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200 Buildings of Natural Materials

This is my cousin Mike Kahn's sculptural house in Cottonwood, Arizona, known as "Eliphante." It is featured in our book Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter.
   It and about 200 other images are shown on the below Picasa scrapbook. Posted by Bioconstruccio Inspiracions, who say (in Spanish) that this "… folder contains material related to biology and buildings that could be called inspiring…sustainable and creative."
No credits to photographers seem to be given.

Bringing the Vinyl Sound Back to Music

Our son Will, a musician, is working for Burl Audio in Santa Cruz. They make recording devices that (as I understand it), allow musicians to bring some old school sound into digital recording. Will says that there's a warmth to vinyl records that you don't get with straight digital processes.
   Keith Richards, in his (v. good) autobiography, wrote about how the Rolling Stones could get all kinds of effects using a tape deck that cannot be done digitally these days.
   I think Burl is on the right track. In many areas these days, people are trying to figure out how to hold on to soul in an increasingly digitized world. It's not so much that "…the old is new again," but that the old is being re-examined to determine which of its qualities can be retained.

Confessions of an Impulsive Blogger

I pretty much shoot from the hip with blog postings. I post stuff that seems interesting. Lately I've put up a few posts that got a lot of feedback:
I have to confess to not analyzing what I post, I just throw it out there, and I like the discussions generated. With the high speed rail issue, for example, I learned a lot from the comments. After reading them, I don't think high speed rail is right for California.

Buildings Constructed of Earth

"One half of the world's population, approximately 3 billion people on 6 continents lives or works in buildings constructed of earth…The Musgum, an ethnic group in far north province in Cameroon, create their tall conical dwellings from compressed sun-dried mud. Called Cases Obos, the profile of the structure is that of a catenary arch— the ideal mathematical form to bear a maximum weight 
with minimal material.…"

Why California Needs High-speed Rail

By Peter Calthorpe
Thursday, January 5, 2012, San Francisco Chronicle Op-Ed
In 1956, the Federal Highway Act steered the American Dream away from small towns, streetcar suburbs and central cities toward today's auto suburb. It fit the time, shaped our communities, generated economic growth and changed our identity.
   Today, our country desperately needs new infrastructure development that will create jobs and economic growth while updating the American Dream and ensuring its environmental future. The answer is high-speed rail.
   More than a train ride is at stake; high-speed rail could catalyze the next generation of growth - one more oriented to who we are, what we can afford and what we really need. High-speed rail, along with innovative land use, will breed the kind of economic development and communities California is missing most - urban revitalization along with more walkable, affordable communities.
   California's 520-mile-long high-speed rail would connect north and south for half the dollars that otherwise would be needed for highway expansion and new airport facilities. More significantly, it would become a catalyst for urban renewal, enhance local transit systems and generate market-wise development opportunities.

Treehouse in France

Kent Griswold runs a series of great house photos called "Tiny House In a Landscape" on his Tiny House Blog.

Other photos in this category: http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-landscape/tiny-house-in-a-landscape-19/

Abandoned Places In The World

Owl has left a new comment on your post "One in 3 Homes in Tucson Selling For Under $100,000":
"An interesting post, why certain places go into decline is something I wonder about while on my wanders (be it on foot or online).
I found this blog while I was grabbing a quick coffee break http://www.dirjournal.com/info/abandoned-places-in-the-world/ perhaps not the most cheerful of things but shows how even larger settlements steadily fall to ruin."

Posted by Owl to Lloyd’s Blog at January 4, 2012 7:42 AM

Egret in Pond Yesterday

Had to stop my bike ride to shoot this.

Strength Training Anatomy Drawings

Since working with bodybuilder Bill Pearl on his book Getting Stronger some 20 years ago, I've had a keen interest in anatomy. The human body is a never-ending source of amazement to me.

For the science type who think robots will ever perform a millionth of what happens naturally with the natural biological body, I've got news: no way!

I discovered this book at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. Frédérick Delavier is a French artist and journalist working for the magazine Le Monde du Muscle and his drawings are unique. The ones in this book show muscles, tendons, and ligaments used in various strength training exercises. Frédérick also happens to be a pistol:

One in 3 Homes in Tucson Selling For Under $100,000

By Rob O’Dell, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona, Jan 2, 2012
"Tucson’s housing market has fallen so hard so fast that more than one in three homes sold last year went for less than $100,000.…
…Hundreds of homes sold last year at what can only be called extreme prices: 800 homes sold for under $35,000, nearly 300 of them going for under $25,000 and 15 going for under $10,000.…" http://www.loansafe.org/1-in-3-homes-here-sell-for-under-100k

Tiny Earthbag Homes

From Tiny House Listings: "Constructing an earthbag home is considered by many to be the most inexpensive method of building a home simply because the material is free and usually already onsite. The major cost associated with earthbag homes are the bags used to hold the earth which makes up the structure. The most common type of bags used are solid-weave polypropylene. These bags typically hold rice and grain during shipment and can be reused for building an earthbag home. You can of course buy the bags new as well.…"

5 Ski Bums Travelling in Tiny Home

From Tiny House Blog yesterday:
"If you live in a ski town, keep an eye out for a truck towing an elegant tiny house and five ski bums on the lookout for some great powder and free Wi-Fi. For six weeks, Molly Baker, Zack Griffin, Neil Provo and their videographers Sam Griffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping around North America in a 112 square foot house on wheels and will be posting their videos online.…"

Tiny Home in Oakland

Dear Lloyd,
Just wanted to show you the latest from the tiny house I am designing and building in Oakland CA.  Wondering if it might be able to make it on your blog sometime.
Here's more info and pictures: http://justfinedesignbuild.com/portfolio/show/32
small scale projects from conception to completion

Surfing - Offshores & Green Walls at Steamer Lane/Surfers Journal

"Last fall when the Cold Water Classic came to Santa Cruz it was forced to move up the coast from Steamer Lane to Waddell Creek because there was no surf. Perhaps they should have waited a couple months? Of course, Santa Cruz always has always been a little anti-establishment."
Photo: Matt Kurvin

Home Made From Salvaged Car Roofs & Windows

found this recently..thought it might be a fit for your blog...


Mike Whitehead
Eureka, California

New Tiny House at Slab City

"When the economic meltdown hit the country, Larry Redford lost everything back in Lincoln, Ore.
   'I have nothing but Social Security,' said Redford, who is 10 months from retirement age. His house went from $240,000 in value to $120,000 in a day, he said.… With his life in tatters, Redford looked on the Internet for an inexpensive place to put a trailer. He found out about Slab City
   “One day everything that I had worked for (was) gone,' said Redford.…The house Redford has been working on for the past year is no more than 500 square feet and is made from lumber he found in the desert.…"
Story and photo by Andrew Davila

Shed of Reality in Tiny Homes

"I remember Lloyd's earlier books from the Whole Earth Catalog days and beyond...I still OWN a couple of first editions! When he asked if I'd be interested in sharing the shed in his latest project, "no" wasn't even an option.
Click (here to) pre-order it...I got my contributor's copies yesterday, and it's WONDERFUL. 1300+ photos of delightful dwellings, sheds, boats, wagons and more..."