A hundred years ago (07/28/1914), The First World War, also known as The Great War, had begun. This is not a day of joy, this is a day of remembrance, a day to place respect to everyone who died on the trenches, fields or whatever place the War took place. Over 20 million people died in the conflict, not only soldiers but civilians too and the amount of dead animals (most horses) was over a million too. The War destroyed the whole European continent and it took years to rise again, and when it happened to be a rebuilt continent, another “Great War” started.
1 August 1914: frontpages
10 Reasons Why EarthShips Are Fucking Awesome
Earthships are 100% sustainable homes that are both cheap to build and awesome to live in. They offer amenities like no other sustainable building style you have come across. For the reasons that follow, I believe Earthships can actually change the world. See for yourself!
1) Sustainable does not mean primitive
When people hear about sustainable, off-the-grid living, they usually picture primitive homes divorced from the comforts of the 21st century. And rightfully so, as most sustainable solutions proposed until now have fit that description. Earthships, however, offer all of the comforts of modern homes and more. I’ll let these pictures do the talking…
2) Free Food
Each Earthship is outfitted with one or two greenhouses that grow crops year-round, no matter the climate. This means you can feed yourself with only the plants growing inside of your house. You can also choose to build a fish pond and/or chicken coop into your Earthship for a constant source of meat and eggs.
3) Brilliant Water Recycling
Even the most arid of climates can provide enough water for daily use through only a rain-harvesting system. The entire roof of the Earthship funnels rain water to a cistern, which then pumps it to sinks and showers when required. That used ‘grey water’ is then pumped into the greenhouse to water the plants. After being cleaned by the plants, the water is pumped up into the bathrooms for use in the toilets. After being flushed, the now ‘black water’ is pumped to the exterior garden to give nutrients to non-edible plants.
4) Warmth & Shelter
The most brilliant piece of engineering in the Earthship is their ability to sustain comfortable temperatures year round. Even in freezing cold or blistering hot climates, Earthships constantly hover around 70° Fahrenheight (22° Celsius).
This phenomenon results from the solar heat being absorbed and stored by ‘thermal mass’ — or tires filled with dirt, which make up the structure of the Earthship. The thermal mass acts as a heat sink, releasing or absorbing heat it when the interior cools and heats up, respectively.
The large greenhouse windows at the front of the house always face south to allow the sun to heat up the thermal mass throughout the daytime.
Solar panels on the roof and optional wind turbines provide the Earthship with all of the power it needs. As long as you’re not greedily chewing through electricity like a typical first-world human, you’ll never be short of power.
With all of your basic needs provided for and NO bills each month, you’re free! You don’t have to work a job you hate just to survive. So you can focus your time on doing what you love, and bettering the world around you.
Imagine if the entire world was able to focus on doing extraordinary things instead of just making enough to get by. Imagine if even 10% of the world could do this. What would change?
7) Easy to build
At a recent Earthship conference in Toronto, Canada, a married couple in their forties shared about how they built a 3-story Earthship by themselves in 3 months. They had never built anything before in their lives and were able to build an Earthship with only the printed plans. They did not hire any help, nor did they use expensive equipment to make the job easier.
If one man and one woman can do this in 3 months, anyone can do it.
Earthships are exorbitantly cheaper than conventional houses. The most basic Earthships cost as little as $7000 (The Simple Survival model) with the most glamorous models costing $70,000 and up, depending on how flashy you want to be with your decorating.
With these cost options, Earthships can fit the needs of everyone — from the least privileged to the most worldly.
9) Made of recycled materials
Much of the materials used to build Earthships are recycled. For starters, the structure is built with used tires filled with dirt.
If there’s one thing we’re not short of on Earth, it’s used tires! There are tire dumps like the one pictured here in every country in the world. There are even places that will pay you by the tire to take them away.
The walls (above the tires) are created by placing plastic and glass bottles in concrete. When the Earthship team was in Haiti after the earthquake, they employed local kids to both clean up the streets and provide all of the bottles required for building their Earthship. Plus, they look pretty sexy.
10) Think Different
The most powerful thing Earthships do is force people to think differently about how we live. If housing can be this awesome, and be beneficial to the environment, then what else can we change? What else can become more simple, cheaper and better at the same time?
It’s time for us to re-think much of what we consider normal.
Think Earthships are cool? Me too. That’s why I’ve joined up with some people to create a community of Earthships and to make sustainable communities go mainstream! It’s something we call the Valhalla Movement.
This originally appeared on: HighExistence
This is pretty much exactly what my ideal house would be like in function.
"In Flanders Fields" is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died in the Second Battle of Ypres. According to legend, fellow soldiers retrieved the poem after McCrae, initially dissatisfied with his work, discarded it. "In Flanders Fields" was first published on December 8 of that year in the London-based magazine Punch.
The first chapter of In Flanders Fields and Other Poems, a 1919 collection of McCrae’s works, gives the text of the poem as follows:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
As with his earlier poems, “In Flanders Fields” continues McCrae’s preoccupation with death and how it stands as the transition between the struggle of life and the peace that follows. It is written from the point of view of the dead. It speaks of their sacrifice and serves as their command to the living to press on. As with many of the most popular works of the First World War, it was written early in the conflict, before the romanticism of war turned to bitterness and disillusion for soldiers and civilians alike.
n the last 27 years half of the Great Barrier Reef has been decimated, says an 2012 article from the BBC.
A World Heritage Site, the reef has seen better days. Researchers at the Australian Institute of Marine Science have gathered information from 2,258 separate surveys over the course of 27 years and have broken down the damage as follows:
48% caused by tropical cyclones
42% caused by the coral-feeding Crown-of-Thorns Starfish
10% caused by coral bleaching
Co-author of the report, Hugh Sweatman, explained that coral could recover “But recovery takes 10-20 years. At present, the intervals between the disturbances are generally too short for full recovery and that’s causing the long-term losses.”
Dealing with the starfish would conceivably be the easiest task; water quality in the area would have to be improved by lowering or eliminating the amount of industrial agricultural run-off that nourish the algae blooms that the starfish larvae feed on.
But why am I telling you old news?
That’s because this week the AFP (Agence France-Presse) reported that scientists have decided to go after the starfish with a bacterial culture that can kill the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish in about 24 hours. Any starfish that comes into contact with an infected individual will also become infected.
Morgan Prachett, a professor at James Cook University’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies says, “This compound looks very promising from that standpoint — though there is a lot of tank testing still to do before we would ever consider trialing it in the sea.”
The threat of another outbreak of the Crown-of-thorns Starfish in the Great Barrier Reef is looming on the horizon - as outbreaks of the starfish have been reported from Guam, French Polynesia, Paupa New Guinea and the central Indian Ocean - as many as 87,000 starfish were purged from one beach in the Philippines. Equipping a diver with bacteria that can kill up to 500 of them in one dive is much better than the method used now; divers needing to inject multiple starfish with poison in multiple dives.
If the reef is allowed to endure its destructors (tropical storms which are made worse by global warming, destructive starfish, bleaching as a result of global warming) then the size of the reef could halve again in a decade.
Morgan Pratchett also stated, “In developing a biological control you have to be very careful to target only the species you are aiming at, and be certain that it can cause no harm to other species or to the wider environment.” The Crown-of-thorns is certainly a threat to the reef, accounting for almost half its damage, but completely killing the species off would be counter-intuitive. I hope that the researchers can account for every possible scenario before they decide to utilize the bacteria as a cure for the reef’s ails. Otherwise, this could end up as one of those stories of good intentions ending poorly.
Source/further reading: http://www.afp.com/en/news/topstories/australia-scientists-tackle-reef-killing-starfish
"Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp .. people in Gaza are living under constant attacks and pressure in an open-air prison,” .. (UK Prime Minister David Cameron, 2010)
Nigel Lawson is the chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation; a political group that regularly releases selective scientific reports about climate change. The organization consistently tries to argue that concerns about global warming – concerns that are…
15 Maps That Don’t Explain the Middle East at AllThe region as it never was, could have been, and sort of is“Violent upheaval in the Middle East has recently spawned all manner of maps purporting to explain how the region got this way. Here, instead, are 15 maps that don’t claim as much. Or rather, they do not seek, like many other maps, to capture some fixed set of core facts about the region. Instead, these maps provide a more fluid perspective on the Middle East, often by showing what didn’t happen as opposed to what did. But for all these maps don’t show, they do illustrate one thing: the sobering fact that no one map—or even set of maps—can ever explain the region’s complex history and politics.”see them all at The Atlantic