Rainwater Collector #1: A Picture


Here is a picture of my simplest rainwater collector. Again, it is a 6 x 10 piece of plastic spread over a frame with a rock in it and a hole off-center, with a coffee filter and funnel underneath catching the water into a five gallon Absopure bottle set in a trough for overflow or any we miss. The edges of the plastic are rolled in dowels and a staple gun secures the system up to about a fifty mph wind. Pouring the trough water through the funnel manually takes more time. A graphite or charcoal filter would help. The hole off center collects anything solid and heavy, and pouring off the top when it is full, or overfilling the bottle, clears off anything that floats, but we get very few impurities. I collected 11 gallons in the storm before last, before the headwind of the one after that blew a frame board aside. I would like to start a company of water inventions, but cannot even afford a patent, so I am trying to find an investor or someone who will give me the twenty percent of profits usual for a good invention. But mostly, I want people to do it and have clean water!

   I have seven different models based on this idea, all patentable inventions. The second is to sew a filter pocket onto the plastic collector. The third is to make the same shape out of sheet metal like a coffee table with a top that opens and closes to keep it clean between rains. A fourth is to make interlocking plastic sections about 4 x 4 that flow into one another and are set in the ground with stakes. A fifth is made of granite like a counter top, but shaped to collect water. A sixth is out of formed mortar, and a seventh is a sculpture out of stone such as marble. Different materials like cotton are being considered for the first and simplest model. The shapes must be cleanable, and this is the great advantage compared to roof rainwater collection. 60 square feet yields enough drinking water for one person, (including 3/4 gallon per day for coffee!). I would like to test my water, but again, it appears quite clean or, pristine. If the plastic is left out, it must be washed before a rain.

Again, I am watching the people of Flint cart bottled water and drink leaden tap water. They did not even figure out to use rain barrels for washing and bathing water. They first must run the rainwater through the ground, down the river, through the pipes, then the filter. These inventions could supplement our bottled water delivery system, already over-taxed. Finally, if the system could be kept clean, this could be done in a big way, even on the roof of the factory where they bottle drinking water. Bottled rainwater would surely sell because of the beauty of the idea. Our water problems are only beginning, with road salt melting the pipes and many areas poisoned for groundwater. But there is no reason first to run the water through the ground, if only we filter it as the ground once did. Thirty percent of the world lacks clean drinking water, and how many there watch the rain go into the gutters and dirty ponds, then try to drink it?


We, here at McDonald Philosophy, have many inventions, some for humanitarian purposes, with no hope of gaining patents. Here, I will post some of these, in the hope that someone might produce them, and, secondarily, give us a fair cut for the idea.

No Slip Sandy Decals Available at the Hardware Store

The first invention, which I am thinking about today, is a decal that sticks to slippery floors, so old people do not fall and break a hip. Sandy on one side, sticky on the other, a pack of ten at the hardware store for 9.99. Something like this is now available for bathrooms, to contractors, but cannot be found by the regular guy who hopes his people don’t slip on linoleum, wet wood, etc. Wood glue and decals, or decals with a wood glue base, would work on slippery deck stairs. Concrete will be difficult to stick to. So it is perhaps more for packaging and marketing that something needs be done. Are you listening, 3M?

To solve our problem in the short term, we had some heavy rugs with rubber bottoms, and as long as these are dry underneath and fairly heavy, they do not slip. This will do us no good, though, on womanized deck steps. I’m ready to start a company, go to houses and for about a Franklin, install some method to make deck steps and every step or area they want free of slipping. This is a good idea for a small business, but first we would have to find or make the sand paper decals. Imagine being a womanizer!

See, if one does not care about old people slipping, they will leave rather than steal my inventions! Now the guys left might give us the 20% cut Ben Carson says is fair for and invention. Again, we could not care less until your business turns a profit, then we feel as slighted as Ben’s brother was, and won’t give you the next invention or help your company with the next thought. The next thought could be tenfold.

This picture is first of a pot lid with a hose attached by an adapter. I have detailed the adapter in the upper left corner, and then suggested other inventions numbered below the picture of the pot. These suggest ways that water might be distilled where there is no fuel, by using sunlight and the right contraption. I was very frustrated that people could not understand my artwork here, “like ya gotta be da Vince ‘r somethin.'”This is one of those, “I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you,” and truly one has to care about fresh water and look into the idea, or one will not see it. People do not understand distillation, nor even that fresh water is supposed to come from the sky as eggs do from chickens.

Photo 1024x768

A pot lid and attachable flex-metal hose must be patented and manufactured for airdrops into disaster zones and home emergency prep.

Stove Top Water Distiller for Disaster Zones and Home Emergency Preparedness

A more long term idea is for a stove-top water distiller. In Haiti, after the earthquake, there was all this broken wood, and no fresh water. The same occurred at Katrina, in New Orleans. There is one guy now on the internet who comes close to this design, and another who works with pots, inserting a hose, first of plastic then copper. Copper should not be used, and it is not used for hot but only cold water, if I am not mistaken. It can produce a reaction that makes a poison. Do this: First produce a lid to fit the most standard size cooking pot, but with a one inch wide opening at the top, fitted to receive a metal flexible tube that can be screwed on like a jar lid, much like the metal hose used for some gas cans. The metal must not dissolve in water, so, tin may be best, not copper and certainly not plastic. The tube then runs into a pot or jar to collect the fresh water. Later, the ideal pot might be designed, and a large version, like an alcohol distiller, but for now, a simple lid and hose can be airlifted to disaster zones. In the Philippians, they were waiting for a U. S. Navy ship to come with water distillers. The key to all this, which apparently most people do not understand, is that when water boils at 212 degrees, only water and no impurities go in the tube, where it re-condenses in the cool end of the tube and the receptacle. This is not the same as pasteurization by boiling, and would not work for nuclear contamination. It probably won’t bring fresh water to Africa, or where there is not fuel to boil water. Jimmi Carter uses a filter to clear water of a worm, but then they are drinking the brown water! But in Haiti, I saw them setting plastic bottles of water in the sun to “purify” them. The plastic, of course, seeps into the water, and where possible, glass, like purex, seems best. The impurities must be cleaned out of the pot. Distilled water lacks minerals, so the home water distiller won’t quite replace bottled water, but we ought be able to get pure water without having to drive to the store, even for basic homeland security.

The fellow on the internet at desert sun 02 comes the closest, using a tea pot and a flexible metal tube. The problem of attaching the two can be overcome if the parts are made for each other. But a pot and lid has the advantage of being cleanable, though the teapot could be airlifted, and would work, and better than what is now being done. The pot too might receive the pot lid with a screw on attachment like a jar. I am wondering if the efficiency might be increased with something like a percolator, to collect the hot bubbles on the bottom without sending them through the whole pot of water.

We will have to consider the boiling points of various contaminants like oil or alcohol, which has a boiling point lower than water.

My friend Kirk says to use a funnel upside down, and attach it to the pot with clips or clamps. At the American Preppers website, they show an alcohol type distiller, with something like a funnel attached with clamps.

But it seems that unless these pot lids are manufactured for the purpose, we won’t be able to distill water at home, but if many are made, we will.

Now Lars on the Internet has shown me the invention of Frank Mendez at This has some brilliant features, especially in its use of the cooling to preheat the water for boiling. One problem will occur if the distillation chamber reaches 212 degrees, and another may be that the distilled water is too close to the fire. But his is the best yet! I still like mine, for its simplicity and hence prospects for disaster zones and mass production. His has advantages like one must only use one stove burner, but it requires three pots, or two and a collector.

Now I am thinking about Africa. With the airdrop package, we might include a large, one foot in diameter, magnifying glass, and perhaps a mirror to double the ray,  so that one might boil the water with sunlight. Maybe a spot on the fancy, advanced pot would be made to receive such a ray. One video on the internet shows a magnifying glass made of water suspended on plastic. We will wrap our airdrop model in a piece of plastic or two that are best for evaporation distilling and magnifying.

The Red Cross has seen the pot lid, but they underestimate the spirit of invention. They have so far connected me to WTIC, Water Tech and Innovation, and maybe someone there can see.

As noted on my blog, Dean Kamen and Company have invented a water box that can produce 250 gallons, though it requires electricity. I want now to make a solar steam engine to provide them electricity where this is not otherwise possible.

Low tech is being ignored, and there are many things now possible by combining products that are new to our world, like plastic. Who would have thought that water could be used to make a magnifying glass, and this used to power a solar stove burner? How hard is it to distill water without a product manufactured for the purpose?

Would this not make cooking possible in places where wood is scarce, and cooking is done with dung? At least while the sun is high, a hotplate might be designed which receives the sun spot from the glass and spreads it out enough to cook. Large magnifying glasses might be made on site, where there is sand, and placed on stands to follow the sun.

I realized this invention because I still have no way to distill water at home. I remain convinced that water distillers can be hooked up to furnaces and wood stoves. Clean water was never such an issue, and if it was, these things would have already been invented. In the winter, the energy cost of distilling water is zero, because one heats the home in any case. But a five gallon reservoir on ones heater, that stays constantly full, is a very simple idea. And why can air conditioners not be made of stainless steel condensers, and distill water by the way, since cooling is done by removing water from the air?

Here is a question for all my doubters: When water boils in a pot, where do the bubbles come from? It took me a while to figure it out, and I knew the answer!

Another water idea comes from the survivalist method of suspending a plastic tarp a few inches above the ground, with a small hole and weight in the center, and a glass under the hole to collect fresh water. Desertsuno2 has a beautiful “solar water distiller” based on this principle. What if this was done en-masse, over the ocean, where only the water and none of the salt is evaporating? So, dig a trench to a pond of seawater with an island and a barrel in the middle to collect the fresh water that rolls off your huge plastic tarp! A small hole just off center will collect rainwater into the same barrel. This is amazing, and survivalists get water in the desert this way.

A question for Chemists: Evaporation is different from boiling. Is liquid water not dissolved in the air, while in boiling, the liquid changes from into gas? So salt is cleansed in evaporation not because it does not become a gas, but because salt does not dissolve into air as water does.

I also have ideas for Christmas tree fire extinguishers and ways of getting oil spills cleaned up, related to the vortex sweeper already available for commercial cleanups. Oil sticks to itself on the surface of water, and slides off, into, for example, an open pop bottle held upright (not sideways) under the water, so that the opening is just under the surface. What water that gets in with the oil then separates, and could be drained off the bottom with a tap. In the gulf, this principle could also have been applied to protect the shore. The best method now used seems to be floating berms, deployed to physically block the oil from floating on the shore. But with underwater pipe-drains, reaching from the shore, under the water to the Gulf side of the floating berms, the oily side, a votex can be opened under the oil, into the pipe or hose.. The hoses then collect the oil into below ground level receivers on shore, before it is pumped into trucks for reclaiming. Waves out at sea were said to be a problem, but I do not believe this insurmountable. A large ship might have a chamber which lets in the oily water and calms it, before collecting the oil off the surface by the vortex method. The key is to work from under the water level, and open a place into which the oil can slide. I have seen ships, maybe in the Great Lakes, using a rotary sponge contraption, trying to lift the oil off the water from above. But in the Gulf, the decision was made to disperse the oil rather than clean it up, so they were not even trying. I wish I had a better idea for the coast once the oil is on it, and the birds. But the shore can be defended by the above method before the oil arrives there.

I saw this principle while trying to clean a pond in my yard that had an oil slick. Then I found two guys on the internet with floating devices.

People Pods

Having just heard Dr. Oaken on Diane Rehm, I am thinking of people pods that could be set, like the storage pods are, where they are needed, designed for subsistence living. With a little help from the city, Porta-Johns could be emptied regularly, and perhaps electricity hooked up, for a George Foreman grill. Food storage bins could keep out the mice. I want a giant 3-D printer to crank these out, with a front and back door, roofs good against the rain, and some way of heat that wont burn down the house or asphyxiate the residents. Habitat For Humanity might like this idea, and be able to work with it. My sister saw a documentary where small houses were attempted when people were moved from under an overpass, maybe in Nashville. Mine would have roofs that are white in summer and then black in winter. These collect rainwater and store it, maybe in the wall, except that it would freeze: so it must be in a freezable bag. A way to wash, as in a deep sink with a high spout, might be one of the minimal features, along with a bed slab and desk by the window that folds out of the wall. But each of the basic necessities could be addressed in the simplest way possible as part of the people pod, then mass produced, the way a modern Henry Ford would do it. Gleaners and the food gatherers would know where to find those most in need, and the problem that keeps the homeless out of shelters would be overcome. New problems of policing these little villages would of course arise, but these would be less expensive than the current problems, as Dr. Oaken points out. These folks would then have an address. And if the government can refrain from their rights and manage to secure these, protecting them rather than imprisoning them, the system might work to cut homelessness in half. We believe that special rights become activated at the subsistence level, because of the right to life. For example, income taxes below the level of subsistence are uniquely questionable, and restrictions on the homeless from setting up minimal housing somewhere are contrary to the Declaration and the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The simplest people pod would be an insulated sleeping box, even with a sleeping bag inside. If the box is not too large, ones own body heat can heat it. These could be put inside the hut sized people pods, so that even if these can not be heated, our homeless sleepers might stay warm. These might be triangles hinged and folded for shipping, as to refugee camps. Two triangles could be joined into a rectangle or large triangle, better in rain, and then two could stay warmer together, so long as they get along. Send along long johns, and these would have four layers of defense to keep in the body heat. The boards could be made of an insulation plastic, like Next wood, only made for the purpose, interlocking, with a layer of insulation board in between. These manufactured planks or sheets (I like 4X8 or 3X7) would be as mitered so that black side out is the tighter, white side out the looser fitting, though the top must keep out rain. The triangles for the end and two scraps come out of the fourth sheet. The door triangle would be fringed, with some way of permanent ventilation. We hold that this would be less expensive than either what is being done or what is not being done to defend the looped and windowed raggedness from seasons such as these.

Three Energy Ideas

I also want to see solar collectors in roofing shingles, since this can now be done with sheets of paper, enough to power a cell phone. So have the roofer hook each one together, gaining power for the AC in summer, maybe heat in winter, and some for the grid. Storing electricity is the big mystery. If we could capture a lightening bolt! I start with a mechanical model, where the bolt strikes and pushes a rock up, like one of those things at the circus. Releasing this gradually stores and harnesses the energy of the lightening bolt. Now do this chemically, using the energy to make a chemical bond that holds more energy than the previous bond, and can be released in a controlled manner.

Take two tanks of water, and run a siphon high in one, low in the other. Now put a fan inside the siphon to run an electric motor. This cannot work, or it would be a perpetual motion machine. But I cannot see why it does not work. Hydrolic systems are cool.

On phone messaging, I just spent fifty seconds waiting for a phone to ring, explain messages, and beep. Since we all know by now all the fine points of that long prerecorded announcement that after the beep, why not just say “leave a message…beep. One minute per day by 285 million people is a lot of GNP.

For Facebook, I would also patent the Love button. We should not press such a thing lightly!


Here are some archive blogs and a summary of the water inventions: 

Dear NPR Newsroom:
We have been trying to get word through about collecting rainwater for drinking in Flint. Any amount that can be collected will supplement the bottled water, and people are running out of water while the rain goes down the drain.
1. The simplest rainwater collector requires a frame and a sheet of good plastic. The best I can do now is polyethylene. This is suspended on a frame, a little loose so the center sags to a point when I put a rock in it. A hole so the water can drain is placed a few inches off center. A five gallon Absopure jug is secured underneath on a stand of bricks, and a siphon with a coffee filter is placed over the opening. We can get five gallons in a good rainstorm.
2. We have invented a model of sheet metal, described in recent blogs. It imitates the shape of the above plastic collector, and comes on a stand that unfolds like a card table. It has a hinged lid that opens to increase the surface for collection.
3 and 4: The same can be made from granite and also sculpture, as for a garden’s corner. The troubles with collecting rainwater are wind and sun and keeping the surface clean.
My #1 up there has the plastic on dowels so I can roll it up, and this allows the thing to move in the wind a little. I secure two corners with a clamp and a few staples..
Water can also be distilled on stovetops, all we need is the right shaped pot. I have tried to draw this on the Inventions page, but people cannot read an architectural drawing, and I added ideas that make it confusing. One has to read the thing. I can explain it for people, but cannot understand it for them! This takes a lot of energy, as much as to boil dry a pot of water. If we put distillers on our house heaters, we can have distilled water for zero energy dollars. A five gallon storage tank in the basement would work, or 25- there is no reason not to use our house heat twice.The stovetop distiller is mainly for emergencies, when one has no clean water at all to drink, you can make a cup.
There are “solar” distillers on the web, and electric. A distiller must be cleanable, and we like the ones that work if the power is out.
Desalinization can be done by solar distilling in large or small set ups. Dean Kamen has a whole invention company devoted to more high tech things, and he has an electric water box that is portable and makes 250 gallons a day. We try to figure for Africa how to distill water using solar cook stoves, and I got a guy in Canada that can get 670 degrees on his Saskatchewan pool heater.
This stuff is as good as what is on the web, one company in Texas and a bunch of rain barrels.
Thank You,
Mark A. McDonald, PhD (Politics)
McDonald Politics and Philosophy, O.E.O.
P.S. I know I can keep some lead out of some people in Flint, so it has been a bit frustrating trying to communicate these suggestions. I could get my dowel contraption in the Home Depot in Flint in time for the next rainstorm, maybe, if people would just look up! I am going about saying, “Look rain falls clean from the sky, all we have to do is collect it,” like “Eggs come from hens not roosters.” My blogs are not on the web accessible through the search engines.
In one blog, I have called on Garrison Keillor to advertise rainwater along with Catsup and rhubarb pie and powdered milk.
Thank You and hope this stuff helps, use it as you like.

Facebook and the Love Button

Europe is calling Facebook out on the collection of data on those not signed up for Facebook. For some time now, Facebook has been collecting facial recognition data on anyone they can get a hold of, even one-year-olds without consent in states where this practice is illegal. The Americans are just flattering Facebook, in Congress and on line. It may not be kindness incarnate on line with tears and cat videos, but we need to consider the implications of these stupidities of the Americans. In just one example, human traffickers now have access to Facebook data collected on one-year-olds. We used to complain about lists of vulnerable seniors, collected from charities, and no one listened. I leave you to your imagination, but do not forget that we have enemies, and these have targets. A little thoughtfulness might lead us to restore the Fourth Amendment and insist upon it regarding these companies, before rather than after a disaster occurs. Facebook was fined Six Billion dollars in Europe last summer, and the U.S. press barely covered the issue. If I wish to comment on any NPR show, like Dianne Rehm, I must give information to Facebook. I have told them that they do not do well to exclude from public debate all those not stupid enough to trust Facebook.

And since it is near Valentines day, we will add that we have invented the Love Button, over at the bottom of our first Inventions Page. With some fellow WordPressers, we invented the Love Button as three right clicks on the like button, or it could have its own heart logo. But the true love button is invisible, un-patentable, and like Dorothy with the Ruby slippers, everyone already has one! If Facebook or WordPress want to use this for profit, though, we suggest they come talk to our company.

Ok my sister showed me that lots of people on Facebook saw the need for and perhaps the possibility of the Love Button as an invention. But hey, how ’bout the Peace Button, the Peace-Love Button and the No Libertarian Cynicism Button!

Go Distill Some Water On Your Stove Top / Snow Water

The only other development to announce is a method of snow collection. I have turned to cotton sheets to collect rainwater, and had thought that to collect fresh snow, a tarp might be laid out before the snow and picked up after. Tarps are not very clean though, otherwise, I would join the four corners of a black tarp, hang it in the sun, and catch water dripping out the center, now the bottom. So if one did this with a cotton sheet, it would be cleaner, and the sheet would work as a filter. I would use black so the sunlight would melt the snow faster, but fear the dye. My luck, white sheets are dyed.

Food Safe Plastic for Flint Rainwater Collection

After about fifteen minutes searching we have some suggestions about food safe plastic sheets. High density polyethylene is good, and Low density is ok for plastic leaching harmful stuff into the water. These are milk jug and bread bag plastic, respectively. PETE (Polyethylene teraphalate) is for pop bottles. This info comes mostly from Annie B in a safe food website. All plastics do something in sunlight we would want to know about. In the meantime, we just won’t leave our collector out in the sun, wash it or let the first of the rain flow off it, a libation..

Product Details

Clear Polyethylene Sheeting, 3 Mil 10′ x 25′

by Thermwell Products Co Inc

More Buying Choices

FREE Shipping
Product Description
… Frost King 10 x 25′ 3 Mil Clear Plastic Sheeting – Use For Painting …

Flint: See, the Filters Do Not Quite Work For That Much Lead

Watch out where the Huskies go

And Don’t you eat that yellow snow-

Frank Zappa

Look up! Fresh water falls from the sky. All we have to do is collect it and test it. We should not collect it downwind from factories, dusty cow pastures and such. We have a little time before the best rain collecting season begins, to find a food-safe plastic and 5 gallon Absopure bottles. In the mean time, collecting snow and melting it is fun, and good when it is fresh under open sky. We used to make snow ice cream when we were kids, and everyone used to know one could eat snow and drink snow water. Our roofs could have rain barrels for bathwater, or we could roll up our food-safe plastic, go up and unveil it on a section of roof, staple it down, and get ready to catch it.

Turns out the filters are not much good over 150 ppm, and their highest reading was 4000. I am not even sure my stovetop distiller gets out all the parts per million, and we like stainless steel for all the parts because it seems most inert. If you trust me, you will not trust that phosphorus coat the pipes idea, either. We’ll lay new pipes, or evacuate Flint. The burbs might be able to handle the influx of refugees.

We want Garrison Keillor to advertise rainwater like he does Catsup and rhubarb pie and powdered milk. “If your seated next to a Child, be sure to drink your own whisky before drinkin the child’s whiskey.”

Flint: They Didn’t Treat the Pipes?

The word today on NPR is that Marc Edwards advised the city to treat the pipes with that chemical (a “phosphate”). The city declined to do this in order to save a mere 100$ per day, and now the cost is 1.6 Billion.  We are tempted to tell the people that that is why one does not elect a governor based solely on economic credentials. But Cher and our Democratic Senator have already seized the opportunity to pounce. The Governor responded that we should try to focus on things helpful. But from my suppressed blogs, one can see what the result has been of trying to find solutions. No one has contacted us yet, and we work for free! They are all being paid, and well, for this disastrous mismanagement. But that might begin to explain why Virginia Tech went home saying they were exhausted and 80 million$ in debt. One just can’t tell which expert to hear. When in doubt, hear the rich guy. After all, wealth is a sign of ability, and perhaps divine favor.

No one is talking yet about the question of why the Flint River water dissolves pipes at 19 times the rate of other water, nor has the question of the source of the legionnaire’s disease in the Flint. No one has looked to see if the DPW is dumping road salt or old air conditioners into the river. Most of all, no one is talking about why no one has been or is talking.

The current plan is to treat the pipes and try to use them. There is no plan to encourage the collection of snow and rain water, nor to look to distillation. No one has called the famous inventor Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, who has a water box, a giving heart,  and an army of engineers who have worked on water for a few years now. Snow and rain water were mentioned for the first time on NPR this weekend.

Check out our Inventions page for distillation and roof collection thoughts, and pray for the people of Flint. Pray for our nation, as these things would not be happening if all were well.

Collecting Rainwater for Drinking, with an Eye to Flint, Michigan

Trying to collect drinkable rainwater, we are back to trying plastic. I bought some 3 mil that is not especially said to be food safe, though I am sure such a thing exists: an 8×10 or so piece of food plastic. We wonder about the plastic dissolving into the water, and we won’t be leaving it in the sun. I have a frame about 3 feet off the ground, so I took dowels and wrapped the plastic around the dowels, attached this with staples, then draped this over the frame. Then small dowels were similarly wrapped into the sides, and a few staples solidifies the whole thing. Three rocks hold the center of the plastic over the hole in my 5 gallon Absopure bottle, with a coffee filter and funnel in the opening.

No one has confidence in rainwater for drinking, and this seems strange to me. I will surely test what I get, by evaporating it to see what remains, but we expect this water to be very clean.

In Flint, Michigan, water from the Flint River has caused lead poisoning throughout an entire city. No one has said yet, or even asked, why the water was dissolving the lead pipes. The whole response of government to the crisis is a fine example of why we do not trust government.

But the people of Flint might have gathered water from their roofs to wash in, in rain barrels, rather than for example trying to bathe in expensive bottled water. My method could be set up on the cyclone fence in the back corner of most yards, with three 2 by 4’s as the minimal frame. Course, the same factory that poisoned the river is probably upwind as well!

I would start a business making rainwater collectors: One of plastic, one of 100% cotton, wrapping dowels to drape over a frame with a rock and hole in the center. This is a patentable, marketable invention. So too would be a sheet of stainless steel with a card table-style folding stand. But my best would be stone, beginning with a granite collector maybe 4×6, tapered with a hole in the middle. These might be beautiful in a garden. Finally, imagine statue like sculptures, maybe with three giant clam, various inventive things, cleanable and designed to collect rainwater clean enough to drink.

Collecting Rainwater from Roofs for Drinking

   Here is an advance in my attempts to design drinkable rainwater collecting devices: It is not quite the  solution, but on the right track: A section of the roof of a house could be sprayed with glass or something like glass, and the water collected in a drinking water gutter, then stored inside the house or inside the wall, in a tank for drinkable water. An eight or sixteen foot section is all that would be needed to collect five to fifteen gallons from a good rainstorm. Wherever the sky is still clean, rainwater should be safe to drink. One could see what, if any, impurities are in it by evaporating some off, and even test the ph or acidity, to see if it is that of water. Glass is not quite right because it is breakable and slippery, and a rainwater collector would have to be cleaned. But this is the direction experimental designs might go, and it is surprising that these problems have not been solved yet.

On my inventions page, I had hoped to design small people pods as minimal shelter for the homeless and refugees. I hoped that these could be made to collect and store rainwater. It is amusing how much heat or energy and how much water are wasted with the current roofing system of tar shingles, which are designed to solve a different problem.

Collecting Rainwater: More on Water Inventions


Collecting rainwater that is clean enough for drinking proves to be more difficult than one might think, and a good field for a new invention. We first tried one of those blue ACO tarps, but found that pieces of the tarp were dissolving into the water. Now I want wax paper, though one still could not leave this in the sun. We have, then, a square of about 4’x4′ made of metal like that used for furnaces or furnace ducts, but the center must taper down a couple inches, again with a hole, and perhaps a stainless steel flex hose running into a 5 gallon Absopure bottle. One can easily collect 2-5 gallons from a good rainstorm. In a pinch, one could collect rainwater with a clean blanket, suspended horizontally with a rock to focus the flow over the hole of the bottle. But the sheet metal water collector is a patentable invention, and could be sold at the hardware store for 19.99$. Again, I would patent these things myself and produce them, if circumstances would permit this to be done. But, as water is becoming a problem, we folks here in Michigan want to see these things manufactured, even for homeland security. On our Inventions page, we have the stovetop water distiller, again for people who have no drinkable water, and we want to hook this to a solar heater for people who have no fuel. But in a disaster, there is a lot of dirty water and a lot of broken wood. We also want water distillers placed on home heaters, so that one might have 5 gallons of fresh water in reserve, for zero energy dollars in the winter, as one must heat the house in any case. If the people in Flint had any of these methods, drinking water would not have been such a problem, and many children would have been saved from lead poisoning.

My sister showed me water collection from leaves inside a plastic bag. These would transpire fresh water, and this is another way that plastic makes water collection possible. Similarly, if one can suspend plastic a few inches over the ground with a rock and a hole about the center, he can collect fresh water transpiring from the grass, or even from the ground.

Inventions for Nepal Earthquake Relief

On the Inventions page at, there are two that might be helpful in the present circumstance, where drinking water and shelter are scarce. There is a water distiller that fits a pot, and pots must now be brought in anyway. There is plenty of scrap wood for fuel. Second, we have suggested that for housing, “People Pods” might be manufactured on sight, out of interlocking panels, perhaps even through something like a 3D printer, to provide the most basic temporary shelter. I envision triangles, and want the roofs to collect rain water. We tried to have the water distiller ready, but have not yet convinced investors! People pods could be done by one of those new internet billionaires that want to do something with their lives. Dean Kamen’s water machine is recommended where there is electricity, and where there is not, a stem engine fueled by broken wood might generate electricity. Another fellow has a stove top water distiller that is expensive, but works, and is already produced, as indicated on an old inventions blog. Lets go! And be thankful for building codes.

Presently, I am working on the simple ways to collect rainwater. I have a clean tarp stretched on a frame, fastened well with wire from store-bought broccoli, a clean rock in the tarp for wind, and my 5 gallon Absopure bottle positioned under it, on bricks. I have added a coffee filter, and need a wider bucket to collect in the wind, when my rock doesn’t hold the point over the bottle opening. Collecting rain water is surprisingly difficult. I heard Home depot sells a collector-hose attachment. Good invention!

A Serious Advance In Rainwater Tech: The Filter Pocket

It may seem like a small thing, but I have just conceived a serious advance in my rainwater technology. My collection methods are entirely patent-able inventions which, screaming bloody murder, I have offered for free to many people who are being paid to remedy the Flint water crisis. No one will answer mew, as though I were from the moon. But I  have to watch while the people of Flint try to bathe in bottled water, and the governor acts like he’s drinking Flint tap water, just to show it can be done, and now I am frankly getting a bit pissed.

The advance came while I was filtering some rainwater from my rain barrel, since my collection system overflowed at about eight gallons of stored drinkable rainwater, delivered free to my home by, well, you know who. It is simply to hook the filter holder to the bottom of the plastic, in which I have placed a rock and a hole a little off center. I had been trying to put the filter in a funnel atop the Absopure bottle, which is difficult in the wind. The filters too need to be replaced after a few gallons go through, just like when yer making coffee. Some solids collect around the rock, and the rest, like pollen and plant stuff or dust from the air, gets caught by the coffee filter. I would use a better filter if I could afford it. Again, a California company just advanced the graphite filter, and we already can buy sand-charcoal filters: we need the filters to be more permanent and washable a reusable, like, wast a little water to run it through backwards once in a while. But now the food-safe plastic 6 x 10 sheet with a hole off center and a filter pocket under it is very patent-able. The sheet-metal version is the first one I would patent, and I want entrepreneurs among the poor in Flint to begin manufacturing these, and pay me 20% inventor’s fee from the profits, after you pay your rent, and your outrageous water bills. You can also rip me off, like Facebook did regarding my invention of the Love Button, and the world will still be a better place- you just can’t stop us, ’cause we work for free! But to avoid bad Karma and bad PR, my advice is that you just do honest business. Wait till they hear that Facebook stole the love button! Then they might listen to me about facial recog. on one-year-olds without anyone’s permission, and place limits on these internet billionaires before they deliver us all to tyranny! Or is it just me? Yes, there must just be something wrong with me! I am in a persnickety mood today, maybe because the President is coming to visit Flint.

The Rainwater Collector Invention

Now I’v got it, Pastor Jackson and Representative Neeley of Flint: Interlocking 4×4 plastic collectors fused into the ground with adjustable stakes, each a little higher than the last, with a filter on that lowest one in the center suspended over you funnel and 5 gallon Absopure bottle or your nice clean Home Depot or Ace Hardware five gallon bucket. 6×10,* or sixty square feet is giving me plenty of pristine rainwater to drink here in may, but I want like 6 5 gallon Absopure bottles to store some away for July.

Type 1 plastic, the sort they use for Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry juice, is my favorite plastic so far. 3-D printers could produce these 4×4 plastic sheets that interlock so as to flow into the one below, making the collector expandable, for one person, a family, a neighborhood or a village. These could by printed and on the ground in Africa tomorrow. And Hey, when it is not raining, take out the bucket, stake the tapered system close to the ground, and collect evaporating water as the survivalists do. I cannot believe the amount of evaporated water captured under a tarp in the sun, but the plastic too must be safe in the sun. Glass is best, but just too dangerous to work with. I still want to make garden sculpture rain collectors out of stone, all cleanable, with a place to set your bottle underneath!

These are all elaborations of my plastic tarp with a rock in it, ends rolled up in dowels and suspended over a frame, hole just off center over a filter funnel and bottle. Then came sew the filter to the bottom of the tarp, and my nephew says put a hose to connect the filter to the inside of the bottle: then one could ditch the funnel, having just the contoured filter packet on the bottom of the tarp. Yeah!

My Rainwater is pristine, especially compared to our well water. Today I made rainwater ice cubes, and brought in a quart of rain in a juice bottle for the old mum, who drinks the store-bought stuff.

And it the dry season, the 3-D printers could be set to make those triangular insulated people pod bed that are interlocking and expandable, the bed that keeps in the body heat for the homeless, refugees, and people who want to turn down the heat!

*so, 4×4 is only 16 square feet, but 6×10 is 60. Take 3×5=15 sq. ft., add on to one side, subtract one from the other side, one gets not 15 any more but 16? Go figger! But Five 4×4 panels would be 80, and with the diagonals, 8 4×4 sheets go around the one in the center, making 120 square feet of collection surface, with lots of stakes! That is good for 10 gallons in a good rainstorm!

So, Pastor Jackson and Representative Neeley, we should find entrpreneurs and investors, and make lemonade out of the Flint Water Crisis !


ELECTIRC HARP and Strange Fruit for Jack White


   We just sent Jack White the idea to electrify the classical harp. I hinted at Bowing it, too, but their still way too cool to talk to a mere philosopher. We want him to convert the Billie Holliday blues song Strange Fruit into a Rock-blues song, translating  what she does with her voice into electric blues guitar, and rage rather than sorrow, or sorrow yielding to our rage at the rising fascism that would again take power in America if it is not opposed, as by American Folk culture. Now there is a theme that could sound like Zeppelin’s Dazed and Confused. We suggest like Uriah Heap in Easy Livin‘ with Hendrix on guitar. Its all in there!

School Bus Seats MUST Point Toward the Rear!

   I saw the face of a child looking out the window of a passing school bus, and realized that all passenger seats are aiming in the wrong direction- at a cost of many injuries and deaths in accidents. Ditto for airline seats. People like to see where they are going, but perhaps we would be better at going if we would study a bit more history, and the liberal arts in general! Seats can of course be made to swivel, but jeeze, wait till the Auto makers get this news! My next invention will concern overpopulation, as we have 50,000 deaths in the US from car wrecks, the same from Oxy-heroine, and are about to stop aborting our female children, who one knows, DO have a right to choose regarding their own bodies- we just have to wait about 12 years to ask them.

4 thoughts on “Inventions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s