Friday, July 11, 2008

Plan Ahead

Dedicated to Stuart Rudick, one of the most forward-thinking people I know.

This week I started to fill up at $3.95 but had to stop when the total got to $75.00. That's my current ceiling of comfort.

And our friends in California have already proven their tolerance for far more pain than that.

How much pain til we cry uncle?

A quick story and them some good news.

The story - One dark night, an acquaintance of mine was riding with Rabbi Matisyahu Glazerson from Tsefat to give a lecture in Haifa. They followed the signs to Haifa, yet somehow after ten minutes, they found themselves heading back to Tsefat!

R. Glazerson U-turned and tried again. Once again, after ten minutes, they found themselves heading back to Tsefat! They couldn't figure out how that happened.

"Let's pay attention very carefully," R. Glazerson told his companion. If we do our best to go to Haifa, then we will know if HaKadosh Baruch-Hu wants us to go there or not."

Very carefully they watched the signs and drove well below the speed limit. This was not their first trip to Haifa, and they were certain that they were taking the right road.

Nonetheless, the same thing happened a third time - they found themselves turned around and heading back into the city.

"I guess we were not meant to go to Haifa tonight!" R. Glazerson said, smiling.

+ + + +

The good news is humanity's driving in circles may be getting some direction, because some people already are thinking for the rest of us.

This month's issue of Popular Science has a titillating article called "10 Audacious Ideas to Save the Planet". (click there to see their interactive graphics).

Here are some of my favorites:

The Pod Car - developed at MIT

Highway wind turbines - using the wind from passing cars

The Skytran developed by Unimodal in California - could carry the equivalent of a 6-lane highway at 1/10 the construction cost of light rail.

A sidewalk that generates electricity from walkers' footsteps.

The organic 30-story farm (Orgitech, Israel) that could provide produce for 50,000 people year-round - put a dozen of these in an average American city and everyone eats fresh produce sans transportation costs and bugs.

Do you remember the hydroponic garden that I mentioned a few weeks ago (aerogarden)? One couple reading this blog suprised us by sending us our own. We have harvested the first crop of organic, bug-free basil and all I can tell you is it is fabulous going green.

Question for your table - How many times would you have tried to get to Haifa?

Shabbat Shalom

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