Enter: the LifeStraw, a 25mm pipe with a filter in it. With no moving parts or power plug, the straw, when sucked, filters out sediment, toxins, and--most important of all--bacteria. And for two bucks, it'll provide clean water for one person for a year. Amazing. As Gil Friend puts it:
Got that folks? Clean water for a year for two bucks! Clean water for the four billion of us at the bottom of the pyramid for $8b a year. (Or just the billion or so of us without access to safe water supplies.) Peanuts, in the scheme of things. Less than 1% of the 2002 (pre-Iraq War) global military budget. (Other stats from our Sense of Proportion Department, courtesy the World Bank: Gross National Income, globally, 2002: $31.7 trillion US (31.5 x 10^12); high income counties, $25.6 T, middle income, $5.06 T, low income countries, $1.07 T)No wonder Gil is wondering if it's the "invention of the century."