Archives for category: Beyond Binikou

The article Humans, Version 3.0 at, by Mark Changizi, speaks about the adaptations that human brains have evolved over the history of homo sapiens and its lineage:

They’re astronomically brilliant in comparison to anything humans are likely to invent for millennia.

Neuronal recycling exploits this wellspring of potent powers. If one wants to get a human brain to do task Y despite it not having evolved to efficiently carry out task Y, then a key point is not to forcefully twist the brain to do Y. Like all animal brains, human brains are not general-purpose universal learning machines, but, instead, are intricately structured suites of instincts optimized for the environments in which they evolved. To harness our brains, we want to let the brain’s brilliant mechanisms run as intended — i.e., not to be twisted. Rather, the strategy is to twist Y into a shape that the brain does know how to process.

In other words, find a way to use what we’ve already got, to do something that gives us the same valuable result as what we would get if we had something we don’t have. We can recycle our human resources! We might not be able to fly with bird wings, but we can use the neurons in our brains to design things that are like bird wings and get ourselves up into the air anyway, and maybe even power it with methane made from our very own poop, too! Getting to a better future all boils down to being able to look more generally at what our goals are, so that we humans can do what we were best made to do, to think, create, rearrange, and test out theories. We can use nature in new and interesting ways, rather than trying to escape from it with inhuman manipulations to the human body and soul.

The point is, most science fiction gets all this wrong. While the future may be radically “futuristic,” with our descendants having breathtaking powers we cannot fathom, it probably won’t be because they evolved into something new, or were genetically modified, or had AI-chip enhancements. Those powerful beings will simply be humans, like you and I. But they’ll have been nature-harnessed in ways we cannot anticipate, the magic latent within each of us used for new, brilliant Human 3.0 capabilities.

This is a primary function of Binikou, looking at options for using what we naturally have as human beings in the most amazing ways, in order to create a far better future for all human beings all over the planet, and beyond.

what else can we create?


Last fall Binikou was a small part of the Boston area Urban Homesteaders League event at the Union Square Farmer’s Market. You can see a small appearance of me, Turil, teaching Somerville, Massachusetts folks all about wheatgrass, greens, and juicing with human power in the Urban Homesteader’s League short video. (I’m the goofy one with the blue vest and green scarf, babbling about juicing!)

You can also take a look at a few blog posts about the event at:

The View from a Skillshare Leader–Lorie Reilly

The View from a Skillshare Leader–Jaime Alberts

The 10.23 Market Stand (Photos)

And the handout, with the wheatgrass growing mini-lesson, along with the other lessons from that day, can be downloaded as a PDF, if you’re especially curious!

No, this isn't wheatgrass, but it's pretty and green!

The most ancient traditions of ritual served the purpose of keeping the balance between the unpredictable push and pull of the chaos of the universe. Ritual addresses the human desire for stability and centeredness by setting at least some regular time in our lives for meeting at least one of our basic needs. Thus, we have traditions of ritual practice surrounding food, water, air, warmth, light, and all manner of self expression.

For many people in “modern” society, rituals have become corrupt, or even disappeared entirely. Our common daily practices often involve things we definitely don’t need. I’m sure you can name many of the daily routines that you and others you know go through that decrease quality of life, rather than increase it.

Which is why I suggest, to everyone I counsel, to create a new, healing ritual, based on something they need in order to thrive, to add to their life. Many people swear by certain particular rituals, such as meditation, preparing tea, gratitude journaling, or going for a walk every day. I’ve realized that it’s less important what specific activity you do, and more important that you just give yourself permission to, and support in, doing something good for your world every day. For me, my specific activities and times when I do my rituals change regularly. But I do always do something every day that improves my world – either focusing inside my body, or outside it. I’ve been doing this for years now, though, and I find it easy to naturally just choose something to do on a whim. Others might be more happy focusing on doing just one activity each day. Whatever works best for you.

Also, notice the rituals you already do have that are healthy. Healthy practices can be things like waking up in the morning and taking a warming and physically expressive shower (washing the toxins off your body), drinking warming and hydrating herbal tea, talking a physically expressive walk in the woods in the middle of the day allowing you to get some sun and plenty of oxygen into your lungs while you exhale all that carbon dioxide for the trees to absorb, or checking in with a loved one every day or so to express your own personal stories and to get energy from theirs. These are the more normal rituals that many folks regularly do. Other, more interesting and uncommon ones might be fun to try as well. You could nibble on a few blades of some fresh wheatgrass in the morning, do some yogic breathing at sunset, or do a simple collaborative piece of writing, singing, or drawing every night with your partner before bed.

Any way you do it, if you choose to spend at least 15 minutes a day in a celebratory act of doing something to improve your world, inside and/or outside, by increasing someone’s basic needs of better quality food, water, air, warmth, light, and the freedom to express the body’s excess matter and energy, you will automatically be making the world a better place for all of us…

And, from what I’ve seen, the more celebratory healing rituals you do, the more you tend to want to do!

you can always take a deep breath at sunset

Jeremy Rifkin, economic adviser to the European Union, notes that scientific research has revealed that even in young human children, the brain is wired for empathy. When very young humans see someone else struggling, they experience similar frustration, and they actively seek to help, without ever being asked to do so. He says humans are naturally empathic at the core of our selves. And he’s working to help restructure our society so that our natural empathy is allowed to be fully expressed, so that we can evolve into a far more compassionate and collaborative species.

How do we actually prepare an empathic civilization? What I’d like to get my hands on is the school system. This school system around the world reflects 18th century ideas about Utilitarian self-interest — each individual is an autonomous agent in the classroom. Knowledge is power — you don’t share it, that’s cheating. Each person is trying to become a productive, competitive agent in the market. No wonder we’re having problems. What we want to do in our school systems is we want to set up collaborative learning environments. We want knowledge to be interdisciplinary and distributed. We should take service learning — you know when you serve in the community — and ratchet it up to pedagogy, so our young people begin to think that the classroom is the community where they engage empathically with others, and actually create relationships that are designed to express our core values. That would be a revolution worthy of America – a new revolutionary educational system.
~ Jeremy Rifkin – KQED Public Radio Forum 2010

Binikou is a big part of that revolution! We are founded on the observation that as long as the human body (including it’s brain) has the basic physiological needs reasonably well met on a regular basis, then empathy and collaboration and creativity and passionate problem solving naturally emerge in abundance.

joyfully engaging in the community!

How soon do you think it will be that governments of the world create – either in addition to or all out replacing the intentionally primitive~destructive organizations of the Army, Navy, and Air Force – government supported forces for good that are based on the creative~constructive direction of life and evolution, on land, sea, and air?

time for a world of nurturing

The money from Global Giving arrived!

The website is seriously under construction!

Binikou (including Turil) is looking for a home!

There will be handmade Binikou gift books available soon! Hopefully before Solstice (and Christmas). Books will be free to anyone who makes a donation to Binikou (monetary and otherwise), and anyone else who really wants one, too (for as long as supplies/postage money hold out).

Things are definitely very exciting these days for Binikou…

It's a Binikou planet!

I will politely refrain from any more puns, and simply offer you a link to a BBC radio program (available for download/listening only for another few days, apparently) on the power of urine, to power fuel cells, make medicines, be turned into plastic, and other creative, and practical uses for human urine that are far better than dumping it into oceans.

The Secret Science of Pee


No, it's not pee, but it looks like it, doesn't it?

The Park Spark Project has just unveiled a real live poop powered lampost in a local dog park! An artist has gotten funding from MIT and the Cambridge Arts’ Council to build a methane harvester which people using the dog park are instructed to put dog poop into (using biodegradable plastic bags that are provided), turn the crank (hey, it IS human powered!) and then enjoy the methane powered park lamp that glows inspiringly after sunset. It’s an extremely simple idea, and one that I hope Binikou can work~play with when we’re up and running.

Because I see a future filled with porta potty powered parks, don’t you? :-)

This lovely outhouse was found at Yestermorrow, a sustainable design school in Vermont.

Yes, the Naked Chef himself has recently crossed the ocean to help out North American kids get more whole, fresh, healthy foods into their bodies, so that they can be more amazing!

And as part of his efforts, he’s teamed up with an innovative website called OpenIDEO where people from all over the world collaborate on problem solving and tackling rewarding challenges for the benefit of everyone.

As a reflection of something Binikou might do in the future, I’ve submitted a Binikou inspired idea for the challenge, and you can check it out on the OpenIDEO site by clicking here, or on the poster below…

Only fresh, whole, living food at this sale!

During the workshop this past weekend, one of the attendees said that he thought we should collect the energy of lightning to use as a power source, since lightning has so much electricity. And it turns out that he shared a dream with Nikola Tesla, inventor of the Telsa Coil machine that generates lightning.

And now, scientists at the University of Campinas in Brazil are testing out ways to harvest electrical build-up in the atmosphere. They discovered that when water particles in the air rub up against dust particles, it makes a static charge. And now they are looking to research ways to create “hygroelectric” panels that could be used on houses in areas with high humidity, to generate power, and possibly reduce the chance of a lightening strike, as well!

For more information see the news report on Electricity Collected from the Air Could Become the Newest Alternative Energy Source.

Finding ways to help humans get power for heat and light, and to help us more effectively express ourselves is a major goal for Binikou, and so this is an exciting development!

mmmmm... warmth