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Alastair Bland

Alastair Bland is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. He writes frequently of food, science, and the environment. He travels frequently — often by bicycle — and his journeys can be followed at his blog “Off the Road” (

Latest from Alastair Bland

Just where and when humans first observed the chemical reaction between oil and potash is unknown. One legend says it was at “Mount Sapo” in ancient Rome, where a creek flowed over a deposit of wood ash and animal fats created by sacrificial fires for the gods. There’s evidence that... Read more »

This winter, my dad and I took up the project of building a simple pedal-powered cell phone charger to mount on my bicycle. Cell phones are small potatoes in the big picture of energy consumption, but the apparatus we built could be a very practical concept for those on self-supported... Read more »


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