Ben, generating

The first thing we noticed in Ben Brickett’s shop was a waiting pot of coffee. The second through 30th things were all manner of wind and water energy-harvesting devices in varying states of repair. Ben lives in Eliot, Maine, across the estuary from the University of New Hampshire, and provides a wise, real world context to some of the ideas spawned across the water.

It’s a lovely spot. But while you are absentmindedly enjoying the view, Ben is inventing. He holds several patents that spring from a mind that is at one with the sea, such as a microchip-embedded fishing line and a tension-activated line cutter that allows ensnared whales to escape.

They say that if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. It is impossible to imagine Ben having a bad day, because the passion is infectious.

But it is constrained by the utmost practicality. Ben looks down his nose at anything that has one single more moving part than is absolutely necessary. That is why, when your power system is 50 feet under the ocean and three miles from shore, your pulse need not race. Because your generators were built by him.


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