Filter Fail: How to Cure Internet Addiction

...BoingBoing, Twitter, LinkedIn and Root Simple (of course).  Not to mention , This used to be called “information overload,” but I prefer the phrase “filter fail” that Douglas Rushkoff introduces in his book Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now (Rushokoff borrows this idea from the writer Clay Shirky). The problem is not that there’s too much information out there. The problem is that we’ve failed to scree...

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Defining a Garden’s Purpose

...urpose in mind you can see why they made the design decisions they made. To fulfill those functions they created multiple outdoor rooms. It was easy to imagine living in the building and wandering down to the garden to read a book, do some work on a laptop, throw a party or simply to soak in the overwhelming peacefulness of this lush space. Sean Stout looking down on the garden from the balcony of his apartment. It’s also clear that the Org...

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Annie’s Annuals and Perennials

...ing sourced their plants from Annie’s. And in addition to unusual and rare ornamental plants, Annie’s has a great selection of edibles. It’s first time I’ve ever seen Oca (Oxalis tuberosa) outside of a book. I had to keep a tight grip on my credit card to prevent myself from buying plants I had no way of getting home on my bike. The good news is that Annie’s does mail order. And she’s got a bunch of tutorial vi...

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What is Killing the Bees?

...om moving freely through the hive. Kill the queen and re-queen every year, often using artificially inseminated queens. Import hives from other climates. Feed hives high fructose corn syrup. Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s new book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder warns about what happens when we prop up and interfere with complex systems like beehives or the economy. When we don’t allow failure (such as trying to prevent mites w...

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Fabulous Postcards from HenCam

From Vintage Chicken Photographs. Terry says this picture reminds her of Erik. It reminds me of our friend Craig at Winnetka Farms. Whichever! Let’s hear it for tall handsome gentlemen holding poultry! Our friend Terry over at the great chicken site HenCam has produced three lovely sets of postcard books based on antique photos of people with animals. One set is people and chickens, the second is people with other livestock, and the third...

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How to Answer the Question, “What Should I Do With My Life?”

Yes, that kitten is Phoebe, back in her blue-eyed days. I headed down to San Diego County earlier this summer to do a talk at Growcology. Bianca Heyming, who runs Growcology along with her husband Nick, told me some advice her dad passed on to her about how to figure out one’s path in life. It’s the best wisdom I’ve ever heard on the subject. Her dad told her, “Look at what books are on your bookshelf and do that.”...

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What the Internet Will Look Like After the Zombie Apocalypse

Enterprising amateur radio operators in Texas, over the past several years, have created a wireless high speed data network, called HSMM-MESH or Broadband-Hamnet, completely independent of the internet. The map above is the network built by HAMs in Austin, Texas. Basically it’s a bunch of hacked Linksys routers connecting wirelessly over a wide area. Plug a laptop into any of the routers and you can trade messages, files and live video ba...

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Food Preservation Disasters

...vow to use tested recipes from trusted sources. Both for food safety reasons and culinary reasons, it’s a good idea to use trusted sources for home preservation projects. Some of the recipes I tried were from unfamiliar books and dubious websites. Some sources I’ve come to trust: The National Center for Home Food Preservation’s website. Kevin West’s book Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, a...

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