Dec 13, 2010

Totally Self-Sustaining Cabin

“What’s the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”

Those words, from the mind of the amazing Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), (who, I think, bears an uncanny resemblance to Abrham Lincoln, who lived nearly the same years (1809-1865), but I digress), inspired Texas Tech Associate Professor of Architecture Upe Flueckiger and his students to design and build this amazing Sustainable Cabin. It is a totally self-sustaining dwelling that now sits on it's permanant home in Fourd County, Texas and will be used "to test and quantify sustainable architectural concepts. "

From the Project's website:

"The Sustainable Cabin was constructed from the recycled metal chassis of a double-wide mobile home, with the exterior cladding made from corrugated iron and cedar. The inside includes bamboo flooring, yellow pine claddings and thermal insulation made from recycled cotton (mostly recycled blue jeans). The Morso stove is made from reused scrap iron, and electricity comes from photovoltaic solar panels.

The performance of these systems will be tested and evaluated. The data will then help future architects make crucial and lucrative design decisions, and help them to envision how to retrofit existing homes with sustainable technology."

This little place makes my heart feel super happy!

Watch this video to listen to Professor Flueckiger discuss how they made it.

I want one. Oh...but the Binishells...I want one of those as well. What's a girl to do...

Much Love, Emily

For more information and additional pictures: All pictures credit to same link.

Dec 1, 2010

Be Yourself...and always ask..."Why Not?" - Book Review

Be Yourself. Even if you are a Naked Mole Rat.

My girls and I have long enjoyed books by author, and former Sesame Street writer, Mo Willems. Our favorites are the Pigeon series (The Pigeon Wants a Puppy, Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late) and the Elephant and Piggie series (simple stories about Gerald the Elephant and his little friend Piggie). We love his illustrations and the stories are fun for both the girls and myself.

This morning we opened a new-to-us book by Mr. Willems.

"Wilbur is different from the other naked mole rats in the colony: he wears clothes (and he likes it!). But what will happen when Grand-pah, the oldest, wisest, and most naked naked mole rat ever, discover's Wilbur's secret?

Funnyman and three-time Caldecot Honoree Mo Willems exposes THE NAKED TRUTH about being yourself and wearing it well."

This is now one of my favorites, I LOVE the story.

Wilbur is a naked mole rat. As per the name, naked mole rats are, well, naked. But Wilbur likes to get dressed, and for that he is chastized by his fellow naked mole rats.

But Wilbur doesn't understand...

The other naked mole rats are so bothered, that they tattle on him to Grand-pah, who ponders the situation and calls all the naked moles rats to listen to his proclamation.

I won't spoil the ending for you, but like most children's books, this one has a delightful ending.  This is a WONDERFUL story about being yourself and thinking "outside the box", and I hope you will go here or run to your local library or bookstore and find this book. If you have little ones you are shopping for this holiday season, keep this book in mind.


Book available here.  No copyright infringement intended.  Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed and all illustrations copyright Mo Willems.