I’m not really a magazine reader – Kew, English Heritage and the National Trust magaines hang around on my dining table for ages. However, I’ve just read the October issue of Wired UK in one sitting! So many snippets made me think wow  and gave me lots of opportunities for follow up and getting sidetracked.

One item from among the TED Global reports is possible fuel for a Blog Action Day post….. so I’ll just highlight now the article called Design for Good – a showcase of 10 inventions which make you think “how sensible…” – including the hippo roller water carrier (turn a 24 gallon barrel on its side and attach a big handle – how simple) 30,000 of which have already been distributed around South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Somalia; a cap which converts a coke can into a safe disposal device for sharps; spectacles with adjustable lenses; and  – something which gets my vote for ingenity, a plant which reacts to the presence of nitrogen dioxide in the soil and turns red – so if you scatter seeds across a minefield, you get patches of red to show where the mines are.

This article reminded me of the Ashden Awards – which also showcase invention and ingenuity, and I think deserve much more mainstream publicity.

Final comment from my reading of Wired – I also enjoyed the article on the X Prize – and a single line at the very end fired my curiosity – after all the talk of space tourism and mass produced fuel hyper-efficient cars in the rest of the article, the Village Utility X prize sounds fascinating –

The ultimate objective is to use the power of competition to develop models that enable communities in the developing world to uplift their living standards and break the cycle of global poverty. The global competition would leverage technology-based innovation to develop more effective ways to deliver power, water and connectivity to communities in need in the developing world.

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