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Old 04-18-2019, 03:59 PM   #1
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Evolution in living spaces


As a retiree with a voracious curiosity I occasionally come across technological revolutions in the typically mundane realities of life.

Today I've come across a YouTube video titled "The Toilet An Unspoken History," which I'll not link because of the explicit word choices contained within, but which I found quite educational and fascinating. (I was ironically recommended said video due to my search history containing a mix of medieval historical subjects and US politics - I am indeed still chuckling.)

In any event, the end of the video discussed a possible future toilet being worked on in Holland which uses microwaves to vaporize the waste, converting it into plasma, and ultimately into electricity to power the "toilet" itself. A completely independent system that requires no water, no septic, and no electricity. It could be put anywhere in the world!


I'm wondering what other "mundane" evolution's folks here heard about?
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


How in the world will Asia fertilize their rice paddies??
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Old 04-18-2019, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


We know that water is in short supply in some areas and will probably become more scarce as populations grow and pollution increases but a few years back (and it is still going on) they addressed two problems, adding to our water supply and getting rid of processed waste. I'll give you time to stop gagging. Yes, they are currently pumping processed waste back into the ground to ultimately be recycled by nature into drinking water.

The primary purpose in some areas is to dispose of the waste. But somehow it just seems like sweeping a problem under the proverbial rug. So, perhaps the "vaporize the waste" approach needs to hurry up.

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Old 04-18-2019, 08:00 PM   #4
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


The entire "idea" behind the western modern septic is washing waste away, which in itself is wasteful, and really not practical on a 'global' scale. When talking about "first world" nations who have the money and determination it basically works, but when you're talking about less developed nations who don't have the same ideologies when it comes to things like "class" (for lack of a better term) and "will to make it happen for the good of everyone."

Developing and poor nations don't have that option/drive, the video details India specifically where kids are literally playing in poop, bringing it home on their hands, feet, and clothes, and they basically all eat it (accidentally) It's horrifying to me, I mean I didn't even like the dogs drinking out of the toilet that I personally cleaned and bleached, I won't use a public bathroom unless I have zero other choice (I'd much rather find a bush than touch a public toilet seat/flush handle/door handle)

For place like that, for the slums of India, for the remote villages of the bush in Alaska here, for Africa, the Middle East, N. Korea, China, South America, etc. I really think this "plasma toilet" solution is amazing.

And I'm quite sure the rice patties can find enough livestock poo for their fertilizer.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


While it's a bit outside the individual space of the home, I'm adding this potentially awesome tech to my list; basically CO2 scrubbers. They pull CO2 out of the air and convert it into a product that can be used as fuel.

Learn more here: https://carbonengineering.com/ce-videos/
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:24 PM   #6
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


Interesting discussion on many levels.

Sewers changed the course of history, I think, at least in the west. They made cities bearable to live in. Read accounts of pre-sewer London, where "Chamber pots" sometimes got tossed out windows onto passers-by below.

Sewers helped tame the spread of many diseases spread that way. Typhus was a regular problem. Sewage and sanitation have made it a thing of the past, sort of, at least in the U.S. and Western Europe and Japan.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:36 PM   #7
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


A self-powering plasma toilet would benefit some societies. The developers would have to get it to point of being completely trouble and maintenance free.
I don't know if there have been studies on this but I would imagine that the immune systems of people who live in the conditions in India that you described are astonishing robust. Many societies exist in conditions that would likely kill the average North American.
CO2 scrubbers have been around for years, but the concept of turning the byproduct into something useful is interesting.


Not directly related to living spaces, but the one that caught my eye a couple of years ago was the (body) heat powered flashlight. And it was developed by a highschooler. Still in early stages but an interesting concept. I couldn't get the video on the link to work but there a couple of Youtubes on it:


https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innov...and-180950226/
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:25 AM   #8
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


Sewage is only waste because it's mixed with other wastes in a municipal sewage system.

The nutrients in the soil are being depleted because they aren't being returned. Vaporization is the wrong way to go. When the raw resources for fertilizer get depleted (including natural gas which is used to make nitrogen based fertilizer), we'll have to resort to not treating sewage is waste any more.

There are composting toilets out there.
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:59 AM   #9
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


Hmmm... http://ceadserv1.nku.edu/longa/haiti...ces_value.html

This says nearly half the human poop in the US is put down on the land as fertilizer. * https://modernfarmer.com/2014/07/sti...op-fertilizer/ (Apparently you're not allowed to use human "biosolids" on oranic food, a curious distinction gotta wonder why. -- https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifes...=.b39d1d874c0c)


Related - composting toilet; ratio of poo and other compost material for home made garden fertilizer.



In any event, scientists say the human "biosolids" have to be processed twice before they are safe to use for farming needs [aka edible.] Places that don't have sewage treatment plants (or plumbing) would benefit more from the plasma toilet than they would from throwing their potentially toxic raw sewage on their fields thinking they were reintroducing nutrients heh
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:14 PM   #10
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


Quote:
In any event, scientists say the human "biosolids" have to be processed twice before they are safe to use for farming needs [aka edible.] Places that don't have sewage treatment plants (or plumbing) would benefit more from the plasma toilet than they would from throwing their potentially toxic raw sewage on their fields thinking they were reintroducing nutrients heh
obviously the proper precautions have to be taken. I'm not fond of using sewage contaminated with other stuff on farmer's fields.

destroying nutrients will harm us in the long run. we don't need fancy technology - usually every new technology introduced creates new problems.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:57 PM   #11
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


The way I understand it (but haven't bothered to research) is the enzymes and gut bacteria of carnivores/omnivores (incl. us) is different and more 'aggressive' than herbivores, and remains in the waste without further 'processing'. Horse manure still looks a lot like the hay they ate, breaks down very quickly and is absolutely benign. The down side is there is comparatively little nutrition in forage so grazers have to eat almost constantly (managed feed in domesticated animals with grains, etc. changes this somewhat). Our manure pile was topsoil in about a year.


There was a small town in eastern Ontario that was piloting a project that sprayed liquefied sewage in freezing air, the theory being that the instant freezing of the droplets ruptured the cells of the bacteria and killed it. Obviously limited in application. I don't know how it panned out.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:09 PM   #12
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


sewage as in the waste product after processing? not the same.
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Old 05-01-2019, 03:05 AM   #13
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Re: Evolution in living spaces


Cellphone wall scanner? Yes, please!

https://walabot.com/diy
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