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Blue heron visits our pond

This guy visits every once in a while, usually to search for fish in our pond. He sometimes perches on the roof of the tower, then swoops down to the pond. He's very wary. I shot this yesterday from our living room.

Stretching translated into Chinese

W just got the latest Chinese translation of Stretching. This is the complex Chinese version. Stretching is in 23 or so languages.

Japanese magazine Huge visits Shelter

About a month ago, three people from Huge magazine in Japan came to visit. They were doing an issue called "Bolt for Freedom," and spent a few hours here wandering around, having tea, and looking at our home and office setup. It was a delightful visit; they really liked what we were doing. They appreciated our work and life from a different perspective. The photographer had a place in the country and was fascinated with handsplit shakes, so I got them from out of my shop and showed him how it was done.

Below is the 2-page collage they ended up doing:

"Huge Magazine is a Japanese fashion magazine designed for men. The magazine, featuring a wide array of different styles of street fashion is well known in Japan for its coverage of the varying styles that permeate street culture, as well as the overlay of European style in the Japanese fashion industry. Combining the various aspects of an eclectic sense of style, the magazine speaks to an increasingly wide audience.

Huge magazine was launched by Kodansha in 2004 as an alternative for men in their twenties in Japan to the many fashion magazines that were currently on the market. The publication releases monthly and has enjoyed a slowly growing readership, currently holding a circulation of about 75,000. The goal of Huge is to provide a mixture of street wear and high fashion for a collage view of the modern Japanese male’s fashion options.

What makes Huge magazine different than many other men’s fashion magazines is that it focuses intently on all aspects of culture and how fashion integrates into those aspects. While features will often be on the newest lines from popular designers and shopping guides for popular Tokyo districts, most issues will alternately feature stories on popular artists, musicians, and cultural influences that may be of interest to young males."

Shed of the Year 2011 finalists

From Boing Boing, posted by Cory Doctorow:

"Uncle Wilco from the ShedBlog writes in with news of this year's Shed of the Year: 'The public voting has ended and the short list is announced. Some great sheds entered this year - the 1950's diner featured on Boing Boing previously made it though along with a great Welsh TARDIS shed, a shed where musicians perform and then go on YouTube, a not so typical Pub Shed alongside a Eco ARC shaped shed with a green roof to mention a few. The winner will be announced during Shed Week (4th July 2011)'"

5 Hour Energy drink

I got a free sample bottle of this at the Maker Faire last month. Boy! I've never had a jolt like this (that was legal). It probably differs for everyone, but it works for me. In fact I had a bottle of it + a latte one afternoon in NYC and couldn't sleep at all that night.

Ingredients: Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, (mega-amounts of the latter two vitamins); Niacin (Vitamin B3); Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

Citicoline; Tyrosine; Phenylalanine; Taurine; Malic Acid; Glucuronolactone; Caffeine (oh yeah!)

It costs $3.50 a bottle in stores, but is considerably cheaper at Costco or via Amazon.


Caveat: I haven't used it enough to know if it's OK in the long run. And my long experience with boosters, enhancers, and ahem, drugs, is that there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Sheep mowing grass

Sheep on a Northern California hillside. A good move in what's going to be a high fire-danger year due to all the rainfall. (Collage of 12 photos.)

World's first air-powereed car -- zero emissions -- by next summer

"…India's largest automaker Tata Motors is set to start producing the world's first commercial air-powered vehicle.The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air, as opposed to the gas-and-oxygen explosions of internal-combustion models, to push its engine's pistons. Some 6000 zero-emissions Air Cars are scheduled to hit Indian streets by August
The Air Car, called the MiniCAT could cost around Rs. 3,50,000 ($ 8177) in India and would have a range of around 300 km between refuels.
The cost of a refill would be about Rs. 85 ($ 2)."


From Andrew Dunkerton via Godfrey Stephens

Graphic Guide to Frame Construction by Rob Thallon

Rob Thallon was a contributor to our book Shelter II in 1978, and has gone on to produce this great guide to wood frame construction. It's got 100s of clear drawings, from foundations to roofs. Another book on the subject which has received good reviews is Ultimate Guide to House Framing: Plan, Design, Build, by John D. Wagner.

Dawn on distant beach last Thursday

One of the things I love: no footprints.