Category Archives: Zee Extras

Electronic Security – Notes

Protecting various electronics from cars to phones to computers during an EMP is covered above. Day-to-day electronics security is also a good idea. This includes encrypting stored data on all devices (including computers, phones, tablets), backing up those devices with rotating drives (with some off site), and encrypting data that is sent and received by […]

Spoon carving – Donal’s Notes

Hand carving spoons is partly about relationships, between people, generations, hands, and wood. For a story involving a lineage from Gandhi to Richard Gregg to Scott Nearing to Bill Coperthwaite to Peter Forbes, see this article. This article is about how to carve spoons from green wood. What is green wood? Tools Axe: Robin Wood […]

Alternative Natural Mattresses – Donal’s Notes

Mattresses can be made of a variety of materials, with two primary advantages over modern mattresses: (1) they can be non-toxic, and (2) less expensive (but some are more expensive). Permies has a discussion on alternative mattresses and most of these notes are digested from that discussion and related links. Making a straw mattress is […]

NOVA: Becoming Human (2009) – Donal’s Notes

Episode 1: First Steps Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged discovered fossil called “Selam,” also known as “Lucy’s Child.” Lucy and Selam are 3.3 M years old but humans and chimps split around 6 M years ago = first biped. But brains not necessarily bigger as a result. Small-brained bipedal apes were around for 4 million years, flourishing […]

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers (2014) – Donal’s Notes

Introduction Hunter-gatherers: term defined by William Solas in 1911 in which he also recognizes for the first time this distinctive way of life. Leslie White (location 536), neo-evolutionary thinking: Organize humans on continuum of evolution based on how much control they had over energy flows. Early humans relied on muscle, later humans harnessed fossil fuels […]

Stirling Engines – Donal’s Notes

Stirling engines quietly generate electricity and mechanical energy pollution-free by using oxygen and a temperature differential.

Why We Work

Barry Schwartz has written a book and given a TED talk on this subject of “Why we work?” He asserts that a small group of people work for meaning and purpose and, perhaps, because the work is important, but that most people work in jobs that give them none of these things. For those people, […]

(Dis)Honesty, the Documentary Movie – Donal’s Notes

Humans are liars. A great deal of scientific research demonstrates that most people lie, especially under the “right” circumstances. Do a search for Dan Ariely, a Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and you will find many mainstream press articles summarizing his work. This article is about the documentary, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About […]

The Great Courses: Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations – Donal’s Notes

Humans have been on the planet for 3 million years (Homo habilis), 2 million years (Homo erectus) or 200,000 years (Homo sapiens sapiens) depending on what you want to call “human”. The structure and organization of life we know as “civilization” has been around for about 8,000 years. It took us about 8,000 years to discover that our modern way of life, as possibly civilization, itself, is unsustainable (meaning that it will end). Perhaps we might consider the fact that for 96% to 99.6% of human existence (190,000 to 2.9 million years) we lived sustainably on one planet’s worth of resources. What lessons might we learn from our history to guide us once again to sustainable lifestyles, or, even better, thriving on one planet? Because writing, itself, developed with the lifestyle we call “civilization”, we never did have anything like a written owner’s manual for how our ancestors lived sustainably for so much time. Hopefully, archeology, anthropology, and related fields of study will help us create one. These are my notes from a course that may provide some clues.