Hi, this is Geoff.

I’m here in the Dead Sea Valley, having just completed the recent face-to-face PDC course. We had a packed house with some amazing students. Don’t be surprised to see some of their work in the months and years ahead: The PDC really is transformative, and followed up by an internship to help cement the principles learned…a powerful combination.

You can see a few photos from the “unconventional gridlock” I’ve been experiencing here, and something that I’ll simply call, “evidence” here. I’m having a lot of fun with Instagram and post there often, so if you’re a visual person, feel free to follow for frequent updates.

With no further ado, the Friday Five.

Wonder(ful) bag: If this works as advertised (and if the reviews on Amazon are accurate, it seems to), this is an incredible little device: A portable slow cooker that doesn’t use any electricity, “cooking” for up to 12 hours after the pot has been brought to a boil, all without any additional fuel. Simple, thoughtful, “designed” technology often saves the most energy use.

Land degradation: A well-articulated piece by Richard Thomas and Mark Schauer exploring soil and land degradation, its effect on the rural poor in particular, larger implications, and strategies to help address this. Brief, dense, at times technical, but lucid throughout, this article is a fantastic example of thinking about priorities in a meaningful and correct way.

The UK gets on board: The country of my birth seems to be getting the right idea: In the past 6 months, the UK generated more power from solar panels than from its ancient and decaying coal stations. “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” used to be a phrase of boasting, then mockery (when the sun did in fact set on it), and now…an environmental statement about its uptake in solar energy? What a crazy, wonderful world we live in – LOL…

Science Literacy: Great video by Bill Nye blasting leaders that he considers “science illiterate.” He highlights the difference between our attitudes towards those who consider themselves math-and-science challenged (acceptable) versus those who can’t read very well (stigmatized), and then goes on to demonstrate why allowing ignorance of basic science to be normalized isn’t cute: it’s absolutely dangerous, especially from those involved in public policy. Less than 10 minutes to watch, worth a view.

In case you missed it: Three articles from earlier this week: A great piece on a family-owned and operated permaculture operation in the UK; all you ever wanted to know about figs (but were afraid to ask), detailed here, and a visually-rich account of a regenerative landscape conceptual design. Amazing stuff. If you enjoy these posts from our sister site, the non-profit Permaculture Research Institute, be sure to bookmark the site as several new articles go up weekly, or check out thousands of other past articles, here.

That’s it for the Friday Five – short and sweet as promised.

Feel free to forward to a friend. Anyone can sign up for the next batch.

Cheers, and have a great weekend

Your friend,