December 2005

Life sometimes hits an exclamation point. You come to a decision to follow a path and out of the blue, something comes along and seemingly shouts out, “Yes! That is your path!”

I just received the most excellent news that I have been admitted to a program to study a . This will be followed by another year for a with a focus on Renewable Energy Systems Design and Sustainable Living. It is a huge step toward fulfilling my life’s mission. It feels great!

So, I was explaining to a friend of mine about why I’m studying the course and I outlined my vision of a self-sustaining community that can produce its own energy. Steady state needs like water heaters, TVs and such can be met by power banks of various kinds but for serious energy consumption, like for a tractor, you need something more powerful, at least until the technology improves. Enter . There are plenty of vehicles converted to run biodiesel, which can be made out of vegetable oil. We can also run generators to produce electricity but I prefer a more efficient method. Convert biodiesel into for that can power small clean running scooters around town, with a couple of cars and vans that run on biodiesel until fuel cell cars are more affordable.

I plan to create a small community in the outskirts of Beijing. The core village business will be a spa. All of the buildings in the whole complex are beautiful and , all modern super-adobe and made out the very land upon which they sit. Elegant and tasteful. And functional. Aromatherapy, Thai massage, soothing hot spring bathes… Exactly the perfect domain my for Salomae. Of course, all is not fun and games. You’re here for a reason. Just think if you waited this long to change the oil on your car. It’s time to change your own oil. Fasting. Colonics.

Or not. If you’d just like to stay in a place with some serenity, eating locally grown healthy organic food and soaking in not springs, we can accommodate you. The farm provides the people of the village with a good living and they also benefit from improved housing. Other villagers work in the other village industry, producing products for the spa. Wonderfully scented soaps, shampoos and lotions, aromatherapy massage oils, etc. There is also a dairy farm for organic dairy and a tea farm when we get ambitious. For organic coffee, I’ll rely on my friend Stuart. “Coffee?! you say?” The fasting and peaceful parts are somewhat isolated from the more public areas out front. People from the nearby foreign complexes will come in for the restaurant for sure, but can also take yoga or tai chi classes or just come in for a Thai herbal steam bath.

Once the whole place is up and running I’ll set up a training center. We will conduct training for Chinese villagers who want to implement renewable energy systems. The whole project will be a non-profit entity that receives help from the Chinese government. The village will be a model community for people interested in the new technologies, so it falls right in line with government objectives. There will be consulting as well, for planning and set up. So, I get to travel all over to remote parts of China and set up ecovillages. That sounds like my perfect environment.

And in two years, I should be able to put an MSc after my name, which should help government officials feel comfortable that I know what I’m doing when they give me money for my project. Then they can also sponsor my research.

That’s the big picture. Now for the exclamation point.

So, I outlined all this to my friend, , well not in quite that much detail, and was waxing eloquently about my fields of soybeans which we can convert to biodiesel and then feed into a hybrid generator which produces hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cells, which can power motorcycles, larger vehicles and even houses, when he changed channels on the TV and a National Geographic special came on which showed all of the latest developments in hydrogen fuel cell technologies and more, including a fuel cell powered motorcycle. The stuff out there already is amazing, as are the price tags, but prototype doesn’t translate that well into unit price, so it shouldn’t be too long until they are affordable. The next part of the special was a report on biodiesel and showed a guy driving around in a biodiesel converted Z-28. Then the show ended up in Beijing and showcased a very cool and space-age looking car that the developer predicts will be on the roads in ten years.

I just love a good coincidence. Reddit Slashdot Digg Facebook Technorati Google StumbleUpon Furl Yahoo Ask Mister Wong China Newsvine Simpy Spurl Wink Rawsugar Squidoo Fark

Another great performance under my belt with the and Orchestra’s rendition of Handel’s Messiah at the Forbidden City Concert Hall. I can’t get enough of this. It is one thing to attend a concert like this but when you are on stage listening to the orchestra and the soloists, it is like a private concert just for you. This chorus is one of the best things to happen to me ever, let alone in Beijing. Reddit Slashdot Digg Facebook Technorati Google StumbleUpon Furl Yahoo Ask Mister Wong China Newsvine Simpy Spurl Wink Rawsugar Squidoo Fark

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