Micro-Livestock: Little Known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future

micro livestockMathew Lippincott sends in this link to a 1991 book on micro-livestock, including currently domesticated and potential future domestication candidates among large mammals, rodents, insects, birds, and lizards: “Micro-livestock: little known small animals with a promising economic future“.

The Revival of the Craftsman

Craftsman Extensive and beautifully illustrated interviews with a new generation of craftsmen: Grain & Gram: the new gentleman’s journal.

Pictured: Blair Sligar, who builds furniture and sculptures from salvaged and local materials.

Via Clockworker & Dude Craft.


Handy Farm Devices & How to Make Them (1912 Book)

handy farm devices and how to make them

Handy farm devices and how to make them“, Rolfe Cobleigh, 1912.

Oil Dependency & Alternative Fuels in 1909

“The fuel chiefly employed for motors (to the abundant supply of which the rapid rise of the automobile industry may be said to be largely due) is petrol. The motor industry, which is fast becoming one of the world’s greatest industries, is thus dependent upon the supply of a fuel which to all appearance must, according to the present trend of progress, fail in the near future to be equal to the demand. The Motor Union of Great Britain and Ireland became somewhat alarmed at the serious rise in the price of petrol, and in September 1906 it was suggested that a special Committee should be appointed to fully discuss this important subject.”

alternative fuel in 1908“In July 1907 the official report of the Committee was issued, and through the courtesy of the secretary of the Motor Union the following extracts are taken: The Committee have carefully considered the various substitutes for petrol which have been brought before them, and have unanimously arrived at the conclusion that the main efforts of the Motor Union should be in the direction of encouraging in every way the use and development of a substance, such as alcohol, produced from vegetation.”

“Alcohol offers a complete and satisfactory substitute for petrol so far as its properties are concerned, and hence probably the most important recommendation of the Committee is that connected with the production on a large scale of alcohol for the purposes of a fuel. It may be noted that the argument added to all others, but which to many in this country would probably appear the most important of all, is the fact that it would form a home industry, especially if produced from some substance, such as peat, potatoes, or beet, which would place the country in an independent position with regard to foreign supplies, a consideration which, it should be noted, is leading the Governments of France and Germany, particularly the latter, to give every encouragement to the use of alcohol as a fuel.”

Quoted from “Commercial peat: its uses and possibilities“, Frederick T. Gissing, 1909. Picture: the 1909 Alco Six Race Car.

Mass Insect Farming

Crickets 2 “He refused to try anything. I thought it was very poor … eating a langoustine or prawn is just like eating a lizard or insect, one just lives in the sea and one on land. Ecologically we will have to start getting our protein from other sources as our population increases as the planet cannot support our growing demand for meat. Our rainforests are suffering as we slash and burn to grow animal feed and we deplete our oceans of fish.”

“Edible insects are rich in proteins, minerals and vitamins and are being actively promoted by the United Nations as the secret weapon in averting a worldwide famine. According to a recent UN report: Edible insects constitute high-quality food for humans, livestock, poultry and fish. Because insects are cold-blooded, they have a high [pro rata] food conversion rate—crickets need six times less feed than cattle, four times less than sheep, and twice less than pigs and broiler chickens to produce the same amount of protein. Only a few countries “farm” insects, and the UN is now spending millions of dollars to investigate mass insect production.”

Read more. Illustration by Nicole Antrobus. See also: Edible Insects and Insecticides / Insects as a Sustainable Feed Ingredient in Pig and Poultry Diets.


Portable Low-tech Scale Accurately Weighs Small Items

Portable Low-tech Scale Accurately Weighs Small Items

“Designed primarily for weighing letters in order to determine postage, this non-digital, non-electronic, and barely even mechanical little gizmo is nonetheless accurate enough that its use has been approved by the US Postal Service. Besides its role as a letter-weigher, the ‘Personal Post Office Scale’ has reportedly also found use in fields such as home brewing, field biology, cooking, and police work.” Read more / Order. Thanks, Rasmus.