This week Awesome Stories brings you mile high beauty, stone balancing, electronics recycling, and creating community.
Santiago Borja is an Ecuadorian pilot who loves to photograph from the high altitudes in South America. On his days off, he photographs the magnificent storms and vistas afforded by traveling at mile high altitudes. His website offers a stunning sampling of his ariel photos! With Santiago Borja and Mike Oblinski as my muses, I might become a storm-chasing photographer yet. Enjoy!
Eric Lundgren has a passion for creative reuse of electronics, especially batteries. After spending time in China and seeing how much better they were at reusing electronics, he decided to try the same back in the US. He started a company called ITAP that now has 113 people, doing $48 million in sales. He helps find uses for electronics that other people consider waste, especially batteries. Batteries are usually considered worthless when they reach 80% of their new capacity. One way is to simply reuse the batteries directly for energy storage. Eric actually takes the batteries apart to reclaim the good cells and create renewed batteries. To prove the potential of this approach, Eric built an electric vehicle called the Phoenix from salvage body, parts, and batteries. His team did it in 35 days for $13,000. Then he did a side by side range test with a Tesla P100D (their high end, high range car) and won. The Tesla went about 315 miles on one charge while the Phoenix went 382 miles. Cool!
I find stone balancing fascinating to watch. Michael Grab of Gravity Glue has elevated stone balancing to both art and performance. Michael describes stone balancing as the art of vertical stone arrangement, requiring patience, steady hands, problem-solving, and creative thinking in a contemplative dance with stone and gravity. He combines his talent for balancing with photography to create beautiful photos and videos. This is one of my favorites with the voiceover, background music, and mesmerizing videography. Watch at your own risk of being hooked! 🙂
Community leadership is creating, holding, and guarding a trustworthy space in which human resourcefulness may be evoked. ~ Parker Palmer
Parker Palmer has some wonderful insights on creating community in this article called Thirteen Ways of Looking at Community. There are so many great insights on community, but some of my favorites are; community as a gift that comes from developing our capacity for connection, embracing everyone including our enemies, more leadership, and needing suffering to break open our hearts. I’ve experienced the beauty and pain of suffering which in turn, increased my capacity for connection and compassion. I was surprised by his insight that community requires more leadership than bureaucracy due to having less built-in structure and rules to keep things moving. This allows for more creative solutions and input from unusual sources.
I want to thank all my readers for being a big part of my community. May we develop our capacity for caring, connection, and community. Blessings, Brad