So I’ve got $271,828,182 in procceds from [del]looting and auctioning the treasures of Atlantis[/del] [del]selling BP stock short[/del] church bingo winnings to [del]hide from Aquaman[/del] [del]launder[/del] invest. Most of it is already earmarked for various enterprises about which y’all need not concern yourselves, but I’ve set aside $20 million to invest in the business projects of various Dopers. I mean, where am I gonna find a group of smarter, hipper entrepreneurs? Detroit?
Tell me what enterprise you’d start up with a cool million, and why I should cut you a check and put you to work. Both serious and silly answers are welcome; bonus points for expressing yourself in haiku or limerick.
Not an investment, but a donation: I’d use the million dollars to pay a small dev team to improve existing software that helps dissidents circumvent the Great Firewall of China, and develop new software, with an emphasis on ease-of-use. (Think “censorship circumvention your grandmother could use.”) A million dollars wouldn’t be enough to solve the bandwidth problem - Great Firewall circumvention requires proxy servers, which need alarming amounts of bandwidth - but it might help generate some useful new tools.
Budding startup designing passive-solar houses needs angel venture capital for expansion.
Building technique demionstrates that even in Canada’s harsh climate, buildings may be constructed that need only the heat of the earth and the sun to stay warm. Prototype house with proven 15-year track record.
The 2300-square-foot prototype was built with volunteer labour and much recycled material for less than $50,000. A similar building built with paid labour and new materials might be less than $100/square foot, depending on land costs.
The house has massive rammed-earth walls that are insulated on the outside. Their temperature does not drop below that of the local ground at depth below the frost line. The sun’s heat tops up the walls to room temerature.
We need funding to do thermodynamic analysis to establish guidelines for insulatiion levels and room sizing beyond the rules-of-thumb we have now. Structural analysis we have on hand. We also need to hire drafters, estimators, and marketing people.
If I had a million dollars to change the world in the most efficient way possible I would try to start up a charity to hire journalists and operate as a not for profit news agency providing stories for free or at cost to other news agencies. I’d emphasise under reported areas such as good quality scientific, technology, and international stories and try to provide unbiased political reporting.
Summers are short enough here that the massive walls never have a chance to warm up past comfortable temperature. Consider also the angle of the sun: in winter, it is low, and incoming sunlight shines all the way to the back of the rooms, warming as it goes. Ideally, the windows are tilted to meet the lowest winter sun at a right angle. In summer, the sun is high, and less sunlight enters the windows to start with because the apparent window opening is smaller. Some sunlight bounces off the windows because it’s no longer arriving at a right angle to the glass. That sunlight which does enter falls on the plants inside and is used by them rather than heating the floors. (Oh, did I mention the interior gardens? We’ve grown lemons, dates, roses, jasmine, and grapes when it’s -20C outside. )