Archive for April, 2010

Maharishi School Students Win State Science Fairs Researching Jefferson County Farming Effects on Area Waterways

April 30, 2010

Maharishi School Students Research Jefferson County Farming Effects on Area Waterways, Win State Science Fairs

Maharishi School Students, Minna Mohammadi (l) and Pearl Sawhney (r), win at State Science Fair. Their research investigated Jefferson County Farming Effects on Area Waterways. – Photo clickphotographyonline.com

Pearl Sawhney and Minna Mohammadi, Maharishi School sophomores, swept the top prizes at the Eastern Iowa State Science Fair (EISEF) on March 21, as well as the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa (SSTFI) on March 26th and 27th with their project entitled, “Farm Feeding Practices: Exploring Solutions for Environmental Sustainability.” They also won the most coveted prize – a free trip to participate at the INTEL International Science Fair in San Jose with their teacher and mentor, Dr. Mousumi Dey, on May 8th – May 14th.

They won the following categories: first place and $100 at the EISEF, special prize: Iowa Environment and Water Pollution Board, first place and $100 in the Seminar Team Project category, the Power Point Hope Award, first place and $75 in the Environmental Science Senior High category, first place and $1000 for Senior High team, grand prize overall and $1000 in the Senior High category, Iowa Angus Auxiliary Award.

Mohammadi and Sawhney were sponsored in part by Jefferson County Farmers and Neighbors Association. They received mentorship and testing materials from the USDA. Dr. Dennis Dey and Dr. Rajeev Sawhney provided additional mentorship.  The research team examined the relationship between animal feed and pollution in streams. The project impressed and intrigued judges, as it is an area not previously researched. They tested three different types of farms: confined animal feeding operations, conventional farms, and organic farms.

“Animal feed was tested for unbound phosphorous, important for bone growth, and phosphorous bound to phytates, which is indigestible and excreted by the animals,” explained Sawhney. “Manure is applied to fields as fertilizer. Pollution occurs when bound phosphorous enters local streams with run-off. We tested nearby streams, upstream and down, for bound phosphorous levels and biological oxygen demand. Biological oxygen demand is the level of oxygen needed to decompose dead organic matter. High levels of bound phosphorous increases the algae and phytoplankton populations. When the phytoplankton and algae die naturally, they use more oxygen to decompose than they did when living. This significantly lowers oxygen levels, creating an uninhabitable environment. The effects of the bound phosphorous are compounded when the streams enter the Mississippi River. This type of pollution has created a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico that is the size of New Jersey.”

“We found that water running downstream organic farms had the lowest phosphorus content, and biological oxygen demand, and that water running downstream CAFOs had the highest phosphorus and biological oxygen demand. This indicates that organic farms, of the farms we tested, have the least negative effect on nearby water bodies,” explains Mohammadi. “We plan to continue our research and extend it to other counties.”

“The students performed multiple tests,” said Dr. Dey. “All the results were highly statistically significant. The girls collected water under extremely difficult conditions to minimize errors. Also, they took great care and every precaution to get the most accurate results. Such dedication and focus at such a young age is rare. They are continuing to collect more samples. If the area farmers could allow these two young researchers to collect water and soil samples from their land on a regular basis and organizations could help them with some more monetary support, we can have even more thorough results.”

When asked how the students chose their topic, Sawnhey said, “We wanted to find a local solution to a global problem.”

“We didn’t realize what we were getting into,” added Mohammadi. “It was difficult, cold, muddy work collecting samples!”

“We are extremely proud of the high level of scientific research that Minna and Pearl produced,” said Maharishi School Head, Dr. Richard Beall. “As much as their accomplishments, we’re also proud of the social significance of their topic. This research bears real consequence on public health.”

Advertisements

David Lynch interviews Paul McCartney about meeting Maharishi and his first meditation

April 30, 2010

Here are links to two articles on the TM.org Blog with videos of David Lynch interviewing Paul McCartney about his experiences with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Transcendental Meditation. This was recorded by David Lynch Foundation Television during the rehearsal for the Change Begins Within Benefit Concert to teach 1 million at-risk students to meditate. Many celebrities performed on that April 4, 2009 concert. It will be broadcast on PBS starting April 29, 2012, 3 years later, on New York’s channel THIRTEEN.

Here is Heather Harnett’s opening, written a year after the concert, which will now be broadcast on PBS three years later, two years after Heather’s writing about it, all in the month of April.

What a night! A little more than a year ago, on April 4, 2009, former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney headlined a historic, one-night-only benefit concert promoting the Transcendental Meditation technique for the David Lynch Foundation at Radio City Music Hall in New York, entitled “Change Begins Within.” Paul McCartney was joined onstage by his former band-mate Ringo Starr and several other amazing musicians, including Donovan, Eddie Vedder, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, and Moby. Six-thousand energized music fans, foundation well-wishers, and meditation supporters packed the hall for what several press reports called “the musical event of a lifetime.”

Before the concert, before the hubbub and the crazy excitement and the buzz, before it all, David Lynch sat down, individually, with Paul and with Ringo for a quiet talk on camera. They candidly discussed their 40-plus year Transcendental Meditation practice, their meetings with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and how Maharishi and meditation have influenced their lives. It was the first time in decades that Paul and Ringo had spoken of those days that historians have said helped to transform the music, the culture, and the future of the world.

Click here to read the rest of the article: David Lynch Interviews Paul McCartney About Transcendental Meditation (Part 1) and watch Part 1 of the interview followed by Part 2, where Paul McCartney remembers his first meditation with Maharishi.

David Lynch interviews Paul McCartney about Meditation and Maharishi

David Lynch interviews Paul McCartney (Part 2)

See Ringo Starr Interview from the Change Begins Within Benefit Concert and The former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunion for David Lynch’s benefit concert airs on New York’s THIRTEEN, Sunday, April 29.

Maharishi University hopes to set the standard for “green” buildings

April 28, 2010

Maharishi University hopes to set the standard for “green” buildings

by Matt Kelley on April 26, 2010

in Education, Health & Medicine

A new classroom and research building is under construction on a college campus in southeast Iowa that aims to set a new global standard for green buildings.

David Fisher, director of the Sustainable Living program at Maharishi University in Fairfield, says the building promises to be unlike any other structure on the planet.

“It will be off the grid completely with respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal,” Fisher says. “In addition, the building will be day lit throughout the building.”

Banks of solar panels will provide the electricity for the Sustainable Living Center, Fisher says, and solar energy is being used by workers during the construction phase, as well. During the warm months, he says the building will be kept cool using a geothermal system.

“The heating will be done with solar water heaters on the roof,” Fisher says. “We will have insulation provided in part by very local materials, that is compacted earth blocks which came from some earth right across the street that was being cleared out for a parking lot.” That dirt was compacted into 26,000 bricks that will make up the building’s insulation. The building’s skeleton will use whole tree post and beam techniques.

“Water will be all rainwater,” Fisher says. “It will be collected on the roof and stored in a cistern and, of course, for drinking purposes, it’ll all be filtered with (an ultraviolet) filter.” Fisher says the system for handling waste is also accounted for as a green effort. Fisher says, “We have a constructed wetland and we’re planning to use a system that’s similar to what they use in submarines and on space capsules, purifying the water with a system that puts very, very finely-divided bubbles through the water to keep it aerobic and to completely degrade all of the organic matter so as to purify the water.”

Fisher says the building is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world. It will also be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification, Building Biology and Maharishi Vedic Architecture.

The building will serve as the base for the university’s Sustainable Living major. It will have classrooms, a workshop, a meeting room, a greenhouse, a kitchen, a research lab, a recycling center and offices. Fisher says it’ll be a building that teaches. The one-point-seven million dollar project is expected to be complete late this year.

Sustainable Living Center is unique in USA

April 26, 2010

Sustainable Living Center is unique in United States

Front page, Friday, April 23, 2010; published online: 4/26/2010

As ancient walls continue to crumble the world over, a few new ones went up yesterday in Iowa’s hippest farmtown.

The Sustainable Living Center at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield was the scene of a modern-day barnraising. Walls were tilted and roof trusses placed during the Earth Day event.

The structure uses “whole tree” post and beam techniques.

“It will set a new standard for green building in America by being completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating and cooling, water and waste,” MUM director of media relations Ken Chawkin said.

Innovative Design of North Carolina conceived the building to meet the Living Building Challenge, a standard for sustainable design introduced at the 2006 Greenbuild Conference in Denver, Colo. The SLC is the first to combine that standard with those of LEED platinum certification, Building Biology standards, and Maharishi Vedic architecture guidelines.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design system was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and is an internationally recognized third-party certification. Vedic architecture is based on Hindu traditions emphasizing the use of natural materials such as wood, bricks, adobe, stucco and marble.

“There’s no other building like this going up in the nation, or in the world for that matter, that we know of,” said Mike Nicklas, SLC co-designer and president of Innovative Design.

The company has created over 4000 structures that use renewable energy solutions. Nicklas participated in the first Earth Day in 1970.

The SLC building is slated for university occupation this fall.

“It’s a building that teaches,” Chawkin said. The SLC will provide students with classrooms, workshop, meeting room, greenhouse, kitchen, research lab, recycling center and offices.

In addition to embodying sustainability, the SLC will allow students to interactively monitor performance and energy efficiency.

MUM Sustainable Living Department head David Fisher, who helped plan the building, said the SLC will be a living, evolving project.

“The building itself is an educational tool, not just a passive one like most classroom buildings,” Fisher said. “It will provide participatory education where students will be continually adding to or altering the building and grounds, as well as systematically checking its effectiveness.”

The SLC is designed to be completely off-grid. Construction uses all non-toxic materials from local sources, as defined by the Living Building Challenge requirements.

All energy will be provided from solar panels on the building and from an outside wind turbine. Rainwater catchment will be the complete source of the building’s water, with purification of drinking water via ultraviolet technology.

Wastewater will be treated on-site using a constructed wetland. Natural daylighting will illuminate the entire interior. Geothermal technology will assist with heating and cooling.

None of the planned systems in the building are new or experimental, according to construction manager Dal Loiselle, who said the SLC uses “state-of-the-shelf” technologies.

“This building proves that we can meet our environmental goals for our built environment with the materials, technologies, and green building protocols we already possess,” Loiselle said.

Sustainability is a major focus at MUM, which has long promoted techniques for living in harmony with nature. The school was founded in 1974 by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as an international center for teaching Transcendental Meditation.

MUM filed a climate action plan to be 100 percent carbon-neutral by 2020 as part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, named in 2009 by MSN.com as one of the nation’s 15 greenest mayors — alongside those of New York, Seattle and San Francisco — said the SLC holds promise for a sustainable future.

“Our city will benefit enormously by having this building on the campus of MUM as a demonstration of a new standard of design,” Malloy said.

The Sustainable Living Center includes material donations from nationally recognized leaders in green building materials, including Gerdau AmeriSteel, Pittsburgh Corning and United States Gypsum Corporation, as well as Green Building Supply of Fairfield.

Yesterday’s event was part of MUM’s tenth annual EcoFair, which runs from April 30 to May 2 at the Argiro Student Center, 1000 N. Fourth St., Fairfield.

2 comment(s) found

Prgressive!: 4/27/2010

Fairfield,Iowa/Maharishi University of Management is a creative outpost ~ of a life worth living; healthy, in tune with nature, cutting edge and friendly. Thank you to all involved.

Small Town USA: 4/26/2010

Its great to see even the small towns and universities going full swing into this Green thing. Whoo Hoo!

David Lynch on Transcendental Meditation: an interview with David Servan-Schreiber in Paris

April 26, 2010

What is Transcendental Meditation?

David Lynch Interview with Dr. David Servan-Schreiber

Paris, April 17, 2010

David Lynch, director, tells David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, about the benefits of a daily use of Transcendental Meditation. Mr. Lynch is working on a film about the life of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought back Transcendental Meditation in Occidental countries in the 60s. Interviewed in Paris, April 17, 2010. Here is a link to the full interview posted on DailyMotion: http://dai.ly/a9wgDS.

Visit the David Lynch Foundation to see the amazing work that is being done for at-risk populations: www.davidlynchfoundation.org

This interview was later uploaded onto YouTube in 4 parts by on Jun 22, 2010, in English and French versions. It includes this bio on the interviewer, Dr. David Servan-Schreiber.

Paris, 17 April 2010. Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, is a French physician and neuroscientist. Clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, he is also co-founder of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Following his volunteer activity as physician in Iraq in 1991, he was one of the founders of the US branch of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), the international organization that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999. He also served as volunteer in Guatemala, Kurdistan, Tajikistan, India and Kosovo. In 2002 he was awarded the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society Presidential Award for Outstanding Career in Psychiatry.

Author of “Healing Without Freud or Prozac” (translated in 29 languages, 1.3 million copies sold), and “Anticancer, a New Way of Life” (translated in 35 languages, New York Times and international best-seller, 1 million copies in print) in which he discloses his own diagnosis with a malignant brain tumor at the age of 31 and the treatment program that he put together to help himself beyond his surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Dr. David Servan-Schreiber is also a regular columnist for Ode Magazine and other publications, and the founder of the French anti-cancer site Guerir.org (“Healing”). See also www.anticancerbook.com.

I just checked his website and discovered that after a 20-year battle with cancer, David Servan-Schreiber passed away on July 24, 2011.

France24 Interview – David Lynch, film director

April 23, 2010

In this edition our guest is American filmmaker David Lynch, famous for directing such films as ‘Elephant Man’ and ‘Mulholland Drive’. But today he tells us about his experiences in Transcendental Meditation, which he has been practicing for over 30 years. This is a two-part interview.

David Lynch, film director

David Lynch, film director (part two)

THE F24 INTERVIEW

‘Green’ learning in sustainable classrooms

April 23, 2010

Local News April 23, 2010

‘Green’ learning in sustainable classrooms

Maharishi University of Management constructs an off-the-grid academic building for sustainable living majors

MATT MILNER Courier Staff Writer

Matt Milner/The Courier Construction workers had to move carefully to avoid excessive damage to the tree trunks that will be a signature element in the new building for MUM’s sustainable living program. The school held a ceremony at the site on Thursday to mark Earth Day

FAIRFIELD — Builders and backers of the new home for sustainable living majors at Maharishi University of Management say nothing like it has been attempted anywhere.

It’s easy to believe them.

The construction brings together four basic philosophies. Three are focused on environmental impact and resource demands. The fourth is, as all new buildings at the college are, based on Vedic concepts. It’s a tough combination to pull off.

When complete, the building will be completely off the grid for electrical power, climate control and waste removal. The goal is creation of a building that meets the university’s needs for classroom and office space while demonstrating concepts the students learn inside.

Dr. David Fisher, director of the sustainable living department, thinks the building will help draw students. That has not been a problem for the program, which opened in 2003 with six students and now has 80 sustainable living majors. He called it an “incredible environmental building.”

It is not large as academic buildings go. That’s intentional.

“We didn’t want to make it too large because we’re trying to do so much,” Fisher said.

Right now the site doesn’t look markedly different from any other building under construction. Stud framed walls are the exterior on two sides. The other two are still open. The biggest clues that something different is going on are the nearly full-sized tree trunks that form part of one hallway. Others lay around the site, ready to be raised.

The trees being used are aspens. They are fast-growing and were harvested from a farm dedicated to sustaining its population. A slight sheen and a lack of bark are the only things that show they have been processed for construction. Builders said the trunks have strength similar to steel when they are maintained instead of sawed into boards.

Dal Loiselle, the developer and construction manager for the site, has worked on “green” building sites for 21 years. He said the costs are not all that different from those involved in traditional construction, provided the effort is made from the start. Adding environmentally friendly traits to an existing project can be expensive.

“It entails commitment, basically,” he said. “It’s just a matter of having the desire and doing it.”

Loiselle emphasized that none of the technology being incorporated is new. It’s off the shelf stuff that any builder can use.

The completed structure will be LEED platinum certified and meet the requirements for building biology, Vedic architecture and the Living Building Challenge. Students will have access to the roof and walls to study the concepts they learn in class. Monitors will track every shift in temperature, humidity and environmental change, wired into a website people can check from anywhere in the world.

Thursday’s ceremony was somewhere between a groundbreaking and a dedication, tied into Earth Day at MUM. It’s the 40th Earth Day, noted Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy. He expressed the hope that the building’s edge-of-the-envelope attempt today will be standard in another 40 years.

Matt Milner can be reached at (641) 683-5359 or via e-mail at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com

KTVO-3: Greenest building in America in Fairfield

April 23, 2010

Video: http://www.heartlandconnection.com/news/video.aspx?id=447437

Maharishi University of Management’s new Sustainable Living Center is a building that will set a new standard for green building in America by being completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating and cooling, water, and waste.

Greenest building in America in Fairfield

The new sustainable living center will be one of three buildings in the U.S. to meet the Living Building Challenge
By Alex Halfmann
Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 6:12 p.m.

FAIRFIELD, IOWA — One heartland university aims to practice what they preach, and what they preach exemplifies Earth Day.

Maharishi University of Management’s new Sustainable Living Center will be one of the greenest buildings in America when completed this fall.

The University’s sustainable living program will utilize the building, which will help students understand firsthand what they are learning.

“The students will be able to see in the building that they are occupying what we are teaching. This building will be off the grid completely in respect to electricity, heating, cooling, water, and waste disposal,” said Maharishi University’s Director of the sustainable living program David Fisher.

The building is designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world.

“After a while, the U.S. Green Building Council realized there was a lot more buildings could do so they came up with the Living Building Challenge which is much more stringent than even the LEED Platnium. In fact, they have now gone to the 2nd version of the Living Building Challenge” Fisher said.

Parts of the project  literally come from the school’s backyard.

“We’re using compacted earth blocks that come from earth just across the street where they were clearing out a parking lot.  We took that soil, compacted it into 26,000 earth blocks, and so that will serve as thermal mass which will help insulate the building,” Fisher said.

While the building might look relatively bare on Earth Day, they expect the roof, complete with solar panels, to be installed by the end of next week. The site will then use only electricity generated on site.

The building will be one of the first three to achieve the Living Building Challenge’s standards. It will be unique because it will be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification.

“There’s no other building like this going up in the nation, or in the world for that matter, that we know of.”

April 21, 2010

MUM to Erect Walls of New Off-the-Grid Building on Earth Day

Sustainable Living Center Will Be Unique in the Country

Press Conference and Earth Day Event Scheduled for 12:45 p.m. April 22

On Earth Day, April 22, the walls and the roof will go up on Maharishi University of Management’s new Sustainable Living Center — a building that will set a new standard for green building in America by being completely off the grid with respect to electricity, heating and cooling, water, and waste.

The Sustainable Living Center has been designed to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest standard for sustainable design and green building in the world. It will be one of the first three to achieve this. And it will be unique because it will be the first to combine that standard with the standards of LEED Platinum certification, Building Biology, and Maharishi Vedic Architecture.

“There’s no other building like this going up in the nation, or in the world for that matter, that we know of,” said nationally known green building expert Mike Nicklas, who co-designed the building and whose company Innovative Design has designed over 4000 buildings that use renewable energy solutions.

Whole Tree Post and Beam Construction

Construction will proceed quickly on Earth Day because the structure uses Whole Tree post and beam techniques. The walls will be tilted up and roof trusses placed on them.

The entire shell of the building should be completed within about a week, and the building is expected to be ready for occupation in late fall.

A Building That Teaches

The Sustainable Living Center will serve students in the university’s Sustainable Living major. It will have classrooms, workshop, meeting room, greenhouse, kitchen, research lab, recycling center, and offices, as well as east and west covered verandas and a porch on the north.

It has been designed as a building that teaches. In addition to embodying sustainability, it will allow students to monitor performance and energy efficiency and make adjustments.

“The Sustainable Living Center will be a living, evolving building,” said David Fisher, head of the MUM Sustainable Living Department, who helped plan the building. “The building itself is an educational tool, not just a passive one like most classroom buildings. It will provide participatory education where students will be continually adding to, or altering, the building and grounds as well as systematically checking its effectiveness.”

Off the Grid

The Sustainable Living Center will be completely off of the energy and utility grid. Every feature will exemplify healthy and sustainable green building — and will be geared to teaching those principles.

Construction uses all non-toxic materials from local sources (as defined by the Living Building Challenge requirements). All energy will be provided from solar panels on the building and from an outside wind turbine. Rainwater catchment will be the complete source of the building’s water, with purification of drinking water via ultraviolet technology. Wastewater will be treated onsite using a constructed wetland. Natural daylighting will illuminate the entire interior. Geothermal technology will assist with heating and cooling.

An Embodiment of Sustainability That’s Feasible and Practical

This achievement is remarkable because none of the systems in the building are new or experimental, according to construction manager Dal Loiselle. “The Sustainable Living Center is being constructed using ‘state-of-the-shelf technologies,” he said. “This building proves that we can meet our environmental goals for our built environment with the materials, technologies, and green building protocols we already possess.”

A Community Oriented Toward Sustainability

Sustainability has become a major focus at Maharishi University of Management, which has long used techniques for living in harmony with natural law, including the Transcendental Meditation technique and other Vedic technologies including Vedic Architecture. The University has filed a climate action plan to be 100% carbon neutral by 2020 as part of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Fairfield, too, has taken a strong direction toward sustainability, hiring a sustainability coordinator and moving ahead with various initiatives. In 2009, MSN.com named Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy as one of the nation’s 15 greenest mayors — alongside the mayors of New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, and Salt Lake City.

“Our city will benefit enormously by having this building on the campus of MUM as a demonstration of a new standard of design and will reinforce our commitment in Fairfield to changing the culture towards a more sustainable future,” Mayor Malloy said.

The Sustainable Living Center has also benefited from material donations by nationally recognized leaders in green building materials: Gerdau AmeriSteel, Pittsburgh Corning and United States Gypsum Corporation, as well as from Green Building Supply of Fairfield, IA.

• • •

A press conference will be held on Earth Day, April 22, at 12:45 p.m. at the site of the Sustainable Living Center construction just north of the MUM library on Highway 1.

Available for media interviews: Sustainable Living department head David Fisher, construction manager Dal Loiselle, Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy, and associate design architect Jon Lipman.

The Building will also be a showcase for the public, and will feature meeting rooms, a real-time energy and renewable systems monitor, and displays of materials and building systems featured in the building to showcase partnerships with leading technologies and materials manufacturers.  For more information please contact: Marco Sunseri @ 641-472-7000 x2449.

My Son’s Sensei: A Tanka about my son’s Aikido teacher

April 21, 2010

My Son’s Sensei
A tanka about my son’s Aikido teacher

Rooted to the ground
She repels her attackers
Flowing, not moving.

In storms, trees bear great burdens
Bending, not breaking.

—Ken Chawkin

(more…)


%d bloggers like this: