It’s official: I’m a Ham

How blog posts will be issued from now on. Image: Library of Congress. It’s been on my to-do list for years–get my ham radio licence. I took a six week class offered by the Pasadena Radio Club to study for the technician class licence and on a whim crammed for the general class. I passed both tests and as of yesterday am now also known as KK6HUF. Many thanks to W6MES, who volunteered his time to teach the class and to the major memor...

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Getting my Ham Radio License

...8217;m deep in the cultural dumpster I often run into fellow scavenger John Michael Greer, a.k.a. the Archdruid. When I met him at the Age of Limits conference he held court on some of my favorite forgotten ideas: appropriate technology, fraternal societies and Ham radio. A Ham himself, Greer recommended I read an amazingly odd book, Instruments of Amplification, which actually has directions for building your own transistors from junk. I’l...

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Farm Hack

Farm Hack is an innovative blog that synthesizes high tech and low tech in the service of growing food and community. The blog is run by the National Young Farmers Coalition. While geared towards agriculture, many of the posts will be of interest to backyard gardeners. Recent subjects include a project to develop an infrared camera to monitor plant health, smartphone tools for farmers and open source appropriate technology resources. It’s...

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The Elysium Delusion

If the futurist projections of my childhood had come true, by 2013 we should have all been living in a spinning subdivision in earth orbit by now. But space colonization is a concept that’s always bugged me. It strikes me an irresponsible escape: rather than fix things on earth, let’s all get the hell out–it’s the ultimate form of suburban flight. NASA’s 1970s era version of Elysium The heyday of space colonization...

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Time for some comments . . .

Photo by Andreas Gursky. We had thought that we’d just have a few posts about the Age of Limits conference and get back to the appropriate technology and home economics posts that are the norm at Root Simple. But, judging from the comments and emails we’ve been getting, it seems we’ve brought up a topic that needs deeper exploration, so we’re going to do a few more posts related to the Triple Headed Hydra of Despair: Cl...

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Book Review: More Other Homes and Garbage Designs for Self-Sufficient Living

If I could have only one book on my zombie apocalypse bookshelf it would be this one. Though it has to be one of the worst book titles ever, More Other Homes and Garbage: Designs for Self-Sufficient Living, by Standford University professors, Jim Leckie, Gil Masters, Harry Whitehouse and Lily Young has everything you need to set up your off-grid compound. This book, first published in 1975 and revised in 1981, grew out of a heady period in appr...

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Post Petroleum Lecture – a reminder

...tdown: Nuclear Power on Trial (1979) and Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do (1990). His Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Changing Times (New Society 2006) envisions the world as it will be transformed by peak oil and climate change, and offers a prescription for re-inhabitation. As one of the founders of the Eco village Network of the Americas (1994) and the Global Eco village Network (1995), Albert...

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StoveTec’s Hot Rocket Stoves

...17;s research. StoveTec sells two rocket stoves, one for wood and the other for both wood and charcoal. While I haven’t tested one, the $37 to $40 price is a bargain. Rocket stoves are a simple “appropriatetechnology that burns small pieces of wood and charcoal efficiently. We’ve blogged about them before and even constructed our own out of a vent pipe and bricks. Instead of burning a log to cook you can use trimmings fr...

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Steve Solomon’s Soil and Health e-Library

...I. Rodale and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. The “Homesteading” part of the library contains tomes dating from the 1700s (William Ellis’ The Country Housewife’s Family Companion), all the way to the appropriate technology movement of the 1970s (Gene Logsdon’s Getting Food From Water: A guide to Backyard Aquaculture).  So go load up those e-readers. Or maybe print them out in case we have a revolution....

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Post Petroleum Lecture

...tdown: Nuclear Power on Trial (1979) and Climate in Crisis: The Greenhouse Effect and What We Can Do (1990). His Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook: Recipes for Changing Times (New Society 2006) envisions the world as it will be transformed by peak oil and climate change, and offers a prescription for re-inhabitation. As one of the founders of the Eco village Network of the Americas (1994) and the Global Eco village Network (1995), Albert...

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