Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Monday, 29 August 2011

Chad Person’s Recess

Stumbled across this and I feel pretty conflicted about it.

On the one hand it deals with prepping for disasters and the like. Which I think is cool and all, and frankly, a responsible thing to do. He’s building a bunker out of what was a swimming pool in his backyard. Okay. Might not be a bad idea as a defense against wind storms and the like I suppose. He’s got some other stuff that is worthwhile - raising chickens for instance.

The odd thing about it is that it is billed as an art project. He had a gallery opening for it. Uhm, all right. Not really something I would consider art, but maybe I’m just too parochial too see the brilliance of how he’s “expanding the paradigms and broadening the discourse of formal juxtaposition of what constitutes art” or some such BS art speak.

Then he starts doing things that just leave me scratching my head, like telling the whole world about what he’s doing, to the extent of a map of exactly where he lives, strikes me as really foolish. He talks about all kinds of touchy feely stuff like not hiding the fact you're prepared, that you should work with your community, yada, yada. Sure, I believe very much in the idea of resilient communities, of working with your neighbours. Sure. Telling the entire world, ie, a bunch of strangers who are not part of your community, ie, people who could care less about you, ie, people who would gladly victimize you and your loved ones to get your stuff, just flies in the face of common sense. 

But where it starts to veer over into fuggeduppedness is making improvised shotguns. Uhmm.... I know some armorers and tinkerers who have made weapons. With a decent machine shop it’s not so hard to do. But what he makes reminds of what the MauMau were making. IE, frighteningly crude hack jobs, probably more likely to blow up in your face, than dispatch a predator. You can get a decent shotgun for what, a $150. And by putting it all up on the internet, he attracted the interest of the BATFE. Telling the whole world about it, and then being surprised when the authorities take umbrage, and then whining, “yes, but it’s really just an art project” strikes me as really dumb. 

But what makes me really question this guys sincerity and sanity is that he posts what his neighbours have on the internet, labelling the fact that they have solar panels on their roof or a 4 wheel drive vehicle or propane tanks for all the world to find. I realize that anyone with evil in their heart could drive around and locate things to steal in any neighbourhood. But it creeps me out that this guy is blatantly highlighting who has what for the whole world to see. Did he ask any of them if they would mind? Is he doing this because he plans to rob his neighbours if the shit hits the fan, or pretty much inviting others to do so? Putting up a map of what he euphemistically calls “resources”, ie other peoples stuff, isn’t just stupid, it’s downright dangerous and irresponsible. Pulling all your neighbours into it, by highlighting what they have, with some inane idea that you’re creating community cohesion, is arrogant and rude. If he highlighted for the world to see that I have a 4x4 in my garage and a garden, he would be dealing with either a punch in the face or a lawsuit.


Like I said, I’m all about preparing for unpleasant eventualities. But I’m certainly not a paranoid kook, dreaming about what an exciting adventure the post-apocalyptic world will be. I’m all about trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, lay in a supply of food, learning as many useful skills as I can, working together with friends and neighbours, to weather system disruptions or natural disasters and the like. But what this guy is doing just strikes me as all wrong.

I’m not even going to hotlink to it.

http://chadperson.com/recess/

S.o.t.D. - Gnossienne No.1 – Erik Satie


One of the best pieces of music - ever.

Secure Bicycle Parking in Hamilton

I think bicycling is a great thing, and think encouraging people to ride bikes more is also a great thing.

But two crucial pieces of infrastructure are usually missing – at least here in automobile mad North America – safe places to ride and safe places to park.

Bicycle theft is a huge problem, and the police response to it is usually ineffectual to say the least. If you look at charts as to how much is lost in bank robberies every year, dollar wise, versus how much is lost in bicycle thefts, dollar wise, bank robberies are petty crime by comparison. But if a crackhead passes a note at a bank and walks out with $200 – HOLY SHIT! 8 cruisers are there within minutes, detectives from the hold–up squad show up, news crews arrive, wanted posters are published, the whole bit. Some reprobate absconds with a $2000 primary mode of transportation, the police response couldn’t be more underwhelming. “Oh. Gee. What a shame. Here fill out this form and we’ll give you a call if it turns up.”

It just seems like bicycles, rather than being regarded as a perfectly viable mode of transportation, good for the health of the individual riding it, good for the environment, etc., etc. are regarded as little more than a silly kids toy. Even talking to insurance companies, they seem completely uninterested in extending things like car tracking devices to bikes to help them be found.

So I was thrilled to find out that the City of Hamilton has started to provide safe places to park your bicycle. Locked cages, that you rent a spot in for a measly $50 a year. Lit up in a garage with security cameras.

There are a few locations throughout the city, including Mohawk College, McMaster University, City Hall, Jackson Square, Horizon Utilities, and the hospitals, which are for employees, staff or students at those facilities. There are also two bike parking facilities, one at the Convention Center on Summers Lane with a capacity for 16 bicycles, and another at the parking garage between Vine, York, MacNab and James with a capacity for 43 bicycles, which are available to the general public.

Kudos to the city of Hamilton for doing this! Hopefully this initiative takes off and more secure bike parking facilities will appear around the city in years to come, not just city run, but hopefully private businesses will also begin to offer more secure places to park bicycles.


Balcony View

The friends I went to help on Saturday, live in an apartment building up on the mountain. I went there on Friday night to pick up a pass I would need to get me into the event. Just before I left their place, I couldn’t resist taking a quick shot of the view they have, just as the sun was going down.

Greenbelt Harvest Picnic

Some friends of mine asked on FB if anyone was up for helping them with the booth they were running at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic. Knowing I was free this weekend, and having never been to the location it was being held at (Christie Lake Conservation Area – no idea why not) up above Dundas on the Escarpment, I offered to help.

The Greenbelt Harvest Picnic was organized by Daniel Lanois, who grew up in this area. It wasn’t really anything that I would ordinarily have wanted to attend – none of the artists appeal to me that much), but I’m really glad I ended up going. I had a great time with MaryEllen and Terry and the whole event was terrific. The location was fantastic, the music was great, and it was very well organized and managed. The crowd (I was told it was about 7000) ranged in age from seniors to toddlers, and the whole thing had a really friendly vibe. The douchebag factor was completely non-existent. There was room to toss a frisbee around, you could go wandering, go for a swim in the lake, go fishing, whatever you felt like. There were vendors selling all kinds of things – art, photography, crafts; there were information booths about various worthwhile organizations and charities; local farmers were selling their wares. There were lots of great food vendors – really great food vendors. And you could buy beer. But what made it nice is that you could buy a beer – and walk around with it. Wow, talk about being treated like an adult. This provinces tight ass liquor laws have been loosened so that you’re no longer corralled into a fenced off area to purchase and consume beer. You could even buy a bottle of wine, and go back to your tent or wherever you were sitting and drink it at your leisure. Nice change.

One of the reasons the event was being held was to raise awareness of the Greenbelt, an area surrounding what is called the Golden Horseshoe, set aside by the government of Ontario, to preserve 1.8 million acres of farm and wild land. One of the farmers with a booth came up on stage and gave a little talk about food and farming, and one thing he said really floored me. Canada only produces 15% of the food it consumes. Maybe I heard it wrong and we produce 50%. It’s a frightening figure either way.

I took the bus as far as it went in Dundas and walked the rest of the way. 
Dundas Lookout, right by Spencer’s Gorge.
Climb to the top of King Street before the road hangs a right and this is the view. Hamilton way off in the distance. Niagara Escarpment on the other side of the Dundas Valley.

I wasn’t sure of exactly where to get into the park - the official entrance is all the way on the north side of the park, but I found an unmarked trail which seemed like a good prospect so I followed it. I could see Christie Lake (well I guess it’s technically more of a mill pond, albeit a pretty long one) through the trees, and kept following the trail west. The forest was beautiful, the temps perfect, not a soul around, and I could hear these angelic female voices. Lovely female harmonies wafted across the water. Turned out that it was Dawn & Marra. Talk about perfect accompaniment to a walk along a trail, the sun dappled through the trees.
I had a brochure about Christie Lake C.A. which showed a map of the trails, but in my haste to leave the house, I forgot to grab it. I was walking around slightly blind, and ended up meandering around for a while.
Neglected to take many pictures of the trail since I wasn't just wandering around for my own sake - I was going there to help friends. I had places to be, things to do.
And I also only took a handful of pictures of the lake, as I wasn’t there to lollygag for my own amusement – I was there to do something. Also didn't get any photos of the show.

Anyone in the general vicinity looking for a nice spot to take the family, check out Christie Lake C.A. Swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, cross country skiing, picnic, whatever you want. And I also recommend the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic to anyone in years to come. The understanding I have is that it will become an annual event. Professionally run, nice vibe, family friendly, great location, fantastic food, good music. Totally nice day. Definitely check it out.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

S.o.t.D. - Blue Lotus – Hobzee and Zyon Base


Some chilled out drum and bass, but it’s still got that rib cage rattling bass. Sub woofer workout! Not to mention the Spectre samples. Loved that game.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Untitled

I gave blood today

See that! None of your picking on me today.

All right, it was actually last friday, but I only got around to offloading the picture today. Besides, it’s the sentiment that counts.

My 37th time. 

Please go and donate blood.

Bibliophilia: Against All Enemies – Tom Clancy

Not sure that he is as good as he was. I think he really has become a franchise. I think his co-writers pretty much do it all now. I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure it’s the kind of tight, well researched thriller he became known for.

S.o.t.D. - Unharmed – Phaeleh & Clubroot


Mellow.

Camille Seaman’s Big Cloud

Photos taken in the American Midwest of cloud formations called supercells. Capable of incredible destruction, there is a strange beauty to them.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Scale of Planets

Trying to wrap my little brain around things like distances in the universe or even just the size of planets, is usually a futile effort. Came across this a while back and thought it explained at least the latter befuddler in a fairly simple manner.

http://www.rense.com/general72/size.htm

Floating Houses

I was born in the Netherlands, a country built largely on deltas, the outlet of some of the largest rivers in Europe. A huge chunk of that small country lies below sea level. Their ingenuity at reclaiming land from the sea, and keeping the sea at bay, is very admirable. But the way we’re screwing things up in the world, sea levels are almost certain to rise. Rise to a level that all the ingenious methods the Dutch have devised will prove unable to keep up with. Rather than trying more of the same, architects are now looking at living with the water, rather than fighting against it. Namely, floating houses.





Given that, my country of birth won’t be the only place affected by this troubling prospect, and given the number of places in the continent I now live in that are damaged or destroyed by flooding, (which seems to be getting worse with each passing year), perhaps it’s time to stop doing things the traditional way, and start building with an eye towards designs better able to deal with rising water levels.

S.o.t.D. - Half Asleep (Lusine Remix) – School of Seven Bells


Know nothing about these Seven Bells people, but dig the heck out of Lusine.

Grey Day Foray

Got up early on a recent sunday morning, and went for a wander. Not far, not anywhere I haven’t been before, but just nice to get out when it was cool and quiet, and just walk for a while.
Yeah goose, you’d best be scurrying along.
Not sure what kind of spider this is.
“Merganser patrol to base. Live tree sighted. Preparing to drop a load of our toxic guano bombs to destroy the target.”
And speaking of an even more destructive species, loads of little pieces of plastic on the shore of Cootes Paradise.
Boat on Burlington Bay with Burlington behind it.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

S.o.t.D. - Pit Stop – Farid


I gather this is a friend/acquaintance/co-conspirator of Thievery Corporation. Certainly fits in very nicely with the kind of sophisticated stuff they do.

BASE! How Low Can You Jump?


Spectacular BASE jumping scenes from Norway from the movie Adrenaline Rush (The Science of Risk). The song is Last Walk Around Mirror Lake by Boom Bip and it’s been remixed by Boards of Canada. Always good to have more BOC

Monday, 22 August 2011

Ghost Ships of the Mothball Fleet

I was into “Urban Exploration” long before I ever even knew there was a name for it, or a movement. Abandoned buildings, storm drains, unfinished apartment buildings, tunnels under university campuses.

This isn’t quite “urban”, but a pretty epic exploration nonetheless. And great photography as well. 

http://scotthaefner.com/beyond/mothball-fleet-ghost-ships/#more-146

S.o.t.D. - Unexplained – Oceanic State


Some mellow, chilled out DnB.

The career I should have gone for.

Seriously, if I had this job I would be the most serene guy on Earth. 

“Hey Mr. Lama, c’mere and lemme teach you a thing or two about inner peace an’ all that jazz.”

Okay, I’m actually a pretty chilled out guy, but if I had any sense I would have pursued what I wanted to do when I was a kid. Operate an excavator. While digging holes in the ground would be fun as hell, having one with a huge boom arm and an articulated grabber on the end would be super fun as hell. Ripping chunks of building off and lifting girders with ease. Hello! I’d have the biggest smile on my face, and not be stressed out about anything. And probably have my house paid off, nice car, yadda, yadda.

The old Federal Building here in town in being torn down, to be replaced by a hotel. (I’ll try to refrain from making any snide comments about the developer doing it.)
Punch!
Bash! There goes the window.
Crash!
Smash! Some bricks go plummeting down.
Rip! There goes a girder.
Tear!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

S.o.t.D. - Wet Floors – Akufen

Wet Floors – Akufen

I remember being really intrigued by the radio snippets Skinny Puppy would drop randomly into live performances, but Akufen took little snippets of sound off the radio in a whole other direction and created glitchy, funky tech-house out of it.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Crane Dismantling

The skyline in the neighbourhood has been different for several months because of two cranes that stood tall. One crane was taken down about two months ago, and the other was being taken down as I walked past in the morning and on the way back in the afternoon. I reckon I would really like that job – assembling and disassembling high raise cranes.
The counter ballast being taken down.
Down to just the tower when I came past again later in the day.

S.o.t.D. - Crunkyfunk (Lusine ICL remix) – Crunch


Oh dear gawd, do I love this track! I thought it was relatively new, but it’s almost a decade old. Crunch is Dave Tipper. Awesome production/remix work on this bass heavy, slowed down, deep beat, head nodder.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Roofed

I mentioned the ungodly task of stripping off the old roof here.

Got the new roof put on after some delays. Neighbour Rob helped, since he had done roofs before, and had a roofing airgun, which made it all a lot easier. I could have figured it out of course, but it went a lot faster this way. I was largely just the hander and holder - hand stuff up and hold stuff in place. Not so glamorous, but valuable in its own right. And being a giant I’m ideally suited to that.

Ended up being a fun two days actually. Had some great conversations with Rob and learned how to shingle a roof. Don’t know that I’ll have too much cause to do it in my lifetime, but I’m always grateful to learn new skills, no matter what they might be.
The boy had asked a few times if he could come up on the roof while I was stripping it. I’d said no each time. With rusty nails poking up here and there, and loose grit everywhere that acted like a layer of ball bearings (suddenly slipping and sliding because of that caused some puckering), I didn’t want him up there. But with everything done, nothing for him to trip over, and a nice grippy surface, I figured “oh what the hey.”

“You want to come up?” The look on his face was priceless.

With someone on the bottom and top of the ladder, up he came, stepped off, walked to the top and sat down. To get down I held his hand so he could back himself down to the ladder, and then held the ladder when he was on. He did just fine.

Only thing that the perfectionist in me regrets is that there wasn’t enough shingles to do the whole roof by a small handful. Rob calculated we needed 44 for the ridge cap. We were short 8. He had suggested leaving a few grey shingles in case one was damaged in a wind storm or some such. Okay. He had a few black ones in his garage, so I calculated 4 black ones on each end, then 7 grey, and then 4 more black ones, and then the whole center in grey. Bit of balance and symmetry. He miscalculated and I had to cut up a grey shingle to make up the 3 we were short on the end. So now it looks kind of out of balance. Being all about the symmetry, it looks imperfect. It’ll bug me every time I look at that roof now. Oh well.
Shot a quick 360º panorama while I was standing up there, of the little block.

Bibliophilia: The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton

I have pretty vivid memories of reading a book when I was a child, while I was still living in Amsterdam, of a house that was out in the country, and as pages went on, a road was built and paved, and a town rose up around it, and then tenement houses, and then a tram, and then an elevated railway, and a subway, and eventually skyscrapers. I recall finding it all a bit...scary. That cloying sense of things becoming ever more crowded and hurried. It made a distinct impression on me, and every so often I would recall it. The thought occurred to me to see if I could track it down. I entered a variety of likely sounding terms into a search engine and there it was, a book from my childhood, decades later.

From 1942 and winner of the annual Caldecott Medal.

Neat to re-read it all these years later. And it still evoked the same feelings of unease in me about urban sprawl. I probably had no idea of it, and certainly wouldn’t have been able to articulate it at that age, but I knew something about farmland being relentlessly gobbled up by the outward spread of humanity made me uncomfortable. And I guess on some level, having that exposure at a young age made me conscious of trying to live a fairly low-impact life all these years.

If you have kids, it’s worth sharing with them.

S.o.t.D. - Fall In Love – Submerse

Fall In Love – Submerse 

It appears garage is making something of a comeback. Fine with me.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Dirkon – Paper Pinhole Camera

Based on a project that was published in a 1970’s Czechoslovakian magazine. Fantastic project if you have kids. A downloadable, printable PDF of a paper pinhole camera that you can cut out and build, and then take pinhole pictures. Two fun projects that you can use to teach kids some skills - both the making of the camera and then opportunities to teach about film and photography. Or…you know…if you’re a just big kid, it’s fun for you as well. 

http://www.pinhole.cz/en/pinholecameras/dirkon_01.html

edit:
If you find this subject interesting, a book has just been released about the subject: PinHole Cameras: A DIY Guide by Chris Keeney.

Signage: Greek Palace or Type for Greek Restaurants

Here’s some Greek for you. φοβερό. That means “awful”.
Times New Roman, Symbol, and then let’s switch to Algerian, and then let’s just add a crudely drawn C. Wow, what a mess. The serifs don’t match, one has no serifs when it should. If you work in a sign shop, shouldn’t you have the ability to create something that not only conveys the name and what the place does, (which admittedly this does do), but do it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and looks cohesive? With the tools available, couldn’t someone have created something better than this gyros of lettering?

I have a friend who’s convinced that all Greek restaurants in North America are supplied by one central commissary in Canton, Ohio. I wonder if the same mentality of banality is at work at sign shops nowadays.

Some typefaces that could be used for signage on Greek restaurants.

Présence Typo’s Kouros

S.o.t.D. - Lovin’ You – Lojik

Lovin’ You – Lojik 

Oh my...

If I had anything to say about it, this would be a #1, top 40 hit. Am I in just the right headspace right now to think this is nearing pure perfection? Actually, yeah, this is just orgasmically good.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I’m R rated? Really?

OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets
I saw this and out of sheer curiosity had to give it a try.

Come on, really?

I keep the foul language to a barely noticeable amount, nothing gross or gratuitous, I think it’s generally a pretty fun and wholesome site, all in all. I wouldn’t feel awkward showing it to anyone. Apparently the word “knife” appears 15 times, and amongst the hundreds of thousands of words, “death” appears 7 times or “dead” appears 3 times, and “pain” appears once. And that is all it takes to relegate me to the art house circuit.

What a load of hooey.

Skulls

I’ve collected a bunch of animal skulls over the years - ones I’ve found wandering around in the woods, I got a few from a past girlfriend who was a zoologist, etc. Skulls are neato.

California Academy of Sciences had a skull exhibition a few years ago, but they still have an online component up. 

S.o.t.D. - Astral Weeks – Van Morrison


My brother has always been a fan, and I appreciate Mr. Morrison’s stuff, but perhaps not as much as I should.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Bibliophilia: The World Without Us – Alan Weisman

The World Without Us Alan Weisman

The author uses an intriguing angle to show the effect we (humans) are having on the planet – by removing us from the picture. What would happen if we all suddenly disappeared tomorrow, how would the world change without the influence that we are having on it. By going to cities like Chernobyl and places like the Korean DMZ, places that have been allowed to develop without human interference for many years, it gives a glimpse into how different the planet would be. It’s a provocative book that shows what we are doing to the planet, in a roundabout way. 

One of the things I found most intriguing is how long houses and buildings and cities would continue to stand for. I was always under the assumption that if we were to come back centuries after the fact, that traces of cities would still be very evident. The author posits that if you built a house, closed all the doors and windows, and no human came near it, a century later, it would be a pile of rubble in the basement. Birds would crash into the windows, and let moisture in, squirrels and mice would eventually burrow in, and let moisture in that way for mould to gain a foot hold, rain water would eventually seep in around points on the roof, and just plain old neglect and lack of maintenance would do the thing in. In a city like New York, pumps work around the clock to empty all the tunnels under the city of water - millions of liters per day. Without those pumps working furiously, they would flood in short order, and cause the collapse of everything above them.

Another thing I learned, and I’m surprised I didn’t know this, is that bronze will pretty much last forever. Tens of millennium from now, bronze statues will still be standing even after everything else has crumbled to dust.

Bibliophilia: Journey into Mohawk Country – Harmen Meyndertsz van den Bogaert

An adaptation of a 1630’s account of a Dutch trader traveling north into present day New York state in winter.

S.o.t.D. - The Breather – Akotcha


Shame these fellas only did one album of trip-hoppy goodness. A total gem that came out almost fifteen years ago on Pork. 

Schmoke ’em if you got ’em!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Time Team

After not seeing it for some time, I sat and watched Time Team tonight.

For those not at all familiar with the premise, it’s a show about archeology. Featuring some generally dorky and not necessarily photogenic English boffins, who dig for anything from a Spitfire that crashed nose first into a French field to Iron age settlements in Britain to early Industrial period factories to Roman forts in Holland. The one strange conceit is that it’s all done in three days. Oddly limiting. Sometimes they find something of great import and sometimes they hit a dry hole. Often they make hugely speculative surmises at the start based on some globs of colour from a geophysical scan. Periodically they have information based on finds from digs a century before, sometimes half millennia old maps, sometimes the owner stumbles on something while digging a new basement, or it’ll be knowledge that’s been known for generations. I’m always gob smacked when they can confidently say “oh yes that’s an early first century Roman olive oil jug” from a shard the size of a nickel. It’s a great education in European and especially British history, which has had an undeniably rich and tumultuous history dating back hundreds of thousands of years. From circular stone brochs on the coast of the Irish Sea to medieval villages wiped out by the plague to Bronze age mines (well, small pit mining), to Roman bath houses to Napoleonic war defences. I’m always amazed at how much soil covers a site that’s only a few centuries old. I’m completely stunned that springing for a haircut for some of the members wasn’t in the budget. And they could get a lot more done if Tony pitched in and actually did some digging.

(And that awesome British scenery of rolling green hills and stone walls and coppices of trees and woodlands. Hope I get to spend at least a few months of my life walking around in that landscape. Love where I live, but the terrain is so different and so appealing there. 
And the show also features women with nice breasts on their hands and knees in a muddy hole. And Dr. Faye Simpson too. Total cutey.)

I really wish they would devote more time to excavating sites, as in a multi part show if need be, or hope they pass it off to a local school or group enthusiasts who will continue to excavate, and do a revisit a few years later. Some of them really do deserve a more through inspection, not a cursory exploratory dig.


I think this was one of my favourite episodes. A roman barge had been found in a field in Holland. It had been sunk as a bulwark of sorts to help maintain a Roman fort road from washing out. In the intervening centuries the river changed course so much that it was far from any water when found. The tools at the 23 minute mark are especially cool.

And often they will do some great 3D renderings and videos of what the site might have looked like. Or they will get an archaic skill practitioner to demonstrate the making of an item germane to the show. Seeing a bronze axe being cast and actually used to chop down a tree is just great.

It’s been on, since 93 I think, and there are a whole bunch of variations, including a USA one.

So if you’re a dork like me, and you like history and archeology and can handle slightly eccentric old English gits, check it out. And let’s not forget, it’s also got the beautiful and smart Faye Simpson. Total honey bomb.

Here are some links, so you can check it out. It’s on on TVO here in Ontario, and PBS carries it in the States. Check your local listings. 

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/T/timeteam/

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/time-team

http://www.timeteamdigital.com/

S.o.t.D. - Eternal Cycle – Silent Witness


I thought this was another guise for Photek, but I might be wrong. In any case, it’s dark, ominous, and chugs along nicely. Noish!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

MiiU.org - a wiki for Resilient Communities

Just wanted to give a little plug to this.

I’ve mentioned John Robb’s Global Guerrillas on here before. Tons of great info, and I’ve learned a hell of a lot reading it over the last year. (I even sent him a suggestion for something to include on the site a few days ago, and the next day there it was. Hee hee.)

I have an interest in knowing how to keep my ass alive out in the woods, and have strived to become as proficient as I can in that regard over the last few decades. Another interest I have is in weathering potential disasters and mishaps that might occur in my regular day to day life. I’m not naive enough to think that everything is hunky-dory in the world, or that things couldn’t turn really ugly really fast if a calamity occurred. 

I’m a member of a few “preparedness” forums and have checked out quite a few others. Some are fantastic, and some are filled with complete asshats. There seems to be that segment of delusional dreamers just hoping, praying for the zombie apocalypse so they can run for the hills and live out their Mad Max fantasies. Yeah whatever. I always have to laugh at the “where can I find some BDU pants with a 54" waist?” questions. Uhm, maybe instead of more guns and ammo, some of your preparedness plans might consist of some exercise?

I’m much more interested in the idea of resilient communities. I think a whole bunch of things are headed down the pipe that will make this way of doing things not only more attractive and feasible, but also necessary. People working together to make their communities not only better places to live in the short term, but also more sustainable in the long term.

Robb established this wiki recently, devoted to that very idea. As the site states:
“Our goal is to build a picture page for every object, place or skill related to Resilient Communities.
A Resilient Community is a place that locally produces most of what it uses/consumes – from food to energy to products – while accessing a full range of virtual tools and resources.
We’re aiming to share a full range of resources to help resilience emerge.
Resilient communities and personal resilience are going to be critical as we head into an era of global economic turmoil, shortages, and political failure.
Hey, we’re not trying to be excessively gloomy here, but the financial crisis of 2008 should be proof enough that this is not only possible but probable.”


I’ll put on my thinking cap and pull together some articles to contribute in the next little while.

S.o.t.D. - Sitting Pretty (Lackluster Remix) – Manta


This is another track that would fit really nicely into a cycling set.

Friday, 12 August 2011

S.o.t.D. - Emerald Epiphytes – Bluetech


I’m not sure I agree with people who compare Bluetech to God. I mean, he’s pretty good, but he’s no Bluetech.

Eagle Owl in Flight - slowed down

I’m not sure the word AWESOME even begins to describe this.

If there is such a thing as re-incarnation, can I come back as this please?

Thursday, 11 August 2011

S.o.t.D. - God In A Cupboard – Edward Ka-Spel


I had a relationship with a woman who made me a copy of a tape that the great Kevin Crompton had made for her before she went off to Papua New Guinea in 1986 to work on a zoological research project. It featured a bunch of his more ambient tracks that didn’t see the light of day for years after, some Skinny Puppy demos and vocal-less tracks, and some other stuff, including this track. I always found Legendary Pink Dots and Mr. Ka-Spel’s (his rhoticism - there’s your fancy word for the day - drives me a bit squirrely) stuff a bit hit or miss, but this track I liked a lot.

KEYHOLE™ - interesting way to carry a camera

You’ll have to excuse the 1995 era website, but the idea is pretty cool. Handy way to keep a camera easily accessible, yet prevent that annoying sway a heavy, bulky camera causes. I dig it because I can totally identify with the person that created it. Identify a need, figure out a solution, make a prototype, start selling it. 
http://backcountrysolutions.com/id20.html

Cats on Scanners

S.o.t.D. - Faun on the Waters – Liquid Stranger


A nicely chilled, dubby bubbler.