Saturday 28 August 2021

We are the World Blogfest # 52 Washing Machines for Refugee Camps …


The salad spinner that inspired an engineer to design a hand-cranked washing machine for refugee camps – where there’s no running water, or electricity …

Navjot Sawhney - the entrepreneur designer
Navjot Sawhney, an engineer who had worked with a number of blue chip companies learning his ‘trade’ and expertise … before quitting to work as a volunteer in India as a member of Engineers without Borders UK.

'Divya' washing machines


While in India a neighbour was struggling with her daily washing needs … doing everything by hand … Navjot promised her a machine …


Matthew Mews of Huxlo
Along the way – offers of help came from a Bristol design and fabrication firm, Huxlo … Matthew Mews said the company wanted to help make life easier for those living in poverty.


Owen Rutter from the University of Bath
The University of Bath, where Mr Sawhney studied, also helped turn the designs into reality … university technician, Owen Rutter, was able to check various details and suggest minor adjustments …


The charity for Engineers Without
Borders working to ease others' lives
The first machines will be distributed early in September to a refugee camp in northern Iraq … and no doubt many others will find their way into other places in the world.


Salad Spinner 

The thought of having to wash by hand would appal me … so this “robust, simple to use and easily repairable machine” will be a real blessing …

Mr Sawney named the machine “Divya” after his neighbour in India … who caused the idea to spark in this engineer’s design brain.  The machines have been tried and tested in various locations around the world ... so I'm sure by now Divya has her "Divya"! 


We are the World Blogfest

In Darkness, be Light


Article on Mr Navjot Sawhney c/o BBC - Hand-Cranked Washing Machines

Huxlo Company - an innovative furniture manufacturer with a vision to provide the tools for a better build 

University of Bath - studying at Bath means joining the multicultural community on a vibrant, friendly campus in a historic city.

Engineers without Borders UK

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop / ISWG hop: Freedom of Speech …


My mind has been wandering along about this prompt – and I’ve been wondering how we got to speak …

We have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one very clever brain which ensures an action … there’s also only one mouth – which we use over enthusiastically at times …


It is thought that speech evolved differently from other primates – we use our tongue for producing sound, together with lips and other moveable parts within the head.


Sorry it's black - I know there's a way to change
the background to white ... 

The sun rays are processed by the eyes, signalled to
be transduced, then to be processed by the brain - 
which would then allow actions ... 

Platter of sea-foods
It also appears that human speech might have evolved from our waterside past, being able to obtain brain-specific nutrients in sea-foods, voluntary breathing as we searched for shellfish to eat, and suction feeding of soft-slippery sea-foods … yummy oysters!  As we evolved … our oral apparatus adapted …


Freedom of Speech – now do we use that Freedom too much in our shouting matches … and in the open mouth ‘shouts’  - seeing people’s tonsils is too much!

A new reptile found in Australia - it has a large
mouth and I couldn't resist using the depiction -
a wide, cruel mouth ... 
Australian Pterosaur

Where does Freedom come from – our power source: the brain … we’ve learnt so much over thousands of millennia … yet it seems the ancient Athenian democratic principle of free speech may have emerged in the late 6th or early 5th century BC – the values of the Roman Republic included freedom of speech …  


Did you know there’s a Free Speech Flag … more details here at the link ...    


Free Speech Flag

I'm not sure where this post came from ... but that's me! and I'm not an academic ... but a blogger with a curious, eclectic mind ... who decided to go into how we were able to speak ... so I looked and used my common sense, if you consider I have any!, to write this odd post and here are the links I looked at ...

New Scientist - Time Line: Human Evolution 

Origin of Speech - see 'Background' section 

A Sense - the biological system used by an organism for sensation 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Sunday 15 August 2021

Bran Tub # 19: Who debugs here?


I wandered into town yesterday – and always pass this school, Eastbourne College … with its cricket pitch, or rugby field impeccably maintained …


Eastbourne College with its influx of
Herring Gulls and 'pups' ....

… ‘cept it was covered with masses of hungry souls … I could only ponder if the school was debugging itself before term started?!



Herring Gull composite

I don’t know whether they got bored fishing, or pestering the tourists!! … but I’ve never seen the beautiful grounds invaded in this way …


Some close to me - as I leant over the wall
A quick post taking me through to WEP on Wednesday and another book one over the weekend … see you in a few days – stay safe everyone …


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday 9 August 2021

Bran Tub # 18: Friends ask to share Olympic Gold Medal …


There’s been hope, success, horrors, sadness – yet many armchair pundits have noticed that competitors have been …

United by Emotion

Gracious in Defeat


… and Thankful for Life …


Charlotte Worthington - the woman
who dares to do backflips over a 
concrete floor ...
(it is beyond comprehension!)

This happy punter noticed that home-dinosaurism had crept in – her brain couldn’t cope with ‘flying’ upside down on a bicycle above a concrete floor – doing a 360 degree backflip, landing thumpety-thump – getting up and doing it again successfully: winning gold, just to avoid going back to work in a Mexican restaurant.  Strange life!


These new sports … well this near fossil appreciates them a little more now, as ‘these kids’ will take the new sports forward – opening doors for others.


The two guys celebrating friendship

The highlight of the Games for me …was the two high jumpers – who’ve competed together for years, suffered injuries and returned – yet on equal scores at the end … just said ‘can’t we share the gold medal?’ – wonderful … it’s the first time since 1912 that two athletes share a podium place.


An incredible Olympic high jump final ended with both Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy's Gianmarco Tamberi sharing the gold medal/s.


I know some of you will not have appreciated the Olympics … and I have friends who’ve disappeared with a few books for the duration …


c/o Steve Barley's squirrels
So just to suggest something you could try – your reward will be a few peanuts … but please lose weight first … the Squirrel Leapathon is open for viewing:


Squirrel Leapathon – c/o the Beeb (1.47 mins)

This one is last year's NHS themed Squirrel Obstacle Course ... 

I could reflect more … but time (my life towards fossildom) rushes on … so just enjoy the Squirrel Tokyo Leapathon … reward: not adulation, but a few peanuts …


A cartoon from the 1936 Olympics imagines the year 2000 when spectators will have been replaced by television and radio, their cheers coming from loudspeakers;   how prescient those cartoonists were … as the pandemic in 2021 has shown us.

Next comes the ParaOlympics (24th Aug to 5th Sept 2021) – they are incredible people – my admiration abounds for them … from them we can learn what it’s possible to achieve.


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories