Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Keeping warm...

In addition to soup, we've been working on a prototype of an Improved Cook Stove - or ICS - to supply to homeless people in the Detroit area. Such a stove can use multiple fuel sources (cardboard, wood, charcoal) and can be used both for cooking and limited space heating.

Our ICS is directly based on the VITA stove designed by Samuel Baldwin back in the 80s, with the addition of a perlite-insulated double wall. This stove is designed specifically for charcoal and thus does not have the usual side-opening firebox of the VITA or the Rocket Stove with which it also shares design elements.

Today we were able to deliver our first prototype stove to one of our long-time friends named Russ. Russ has been on the streets for about five years and is currently squatting in his brother's foreclosed home near Moross the I-94 service drive. The house has no utility service and only a few intact windows, so it's particularly cold inside at this time of the year.

Russ will try the stove tonight and let us know his results tomorrow. We've asked him to note any difficulties in using the stove or improvements that he might suggest. We'll see what he has to say tomorrow!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Update on updates

Recently someone made the comment that my Soup Odyssey updates seemed a bit self-aggrandizing. While this was certainly not my intention - and I am not convinced that my posts impressed anyone else this way - the comment was made by someone very close to me and has provoked significant introspection.

As a result, the Soup Odyssey blog will no longer be a blow-by-blow log of activities but will instead try to tell the stories of those whom I have had the honour of knowing and helping on the streets.

Stay tuned for the first such story in the coming week....