Immoral consumption

 

“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.” World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity, penned by Henry Kendall, former chair of the Union of Concerned Scientist’s board of directors, November 1992.

An attempt has been made to measure “human demand on nature” resource usage in terms of an ecological footprint, expressed in global hectares per capita. This concept was developed by Mathis Wackernagel and William Rees.

Bluntly stated, when the ecological footprint of a human population exceeds the carrying capacity, the result is overpopulation.

According to Rees, in his 29 minute long video, Warning To the People of Earth, a sustainable per capital ecological footprint is about 2 gha, which is where we find countries like Cuba.

Immoral consumption occurs in countries of the world that have an ecological footprint that significantly exceeds 2 gha.

Obscene consumption occurs in countries of the world that have an ecological footprint that significantly exceeds 2 gha, and have a significant biocapacity deficit.

Here are a five countries with data about them:

Eco footprint Biocapacity Deficit (-) / reserve (+)
USA 8.22 3.76 – 4.46
Canada 8.17 16.01 + 7.83
Ireland 5.57 3.73 – 1.83
Norway 4.98 8.18 + 3.19
Cuba 1.95 0.76 – 1.19

USA, Canada, Ireland and Norway all have immoral levels of consumption. In addition, USA and Ireland’s consumption levels are obscene. Cuba has an acceptable level of consumption, but even this low level exceeds the country’s biocapacity. It will either have to export a surplus population, or import goods from countries with reserve capacity.

Note: It is not that easy for individuals living in these countries to do something alone. Over consumption is a systemic problem, not an individual one.

Some reference materials

Rees, W. E. (October 1992). “Ecological footprints and appropriated carrying capacity: what urban economics leaves out”. Environment and Urbanisation. 4 (2): 121–130. doi:10.1177/095624789200400212.

Rees, W. E. and M. Wackernagel (1994) Ecological footprints and appropriated carrying capacity: Measuring the natural capital requirements of the human economy, in Jansson, A. et al.. Investing in Natural Capital: The Ecological Economics Approach to Sustainability. Washington D.C.:Island Press. ISBN1-55963-316-6

Wackernagel, M. (1994). Ecological Footprint and Appropriated Carrying Capacity: A Tool for Planning Toward Sustainability (PDF) (PhD thesis). Vancouver, Canada: School of Community and Regional Planning. The University of British Columbia. OCLC 41839429.

Wackernagel, M. and W. Rees. 1996. Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers. ISBN 0-86571-312-X.

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity (November 1992): https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2017/11/World%20Scientists%27%20Warning%20to%20Humanity%201992.pdf

To mark the 25th anniversary of this original notice, a second notice has been recently issued 13 November 2017, which intensifies the urgency of the first: https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/article/67/12/1026/4605229

 

Peace, Equality, Integrity & Simplicity

There are four important traditions within the Society of Friends, or Quakers as they will be referred to here, that promote spiritual life. The first is the testimony of peace; the second, the testimony of equality ; the third, the testimony of truth or integrity; the fourth, the testimony of simplicity.

My religious path involves three and a half stages. First, was a childhood, where I was brought up in a methodist tradition in the United Church of Canada. I left that as a young adult because I could not accept the concept of the trinity, and became a Unitarian. This was followed by a half stage where I investigated the Quakers, before becoming a member of the Baha’i Faith.

Much of the appeal of the Quakers was their testimonies. These emphasized that one’s spiritual life and character is more important than anything else. The focus was not the next world, but the current world. It implies that resources, including money and time, should be used to make life truly better for everyone.

The main reason I never became a Quaker, is because I had reservations about some aspects of these testimonies. As an example, some Quaker groups forbid drama because it involves the assumption of non-truthful roles. For me, this was one step too far.

Quaker usage of the term testify is often misunderstood. It is a commitment to action, in which spiritual ideals require a physical expression. Integrity requires personal wholeness, consistency, honesty and fair dealings. It necessitates not only telling the truth, but also the avoidance of statements that are technically true but misleading.

The testimony of peace requires committed action to promote peace, to refrain from violence, to actively oppose participation in war. Most Quakers are conscientious objectors, and refuse to carry or use any form of weapon. Many Quakers refuse to pay that share of taxes that goes to the military.

The testimony of peace can be broadened to include what is referred to as active non-violence: protests and demonstrations in opposition to government policies of war. Some confront others who bear arms. Restorative justice can also be part of Quaker peace testimony, while only a minority include vegetarianism.

The British Friends Service Council and the American Friends Service Committee were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947 for their work to relieve suffering and feed many millions of starving people during and after both world wars.

The testimony of equality involved equality of the sexes and equality of races. It encouraged the women’s suffrage movement and the anti-slavery movement. Yet, there were other areas where equality applied, especially the humane treatment of the mentally ill, and of prisoners.

In their relationships with others, words and actions had to flow from beliefs. This meant not only speaking the truth, even when it was difficult, to use grace and tact to say difficult things, but also to receive difficult messages gracefully.

Quakers took responsibility for their actions. They fulfilled their commitments, such as taking care of people and things entrusted to their care. They learned to assess people and situations fairly and accurately, but also guarded their reputation for honesty, fairness and fidelity. They were noted for their openness to the ideas of others, and for giving credit to others for contributions. At the same time, they avoided being swayed too easily. They were expected to confront lapses in the integrity of themselves and others.

In terms of economics, the testimony of integrity had many implications. Not only did people have to be paid fair wages for their work, but employers had to be given the right amount of labor for pay received. Quaker businessmen operated with fixed but fair prices to avoid haggling. Similarly, debt financing was avoided to prevent people from spending beyond their means.

They assiduously avoided class distinction by refusing to use honorific titles and by using familiar forms of thee and thou, instead of the respectful you. Mr, Mrs, Miss, Dr are avoided. Instead children and adults address people using only the first or both first and last names without a title. They use the term friend rather than sir or madam with someone whose name they do not know. In writing, this becomes Dear Friend instead of Dear Sir or Madam. Letters typically end with yours in truth or yours in friendship.

In the Testimony of Simplicity, there are three areas where this is most pronounced: dress, speech and material possessions.

The Quaker dress code varies today. Avoiding extremes, one would not be out of place at many Quaker meetings wearing generic, dull coloured work wear, without any form of jewelery or cosmetics. In terms of body fashion, piercings, tattoos and hair colour would be avoided.

Plainness in speech, naturally, had to address issues already noted in the other testimonies. In its early years, especially, the vestiges of paganism concerned many Quakers, especially because the names of the days and months referred to Roman or Norse gods or Roman emperors. This resulted in referring to both the days of the week and the months of the year by number.

Quakers often limited possessions to what they needed, rather than accumulating luxuries. It is not the goods themselves, but one’s attitude towards them that is important. There have been many wealthy Quakers, who have used their wealth for spiritual purposes, including helping the poor and oppressed. Others found their wealth a spiritual burden, and gave it away. Three of the largest chocolate manufacturing companies in the world – Cadbury, Roundtree and Fry – were started by Quakers.

Even in death, simplicity is important. A Quaker grave marking will ideally be a simple and low-lying stone.

Despite being only a half-stage in my spiritual development, many of my fundamental beliefs originate in reflecting on Quaker values. This reflection resulted a rejection of some values, but an acceptance of others.

 

Extreme

For something to be extreme, it should be at least uncommon. If not, then one would use a different adjective to describe something, like commonplace or routine.

Thesaurus.com tries to be helpful, putting the origins of this adjective in the mid-15th century, or about 1450. It comes from the Latin, extremus, meaning outermost, utmost.  If you remember your grammar (and your Latin), it is a superlative of exterus (from which we derive the word exterior). Superlative? you may ask. That’s the best in the trilogy of good, better (the comparative) and best.

In English, as in Latin, literary philistines do not always accept it as a superlative in its own right. They add yet another comparative level, more extreme, and another superlative level, most extreme. Fortunately, lexicographer Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) knew what was best, if not for mankind, at least for the English speaking population, and condemned this usage. The use of extreme as a noun begins in the 15th century, when it means last or latest. New meanings develop over time. By the 1540s it also refers to the end of life. An obsolete term, extreme unction (final anointment, one of three last rites) preserves this meaning. More nouns emerge. Extremes being the opposite ends of anything is from the 1550s. By about 1600, there are phrases, such as, in the extreme.

In 2018, ITV broadcaster Chris Tarrant (1946-) is using the term to describe his series of rail travelogues, Extreme Railways. The one I have watched most recently, was a perfectly ordinary train journey through the Baltic countries. There was nothing extreme about it. The only thing extreme about the series is the narrator, who I find rather tedious. It doesn’t help when I learn that he has been arrested twice for assault, has lost his driving license for drunken driving, and his marriage license for close encounters with the co-patron of a charity for the homeless.

This is just one of many series that include the word Extreme (with variant spelling). There is everything from Extreme Engineering to Extreme Championship Wrestling, and X-Treme Sports. There is also Extreme Makeover, an American reality series, and Extreme Couponing, a scripted reality series.

On YouTube we meet the same form of exaggerated importance. There is the Boston, Massachusetts rock band Extreme who achieved great (extreme?) success with their 1990 album Pornograffitti. Admittedly, the title of this album is extreme, combining pornography and graffiti, undoubtedly undertaken to increase sales. I won’t comment further about this musical group, since I haven’t heard any of their music.

I will end this discussion of extreme with a look at King’s Fine Woodworking YouTube channel. It is a perfectly ordinary woodworking show, admittedly a bit long-winded compared to many. Building an extreme miter station takes an hour and a half to describe.  There is also an extreme woodworking bench to make. This is not only extreme, but cheap, costing under $200. More recently, an extreme crosscut miter dado table saw sled with removable zero clearance insert plates, filmed in 4K video, has been released. At least the title is extremely long.

I think I am beginning to understand. Extreme is an alternative concept to important. It represents things that are overly complex, but not offering any benefits for that complexity.

 

Workshop Ethics

DIY, Workshop or workspace activities encourage people to undertake a wide variety of tasks rather than relying on paid specialists. These activities require people to develop skills needed to complete these tasks. but they also require an ethical underpinning.

Workspace ethics empowers both individuals and communities. It encourages the use of novel solutions when facing bureaucratic or societal obstacles.

Many of the earliest examples involve punk music, notably the proto-punk band Death and the third-wave feminist band Riot Grrl.  Ideally, demos are recorded with amateur equipment in bedrooms, while albums and merchandise are promoted and distributed through nebulous channels outside the established music industry. Concerts are even held in house basements.

Betsy Greer invented the term craftivism in 2003: “craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper & your quest for justice more infinite.” http://craftingagreenworld.com/2009/04/04/what-is-craftivism-division-over-the-definition-explodes-an-etsy-team/

Craftivism is especially noted for its assorted forms of needlework, including yarn-bombing and cross-stitch. However, the social aspects are more important. By combining collective empowerment, creative expression and negotiation, critical social comments are produced and spread.

One brand of craftivism is the knit-in, where knitters access a public space and knit. This might involving sitting in a park or occupying a public building. They use the knit-in to focus attention to an issue of concern.

Jack Bratich notes, “Knitting in public also creates a gendered question of space. It rips open the enclosure of the domestic space to public consumption, exposing productive work that has contributed to women’s invisible and unpaid labor”.  “The Other World Wide Web: Popular Craft Culture, Tacticle media, and the Space of Gender”. Revision for Critical Studies in Media Communication. That means that women gain power from an activity that previously symbolized their repression.

Ellen Lupton will be allowed the final words in this post. “Around the world, people are making things themselves in order to save money, to customize goods to suit their exact needs and interests, and to feel less dependent on the corporations that manufacture and distribute most of the products and media we consume. On top of these practical and political motivations is the pleasure that comes from developing an idea, making it physically real, and sharing it with other people.” D.I.Y. Design It Yourself, Princeton Architectural Press, 2006,p. 18

Workshop Layout: Machine Alley

In this Workshop Layout series, I will periodically look at the various machines at the Unit One workshop at Ginnunga Gap, and commenting on some of their features, the challenges of using them, in terms of workshop location. In this first post, attention will be focused on the placement of a rip saw (aka table saw), as its position affects almost everything else.

Being a workshop owner is much like being a kennel owner. The first question begging to be answered is, Who is the owner? Is it a person? Or is it the dogs/ machines? Today, the dogs/ machines may lack legal ownership, but they seem in control. The reason for this is the lack of workshop space to handle materials exceeding  about 2 400 mm in length.

hs105_ha
Scheppach HS105 rip saw (table saw), in the same orientation as visitors will see it entering the Unit One workshop at Ginnunga Gap.

There have been four variations of a single workshop design made for Unit One, with machines along one wall, Machine Alley. These are Workshop 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. In all of these versions, the rip saw’s arbor is positioned at the halfway point of the length of the workshop. The workshop is slightly over 6 meters in length. With the arbor half-way, sheet goods, typically 2.4 meters long, can be positioned on the in-feed table, then fed through the saw to the out-feed table, without having to move machinery.

The basic design of Workshop 1.0 and 1.1 were identical, but with two pieces of equipment changing places. At this stage of development, every piece of equipment was assigned a width of 600 mm, with the exception of the rip-saw (previously referred to as the table saw), which was given 1 200 mm. The basic design was made without any equipment having been purchased. Feed direction was ambiguous in the first design.

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Workshop versions 1.0 & 1.1. The only differences are related to which tools are assigned to which slots. The other major decision is to have the workbench against the window wall. There is no indication of rip saw feed in the drawing.

Equipment placement in version 1.1 and 1.2 (in parenthesis where it differs from 1.1): 1 = band saw; 2 = router table; 3 = cross-cut saw, previously referred to as a mitre saw; 4 = planer (drill stand); 5 = jointer; 6 = drill stand (planer); 7 = sander.

With version 1.2 the jointer was removed from the workshop, because it was decided that its work (edge planing) could be performed with a router table, provided that router table was made or purchased with separately adjustable split fences. The main reason why both the joiner and the planer were initially placed in the back half of the workshop was because that made them closer to the dust extractor. With rip saw in-feed at the back of the workshop, the rip saw fence would have been positioned along the wall of machine alley.

signal-2018-02-08-230731.jpeg
Workshop design 1.2 made after a Scheppach HS105 rip saw was purchased. The main deviation with respect to earlier versions is the width assigned to the rip saw, which is 900 mm. With Machine Alley at the top of the drawing, work flow is from right to left, as indicated by the arrow.

 

bty

Currently, workshop design 1.3 is used for operational decisions. This changes the direction of feed, and changes the position of the rip saw fence to the middle of the workshop. In-feed is improved when the router table, aka shaper or spindle molder is co-located with the in-feed, and more poorly served when a cross-cut saw (aka chop saw, or sliding compound mitre saw) is on the in-feed side. Working sheet materials around a cross-cut saw is much more difficult than having to deal with a router table.

Machine Alley now has the band saw moved adjacent to the entry doors, then comes about 1150 mm of space that can be used for hand tools, portable electric tools and air tools. This is followed by the router table, rip saw and cross-cut saw, previously discussed. Another 1480 long space follows, part of the out-feed area that can be used for sub-component and smaller project assembly. At a future date, this area can be re-purposed to serve as a location for a wood lathe, removing it from its previous proposed location along the back wall. The drill press is located at  the far end of the wall.

The planer, previously given a permanent position, is now regarded as a machine that only requires temporary placement.

Conclusions

While I would have liked to have had the dust extraction system, air lines and even workbenches to be in place, I am very happy that the three first iterations were not implemented. Procrastination has its benefits. The failure to implement the initial design has saved me from having to rip out components and start over, or to accept an inferior design.

All cutting machines, stationary as well as portable, are now all placed on Machine Alley. This simplifies dust extraction.

AI Soup: The Recipe

Reflecting on the thoughts of Kai-Fu Lee, a man of many titles.

Andy Friedman 2018 Kai-Fu Lee
Kai-Fu Lee (Illustration by Andy Friedman, MIT Technology Review)

A pervasive project is being undertaken in covert AI soup kitchens. Secret ingredients are being smuggled into these kitchens to make some of the largest, and (for some) best tasting, super-sized artificial intelligence soups the world is about to know.

Please be careful when you enter. Do not slop ingredients on the floor. We do not want to waste them. More importantly, if people are injured, we may have to pay compensation to any of the few remaining specimens of working humans. We may not have this concern for long. The goal of AI is to eliminate humans from the world of work, and to replace them with robots. A universal, basic (that means minimal) income for the majority. Unparalleled, unimaginable wealth for a technological elite.

Ingredients

  1. AI stock is based on bushels of university students, trained to be AI professionals and researchers.
  2. Add litres of data accumulated from computers, mobile phones, vehicles and anything else that has an ability to sense, record and transmit data.
  3. Thicken copiously with financing: Government grants, investments and even crowd funding are available. The exact mix will depend on the particular political whims of the day.
  4. Season with a culturally diverse bowl of innovative techniques, many open-source and freely available.
  5. Fine tune the taste for local consumption with a mix of entrepreneurial herbs, thoughtfully selected for the environment where the AI soup is to be consumed.

The secret of any soup is long, slow cooking.

Transfer the mixture to culturally correct tureens.  Serve in 2020 in China, in 2023 in Europe or 2028 in North America. The rest of the world? Look what happened in developing countries when mobile phones eliminated the need for copper cables, and landlines in both slums and rural areas.

Are we prepared for a world where half of all our daily tasks can be performed better and at almost no cost by artificial intelligence and robots? Are we ready for a  revolution, the fastest transition humankind has ever experienced?

Will this technological revolution create new jobs simultaneously as it displaces old ones? Will AI combined with humans to produce symbiots? Is a universal basic income a necessary key to AI acceptance?

Further reading:

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/610298/tech-companies-should-stop-pretending-ai-wont-destroy-jobs/

https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/3d82daa4-97fe-4096-9c6b-376b92c619de/downloads/1c6q2kc4v_50335.pdf

http://www2.itif.org/2018-innovation-employment-workforce-policies.pdf

Peace

This post began as a reaction to yet another senseless bombing in Syria. The only problem was, why should I react to that particular act of injustice, when the world was witness to countless acts of injustice daily?

The challenge for me is knowing where to put my energies. Is war violence worse than, say, domestic violence? Both result in trauma, injuries and death.

There is very little that I can do about situations on the world stage, with one exception. Ignore them. In particular, I can ignore the journalism that causes news items and other forms of frustrated agony to reverberate through the world’s households.

This misplaced time could be redirected towards my current activity focus: Workshop Activism.

I seldom read Norwegian news items. I know that people on my contact list will inform me of important events.

I have cut out Facebook. Instead, I have redirected my time to writing blog posts, and to reading other people’s blogs. Here, there is room for improvement.

Today, I will avoid reading the Guardian and the Independent. Rather than replacing these with yet more media, I want to spend more time in the workshop. If nothing else, I have a dust extraction system that has to be put in place, as well as a work surface along Machine Alley.  I have also agreed to spend the next two Wednesdays, supervising work at Hastighet Teknogarasje (Velocity Techo-garage) in Straumen.

Hopefully, both that workshop as well as a more private one at the nano-nation of Ginnunga Gap, will be able to teach peacefulness and co-operation, not through words, but through actions.

Needs: Building Inspectors

I live in a country without residential building inspectors. Many people unfamiliar with Scandinavia will find that unbelievable. What happens, is that people with appropriate trade qualifications are allowed to police themselves, and private individuals are not permitted to undertake work covered by that protected trade. The challenge is that there is no independent third party who can inspect, and thereby determine if satisfactory work has been done or not. If there are flaws, home owners have five years to discover and voice complaints. After that, a statute of limitations sets in.

Incident #1

I invite you to look at the photograph below. It has been haunting me all day, bringing back memories of a situation that happened more than twenty-five years ago. The black charcoal is several millimeters thick. I estimate that if I had not discovered this smouldering fire when I did, disaster would have been only a few minutes away for a baby daughter, a young son and my wife and me. Confronting this  fire was a pivotal moment in my life, and has shaped many of my attitudes.

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Fire damage from the early 1990s caused by incorrect use of copper and aluminum wiring.

 

Our house was wired indiscriminately with both aluminum and copper wires, undoubtedly by so-called professionals. In the junction box, both types of wire were joined together. One reason this could happen is that there were no electrical inspectors who could reject hazardous work like this. When I studied electricity and electronics in the mid-1960s, these dangers were already known, and we were informed in no uncertain terms never to mix them.

It was mainly in the period mid 1960s to mid 1970s that aluminum was used as an electrical conductor, mainly because it was relatively inexpensive but also because it was lighter, compared to copper wire. Unfortunately, aluminum deteriorates faster than copper, and develops more defects over time. However, the most important problems associated with mixing aluminum and copper wires is its electrical fire hazard.

Copper and aluminum can live harmoniously together, but they require special connectors to join them together. When two dissimilar metals meet they oxidize. Oxidation creates a connection with high levels of electrical resistance (lots of ohms, Ω) resulting in an unwanted voltage drop across the connection. This voltage drop can lead to three problems. First, low voltage can result in equipment failure. Second, energy can be wasted. Third, a connection can heat up and start fires.

Aluminum and copper do not expand and contract at the same rates as they heat up and cool down. This difference can cause connections to work loose, causing arcing (arc faults, arc flashes and electrical fires.)

Copper and aluminum wires can be spliced together using special copper-aluminum splices, that contain chemicals to prohibit oxidation. Unfortunately, many of these require special tools and expert knowledge.

Incident #2

Fast forward at least ten years to 2004. We decide to upgrade our fuse box to the latest in circuit breakers. We used the county-owned electrical company to do this work. At the time, the foreman who costed the job explained that we would not only be replacing fuses with circuit breakers, but the entire house would be re-balanced so that circuits that currently were overloaded, would have some of their work handled by circuits with available capacity.

This re-balancing never happened. We ended up with precisely the same circuits as before, admittedly with somewhat better circuit protection. Thus, the kitchen including all appliances with the exception of the stove, the living room and two bedrooms were on one 10 A circuit. In contrast, a second circuit serviced a single 60 W light bulb.

Talking about balancing circuits can be a great way to increase sales, but unless it is followed up, it can become just another empty promise. An electrical inspector can be a great aid at ensuring that circuits are not overloaded. The great advantage of an electrical inspector is that s/he is not overly burdened with worrying about work hours, but concerned with the quality and suitability of work actually performed. Since s/he is not selling his services, s/he is able to use her/his professional judgment and a standardized code to determine suitability.

Building Inspectors

There are several advantages with having building inspectors, including  electrical inspectors. First, it would ensure that buildings are safe. This is the primary purpose of having building inspectors! Second, it would encourage ordinary people to build up their competence in construction related areas such as framing, plumbing and electricity.  Young people, especially, could try out these areas to see if they are appealing for careers. Third, home owners would have assurance that tradespeople are using best practices, and that the work meets code requirements. Fourth, tradespeople would have a more level playing field, with all companies required to meet the same standards. There will be no incentives to take shortcuts. Fifth, companies will need to spend less time micro-managing employees. Building inspections are an easy way for employers to determine objectively, who is and who isn’t making mistakes on a construction site.

At the present time, the trades in Norway, experience an exodus of qualified practitioners, while some upgrade their competencies, many leave the trades entirely. Having building inspectors would be one way to ensure that tradespeople would be able to continue working in an area of competence, even after physical problems prevent them from doing the actual construction.

Building inspection could be a win-win-win-win-win situation for everyone involved in construction: house owners-contractors-tradespeople-local authorities-the community.

 

Seeds: Prototype Hardwood Furniture

Currently, I am designing a new kitchen table. My mandate is to make one that is sufficiently high that it can also function as a kitchen work top suitable for a taller person (> 1800 mm). In terms of size, the following dimensions have been specified: Minimum/ maximum length = 1200 to 1400, width = 500 to 600, height = 1000 to 1100 (all in mm). Before being built, the height, especially, will be performance tested with respect to common kitchen tasks such as chopping, mixing and stirring. An electrically driven, height variable desk is available for testing purposes.

Notes:

  1. While not part of the current project, other work tops will be made to accommodate a shorter person (< 1700 mm).
  2. Patrick Sullivan in his 2017 video Designing and Building a Mini Workbench  suggests a workbench height of 43″ = 1100 mm. Admittedly, this is for woodworking, not cooking. The first 2m15s of this video should be watched by everyone with an interest in, or a need to undertake, physical work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2fNDxa2GIM
table heights
Heights of assorted chairs and tables in inches.  Approximate conversions Chairs: 18″ = 450 mm, 26″ = 650 mm, 30″ = 750 mm, 34″ = 850 mm. Tables: 30″ = 750 mm, 36″ = 900 mm, 42″ = 1050 mm, 48″ = 1200 mm. (Photo: from YouTube video by user Pablo 1499 (2013) Standard Height for Bar Stool Counter Top)

In addition, two chairs will be made. These will be ergonomically designed specifically for each occupant. In order to ensure that each chair is suitable, a prototyping chair will be made. This prototyping chair will be fully adjustable in several directions, and will also be available to ensure that any future chairs can also be made that accommodate the dimensions of any adult. If necessary, a separate prototyping chair for children can also be made.

At the present time, oak has been purchased for this build. However, it may be decided to use other materials. Part of the challenge is the extensive use of oak in the living room, and plans to make even more furniture in oak for that room. Ideally, a different type of hardwood, such as beech or birch, would be preferred in the kitchen.

The table is to placed adjacent to the kitchen windows, with the chairs beside each other so that each occupant can look outside through her/his own personal window. A variety of sights can be expected including birds feeding on sunflower seeds, post people delivering mail, ships sailing under Skarnsund bridge, and more.

 

Bob Dylan revisited

Back in 2016, Bob Dylan received the Nobel Prize for Literature, but failed to attend the banquet. Many were critical of his non-attendance. However, there can be many valid reasons why people do not attend. Rather than criticizing, I gave tribute to his award in my blog.
Pascal Kirchmair Bob Dylan
Pascal Kirchmair’s portrait of Bob Dylan, found at Wikimedia Commons, now nominated for deletion as “Out of scope—personal, non-notable art.”
Here is an audio version of Dylan’s lecture: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jun/05/bob-dylan-delivers-nobel-prize-literature-lecture-just-in-time
Einsteinmc2 replied to the criticism, by writing this comment in The Guardian:

“As a person gets older, the energy levels tend to diminish. What was once inexhaustible energies are finite and need to be managed, sometimes eked out. And, what would once have been “absolute must do its” sometimes become just too big to embrace. And, some of us tend to become a bit cranky, not wanting to explain every last thing we do or do not do – its all down to available energy levels.
Who knows what lies behind Bob Dylan’s thought processes? I do not. However, I recall the latter days of Leonard Cohen, Johnny Cash, my father and other old guys, and recall the selective nature of what they did and did not do.
While I would really have liked Bob Dylan to have gone to Sweden in person and to have made a memorable acceptance speech, I’ll give him a pass on this one. It expends less energy to be charitable than it does to get all spun-up criticizing the man.”

I replied to her with this:

“Being at times a bit grumpy, I copied your most excellent comment. Not quite sure where it will be used, but I will credit you, Einsteinmc2. Thanks.”