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4 guys dancing in East Oakland streets

This is so co-oo-oo-uhl. Sent by Evan

YAKfilms | October 27, 2009
for Dreal, stay up my brother. east oakland, california.


Dancers are No Noize (red jacket), Man (back jacket), BJ (striped shirt), Dreal (white shirt).

Directed and edited by Yoram Savion


Music by Erk tha Jerk!!

© YAK 2009

"Take Me Out" by Atomic Tom LIVE on NYC subway

"In October 2010, New York's Atomic Tom had their instruments stolen. Fortunately, they knew how to improvise.…"
Check out this remarkable concert done with half a dozen iPhones. Sent us by Evan of Ecential Clothing

What Technology Wants, new book by Kevin Kelly

Just published a few days ago, this new book by Wired mag "Senior Maverick" and CoolTools founder Kevin Kelly is,  as I speak  this morning,  #56 on Amazon's bestseller list (!). Reviewer Thomas King writes:
"What Technology Wants offers a highly readable investigation into the mechanisms by which technology advances over time. The central thesis of the book is that technology grows and evolves in much the same way as an autonomous, living organism.
The book draws many parallels between technical progress and biology, labeling technology as "evolution accelerated." Kelly goes further and argues that neither evolution nor technological advance result from a random drift but instead have an inherent direction that makes some outcomes virtually inevitable. Examples of this inevitability include the eye, which evolved independently at least six times in different branches of the animal kingdom, and numerous instances of technical innovations or scientific discoveries being made almost simultaneously.…"
Check out Kevin's writeup on getting his first hard copy (hard cover) of the book, and ruminations on hold-in-hand books vs. eBooks: http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/
I ordered a copy yesterday. Lets see what Kevin thinks is going on tech-wise on the planet these days.

Living the Real Simple Life (ABC Nightline)

"On $30,000 a Year, One Family Lives a Subsistence Lifestyle in a Suburban House"

Video © ABC News

In American Suburbia, the Dervaes Family has created an original modern urban homestead that has "…yielded an entirely new, revolutionary alternative lifestyle." Their family farm is on 1/5 of an acre in Pasadena, (southern) California.

Read the entire story (by John Donovan and Melia Patria) at: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=4863733&page=1

The Grass Roofs of Norway

Boing Boing is the blog I most frequently check and I was rewarded with this today;

In addition to this pic, there are a dozen other photos of sod-roofed buildings in Norway. (My first building, in 1961, had a sod roof.)

Homestead/tiny farm in southern California suburbia

Founded by Jules Dervaes (Dur-VAYS) in 2001, Path to Freedom is a grassroots, family operated, viable urban homesteading project established to promote a simpler and more fulfilling lifestyle and reduce one family’s “footprint” on the earth’s dwindling resources.
Since the mid 1980s, all five members of the Dervaes family have steadily worked at transforming their ordinary city lot in Pasadena, California, into an organic permaculture garden supplying them with food all year round. They also run a successful business, Dervaes Gardens, providing salad greens to local restaurants. This helps them fund their purchases of solar panels, energy efficient appliances, and biodiesel processor to further decrease their homestead’s reliance on the earth’s non-renewable resources.
LOCATION: Pasadena, CA - (Northwest Pasadena, one mile from downtown Pasadena)
PROPERTY SIZE: 1/5 acre (66′ x 132′ / 8,712 sq.ft.)
GARDEN SIZE: 1/10 acre (3,900 sq.ft. / ~ 66′ x 66′)
GARDEN DIVERSITY: Over 350 different vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries
FOOD PRODUCED: 6,000 lbs annually
URBAN HOMESTEAD SUPPORTS: 4 full-time adults, volunteers, and many clients
ENERGY USAGE: 6.5 kwh day (and going down!)
SOLAR POWER PRODUCED: 8000 kwh ( as of 5/31/08)
GALLONS OF BIODIESEL MADE (since 2003): 1,000 gallons (as of 2/12/08)
“EARTH IMPACT FOOTPRINT”: 5.2 acres per person

Double-decker goat manger at Piebird Bed and Breakfast, Ontario

Yan and Sherry have built a tiny house for farm workers on their land, and we're doing two pages on it in the tiny house book. This morning they sent me this pic of their goat architecture. Piebird looks like a great place to stay if you're in that neck of the woods. http://www.piebird.ca/the-guest-rooms

Shelter II back in print

We published Shelter II in 1978, 5 years after Shelter. At the time I felt that I'd misled people with the Domebooks, then shown them a great variety of ways to build in Shelter, and now it was time to show step-by-step design and construction of a small house. That's at the heart of Shelter II: a condensed 24-page instruction manual for the novice builder for building a stud-frame home: foundation, floor, wall and roof framing; roofing, windows, doors, interior finish, as well as plumbing and electrical work. Much of this applies also to cob, straw bale, etc. buildings, because just about every home needs a wood-framed roof.
There's also a lot on indigenous builders all over the world and on techniques and designs of past years; the rehabbing of abandoned buildings in cities; and my diatribe against the then-planned "space colonies."
Shelter was a hard act to follow. Shelter II has no color pages, and it doesn't have the irreverent joy of Shelter. But it's a solid book, with construction details our other books don't have, and we're glad to have it back in print.

Succulent in garden early yesterday morning

Tiny house wins award in Hungary

By: All Hungary News
A house with an area of only 29 square meters (about 320 sq. ft.) has won the Association of Hungarian Architects' "House of the Year" award, inforadio.hu reports.
The small structure, located on the outskirts of Budakeszi near Budapest, was designed by a couple, both architects, for their own use. Winners Gábor and Orsolya Bártfai-Szabó said the jury decided to award their house because it was outstandingly sustainable and expandable.
Recycled materials such as used bricks and paper were used during construction. Thanks to a 30-centimeter-thick layer of newspapers which serves as insulation and three-layer window panes, heating the house costs no more than a few thousand forints a month in winter.
Download more pics here: http://www.evhaza.hu/uploaded/images/statikus/101/__v_h__za_fot__k.zip

Catamount People’s Museum, Catskill NY

"A handmade People's Museum has been constructed in Catskill, NY in the form of a lounging bobcat using discarded tree branches and cut offs from local mills. The interior of this over-sized Lynx Rufus houses a collection of materials and displays celebrating the people, stories, and history of the Catskill Mountains. Content for displays are collected from both historical organizations and the surrounding community. The museum has a unique focus of seamlessly blending the stories, visions and personal collections of residents with the voices of historians. The folk legends, urban myths and favorite, almost forgotten tide bits on display make this new public space a place to soak in what this area is really all about."

Catamount People’s Museum
21 West Bridge st
Catskill NY 12414

This came in just now from Matt Bua: http://www.bhomepark.blogspot.com/

(Old fashioned) Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain

"Maybe it’s the intense heat, but ever since we saw this post at The Scout Mag we’ve been craving a visit for an ice cream sandwich: only trouble is we’re on the wrong coast. Next time we find ourselves in NYC we’ll be sure to stop in at The Brooklyn Farmacy and; Soda Fountain."
Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain
513 Henry Street
Carrol Gardens, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Also great pic of driftwood-heavy beach in British Columbia on this blog
(718) 522-6260

Mockingbird by Inez and Charlie Foxx

If you thought Carly Simon's and James Taylor's version of Mockingbird was pretty good, listen to the original from 1963. Whew! Inez's got super-powered pure energy like Tina Turner at her best (when she was backed by Ike). I buy very few CDs these days, what with Sirius radio, but this was one: Charlie and Inez Foxx: Mockingbird, COL-CD 5301, Collectables Record Corp. The title song here is just brilliant singing, nothing quite like it.
I have to admit (sheepishly) to having played the song 5 times just now. Hey, after a week laid up in bed, things are lookin up.  My operated-upon knee feels good. I'm back to working on my tiny house book (wow!). It's a sunny day, some caffeine, ganja, good rhythm and blues, and stylin is the word.
Everybody, have you heard,
He's gonna buy me a Mockingbird,
Oh, if that Mockingbird don't sing
He's gonna buy me a diamond ring…

Roof top garden house in Nova Scotia

"This house in West Pennant, Nova Scotia is oriented along the south facing edge of the site, to maximize solar exposure. The roof is shaped to shed the wind and to preserve the ocean views of neighbours up the hill. The roof top garden serves as ballast against storm winds, and enhances the views from houses higher up the slope. The rain screen wall is made of woven strips of white cedar, inspired by traditional wooden baskets. The lenticular roof trusses are bent strips of small-dimensioned lumber bent to form and then nailed together. The sheathing completes the stressed skin structure in a wing-like form that also helps to bring natural light into the spaces."
By architect Richard Roeker

Running for the joy of it…

"Thanx and a tip of the Hatlo hat…" to Stewart Brand/Kevin Kelly for turning me on to Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.
"CM: The key secret hit me like a thunderbolt. It was so simple, yet such a jolt. It was this: everything I’d been taught about running was wrong. We treat running in the modern world the same way we treat childbirth—it’s going to hurt, and requires special exercises and equipment, and the best you can hope for is to get it over with quickly with minimal damage.
Then I meet the Tarahumara, and they’re having a blast. They remember what it’s like to love running, and it lets them blaze through the canyons like dolphins rocketing through waves. For them, running isn’t work. It isn’t a punishment for eating. It’s fine art, like it was for our ancestors. Way before we were scratching pictures on caves or beating rhythms on hollow trees, we were perfecting the art of combining our breath and mind and muscles into fluid self-propulsion over wild terrain. And when our ancestors finally did make their first cave paintings, what were the first designs? A downward slash, lightning bolts through the bottom and middle—behold, the Running Man.
The Tarahumara have a saying: “Children run before they can walk.” Watch any four-year-old—they do everything at full speed, and it’s all about fun. That’s the most important thing I picked up from my time in the Copper Canyons, the understanding that running can be fast and fun and spontaneous, and when it is, you feel like you can go forever. But all of that begins with your feet. Strange as it sounds, the Tarahumara taught me to change my relationship with the ground. Instead of hammering down on my heels, the way I’d been taught all my life, I learned to run lightly and gently on the balls of my feet. The day I mastered it was the last day I was ever injured.…"

Tina's tiny house in Vancouver

Artist/snowboarder Tina is building her own tiny (100 sq.ft.) house (as art studio) in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada. It's in her backyard. Siding is recycled pallet wood.