June 5, 2014

Nova Scotia bans new off-grid homes

Dear Off-Grid,

I live on the south shore of Nova Scotia and I want to build a tiny, off-grid homestead. So far, it is proving to be a near impossibility.

The building inspector says I have to have 3 radiators and an air exchanger and these must be powered by electricity (as per the National Building Code). He says I must be able to maintain a temperature of 22.5 degrees Celsius in my home at anytime during the year! Who keeps their heat that high anyways?

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Lost Faith in the System

hagopianJoachim Hagopian voices the feelings of millions of Americans

The forsaken American population finds itself more in poverty (46.2 million people) as well as more in debt ($57 trillion) now than ever before in history.

Young generations of the college educated are having to pay off mounting college loan debts ($1.2 trillion and rising) that without jobs they can never even hope to repay. Rather than marry, have kids and buy homes like generations before them, we worry how to pay the light bill and avoid eviction. Sometime in the last century, when we weren’t looking, the American dream died. Foreclosures and unpaid debts are now sucking the lifeblood out.

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Tiny home in Hawaii

Tiny home in Hawaii

I think we can all appreciate Johnny Sanphillippo’s situation, he worked hard at a job he loved that unfortunately didn’t net him a large salary, of course if you were to ask him, I’m sure he would tell you that money isn’t the most important thing in the world, not something to run after at all costs.

Johnny cleaned houses, he painted homes and gardened for a living, he lived in California, there was no way he was going to be able to qualify for a mortgage on a home of his own, something he really wanted. He decided that going small would be the best thing for him, he purchased a lot in Hawaii and began working toward building a small home, one that he could afford, and one that allow him to retire later on without having to worry about having a pension or major money coming in.

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how to protect your privacy online

Online privacy – talks series

A californian hacker is touring the world giving advice on how to protect your own privacy.

This summer Abhay Agarwal is hosting dozens of conversations about online identity and the future of data privacy. His first talk, at a local hackspace in Oakland, CA named Sudo Room, went over really well, and he was offered sponsorship to give the talk around Europe (dates below).

Abhay is creating a new piece of technology for anonymous collaborative communication.

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