Thursday, December 16, 2010

Can any one guess where I am?

Ok, this blog is on the move. The picture does not do the color justice. It is bright red. This kind of clay can only be be found in two places that I am aware of.

Where am I?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Epic Win!

(Goddess) Dr. Jane McGonigal at TED...

Monday, January 18, 2010


“My goal is pretty simple: by the time I die, everybody in the world has a place to sleep and a bowl of rice a day.”
- Vinay Gupta, creator of the Hexayurt

Vinay’s design is simplicity itself. Twelve sheets of insulated board, some tape and a utility knife is everything needed to construct a shelter. has videos and links concerning the Hexayurt. I believe that his target area of usage is pretty much arid lands. Coming from just south of the 45th parallel, our fall and winter seasons can get pretty wicked. I think that the Hexayurt design needs to be beefed up a bit for conditions found in say, China.

The Hexayurt project is open source, that is, no patents, no copyrights. The whole project is there to find solutions to housing the millions of people who do not have any shelter.


It is more than feasible that the general principle of the Hexayurt can be expanded so that materials and a trained crew can be airlifted into any disaster area and shelters be quickly built on site. One distinct advantage the Hard Shelled Hexayurt (HSH) has over a tent is resistance to Ultra Violet (UV) deterioration. Because of this UV resistance the life expectancy of the Yurt can be expressed in years rather than months. If the design is carefully thought out, once built the HSH can be disassembled and stored for future use.

As with the original design, the HSH is based on the panel concept. A typical wall panel can be seen in the illustration below.

The stiles will be rebated on both faces to accept sheet stock probably ¼” exterior for the outside. If the host country has a ready supply of gypsum board then the inside panel could be drywall. Drywall has the distinct advantage of being inexpensive, ridged, and fire resistant. However, gypsum is very heavy and would greatly add to shipping costs. If gypsum board is not available locally, then the stile/rail profile would need to be changed to accommodate the extra plywood used as substitute for the drywall. All rails, stiles, studs and bracing would be Versa-Lam® or BC rim board ®. One thing that is not shown on the detail is that each beveled face of the stiles will have bed rail hardware installed for assembly purposes.

Bed rail hardware is basically a tab-A-into-slot-B technology. It is the perfect method of assembling the wall and roof panels together. Utilizing BRH fittings will allow a tight secure join between panels.

The construction of the roof is similar to that of the wall panels, however in order to reduce the amount of waste, the panels will be cut from the offal from the wall panel stock. The flooring could be made out of custom built BCI joists. Possibly the flooring could be constructed of a plywood/hexacore sandwich.

Windows could be manufactured using vinyl glass slides placed in door lites. Doors could be manufactured using Versa-Lam

There are three obvious configurations to how the HSH system could be delivered.

· All of the sub-assemblies produced at the mill level and ready to assemble.
· All of the components milled and sheet stock pre cut and ready to assemble
· Rudimentary machining of the lineal and sheet stock being done at the mill level and then completely processed on site.


In the first example, because everything is pre-manufactured, assembly of the sill plate, rim joist, body and roof are quickly completed. The roof/wall assembly would be snapped together and placed on the sill plate completing the structure. As a result, the people who most need shelter would receive aid in the shortest time frame.
The down side is that labor is expensive and the cost per unit for the hosting country would be greatly increased.

In the second case, the labor cost of the mill would be greatly reduced and on-site labor/equipment expenditure would slightly rise. Assembly structures would need to be constructed. Power would have to be supplied either through local availability or portable generators of sufficient capacity to run the small electrical tools, and a compressed air system needed for final assembly.

In the final case, labor cost to the manufacturer would be at its lowest level, however, the training, assembly, and equipment requirements on the host county would increase significantly. In order to complete the beveling of the structures panels, heavy (electrical) draw equipment would be required thus requiring more energy. More skilled labor would have to be trained in an environment that demands immediate results, and can ill afford time lost.

Allow an examination of the second option.


The required equipment for assembly of the HSH would be:

· A building with three work stations
· Available power (Local or Gen-set)
· Air compressor
· Staple guns
· Glue applicators
· Small routers to set in the assembly hardware and pre hang doors

The first work station would be fixtured to hold wall elements so that they could be glued and stapled. The second station would be fixtured for the roof panels. The third would be for pre-hanging the door assembly, the attachment of assembly hardware and for cutting out the RO for the doors, windows and stove pipe.


Hurricane Katrina taught some very hard lessons. In its wake, the storm left thousands of people homeless. Travel trailers were available to the storm victims; however they were undeliverable due to a total collapse of infrastructure. From now on out, emergency aid will have to transcend infrastructure. Methodology will have to be developed that will allow aid workers to access those that need and implement those changes. Using the concept of Force Multipliers, a work force could be quickly trained in the disaster area. In a worst case scenario such was experienced after Katrina or more recently the earthquake in China, access to survivors is limited. The training team could be brought in via helicopter. The HSH materials could be brought in on pallets dropped from a military cargo plane. Five individuals would be selected from the survivor population and would be trained over a three day period on the construction techniques for the HSH. On the fourth day, that crew would begin to build autonomously. Another shop would be set up and the three day training cycle would be repeated. If 25 shops could become operational, by the end of three months, over one hundred thousand people would have a durable shelter.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Who wouldn’t? I mean, who wouldn’t want to meet the GER in person?

Ren has found herself in a bit of a financial jam. One of her new kittens suddenly died and she has been not only been burdened with the loss, she has been gobsmacked with a very large vet bill.

Back to my original question. If you had a chance to meet the GER what would want to do?

STOP THAT, be nice now.

You would probably offer to buy her a drink, or five. OK so this is how everyone can help. Estimate what your bar tab would likely be and then send amount to her via paypal. Her account can be accessed here at her old blog.

Thanks in advance.

Oh and BTW the buy a drink thing is not original, I found out about the concept from two of my latest crushes, Jill Bennett and Cathy Debuono. If you get a chance check out their web series called “We have to stop now” it’s great.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Donna Hughes personal attack on Elizabeth Wood

A little bit more than twenty four hours ago, Renegade Evolution posted an excellent piece on Emotional Terrorism. It turned out that her post was to be prophetic.

Donna Hughes is an academic out of Rhode Island. She campaigns tirelessly for the criminalization of prostitution in her state. Recently she has co-authored a letter in which she mounts an ad hominem attack of Elizabeth Wood from Sex in the public Square. As an academic, Hughes should know better than to make personal attacks on people who disagree with her point of view. The word unprofessional comes to mind. If the attack on Ms. Wood was a one off thing, the event could be written off as someone having a bad day. However, this type of behavior seems to be a modus operandi for Hughes.

Some of Hughes better known exploits include priceless items such as:

“Then a man reeking of cigarette smoke and other odors came forward”

“Then a tattooed woman, calling herself a “sexologist and sex educator,” spoke against the bill. She is also a reporter for a prostitutes’ magazine called $pread. (I couldn’t make this stuff up!)”

Neither can I … Here’s the link.

I cannot imagine how a person who calls herself a professional can stoop to personal insults rather than sticking to her talking points.

So now Hughes goes after Elizabeth.

Accusing Elizabeth of “crossing the line” into sex offence?
Devoting an entire paragraph to Elizabeth trying skinny dipping?


Sadly, I can only come to one conclusion regarding Donna Hughes.

She is just one more batshit crazy Radfem that should not be taken seriously.

Far better writers than I have picked up on this. Please follow the links below for more thoughts.

Anthony Kennerson


Matthew Lawrence

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Frackin' Toasters!

This looks like it will be a series of blog posts. Via Gizmodo

Exactly how far away can Skynet be?

They killed Daphne last night. I'm bummed.

More serious stuph tomorrow


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Return of Kyle Payne

First, a bit about my absence, (if anyone cares). Since September of last year I have been trying to deal with two major life situations that have been consuming most of my time and energy. During my absence the world of blogging has lost some wonderful people, specifically Kim from Bastante Already and Debi Crow of the Corvid Diaries. Kim has chosen to follow other pursuits and I wish her well. Debs is not technically gone, but I get the impression that she would rather not be involved with the affairs of the dark side. Both will be missed. Needless to say, at this point in time of my life, something pretty big had to happen to make me resurface. Yesterday, Renegade Evolution had this post. Yep, Kyle Payne is out of jail and is back to his blogging bullshit.

For those just hearing about this young man, allow me to give a brief recap. Early in 2008 Eleanor’s Trousers reported on a news article about a young man ( who at the time was an RA) who had taken liberties with a passed out co-ed. This young man took photographs… Said photographs were discovered and criminal prosecution ensued. I just found a wrap up that I had previously missed over at Hoyden about Town. Take a second and read the whole thing. It is interesting to note that even Kyle Payne’s attorney called him a hypocrite.

Why is this guy important? He is a predator in the purest sense of the word. And yes, a hypocrite of the highest order. Had Payne returned to blogging about his therapy, his school, his cat or anything else I wouldn’t have a problem with it. It is his return to blogging about feminism as if nothing bad had transpired. This makes me sick. I know that he has linked to some major bloggers who are not happy to be associated with him. Look for something from Hugo Schwyzer tomorrow.

More from Ren.

Also Natalia Antonova

As I have said, Kyle Payne has every right to free speech on the web. However, if he continues to try and pass himself off as an ally of feminism, others, including myself, will call him on it.