Friday, March 29, 2013

Biomimicry, Barry and Buffy the Wonder Dog

The other day I was on the Internet looking for articles that might help Barry and me navigate this difficult business climate. Since 2008 I have been completely baffled by the U.S. economy, so I read whatever I can to minimize the confusion and help ensure our success.
Barry and Buffy reclining on the mat

As I surfed the web looking for enlightenment, I came across a story entitled 8 Lessons From the Birds and the Bees. Lest one get the wrong impression, it should be noted the piece was on CNN Money, not one of those sites your mother, father and the FBI warn you to avoid. I will admit, however, that the possibility of learning more about “the birds and bees” intrigued me, so I clicked on the link.

Rather than being about sex, love or the relationship between a man and a woman, the story was about biomimicry, the science of copying nature to solve human problems. The introduction noted that many inventors had created useful items by studying the natural world, and that companies as diverse as Colgate-Palmolive, Levis and Nike had developed products using biomimicry.

For example, by studying how geckos cling to flat surfaces, Amherst University students and scientists invented “geckskin”, a reusable fabric that adheres to almost everything. A piece of geckskin the size of an index card can hold up to 700 pounds. Insects are also contributing. An African architect designed a shopping center based upon termite mounds, which uses 60% less energy than traditional buildings. Even more interesting, Nissan is researching schooling fish and bumblebees to determine how they travel side-by-side at high rates of speed, change direction frequently and never collide. Apparently this will be important in driverless cars and preventing traffic jams and automobile accidents.

As I considered this information, I realized Barry was way ahead of me on the issue. Yesterday as the late afternoon sunlight slanted in from the west, I noticed him reclining on the mat in front of the Kokopelli doors. When we first opened Twin Rocks Trading Post, Duke used to sleep on the futons we set outside each day, so I concluded Barry had likely inherited the “napping on the porch” gene.

When I inquired into this particular situation, Barry informed me he had read the same article and was in fact doing research. He had noted that Buffy the Wonder Dog was living a long, happy, stressless life and he was trying to mimic her lifestyle to see if it would improve conditions for humans. If it did, he thought we might be able to develop a new revenue stream. All it would take he explained was the purchase of a few more mats. This, he enthused, will allow us to market and sell “Buffy Therapy”, which involves sleeping in the sun and, on occasion, letting visitors rub your belly and scratch behind your ears.

There are times I am sure Barry is a certifiable genius, and this is surely one of them. Look for Buffy Therapy at your favorite trading post.

With warm regards,

Steve, Barry, Priscilla and Danny; The Team

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