Monthly Archives: January 2013

TED talk: Want to help someone? Shut up and listen! (Ernesto Sirolli)

http://www.ted.com/talks/ernesto_sirolli_want_to_help_someone_shut_up_and_listen.html?

Ernesto Sirolli is an Italian who invented   the system Enterprise Facilitation, an enterprise facilitator who serves as the initial point of contact for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs, and who provides confidential, free services. Sirolli has an interesting view on how sustainable cooperation should be:  the social workers have to shut up and  listen to the local people instead of telling them what to do. Don’t offer advice, offer people with passion the information they need!

That last sentence perfectly summarizes our project,  Humasol listens to what the local people want and were told that they need cheap hot water.  We have the knowledge to get cheap water, thus it is our goal to tell and show them by participation how to build our solar boiler model.

Sirolli was right about the importance of passion, but you have to see the bigger context, with passion he means inspiration. By involving the local people you create motivation. That’s also why true belief by the local people in the projects really matters to our company, Humasol vzw.

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Debate: Does the world actually need nuclear energy?

Hi everybody,

It’s been a while since we posted an update on this blog but now that the exams are over the focus can fully return to the thesis project.

As comback I would like to focus on the question whether the world actually needs nuclear energy. Of course this is a complex question without a simple yes or no answer.  There are many different angles on which we can approach the subject.  Rather than focussing on giving a one sided view I would like to know your opinion.

To help you form your opinion it might be usefull to check out this clip I found on the TED website where they also have a debate about the subject

Link

(The debate is in english but it’s possible to turn on dutch subtitels if you wish)

My opinion after watching the clip is that the world doesn’t NEED nuclear energy and that we should aim to power the world as clean and sustainable as possible.  But the potential of nuclear power can not be underestimated, certainly when the nuclear plants have already been build I think it would be a mistake if they are closed down before they have reached their full lifespan.  So we should avoid building new nuclear plants as they don’t form an answer to the current needs of the world (as stated in the video that is a project that could last 10 to 15 years to acchieve) and we should now put our focus on renewable energy alternatives whilst keeping on investing in the maintenance of our nuclear plants.  The combination between both should provide a stable and diverse energy market that is reliable for the future whilst continuing to evolve to more renewable alternatives and ending in a world without nuclear energy.

Let me know what you think!

 

‘Human Body on a Microchip May Test Drugs’

We all know and notice that the way we live today is totally different than ‘in the old days’. Everything is going faster and is controlled by electronics. We are all aware of the latest technologies and it has become obvious that everyone has multiple of these gadgets and knows how to work with them.

A large part of this technological revolution is due to the microchip. I think most of the people who have a little bit of science background know the ’law of Moore’. It states that the amount of transistors in an integrated circuit (microchip) doubles every two years due to the technological progress. To the present day this law still stands and for us it is very clear. Everything becomes faster, smaller, thinner,…

Personally I was not or am not surprised anymore when Steve Jobs or Tim Cook said that the new Iphone would be faster, had a better design… Or when Microsoft tells they will launch a new and better tablet.

What really intrigues me is the use of IC-technology in the biochemistry, the pharmaceutical and the medical sector. That’s what I find really attractive about the latest technology end this part of the technological era. And I think big companies like Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, … should invest more money in that kind of research instead of fighting each other for patents about some new application of making their new smartphone or tablet a few mm thinner. In my free time a sometimes read about new things they try to introduce and a few days ago I found an interesting article on the internet newspaper.
The title is ‘Human Body on a Microchip May Test Drugs’. It is about simulating the working of the 10 most important human organs on a microchip. Every microchip will ‘be’ one organ and they will be connected to each other. The designers go very deep because the can even simulate the muscle contraction of the organs. The goal is to replace laboratory animals for testing of new drugs and other pharmaceutical products because the test on these animals are not always accurate and may have a good effect on them but not on the human body. It is also a better and faster testing method.

You can find the link here: http://www.technewsdaily.com/6042-human-body-microchip-test-drugs.html

Maybe this post sounds crazy to you because it is a strange way to like technology but maybe that’s my abnormality of being a chemical engineer. What do you guys think about this subject?