A different kind of “water wheel”

The Artdog Image(s) of Interest

This month the Images of Interest have been exploring better ways for people around the world to gain better access to clean, safe water–defined by the UN as a basic human right, but out of reach for millions, if not billions (different sources cite different numbers) of people all over the world.

Previous posts have discussed ways to make the water safe to drink, via LifeStraws and ceramic water purifiers but before you can clean it you have to get it. 

And bring it home.

Some people in “undeveloped” parts of the world may spend up to a quarter of their lives hauling water.

Enter the Hippo Water RollerThis reimagined child of a water barrel and a wheelbarrow holds about five times as much as the average bucket, and was designed by two South Africans who grew up in rural areas, Pettie Petzer and Johan Jonker.

They’ve been making them since 1991. As of mid-2016, some 50,000 of them had been distributed to more than 20 countries, and countless lives have been improved.

I guess that’s just the way they roll.*

*Augh! Sorry! Couldn’t resist.

VIDEO: Many thanks to Hippo Roller’s Flickr Photostream for the still shot of Hippo Water Roller users in action, and to Insider on YouTube for the Hippo Water Roller video. And a tip of the hat to Warren Whitlock (@WarrenWhitlock) for alerting me to this ingenious solution to an age-old problem!

Yet more evidence that dogs are wonderful

The other day I came upon what I think is a wonderful story from the Denver, Colorado area. I’ve shared stories about a variety of service dogs on this blog, but this is the first “facility dog” I’ve encountered. 

This is one way that Pella helps comfort child witnesses, out of sight of the jury.

This program in Colorado was born of the persistent vision and efforts of criminal investigator Amber Urban, who got the idea from the Courthouse Dogs program in Seattle, WA. Over time, the Arapahoe County Courthouse has become one of several courthouses and child-services facilties where Pella and others like her are now accepted.

Pella helps children feel more empowered during what can be an extremely stressful interview or turn on the witness stand. The interviewers make a point of letting the child decide if Pella should be there or not (giving him or her a bit of control, in what is almost guaranteed to be a frightening, out-of-control experience).

IMAGES: Many thanks to the Denver Post’s excellent 8/18/2016 article about Pella and the “facility dogs” program in Colorado, by John Wenzel, from which some of the background material for this post was drawn, for the photo of Pella in “stealth mode” on the witness stand, and to YouTube, OakwoodNS, and KUSA for the 2012 video clip about Pella.

Feeling powerless?

The Artdog Quote of the Week: 

It is always appropriate to speak up, when we see a wrong. It may be hard or inconvenient, but the alternative is far, far worse.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Rescue Her (a group dedicated to fighting human trafficking) for this quote from Elie Weisel.

These aren’t just any old flowerpots

The Artdog Image of Interest

These Cambodians are making life-saving devices. Those things that look like flowerpots are actually ceramic water purifiers. They save lives by making it possible for people to have clean, safe drinking water, even when their only water source is a muddy, polluted river. They’ve dramatically cut down on diarrheal illnesses since they were first introduced in 2002. That they can be made locally and employ local people is an added bonus.

The filters work surprisingly well, for such a low-tech solution. They eliminate approximately 99.88% of water-borne disease agents.

As far as I could discover, the principle was first developed by Henry Doulton, a Victorian pottery manufacturer (his father co-founded the Royal Doulton company), who was inspired by the discoveries of Louis Pasteur.

In honor of Social Justice February, this month I’m exploring innovative, sustainable technologies for delivering clean water to populations in needThe United Nations declared in 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, and called upon all nations to help ensure that “safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation” should be accessible to everyone on the earth. Yet such access is unavailable to literally billions of people, and the pressures of climate change and population growth make the problem worse each year.

IMAGE: Many thanks to cfile Daily for this image and an informative story to go with it.

Why can’t we be friends?

Sometimes folks just don’t hit it off right away.

Especially if they’re different in a lot of ways. Maybe they don’t look too much alike. Maybe they come from different backgrounds, different cultures, different belief systems. Or speak different languages.

Does that mean they’re doomed to hate each other?

We humans get crosswise with each other, too. But heck, we aren’t even different species.

Maybe the dog and the ferret are onto something.

IMAGE: Many thanks to Giant Gag, via Pinterest.

The beginning of the end?

The Artdog Quote of the Week 

As true today as the day he said it:

For the second year in a row, I plan to observe February with a special focus on social justice. In my opinion, these are more important principles than ever.

IMAGE: Many thanks to the “Social Justice Quotes” Pinterest pinboard for this quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If water is life . . .

The Artdog Image of Interest

Are these guys crazy? No. They’re demonstrating a new technology that’s begun saving lives all over the world. It’s called a LifeStraw, and it’s an on-the-spot water purifier. Originally designed to help vulnerable populations gain access to clean water, it also is marketed for about $20 per unit to hikers and backpackers in the developed world.

Does it work? Very well, if you believe more than 5,000 customer reviews on Amazon. It also lasts for a while, capable of purifying up to 264 gallons of water

Lifestraws are made by the Vestergaard company.

In honor of Social Justice February, this month I’ll be exploring innovative, sustainable technologies for delivering clean water to populations in need. The United Nations declared in 2010 that access to clean water and sanitation is a basic human right, and called upon all nations to help ensure that “safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation” should be accessible to everyone on the earth. Yet such access is unavailable to literally billions of people, and the pressures of climate change and population growth make the problem worse each year.

IMAGE: Many thanks to MintPress News, for this photo and an accompanying article that tells more.