Magic Concrete, Healing Weeds, and Reborn Rivers…

Hi, this is Geoff,

Let’s jump right…

Self-repairing Concrete: Concrete can now be repaired biologically: ‘The problem with cracks in concrete is leakage,’ explains professor Henk Jonkers, of Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. ‘If you have cracks, water comes through — in your basements, in a parking garage.’ […] But Jonkers has come up with an entirely new way of giving concrete a longer life. ‘We have invented bioconcrete — that’s concrete that heals itself using bacteria,’ he says.” This is a fascinating energy-saving retrofit advancement for material that has more or less remained stagnant for centuries. I also couldn’t help but notice the subtle humor / pun that the author of the piece chose to include: It took Jonkers three years to crack the problem…” Very funny, though I didn’t crack up 🙂 The full piece, along with a video and some detailed images, can all be seen here.

Dead River Revival: It was delightful to see this level of respect, vision, and hard work come together: “Kuttemperoor river, after being subjected to years of severe pollution and illegal sand mining, had almost vanished into obscurity until last year, when an initiative vehemently led by the Budhanoor gram panchayat in Alappuzha district did the unimaginable […] The operation involved 700 labourers, including men and women from all the 14 wards under the Budhanoor panchayat, who were employed for the task under the MGNREGA scheme. And over a period of 70 days, these workers put their heart and soul to save the river.” Full story here.

Unusual Atlas: I came across this and at first wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Part esoteric ponderings, part warning, and part call-to-action: “Coming almost 450 years after the world’s first Atlas, this Atlas for the End of the World audits the status of land use and urbanization in the most critically endangered bioregions on Earth. By bringing urbanization and conservation together in the same study, the essays, maps, data, and artwork in this Atlas lay essential groundwork for the future planning and design of hotspot cities and regions as interdependent ecological and economic systems.” Main index of the site can be seen here, and for those who want to jump straight to the good news” / optimistic portion titled “Atlas for the Beginning” can do so here.

Healing Weeds: John Walker has a healthy perspective on something that most people have a very different take on — weeds: “Once you appreciate this perfectly natural reaction by nature, you start to see that weeds aren’t there to deliberately frustrate our gardening efforts; they are simply doing their job. Just as new skin forms after we’ve caught ourselves on a rose thorn, weeds help heal wounds in the earth. Look at it another way: it’s us who are causing the problem by insisting on bare, neat-looking soil – open wounds, if you like.” In many ways I agree with John – this is the way we should think if we want to heal the earth without hatred or prejudice. The full article can be read here, and Walker’s main information page can be seen here.

In case you missed it: A few pieces of interest this week from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute:

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That’s it for the Friday Five.

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Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,


2017-05-06T14:46:49+00:00 Blog|2 Comments