Small House

September 11, 2010

Leave it to Micah to send links to these great little houses. Check out more projects at baumhauer.com

Of course this is via Micah, via Green Diary. Check out this robot plant from Plantas Nomadas that  can walk about the contaminated rivers to nourish its microbial fuel cells. As it sips from the polluted water source, the elements of the contaminated water serve as nutrients for its microbes and they disintegrate to create energy during the process.

You can see Plantas Nomadas, designed by Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza, at Laboral, Gijón, Spain through June, 7, 2010.

iPad uPad

April 7, 2010

Everyone else is talking about it. Micah stood in line to pick his up on Saturday and is entranced by it, has downloaded dozens of free apps for it. I haven’t gotten one yet, but I know I will. I have most Apple products including a big MacPro for my music studio. Apple’s products are appealing in every way, user-friendly, intuitive, nice to hold and behold. Here is article in Gizmodo extolling the iPad’s design. It says it all.

Spring is Sprung

March 31, 2010

My true sign of Spring is the song of the peepers. Maybe I should call it a racket, a din, a gala symphony. Pseudacris Crucifer, the spring peeper, named for the little cross on its back, is a small frog that breeds in ponds and swamps throughout the US and Canada. After hibernating under logs or under piles of leaves the warm sun calls them out and slowly the males begin their mating call chorus persisting  to a frantic pitch at night from March through May or so. It’s always so sad to hear just one or two who haven’t found their mate forlornly calling as summer is coming.

This time of year used to signal the time for my boys to go explore the woods for other signs of spring- bits of green poking through the soil, birds arriving back from the winter in the south. Micah inevitably turns over a rock and finds a groggy salamander or two and he can always spot a peeper- so small and camouflaged.

The cats run my house. I think as soon as I walk out the door they jump all over the furniture and run over all the countertops. Why? Because they can. Then when I come home they tease me by jumping on the table and just look at me like I’m crazy shouting at them to get off. Now we have a new couch we have a spray bottle of water and they are getting drenched and hopefully getting the idea that the new couch is for people, not for cats. Who knows what they do when we leave the house. Maybe I’ll set up a webcam.

This is a great table designed by Koichi Futatsumata of Case-Real and featured on Freshome.com, suggested by Micah:. Wonder if the cats would stay off the top.

Scary, but Fun, Sleepover

January 24, 2010

Who wouldn’t love to spend a night sleeping over at the Museum of Natural History?  I have always thought about those empty, high-ceilinged and echoey hallways once the museum-goers and guards leave for the day. I know people who have a fear of being locked into the library or the furniture store or the museum after hours….  One of the books I read to the kids when they were small was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg (New York: Atheneum, 1967). It a wonderful story: A brother and a sister run away and hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. A Newbery medal winner.

I think the inspiration for this fabulous giant sleepover date at the Museum of Natural History has to be the film, A Night At The Museum. I wonder if I can set up a night for adults?

Cost: $129 per person
(Members: $119 per person)
(Scouts: $99.00 per person)

Admission Price includes:

  • Evening snack and light breakfast
  • Cots for all participants
  • Fossil fact finding mission by flashlight
  • IMAX film or space show
  • Take-home activities
  • Live animal special exhibition (seasonal)

or

  • Live animal presentation

Time: 5:45 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Open to: 7-13 year olds

You Should Bring:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Flashlight
  • Camera
  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste
  • Washcloth
  • Warm comfortable clothing to sleep in
  • Change for vending machines
  • Ear plugs (optional)
  • Night Mask (optional)

Via: Micah

Micah sent me the link to these amazing photographs of a Croatian National Park. Courtesy of TwistedSifter.com. The Plitvice Lakes National Park was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. Covering 116 square miles, the park was a tourist attraction in the 1800’s, hotels were built in the 1890’s and in 1949 were made into national park. The water colors vary from azure to green and grey.

I have always heard about how beautiful Croatia is. We even spoke about going to live there for a short while- then the war broke out there. Some summer I will definitely take a trip there.

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How does Micah find these sites? Cat lovers. In Japan. Gotta see it to believe it.

Micah and Container Houses

September 7, 2009

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Micah has just sent me some great information about affordable and sustainable urban housing. Check out the photos of this home- hard to believe it’s made of containers- actually three 40′ units and one 20′ unit.  The large units house the bedrooms and living rooms of the home, while the 20′ unit is dedicated as a kitchen in total taking up 1,858 square feet. It looks great and creates a very small footprint on a very small lot, in this case 5,000 square feet.

Using shipping containers as a building block is such an interesting and useful concept to me. You can even do-it-yourself with the book from containers4home.com which will provide all the details from choosing the container to designing the space using a CAD program.

I think these buildings belong in a more urban setting although Micah feels otherwise and would love to build a studio here in the wilds of NW Connecticut. Would like the bicycle built for two, though!

Easy Dinner Ideas

September 3, 2009

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Micah is a busy student on a budget. Extravagant dinners out are not an option. Here is the first of many ideas for a quick dinner:

Tacos, the old standby, with Broccoli

Ingredients:

One can organic refried beans

A few cloves of garlic, Organic cooking oil, Lettuce, shredded or torn, 1/2 avocado – diced, Carrot – grated, Grated soy or dairy cheese, Taco shells or tortillas, Salsa

Warm the cooking oil in your pan, add crushed and chopped garlic, low heat, stir, do not burn!

Add can of beans and heat on low flame. Stir occasionally as you prepare the other ingredients; Toast taco’s on low in oven or low in toaster oven. Don’t burn these either, please.

Meanwhile- wash, cut and steam broccoli.

Put together your tacos, add broccoli on your plate. Yes, you have to eat your broccoli. And enjoy simple dinner.

TOMORROW’s lunch: leftovers, or Avocado sandwich with leftover 1/2 avocado, lettuce, shredded cheese, add hummos or seitan. Yum! ( have a few leftover broccoli’s too)