With very little instruction, anyone can build their own home, or so argues natural building expert Michael Smith. Since the early nineties he's been teaching people to do just that with natural materials like cob and straw bale and he says it's quite simple.
"If you want to build for yourself, if you actually want to take the time to do the work for yourself, these techniques are very very simple to learn. Cob especially, we teach week-long cob workshops and at the end of that people with no previous building experience at all know what they need to know to build the cob parts of the house."
In this video, Smith shows us the natural homes (from cob, straw bale, clay wattle and slip straw) at the Emerald Earth Sanctuary, an intentional community in Mendocino, California where he currently lives and teaches. He explains how since earth homes require less investment in materials, they require more investment in labor, which means to build this way we will need to change the way we live and work.
To artists, making art is second nature. At the same time, making art is hard.
Worse still, on a bad day (or week, or maybe even a bad month), a great artist's work degenerates to that of any regular practitioner. Human energy, motivation and inspiration has this fickle way of rewarding those who serve it. Hence, an artist gets more inconsistent results the more experienced they become.
All great artists however, find a way around this and continue to perform to schedule. There are many techniques out there, but I the universal one has got to be periodisation. ie: Work as hard as possible when inspired, enjoy the silence while it lasts.
There are some artists (like Scott Adams and Dilbert's Daily Strip) that seem to be relentless content-production machines, but never make the mistake of comparing someones outside to your inside; there is likely some method of periodisation going on behind the scenes.
However, artists always find ways to up the ante. They get better at producing, and better at taking breaks, leading to major fluctuations in creative activity. This also leads to the (outside) perception that the artist is working non-stop.
If you're still think you're unfamiliar with your creative process, then the best advice is to stay conservative, and submaximally push your limits. If you stick to it (for years), you'll get to the level of the greats.
By then, you would have evolved your own philosophy of how to work wonders. But until then, make art every week day.
OK, we’re calling it: Computers are more than a passing fad. We’re so convinced of this, that we’ve teamed up with Sparkle Labs to teach you about electricity and electronics prototyping with series of interactive video classes.
Every Saturday at noon, from October 23rd to November 13th, we’ll post a video lesson that teaches you the basics of what goes on inside a computer chip. From breadboard basics to sophisticated circuits, you’ll gain a greater understanding of how your machines work. And the certified geniuses over at Sparkle Labs will hang around for a while in the comments to answer any questions you might have.
To take part in all the activities you’ll see on the videos, you should probably pick up Sparkle’s Discover Electronics Kit. We’ve convinced them to drop the price to $40 for Giz readers. You’re welcome. And we’ll see you in class!
Early this summer, the friend who first introduced me toAArduino amazed us with the news that he was moving to France to get married. Once I recovered from the surprise, it occurred to me that putting together some sort of Arduino-based wedding present might be a uniquely fitting thanks for his years of friendship and for helping get me started in this delightful enterprise. And so after weighing several ideas a I didn't fancy adding some ugly techno-junk to the pretty collection of tea cozies and china sets a I finally settled on building the device I describe here: a puzzle box that won't open until it is taken to a certain location.
To better understand my conception, let's fast forward and imagine the gift opening. The new couple, freshly back from their honeymoon, remove the wrapping to reveal a book-sized wooden box elaborately carved with elephant images. (I didn't carve it; I bought it that way atAWorld Market.) Mounted into the lid, perhaps incongruously, are an illuminated button, a small display, and a mysterious module that sharp-eyed readers might recognize as a GPS. There's also some kind of connector tucked away on the box's left side. More about that later.
What do they make of all this? It's hard to guess, but naturally I imagine they might try to open it up and take a look inside. When they do, however, they find the lid stuck tight a it seems to be latched from the inside. Will they push the button? Pretty buttons are awfully hard to resist, so let's assume so.
In a week no less!
Planet Earth has entered the age of the Personal Satellite with the introduction of Interorbital’s TubeSat Personal Satellite (PS) Kit. The new IOS TubeSat PS Kit is the low-cost alternative to the CubeSat. It has three-quarters of the mass (0.75-kg or 1.65-lb) and volume of a CubeSat, but still offers plenty of room for most experiments or applications.A And, best of all, the price of the TubeSat kit actually includes the price of a launch into Low-Earth-Orbit on an IOS NEPTUNE 30 launch vehicle. Since the TubeSats are placed into self-decaying orbits 310 kilometers (192 miles) above the Earth’s surface, they do not contribute to the long-term build-up of orbital debris. After operating for a few months (the exact length of time on orbit is dependent on solar activity), they will safely re-enter the atmosphere and burn-up. TubeSats are designed to be orbit-friendly.A Launches are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2011.
This video chronicles an odyssey with replicating the iconic gold Daft Punk helmet worn by Guy Manuel de Homem-Christo.
Magnetic fields are everywhere- you just can’t see them*.
Here we introduce some basic and inexpensive visual tools, as varied as iron filings and Arduino, pre-school toys and OpenGL, for getting to know your local fields. It’s not exhaustive, but might provide you with some useful starting points for your own exploration.
(*Unless you count the magnetic fieldAinside those photons that you use to see things.)
Dragos Roua,Aa former soldier in the Romanian army, now entrepreneur, talks about survival: be prepared, avoid excessive baggage, take good care of your health, jump to opportunities and have hope.