Test-Drive Tiny Living in This Tiny Home Village

December 27, 2017 by  
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In case you haven’t heard, downsizing is the new black … The post Test-Drive Tiny Living in This Tiny Home Village appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Test-Drive Tiny Living in This Tiny Home Village

Santa and the ‘Shrooms: The real story behind the "design" of Christmas

December 8, 2017 by  
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When we think of Christmas in the United States, we invariably think of Santa Claus — a man in a red suit and pointy hat with white furry trim and tall black boots, and his accessories, a bag of goodies in a sleigh pulled through the sky by a team of eight flying reindeer. And it’s a clear case of the clothes making the man, for a Santa in any other outfit would most definitely not still be Santa. (Does a fat, bearded, white-haired guy in cargo shorts and a Metallica t-shirt make you think of Christmas?) But when you think about it, it’s a pretty special outfit, no? Santa’s pretty much the only one who wears anything like it — a baggy suit with fur trim isn’t exactly stylish these days, and it wasn’t when Santa made his first appearance, either. His last known precursor, Father Christmas, wore a long red robe, sometimes with trim and sometimes without, like a cardinal — reflecting the link drawn between him and the historic Saint Nicholas, a Turkish cardinal in the 14th century who was known for his kindness to children. But the pants? And the hat? And the boots? They’re nowhere to be found on him. Popular legend has it that Santa himself, not to mention his outfit, was designed by Coca Cola, making his first appearance in their early-20th century ads and defining him for the ages by sheer force of commercial might. There’s a grain of truth in this: His generous shape and rosy cheeks came at the whimsy of Haddon Sundblom, the illustrator of so many of Coke’s well-loved ads from that period. Before Sundblom’s illustrations, Santa was commonly depicted as more of a gnome-like little man (editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast drew some of the best-known early dedications of him), often skinny and a little scary — but even then, wearing the same clothes he wears now. So the question is, where did that outfit come from? Where did Santa get such a unique sense of sartorial élan? The answer, according to anthropological research from recent decades, lies way further back than even Coke can be found. The roots of Santa’s style, and his bag of goodies, sleigh, reindeer, bizarre midnight flight, distinctive chimney-based means of entry into the home, and even the way we decorate our houses at Christmas, seem to lead all the way back to the ancestral traditions of a number of indigenous arctic circle dwellers — the Kamchadales and the Koryaks of Siberia, specifically. (So it’s true — Santa really does come from the North Pole!) And like so many other fantastical tales, it all originated with some really intense ‘shrooms. On the night of the winter solstice, a Koryak shaman would gather several hallucinogenic mushrooms called amanita muscaria, or fly agaric in English, and them to launch himself into a spiritual journey to the tree of life (a large pine), which lived by the North Star and held the answer to all the village’s problems from the previous year. Fly agaric is the red mushroom with white spots that we see in fairy tale illustrations, old Disney movies, and (if you’re old enough to remember) Super Mario Brothers video games and all the Smurfs cartoons. They are seriously toxic, but they become less lethal when dried out. Conveniently, they grow most commonly under pine trees (because their spores travel exclusively on pine seeds), so the shaman would often hang them on lower branches of the pine they were growing under to dry out before taking them back to the village. As an alternative, he would put them in a sock and hang them over his fire to dry. Is this starting to sound familiar? Another way to remove the fatal toxins from the ‘shrooms was to feed them to reindeer, who would only get high from them — and then pee, with their digestive systems having filtered out most of the toxins, making their urine safe for humans to drink and get a safer high that way. Reindeer happen to love fly agarics and eat them whenever they can, so a good supply of magic pee was usually ready and waiting all winter. In fact, the reindeer like fly agarics so much that they would eat any snow where a human who had drank ‘shroom-laced urine had relieved himself, and thus the circle would continue. When the shaman went out to gather the mushrooms, he would wear an red outfit with either white trim or white dots, in honor of the mushroom’s colors. And because at that time of year the whole region was usually covered in deep snow, he, like everyone, wore tall boots of reindeer skin that would by then be blackened from exposure. He’d gather the tree-dried fly agarics and some reindeer urine in a large sack, then return home to his yurt (the traditional form of housing for people of this region at that time), where some of the higher-ups of the village would have gathered to join in the solstice ceremony. But how would he get into a yurt whose door was blocked by several feet of snow? He’d climb up to the roof with his bag of goodies, go to the hole in the center of the roof that acted as a chimney, and slide down the central pole that held the yurt up over the fireplace. Then he’d pass out a few ‘shrooms to each guest, and some might even partake of some of the ones that had been hung over the fire. Clearly, this idea of using the chimney to get in and pass out the magic mushrooms (and other goodies) had sticking power. Interestingly, even as late as Victorian times in England, the traditional symbol of chimney sweeps was a fly agaric mushroom — and many early Christmas cards featured chimney sweeps with fly agarics, though no explanation of why was offered. Interestingly, in addition to inducing hallucinations, the mushrooms stimulate the muscular system so strongly that those who eat them take on temporarily superhuman strength, in the same way we might be affected by a surge of adrenaline in a life-or-death situation. And the effect is the same for animals. So any reindeer who’d had a tasty mushroom snack or a little yellow snow would become literally high and mighty, prancing around and often jumping so high they looked like they were flying. And at the same time, the high would make humans feel like they were flying, too, and the reindeer were flying through space. So by now you can see where this is going: The legend had it that the shaman and the reindeer would fly to the north star (which sits directly over the north pole) to retrieve the gifts of knowledge, which they would then distribute to the rest of the village. It seems that these traditions were carried down into Great Britain by way of the ancient druids, whose spiritual practices had taken on elements that had originated much farther north. Then, in the inevitable way that different cultures influence one another due to migration and intermarriage, these stories got mixed with certain Germanic and Nordic myths involving Wotan (the most powerful Germanic god), Odin (his Nordic counterpart) or another great god going on a midnight winter solstice ride, chased by devils, on an eight-legged horse. The exertion of the chase would make flecks of red and white blood and foam fall from the horse’s mouth to the ground, where the next year amanita mushrooms would appear. Apparently over time, this European story of a horse with eight legs, united with the ancient Arctic circle story of reindeer prancing and flying around on the same night, melted together into eight prancing, flying reindeer. That story then crossed the pond to the New World with the early English settlers, and got an injection of Dutch traditions involving the Turkish St. Nicholas (who came to be called Sinterklaas by small Dutch children) from the Dutch colonialists — and found immortality in its current form in early 20th-century America, with Clement Clark Moore’s famous poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Before this poem hit the press, different immigrant groups around the U.S. each had their own different versions of the Santa Claus legend. Then in the 1930s, Coca Cola’s ad campaign gave Santa his sizable girth and sent him back around the world. And so in that spirit, a merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! + Fly Agaric

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Santa and the ‘Shrooms: The real story behind the "design" of Christmas

School principal uses $22,000 of paint to transform former slum into a rainbow wonderland

May 16, 2017 by  
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We all know a fresh coat of paint does wonders for a room but what about repainting an entire town? That’s exactly what this small village in Indonesia did and the results are nothing short of spectacular. Armed with just $22,000 worth of paint, Kampung Pelangi transformed their village in Semarang into a multicolored wonderland and Instagrammer’s paradise . Kampung Pelangi was formerly known as Kampung Wonosari and a slum in a prior life. But thanks to the colorful makeover, the village has been skyrocketed into an international tourist destination. #Repost @lutfianaa18 with @repostapp ??? Angel?? #desawisatabejalen #kaliwernobejalen #bejalen #kampungpelangi A post shared by Desa Wisata Bejalen (@desa_wisata_bejalen) on May 15, 2017 at 3:37pm PDT – Rame ya warnanya ? . pict by @septiyan_dwi_cahya . . ? Kampung Pelangi Kalisari, Semarang – . #semarangexplore #kampungpelangi #kampungpelangikalisari #kampungpelangisemarang #eksploresemarang A post shared by EXPLORE SEMARANG (@semarangexplore) on May 9, 2017 at 9:39pm PDT The Kampung Pelangi aka. Rainbow Village. The rainbow village in Indonesia, called Kampung Pelangi, is trending on social media after a government-funded project transformed it into a vibrant Instagram hotspot. The once struggling village, originally named Kampung Wonosari, located in Randusari in the South Semarang district, was considered a slum before the local government officials decided to turn things around. – #6s #kampong #slumarea #kampungpelangi #semarang #blusukanSMG #streetventurejkt #makkiimages2017 A post shared by Safir Makki (@safirmakki) on May 15, 2017 at 4:35am PDT Kampung Pelangi Kota Semarang~ Mantaaaapppp ??? #semarang #kotasemarang #jawatengah #semaranghits #semarangcity #kampungpelangi #semaranghebat #wisatasemarang #semarangexplore #wisata #indonesia A post shared by J Roymond BP (@roymondbp) on May 12, 2017 at 1:55am PDT The stunning transformation was the brainchild of Slamet Widodo, a local high school principal who wanted to beautify his town and attract visitors. Mayor of Semarang, Hendrar Prihadi, secured a budget of Rp 300 million (approximately $22,000 USD) and even helped the villagers with painting. The Indonesian Builders Association in Semarang provided paint and additional help. Hello Semarang, this is featured from @riza_fe taken at #kampungpelangi Want to be the next featured? Tag your best photos with #randomsemarang A post shared by #RANDOMSEMARANG (@randomsemarang) on May 12, 2017 at 3:57am PDT bagus yah? nice picture cute models #kampungpelangi #rainbowvillage #banjarbarupunya #sumberadi A post shared by andini giovalany, southborneo (@lalan_lingling) on May 15, 2017 at 10:01pm PDT Temenan itu kyk AADC = APA AJA DI CANDAIN ?? #ambarawa #ambarawahitz #kampungpelangi #threesecondmoment #lfl #followforfollow A post shared by tortor (@iqbaltoriq06) on May 15, 2017 at 8:38pm PDT Setiap hal nang pian ketujui.Manggambarakan siapa diri pian sebujurnya.Jadi mun pian ketuju lawan hal nang baik, itu artinya ada kebaikan dalam diri pian.Kaya itu jua sebaliknya. #fotografer @rizkiamalia_aya ?? . #kampungpelangi #ngehitz #banjarmasin #like4like #kalian #bumiketupat #kandangan #banjarbarupunya A post shared by Ardy Agata (@anak_singkung) on May 15, 2017 at 7:32pm PDT @Regrann from @isnaininurul51 – Andaiku punya sayap.. ? . #abaikankostumnya #bukansalahkostum #kampungpelangi #bejalen #ambarawa #semarang #semaranghits #dolansemarang – #regrann A post shared by Jan De Hert ?? (@dehertjan) on May 15, 2017 at 3:18pm PDT Related: Indonesia pledges $1 billion annually to tackle ocean pollution problem The freshly painted village is home to 223 rainbow -colored homes and the mayor hopes to extend that number to 390. Each house was painted at least three different colors and some feature artwork . Colorful Indonesia! ?? #colors #colorful #indonesia #village #decouverte #travel #voyage #kampungpelangi A post shared by Open Minded (@openmindedmag) on May 15, 2017 at 8:51am PDT Semarang juga punya…. @semarangexplore #rainbow #kampungpelangi #semaranghebat #semaranghits #semarangcity #kotasemarang #DISTARUHEBAT #pasarkembangkalisari #gunungbrintik #visitsemarang #visitjateng #wisatasemarang #exploresemarang #semarangexplore #photoshop A post shared by Achmad Syarifudin (@jalidin) on May 15, 2017 at 6:55am PDT Pilih lah jalan yang benar untuk masa depan #malangmegilan #malangkotadingin #kampungpelangi A post shared by fian (@ahmadfian14) on May 15, 2017 at 5:59am PDT Benches and bridges also received the colorful treatment. The social project, which was completed last month, is heralded as a success in rejuvenating the town, uniting the community, and stimulating the local economy with an influx of tourists. Via Archdaily Images by Arie Prakman Nek misale urip mu kurang berwarna.. cobo dolano mrene.. ? . . . . . . . . . #kampungtridi #kampungtridimalang #kampungpelangi #visitmalang #exploremalang #goesmalang #malang #malanghits #myexplorer #ootd #mbolang #damnilovemalang #damniloveindonesia #parapetualang #parapejalan #idpetualang #nvlindonesia #nvljatim #yicam #yicamera #warnawarni #indonesiaituindah #instaphotography #instaadict #instaadventure #instagram #like4like #like4follow #likeforfollow A post shared by Rizky ardhyanto (@rizky_ardhy) on May 15, 2017 at 4:46am PDT Kampung Pelangi Semarang…mengubah yang kusam menjadi indah berwarna-warni…#kampungpelangi #kampungtematik A post shared by endang sukarjati (@endangsjati) on May 15, 2017 at 3:56am PDT The Kampung Pelangi aka. Rainbow Village. The rainbow village in Indonesia, called Kampung Pelangi, is trending on social media after a government-funded project transformed it into a vibrant Instagram hotspot. The once struggling village, originally named Kampung Wonosari, located in Randusari in the South Semarang district, was considered a slum before the local government officials decided to turn things around. – #6s #kampong #slumarea #kampungpelangi #semarang #blusukanSMG #streetventurejkt #makkiimages2017 A post shared by Safir Makki (@safirmakki) on May 15, 2017 at 3:23am PDT Nongkrong dulu ..#semarang #semarangan #semaranghits #dolansemarang #kampungpelangi #semarangbaru A post shared by D Mahendra Putra (@mahendra__putra) on May 15, 2017 at 2:55am PDT Kampung pelangi .. Warna warni seperti dirimu … #semaranghits #dolansemarang #semarang #semarangan #kampungpelangi A post shared by D Mahendra Putra (@mahendra__putra) on May 14, 2017 at 10:10pm PDT Musim hujan.. Sedia payung sebelum hujan?????? Payung Kehidupan bersamamu untuk memulai msa depan yg cerah..?? . Ekspresikan gayamu dgn grafiti cantik dan menarik di kampung pelangi?? . Loc: Kampoeng Pelangi, Banjarbaru . . . . #visitkalsel #wargabanua #infobanjar #banjarinfo #seputarbanjar #klikbanjar #instakalsel #instabanjar #shalokalwisatalokerbanjar #kampungpelangi #banjarbaru A post shared by Fahrina Supianida, S.Ars (@rierinryukyu) on May 14, 2017 at 9:02pm PDT Hello hari gini masih fobia menutup aurat??? Fobia kalo dijemput Allah pas lg ngumbar aurat ??? #kampungpelangi #wisatabanjarbaru #gerakanberhijab #pulkadot #monocrome #seputarbanjar #beraniberhijrah #mariberhijab #hijrah #hijabfashion #huntingphoto #hijablover #hijabsyari #huntingfoto #banjarbaru #explorekalsel #explorebanjarbaru #catatanhati #wanitahijab #pinklovers #photoshoot? #photography #muslimah #sahabatsholehah #instakalsel #jalanjalan #weekend #instakalsel #hijabindonesia #muslimahbanua #wanitahijab #gerakanberanisyari A post shared by Ainur Yusridha Jannati (@ai_nezt) on May 14, 2017 at 5:37am PDT #kampungpelangi #ngarames #semarang #semaranghits A post shared by Tyok Br@ndyz (@fuadprastyo25) on May 14, 2017 at 5:38am PDT #wisatadadakan #kampungpelangi #kalisari #explore #wisatasemarang #dolansemarang A post shared by Leo_Zodiak_Ku (@ponco.haryadi) on May 14, 2017 at 1:58am PDT

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School principal uses $22,000 of paint to transform former slum into a rainbow wonderland

This man spent 36 years carving through mountains to bring water to his village

April 21, 2017 by  
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In 1959, the small village of Caowangba in China ’s Guizhou Province had a problem – a drought had dried up all the nearby water sources, and residents were forced to rely on a single well for drinking water. Even that single well was faltering, sometimes leaving the people of the town without enough water to go around. Worse yet, the town’s single rice paddy had dried up, making it hard for residents to access enough food. Something had to be done. But rather than give up and move to a new home, one man named Huang Dafa decided to lead an ambitious project to dig a 10-kilometer canal along the face of several sheer cliffs to bring water to his home. It took 36 years and at least one failed attempt, but now enough water flows to the city to provide food and drinking water to everyone. Many have compared Dafa to the legendary figure Yu Gong , an old man whose determination caused the gods to literally move mountains from his path. At only 23 years old, Dafa made the project his life’s work. To build the canal, villagers had to carve along the sheer cliffs of three karst mountains , dangerous work that involved climbing up the side of the mountains, tying themselves to trees, and rappelling hundreds of meters down the cliff to dig. Related: Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants 1,360 Acre Forest Naturally, it took a bit of persuading before anyone else in town was willing to take on this dangerous work. But in the end, the only other option was to do nothing and watch the town continue to struggle. Unfortunately, after a decade of work, the first attempt at a canal was unsuccessful in bringing water to the city. It wasn’t a total waste: the effort did create a tunnel through the mountains that allowed for easy travel through the stone, rather than around, which is still in use today. Dafa realized they needed a better understanding of irrigation to make the project work. So he left to study engineering for several years, and planned his next attempt even more meticulously. In the early 1990s, he persuaded the villagers to try again. The workers often slept in caves along the cliff side, and the remote location made it difficult to reach them in case of emergency – in fact, Dafa was working in the mountains when his daughter and grandson passed away, unable to reach them before they died. Related: Hundreds of beehives hang off a steep cliff in China to save wild honeybees Finally, in 1995, the new channel was finished, and water began to flow to Caowangba. As if the channel weren’t enough, Dafa’s efforts were also responsible for bringing electricity and a new road to the town that same year, allowing the residents to step into the modern era. Now, the community is thriving, and Huang Dafa is celebrated as a local hero at 82 years old. The channel provides running water to three other villages that happen to cross its path as well, providing water to 1,200 people and allowing them to grow 400,000 kilograms of rice every year. Via Oddity Central Images via VGC , China Daily

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This man spent 36 years carving through mountains to bring water to his village

C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

November 28, 2016 by  
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9NBzc3LaMc Located in Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid area on the river Schelde, the residential tower breaks from traditional design with its community-oriented structure that encourages social interactions beyond just chance encounters in the lift or lobby. The building will contain a variety of housing types to encourage diversity that range from small, shared flats suitable for students to larger family homes and live-work studios . The 15,000-square-meter tower block will include 154 homes as well as a mix of shops, offices, and communal facilities. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects renovate a derelict fire station into Antwerp’s new BREEAM-rated port headquarters The compact volume will be wrapped in a light-grid that defines the vertical mini-communities to give “a sense of intimate neighborliness across the stories, with the opportunity for both privacy and social interaction, as is known from traditional horizontal neighborhoods,” write the architects. Greenery will be woven into the terraces, winter gardens, and rooftop terraces to create a cooling microclimate . Shared facilities include a bicycle workshop, laundry room, community room, and a roof landscape on the fifth floor. The building is expected to achieve passive-house standard. + C.F. Møller Images via C.F. Møller

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C.F. Mller unveils new images for sustainable and garden-filled vertical village in Antwerp

UK town offers $380k reward to find killer of beloved local goose

March 3, 2016 by  
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The untimely death of Grumpy Gertie in the village of Sandon came as a shock to those who had come to love the resident goose. After discussing his death on BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show, listeners pooled together $380,000 as a reward for information leading to his killer. Read the rest of UK town offers $380k reward to find killer of beloved local goose

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UK town offers $380k reward to find killer of beloved local goose

1,500-year-old village discovered at airport site in Norway

January 6, 2016 by  
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Pre-construction excavation at the site of Norway’s upcoming Ørland Airport expansion has turned up a treasure trove of artifacts dating back to an era before the Vikings ruled the land. Researchers uncovered the post holes and fire pits for three large “longhouses” that would have stood at the center of the village — but what really excited them was the discovery of several large trash pits, called “ middens .” Among the garbage, they found a number of Iron Age artifacts that offered insights into how the locals lived, including jewelry and pieces of glass. Read the rest of 1,500-year-old village discovered at airport site in Norway

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1,500-year-old village discovered at airport site in Norway

Adventure awaits at the charming Tye Haus A-frame Cabin in the woods

September 1, 2015 by  
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Adventure awaits at the charming Tye Haus A-frame Cabin in the woods

NowLab’s daylit Haus JJ has its own emergency escape fireman’s pole

September 1, 2015 by  
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NowLab’s daylit Haus JJ has its own emergency escape fireman’s pole

Solar-powered handheld WaterDrop produces cool drinking water in the desert

August 31, 2015 by  
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By 2040, 33 countries are expected to face extreme water stress, according to the World Resources Institute , making the race to develop innovative solutions more furious than ever. Ap Verheggen has been on the cutting-edge of solar thought experiments for several years. You may recall his SunGlacier – a conceptual solar-powered leaf that produces water in the desert. Now he’s back with WaterDrop, a handheld solar-powered device that produces condensation for drinking. Ap acknowledges the concept is a bit like science fiction, but solar technology has taken huge strides in recent years, so it’s worth giving it a closer look. Read the rest of Solar-powered handheld WaterDrop produces cool drinking water in the desert

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