Friday, 29 June 2007

Low Impact Woodland Home

This low impact home was built in Wales and cost the owner about £3,000 to construct using a chainsaw, a hammer and 1 inch chisel. A little rustic but very lovely - and you can't knock the cost!

Prisons Of The World

Should you be considering a poorly executed crime spree and face a life behind bars, this collection of smallest / most secure / luxurious / you-get-the-picture-now prisons is a must. Link.

Plastic Ain't My Bag











We Are What We Do (where the beautifully designed books "Change the World For A Fiver" & "Change the World 9-5" came from) have launched their Plastic Ain't My Bag campaign. Loads of useful advice on their site with plenty of tiny steps you can take to make a difference. Read it. Promise?

Kudos to whoever designed the bag logo too - I am jealous.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Freaky Showerhead

I'm not sure I'd wash again if this was in my shower...

Product Page link.

Face Your Pockets!

"Face Your Pockets" is a project relying on the world to supply the images. The idea is you empty your pockets onto your scanner, contort yourself so that your face fits on there as well and e-mail your shot to faceyourpockets@gmail.com. Don't panic though, not all submissions are as artistic as the one below.

UK Footprint Calculator

Last week, the UK government launched a footprint calculator. Which I meant to blog about last week but didn't get around to. Too busy calculating my own (not good!)








The online carbon footprint calculator (which uses government data) is designed to "cut through" the confusion on climate change and allow people to work out what practical action they can take.

Buildings!

A "tidy out" collection of links (all via treehugger) about buildings!

1) Arquitectonica has won a competition to build a tower in Seville. The Puerto Triana Tower with have an "ecological core, photovoltaic cells and gray water recycling." It looks pretty funky too!

2) Jon Scroeder at Eco-Geek has gathered together a list of the top ten green skyscrapers. Of note is the Rrban Cactus in Rotterdam - if only for its quirkiness! A couple of UK entries too.

3) Treehouses! Not that I have a tree large enough to put a treehouse in, but if I did I would want this one! So pretty... It's just a pity I am afraid of heights...

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Journey of a Parcel...

Tim Knowles put a digital camera inside a cardboard box and rigged it so that it would snap a photo every ten seconds through a small hole in the box. Then he sent the box through the mail. It recorded a total of 6994 images and he made a slideshow with them.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Solar Powered Billboard

Much as I hate to give free advertising to a bank, I quite liked the idea behind this billboard as well as the benefit that it provided the local community - note the solar panels! It's not just me who likes it as it won the 2007 Outdoor Grand Prix.

The CD Hole

Some fab designs here that embrace the tricky "hole in the CD" rather than attempt to ignore it.

Dogs in Costume

Clearly I would never dream of putting my own dogs into an outfit just so I could laugh at them but that doesn't mean I can't snigger at other peoples...

Friday, 22 June 2007

Micro-Sculptures

Adalberto Abbate's micro-sculptures depict (amongst other things) scenes of carnage (riot, theft, murder - you get the picture) created from very precise models. Well worth a browse.

Dumb Builders

Take a good look at this photo.... D'oh.













Hint: If you can't work it out, follow this link to A Welsh View!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Country GDP in terms of US States

An interesting pictorial representation that highlights the sheer scale of the GDP of the USA versus the rest of the world. Link here.

Green Roofs

Green Roofs For Healthy Australian Cities has posted a photo gallery of buildings all over the world with green roofs.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Sust-it

Find out how much your appliances really cost you with the Sust-it calculator.

They cover everything from TVs to fridges and (using the manufacturers own information) it's really easy to see the impact that inefficient products have on your pocket (as well as the environment). I was very surprised by the true cost difference between apparently similar items and it seems to me that the energy efficiency ratings on products could do with similar transparency.

e.g. Nintendo Wii - £2.13 per year v. PS3 - £47.69. In 32" TVs - Samsung LE32M61B - £103.53 per year v. Panasonic TX32LXD7's £43.29 (which still shocked me!)

If, following that, you had a quick look into providing your own energy supply - pop over to Better Generation for info.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Dilbert The Green

"The World" in Dubai












The World is an ambitious terraforming project in Dubai to recreate (you guessed it) the World in islands off the coast.

Today they announced that the design of Oqyana their first continent (Australasia to you and me) is complete. It'll be made up of twenty islands and will be closest to the mainland at just four km away.

With the success of sales in the footballer-haven Palm Islands development I am sure it'll be a commercial success but I remain unconvinced that it's an environmental one. It also makes me think of various Sci-Fi books I've read and made me realise that they're really not that far-fetched!

Monday, 18 June 2007

Locus Awards 2007

The 2007 Locus Awards were announced over the weekend. My selected highlights are:









Best Science Fiction Novel: Rainbow's End - Vernor Vinge
Best Fantasy Novel: The Privilege of the Sword - Ellen Kushner
Best Young Adult Book: Wintersmith - Terry Pratchett

Best Novelette: When Sysadmins Rules the Earth - Cory Doctorow
Best Short Story: How to Talk to Girls at Parties - Neil Gaiman

Plus lots more but the Locus Awards site has dreadful formatting so copy & paste is not an option.

Most Expensive Cities to Live In

Mercer has released its annual ranking of the world's cities based on how expensive they are to live in. The weak dollar means that only two cities from the USA appear in the top fifty. Good to see London coming second in something. ;)

1. Moscow
2. London
3. Seoul
4. Tokyo
5. Hong Kong
6. Copenhagen
7. Geneva
8. Osaka
9. Zurich
10. Oslo

Also see the Quality of Living survey which Zurich tops - so expensive but nice!

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Customised Table

Is there anything left that you can't put your face on these days? From Vu, a coffee table and desk that you can buy with a printed frosted or plain top.

You can submit your own images (remember, kids - you're going to have to look at it every day!) or select from their online gallery. No word on prices on their site.

Old Cans as Shingle








Several years ago architect Richard Van Os Keuls decided to use discarded aluminium drink cans as siding for a house extension. He used an estimated 22,000 cans which were hand-washed and flattened before being attached to his house. Full article here.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Half Price Books





I do like to support independent book shops / publishers (when will Norwich get a decent inde book shop??!?) and this offer from Legend Press was too good not to share. They're having a "half price sale" on their site now with free p&p.

I was tipped off by dovegreyreader's blog post today and as she is enjoying Salt and Honey by Candi Miller I'll make sure I'll order that one first!

What The World Eats

What's on family dinner tables in fifteen different homes around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet" and hosted by Time Magazine. Slideshow here.

Io's Giant Plume

From the New Horizon's site, this 5-frame image of Io (one of Jupiter's moons as any fule kno) spewing out a plume of volcanic debris.

















It is more impressive than it sounds when you consider the scale - that little puff of dust is 200 miles high!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Milk Meets Coffee

Photographer Irene Mueller uses a Nikon D70 to capture her amazing range of high speed Milk Meets Coffee photos.

Check out her full gallery - I am very jealous.

Giant Nekkid Pole-Dancer!

From the Times Online, this picture of a giant pole-dancer welcoming tourists into Gatwick. Ingenious.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

I need to get out and about more...

From Travelbuddy:

Dog has Kitten?













From Ananova, this story about a dog who has become a local celebrity in a Chinese village after she reportedly gave birth to a kitten.

Hua Chengpeng, of Huayang village, Jiangyan city: "The first two puppies the dog produced were both normal, but when the third baby came, the whole family was very surprised to see a cat-like creature. It is a cat, not a dog at all." Local residents have been flocking to his house to see the 'kitten' which local vets say is really a puppy which looks like a cat because of a gene mutation. It apparently yaps like a puppy."

No promises about this story's authenticity.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

One Day's Rubbish

From the Guardian yesterday (I am so out of touch), comes this poorly laid out look at one day's rubbish from a selection of households. Each household's waste is looked at by some experts who give their opinion and provide tips for cutting down on what's thrown away. There’s some useful advice in there, from how to cut down on the amount of junk mail you receive, to making sure you know exactly what can and can’t be recycled in your area.

Worth a read is Reverend Robert Boulter whose rubbish included broken glass, used condoms and needles. He does a nightly sweep of his churchyard... Yeuch.

Nessie Update - Sort Of

A follow up on my Nessie post earlier in the month.

From Cryptomundo, a look at Gordon Holmes, the chap who shot the footage:

"It is with no disrespect that I compile for my readers the facts that Mr. Holmes has placed out there in cyberspace about himself. He has freely admitted that he has filmed fairies, seen apparent alien black cats, taken electrical spectrograms of what he thinks are large electric eels in Lake Morar, and has a “sort of medical condition…for visualising a sort of frame from a Dream whilst being conscious.”

Voices

This film was the winner of the Right Way Great Green Shoot Off 2007 sponsored by The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living. Whatever that is.

Observer - Ethical Awards 2007









From the
Observer, the results of their 2007 Ethical Awards. Their Ethical Issue was published at the weekend.
  • Al Gore Campaigner of the Year
  • Caroline Lucas Politician of the Year
  • Sainsbury's: packaging that turns into compost Best Supermarket Initiative of the Year
  • Natural Collection Best Online Retailer
  • Infinity Foods Best Local Retailer
  • Carshalton Lavender as Conservation Project of the Year
  • Jonathan Sear and Paul Speight, who created eco-friendly social housing, were awarded The Do-It-Yourself Award
  • BioRegional Minimills (UK) Ltd, received Invention of the Year for their unique initiative that turns straw into paper
  • Stratherrick Primary School win The Ecover Award for Young Campaigners of the Year
  • Terra Plana recieved, Ethical Fashion Product of the Year for their shoes.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Glasgow Tackles Illegal Posters










Glasgow's clean-up squads are tackling illegal bill posters with a little creative vandalism of their own. As well as painting over the time/venue parts of posters, workers have been issued with "cancelled" stickers which make it clear the ad has been banned by the council.

"If people start phoning concert promoters complaining that they thought the gig had been cancelled, then the promoters have no-one but themselves to blame for having the posters put up in the first place."

Your Ugly Mailbox

A quick link to the Your Ugly Mailbox blog which features pictures of (you guessed it) "unsightly and unusual" mailboxes.

The 8th June post links to David Morrison's site which is certainly worthy of honourable mention.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Steampunk Desktop














From the Steampunk Workshop comes this shexy desktop - that would be quite at home on the Nautilus. Full instructions for screen here and keyboard here.

It's called Wiiitis and it's real!

Wiiitis is real! It's a real term. I had it on Wednesday. It hurt more than "playstation thumb". :(

"When Dr. Julio Bonis awoke one Sunday morning with a sore shoulder, he could not figure out what he had done. It felt like a sports injury, but he had been a bit of a couch potato lately. Then he remembered his new Wii."

If you should get Wiiitis the treatment might be worse than the illness - it's ibuprofen for one week, as well as complete abstinence from playing Wii video games.

CNN Link.

Wellington Grey









From Wellington Grey, this little cartoon hit a chord with me... I'd not realised until this morning that he is the creator of several cartoons I've seen around (including the WiFi router invasion one) so well worth a browse of his archive.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

London Book Project

The London Book Project is a free book exchange on a massive scale. Using the London Underground as a high speed distribution network, they aim to bring real literature to London's commuters.

"Over the next two weeks we'll be distributing thousands of second hand books across the tube and we want YOU to get involved. If you see one of our books, please pick it up! Then read it and replace with any book of your choice. Let's make the tube a giant, free library!"

Cat-Cam

Mr Lee (yes - him on the left!) is a German cat whose owner has attached a camera to his collar so that his daily adventures are recorded. Every few minutes an image is recorded and the results from the trips on his website are interesting, as well as a bit surreal.

I'd do the same for my dogs if the images wouldn't all be food bowl and sofa...

Olympic 2012 Logo















The beautiful logo above for the London 2012 Olympics seems to have caused a spot of bother with most people agreeing that it's pretty crap. Especially as it cost £400,000. What makes me laugh is that apparently sensible and intelligent people are lining up behind it and explaining to the disbelieving public (like me) that it's been carefully crafted to appeal to the yoof of Britain.

  • "This is the vision at the very heart of our brand," said London 2012 organising committee chairman Seb Coe.
  • "It's not a logo, it's a brand that will take us forward for the next five years," Lord Cole told BBC Five Live.
  • "This is an iconic brand that sums up what London 2012 is all about - an inclusive, welcoming and diverse Games that involves the whole country. It takes our values to the world beyond our shores, acting both as an invitation and an inspiration." said Tessa Jowell.
  • "When people see the new brand, we want them to be inspired to make a positive change in their life." from Tony Blair.
  • "This is a truly innovative brand logo that graphically captures the essence of the London 2012 Olympic Games" says International Olympic Committee President, Jacques Rogge.
I am very confident that it's sickly pink hue (also available in blue, green and orange!) will inspire a generation of athletes.

The BBC has complied a selection of submissions from readers - most of which (in my humble opinion) are much better.

If you missed the goatse variant from Sean Stayte (that the BBC pulled as soon as they realised) here's a link from Boing Boing.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

How To Kill A Brand - Doc Adams

I was pointed towards this video by my cousins. You may have gathered that the PS3 is not highly esteemed in their household.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Birthday Joy












Today is my birthday and I have (already!) been a very spoilt lady. My vintage Star Wars collection received a very significant boost this morning and I fear I am going to need a dedicated nerd-room to display my enlarged collection adequately.

Trouble is - I need the space for my over-flowing bookshelves which also got an increase!

Joy.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Google Street View

Google Street View (launched a couple of days ago and covers five major US cities so far) is getting a pretty mixed reception.

Whilst Wired is running a Street Sightings Competition, (see the photo of the two guys checking out the bent-over woman!) others are less impressed.

Such as Mary Kalin-Casey who plugged in her address and was able to see Monty, her cat, sitting on a perch in the living room window of her second-floor apartment. I must admit that I did see a photo of Monty yesterday on Wired but it's nice to see him without the glare of a windowpane.

20 Most Amazing Coincidences...

...or proof that you can find a coincidence if you look hard enough. A decent time-waster though.

From OddEdge - 20 Most Amazing Coincidences.

Nessie?

From the Yorkshire Post News:

Gordon Holmes, from Shipley, travelled to the Scottish Highlands to use new hydrophone equipment in an attempt to eavesdrop on Nessie in the water. "I saw something moving on the surface of the water so I dashed to get the camera. It wasn't a wave because it was going in the opposite direction to the waves that I could see and the top half of it seemed to be black... At its closest point it was about 100 yards away from me. It seemed to be travelling faster than a human could walk."

Of course it could also be an otter or a large fish.