Reforming City Codes

...n be as simple as throwing a party. Our neighbors used a new social networking website called Nextdoor to organize a neighborhood party. I realized at that party just how important it is to get neighbors to chat over food and beer. If we’re all friends, we’re less likely to start calling city inspectors on each other and more likely to resolve disputes face to face. Another step would be to create city codes that work as guidelines, s...

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Saturday Linkages: From Bananas to Laird’s Laws

...h linked to UK supermarket supplier’s plastic http://gu.com/p/3eb3b/tw  Solicitor George Cooper’s diaries give insight into Victorian life with his watercolour paintings http://bit.ly/yFANsU  Recreation of ancient beer suggests it was really, really gross http://io9.com/recreation-of-ancient-beer-suggests-it-was-sour-and-ful-572664886 … Laird’s Laws http://shar.es/OPik9  For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter:...

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The Heineken World Brick

It’s a great idea that never got beyond a run of about 100,000–Heineken’s “World Bottle”–a beer bottle that doubles as a building material. It was a collaboration between Alfred Heineken and Dutch architect John Habraken back in the early 1960s. The story goes that the idea came when Heineken saw tons of his own beer bottles washed up on a Caribbean beach that also lacked affordable building materials. It wou...

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SIPS and Kraut at Project Butterfly

...making your house, apartment and kitchen a center of production. This lecture/workshop by the authors of The Urban Homestead, Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen will introduce you to how to grow your own food, make pickles, ferment beer, keep chickens, bake bread and turn your waste products into valuable resources. By stepping into the DIY movement, we’ll create a paradigm shift that will improve our lives, our community and our planet. Erik Knu...

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The New Home Economics

photo above by whiteafrican photo on right by Wayan Vota So what is this simple, elegantly designed object? It’s a bottle opener from Africa as seen on one of our favorite blogs, AfriGadget. Tough times call for elemental solutions, not to mention popping the cap off a beer. And speaking of tough times and ingenuity, with our economy continuing to meltdown and unemployment on the rise (check out this youtube interview with author Nasim N...

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Bottle Cap Wreath

Homegrown Neighbor here: I love Christmas. I love eating cookies, getting together with friends and family and of course, an excuse to make things. I was inspired this weekend to get a little crafty. My front door needed a wreath and I have a huge collection of beer bottle caps so of course I made a bottle cap wreath. I used a simple piece of wire as a form and a lot of hot glue. I tied the wire around a ceramic bowl to shape it. That’s...

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Carlo Petrini and Slow Food: A Joyful Revolution

...believes in the power of pleasure, saying that we are on the verge of a “joyful revolution.” “Use pleasure as the basis for change” as he put it. He noted that when he first visited the US, in terms of beer, there was only Budweiser. The micro brew revolution brought diversity, and good taste, back to beer. He believes that we as consumers need to think of ourselves as co-producers with farmers. Our choices make a differen...

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Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent or LED?

...al quality of LED light. They are not so good for lighting an entire room. Many compact florescents (CFL) will have short lifespans if you put them in sealed, enclosed or recessed lighting fixtures. You also have to check the label and perhaps even call the manufacturer to figure out if a CFL will work in a horizontal, base-up or base-down fixture. CFLs perform poorly if turned on and off without at least 15 to 30 minutes to warm up. CFLs contain...

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How to save tomato seed

...paper plates. Tomato seeds stick to paper towels, so if you use those you may end up having to plant the seeds on their little bits of towel. Once they are bone dry, transfer to envelopes or glass jars for storage. Be sure to label! *I just lost a batch to germination. I blame the heat. It didn’t seem like they’d be fermenting that long, but after I drained my seeds I saw the tiny little white nubbins poking out of the seeds. Now I...

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Stickers for the Organic Gardener

Via BoingBoing a clever re-purposing: “Evil Mad Scientist Labs wants you to proudly label your organic garden with these handsome “Now Slower and with More Bugs!” stickers, originally produced to adorn software products. The influence of the Slow Food movement is increasing, and gardening is getting ever more popular. Even the tech bloggers are posting about local pollinators and getting beehives. In this environment, it is fi...

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