Friday, June 28, 2013

A guest house located in a forest

This is a guest house located in the forest of Daisen piedmont, Yonago City, Tottori Prefecture. And it is absolutely stunning. I'd live there in a heartbeat.

By K2 Design Inc.

If only all architecture could take into consideration nature in such a sensitive and thoughtful way.....

Found on Dezeen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Blue Trees

Lovely, lovely, lovely project in London at the moment.....

Konstantin Dimopoulos, together with  Trees for Cities and City of London Festival have coloured the trees blue around the Square Mile (using biologically-safe water-based colourant) to draw attention to the existence and importance of urban trees.

Thanks Emma.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mapping Children's Chances

Over at the Beeb:

"The biggest ever global picture of children’s well-being, education and family life has been assembled into a series of maps by the University of California, Los Angeles."

Check out the rest of the maps here.

Zoo Photos Capture Caged Animals’ Melancholy

I'm with Gaston Lacombe (photographer of a series of photos showing some of the appalling conditions in zoos that animals have to put up with) that some zoos need to try harder to give animals better enclosures.

While I appreciate how difficult it is to recreate habitats for certain animals, many could do better. I understand the need for zoos, even though I find them sad places when I do visit..... and part of that could be the lack of decent living spaces.

Check out the link below to see more in his series....

Via Wired.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

RSPB urges British public to create 1m 'homes for nature'

What a fantastic initiative. The RSPB are encouraging people to create wildlife habitats in their own back yards.

I will personally join in, even though I'm not in the UK, I think it is something that pertains to us all.

A small pile of leaves or straw and you can have your very own hedgehog hotel. Plus they will eat all those revolting slugs that eat your favourite plants and vegetables. There are no negatives......

I am working on a project at the moment very much in this vein, it's under wraps and I look forward to showing it to you when it is completed.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The 6 essential lessons of a satisfying, productive career

1. There is no plan.
Make decisions for fundamental, not instrumental, reasons.

2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
What do you consistently do well? What gives you energy rather than drains it?

3. It’s not about you.
The most successful people improve their own lives by improving others’ lives.

4. Persistence trumps talent.  
There are massive returns to doggedness.

5. Make excellent mistakes.
Commit errors from which the benefits of what you’ve learned exceed the costs of the screw-up.

6. Leave an imprint.  
Recognize that your life isn’t infinite and that you should use your limited time here to do something that matters. 

Courtesy of Johnny Bunko, AKA Daniel Pink.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Transition Network

Rob Hopkins, in the video above, is the co-founder of The Transition Town movement and has just published a short book,  The Power of Just Doing Stuff,  with stories about how people are developing a more resilient economy, inspired by his movement and as a response to the twin threats of climate change and peak oil.

From an article over at the Guardian:

"But when there are thousands of communities worldwide all weaving their bit in a larger tapestry," Hopkins says, "it adds up to something awe-inspiring and strong."

What he is arguing is that sweeping changes in history are made not only by "big" people doing big things but by groups of "ordinary" people doing smaller things together. And that it's a mistake to overlook those small steps."

They also have a chapter near me...... oooh.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tom Hodgkinson

I'm a big fan of Tom Hodgkinson, The Idler and have read The Idle Parent.

This talk is hilarious.

Garden bridge for the River Thames

Love this project by Heatherwick Studios, a new pedestrian bridge spanning the River Thames to improve pedestrian links across the river, but the difference being that it includes a garden.

Via Dezeen.

Taylor Wilson

Another amazing young adult solving problems we have created. Taylor Wilson is an American nuclear scientist and is only 19 years old.....

In the TED talk above he presented his ideas on the benefits of building small underground nuclear fission reactors that are self-contained and use decommissioned nuclear weapons to fuel power.

Gobsmacked. In a good way.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


I had no clue this website even existed, and while I have a feeling that I say that quite often I am still constantly surprised by the creativity and sharing of such that goes on online.

Instructables is a place where you can explore, document and share your creations. There is a whole section on outdoor projects. I found this one above on Treehugger and love it. Naturally cool cob playhouse cost $30...... and has a grass roof. What's not to love.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The relationship between trees and human health

 Since 2002 an estimated 100 million ash trees have died due to the emerald ash borer invasion. A team from the U.S. Forest Service set up a research study on the effect the loss of all these trees had on human health.

Conclusion from the report:

"Results suggest that loss of trees to the emerald ash borer increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower-respiratory-tract illness. This finding adds to the growing evidence that the natural environment provides major public health benefits."

Geoffrey Donovan, who led the study, said in an interview with PBS New Hour,

"Not only do they do the things we would expect like shade our houses and make our neighborhoods more beautiful, but maybe they do something more fundamental. Maybe trees are not only essential for the natural environment but just as essential for our well-being. That's the message for public health officials.

For ordinary people: Get involved in planting trees. In most cities, either the city itself or nonprofits will help with tree planting efforts. Also, spend time in the natural environment. I think people intuitively know that. There's a reason that we like to go walk in the woods or that we like to spend time in the park."

Via Treehugger. 

The tree above is a Cercis canadensis "Forest pansy", one of my favourite ever small trees and shown here with spring flowers. I'd plant a million of them alone in my own garden....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Project Wild Thing: The Nature Film

I blogged about David Bond and Project Wild Thing before and now the documentary film has been released.

From the website: "Filmmaker DAVID BOND thinks Mother Nature needs a helping hand getting his kids to forget the distractions of the modern world and wake up to the benefits of nature. He appoints himself the Marketing Director for Nature and, with the help of advertising and marketing experts, he sets out to persuade apathetic consumers, and his family, of the benefits of this amazing, free, wonder-product."

Grass free lawn opens in London Park

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Love this.

Via the BBC.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Horseshoe crabs

Possibly one of the weirdest animals on the planet. This video of the horseshoe crab shows how they come to the same area to mate and at the same time red knot shore birds are en route to the Arctic and stop to fatten up on the horseshoe crabs eggs for their flight north where they breed.

A great example of natures interdependency and how, if we threaten one species, it can have a huge effect on another or even others.

Via the kid should see this.

22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist

Bored Panda posted these photos..... stunning. I've just included one here, my favourite, but please check out the rest.

Note: they are all of nature, either natural or man made (farming). Need I say more?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tammy the anteater

I want one...... This wonderful animal called Tammy is a tree climbing anteater, aka a southern tamandua and she will be going walkabout at the London Zoo in the evenings, so adult visitors can see her at her best. Better make sure no-one has a handbag large enough to smuggle her out....... I know I'd be tempted.

Mickey Rivers

"Ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you got control over, ’cause if you got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’. And ain’t no sense worryin’ about the things you don’t got control over, ’cause if you don’t got control over ’em, ain’t no sense worryin’."

Wisdom courtesy of Mickey Rivers, an ex centre fielder for the New York Yankees.

Found on Good, in this interesting article by Sam Potts on creativity and procrastination, which is kind of ironic..... reading posts about procrastination.

Nipun Mehta's commencement speech

Nipun Mehta is the founder of ServiceSpace, a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that leverages technology to inspire greater volunteerism.

His speech for the private school in Silicon Valley is seriously worth reading, it's touching and thoughtful and has some really inspiring anecdotes. I won't copy and paste any here, just encourage you to read it yourself.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Little Free Library

Such a nice idea, I'd love it if they made child sized ones as well.

By Stereotank.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The World We Want

"The World We Want is a platform created by the United Nations and civil society to amplify people's voices in the process of building a global agenda for sustainable development."

Sustainable development got my attention.

Then I looked further and saw the page above. While I was initially disappointed that "protecting forests, rivers and oceans" didn't seem to be a high priority for many, I do understand that it is not that simple and involves health, education and income.

I decided to put in my details and the column to the right reflects a woman living in Denmark between the ages of 35 and 54 (I'm not telling.....) and the top priority was protecting nature.... and I haven't even joined yet and contributed. \0/

the monstore

Bit of cheeky self promotion here......  my print store is open, selling all things monster related.

The links are to the right, both my own store and my Etsy store. Enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Infographic on the world's greenhouse gas emissions

Interesting infographic designed by Ecofys, a consultancy in renewable energy, energy & carbon efficiency, energy systems & markets and energy & climate policy for the World Resources Institute.

Hopefully a visual representation of our emissions will make the problem harder to ignore ......

Via Good.

My inspiration for today

I wish I'd written this but then I wouldn't need to read it every day..... every day that I sit down in front of my computer and waste time...... which, lets face it, is every day.

"It sure is easy to waste time sitting at a computer. I’d list the ways, but you know the ways. Some of that time is required because we’re decompressing. But some of that time is because we’re being lazy, procrastinating, or worse, lacking the self-awareness to even realize we’re burning hours.

I don’t have a solution, but I have one little idea. Every time you sit down at the computer, do at least one thing of significant lasting value. Think through a problem. Write an email that connects with someone. Design something new or iterate a design that needs it. Help someone. Write something intended for publication. Work on the digital empire that is you."

By Chris Coyier on The Pastry Box Project.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Rewilding made simple

Following on from my previous post about George Monbiot's column on rewilding, here is a very nice video on the subject, from the Guardian.

This complements his column called My manifesto for rewilding the world which goes into more detail on the subject. Brilliant, brilliant and completely brilliant.