symposium in Texas to focus on problem solving thru advanced physics, and endowed a Stephen Hawking chair at Texas A&M Cambridge. He's done these things to pay back and encourage others to do responsible things.

            _____________________________
            --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

            by rhfactor on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 01:20:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  i agree that very few do -- and i (0+ / 0-)

            don't like that at all.
            Some of the best learning experiences I have had here have been one-on-one followup discussions for maybe 4 days in a row with ONE person on a thread otherwise abandoned many days before.

            I beat a dead horse on this one, but it's largely due to very bad information design of this site. I'd explain but i've done so many times before and am tired of typing it :) it never gets seen, and Hunter is not the least bit interested in user input or usability analysis. HE KNOWS BEST. Just him.

            It's a shitty attitude on his part but it's true. Nonetheless he is held in awe by the dK community. Frankly if he stuck to writing and let people with better information & usability design experience take this problem by the horns and fix it already, that would  be a great service to everyone here -- because his writing IS superb.

            _____________________________
            --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

            by rhfactor on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 01:27:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Finally some one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rhfactor, Sherri in TX

        who actually gets it!!! There is an enormous opportunity out there for business in saving our environment but few have the vision to see it.

        •  I blame this on lack of competent infrastructure (0+ / 0-)

          that both communicates to people the business successes that produced socially & environmentally beneficial results, and matches money resources with vetted innovative ideas.

          I also have never understood why graduate school architecture projcets where one is assigned to take some abandoned space and turn it into a viable and benefit-delivering space.

          Great minds come up with amazing solutions -- that are engineeringly valid, cost effective in the project's materials and construction techniques, but most important solve a usage problem... And all this design work is then tossed when the semester ends. Why in the world aren't there angel investment incubators sniffing out for projects like this -- where they could then buy the piece of property, and execute the plan at a fraction of the cost to do so if hiring a design firm ti envisions a solution.

          This is not hard to fix at all. It's just that there has either been a lack of recognition of opportunity, or lack of will, or in some cases even blind stupidity where someone can't seem to "think out of the box".

          I'm working on a matching system of this kind which would be not unlike a dating service in many respects.

          thanks for your comment.

          _____________________________
          --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

          by rhfactor on Sun Jul 22, 2007 at 12:59:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Is this a pubicly held company? (9+ / 0-)

    I mean, can we buy STOCK in this company?? I can think of a great way to get a little back and do a hell of a lot of good. Can you?

    My Country - Right or Worng... We're working on fixing that "Wrong" part now.

    by daddybunny on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:40:03 PM PDT

    •  Well, there is another way to buy in... (5+ / 0-)

      Nothing but Nets is running a campaign to buy mosquito nets and would put your money to good use:

      For just $10, we can purchase a bed net, deliver it to a family, and explain its use. Bed nets work by creating a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of transmissions occur. A family of four can sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, safe from malaria, for up to four years. The benefits of bed nets extend even further than the family. When enough nets are used, the insecticide used to deter mosquitoes makes entire communities safer—including even those individuals who do not have nets.

      Although $10 for a bed net may not sound like much, the cost makes them out of reach for most people at risk of malaria, many of whom survive on less than $1 a day. Nets are a simple, life-saving solution, but we need your help to provide them to those in need.

      Check out the Net-O-Meter on their website. Wouldn't it be great if our community here could help boost those numbers?

      In 1492 Native Americans discovered Columbus lost at sea.

      by Bugsby on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:05:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  DDT was outlawed over 30 years ago... (11+ / 0-)

    and now we have bald eagles, peragrin and prairie falcons, egrets and herons in the lower 48 states.  Now that is an accomplishment.  Something to feel patriotic about; something to feel patriotic about besides war.

    Never Give Up On Peace!!!

    by Gator on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:41:10 PM PDT

    •  DDT *for crops* was outlawed (13+ / 0-)

      It never was for things like malaria.  In fact even the Sierra Club agrees DDT is one of the most effective ways of dealing with the disease.  The ban on DDT for crops, however, meant it became almost impossible to get, which resulted in a resurgence in malaria in parts of the world where it had almost been eliminated.

      The problem for DDT wasn't in its use for dealing with mosquitoes.  In Africa it's even used on walls in homes, providing months of insect killing and repellent protection.  In those cases, however, the amount used is minute and didn't have any detectable toxic effects (other than on the insects), and breaks down before it can accumulate.  The problem with DDT was agriculture.  Farmers would spray mass quantities, far more than needed, to protect crops, mostly cotton in the US.  This superdose did accumulate with all the bad effects later revealed.

      Like many other things, used properly DDT is not only extremely useful, it's vital.  Used improperly, it's bad.  The problem is, many people these days don't recognize that there is a difference.

      •  I think it was cheaper to spray tons of DDT (6+ / 0-)

        in the 1960's or 1970's than a few dozen pounds of newer insecticides.  DDT had become a generic commodity-priced chemical.

        Now I bet nobody wants to take the public relations risk of making small amounts of it.

        The lower part of interior walls, especially in rooms where people sleep, is just about the ideal place to spray DDT.  When a mosquito finished 'biting' -- sucking blood -- it has quadrupled its usual weight and can barely fly.  It struggles into the air and lands on the first vertical surface it can find (it's less likely to be stepped on if it's on a vertical surface, I suppose).  It rests there while it separates water out of the blood and excretes the water.  After about two hours its weight is only about twice normal, and it can fly fairly well.

        If it bit a sleeping person, the mosquito is very likely to land on the lower part of a bedroom wall.  If that wall has been sprayed with DDT, the two hour rest is long enough to kill the mosquito.  Even if the person bitten carries malaria, it's unlikely the disease will be transmitted.

        Insecticide treated mosquito nets probably work the same way but in both directions.  Mosquitoes trying to get in to bite someone usually get killed before they can find a gap in the net.

        Somewhere I read that there's no known ecological 'service' that mosquitoes do, that we'd care about.  They don't pollinate crops or anything useful.  It seems we do ourselves a favor by greatly reducing their numbers.

        We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

        by david78209 on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:46:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ann Coulter (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gator, rioduran, david78209

          needs to read this.

          She says in her book, Godless, that we libruls want to kill Africans, and that is why we killed DDT.

          One harmonius role for mosquitoes is bat food.

          I heard somewhere bats eat a lot of them.

          In Houston, I heard of families who put something out in their yards, I do not recall what, to attract bats, so the bats keep the bugs under control.

          I liked it so much, I made it my sig line!!

          by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:11:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  When I visited a small town in China in 1986 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gator, david78209, bigjacbigjacbigjac

            ... I was struck by the abundance of bats at night. Folks seemed to consider them purely beneficial and weren't repelled by them at all.

            Liberals and progressives could give that RW "moonbat" epithet an ecological twist by "adopting" the creatures of the order Chiroptera.

            The Dutch children's choir Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “children for children”) is a world cultural treasure.

            by lotlizard on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 01:56:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Though I doubt Ann has even the slightest concern (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            david78209, bigjacbigjacbigjac

            ... for truth and accuracy when she extrudes the stuff that goes into her writings.

            The Dutch children's choir Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “children for children”) is a world cultural treasure.

            by lotlizard on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 02:00:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  A success story about bats from my home town (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            deha, bigjacbigjacbigjac

            I think the figure is a bat eats about 1000 mosquitoes every night.  

            In about 1905 the head of the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District got a bunch of bat roosts built around the city.  The bats came, multiplied, and yellow fever died out.  It wasn't that the bats eradicated all the mosquitoes that can carry yellow fever (or the different species that carries malaria).  They just made it unlikely a mosquito would live long enough to bite twice.  Those diseases aren't transmitted from one generation of mosquitoes to another.  The bugs first have to bite an infected person or animal, and then live long enough (a week or so) to need to bite and infect another person.  The bat roosts have all fallen down by now, but the bats have found other places to roost, and have stayed.

            That said, if the only 'use' for bats is eating mosquitoes, if we got rid of mosquitoes some other way we wouldn't 'need' bats.  

            I've wondered if this would work in Africa in areas where malaria is endemic.  There may be a good reason nobody is building bat roosts there, but I don't know it.

            We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

            by david78209 on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 11:09:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Bats are all over Africa (0+ / 0-)

              So that isn't the issue.  The issue is that there are a lot of freaking mosquitoes.  That, and a lot of other insects.  If there are many nocturnal insects things are better for mosquitoes because there's lots of other targets around.

      •  The same is true for agent orange (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gator, rioduran, bigjacbigjacbigjac

        Properly manufactured (without the dioxins), it's and extremely effective defoliant.

        Properly applied, there's no accumulation in the environment.  Thousands of barrels were shipped to Vietnam to defoliate the triple canopy jungles shielding North Vietnamese strong points and supply routes like the Ho Chi Min trail.

        Unfortunately, many of the airmen loading the tankers that applied it missed the memo stating that there was a mixing ratio with water.  (10:1, 20:1, I don't recall)  

        Most applications were of the straight stuff, which is never a good idea, and not nearly as effective as the properly diluted solution.

        There were several companies (with government contracts) that made Agent Orange.  Some took more care than others to produce the product (formulation of 2,4,-D and 2,4,5-T).  After all, the byproducts are weighed the same as the agent orange.  War profiteering?  Or just corporations being corporations?  

        Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else. --Will Rogers

        by groggy on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:16:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem with DDT (3+ / 0-)

      DDT used for in-house applications could be a key to eradicating Malaria, without causing the kinds of bioaccumulation problems documented in Silent Spring.

      The problem is that DDT's greatest strengths are also its greatest weaknesses.  It is very cheap and very effective, which encourages excessive and thoughtless use.

      And the places where Malaria is a big problem are poor, tropical countries where corruption and theft is rife.   DDT would be diverted to agricultural use. Once again, corruption and lawlessness are the obstacle to progress in these places.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 04:25:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If we only had more wealthy people (12+ / 0-)

    thinking about lesser fortunate people like this man and this company do.

    What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

    ...strength is not without humility. It's weakness and untreatable disease, and war is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. Bono

    by Peperpatch on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:41:51 PM PDT

  •  Didn't know about this company and CEO (11+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this story!  Can we help NGO's that are purchasing the "Life Straw"?  What a fabulous invention, and evidently a wonderful human being.

    •  if you want to know about that (5+ / 0-)

      go to The FiltaStraw Project website.

      You can also buy yourself one... it's the perfect thing for a bugout bag or to throw into a backpack when hiking. If these things had been passed out by FEMA instead of the crap they handed out, a lot of people might have stayed healthier who got nailed by contaminated water.

      Frankly, I'm surprised that the manufacturer isn't selling them to major sporting goods chains and to governments; even if they aren't interested in making money off this project, they could make a lot more of these items available with the profits.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:20:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No mass manufacturing yet. nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rioduran, alizard, bigjacbigjacbigjac
      •  f*in a, alizard... formadehyde trailers ?? wtf? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, bigjacbigjacbigjac

        (btw, not to go off topic - but can someone just clarify what i didn't yet read. Why DO all those trailors have formadehyde ? Is there something about trailor production that makes it only possible, or cost effectice, to use that maetrail? I don't get it at all)

        The connecting point to your comment is, SO MANY things are possible to do conscientiously, and STILL make a profit. I don't think that is really taught in MBA programs. Or if it is, those programs are mostly failures when it comes to "real word" scenarios.

        In the end, innovators are not a dime a dozen, nor can people be TRAINED to be innovators any more than you can train someone to be Mozart.

        We need to cultivate this culture of "Business Artists" -- people who "get it", and can make good healthy worldwide-problem-solving products that can sustain themselves through smart business minds.

        _____________________________
        --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

        by rhfactor on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:37:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  lots of plastics like polyurethane (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhfactor, bigjacbigjacbigjac

          are used in the production of trailers for things like insulation, weather sealing, etc. and for that matter, in modern home construction.

          As long as they're allowed to outgas and dissipate before people inhabit these buildings, they're not a problem.

          However, we may have gone too far in the use of that kind of material in construction, with the new Iraq Embassy building which is uninhabitable for the same reason as a prime example.

          It may be time to start reexamining building codes which are supposed to prevent this kind of problem.

          I agree with your last two paragraphs, that's what I plan to do after I leave technology journalism. The problem is to come up with a way to finance it, because if one is making real things, one generally needs real budget to work with.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 01:55:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks for the followup (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac

            You know I haven't followed the Iraq embassy story - other than that it's the most expensive one ever built, right?

            Seriously -- it is uninhabitable? as in, not capable of becoming habitable?

            (Don't tell me if that's true, it will spoil my weekend)

            As for matching up innovative minds with financial resources -- this is a currently a ridiculous scenario which defies all logic -- though it is totally true. There have been many web entities formed since 996 or so to solve that absurd gap -- such as one of idealab's first efforts "ideamarket" -- it failed thouhg not sure why.

            I've thought a lot about how to solve this -- and the tool could be modeled somewhat along the concepts of MEETUP -- which was the catalyst to the whole emergence of the netroots phenomenon.

            I'd be interested in knowing what areas of endeavor are you looking at?

            if you'd rather not state it here, then email me (see profile) please, just curious. But i do believe that the obstacles to this age old problem are going to collapse soon enough

            _____________________________
            --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

            by rhfactor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 02:33:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the Iraq Embassy was uninhabitable (0+ / 0-)

              on delivery.

              But according to the cable, the electrical meltdown was just the first problem in a series of construction mistakes that soon left the base uninhabitable, including wiring problems, fuel leaks and noxious fumes in the sleeping trailers.

              "Poor quality construction . . . life safety issues . . . left [the embassy] with no recourse but to shut the camp down, in spite of the blistering heat in Baghdad," the May 29 cable informed Washington.

              . . .

              In a cable dated June 8, he berated personnel in Baghdad for sending their message over an open embassy system, rather than keeping the complaints in-house

              I don't know at this point whether this $592M project will require extensive remodeling or will have to be torn down and... I doubt we'll be in Iraq long enough to rebuild it.

              As for matching money with new technology. . . I've had a good enough look at the VC scene, both from working in VC-funded startups and trying to raise money myself that way that I'm looking for alternatives when I have time (I do tech journalism for money these days) to finance the alternative energy (I've got a new angle on algae to biodiesel) project I have in mind.

              The country that comes up with a better answer to venture capital as we know it (did you know that Mitt Romney was the head of a venture capital firm? Bain Capital) than America has so far will wind up ruling the world.

              Micromanagement by people who generally are at best, capable of getting the buzzwords right of people developing technology really doesn't work well and it's surprising that even 1 in 8 VC funded companies actually succeed. Arrogance and ignorance are a bad combination.

              I suspect that if the average VC firm used a dartboard to select companies for funding, gave them resources and just enough oversight to provide legal due diligence, that their success would take them out of the "average" category at warp speed.

              If you want to discuss this further, my e-mail is in my profile.

              Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

              by alizard on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 03:15:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  finally (8+ / 0-)

    some good news... ;-)

    This is the BEST DIARY EVER!

    by Marlboro Lite on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:41:59 PM PDT

  •  Made my Friday evening! (7+ / 0-)

    Thanks - great to know that old fashioned capitalism can address real needs for even the poorest people. There are many Fortunes at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and many in the third world are finding them - bless their little pocketbooks!

    Well? Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 08:46:19 PM PDT

    •  capitalism is like electricity (5+ / 0-)

      plug the extension cord into your appliance, fine.

      stick it into your mouth, not so fine.

      it's just a source of energy. how that energy is used is your responsibility.

      Through tattered clothes great vices do appear / Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. (King Lear)

      by sagesource on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:00:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But It's Society's Responsiblity to Game the (10+ / 0-)

        system to maximize the exercise of that responsibility.

        Markets have to be free enough that people advance or decline based on efforts and success or failure of ideas.

        But a capitalist economy needs steep progressive brakes against successive gain at some point above the median, to keep the competition about goods and services and not about markets.

        When entire markets and economies are allowed to be won, the contest shifts to finance and acquisition and quick jackpot cashing out.

        It also needs supports at the bottom end to get the most people into the game and return those who crash and burn.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:06:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  There are plenty of opportunities (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhfactor, Woody, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      it just takes a bit of a stretch to convince people.

      It really helps when you are the CEO to cut through the red tape.

      Cell phones, microlending, and many other things have been perking up the third world.  Its a good thing to see it happen because they can participate and make money, which is better than hoping for someone else to intervene and fix it for them.

      Now if we could just kill the damned cotton subsidies, we would be well on the way to helping another group in Africa while decreasing our budget deficit by $1 billion/year.

      9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

      by Prof Dave on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:06:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There Are a Lot More CEO's If Markets Are Kept (5+ / 0-)

        democratic and protected against mega concentration.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:08:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a structural issue in the US (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rhfactor, bigjacbigjacbigjac

          and it doesn't have to be this way, and could still be corrected.

          I don't necessarily have a problem with mega corps as long as the shareholders have a lot of power - which they currently don't.  Management has a lot more power and they abuse it.

          Transparency, shareholder power, and a full accounting of social and environmental costs would be a few ways to push corps to act in a more citizen-like way.  

          9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

          by Prof Dave on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:19:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  But the point is megas dont go after the niche (0+ / 0-)

          markets as efficiently and hence there is a role for the small players. Look at the number of companies MS/Google/Oracle buy each month. Niche is an opportunity for the small player.
          At the same time niche services sectors unserved before. e.g. the under $2/mo market in 3rd world countries, or the small market shops in US inner cities.

          Well? Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

          by whenwego on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 07:37:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder (9+ / 0-)

    if beyond your premise, with which I agree, some of the reason there's not more Frandsens in the US is due to our existing corporate law. I'm a little shaky on the subject, but isn't it that European corps are mandated by their law to take other interests into account when making business decisions besides the bottom line, i.e., those interests being unions and employees, the community, the environment, etc? Whereas the U.S. corporate law seems to focus only on protecting a blanket shareholder interest in making profits, which -- arguably at least -- constrains executives and directors. Granted, I'm ignoring certain less than ideal aspects of the American CEO culture, which might serve to constrain ingenuity as well, but in terms of policy, would we have more Frandsens with a more, shall we say, global corporate law?

  •  Very cool. People like that are such (5+ / 0-)

    a treasure-smart and good-hearted.

  •  It's a wonderful thing to save lives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    david78209, OHdog, bigjacbigjacbigjac

    but... what about the other side of that coin - the increased human population that results from these humanistic intentions? What about the congestion and environmental degradation that results from jam-packed cities and over-crowded countrysides?

    I applaud these efforts, but only when they are accompanied by an equally serious and high-profile effort to reduce the birth rate with values education, female employment and empowerment and every form of birth control known to modern science.

    The planet is over burdened with human settlements far out of balance with the available habitat. There are simply too many people consuming too many resources to allow a liveable planet. It is the responsibility of anyone who advances human health and welfare to also strive to reduce the birth rate to decrease the overall population.

    •  Are you specifically speaking of Africa? (0+ / 0-)

      "Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." ---Jack Paar

      by bic momma on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:02:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        david78209, bigjacbigjacbigjac

        Yes, let's save lives by all means, but please, plan ahead for the consequences of increased population by reducing birth rates. I'm speaking about the imbalance of the high moral status behind saving lives anywhere in the world without the awareness that the result will be over population unless such efforts are accompanied by an equally high moral value for reducing birth rates to allow some degree of sustainable population stability. Otherwise we have exactly what we now have: massively overpopulated cities and countrysides, (including in California) leading to environmental degradation on a scale that causes mass suffering and mortalities. I'm just advocating for thinking ahead a few years.

        •  howard, yes, yes, yes! (0+ / 0-)

          Click on my username, and go back in my diaries about a year, into what was missing from Al Gore's movie.

          You are so right howard.

          Safe water.

          And contraception.

          Less Malaria.

          And contraception.

          Less greenhouse gasses.

          And contraception.

          Better schools.

          And contraception.

          An economy that helps small business, and stops those who ruin things to cash in big and leave the enron style mess for others to clean up.

          And contraception.

          Philosophy and resulting policy that causes less violence, less killing.

          And contraception.

          We should all be like Bob Barker, saying at every turn, remember to control the human population, have your children vasectomied or tubal ligated.

          I liked it so much, I made it my sig line!!

          by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:52:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  damn silly comment (6+ / 0-)

      if every solution has to solve every problem at once, there will be no solutions at all.

      Through tattered clothes great vices do appear / Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. (King Lear)

      by sagesource on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to agree... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pawlr, david78209

        ...if the commentor wants to start balancing human settlements I would suggest California is a good start...we've got waaaaaaaaay to many people and our resources are being seriously taxed....

        "Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." ---Jack Paar

        by bic momma on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:23:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, agree. (3+ / 0-)

      But there are solutions to that as well, i.e. more family planning programs, sex education, environmental education, etc.

      We just need to invent ways to implement them as well.  That's the beauty of this diary.  It's an example of problem-solving - not a means to the end.

      "It does not require many words to speak the truth." Chief Joseph - Nez Perce

      by Gabriele Droz on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:29:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, absolutely -- it is both an example of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bigjacbigjacbigjac

        specifically "good" end-products solutions -- as well as smart methodology.

        I don;t believe we can train enough MBAs to think like this. Like I said, I think sometimes, that sweet spot of capitalism and problem solving is the result of "Business Artists" -- unusually smart, principled people who see beyond the usual obstacles posed by standard-thnking bean counters and middle management spreadsheet analysis. Innovation, and making to work financially, is an artform in some ways.

        It needs to be ROLE modeled to best propogate it further. So it's great to shine light on these kinds of achievements -- and i don't have to state that if stories like this ran on American tabloid TV occasionally, vs the steady diet of "Who wants to be a millionaire?" or "Dancing with the stars", it would be a win win.

        "Regular folks" like these stories as well, and they stimulate the minds of people who march to a different beat, but need to see the role modeling of success like this.

        _____________________________
        --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

        by rhfactor on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:48:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  start here at home (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209

      we should have negative population growth from people who live here and extensive immigration allowed.

      But it is silly (and probably evil) to say that we should not save living people from needless death because we have an over-population.

      By the way, there would be a lot more resources for poor people if Americans got rid of their stupid PETS.

      •  dancewater, (0+ / 0-)

        I need my little dog, Rowdy Joe.

        He is my personal trainer.

        He is helping me stay below 300 pounds.

        We both like to walk at least a mile every night.

        Click on my username, to see my diary about exercise advice I gathered from other Kossacks.

        But I know what you mean.

        My little dog takes very little resources, because he is so small.

        Many people have big dogs

        They keep them in fenced in back yards.

        I do not think most of them ever take them out for walks.

        That is a big waste of money for 50 pound bags of dog food

        Also, why so much sqaure footage in their homes?

        I liked it so much, I made it my sig line!!

        by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 01:06:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Addresses that point.  World population growth is tapering off.  About 15 years ago the best estimate was that it would peak at about 12 billion people about 2050.  More recent estimates are down to a peak of about 10.5 billion, reahed a bit sooner.  

      It seems most countries and societies go through a burst of population growth as they go from primitive to developed.  I view this as having one generation in which most of the children survive in stead of half or more dying by age 6.  (One generation grows up sharing one bathroom with 8 or 10 siblings, and vows not to live that way as adults.)

      It doesn't make the newspapers, but a lot of the world -- probably a majority -- has passed through that transition.

      Further, some time in the 1960's, the world began growing enough calories for everyone to eat what they need, and some time in the 1990's the same happened for protein to eat.  Agricultural production outpaced population growth.  Of course, food isn't distributed evenly enough to prevent all hunger and famines, but there's enough to go around and most famines now are caused by war or atrocious public policy.  

      This doesn't mean we won't find a way to roast or drown the planet, but the book does strongly suggest that if we handle a few more environmental challenges, for which we very likely have the necessary resources, by 2050 or 2100 most of the world can be 'developed', comfortable, well-fed, healthy, and getting rich.

      I like to think we're approaching the end of an era, but that it won't involve a battle at Armageddon.  Maybe there'll be a big feast.

      Here's a link to Mr. Lonborg's web site, and to his book on Amazon:

      http://www.lomborg.com/

      http://www.amazon.com/...

      We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is just a setting on the dryer.

      by david78209 on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:11:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  anything Bjorn Lomborg (4+ / 0-)

        says should be treated with profound skepticism.

        He's the economist regularly cited as an "authority" by wingnuts and corporate interests who are trying to prove that "global warming is junk science".

        His opinions interest me just as much as Paris Hilton's does, but he's less useful. At least Paris Hilton is the poster child for why we need estate taxes. Lomborg is simply a source of greenhouse gas.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:25:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps an appropriate place to post this: (7+ / 0-)

          I was looking to post this in an open thread, but a comment about Lomborg in a science thread is a decidedly better place to post my evolving collection of well written and accessible treatments of global warming:

          Important Global Warming Links
          July 20, 2007

          1. Climate change: A guide for the perplexed, by Michael Le Page, 16 May 2007, NewScientist.com. Link.
          1. How We Know Humans Cause Global Warming, by Dr. Bill Chameides, Environmental Defense, June/July 2007. Link.
          1. Swindles in the "The Great Global Warming Swindle", by Dr. Lisa Moore, Environmental Defense, July 11, 2007. Link.
          1. The Warming of the Earth, A beginner's guide to understanding the issue of global warming, Woods Hole Research Center, MA. Link.
          1. tamino's Blog, Open Mind. A powerful and very interactive blog. These posts, in particular, are a must read: Swindler’s List, April 22nd, 2007; There Goes the Sun, July 12th, 2007; Latest Trends in CO2, June 20th, 2007; Questions and Answers, March 7th, 2007. If anyone has any questions about global warming, this blog would be a good place to post them.

          Truth, be it convenient or inconvenient, is all there is.

          by NeuvoLiberal on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:03:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ok, I have question... (4+ / 0-)

    ..granted it is better for the environment to not have as many chemicals sprayed into the air...but what kind of chemical is sprayed on the mosquito netting?

    "Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery." ---Jack Paar

    by bic momma on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:00:44 PM PDT

  •  Breathtaking, Thanks! I've Made One Invention (7+ / 0-)

    myself, alas in a recreational pursuit so it's not going to save any lives. But it's the same deal of relatively low technology opening up opportunity a lot lower down in the economy than was ever expected. On that score it's easily the biggest privilege of my life.

    If we still had a vibrant manufacturing economy here, there'd be all sorts of niches I could fit into where maybe I could see if I could do it again only on a project more altruistic.

    As it is I think we personally are going to be tied up keeping body and soul together and under a roof from now on.

    Thanks again, it's a very inspirational story.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:01:37 PM PDT

  •  Clinton Foundation (6+ / 0-)

    has been working on this kind of initiative, bringing new solutions to the people in Africa directly, without the need for a huge NGO infrastructure.

    Bill [former Pres.] Clinton. No other endorsements implied.

    I love it, except for some lingering doubts about those pesticide fences. Will research further, but I'm a firm beleiver in small steps, harm reduction approach.

    •  i;m sure wikipedia has a primer but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      can you lay out some of their highest priority initiatives -- and at what stage are they in terms of implementation?

      (i don't mean you specifically :) i mean, can anyoine shed some light on this, since I am about to nod off and can't stay awake to go research it ? :)

      _____________________________
      --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

      by rhfactor on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:53:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  More heroes (4+ / 0-)

    PBS and their POV series presented last night simply the best film I have seen in many years:
    the chances of the world changing

    No one is coming to save us. It's in our hands.

    What's so hard about Peace, Love, and Truth and Progress?

    by melvin on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:11:37 PM PDT

  •  This is the most (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhfactor, rioduran, gatorbot

    encouraging and optimistic news I've heard in a while. And I'll do my bit to spread these developments around. Thank you; I'll sleep better tonight.

  •  ROI AND ROE (5+ / 0-)

    A chemical company I worked for that supplied water treatment chemicals for industry (cooling towers, etc.)and for paper companies (papermaking is very water intensive so they try to reuse as much as possible). They had a dual imperative. The two aspects were ROI which is the typical Return on Investment and ROE which is the less commonly seen Return on the Environment. The idea was that new chemical treatments should be as effective or more effective than the previous plan while being less expensive and better than or no worse environmentally. And this only worked if it was less expensive to make and sell, so sometimes the new product had a better margin of return for our company. Of course this only worked if the Research and Development section was well funded. We were even ahead of the old EPA's directives. But as sooon as the EPA started letting the shoody slip by there was no incentive to fund R&D for ROI and ROE since the competition could work on the cheap and kick you in the teeth with polluting but really cheap chemical programs.

    I want to hear somebody asking them why They can be counted on to tell us who our enemies are But theyre never the ones to fight or to die - J. Brown

    by OHdog on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:12:49 PM PDT

  •  Pesticides and Science Friday (0+ / 0-)

    I added these two strong tags to your diary.

    TUs, the tag cloud librarians could use your help. Consider giving the DKos community an hour a week helping with these Tag Clean Up Jobs

  •  Procrastinatex, eh? (0+ / 0-)

    No problem. Just cut back on your intake of Unavailium.

  •  Just the shot of optimism I needed. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhfactor, rioduran, walkshills

    And you gotta wonder what it would be like if we released just 10% of the national defense [sic] budget for R&D on fixing people's basic problems cheaply.

    The story recalls to mind the story of a few years back in India where a businessman paid or lent a village money to build a good cistern. Seems their place was too dry most of the year to have enough food, let along anything to trade or sell. The upshot was a handful of years later where they were able to parlay their saved water into a relatively rich community, certainly with opportunities for happiness they could never have imagined possible.

    Think he won a Noble Prize for his new financing approach, which now has a name like "micro-lending" or something. Help me out here, someone.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:24:54 PM PDT

  •  Devilstower, (5+ / 0-)

    This diary really made my day!!  I've been so depressed with the unitary executive thingy littering our constitution to death, it's soooo good to hear some good news.

    We need to hear more such stories here - to balance out the massive onslaught of negativity, to lift us up and give us examples and reasons to keep on fighting.

    Thanks so much.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." Chief Joseph - Nez Perce

    by Gabriele Droz on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:26:29 PM PDT

    •  Me too -- same feelings - Inspiring -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      showing the BEST of mankind, vs its very worst, right here in the US of A. (How we ended up breeding gutter rats who could become Presdient is a subject for another time :)
      Thanks, Devilstower.. and btw, if I may ask, what does a geologist go at Google?

      I almost consider that metaphoric as in datamining :)

      on another note, last night when that earthquake hit the Bay Area I was online here, and in just a minute or so someone posted the govt link to the epicenter etc, and there was a Google Earth KML file (what's that stand for?) --- and goddamn if it wasn't the coolest thing to double click it, have it launch Google Earth app, and have it fly in all the way to the epicenter -- instantly presenting such a visually rich contextual framework for where was this earthquake -- seeing it within geological formations.

      So, whatever it is you do, if it has anything to do with all the satellite imaging and related tools, you guys are friggin amazing. :)

      _____________________________
      --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

      by rhfactor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:01:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I saw a picture... (4+ / 0-)

    ..of an African drinking reddish, nasty-looking river water through one of those "straws" today, and the story fascinated me!  That a simple design, inexpensive, and easily distributable to large numbers of people is wonderful!
     Thanks for the Friday Night Late-night pick-me-up!

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

    by drchelo on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:29:45 PM PDT

    •  really -- where did you see it- just curious! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm guessing there is a promotional campaign of sorts to push out this news into as many venues as possible.. so, did you see it on tv, or on a news site? just curious

      _____________________________
      --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

      by rhfactor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:03:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I saw it.. (0+ / 0-)

        ..in a Time or Newsweek magazine that was on the table in the break room at the clinic.  It was part of a news story, rather than an overt advertisement.

        In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

        by drchelo on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 03:47:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow (4+ / 0-)

    This is the coolest CEO ever. What great things he's done. Thanks for posting this. I never would have heard of him otherwise.

    Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it. ~William Penn

    by Liberaljentaps on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:36:29 PM PDT

  •  we need to get these straws into (7+ / 0-)

    Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly Iraq.  Their water systems were bombed to hell by some idiot country.....

    •  I thought that, too. (4+ / 0-)

      Something more valuable than bullets.

      And I thought about all the disaster situations where water is tainted. Just a great idea and product.

      "Peace is more distant than might be thought." - Subcommandante Marcos.

      by walkshills on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:12:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then... (4+ / 0-)

      they got privatized and fell apart completely.
      Seems an important thing post 'mission accomplished' may '03 was hordes of holy-rollers gathering up and selling off the infrastructure.
      (this might be a war crime in itself, as looting of an occupied country is considered such)

      http://www.hrw.org/...

    •  well based on Halliburton's f*ups with our (3+ / 0-)

      own TROOPS drinking water, apparently we must need to shop these to our own military....

      (REMINDING SELF: Must stay calm. Must focus on good solutions. Must not think of diametrics of evil in world. Must focus on Life Straws. LifeStraws good. No time for evil thoughts. Life Straws good.... breeeeathe

      there, that;s better. I am settled down again )

      _____________________________
      --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

      by rhfactor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:06:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  SHIP these, not SHOP these (3+ / 0-)

        ( can someone invent a solution to my terrible  2-finger hunt and peck? Oh yes. I already bought it. voivce recognition software. Can someone invent a way to have it automatically "be in place" and learning curve ramped up, so it just seamlessly replaces my havung to hunt and peck, like 5 seconds from now?)

        .
        .
        .

        which reminds me of a classic Homer Simpson bit from way way in the early seaons. Still one of my all time favorites.

        Homer is in kitchen and is hungry. marge clams him down "your dinner is in the microwave"... and you see a shot of the microwave with less than a minute to go before done.

        And then a shot from inside the microwave looking out at Homer peering in. He pouts:

        DOH!! Isn't there anything FASTER than a microwave?

        classic.

        _____________________________
        --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

        by rhfactor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:10:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The corporate world is trying to market (5+ / 0-)

    the idea that they can handle the greening of our world.

    They can't.

    All the rage right now is to present companies as green. In most cases, it's 100% horse manure. Marketing.

    It's sad that our corporate media is allowed to make heroes out of everyday decent rich people.

    If and when decent people attain wealth, it shouldn't be News that they use it for good.

    It should be common.

    Sadly, the types of people that are able to attain wealth (by stealing and lying mostly) just aren't particularly moral.

    There are exceptions, but the media shouldn't be able to celebrate the exceptions like they're all that meaningful.

    That really only highlights the depravity of the rich.

    The rich make their money by exploiting our common resources. Anything they give back is a matter of merely being a typical decent person. It's not like it's some big heroic bonus.

  •  Now, there's a guy who earned his keep as (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rhfactor, rioduran

    a human being.

    ------------

    Speaking of science .. sort of related

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    In a way, it's no surprise to see this, although as the article states, the book is apparently quite beautiful. What a waste of artistic talent that is.

  •  Most Excellent!! Capitalism doesn't need to be (4+ / 0-)

    cold-hearted. It can be an effective means of delivery as everyone involved has an inherent self-interest. However, many have perverted that by taking away the self-interest and divorcing the worker and even the investor from the rewards of the work/investment. What must be done is, as this example points out, use capitalism to find the solutions to problems by the efficient allocation of capital (the true meaning of capitalism), and not by money buying the influence of politicians to maintain the status quo (the true meaning of corruption).

    "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government. Always hopeful yet discontent, he knows changes aren't permanent. But change is." -Neil Peart

    by Boisepoet on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:28:24 PM PDT

    •  Marx, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Boisepoet

      I think, only saw the capitalist killing the goose that was laying the golden eggs, and decided to kill the capitalist, because he thought the capitalist always kills the goose.

      He failed to see the capitalist can care for the goose as well as florence nightingale.

      I think the key is to heed the word of Alvin Toffler, and keep all organizations small.

      The biggest organization is the USA.

      Click on my username, and read my diary on breaking up the American Empire into ten or so smaller nations, such as New York, Southern California, Texas, etc.

      I think Texas should unite with Mexico, and call it Texico.

      I liked it so much, I made it my sig line!!

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 04:17:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just noticed the evil, dark, orange thingy, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rioduran

    did I mention round?, has been vanquished.

    Man, are things getting hot around here? You know things, things are getting bad when round thingy's melt into "Hot Lists".

    Good thing I'm married and in love and I can forget that it's Friday. Or, is it falafel day?

    So is Vitter in love and married? I better go research that.  

    Loofah weekend everyone.

    Definitely not Billo,

    Jug  

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:54:44 PM PDT

  •  Another good story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rioduran, JugOPunch

    in the same vein as the Mosquito Nets and the Life Straw is the Play Pump.   Make sure you watch the video linked to on the page.  It is FUN!

  •  This what can be done with modern technology.... (3+ / 0-)

    ...to improve people's lives. And research labs, Universities and even small companies all over the world even gasp here in America are fucking bulging with this sort of idea or technology.

    The idea that 'green' and 'sustainable' means we have to give up everything about our lifestyle and our jobs to boot is....

    ONE BIG FAT 'CONSERVATIVE' LIE. YEP, ONE BIG LIE.

    There are whole industries just waiting to be created for the benefit of all.

    'I'm writing as Nestor since scoop in it's awesome wisdom won't let me use my real screen name: A.Citizen'

    by Nestor Makhnow on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:19:10 PM PDT

    •  yes, but why does he hate Amurka? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rhfactor

      after all he is supposed to only be able  to  make money by raping the planet. doing  otherwise encourages the turrists!

      It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. George Orwell, "1984", first sentence

      by tony the American Mutt on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:18:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  but you know what -- we need more VISION (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lotlizard, bigjacbigjacbigjac

      of the likes of people like AL gore... This is not a call for "Al for Prez"... Moreso I am saying that an entire unearthing of the "roots of evil" planted by the GOP and the neocons has to happen befire this kind of seachnage can happen -- and sad to say there is no leadershiop of that necessary magnitude anywhere close to anyone running for Pres. They are all variations on a Template Presdiential Candidate, a Microsoft Default template with bad user interface and bloated code.

      ooops. sorry.

      I said above to myself:  

      "Must. stay. positive. Evil be gone from my head tonight. Good thougts. LifeStraw. LifeStraw. LifeStraw help people. LifeStraw good. Good thoughts. Good people... there... now breaaathe.... hah.. okay, good, that's better... I feel fine again..."

      _____________________________
      --> going to yKos? and you're into web-video, live streaming, send me an email please.

      by rhfactor on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:23:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Watch above, Another good story. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rioduran

    "They pour syrup on shit and tell us it's hotcakes." Meteor Blades

    by JugOPunch on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:20:14 PM PDT

  •  what a wonderful story (3+ / 0-)

    Great ideas, and they're helping people AND his company is making a profit.
    Mad props to Gen-Xers! We're not the worthless lumps y'all kept saying we'd be!!!
    (well, some of us might be...)
    :)

    "You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." --George W. Bush

    by rioduran on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:30:39 PM PDT

  •  Very cool... (2+ / 0-)

    Its refreshing to see some good news amidst the documentation of the atrocities committed by the Bush administration.

    I hope he's able to continue his good work and isn't ousted by the shareholders (if its publicly traded)

    "I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords..."

    by pawlr on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 11:48:50 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for drawing attention (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    not only to this man and his work, but to the more general concept that you can do well by doing good. There are other examples, and the world needs to hear about them.

  •  Bio-Diesel and Ethanol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    are finally being talked about in a serious manner by policy makers in the Norhteast.  Small start-up companies generated by SUNY and RPI are working on high-tech answers to energy supply, ie. supercooled transformers, which should enable much higher capacity over the same existing infrasturcture.

    One area that needs more attention here however is local communities poo pooing solar panels on residential properties. But, since Spitzer is converting the Governor's Mansion over to solar, I am hoping that this trend lifts so that anyone who wants to go solar can.

    DAGGER 24 hour news service...your post could make news!

    by lightnessofbeing on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 12:57:29 AM PDT

  •  THEY WANT YOUR SOUL (0+ / 0-)

    Go to http://governmentterror.com hit video and watch "They Want Your Soul"

    Caution: May cause excessive thinking.

    What ever you do... DO NOT click the ZEITGEIST link...

    -Justin Keogh, Tucson

  •  Why can't *we* innovate anymore? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    This is perhaps stretching the analogy, but the first thing that went through my mind after reading this diary was a counter-example.  I recall some months ago listening to a Ford representative whine about how proposed new fuel economy standards for American vehicles were impossible to attain and would require millions of dollars of research.  You can just bet your sweet petooty that they are going to use their tremendous wealth and influence (even if waning from all the stupid mistakes they've been making), not to make an American car that can go toe-to-toe with a Prius and beat it, but rather to lobby politicians to avoid having to meet the challenge.

    This goes hand-in-glove with my suspicion that, for all that we're supposed to be capitalists who favor the concept of free competition, our big corporations are way too safe, way too entrenched in our society.  They can survive incredible amounts of mismanagement without dying, lay off millions of workers, completely ignore the reality of fossil fuel scarcity and environmental damage, and still pay their failed CEOs multi-million dollar golden parachutes.  If the local tailor, or barbershop, or what have you, operated the way our corporations do, they would go out of business.

    Anyway, sorry about the rant, and I hope Vestergaard Frandsen doesn't turn evil too soon.

    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." H. L. Mencken

    by David R on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 04:24:20 AM PDT

  •  Kudos to this guy. It take a lot of courage.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigjacbigjacbigjac

    to do the right thing. I'm surprised Monsanto hasn't contracted a hit squad.

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 04:38:26 AM PDT

  •  I have invented a few things. (0+ / 0-)

    Most of them only in my head.

    One or two on paper.

    I am blogging right now on one of my creations, a simple computer cabinet, similar to an entertainment center.

    But I want to sell people on my philosophy.

    Click on my username, and read.

    Most of my diaries are attempts to sell my philosophy.

    The right philosophy is more important than any gadget or gizmo.

    Anyone who wants me to invent something, just post a reply to this comment.

    I check for replies to my comments more often than my e-mail, so why give my e-mail address?

    Anyone who needs something invented.  I can at least get started in some direction towards a good invention.

    I liked it so much, I made it my sig line!!

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 05:03:06 AM PDT

  •  Al Gore Youtube questions (0+ / 0-)

    Spread the Word to as many blogs and diaries as you can!

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Great story (0+ / 0-)

    I'm off to do a little research. The guy clearly has the ability to see opportunity. And, without doing damage to others.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 05:19:33 AM PDT

  •  Check out Tandus (0+ / 0-)

    A different carpet company and that's the home page not some side bar. There are good companies out there..and good diary

  •  About that fence... (0+ / 0-)

    This is all very cool. But as for the fence, whether it's better depends on the amount of the active ingredient in the pesticides is the same. Because you're putting it on a fence, as opposed to the plant that the bugs are actually there to eat, you may have to put a higher concentration of the pesticide on the fence, which could make it even worse for someone near or in contact with it. I'd like to see some more info on that.

    Finally, organic is the only sustainable way to go. Those pesticides are still getting into the environment, and they are probably still made with petro-chemicals, and they still cause diseases like cancer and Parkinson's.

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