Thursday, August 31, 2006

In A Sunburned Country

I just finished listening to Bill Bryson’s In A Sunburned Country and highly recommend it if you’re heading to Australia or not. I first got the book from my mother, who as a fan of Bryson, picked it up for herself at the library. Halfway through she decided that I had to read the book so she bought and sent a copy to me with a collection of furniture related newspaper articles. When I got the book I was still trudging through In Defense Of Globalization by Jagdish Bhagwati so I shelved the Bryson for later. A couple days later I was at the library here looking for audio books to pass the time on the fourteen-hour flight across the pacific when I spotted In A Sunburned Country on CD. I checked it out and have been listening to it while I make stick furniture, the book is still good as new. I didn’t have much time for reading anyway. I found the audio very funny in most parts and informative in others. Bryson is a great storyteller and explains some of the many dangers and beauties in the vast and empty country of Australia.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Travel Insider

I was back on this site today trying to check if our camera—ipod plan was better than the laptop plan when I realized the site would be a great resource to anyone else planning on a little travel. Earlier in planning this trip I found the articles on international cell phones, though dated at this point, very helpful, especially the what-option-is-best-for-you calculator.

Monday, August 07, 2006


When we started this project we were very interested in Permaculture, but without funding it quickly dropped from our to do list, but when an opportunity came to check out the Indoor Gardener's Expo today, I figured why not. Firstly, I was amazed at how high tech hydroponics has become. In the mystifying presence of grow lights spinning above plants like a fan to plants revolving upside-down around a lit center I felt overwhelmed and quickly had to leave feeling as though I got nothing out of the whole experience aside from the knowledge that this would be far to expensive to ever implement in a rental apartment.

When I got home I figured I’d look into Make or some of the other DIY sites to see if anyone was doing hydroponics on a small scale, and I was happy to find the easy to follow lesson in the above title link. As it turns out, a simple 4-11 plant set up can be made from parts found at a local hardware store. Among the many benefits of hydroponics I think the greatest use for this farming system is in places where no soil farming is available because either the soil quality is to low, rocky, or acidic for crops, or there is no soil as there may not be in, say, an apartment window.

Definitely worth checking out and I’d love to hear anyone else's knowledge of or ideas for hydroponic farming.