Mitchell Joachim’s Techno-Utopian Future

...House. Mitchell Joachim At the risk of being a nattering nabob of negativity, I just have to say that I think it’s time to grow up and stop fantasizing about jet packs, hydroponic farms and electric cars.  We need to get realistic about our future and explore design work that lives within the resource limits of this planet. Like Greer, I believe it’s time to return to what came to be called, in the 1960s and 70s, appropriate techno...

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Root Simple’s New CritterCam

...h a infrared flash and a motion detector. If something moves in front of the camera a picture or video is taken. It also stamps the time and records temperature and moon phase. [See update at the end of this post--this is probably the wrong camera for the application I intend. Thanks Max!] My plan is to use it for some urban, backyard citizen science. Specifically I want to figure out a few things: What mammals are visiting the backyard? What pa...

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Five Lessons We Learned About Lead in Soil

...the most productive thing I can do is to help get the word out about lead soil and how common this problem is in urban areas. Towards that end I though I would share five things that we learned from our backyard lead crisis: Buyer Beware. When you are shopping for a house do multiple soil tests. Once you buy the house it’s too late. Real estate contracts in California (and I suspect elsewhere) have been loaded up with disclaimers about le...

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More On the National Heirloom Exposition

Squash tower at the National Heirloom Exposition Quite honestly, between the lead and zinc in our soil and an endless heat wave that seems to portend climactic disaster, I’ve been a bit dispirited with our little urban homestead project this summer. The Heirloom Exposition up in Santa Rosa lifted me out of my petty depression. The amazing speakers, exhibits and vendors, left me inspired and ready to get back to work. This week I...

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Saturday Linkages: From Plastic Bottle Kayaks to Canine Staircases

Kayak made from plastic bottles. Via Lloyd’s blog. DIY How To Turn A Mason Jar Into A Fermenting Crock – FARMcurious http://www. farmcurious.com/how-to-turn-a- mason-jar-into-a-fermenting-crock/  … Kayak Made from Recycled Bottles in Argentina http:// lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/2012/08/kayak- made-from-recycled-bottles-in.html#.UDPAXX9HYUs.twitter  … Paper Bag Flooring http://www. dudecraft.com/2012/07/paper- bag-floor...

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Apartment Parking Lot Gardening in East Hollywood

...“gardening on” and teach their children ( if they have any) and this is one way they could go about it. My materials List: 1) 1 x 6  x 6 ft.cedar fence boards ( I recommend you go with 1 x 8 though and you can also use redwood). 2) 1 1/2   by 3/8 x 8 f t, redwood lath ( to divide squares up). 3) 2 x 3  x 8 Douglas fir for legs ( You don’t really need legs just place on top bricks or wood to allow for drainage). 4) Pure tung oi...

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Thursday Linkages: Mason Bees, Hawks and Robot Cars

Image: BoingBoing For some reason I neglected to publish last Saturday’s gaggle o’ links. Here is a belated version: Build Your Own Mason Bee House http://boingboing.net/2014/05/16/build-your-own-mason-bee-house.html … Swiss Restaurant Imposes Fine on Customers Wasting Food http://www.ibtimes.co.in/swiss-restaurant-imposes-fine-customers-wasting-food-600131 … via @ibtimesindia1 #foodcrisis Hawks and Rats in NYC, on...

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Saturday Linkages: Well Tended Fires, Gardening Myths and a Spartan House

Image: Low Tech Magazine. Well tended fires outperform modern cooking stoves: http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2014/06/thermal-efficiency-cooking-stoves.html … Grace and Gratitude, an urban homestead in Norfolk http://fw.to/kSevPBG  ‘Hobbit house’ set to be knocked down http://bit.ly/1qttpPH  10 Gardening Myths Busted! http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20815937,00.html … One for the honey: Beekeeping frame st...

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Nominate Your Favorite Complainer

...on to save this garden here. So what sane city official or neighbor would complain about this beautiful garden? It’s a complaint so outrageous, that it attains a kind of athleticism. Joking with some friends last weekend, we came up with the idea of creating an complaint competition patterned after the Olympics. People would complain and then a panel of judges would hold up signs, just like, say, diving or gymnastics. The truth, of course,...

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Saturday Linkages: Can We Please Have More Underpass Chandeliers?

...8mNCY  Massive Water Reduction http://feedly.com/e/v787ggKN  Fodder System Updates http://feedly.com/e/dKXb-Y-Q  It’s Not the Snow, It’s Not the Politics: Blame the Car-Dependent City http://gizmodo.com/its-not-the-snow-its-not-the-politics-blame-the-car-1511337035  MyFigueroa! Needs a Hero as Livable Streets Villains Line Up Against City’s First Cycletracks http://la.streetsblog.org/2014/01/29/myfigueroa-needs-a-hero-as-livable-stree...

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