Fiber-Optic Solar Toilet Turns Sewage To Plant Friend
World Water Day is coming up this Saturday. One of the event’s goals is to bring attention to the billion people who live without access to safe drinking water.
A major obstacle standing before that objective is a lack of the sanitation that would prevent human waste from polluting water supplies. One innovation, a solar-powered, fiber-optic-equipped toilet that requires no water and sanitizes sewage with high heat, is among several that are trying to fix the problem and improve public health.
Developed by engineers at University of Colorado Boulder, the system uses eight parabolic mirrors that focus sunlight onto an area the size of a postage stamp. This energy is then piped through fiber-optic cables to a reaction chamber that heats waste to 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
I met the Archbishop of Manila, His Eminence Cardinal Tagle.
I absolutely hate relying on people and I hate people who make me wait. I just hate when people don’t take things professionally. And I just hate late notices and I hate losing things that I work for and I hate relying on people and I hate, hate, hate, hate, HATE waiting on people.
Anonymous: Dogs or cats? If so what are you breeds you like?
Dogs! I like shiba inus, puggles, and Siberian huskies.
Anonymous: What advice would you give to someone planning to study pre-med?
I just want to say that pre-med is doable, totally doable. You can balance academics, work, and a social life! While premed is a satisfying field of study, it can be too much for some. Be sure that you are ready to commit to a lifelong career or study and work. And if you find yourself too overwhelmed by it in your first semester do not worry. You will find another choice. And if you get through the first semester or year, make sure you have passion for being a doctor, dentist, veterinarian, etc.
With that note, here are my personal tips:
- The first thing you want to do is open yourself to experience. Have an idea of what you want to do (i.e. see if you want to be a doctor, veterinarian, dentist, etc.). Don’t specialize. I am against that only because you don’t always expect things to change. For example, I want to be an physician that deals with disease. I can later decide if I want to be a pathologist or an immunologist, etc.
- Continuing from that: getting experience is getting an idea of what you’re getting into. Ask other pre-med students or doctors about how it is to be in that field. I would ask pre-med students now, since times have changed for practicing physicians. Ask them on advice to get through it, study tips, scheduling and organizing tips. You can even ask your doctors.
If you can, try to shadow a doctor. I did the summer before my senior year and I shadowed an oncologist and worked as an intern doing basic nurse stuff such as taking vitals and doing laboratory work. It really gives you a different perspective when you work a typical day at a practice. Furthermore, you interact with patients—a very important aspect.
- The next thing would be deciding if you are ready for sacrifices. Sacrifices include social outings and trips. You will have to give up part, not all, of your social life to studying and getting the best grades you can. That is my priority and should be the priority of all pre-med students. You can’t get into med school if you party all the time. You must dedicate time to not only study, but to get ahead.
- Improve your study skills. The coursework for pre-med encompasses all sorts of classes: biology, chemistry, philosophy, writing, etc. You will need to be a memorizing learner, a math/logic person, and an articulate writer. You don’t have to excel in all of them, but you need those skills, which you develop from studying, to get through the coursework.
- Beyond study skills, you must be humble. You will learn to accept defeats like bad grades and learn from them. You must be a humble person, when it comes to trying to understand others. Do not ever say you have morals, however. Med schools will laugh at that, as told by my Pre-Med Dean. What you want to do is learn; that is your priority. Be an open-minded person. Tolerating does not mean accepting. But be understanding that different people come from different backgrounds. Your opinions may not agree with others, but you have to realize that medicine is a people profession, and that means understanding others.
- Do things you love. Join clubs and organizations that you genuinely find interest in. Do not do it just to look good for med schools. Passion is something you need for success, and that applies to being a doctor. Don’t force yourself to do things that make you look good, when you hate it. Whether it be an intramural sport, service club, interest club, or whatever, make sure you like it.
- If you are an athlete or you have a job, make sure you can balance things out. The worst things I have seen last semester is that people get overwhelmed. You must be able to do everything, yet survive. If you are doing poorly in a class because adjusting to college is difficult, withdraw from it before your school’s deadline (after that, it will become a withdraw failing, which is calculated in your GPA) and take it again. Pushing through a course you have trouble in because of outside factors is a sign of academic immaturity, as my dean says. I was doing poorly in chemistry last semester to the point I had a 22 on my midterm. That was because I couldn’t adjust after my traumatic brain injury and also because the professor’s teaching style didn’t work well with my learning style. I have since changed professors and did better, just because of some rest!
- That being said: you will not always get professors or classes you love. You will have some you hate and you will have professors to dislike. Look them up on Rate My Professor before registering, but be mindful of biases coming from commenters. The best way is asking upperclassmen you trust for professor recommendations. And as I have said before, be open-minded. Professors are some of the greatest people ever. They are valuable resources for knowledge and advice.
- When you have balanced everything, try finding research opportunities or an internship. These things will come on their own accord. Focus on solidifying your GPA and on campus relations first before branching out.
- And my most helpful piece of advice, in my opinion, is to make friends with your pre-med friends. Not all of the are as scary as some may say! They too are nice people and even though getting into med school is competitive, they are part of the struggle too. They are your colleagues; they can help you. Of course, not all of them are as great as I say they can be, but I have found wonderful friends in the pre-med circle!
- And lastly, remember to relax. Allocate some time each week to do what you love, whether it be sports, journalism, touring your college town/city, exploring, nature, whatever! Doctors and pre-med students alike need rest. Take time on off days or weekends when you can to go out and have fun; you deserve it. College happens once and by the time you’re in med school, things will get seriously adult worldly like. Take time to enjoy college years; they’re something you can never get back. Take it from me. I am a biological sciences and economics double major with a job and board positions in two clubs and memberships in a total of four. I also played intramural volleyball for a season. It is totally possible to go out and enjoy, all while you get studying done. Just remember: Do everything in moderation; too much pleasure can be painful.