Saturday, May 1, 2010

My new assistant

The Lazy Environmentalist

"My anger, frustration and fear were alienating me from my family. I thought, 'I don’t want to be this person, and I’m not even affecting any change.' I knew there had to be a way for me to be happier and also affect change in society," says Dorfman of being an activist.

Josh Dorfman has a confession: He likes to take long showers. That’s where he does his best thinking, and he’s got plenty on his mind as a CEO, author and television show host.

The mission of his television show, “The Lazy Environmentalist,” is to make it as easy as possible for a person to reduce his or her environmental impact while maintaining a high quality of life.

This is where the long shower comes back into the story. Rather than stop doing something he truly enjoys, Dorfman mitigates the damage of his longer shower by using an Oxygenics low-flow showerhead that cuts water usage by 40 percent.

“There are product solutions that can help us with our environmental shortcomings,” he says.

Dorfman tries to get the word out about such products, whether they be eco-friendly winter boots, organic crib mattresses, or zero-down home solar panels. He teaches about these options through his books, Web site and television show.

“The lazy environmentalist approach is about determining what will turn Americans on to environmentally smart choices,” Dorfman says. “It’s about appealing to our enlightened self-interest that is very willing to do ‘the right thing’ provided there’s something else in it for us. It may not be laudable, but it’s reality, and I prefer working effectively within reality instead of engaging in a campaign of wishful thinking.”

Dorfman’s television show explores simple, green solutions for a variety of individuals. The second season of “The Lazy Environmentalist” will be debuting on the Sundance Channel on April 20, just in time for Earth Day 2010. Earth911 has a sneak peak of what to expect.

What’s new in season 2

Although the show maintains the same format, which highlights the green transition of an individual or family, the energy level is much higher in the new season, Dorfman says. His goal is to “not sugarcoat green.”

“We show lots of green solutions, but they are constantly being evaluated,” Dorfman says. “We honestly ask, ‘Can green solutions hold up in the real world?’ Sometime they do, and sometimes they don’t. It’s not just green show and tell. We test to see if the products really work.”

He is also excited about green myth busting. For example, the first episode involves greening a Hollywood interior designer, who has admittedly lied about looking into green options in the past. While at the store looking for zero VOC paints, Dorfman educates the store employee and viewers about the need to look closer at the label.

“Zero VOC doesn’t mean zero toxins. You have to check for both,” he says, explaining that sometimes consumers jump to buy the “green” product without verification.

The new season holds many surprises, including unique green candidates, such as a funeral director and an exterminator.

“We had a lot of fun filming, and I hope that translates to viewers,” Dorfman says.

From frustration to inspiration

Dorfman discovered his passion for environmentalism while living in China in 1995. One day in the crowded city, he pondered on how the world would be different when all the millions of Chinese people got cars. “I wasn’t even an environmentalist at that point, I just realized it would be really, really bad,” he remembers.

Dorfman shoots a promo for season 2 of "The Lazy Environmentalist." On the green screen, producers superimpose a scene of China circa 1995 - about the time of his environmental realization that a billion more people are about to ditch their bicycles in favor of cars.

As he began to learn more about unsustainability, Dorfman changed his lifestyle and became a green activist.

“I went through the normal activist stage of being angry for a number of years,” he says. “By 2002, I was just tired of being upset all the time. My anger, frustration and fear were alienating me from my family. I thought, ‘I don’t want to be this person, and I’m not even affecting any change.’ I knew there had to be a way for me to be happier and also affect change in society.”

Dorfman felt inspired to start his own sustainable contemporary furniture company, Vivavi.

He wanted to “help shift the way Americans think about green living and rebrand environmentalism as choices that are desirable and that tangibly improve our quality of life.”

Although Vivavi was a fulfilling venture, Dorfman became increasingly interested in engaging the average American in green living practices. He was invited to host a radio show (which he broadcast from his New York closet), eventually leading to his first book and later, his television show.

Over the years, he has mastered the technique of communicating green to all audiences. Unfortunately, many green organizations and companies do not practice this approach, he says.

Communication gap

“One might argue environmentalists are actually the worst advocates of their own message,” Dorman says. “We don’t have a solution challenge. We have a communication challenge. Until we start talking about green choices in terms of things that matter to all people and not just to other environmentalists, only environmentalists will hear us.”

Dorfman shares a story from the first season of “The Lazy Environmentalist” when he was trying to green a family that produced an enormous amount of trash. The father was hardest to reach. It was only when Dorfman began talking about the possibility that trash pickup prices might increase that the father opened up to his suggestions.

“We’ve got to talk about it in terms of things people are personally invested in and get away from this feel good-ism which the majority of Americans don’t believe in, even if I personally do,” he says. “It doesn’t compromise our integrity to communicate with people on their own level.”

He describes an increasing need for better green marketing,visibility and accessibility.

“I believe that green business ought to do a better job of making their products available where people really shop, make prices comparable, and make quality of products comparable.  The reality is that it is very difficult for people to change their behavior on their own volition, but if the green product is right there on the shelf next to the other product, people will buy it.”


Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Why seniors will change real estate

One buzzword in real estate these days is “multi-generational housing” — where families gather under one roof, often for financial reasons. We asked Rita Lamkin, an Orange County consultant on senior housing issues, how the aging American population will house itself — and their relatives — in coming years.

Us: Is the biggest opportunity in new senior communities, or retro-fitting homes to meet the need?

Rita: The biggest opportunities are in developing new, diverse, smaller-scale 55+ independent/assisted/dementia care, continuing care resort communities (adds skilled nursing) and “residential share” housing alternatives with universal design and energy-smart features. The massive golf-oriented communities produced in the last decade attracted relocating retired couples who were then expected to move a spouse in need to a separate assisted living facility. Many seniors today plan to work into their 70’s and one-third of all boomers are spouseless and/or childless. This sector will rely on close friends, not family, as they age. Also, while the majority of boomers want to stay put, the theory of “Aging-in-Place” by simply retrofitting existing homes is flawed. Americans drove 5 billion miles last year caring for seniors still at home and many worry about unscrupulous caregivers. A new neighborhood level solution may be “NORCs” (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) as aging cohorts band together for mutual support.

Us: How will the 55+ housing market be impacted by the economic struggles of their kids? Or, for the just 55 crowd, their own parents?

Rita: There is unprecedented demand for affordable seniors housing. Anyone who has searched assisted care for a parent is already thinking about their own options and won’t leave that decision to their 40-something dependent children. Boomers have been dubbed the “sandwich generation” because many spent retirement savings to pay for their kids’ education and/or their parents’ assisted care. This new generation of seniors will not suddenly become chronically frugal but they will prioritize and they still believe in real estate. Unless U.S. builders figure out how to provide affordable seniors housing in good, close locations, boomers may move to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean.

Us: Many multi-generation homes have been created by the recent economic downturn. Temporary trend – or something that may linger?

Rita: Last year, 1.2 million households disappeared as unemployed adult children moved back home and seniors moved out of assisted living to share living space with their grown children. This will linger until the economy begins to recover and seniors can sell their homes and live near but not with their relatives. The new buzz word will be “Chosen Family” and Multi-generational will transition to “Situational Housing.” Boomers will seek “like minded” friends to share expenses, enjoy companionship and take care of each other. I call them Boomer Roomies.

Us: I know builders talk of the renewed popularity of ground-floor bedroom for older residents. Are these the kind of trends we’ll see in the new housing?

Rita: Yes, majorities of 55+ boomers want one-story homes and settle for a master bedroom on the ground floor. That’s because over 40% of those 50-64 report mobility issues due to arthritis, diabetes, back/neck or breathing problems. Other boomers want a bedroom suite on the main level to accommodate a guests, aging parent or adult child bouncing back home. I am currently teaching Certified Active Adult Specialist in Housing (CAASH) seminars at UC Irvine Extension which explores these building trends as well as diversity in elder care centers to accommodate cultural, language, religious or lifestyle preferences without violating Fair Housing laws; new senior center designs; technologies available that can report changes in an elder’s routine, detect a fall, provide interactive applications between family and health care professionals; new products that identify health issues before they grow. Universal design is the new standard.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

Electronic waste Disposal

Architects transform unused silo into a residential sky rise


Eco Factor: Sustainable residential development.

In Denmark there are a number of centrally located industrial silos, most of which are no longer in use, but still clog the skyline. C.F. Møller Architects along with Christian Carlsen Arkitektfirma have found a way to transform the silo complexes into modern residential developments using recycled materials.


The architects have transformed a former silo complex into a rural 3000sqm high rise. Dubbed Sil(o)houette, the development features 21 residential apartments. The new residences are a mix of single-story flats and maisonettes, ensuring that the people in the lower levels have views of the countryside.


The actual silo contains staircases and lifts, and provides the base of a common roof terrace. Around the tower, the apartments are built upon a steel structure in distinct forms that protrude out into the light and the landscape. The unique nature of the high rise makes sure that each and every apartment is filled with natural light whether placed to the north or south of the silo structure.




Via: World Architecture News

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Veterans Memorial dedicated at college

Though it's just burnt-orange bricks and meticulously made waterfalls from afar, the monument up close is the visualization of the struggles and victories of those who live and those who died for this country.

The quad at Saddleback College was standing-room only Thursday – over 500 people strong – for the dedication of that monument, the college's Veterans Memorial, a football-shaped sculpture 14 feet high and 90 feet long highlighted by water features and life-size silhouettes of a soldier in full gear.

Article Tab : members-ceremonies-passes
Members of the public salute the flag as the Color Guard passes by during dedication ceremonies on Thursday.

Veterans Memorial

•14 feet tall by 90 feet long

•Made with 27 tons of clay

•A special mold was designed for the square-within-a-square style bricks

•The interior structure of the kiln was salted to give the bricks multiple shades of color

Each brick was created on campus, and the installation was completed with the help of people at the college and in the community.

The official unveiling of the $400,000 sculpture, designed by Saddleback art professor Richard White and ceramicist Fred Olsen, was attended by representatives for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger , lawmakers, active and former members of the armed services and college students and staff.

A flag donated by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 785, which was flown over Washington, D.C., and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, was raised over the monument during the dedication. That flag will have a permanent home in the college's Student Center.

Originally conceived in 2004 and intended ........


Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Coastline Journey 5:51 Mishka Above the Bones Reggae 2 4/14/2010 6:32 AM

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No water means No food

Read More;

Sloppy research
From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request.  To receive News Line, click here This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and submit your request.

Irrigating for National Security
from Blogs by This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it (David Zetland) - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Coalition viewpoint...The writer misses a few very important points in this blog, revealing at least a lack of understanding of military operations and at most, a disregard for the safety of our armed forces, even here at home.

The Navy promotes farming operations around Lemoore Naval Air Station for several important reasons.  They require large amounts of open space around a base that focuses on training flight crews. Birds attracted to non-farmed land pose a danger to those flight operations.  Crop growing activities also help the Navy mitigate air quality issues in the region.  Those are important issues for the pilots and for the residents of the surrounding communities.

The writer also demonstrates how sloppy his research and understanding is when he repeatedly refers to the Air Force when, in fact, the facility is a Navy base.  And his assertion that the Air Force can get non-bird crops if they want because, "the air force can kill anyone who disagrees..." is simply ridiculous and irresponsible............

What, exactly, is "corporate agriculture"?  
Is it a large, faceless entity with little regard for people or the environment?  
Not likely.  Click HERE or listen to the radio to meet one of California's "corporate" farmers and learn how family farms make up the backbone of California agriculture.



Farming in California is as diverse as the people who live here.  Throughout the state, farmers work long hours to bring us the food and fiber we enjoy.  Join us and learn more about farming and the history of agriculture in California. grnrightro.gif




Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Legendary 1965-66 Men's Basketball Team Inducted into Hall of Fame

Story Photo

Story Photo

The 1965-66 Oregon State University men’s basketball team was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame Tues., Sept. 26.   The team, already in the OSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, is one of the most successful clubs in the history of the school.  The following is look back and an update on the team members.



Pre-season prognosticators had picked the 1965-66 Oregon State University men’s basketball team to finish no better than 7-7 in conference play, about what they had done in '65. The squad contained no blue-chip athletes. In fact, not one player from the previous season had averaged more than 10 points a game.

And it didn't help matters a bit when Valenti's boys opened conference play with a 75-39 drubbing at the hands of UCLA, one of the worst defeats in Oregon State basketball history. The starters were Charlie White (Capt.), Loy Peterson, Ed Fredenburg, Rick Whelan, and Scott Eaton. Center Fredenburg, at 6-6, was the shortest post player in the Pac-10. Football end Harry Gunner was the chief substitute and a great help on the boards.


It wasn't exactly a group whose talents would make history but this they did. Employing great desire, discipline and, defense, Valenti's team reeled off 10 conference wins in a row. Simply put, these guys and their coach knew how to win.

In the process, the squad became the No. 1 defensive unit in the country and the absolute best at working the ball around for the best shot.

In a rematch against the Bruins for the conference crown, OSU took UCLA to the cleaners at Gill with a convincing 64-51 victory.

On to the regionals in Los Angeles. The opponent was Houston, with its magnificent center Elvin Hayes (6-9, 240).

The future NBA star was averaging 27 points a game and 16 rebounds. His team was also averaging an astonishing 100 points a game, the highest in NCAA history. With Oregon State leading the nation in defense (54.7 points a game), the stage was set for one of the greatest games in playoff history.


In the end, Hayes got but 14 points and 10 rebounds (Fredenburg played brilliant defense) and OSU won in a stunning upset, 63-60. Whelan hit 11 of 14 from the floor for a game-high 24 points.

But all good things sooner-or-later come to an end. One victory more and they would go to the elite Final Four tournament for the national championship. Standing in the way was Utah but the Utes prevailed with a 70-64 victory.

Valenti was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Of that final game to end the season, he only smiled and said, "We went out like champions."

A full roster of players and coaches follow with updates:


14        Ray Carlile       G          Sr.        Sacramento, Calif.

Ray completed his Master’s degree in Education Counseling and immediately began teaching at Albany Union High School, where he also coached basketball...he returned to Sacramento in 1970 and worked in the Grant Joint Union High School District – as a teacher for one year, then a counselor for 10 years, a school administrator for two years, and as the Director of Student Services until his retirement in September of retirement he enjoys playing golf, fishing and traveling with his wife, Kay, also an OSU graduate...he also lists babysitting as a hobby...his daughter, Ashleigh, is a kindergarten teacher in Corvallis.


15        Jeff Cudworth             G          Jr.        Redwood City, Calif.

Jeff is a 1968 graduate of OSU in recreation, but has since made his fame in the computer field...he owns Cartridge Family, a computer supplies store in the Greater Seattle area...he has owned the business for 31 years...he and his wife Gayle, also an OSU grad, have two sons, Chad and Kelly – both have traveled around the world...Jeff also has coached varsity boys and girls basketball in Bellevue.


35        Scott Eaton     F           Sr.        Medford, Ore.

Following his two-sport (football) career at Oregon State, he went on to play five seasons in the National Football League for the New York Giants...while at OSU he earned the team’s desire and determination award...went on to a very successful stock trading career, including eight years on Wall Street...also was part of a team that opened a stock trading company that was later bought by Wells Fargo.  His son, Tracey Eaton, played for the Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Oilers in the late 1980s and early 90s...Scott was inducted into the OSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.




31        Dave Fox          F           Sr.        Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Following his OSU career, he spent over 20 years in public education at the former Jackson High School in Portland and then for the Clackamas County Education service...he designed a special education program for the country for severely handicapped kids, something he says “was a wonderful experience”...he and his wife Carla have since pursued common interests which includes – architecture and arts...the couple now own Fox Glassworks in Bend and also have been jewelers and sculptors.  


10        Bob Franz        G          So.       Sacramento, Calif.

After Graduation from OSU Bob went to the University of Oregon Law school...he was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1969 while attending law school...he served two years in the Army then went back to law school and graduated in 1973...Bob specializes in defending cities and counties throughout Oregon on Civil Liability claims and has his own law practice in Springfield... he and his wife Theresa have a son and a daughter and live in Eugene


30        Ed Fredenburg C          Jr.        Coos Bay, Ore.

Ed still plays and very well at that...he is a member of the East Bank Saloon team in Portland and has been quite successful on the court... In April the team won the gold medal in the over 60 age group at the Pan-American Maxi Basketball tournament in Brazil; in 2002 he helped the club capture the silver medal in the over 55 age group at the World Masters Games in Melbourne Australia; and in 2001 the gold medal in the over 55 age group at the World Maxi Basketball tournament in Slovenia...he graduated from OSU in 1968 with a civil engineering degree, and in 1983 earned a nuclear engineering degree from the University of Washington...he oversaw the design and construction of the Hanford nuclear plant and then for 20 years worked for the Department of Energy at the Hanford site...he recently came out of retirement to work for the State of Washington Department of Ecology...his wife, Barbara, is also very active and is competing in a 10k race at the Huntsman World Senior Games in Utah...the couple have four children, including his youngest daughter, Laura, who is a graduate of the OSU Veterinary Science program.


24        Larry French    C          Jr.        Pendleton, Ore.

Larry graduated in 1967 with a degree in zoology and received his Master’s in Animal Science in 1969...he earned a Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin in 1973...he spent eight years at Wisconsin in the school’s Animal Science department and is the author or co-author of 20-plus articles in various scientific journals...he was promoted to associate professor at Wisconsin before returning to Oregon where he has been in the brokerage business for 26 years – now a Senior Vice President...he and his wife of 41 years, Jamea (1967 OSU grad), now live in Silverton...the couple are active in the community, and Larry was a past treasurer for the Oregon chapter of the American Cancer Society...Larry is also a part-time farmer, growing hay. 


33        Harry Gunner  C          Jr.        Port Arthur, Texas

Harry was a standout football and basketball player at Oregon State...immediately following his days at OSU he was drafted in the eighth round by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he played two seasons...he also played one year for the Cleveland Browns...he is a successful high school football and basketball coach in Port Arthur, Texas.


32        Loy Petersen   F           So.       Anaheim, Calif.

Following an outstanding career at Oregon State, Petersen was drafted in the second round of the National Basketball Association’s draft by the Chicago Bulls...after his playing career he moved to Central Oregon and became president and owner of L-Cea Farms, Inc...his operation grows specialty seed crops for use throughout the world...for the last 28 years he has served on the Board of the Central Electric Co-op, Inc., including Chairman of the Board for the last eight years...he also is a partner in L&R Properties and is active in many organizations and projects.


22        Karl Weide       F           So.       Garden Grove, Calif.

Karl also played baseball at Oregon State and graduated in 1971...his post-college work included two years as a graduate assistant coach at OSU while working as a part-time teacher in Junction City...immediately after leaving OSU he worked two years at Klamath Union High School...his professional career also includes teaching stints at St. Paul High School, Woodburn High School and as a school administrator...he also was heavily involved in coaching at the high school 2001 he retired...he now resides in Keizer with his wife Janice.


34        Rick Whelan     G          Sr.        Milwaukie, Ore.

Rick went into the Army for two years upon graduating of OSU...he then coached basketball and basetball) at the high school level for 20 years...he no longer coaches, but now works for a company in Portland called Traffic Safety Supply – a company that makes signs for cities, counties and state projects in Oregon and Washington...he is married to Salli, the sister of fellow teammate Scott Eaton.


21        Charlie White   F           Sr.        Detroit, Mich.

Charlie White is the first African-American to earn a scholarship at Oregon State University...he came to OSU after three years in the Army...was a team captain on the 1965-66 team...graduated from OSU in 1968 and for eight years was a personnel assistant at a paper manufacturing company...he spent the next eight years as a regional safety manager for a cement and construction firm in the Bay Area and then in 1990 became a manager for a large security office in Oakland...prior to retiring he worked two years for Bayer Healthcare...he was inducted into the OSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1991...after two years of retiring and becoming “tired of sitting around” he became a special education school bus driver – “I love it”...Charlie has one son.


23        Gary Wilken     C          So.       Fairbanks, Alaska

Gary returned to Alaska to embark what has been a very successful political career and small business owner...earned a master’s degree in business from OSU in 1968...he is a Senator for District E (Fairbanks) and has served on numerous committees, including present roles as the co-chair of the Finance Committee, and a member of the Legislative Budget & Audit Joint Committee, the Health, Education & Social Services Committee, the Joint Armed Services Committee and the Finance Committee...he also been very active in local charitable organizations...he and his family enjoy outdoor activities.


The coaching staff consisted of the legendary Paul Valenti (OSU HOF inductee in 1990), Jimmy Anderson, Bill Harper and Jim Jarvis (OSU HOF inductee in 1991).  Anderson was a long-time assistant coach at OSU and then was elevated to head coach following Ralph Miller.  Bill Harper was a long-time assistant coach in baseball and basketball, was a prep coach in Roseburg, and later had a distinguished career as a Major League scout for the Philadelphia Phillies, and Jarvis played professional basketball before becoming successful in real estate.  The student manager was Terry Vaughn and the trainer was the late Bill Robertson.


Special thanks to Chuck Boice and George Edmonston, Jr., for their contributions.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

'Plague' of 10 million ladybugs descend on eco-farm

A giant swarm of up to 10 million ladybirds has descended on a farm and covered 'every possible inch' of the 20-acre site.

The red and black insect army fell 'like a cloud' over the farm and are now three or four deep on walls, tree trunks and machinery and look like a 'crawling, wriggling carpet' according to farmers.

Alex Mortleman with some of the millions of ladybirds which have invaded a field in Chard where Sedum mat is grown by The Green Roof company.

Alex Mortleman with just a few of the millions of ladybirds which have invaded a field in Chard, Somerset

It is the largest swarm of ladybirds in 10 years.

Experts say the explosion of ladybirds are feasting on the natural 'larder' of aphids or greenfly, a plant-eating insect, that descended on the farm near Chard, Somerset, last month.

Farmers there grow thousands of square metres of 'eco-roofing' made of sedum, a cactus-like grass - the aphid's favourite food.

Ladybirds thrive on greenfly and as the sedum flourishes in summer, the numbers of aphids increase tenfold - attracting even larger numbers of the hungry bug.

Staff at Blackdown Horticultural Consultants say vast numbers of ladybirds arrive at the farm in Combe Saint Nicholas every July and August - but this year there are bumper numbers.

Some of the millions of ladybirds which have invaded a field in Chard where Sedum mat is grown by The Green Roof company.

Ladybirds love the aphids, which feed on Sedum mat which is grown by The Green Roof company in Somerset

Alex Mortleman, the firm's research and development officer, said each of the four fields contain around 2.5 million ladybirds, and countless more larvae.

These are made up of the common seven-spot Coccinella septempunctata, and the rarer 11-spot, Coccinella 11-punctata.

He said: 'We're used to large numbers of ladybirds here, but this year it's just incredible.

'We don't use pesticides, so the aphids flourish on the sedum. That, in turn, attracts the ladybirds who arrived like a hungry cloud.

'They've pretty well covered every possible inch. In some places, there's so many that they look like crawling wriggling carpet.

'Our staff working on the sedum are literally covered from head to toe in ladybirds the moment they leave the offices.'

Mr Mortleman said the insects are expected to remain on the farm until the aphids disappear in early autumn.

He added: This is the perfect solution to organic gardening. We love the ladybirds because they eat the pests, and we hope they'll come back again year after year.'

Read more:

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Étta and Rosie enjoying desert

Rhodes Scholar


Noelle Lopez, a senior Philosophy major and cross country athlete, was named one of 32 Rhodes Scholars in November, being the first student since 1955 to receive the prestigious award.

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Baring your sole


Thirty years ago, the modern running shoe was invented. Since then, running-related injuries have risen. And so a growing movement of runners are taking to the streets barefoot.

Perhaps no man  has had more positive influence upon running than Arthur Lydiard. Yet you could, perversely, almost blame the Kiwi master-coach for the pernicious rise of the modern, high-technology running shoe even though Lydiard’s cadre of world-class runners trained only in canvas plimsolls.

American Bill Bowerman ran with Lydiard in the early 1970s, and returned home inspired to experiment with his wife’s waffle iron to create the first Nike running shoe. Lydiard was aghast; he thought such footwear would cause injuries and poor technique. And as with so many other things, Lydiard, it appears, was ahead of his time.

Since 2002, the 30th anniversary of the first Nike, and driven by statistics showing an alarming rise in running-related foot, ankle and knee injuries, a fringe community of runners have been rejecting shoes altogether and going barefoot.

Now it threatens to go mainstream, and the mad movement’s reluctant prophet is a very sane running writer, Chris MacDougall, whose story of conversion to barefoot theology makes inspiring reading. His manifesto appears in his new book, Born to Run, in which he writes: “Blaming the running injury epidemic on big, bad Nike seems too easy but that’s OK, because there’s a lot to throw at them”. He says the book sits 13th on the US bestseller lists.

Six months ago, sick of constant muscle soreness in my hips and adductors which stopped me running the big miles I wanted to, I began visiting a sports biomechanist called (ironically) Greg Pain.

Pain, who runs Auckland clinic BioSport, is a running heretic. He thinks 98% of people run wrongly and blames a Western culture which encourages us to take cars, buses and trains and sit at desks when we should be running and walking. He believes it causes us to become unbalanced, with overdeveloped thighs and hips which take on too much work and eventually lead to injury.

He reconstructed my unique running style, which resembled an old lady chasing a bus while carrying four bags of shopping. Now I run straight-backed, with shorter strides, tensing my core muscles, `firing’ my gluteals (bum muscles) and hamstrings to flick my heels behind me to get more kick. I’m faster, more efficient and injury-free.

A lot of what Pain and MacDougall say seems to fit. I threw Born to Run to Pain a fortnight ago. It was his Archimedes in the bathtub moment. “It’s a great book,” he says. “It challenges the way we wear shoes the way we do; even more so, it challenges our lifestyle.” Ten days later, we went barefoot running.

As we trot through central Auckland, Greg spots two blokes looking at us as “if we were idiots”. We pass a woman who gives me the disgusted glance you might cast at someone who allows their dog to foul the pavement and doesn’t pick it up. We may be New Zealand’s early-adopters: I suspect there aren’t many other blokes running around the city without shoes.

But they all laughed when Christopher Columbus said the world was round. This may be the future. It certainly seems to work. It’s amazing how your stride immediately, unconsciously, changes when you run barefoot. It becomes shorter, choppier and lighter: something Pain preaches because it cuts the stress on your feet.

In shoes, you almost always land on your heel, where the manufacturers place the most padding. Barefoot, you land on the natural cushion of your mid-foot. It’s not painful, but you do feel every footfall, and not every surface is created equal: I found the dark asphalt of the road itself the best. In the interests of science, we burst across a muddy park. It’s very tactile: like squeezing jelly between your fingers. I like it. So does Greg.

On the phone from the US, MacDougall explains. “The foot is the greatest disciplinarian. You can’t over-pronate, can’t over-train, can’t over-stride … if you do anything wrong, the foot will tell you `uh uh, don’t do that’. Shoes are like morphine: a sedative that deadens the pain.”

Because the foot tells you how to run, MacDougall says anyone can make the transition within three weeks. He offers a few tips, then adds: “I still feel definitely the student here, not the master; very grudgingly I will give people a couple of pointers. I didn’t feel qualified to at first, but I found it is so easy, there is little to teach.”

The science behind MacDougall’s claims is impressive, led by a Newcastle University (Australia) study which found no evidence-based research to show high-tech running shoes are in any way beneficial.

MacDougall’s thesis boils down to this: the best shoes are the worst (one report suggested you are 123% more likely to sustain injury in more expensive shoes, because they offer too much support); feet like impact (and “it’s preposterous to think that half an inch of rubber is going to make a difference” when 12 times your bodyweight pounds through them); and finally, that humans are designed to run shoeless, and shoes weaken you. He cites one doctor who describes them having the same wasting effect as plaster casts.

Pain says the common ankle, back and knee problems his clients arrive with support these theories and says the shoeless science makes “perfect sense”, although he’d only use barefoot running as a measured part of training.

Born to Run isn’t just an anti-Nike manifesto. It’s also a fantastic tale of a reclusive tribe of Mexican Indians, the Tarahumara, who embark on two-day trail-race adventures wearing home-made leather sandals. It’s the story of how MacDougall and a group of crack ultra-runners tracked them down to engage in an epic desert ultra-race. It’s how the experience changed them all, and how MacDougall learned from them exactly how to run. The Tarahumura, incidentally, are aware of their subsequent impact on the running community, but, says MacDougall, don’t care. “It’s irrelevant to them; like talking about Hollywood to the Amish.”

The most extreme of the book’s ultra-runners is ‘Barefoot’ Ted MacDonald. By email, he says he doesn’t think the movement will threaten the shoe giants. “Threaten, no. Allow 1000 blossoms to bloom, yes. I am not dogmatically barefoot, even though I think it is the best. I have no problem endorsing companies making minimal shoes and not telling me I’m broken by design.”

MacDougall, meanwhile, who ironically only began barefooting after the epic race (pushed into it by a broken toe) is now a devotee. Has it made him a better runner?

“I see it differently than I would’ve a few years ago. If I could do a 3:59:59, instead of a four-hour, marathon, that was better. Now I couldn’t give a shit about that 1sec. Better to me means I don’t ever get hurt, I enjoy it, and I never dread it.”

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Newport Beach Surfrider

Jason Crane, one of our chapters young activists created this video for the Volcom LEAF contest. Jason’s entry did not win, but we think its great. Well done Jason.

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Top Dream Home Dupes

New building exploded during the housing boom. So did lazy construction practices.

In early 2009 homeowners in Florida, Virginia and Louisiana began noticing odd things. Bathroom mirrors and pipes turned black. Computers and televisions stopped functioning, their circuit boards inexplicably fried. A foul smell plagued some houses. They reported health concerns too, from respiratory problems and bloody noses to insomnia.

In Depth: How To Detect Dream-Home Dupesdreamhomedupes.jpg

Research revealed that their homes were built with imported Chinese drywall, a material that came into use at the start of the housing boom and proliferated in certain Southeastern states when, in 2006 and 2007, damage from severe hurricanes added to demand for new building. The inexpensive and readily available alternative to American drywall contained hydrogen sulfide gas, which ate away at metals and affected air quality.

Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommended that any homes with the toxic walls be completely gutted. As of now, 3,082 complaints in 37 states have been lodged about the effects of the material.

"These states are on the coast [where] ships come in every day," says Alex Fillip, a spokesperson for the CPSC. "They needed resources and thought about where in the world they could get more drywall to keep up with demand."

But it wasn't just in these cases where a rush to build houses impaired quality. As demand for homes shot up between 2001 and 2006, some newly built and remodeled homes alike suffered from the effects of quick construction: subpar building techniques, slapdash repairs and cosmetic improvements that masked deeper problems.

How To Detect And Deal With Problem Homes

1. Don't Confuse Glitz With Quality

Between 2001 and 2007, homes got more expensive, bigger and bolder. In some cases homes were built with features that looked deluxe but weren't practical. Sweeping circular staircases and soaring ceilings may look grand, but they create inefficient spaces to heat and cool. Pay more attention to what's behind the walls and the cost of upkeep than what Patrick Duffy, consultant with MetroIntelligence Real Estate, a research firm, calls an "impress-the-in-laws foyer."

2. Don't Get Mixed Up By the Model

When developers are building a new tract or condominium, they'll demonstrate what a typical home will look like with a fully finished property. These model homes are essential for showing buyers what could be--but don't be fooled into thinking your home will look exactly the same. "When you walk through the model home, you think you're getting the model home," says Duffy. "But it includes upgraded amenities, better-quality carpeting, better flooring and better fixtures than a typical home."

3. Don't Settle For a Passing Grade

New structures must meet building codes, so a basic level of quality is assured. But just because a property is up to code doesn't mean it's structurally perfect. Before closing on a new home, hire a top-notch inspector. He or she can reveal weaknesses that might meet regulations but could cause you headaches down the line.

4. Temporary Fixes for Flippers

Many home remodelers do excellent jobs. But with the rise of home-flipping during the boom, some home sellers with less experience and fewer resources took shortcuts that didn't address the long term. Seeking out these quick fixes is the task of a good inspector, but knowing the history of your home and what improvements it has can also help.

5. Flimsy Facades

Builders and remodelers alike know the value of first impressions--creating "curb appeal" is a priority for anyone trying to sell a house. But buyers should look beyond pretty shrubbery to make sure what they're seeing is what they're getting. "You could have an elevation in the front that looked like rock or brick, but it's really a faux-brick material" says Duffy. "It's incumbent on buyers to ask about that."

Click here to see the full list of How To Detect Dream-Home Dupes

Posted via web from The Newport Beach Blog

Santa Clara team; REFRACT HOUSE...Falstaff Abercrombie amd the Greenbergers


SCU CCA Refract House US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon
Spencer Ambauen
Hazella Bowmani
Matt Brubaker
Chris Gardini
Stephen Hight
Ashley Ciglar
Mike Hu
Bret Walters
David Rodriguez
Olesya Yefimov
Maryam Zahedi
Walter Ramos
Doug Ponciano
Loi Dinh
Darlene Kong
Ryan Linkey
Sean Irwin
Oblio Jenkins
Kadee Mardula
Collin Lee
Justin Miller
Steve Lyons
Jeff Seago
Ross Ruecker
Richard Navarro
Brad Wharton
Michael Vlahos
Mikell Warms
Victoria Watson
Siming Wong
Angel Tordorova
Brian Reeves
Allison Buggs
Andrew Peters
Andrew Stolz
Annabel Peterson
Brandon Jenkins
Christian Cortes
Father Reites
Erica Feiger
Felipe Medina
Olga Kozachek
Mariko Low
Tan Nguyen
Min Yi
Patrick Herald
Larry Peifer
Matt Hutchinson
Felix Wang
Frank Baumgartner
Aaron Poritz
Paul Taylor
  • Jeff Abercrombie II
  • Senior // SCU
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Construction Team
    » I was told about it from some people i know, and really wanted to do construction, so it was prefect.
  • Preet Anand
  • Senior // SCU
  • Engineering Physics
  • Water Team Lead
    » The Smart, yet Hot, Girls. I’ve always enjoyed riding trains, and my dream is to make my hometown of San Diego a transit-friendly city. So being a part of something amazing like this, and getting an opportunity to explore green building was awesome.
  • Kyle Belcher
  • Graduate // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Fundraising Lead
    » I took Andrew Kudless' studio last fall not really knowing where my role in the project would eventually lead...
  • Annessa Mattson
  • Graduate // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Michael “Meez” Perkins
  • Graduate // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Architecture Lead
    » The opportunity to work with Darlene Kong!!!
  • Noah Greer
  • Junior // CCA
  • Architecture, MA
  • Graphic Design Lead
  • Tim Sennott
  • Graduate // SCU
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Thermal Lead
    » Research project in Radiant Cooling segwayed into joining the team. I have had a lifelong passion for sustainability and renewable energy, and this was the perfect outlet for that work.
  • Dan Ruffoni
  • Senior // SCU
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Lead
    » I have always been interested in solar power and modular design and this was a great opportunity to learn about both of them.
  • Allison Kopf
  • Senior // SCU
  • Engineering Physics
  • Project Manager
    » I loved the potential to deal with both social responsibility and green technology.
  • Spencer Ambauen
  • Graduate // SCU
  • Environmental & Civil Engineer
  • Construction Team
    » I want to construct a sustainable house.
  • Hazella Bowmani
  • Faculty // SCU
  • Staff
  • Lighting Team
    » The 2007 team and their enjoyment in the project.
  • Matt Brubaker
  • Freshmen // SCU
  • Chris Gardini
  • Junior // SCU
  • Architecture
  • The opportunity to work on a project that will be built.
  • Stephen Hight
  • Junior // SCU
  • Ashley Ciglar
  • Junior // SCU
  • Civil Engineer
  • Water Team
    » I became interested in the project when I read about the 2007 competition in Santa Clara Magazine
  • Mike Hu
  • Junior // CCA
  • Graphic Design
  • » I heard about this unique opportunity during the school year and really wanted to get involved. I had really no scope of the scale of the project, but it turned out to be an extraordinary experience. Solar Decathlon has been a great interdisciplinary exposure of all sorts!
  • Bret Walters
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • David Rodriguez
  • Junior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Olesya Yefimov
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Maryam Zahedi
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Learn new materials that are only experienced through real projects!
  • Walter Ramos
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Doug Ponciano
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Loi Dinh
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Darlene Kong
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Outreach/Fundraising
    » I wanted to work on a real project. Actually I wanted to work on the Construction team, but life just kept placing me on every other team imaginable.
    I wanted to fall in love with architecture once again.
  • Ryan Linkey
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Sean Irwin
  • Graduate // SCU
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Lead
    » I was excited to join the project simply because I knew that all my efforts were going to eventually get built. When I saw the awesome designs from CCA I got really excited because all of them were so excellent. I particularly fell in love with one proposal, which ultimately was chosen, because of it's sleek shape and because it took big risks that none of the other proposals really did. Cantilevered ends, a clerestory around the entire North side of the building, and no shear walls in the transverse direction, this was clearly going to be a challenging project structurally, but one that seemed to be worthwhile because I could see great potential from this house. And so far, I have definitely not been disappointed.
  • Oblio Jenkins
  • Faculty // CCA
  • Kadee Mardula
  • Junior // SCU
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Communication Lead
    » I was a freshman and loved habitat for humanity. I thought they were similar projects...
  • Collin Lee
  • Junior // SCU
  • Computer Engineer
  • Controls Team
    » I like hands on applications of engineering. It seemed like this is as hands on as it gets.
  • Justin Miller
  • Junior // SCU
  • Computer Engineer
  • Controls Team
    » I had just spent the summer before my freshman year learning how to program for the iPhone. Two of my new college friends joined the project and told me that the project needed a programmer to write software to control the house from the iPhone. Needless to say, I joined right away.
  • Steve Lyons
  • Faculty // CCA
  • Jeff Seago
  • Graduate // SCU
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Thermal Team
    » I got interested in this project because of all the exciting new technology that I would get to work with, and because I knew that what I am working on is making a positive impact on the environment.
  • Ross Ruecker
  • Graduate // SCU
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Controls Lead/Construction Team
    » The 2007 team and their enjoyment in the project.
  • Richard Navarro
  • Senior // SCU
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Electrical Lead
    » My interest in green technologies and the opportunity to apply what I have learned as an electrical engineer.
  • Brad Wharton
  • Junior // CCA
  • Graphic Design
  • Michael Vlahos
  • Senior // SCU
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Structural/Thermal
    » Some friends and I wanted to join an engineering project, and this one was the most famous.
  • Mikell Warms
  • Senior // SCU
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Team
    » I am passionate about alternate energy sources as it is, in my mind, a leading global cause of strife and hatred between many different countries/cultures. Energy consumption is also another huge issue that I believe needs to be worked on and that interests me. But overall it's pretty much a great way to get involved in a multitude of different subjects, meet people, and provide a challenge to my otherwise bland life! Hah.
  • Victoria Watson
  • Junior // SCU
  • Accounting & Econ
  • Interiors Lead
    » I've always had a love for architecture and design, and I wanted to find a way to contribute to the rapidly important topic of sustainability and green-technology, the Solar Decathlon was the perfect project for me!
  • Siming Wong
  • Junior // CCA
  • Graphic Design
  • The school was promoting involvement with Solar D extensively, so at some point I was in Ecolab class and then joined Soalr D studio.
  • Angel Tordorova
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Brian Reeves
  • Sophmore // SCU
  • Andrew Peters
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • The prospect of working on a real project in school that would be directly applicable to my chosen career path (small-scale green design, development, and construction).
  • Andrew Stolz
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Annabel Peterson
  • Graduate // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Brandon Jenkins
  • Junior // CCA
  • Architecture, MA
  • Christian Cortes
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Father Reites
  • Faculty // SCU
  • Erica Feiger
  • Senior // SCU
  • Civil Engineer
  • Water Team
    » My interest in alternative energy and sustainabilty.
  • Felipe Medina
  • Junior // SCU
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Team
    » I was told about it from some people i know, and really wanted to do construction, so it was prefect.
  • Olga Kozachek
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Mariko Low
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Laurice der Bedrossian
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Yoon Choi
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • I was interested in the project being a design/build competition in Washinton, DC, taking on a perspective of real like experience while promoting efficient green living.
  • Jackie Morck
  • Senior // CCA
  • Interior Design
  • Wayne Lin
  • Fifth Year // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Tan Nguyen
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Sandra Lopez
  • Freshmen // CCA
  • Min Yi
  • Senior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Patrick Herald
  • Sophmore // CCA
  • Architecture, MA
  • I like to build stuff & enjoy hands on construction experience with green technologies.
  • Larry Peifer
  • Senior // CCA
  • Interior Design
  • Interior Design Lead
    » A better understanding of green building/sustainable practices as they are implemented.
  • Matt Hutchinson
  • Faculty // CCA
  • Architecture Faculty
  • Felix Wang
  • Junior // CCA
  • Architecture
  • Frank Baumgartner
  • Graduate // CCA
  • Architecture, MA
  • Greater knowledge of renewable energy, experience in designing a built home, learning from thoughtful designers and engineers.
  • Aaron Poritz
  • Graduate // CCA
  • Architecture
  • I was the original designer of the refract house. I have worked on the project up to construction documents.
  • Paul Taylor
  • Graduated // CCA
  • Architecture
  • » The Solar Decathlon Competition, The Refract House, and our team deliver a beautifully successful illustration of interdisciplinary/technologically integrated design. With my envolvement in the SCU/CCA Solar Decathlon bracketing the project's entire life cycle, I have experienced the benefits and challenges of integrated building design and interdisciplanary design work. For us involved, and for others working toward similar goals of ecological efficiency, the Refract House is a tangible model referencing future work.

Posted via web from eWaste Disposal and Recycling

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles