physicist looks at our city as equation – we use 11,000 watts..

hunter and gatherer 250 watts, great article in the times via @r.otten love thinking about the city’s infrastructure and an urban metabolism..


minus oil

great group of articles on treehugger on surpassing the oil use in our lives, we eat it, ride it, wear it, it is indeed everywhere..

i love this too: modular vertical garden tiles eat pollution!

‘Lifewall’ tile developed by spanish company Ceracasa supports vertically growing plants.  Developed by architect Emilio Llobat of Maqla Architects, Azahar Energy and Ceracasa, the tile works in conjuntion w/ Biotile, which absorbs pollution from the air and changes it to fertilizer for the plants growing in the Lifewall, GENIUS!!  I saw it on treehugger. image copyright Ceracasa

“if something is wasted, it is underpriced”

quote from a reader’s comment on treehugger’s article about the session in L.A. “Water: The Past, Present, and Future of our Most Precious Resource”  where the issue of water usage past, present, and future in L.A. was discussed.  The discussion included re-vitalizing L.A.’s rivers [concrete beauties of muscle car chase scenes on the big and little screens], capturing rain water, not wasting tap water, and nature found in L.A. along the riverbanks [:!]. The latter topic bringing up the following book which I CANNOT WAIT TO READ!!!! “Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America”

image © by

perhaps why the dutch have such a sense of humor..

and often lighthearted view on life…most of the netherlands is under sea level & are so close to the fact that life/things in life are everchanging & temporary!  interesting interview in metropolis with a civil engineer, Jan D. de Jager, also an expert on dikes and dams. he also gives a brief history on dike building/ waterboards… my dutch roots draw me in!

fun to take the stairs

in a competition sponored by volkswagen, the, a group in odenplan, stockholm turned the subway stairs next to an escalator into working piano keys, in turn 66% more people used  the stairs, link on youtube.  i like this because it plays with our everyday environment, by adding a fun surprise to the typically robot-like motion of subway time.  i wonder what people thought about after they left the stairs.

wishing i’d known about the competition!  bottle arcade & bottomless trashcan are great too.

yurt living, yes to broadband no to running water

article in the times about a young couple w/ child who live cheaply in a yurt near seldovia in alaska.  they do have electricity & internet, but use an outhouse & have no indoor plumming.  they use a woodstove for heating.  with the money saved they take walking treks each year.

one of my thoughts for this new year is to find balance between nature & technology, i find this an interesting blend.  would this be sustainable for mass society?  different energy sources would have to be used instead of firewood on a large scale..

majority rules is often shortsighted..

link to nytimes article of unique & beautiful futuristic home in connecticut designed by Wilfred J.O. Armster, which was dis-liked by the majority when first built.. but has been pleasing its inhabitants ever since