Build a Worm Tower

...allow the worms to come and go. Food and bedding is dropped in the top, which is kept capped. We happen to have worm & compost expert Nancy Klehm staying with us this weekend, and she explained to us that this particular technology makes a lot of sense for hot, dry climates (note the video comes from Australia), because it’s sunken and it allows the worms to distribute themselves in the cool soil during the day. Conversely, I can imagi...

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Why I like being groped by the TSA

.... It brought meaning my day, meaning and interest which I’d not have experienced otherwise. I walked away from the grope smiling, skin still tingling a little from contact. I’d escaped the dehumanizing scanner technology and found a more meaningful, low-tech way to pass through airport security and I’d had an experience I could chew on for a while. I was satisfied. In the halls of Security Theater, you take what you can ge...

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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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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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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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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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Poo Salon and Urban Forage Classes with Nancy Klehm

...a revolutionary urban lifestyle, you’ll want to know these techniques. Nancy, a world class humanure expert, describes this class as part philosophical discussion, part problem solving session, part introduction to the technology of composting.• Foraged snacks provided. BYOB to share. SOLD OUT. But you can put yourself on a waiting list for a possible second session by sending an email with “Poo Salon waiting list” in the subj...

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Behold the Western Electric 500

...til I decided to fix a wiring flaw that silenced its bells. The WE 500 should be the poster child for Mr. Jalopy’s Owner’s Manifesto as it adheres to all the tenets:  The case is easy to open, all connections are labeled and subassemblies dissemble with ease. Virtually all repairs can be done with a screwdriver. And phone companies, to this day, stick to backwards compatibility–you can still use a dial phone to make a call. Som...

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Essential System #3 – Sew Your Own Damn Clothes

...The Return of Quetzalcoatl says, Instead of envisioning an ultimately boring technological singularity, we might be better served by considering an evolution of technique, of skillful means, aimed at this world, as it is now. Technology might find its proper place in our lives if we experienced such a shift in perspective–in a society oriented around technique, we might find that we desired far less gadgetry. We might start to prefer slowne...

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