Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolved: Give just a little and help a lot

Today's email brought a story from about a website that helps people with small needs. Modest Needs Foundation, at, gives small grants (usually a few hundred dollars) to the working poor with the intent of helping the recipient make it through an unexpected emergency. Donors can give as little as $5, and the donors pick which applicant to help. What I found encouraging is that 68% of the recipients end up donating back later on. Paying it forward, indeed...

See the full story here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Backup battery for your house or how to go off-grid for up to a week

Panasonic announces a battery for your home, able to store enough energy for a week. I think this is exciting news since having an easy energy storage system will make intermittent energy production more useful. If I have a battery that stores enough power to run my house for a week, then wind or solar is much more useful. Panasonic has announced delivery is planned for 2011. Read the full article here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Electric Bike news

My son is in love with his electric bikes. And now that we've added the bike rack to the back of the Prius, I'm ready to order the conversion kit for my bike and give it a try myself. So I was encouraged by this article from EV World, about the surge in electric bikes worldwide. We're lagging way behind China and the EU in this area but that's not surprising, I guess. If you've ever loved riding a bike, but didn't like hills, or getting too sweaty, check out an electric bike.

Friday, December 11, 2009

December baking and (gluten-free) buckwheat

Between Thanksgiving travel, and my fiber arts program, I have had little time to blog lately. As I gear up to do my seasonal baking, now that my class has finished, I thought I'd share a link to a grist article about buckwheat, an old grain being rediscovered as lots of people go gluten free.

Here's the buckwheat article.

I have hopes of posting photos from the fiber arts program this weekend. Picture me crossing my fingers....