Saturday, September 26, 2009

Human Power

  For those so inclined, "The Human-Powered Home: Choosing Muscles Over Motors" will tell you all about how to create energy or make things run on your energy.

  Author Tamara Dean gives us a history tour, from Archimedes' screw to electricity-generating boots. We see human power at work in cultures around the world, including a treadle pump to help irrigate fields in Haiti, the Working Bikes Cooperative in Chicago, which both sells refurbished bikes and uses them to machines to produce electricity, to hand presses and food grinders around the world.

 There's advice here on how to build several devices and cautions on the most practical approaches, such as directly operating a device, rather than creating electricity first to run something because a certain amount of energy is lost in the process.

  This is a very sensible and readable book, one that could be adapted for school lessons, personal use or a community project. It is published by New Society Publishers, selling for $29.95 new.

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