Patrick Farley has done it again. Except this time he has totally outdone himself. This is hands down the best webcomic that has ever been done so far. Simply amazing. This stunningly beautiful graphic comic tells the story on the origin of language Terrence Mckenna style. While you’re at it, listen to some trippy psychill music while scrolling through this visionary masterpiece:
From Gaia Health:
Simon Dale is a family man in Wales, the western part of Great Britain. His interest in self-sustainability and an ecological awareness led him to dig out and build his own home—one of the loveliest, warmest, most inviting dwellings you could ever imagine. And it cost him only £3,000, about $4,700 American dollars!
Can you imagine a more charming entrance than this?
Simon gives two reasons for building the home. The first elegant one, from his website, is:
It’s fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.
His second reason is a plea for sustainability, in which he states that “our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe”. You can read the full and passionate statement here.
Simon is also a photographer, and as you can see throughout this article, a talented one.
A beautiful view in another home that Simon is helping build for someone else. (Originally, this was mistakenly identified as a photo of the home he and his family are living in.)
The tools are fairly simple. The main concession to modernity was a chainsaw, which he used to cut down about 30 small trees. No old growth forest fell to his family’s needs. He focused on tools that used his own energy, like shovel, chisel, and hammer. Yet it took him only four months to produce this lovely home.
The home is constructed from wood, stone, straw, and has a sod roof. It’s heated with a wood fireplace and has a solar panel for power. Most materials were scavenged and refurbished appliances. The effect, though, isn’t of a run-down get-by-with-second-best . It’s creative, artistic, elegant, and cozy. It is, in fact, magical.
Most amazingly, the home didn’t require years of training or experience. Simon had none. He’s not an architect. He’s not an engineer. He’s not a carpenter. He started from scratch in every sense. He told the Daily Mail:
Being your own have-a-go architect is a lot of fun and allows you to create and enjoy something which is part of yourself and the land rather than, at worst, a mass-produced box designed for maximum profit and the convenience of the construction industry.
Building from natural materials does away with producers’ profits and the cocktail of carcinogenic poisons that fill most modern buildings.
He was fortunate in obtaining the land for his home. The plot, a bit of a large piece, was given to him in exchange for its caretaking.
Simon Dale, his wife Jasmine Saville, and their two children in front of their completed home just 4 months after starting it! This and all photos on this page are by Simon Dale (http://simondale.net).
The attention to making the home eco-friendly extends to a compost toilet, the use of straw over a plastic layer for insulation, and a refrigerator that’s cooled with air that flows from under the home’s foundation. Cement is a high carbon emitter, so the interior walls are finished with lime plaster instead of cement plaster.
This building is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life. This sort of life is about living in harmony with both the natural world and ourselves, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology. These sort of low cost, natural buildings have a place not only in their own sustainability, but also in their potential to provide affordable housing which allows people access to land and the opportunity to lead more simple, sustainable lives.
I cannot imagine a home more lovely, appealing, and livable than this one. This could be and should be the wave of the future in home building.
For more information about Simon Dale’s home, plans, and more photos, please go to his website, A Low Impact Woodland Home.
I’ve concluded that no photo or video can do New Zealand justice – it is beautiful and majestic beyond words and very different in way that is difficult to compare to anywhere else. New Zealand is wild and filled everywhere with dense, impossibly green foliage , except for places cleared for farming or settlements. The landscape, climate, flora, people, culture and feel of the place is unique enough that saying, “it is like” won’t work. If you haven’t been to New Zealand, you must go before you die. For me it is “that” place I was always looking for and no longer believed existed. It has the feel of a dream, an idealistic place of childhood fantasies of a world untouched by the stain of modern psychosis. The people there are innocent, and are by and large not living in any kind of fear. The “fear matrix” that is so pervasive here in the U.S. is conspicuously absent there. I saw 16 year old girls, beautiful ones at that, hitchhiking across the country for summer holiday. I picked up this young hippy fellow during my trip in the south island and mentioned that as a rule we don’t pick up hitchhikers in the U.S. It was so outside his experience that I failed in my attempts to explain it. They still allow you to pump gas on the honor system.
I was surprised at how integrated the Maori and white people are. I saw many mixed race people, some in their 60’s, and as many mixed race couples as not. Maori’s are huge Reggae fans. The entire town of Rotorua had town flags up celebrating it’s upcoming Reggae festival. On the streets, stores, restaurants and bars, nobody was is in a hurry. The mood was always very relaxed. The downside is you might have to wait 30 minutes for a “quick” order, but what’s the rush in such a beautiful place? The road on the other hand was a different matter. Kiwi’s love to speed, and cut corners. I know of no sign anywhere in the U.S. that says not to cut corners, but in New Zealand they are everywhere. I would see drivers cut corners around a blind corner with a large truck coming the other way – simply crazy. Otherwise the mood everywhere is relaxed. The kiwi people know how to have a good time. They excel at it. Everywhere I went there were fun things to do for kids and adults. I even saw a circus camp on the far end of the north island – an actual place where you could do trapeze!!
New Zealand is big. Far bigger than it looks on a map. I was surprised how long it took to go from one place to the next. The general experience is driving for three or four hours through wilderness and farmland before coming to the next town. Any place there are people, chances are the next nearest places with people is 20 or 30 miles away. My time there (3 weeks) was not nearly long enough. I barley got to see the two islands. Much of it was through the window while I drove. To do New Zealand justice I don’t recommend any time there less than a month, but two or three months is much better. If you’re on a budget, there is plenty of cheap or free camping.
One of the things I liked most about New Zealand was the landscape and a very real sense of no boundaries. There were huge stretches of land and beach that were simply wild. Even beaches near towns, like Nelson, are more or less wild. By wild I mean there are no signs, rules, fences or other constraints to wandering around. In the U.S. it seems there are very few places left that you can just wander without feeling like your are either on some one elses property or on a piece of regulated land.. In New Zealand it’s just wide open – wild in the truest sense. And with it’s relatively low population, it is very easy to get completely lost and leave behind civilization for a while. As hard as this is to believe, I had two miles of the most pristine and beautiful beach in Punakaiki almost entirely to myself. On this beach where large rock-cliff protrusions out on the beach that went up 60 feet, with dense green foliage growing on the top. It looked like something out of Pirates of the Carribean movie, and I had the whole thing to myself (I have photos and videos of this to show later). Only Phuket, Thailand comes close to how beautiful it was.
Some other highlights of my trip including visiting Yoshi’s ecohouse, the most advance of its kind in the world (in my opinion), hot water beach – where you can dig holes in the sand and make your own geothermal hot tub, the southern night sky (which is very different than here, including seeing the moon “upside down”), the north and west coast of the south island, and visiting Hobbiton (near Matamata) on my way back to Auckland. I unfortunately missed the Kiwi Burn, and the International Busking Festival.
The hardest part about New Zealand was having to leave. I wanted to stay forever. Either way seeing New Zealand helped me let go of some long-held baggage. I feel transformed.
The photo below was taken of me around 9pm (sun was setting around 9:45pm) in Tairua. A sleepy little beach town on the east coast of the north island.
With the Occupy movement in full swing, and the increasing surveillance and use of violent suppression by the state, this might shed light where it’s most needed:
YouTube user latajacakamera (“flying camera” in Polish) shot this jaw-dropping aerial footage with a remote control helicopter during Independence Day riots in Poland on November 11, in which anti-fascist groups clashed with nationalists and police. The camera effortlessly glides over lines of riot police to hover high above the tear gas and chaos for a unique perspective.
This incredible shot flies over riot police as they mobilize in formation:
Andrew Jones: Their physical form can be almost a vehical…There are momement when a dancer can traing themselves to fully let go of themselves and thier ego and their identity and become this canvas where this ghost comes in and takes over.
Phaedra Jones: I believe there is a difference between technique and the process of cretivity or spirituality, because that process creates itself. Whereas technique or structure is created by the mind… there is huge difference between the state of mind, and the state of no-mind. If humanity is going anywhere further than where it is now, I believe it can recieve more information from states of no-mind than states of the known. And that’s what we are trying to explore together. It takes a lot of courage because we are so used to being in control. When you don’t know where you are going, you can go to places you cannot even comprehend.
Visit: The Human Experience
From abstract of full paper:
Issues related to consciousness in general and human mental processes in particular remain the most difficult problem in science. Progress has been made through the development of quantum theory, which, unlike classical physics, assigns a fundamental role to the act of observation. To arrive at the most critical aspects of consciousness, such as its characteristics and whether it plays an active role in the universe requires us to follow hopeful developments in the intersection of quantum theory, biology, neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. Developments in quantum theory aiming to unify all physical processes have opened the door to a profoundly new vision of the cosmos, where observer, observed, and the act of observation are interlocked. This hints at a science of wholeness, going beyond the purely physical emphasis of current science. Studying the universe as a mechanical conglomerate of parts will not solve the problem of consciousness, because in the quantum view, the parts cease to be measureable distinct entities. The interconnectedness of everything is particularly evident in the non-local interactions of the quantum universe. As such, the very large and the very small are also interconnected.
Consciousness and matter are not fundamentally distinct but rather are two complementary aspects of one reality, embracing the micro and macro worlds. This approach of starting from wholeness reveals a practical blueprint for addressing consciousness in more scientific terms.
via P2P Foundation:
Excerpted from David Graeber:
There is very good reason to believe that, in a generation or so, capitalism itself will no longer exist – most obviously, as ecologists keep reminding us, because it’s impossible to maintain an engine of perpetual growth forever on a finite planet, and the current form of capitalism doesn’t seem to be capable of generating the kind of vast technological breakthroughs and mobilizations that would be required for us to start finding and colonizing any other planets. Yet faced with the prospect of capitalism actually ending, the most common reaction – even from those who call themselves “progressives” – is simply fear. We cling to what exists because we can no longer imagine an alternative that wouldn’t be even worse.
How did we get here? My own suspicion is that we are looking at the final effects of the militarization of American capitalism itself. In fact, it could well be said that the last 30 years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus for the creation and maintenance of hopelessness, a giant machine designed, first and foremost, to destroy any sense of possible alternative futures. At its root is a veritable obsession on the part of the rulers of the world – in response to the upheavals of the 1960s and 1970s – with ensuring that social movements cannot be seen to grow, flourish or propose alternatives; that those who challenge existing power arrangements can never, under any circumstances, be perceived to win. To do so requires creating a vast apparatus of armies, prisons, police; various forms of private security firms and police and military intelligence apparatus, and propaganda engines of every conceivable variety, most of which do not attack alternatives directly so much as create a pervasive climate of fear, jingoistic conformity and simple despair that renders any thought of changing the world, an idle fantasy.
Maintaining this apparatus seems more important to exponents of the “free market” than maintaining any sort of viable market economy. How else can one explain what happened in the former Soviet Union? One would ordinarily have imagined that the end of the Cold War would have led to the dismantling of the army and the KGB and rebuilding the factories, but in fact what happened was precisely the other way around. This is just an extreme example of what has been happening everywhere. Economically, the apparatus is pure dead weight; all the guns, surveillance cameras and propaganda engines are extraordinarily expensive and really produce nothing, and no doubt it’s yet another element dragging the entire capitalist system down – along with producing the illusion of an endless capitalist future that laid the groundwork for the endless bubbles to begin with. Finance capital became the buying and selling of chunks of that future, and economic freedom, for most of us, was reduced to the right to buy a small piece of one’s own permanent subordination.
In other words, there seems to have been a profound contradiction between the political imperative of establishing capitalism as the only possible way to manage anything, and capitalism’s own unacknowledged need to limit its future horizons lest speculation, predictably, go haywire. When speculation did go berserk, and the whole machine imploded, we were left in the strange situation of not being able to even imagine any other way that things might be arranged. About the only thing we can imagine is catastrophe.
Awww… to be back in my home town of Laguna Beach again. I grew up here in the late 60s/early 70s before it got expensive. Growing up so close to the beach was pure heaven, and I am reminded of why I love Laguna every time I come back – the weather is almost perfect, the place is very laid back, and it’s so beautiful and green. The foliage here is stunning. I took this chance to catch some waves, small though they were. It was the happiest day I’ve had in a long, long time.
Here’s are some back of the hand projections I worked up this afternoon. If my facts are wrong, please insert your own and lets recalculate the projections. These are simply projections based on past trends. I didn’t take into consideration better manufacturing methods beyond current thin-film solar technologies. So these projections do not include nanotechnologies, desktop manufacturing/3D printing (a sure thing), availability of needed materials (China, etc), regulations or other unforeseen economic roadblocks.
Fact 1: The slowest growth period for installation of Solar Power was between 1990-2000 at 20% annually.
Fact 2: The fastest growth period for adoption of Solar Power was between 2004-2009 at 60% annually.
Fact 3: Total installed Solar Power as of November 2010, was approximately ~25 Gigawatts.
Fact 4: Total World Power Capacity is ~17 Terawatts (as of 2010).
Fact 5: Useable Solar Power is only 1/3 of the time in sunny areas, so practically speaking we’d need 51 Terawatts of installed Solar to match current needs.
Using basic logarithmic functions I wanted to see how long it would take Solar at the above growth rates to reach 17 Terawatts.
SLOW (20%) – Log (1700/25) / Log (1 + 0.20) = 41.2 Years – Solar reaches current World Power Output by 2051.
MEDIAN (40%) – Log (1700/25) / Log (1 + 0.40) = 22.3 Years – Solar reaches current World Power Output by 2033.
HIGH (60%) – Log (1700/25) / Log (1 + 0.60) = 16.3 Years – Solar reaches current World Power Output by 2026.
Even if we take the Median projections based on average growth of Solar over the last 30 years, we get Solar reaching current World Energy needs by 2033. Since world energy needs continue to climb, then there is no reason why at a median 40% growth rate, Solar could not meet all the electricity demands of the world by 2030.
From Next Big Future:
Researchers in Sweden have created a new rocket fuel molecule called Trinitramid that could increase payload capacities 4-8 times and be totally earth friendly.
What this enables is a Single Stage to Orbit Fully Reusable Launch Vehical. The follow factors each reduce launch cost to orbit:
1) The power of Trinitramid (4-8 times cheaper)
2) Single Stage Fully Reusable Launch Vehicle (50-100 times at least)
Multiply these two factors together and you get a reduction between 200 and 800 times cheaper than current launch costs. That comes out somewhere between $2500 to 10,000 per person for access to space. When space travel becomes that cheap, a LOT more people and enterprises can afford to go, which means a lot more demand and a lot more launches, which brings in a third cost reducing factor:
3) Economies of Scale
Since fuel prices for Liquid Oxygen and Hydrogen are cheap (less than a $1/pound), then the only costs remaining are operational and upkeep costs. What this means are prices not much higher than intercontinental airline flights.
The bad news is trinitramid may not be stable enough to be used as a fuel. Even in that event, and taking out the factor of 4-8x, prices to space would still be under $5000 after a commercial space industry matures. This means anyone who is motivated enough could go to space.