Awesome Stories 322

This week Awesome Stories brings you mile high beauty, stone balancing, electronics recycling, and creating community.

Mile High BeautySantiago Borja, Awesome Stories

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!

Electronics Reuse

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!

Gravity Glue

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!  🙂

Creating Community

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


29 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 322

  1. I’ve seen a lot of this stone balancing on my hikes…at first, I thought they were just markers so we won’t get lost. I learned later on that a lot of people do it for the sake of art as well as many other reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That first photo looks like it was taken from space! How cool is that, that a photographer figured out a way to get photos like that. I love the batteries thing, too. What an ingenious idea! It’s neat to see that there are a lot of folks interested in conservation, reducing, reusing and recycling.
    As for the balanced rocks, there are educational applications here, too: teachers who get students to build rock sculptures report more mindful students who become more innovative.
    Thank you for sharing all these. These posts are my absolute favorites that you do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Cynthia. I’d love to fly and photograph at that range to see and feel the beauty of our planet from a distance like the classic moon view of earth! I’m glad more and more people and schools are teaching mindfulness. Kudos.


  3. Loved this post….you have touched on subjects very dear to my heart….our environment, stone balancing (once did a series of paintings on the subject) Santiago Borja’s images are sublime…and I often write about ‘self discipline equalling freedom’ – which I think is what Parker Palmer might be referring to when he talks of structure needed in any community… Without structure I believe that we mere humans tend to flail and ultimately frustrate ourselves by not producing what it is we want to produce. With structure and self discipline we give ourself the freedom to life more fully. Wishing you a lovely day and many thanks…janet 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dang it! Don’t know how I missed this post Brad. The photo is mesmerizing (although when I read the description I couldn’t help but expect to see a photo of Denver as it’s often referred to as the “mile high city.”
    And as Bel mentioned above, I’ve seen quite a few cairns on my hikes. Not only are they markers to remind us we’re on the right path, but also peaceful reminders of our ability to gently shape our environment without disrupting it. However, Michael Grab (the name is apropos of his art) takes the craft to a whole new level.

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