Media Fasting

...Mark Frauenfelder posted on BoingBoing some time ago. It works really well for deciding if a particular political situation is worth paying attention to: I want to be abundantly clear that I am not a Luddite.  Communications technology, especially the internet, have an important role in making this world a better place. But we have the power to be the gatekeeper of that information. What we feed into our higher consciousness has the power to cha...

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Tame the Email Beast and Have Time To Run Your Urban Homestead

The original smart phone? When Kelly and I do a book appearance one of the most common questions is, “How do you have time for all this stuff?” Our response is two parts. The first is to say that we don’t recommend people try to do everything in our book but, instead, focus on the things you like to do most. The time will appear as your interests and priorities shift. The second is that we don’t watch TV. That b...

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End of Summer Photos

...lly planted some potatoes amongst her sweet potato patch. We got a few potatoes and some pretty potato flowers. My friends Gloria and Steve, who own a small herd of goats, did a goat milk tasting at the Institute of Domestic Technology comparing their backyard milk against a couple of store bought goat milks and some cow milk. Guess what? Fresh goat milk from the backyard is delicious and does not taste “goaty”. Store bought goat mil...

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Boycott Hollywood!

...got me wondering what, exactly, do we need film companies for? Do we need the advertising they produce? Do we need violent movies and TV shows? Do we need their opposition, through legislation like SOPA and ACTA, to internet technology? I appreciate that many of my friends and neighbors work hard in this industry and derive their livelihood from it. But maybe, as media theorist Daniel Rushkoff would say, it’s time for a break during which...

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The World’s First Lamp

...th their ends poking just a little way off the side of the shell. Those are the wicks. This is a shell lamp. This is perhaps what the first lamp ever looked like. (A Paleo-lamp?) At the very least, this is a fundamental human technology. When you build one, you’re echoing the practices of so many cultures over so much history–from the flat clay oil lamps of Rome to the soapstone lamps of the Inuit to the the ghee-burning temple lamps...

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Revolution: A New TV Series About Extreme Suburban Homesteading

...ow food,” says the narrator. “Electricity” is not how we grow our food. Electricity is generated from finite sources, primarily coal and natural gas. And we use a lot of oil, of course, to grow our food. Our technology, especially the internet and smart phones has radically externalized what used to be  collective and individual cultural memory. It’s notable that this story places so much value on a flash drive as a reposi...

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Five Lessons We Learned About Lead in Soil

...and the economy with an attitude of humility and admit our ignorance. When we fool around with complex systems we’re asking for trouble. Rhetorical lesson. There should be a logical fallacy called the “appeal to technology.” It’s the idea that there just has to be a technological solution to every problem. This is a very common fallacy in our age. Some people have suggested that I try phytoremediation, the process of gr...

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Pure Vegan

...ill find are some of my favorite ethnic foods: a nut mixture called Dukkah and roasted red pepper paste from Armenia called muhammarah. There’s also an idiot proof bread recipe that I teach at the Institute for Domestic Technology that Shuldiner runs. And, do I need to mention the vegan cocktails? Full disclosure: Kelly and I helped test a few of the recipes in this book. Neither of us are vegans, but I’d happily make this book a part...

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Don’t store your cucumbers in the fridge

Image courtesy of UC Davis. Photographer: Don Edwards Just in time for cucumber season, some news that surprises me. Did you know that you should store cucumbers at room temperature? Credit for my enlightenment goes to UC Davis. (May I just say bless UC Davis for all the good it does?) In this case I’m referencing their department of Post Harvest Technology. According to them, cukes should be stored at room temperature. If you do...

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