Mud Marvel

Fallen Pot
Mix sea mud with manure. Put it in a bucket. Add sand, water and wires. And presto! You’ve got electricity.*

This strange invention can power a laptop or a light.

How does it work? The bacteria in the sea mud eat the manure. In the process, they give off electrons. The electrons travel to the wires, which lead to an electricity storage cell.

Humans give off electrons too, when digesting. But our electrons split oxygen atoms inside our bodies. This means you and I could not easily power a laptop.

In discussing this with my family, I observed...

“See? Sometimes we think that complicated things are more impressive and important. But, in this case, the simpler organism can do an important thing that the complicated one (us) can’t.”

There’s a lesson in that somewhere. Maybe even one which could help us consider caring better for creation, in both its complexity and simplicity.

*I heard this invention discussed on NPR, on January 13, 2007.

Photo by L.L. Barkat.


Blogger Green Earth said...

That is a wonderful discovery. Love to hear about natural ways to met our needs.

Thanks for the info on `Cradle to Cradle'. Have found the book and it's great. Will let my readers know more about it's premises.

Love your site and look forward to hearing more about what you discover to make our world a better place, best wishes, The Artist

5:56 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, I do believe we have everything we need, right from His hand. We simply need to discover the treasures.

Oh, do tell me how you like the book. It has become one of my favorites.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Mark Goodyear said...

SUPER COOL! I especially like your observation that "This means you and I could not easily power a laptop."

Of course, I wouldn't have expected a bucket of manure could power a laptop either.

Your conclusion is powerful. I hear stuff like this and just get excited. But you are so right. We must let these little wonders remind us to care for the small things.

10:21 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Yes, Mark, and your last reflection about caring for the small things makes me think about Charity's comment on my Seedling post "Small Things."

Her idea that the small things really are the important things got me thinking (see her comment... 'twas much more eloquent.)

11:06 AM  
Blogger Christianne said...

I miss your posts on here, dear girl.

Oh, and I just had a thought: What if your next book was on musings such as these? (With a little, I mean a lot, more flesh, of course.) :)

12:13 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Christianne... thanks! I'm not letting it go, just am so deep in revisions right now....

oh, and on the book thing, the thought had crossed my mind. I'd love to do it in conjunction with a photographer or artist, though. Maybe a devotional.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Christianne said...

Ooh, revisions, yikes! I am so proud of you for following God into this new land of books, my friend. Your obedience beckons with humility. Thank you for being...well, you, in the world.

8:28 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Christianne... what an encouraging thing to say. I wonder how many writers would really understand writing a book to be an act of humility. (Perhaps this awareness comes once one hits revision stage!)

9:40 AM  

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