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Self-Sufficient Wooden House-Truck

"The Morisons exhibited their self-sufficient wooden house-truck, customized from a decommissioned fire engine and containing, next to a stove and pot plants, a library of apocalypse-themed fiction. Tales of Space and Time, as it was called, embodied a jauntily over-optimistic attitude to surviving the end of the world, …"

See-through church, Limburg/Belgium by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh


Dumb Ass Stupid Shit

I ran cross-country in high school, and when I'd cross the finish line, I'd be in "aerobic distress," i.e. close to barfing. The same thing with each major book. By the time it's sent to the printers, I'm wasted. This time, when the tiny homes book was done (almost 2 months ago), and I should have been kicking back, tiredness and stress caused a couple of wild and crazy incidents. I stepped wrongly off a step ladder in the greenhouse and tore a muscle in my shoulder (rotator cuff). I still had to go to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and then to Hong Kong to oversee printing, so couldn't do proper rehab work. Lugging luggage etc.

Then, finally home, the last night of the San Francisco Green Festival, I got on my skateboard heading back to my truck, with a loaded backpack (yes, yes) , was skating along in the darkened streets and my cell phone rang. Well, I'm rollin', guess I'll just answer it, and bang! I was on the ground, hit head on pavement. Happened so fast. No helmet. I know, I know. It's not that I'm immature and stupid, it's just that sometimes I'm immature and stupid. Well I was fortunate. I had a 2-week long black eye and week-long lump, but being hard-headed helped here. Lucky.

Now I'm embarking on a program to heal the shoulder without surgery if possible. Physical therapy, acupuncture, strengthening exercises. I want this body part back! Such a drag -- can't paddle, dig clams, do much of any upper-body stuff. So many parts have to work to lead an active life. All the joints, tendons, muscles, not to mention the organs, all necessary components of what Dr. Henry Bieler called "the magnificent human body." All things we take for granted until the well runs dry.

I'm missin' that water.

Move over McMansions and Meet The Tiny House Movement

"What’s green, affordable and rolls on wheels? The 'Molecule House,' built by Jason Dietz and his father Michael in Felton (Calif.).
   I was sitting at the Scotts Valley Car Wash this summer when I looked over at the mobile home lot and saw the cutest cottage beckoning me over. At around $48,000, it offers a kitchen, living room, bathroom, and two loft bedrooms which can accommodate queen beds.
   'These little houses are all built 'green,’ Dietz said. 'We use as many non-toxic components as we can, so on the outside all the wood is sealed with vegetable oil, not harsh chemicals, and the inside is painted with all zero VOC milk paints.' Dietz sources all his construction materials from Santa Cruz County, including the redwood lap siding from Big Creek Lumber'
   “It’s a 2x4 construction built like a regular house, with copper wiring and double paned windows. The real wood will stand the test of time and there is no formaldehyde or off-gassing like you would get in a manufactured home.'…"

Svalbard Seed Bank

"In order to preserve gene diversity of major food crops, international institutions have established a series of green gene banks, which store samples of genetic material of various strains of each plant species.
"…Svalbard Seed Bank is meant as a sort of safety net, a reserve of last resort and the vault functions like a genetic safety deposit box. It stores duplicate specimens from genebanks worldwide and while the Svalbard seed bank owns the building, the individual depositor owns the contents of his or her box and the access to individual specimens is regulated by their respective depositors.

Tidepool Tableau

Are you getting the maximum usage out of your vehicle?

Sent us by Jim Macey

Classic Yachts

"Rainbow in her first season (William Starling Burgess, 1934 - photography: Edwin J. Levick)"
30 archival photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/104097160874903509775/ClassicYachts#5328191589328327010
Sent us by Godfrey Stephens

Flash Gordon's Motorhome: The Decoliner

Randy's Vision: This 26' polished aluminum beauty features a flying bridge, complete with driving station and room for 5 passengers on the roof.
Sent us by Mike Whitehead

For Sale: Welcome to United States of Tent Cities

Tugboat Tiny House

by Kent Griswold, tinyhouseblog, November 29th, 2011
"We weren’t looking to buy a boat, we definitely weren’t looking to buy a tugboat, we were just looking. We have a home in Port Townsend, Washington but the commute into the city for work was too much to do everyday, so at the time we were renting a house in Ballard (a neighborhood of Seattle). It was a nice house in a great neighborhood, but we really weren’t keen on being renters. When we saw the tug on craigslist we were just curious, but once we looked at the boat we realized we could stop being renters and have a place of our own in Seattle. A place on the water with a million dollar view.…"

Timber Framing Workshop 2012: Build a Timber Frame Home

Ziggy's Cob Cottage is featured in our forthcoming book Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter. Next year Ziggy is hosting a timber frame workshop in northeastern Missouri. Date: June 10-23, 2012
Location: Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage
Cost: $2,000, 25% deposit
All-inclusive: includes lodging and 3 square meals a day at the Milkweed Mercantile Organic Cafe
Sustainable Design: Build a 300 sq. ft. timber frame house with passive solar design, greenhouse, roundwood porch and balcony.
All timber framing is to be completed using hand tools and traditional techniques exclusively –square rule layout, scribing, etc.

Tiny Tumbleweed House in North Carolina

"Over Thanksgiving break, I enjoyed reading about this small, energy-efficient home in North Carolina built using the Harbinger plan offered by the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Built to International Building Code requirements, the plan includes a loft, home office, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and deck — tightly placed in less than 500 square feet! Details are hard to come by, but Tumbleweed sells this plan for $695 and estimates that it costs about $33,000 in materials to build.…"

Tiny Homes Are Where the Heart Is (Interview)

"Smith and Mueller set out to find what makes a home feel like home in their upcoming documentary, 'TINY.' They state houses have doubled in size since 1970, yet people don’t necessarily feel more at home in them. Thus, in their search, they’ve honed in on the folks of the tiny house movement.
Their findings were clear: “It is very rarely the size of a house that makes it feel like a home, so much as the relationships we fill them with.”
'So far we have found that for most people, home is more about the people they live with or near rather than the physical structure itself,' they said, noting that while many still enjoy the aesthetics of their small homes, people tended to place more emphasis on the world outside—their communities, or the land they live on.
There was a general agreement among people they met along the way that '…living small has shaped their lives for the better.'"
Published on November 27, 2011, by Joshua Philipp

Starting Out Skateboarding

Hi, there,
Just saw Lloyd on Boing Boing talking about skateboarding. Truly inspirational. I'm 40 and have wanted to take up longboarding for a while, since I surf and need to keep training in the off-season. Can he please recommend to me what board is a good one to start with, and prefeably something not too pricey?

Lee: There are lots of good boards out there. I like the Loaded Boards, they're made of bamboo, assembled in the USA, and designed for carving, fun, and even dancing. (They are LONG boards, not the boards used by kids in the streets and on the ramps.) I have a Bhangra with Orangutang wheels and love it.
I also have n Indo Board, which is great for practicing balance at home. http://indoboard.com/shop/product-info.php?original_natural-pid1.html 

Starlings in Flight

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.
"Lloyd, if you haven't already, you've got to watch this amazing video of starlings from Islands and Rivers:

Cats and tiny houses

"Sunday, marked the one-month anniversary of moving into the tiny house. We love the house and so do the cats. In short, we’re all happy and content.:"
This has the caption: "I spy a cat. Do you?"

Geodesic Domes

Woo-woo moment of the week: David Shipway sent me this link to a number of large geodesic domes. At the exact moment that I was copying this image, I was listening to Etta James singing these words in the Dylan song "You Gotta Serve Somebody":
"You may be a construction worker working on a home
You may be living in a mansion or you might live in a dome…"
Cosmic, or what?
   Although I gave up on domes (as homes) in the '70s, I still am fascinated by the math, by the 5 regular and 13 Archimedean solids, by the appearance of these shapes here and there in nature, by the beauty and truth of geometric mathematics.