The Elf and Ethics

The Elf is a kind of aerodynamic, electric assist tricycle with solar panels to charge the batteries. It’s a type of vehicle, somewhere between a bike and a car, that a number of inventors have tinkered with over the years. Good arguments exist for and against this type of transportation. On the one hand it uses far fewer resources than an automobile. But one could also argue, as does the owner of a bike shop in this video, that we’...

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Saturday Linkages: Basil Downy Mildew, Bees and Grow Lights

Downy mildew on your basil? WANTED: Information on Occurrence of Basil Downy Mildew. | Garden Rant http://gardenrant.com/2014/06/wanted-information-on-occurrence-of-basil-downy-mildew.html … Navajo teen wins prize for improving homemade solar ovens: http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2014/06/navajo-teen-harnesses-solar-energy-wins.html … Abandoned Railways Exploration Probe: http://www.furtherfield.org/programmes/exhibition/seft-1-abandoned-railways-e...

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Of Gnomes and Peak Oil

What it looks like when I’m “reflecting” on concepts like peak oil. Being momentarily or, perhaps, permanently carless has given me the opportunity to reflect on the long term future of oil. As coincidence would have it I stumbled on CNN commentator David Frum’s delusional editorial, “Peak Oil Doomsayers Proved Wrong,” at the same time as I discovered Renaissance physician, alchemist and philosopher Paracelsus...

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What’s the Best Solar Food Dryer?

Appalachian Food Dryer. Image: Mother Earth News. Dehydration is a great way to put up food. Second to freezing, it’s the best way to persevere nutrition without adding sugar or salt. And if you use the power of the sun, you won’t need to spend any money on electricity. In a desert climate you can just put your food out on screened trays. But just a bit of humidity in the air makes this approach risky. Food can spoil before enough mo...

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Gideon Lincecum Virtual Herbarium

–click to biggify– (If you still can’t read it, it says “Erigeron canadensis, the common hogsweed, bruise and press out the juice from the green plant and take it in tablespoonful dose as often as the stomach will bear, for bleeding lungs, bleeding from the stomach, bowels or womb. It is a powerful agent in stopping hemorrhage from any organ.”) Mrs. Homegrown here: Our friend Nancy gave us some salve made up o...

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A Redneck Rocket Stove

From Wes Duncan, the “High Tech Redneck,” a rocket stove made out of cinder blocks. I’ve built one of these too and can confirm that they work great. And you can’t beat the price. Time for some redneck cookin’! Update: As several readers have pointed out, this design ain’t safe. Cinder blocks can explode and were not meant to be placed next to a heat source–that’s what fire bricks are for. See ou...

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Thong Theory

As author Daniel Pinchbeck suggests, we’re in a time when technique is more important than technology. Take the Homegrown Revolution Thong for instance. A friend and fellow “thoughtstylist” posed the question last night, what else could the real survivalist do with a thong in an emergency situation? It’s all about the brain my friends, so get out there and innovate – that thong has many uses – tourniquet, band...

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Cast Iron Cookware Class at Winnetka Farms

years of use your skillet needs more then a cleaning, you’ll learn how and what to do to restore that favorite piece in your collection. If you have a problem piece of cast iron you can’t “fix,” bring it to class so I can make a recommendation to restore your item. Thirty dollars per student to be paid upon arrival. Check or cash only. This class has a limit of 12 students. Light foods and beverages will be served. Locati...

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008 Grind Your Own Flour With Erin Alderson

on my purchase of a flour mill, the KoMo Classic Mill . If you want to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected] You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. Additional music by Rho. A downloadable version of this podcast is here. ...

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