bicycle generators and almaty friends

Today I was looking at my google+ stream, and I saw a post that my friend Morgan was, well, Hanging Out. I hadn’t used the Hangouts feature of google+ before and I’d kept hearing about how awesome it was, so I clicked the friendly “join” button. I found myself staring at the faces of Morgan (who is in San Francisco) and his friend Asya (who is far far away). After Morgan went back to work, Asya and I chatted for like an hour.

She has an idea to use bicycle generators to power a projector for free screenings of movies in public parks. I think this is a genius idea and am shocked and appalled that this isn’t already happening at Dolores Park every week or something. Therefore I put forth a motion to make Almaty-SF sister bicycle generator projects. Hahahaha. Maybe later we can group chat with them using bicycle-powered laptops or something (the time difference would be kinda weird but you know, whatever). To that end, we’ve looked at an instructable, a website, and some articles about people who made the instructables and websites… haha.

She says she was inspired by the timeless way of building by Christopher Alexander. She would love to see a world where we make stuff in our own communities. “Maybe it will be a whole movement, like slow cooking.” I hope so.

She showed me the Dombura in her room after I asked about it, because I could see it on a dresser in the background. We talked about how we are both night owls. We talked about other projects too. She told me about these berkeley guys that took coffee grinds from the waste stream and grew mushrooms, and her oakland friend who organized a surplus fruit exchange complete with jam-making parties.

I really get a kick out of this. Today, I learned about self-sustainability and the reduction/re-purposing of waste in an increasingly globalized world, but from someone really really far away, because we have the internet and the exchange of ideas is free.

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