May 8, 2013

Prefabulous and Almost Off the Grid – book review

In homebuilding, innovation in materials technology and energy efficiency is everywhere, but construction methods seem always to lag behind as many contractors stick to the familiar and sometimes the cheap. The Guardian reports that choosing a home has become “as simple as picking furniture from the Ikea catalogue” for residents of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, where a neighbourhood of affordable architect-designed kit houses has just been launched. If you can’t afford pricey designs that does not mean settling for generic or uninspired aesthetics, inefficiency and mid-grade craftsmanship.

Author Sheri Koones champions this alternative path – prefabricated housing – that she has been promoting for years in a series of books about this option. The latest is “Pre-fabulous and Almost Off the Grid,” which features more than 30 homes built using some sort of prefabricated components.

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New TV formats to exploit off-grid interest

Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and TNT all look to offer new wrinkles to the venerable survival-based competition reality series genre with new shows set to debut later this year.

Travel Channel and Discovery are set to stretch the genre, in which strangers compete in desolate and extreme locales — born a decade ago, with the premiere of CBS’s Survivor — to include a married couple (Travel Channel’s Get Lost) and totally nude contestants (Discovery Channel’s Naked Castaway and Naked and Afraid) in an effort to find new ratings success.

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Sensible shoes makes sense

hhShoes, ladies I know you think about them a lot, and some of you guys too, but how many of you wear shoes that would let you down in an emergency situation? Ladies I talking about running around in high heels, or little flip flop sandals…

Now I’m not saying you can’t wear these kinds of shoes, but perhaps you should seriously consider stashing a more suitable pair of shoes that could be quickly accessed in an emergency.

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