Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
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’.
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
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.
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?