Sunday, June 27, 2010

earthships







michael reynolds



Michael Reynolds is another unsung hero trying to right some of the wrongs that humanity has accrued on Earth for far too long. Based in Taos, New Mexico, he has worked for over 30 years to create self-sustaining homes, which he and his followers call Earthships, made of recycled, natural and local materials.


Reynolds studied architecture, and upon attaining his degree decided it was all bullshit – that people were too focused on making all sorts of things that are just unnecessary. Now, he refers to his line of work as ‘biotecture’.
Biotecture n.
1. the profession of designing buildings and environments with consideration for their sustainability.
2. A combination of biology and architecture.
From the Earthship website:
The 6 Principles that define an Earthship:
1)
Thermal/Solar Heating & Cooling
2)
Solar & Wind Electricity
3)
Contained Sewage Treatment
4)
Building with Natural & Recycled Materials
5)
Water Harvesting
6)
Food Production

In other words, NO electricity or water bills!! Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But you see it all in the documentary, and it seems so simple, you have to wonder why this hasn’t been done more. Reynolds has also taken his ideas and skills to places outside of New Mexico though, as mentioned in the film, and his work is catching on all over the world.

Friday, June 25, 2010

welcome to the bible belt

blue whale







a cat's diary


Day 84 of my captivity.

My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal.
The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild
satisfaction I get from clawing the furniture. Tomorrow I may eat
another house plant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while
they were walking almost succeeded. Maybe I should try this at the top
of the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again
induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. I must try this on
their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to
make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strike fear into
their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little
kitty cat I was. This is not working according to plan.

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in
solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the
noise and smell the food. More important, I overheard that my
confinement was due to my powers of inducing something called
"allergies." Must learn what this is and how to use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The
dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is
obviously a half-wit.

The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant. He speaks with
them regularly, and I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his
current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured. But I can
wait.

It's only a matter of time.

oil spill evolution and projection



minerals in afghanistan


WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.
While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.
“There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”
The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan’s existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan’s gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.
“This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy,” said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html?pagewanted=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1277478083-3Hd4xL/znrfpr6ok3X4ibw

radial tree of life


gulf oil spill 2010 pictures





octopus > sharks

vampire squid

oh squid!

neal horsley

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Neal Horsley, anti-abortion crusader, fanatical zealot of the religious right, and admitted mule-boinker.

zombie pirates in love

psychic octopus

A "psychic" octopus named Paul is predicting the outcome of World Cup games, some Germans claim. I don't believe it. Why would an octopus be at all interested in a game where you can't use your arms?





I don't believe in precognition, but I do think octopuses are smart. It's more likely that Paul is sneaking out of his tank at night to read the sports magazines, and then makes informed decisions about likely results of the matches.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/