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My Talk/Slideshow: "50 Years of Natural Building" This Weekend at Maker Faire

I actually started building in 1960 (above is my first building in 1961, in Mill Valley, California, a studio with what is now called a "living roof") and soon thereafter started shooting photos and interviewing builders for our series of books on handmade housing. In those days we didn't call it “natural building,” but that's what it was. In our book Shelter in 1973, a section of the book was devoted to these materials: wood, adobe, stone, straw bale, thatch, and bamboo. I guess we were natural before it was called “natural.”

A month or so ago, Cheryl Long, the editor at The Mother Earth News, asked me if I could do a talk on natural building at the TMEN fair in Albany, Oregon (near Corvallis) on the first weekend in June. As I was getting the materials together, the MakerFaire asked if I could do a presentation at their annual event in San Mateo California, which is coming up this weekend.

I have selected photos from our five major building books, and will be doing a presentation at noon this Saturday (May 16, 2015) on the Maker Square stage in the Homegrown Village section of the fair.

Here are links to the fair and to my presentation:
http://makerfaire.com/maker/entry/51460/
http://makerfaire.com/bay-area-2015/schedule/

11-Year-Old Jazz Pianist Joey Alexander

Article in New York Times article on Joey May 13, 2015 by Nate Chinen: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/13/arts/music/joey-alexander-an-11-year-old-jazz-sensation-who-hardly-clears-the-pianos-sightlines.html
(I'm not sure if you can access all NYT articles without being a subscriber.)
"…Joey began playing piano at 6, picking out a Thelonious Monk tune by ear, which led Mr. Sila, an amateur pianist, to teach him some fundamentals. Beyond that, Joey recalled, 'I heard records, and also YouTube, of course.'

He played at jam sessions in Bali and then in Jakarta, when his family moved there. At 8, he played for the pianist Herbie Hancock, who was in Jakarta as a Unesco good-will ambassador. ('You told me that you believed in me,' Joey recalled last fall, addressing Mr. Hancock at a gala for the Jazz Foundation of America, 'and that was the day I decided to dedicate my childhood to jazz.') He was 9 when he entered the first Master-Jam Fest, an all-ages jazz competition in Ukraine. He won its grand prize.

Soon one of his YouTube videos caught the notice of Mr. Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, who invited him to appear at the organization’s 2014 gala. Joey played a solo version of the Monk ballad ‘Round Midnight' as the finale, earning a standing ovation, glowing reviews and some influential supporters.…"

Yuichi Takeuchi, Treehouse Builder From Japan, Visits Us

Last week, Yuichi Takeuchi, treehouse builder and kindred spirit from Japan, visited us in our studio.

He's doing wonderful work and says that Shelter has been a big influence on his work.

His website: http://www.treeheads.com

His photos sorted by projects:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/treeheads/sets/


Anise Swallowtail Butterfly

Showed up on a table outside the office. It just hung there for about 3 days.We put it in the greenhouse and it eventually took off.

VESTAS Sailrocket 2 hits 74 MPH in 2012

This was 3years ago. I think this record has been broken more recently.

Zip A Dee Doo Dah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZfX-qlmHmc
Darlene Love with Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, which I've been looking into of late, along with the maybe 10-year-long period of the "girl groups." A British DJ on Sirius radio last week said the girl groups were done in by the "British Invasion" in the mid-60s. Sounds about right. It was a great time for black and white female groups with intricate vocal harmonies. Be my baby…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUZTjRZvXWQ

This just popped up on YouTube after the above:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENX1QeEcO_k

Woe is me. Grooveshark is gone. Its resurrection at grooveshark.io is pretty weak.

Bicycle Powered Tree House Elevator