This Book Can Give You Power

Solar Panel School

Oil prices are rising again and oil is yet again at the centre of international conflict, it’s time to get off of oil. Sustainable energy is peaceful energy. Solar power is one such renewable energy source that can work anywhere the sun shines. Setting up a solar rig can be a challenge and intimidating for the average person. A freely available book, To Catch The Sun, provides the current knowledge you need to setup solar power generation of any size.

This is a book for people looking to build a better future together, that includes:

  • Inspiring stories: Real life accounts of building solar power in communities.

  • Technical details: Straightforward descriptions of solar components and diagrams of systems, replete with real examples (many from the systems described in the stories).

  • Math and science: Easy-to-follow math that allows readers to size small photovoltaic systems for all types of environments and uses.

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Thanks to Trevor.

Fight Book Bans by Reading These Books


Movements in the United States are trying to ban a number of works of fictions which they deem to be problematic. The problem, as they see it, is that certain books can help people question the world around them. Another problem they identify is that some books for children inform the children of previous human atrocities like slavery and the holocaust. Ironically, they are literally burning books. These groups want to deny knowledge and history.

Over at the Atlantic they’ve collected some of the books the anti-intellectuals want to ban. Defy the book burners by reading the knowledge they want banned! If you’re in a region where groups are trying to censor knowledge, stand up and support your librarians.

His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman 

Pullman’s award-winning fantasy trilogy is populated with talking armored polar bears, soul-sucking specters, and translucent angels. But ultimately, it’s about a war on adolescence. The story’s villains, all affiliated with an allegorical version of the Catholic Church, are motivated by a perverse desire to keep children innocent—even by essentially lobotomizing them. In contrast, the heroes celebrate knowledge and fight to overthrow the religious hierarchy threatening their world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the books were criticized for their supposed anti-Christian themes and plotlines involving witchcraft.

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This Book Can Improve Your Creativity

The recently released book, Jam This Game, explores concepts of creativity and creation in the world of game design. You may find it challenging tot be creative on demand and this book wants to help you overcome that hurdle. The book is about the games industry however the chapters on creativity can be useful to anyone engage in a creative practice. Full discourse, I wrote the foreward to the book and if you follow the link below you will find a secret twist about the creation of the book.

Making video games is a challenge unto itself and getting a start in the games industry is equally challenging. Jam This Game reveals insights into the industry while providing advice to improve your creative process.
Ashton Irving, an industry expert, provides a comprehensive guide to help you think of video game design and how to start your creative process.
With more games being made than ever before how will you ensure your’s stands out? By providing prompts of ideas for a game within the book you will find new ways to come up with video game ideas.
Chapters will help you improve your teamwork and communication, or help you better think about the games industry at large.
If you’re working on a game already – great! These idea prompts are still useful to help you add fun to your game.

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5 Ways We Can Improve Cities During the Pandemic


IKEA’s research and design lab in Copenhagen released a book this month on ways we can improve our cities. They start by recognizing we’re presently facing two global crisis: a pandemic and catastrophic climate change. Their proposals to address these two issues within cities is titled The Ideal City and they outright admit that top-down urban planning is inherently problematic. The goal of the book is to demonstrate that change is possible, it’s happening, and we can make the world better by improving our lived environments.

Making Cities Safer

This chapter proposes that in addition to lowering crime, cities need to protect their citizens against extreme weather events and provide a healthy environment that fosters physical and mental well-being. It highlights a small project that makes a big impact: the Tokyo Toilet, a series of 17 public restrooms designed by renowned architects in Tokyo’s Shibuya district. By incorporating colored glass that’s transparent when the lavatory is empty and opaque when in use, Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban’s design addresses two basic concerns people have with public toilets: cleanliness and how to know if someone’s inside.

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Independent Bookstores Succeeding Despite Pandemic and Amazon


This century bookstores have been struggling to survive due to the rise of Amazon and changing entertainment consumption patterns. When the pandemic started many bookstore owners thought it would be the event that ends the local bookstore. It turns out, the pandemic has actually helped independent bookstores.

Bookstores have started subscription services for readers, home deliveries and got their online stores working better. Some stores have even seen an increase in sales despite everything that’s going on.

As readers hunker down to try and ride out the pandemic, what Saul and other owners have observed is an increased appetite for understanding.

At children’s bookstore Mabel’s Fables in Toronto, when the pandemic kept some customers from visiting, general manager Lizzie McKenzie started juggling a slew of weekly virtual book clubs.

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