So Gov. Jerry Brown is warning that, with 70% of the state in severe drought, we are facing a megadrought in California this summer. The signs have been with us some time: wells drying up in Marin County, drastically reduced snowfalls, this beautiful but crazy winter sunshine.
The Marin Water dept sent out its newsletter today asking us to reduce water usage by 25% before rationing needs to be introduced. I know from our Australian experience what this means: short sub-4 minute showers, turn off the tap while you brush teeth and suds up hair, lose any garden sprinklers and if, if you really mean business, if its yellow just let it mellow!
At Rainwater HOG I am working on a series of smart DIY boxed solutions under a new Water Savvy label: a Laundry to Garden water connection, and an A/C to Garden connection. Those are the nuts and bolts everyday solutions. Here are some other non-rain-dependent water savers that are a bit more radical!
So stay tuned for my Get Water Savvy! Product launch at the end of February...and Californians, get used to those shorter showers!
Well, all 48 students turned up for Week 1 plus a couple of extras - a seriously full class for the sort of hands-on stuff I have planned over the next few weeks! Its super exciting to have such a diverse mix of backgrounds and people. Week 1 was based on the consideration of Negative Space in expanding perspective and clarifying the extent of a problem. The candle puzzle (old skool but still a good one) was solved efficiently by all groups, and we had some terrific interpretive dancing too. A highlight was Dan Markovitz speaking about the negative space he assesses when advising companies on efficient work practices. Another highlight for me was finding Stephen Buetow PhD's paper on negative space in clinical environments, where he identifies not only negative physical space but also negative communicative space (i.e. what DOESNT get said) and negative longitudinal space, which is the length of pause. Check the paper out here. It was two hours of great energy - Im prepping now for this week's "Thinking Sideways" class....everything from 18th century Siberian bear armour to the execution of ice hotels....stay tuned!
On one of my favorite websites, www.visual.ly.com, a graphic with all the sci fi spaceships the artist can think of
When my grandma died my cousins and I arm-wrestled furiously over who might inherit the Parker dining table and chairs. In a nice way of course, but every design-savvy Australian wants a piece of Mid-Century Parker heritage in their house. Pictured are the Parker extension table and matching chairs. I own the originals, but these beautiful, clean pieces are not the 1960s originals, but an authorised reissue of the Parker range.
MCing the launch of Workshopped13, an exhibition I was part of for three years, I was honoured to meet Tony Parker himself, now 83. Parker designed these classics at the tender age of 23, and sixty years later is still advising this season's crop of designers to consider their target audience and design for manufacture. If you get a chance to drop into the Workshopped13 exhibition at Sydney's SupaCentre dont miss it - there are some terrific pieces that may be the Australian classics of tomorrow.
I was so excited to see the HOT WHEELS DC comic collection at Luckys yesterday, and I love that Batgirl gets such a cool rodded-up '59 Cadillac. I like Aquaman's 1965 Rod Ranchero even more.....
BUT WHO decided that sporty, young Amazon SuperGrrrl needed a VAN?! Surely a teenager needs something sporty, speedy and spunky? Smells like a mum-mobile to me. Reissue please Hot Wheels!!
It’s that common feeling of wondering where does everything come from. (And) that nagging feeling of the guilt we have when we buy things we don’t always need or when we don’t want to buy things but are told to buy stuff to keep the economy going and that the economy needs to grow, and if it shrinks it’s a disaster and all this stuff, so it was just a conundrum I wanted to solve or, at least, explore.
When I arrived fireside at our Memorial Weekend group camp site, I found The Toaster Project in a pile of books donated by one of our camping families. O JOY! It was one of those "mean to read" books I hadn't yet got to. I read Thomas Thwaites' journey of befuddled making with huge interest and lots of identification. It is brilliant - should be on every high schooler's reading list just for a start. I have linked Thwaites's TED Talk below so you can here more from the man himself. Brilliant investigative adventure with so many thoughts. A fascinating project. I am now rethinking my punctured air beds, defunct electric pumps and compromised food processor with a view to repurposing......
Water Producing Billboard Is So Good You Can Taste It (via http://www.kalev.com)
By Karyn Boenker Kalev.com Contributor Mayo DraftFCB, an advertising agency in Lima, Peru, has created a billboard so good you can taste it. Literally. You can walk right up to the base of the billboard, turn a handle and enjoy a fresh serving of purified water collected from the air. When you think…
Its interesting bringing a tea tree product to the American market. In Australia we are well aware of the antibacterial and anti fungal (and nit repellant!) properties of tea tree oil, but the tea tree industry in the USA, particularly the pet industry, is stuck back in 1998 on a case report regarding the poisoning of three cats with tea tree oil. I've been digging around on tea tree research since the early 90s and the more I read, the more I am stunned that articles will cite a report from 14 years ago in a context that clearly indicates they havnt actually read the case study. As a journalist this totally peeves me.
Back in the 90s three purebred Angora cats were presented to a clinic in Oklahoma with severe flea infestations. They were shaved, and the flea bites were numerous, and open. Reading that tea tree oil could cure fleas when diluted in water and used as a dip, the clinic instead poured 120 ml of 100% pure tea tree oil directly onto the animals. WTF?? Bizarre decision.
As a result of this intense tea tree bath one cat died and all the cats started shaking uncontrollably and passing out. The effect of the tea tree - already way too much for human or beast - would have been compounded by the fact that felines are incapable of glucoronidization - so metabolize the tea tree components extremely slowly.
In addition, more recent research has proven that tea tree oil oxidises very quicky, especially if kept in a clear bottle and exposed to sunlight, and in its oxidised state is far more toxic than fresh oil. Tests on humans and animals have clearly shown that the oil, applied neat, is more than 3 times more toxic when oxidised (the oil tested was 9 months old).
SO all tea tree pet products have been tarred by an incident where tea tree oil was applied neat, in stupidly huge quantities, and could well have been oxidised. We dont use more than 2% tea tree oil in our formulations and its entirely safe, but its super frustrating to have the cat report quoted to me by people who need to update their research.
I am writing a paper with an exhaustive library of test reports and research on tea tree toxicity. Shall post here when done - but everything I read makes me more and more excited about what we can do to further exploit the health benefits of this incredible Australian bush medicine. And no animals will be harmed in the process!
ten years earlier, we had put forward a proposal for treating a building like the Play-Doh plastic figures who grows hair and beard when you squeeze coloured dough through the holes in his head..."
Now thats my kind of guy! I loved those toys, and I love this idea so much that I am trying to replicate the concept for a Burning Man project. Architect, Maker and London Olympic torch designer Thomas Heatherwick initially designed a box supported on all sides by hollow tubes that let sunlight in during the day and, in a genius move, were oriented so that a single internal lightbulb would send light shooting out the stalks at night.
Check out his Seed Cathedral as profiled by Mattie Ivy in our February Whole HOG newsletter. So inspirational.
Sally Dominguez writes, skis, designs and teaches, is curious about most things and loves Dr Seuss.