Fun, Amazing, Etc.

This is the official blog of indie author / adventure writer Andy R. Bunch, author of the fantasy book, "Suffering Rancor." As always, I'll post funny or amazing things I find in my travels or from poking around online. This is a great place to kick back and relax a bit. You may note that I’m not too clean or too dirty. For more information on my book, go to Here are links to first two books and

Friday, May 3, 2013

Charge your Cell from your Camp Fire

Source: ( I'm passionate about locally generated or recouped power. My father was a high voltage DC expert and I grew up around electronics on the small and large scale. I can't even offer a conspiracy guess as to why the well-meaning but misguided eco-nuts among us continue to promote large scale generation projects when they know the line loss to move that power to market makes it pointless. The move to local generation also compliments the other trends which will become ever more evident. Locally grown food and locally produced products. That's right, I'm predicting that even while mega corporations and big government are shipping our manufacturing jobs overseas and touting globalization, the next big trend will be local everything. Here's the writing on the wall. Fuel costs will continue to rise no matter who's in the Whitehouse. Energy independence will become a matter of national security with a need for at least some renewable sources. No one's more critical than I about how they're going about this, but the trend that direction is impossible to ignore. The internet, credit cards, paper scanners, telecommuting etc all add up to a way of doing business that's less dependent on moving personnel and finished goods. 3D printing tech is advancing faster than expected (they're printing cars and houses now). So the main things that will be shipped will be raw materials. It's a natural conclusion that if you can manufacture locally why not generate your power locally. While people want the US to be energy independent I foresee neighborhoods energy independent, and I'm a little surprised that this message isn't embraced by "green" promoters. Take the overwhelming brainwashing that's gone on regarding food production. I've posted articles before about the family farm's efficiency vs the large agro-corp. No matter where you are, some sorts of food can be grown locally and more effectively than the current system. I'm not opposed to organic labeling, but I think it only exists to distinguish what I'd call real foods from some of the scary stuff that's out there. Most people are more reluctant to poison their neighbors which means if we grow local we'll probably not need to label something as bio-engineered or not. Enough ranting. My point is that the community will rise again despite the folks who insist that it takes a village. Tomorrow's entrepreneur will need a computer with internet access, a 3D printer, and a specialized patented design which he markets to a small community of people across the globe. He'll draw less than 10% of his power from a grid that can be float free of the larger network at the flip of a switch. He'll eat food that was mainly grown within 50 miles of his house though coffee and chocolate will be easy to get, if a bit expensive. His children will not leave the house to attend school--it's free online--but they will be able to choose from any sort of sports class they wish to fulfill their PE requirements. Tomorrow's poor will live in wall-less prisons. Housing, power, healthcare, and food will be furnished by the government. Their every move will be watched by camera or tracked by satellite. Their food will be mass produced and lack nutritional value. They'll watch free, state sponsored television most of the day and have very few opportunities to change their lot in life. Sorry if that's depressing, but the more things change the more they stay the same. Ahh, yes, the article I was going to post. Man I depressed myself. Check out this cool product that could be used for campers or even in disaster areas to help power communication. Just because someone is getting close to nature doesn't necessarily mean they need to ditch their smartphone. However, keeping a device charged while in the great outdoors is not always the easiest thing to do. After all, those trees don't come equipped with power outlets. We've already seen the BioLite stove that generates its own power. A new product called VOTO performs a similar function, but with any cooking fire. The device functions via a fire-activated fuel cell. The end with the fuel cell is placed under the fire with the charcoal, and the end with the connected battery sticks out from the top. Because the device holds power on its own, users can charge it up while cooking and then connect their devices to it when it's safely away from the fire. According to Point Source Power, the VOTO's 4000 mAh battery can receive a full charge in two cooking sessions, but that will obviously vary depending on the situation. In addition to the phone-charging portion of the device, the VOTO also includes an LED light that receives its power through the same means. The LED puts out 25 lumens, which should be quite sufficient for most individuals' needs. When fully charged, the LED is able to provide up to 30 hours of light. The creators of the VOTO have this product aimed at two very different markets. First, there's the developed world, where campers will gladly welcome something to keep their devices charged while in the wilderness. Second, there's the developing world, where electricity is not readily available, but cooking fires are commonplace. The video below features Point Source Power's CEO Craig Jacobson explaining the device.

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