The President Could Help with the Groceries

Watch Kitchen Gardens International founder, Roger Doiron, digging a new garden on his “white house” lawn, with the intention of inspiring incoming residents of the Other White House to do the same. Sign the petition if you’d like to urge ’em along.


One-acre park, and one-acre store

Just sent this to Whole Foods, via their website contact form:

Dear Whole Foods,

I happened to come across some news about WF opening a location on the old Hollywood Park property ( This is good news to me, but I was really struck by the comparison of land being allotted to a park in the same development. According to the aerial map, there will be a 41,000 sq. ft. WF store, and a 1.2 acre park (among other things). I did the math, and would like to point out that this part of the world is STARVED for green space.

I am writing to request/suggest that you consider finding ways to develop the store in such a way that more green space is made available. As outlandish as it may seem, if the store were underground, the area could have a 2 acre park! Maybe there are other solutions that would benefit both Whole Foods and the community. What a gift it could be! My child and I must get in our car and drive for at least 30 minutes to get to ample green space. What about those without a car?

Thanks for considering these thoughts. I look forward to your form-letter-free reply.


Here’s the math:

1 acre = 43,560 square feet

1.2 acres = 52,272 square feet

41,000 (WF store) + 52,272 (planned park) = 93,272 = 2.14 acres

Croatian Metalsmiths, MG VRBANUS

Croatian metalworkers, MG VRBANUS, are amazing! I can’t believe all their awards are really limited to Eastern Europe.


This ready-to-drive Beetle required 2,500 of handwork. The details are gilt with 24 karat gold.

Lots and lots of thanks to Zacislost for leading me to this great work.

Global “Elders” for a Global Community

It took a little bit of hunting, but I have found it. Of course, they must have a website! It is

Heart-labor of Richard Branson and Peter Gabriel, it brings together a group of people “who have the trust of the world”, and who are able and willing to speak freely and act quickly when conflict arises.

Members include Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson. They plan to work both publicly and behind the scenes, answering to whatever needs emerge with all the means available to them.

Visitors can send comments and elder nominations, and subscribe to updates.

Domes Out of Earth

The California Institute of Earth Art and Architecture (Cal-Earth) is devoted to Earth Art and Ceramic Architecture. Founded and directed by architect and author, Nader Khalili, Cal-Earth has been involved with technical innovations published by NASA for lunar base construction, as well as design and development of housing for the world’s homeless for the United Nations.

A Cal-Earth dome Building a Cal-Earth dome Cal-Earth dome with water feature

Judging by the Visiting Calearth page, they sound awfully busy – too busy to answer emails. I plan to call this week, in the hopes that we can attend their next open house, and even sign up for one of their children’s workshops with my son. Located in Hesperia, California, I estimate about a two-hour drive from the LA area.

More posts to come as we learn more!

Solar Panels at 1/3 the Cost

Ecogeek posted an article and video about Nanosolar, a firm in the Bay Area that plans to produce flexible solar panels that will cost consumers 1/3 of what they’ve been paying for solar to date. Here’s what I found on YouTube:

New Urban News

Was catching up on filing and found my sample copy of the New Urban News. The subtitle says it is “covering design and development of human scale neighborhoods.” The content is billed as being for “planners, developers, architects, builders, public officials and others who are interested in the creation of human-scale communities”.

I see it as a resource for advocating ideas, and a report on community design trends, as well as new projects and legislation. The website seems to get richer and richer each time I visit.