The book of the mimicry of the living

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Bottle tower gardening: how to start ? (Willem Van Cotthem)


This is really neat. Practical, well designed planters out of reused plastic containers.

Originally posted on Container Gardening:

Together with my friend Gilbert VAN DAMME (Zaffelare, Belgium) I have set up some successful experiments with vertical gardening in “container towers”.

We are using all kinds of recycled containers, e.g. plastic bottles, pots, buckets.  The containers are stacked into “towers”.

Today, I will describe the way how to start a “bottle tower”, illustrating the different steps with some photos:

2011-09-07 - Step 1 :We leave the lid on bottle No. 1 (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 2 : We cut the bottom part of bottle No. 1 (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 3 : Bottom part of the bottle No. 1 cut off (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 4 : With a sharp object (here scissors) the wall of bottle No. 1 is perforated at 2-4

2011-09-07 - Step 5 : A second perforation (drainage hole) is made diagonally across the bottle No. 1. Below the 2 holes a small reserve of water is kept in the bottle. Through these drainage holes a possible surplus of water can be evacuated(Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 6 : Bottle No. 1 is filled with potting soil (or a mixture of dirt and manure) up to 1-2

2011-09-07 - Step 7 : Bottle No. 1 is the bottom bottle of the future tower (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 8 : For the next 3 bottles (No. 2, 3 and 4, without the 2 drainage holes) we take the lid off and cut the bottom part (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 9 : After filling the 3 bottles (No. 2, 3 and 4) with potting soil, they will be put upon the bottom bottle of the tower (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 10 : A tower of the 4 bottles (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 11 : The bottle tower is kept upright with a couple of simple wires (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 - Step 12 : We use the top part of a bottle (No. 5, without the lid) as a funnel and push the bottleneck into the soil of the upper bottle No. 4 (Photo WVC)

2011-09-07 – Step 13 : A bottle No. 6 will be used as a watertank on top of the funnel (Bottle No. 5). Therefore, a small (1 mm) perforation of the lid is made (here with a drill) (Photo WVC)
2011-09-07 – Step 14 : Bottle no. 6 is the top bottle, used as a watertank, water running slowly through this small hole (Photo WVC)
2011-09-07 – Step 15 : Watertank bottle No. 6 is…

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On the grind…

Just on my way back from London. Got some fantastic new material from Exploration Architecture, and dropped in to see my Friends of the Earth at thier  new offices too. Gonna spend my journey writing it up, in the mean time a few teaser shots…


We have a seriously wierd skyline


Exploration Architecture putting on a show

And a tour of Friends of the Earths new London club house will be coming out too…

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Lost Generation by Jonathan Reed


I don’t normally reblog, and this isn’t strictly about anything I write about. But it is totally brilliant.

Originally posted on swirlsfromthebowlofchina:

Lost Generation by Jonathan Reed….{}


I am part of a lost generation
and I refuse to believe that
I can change the world
I realize this may be a shock but
“Happiness comes from within.”
is a lie, and
“Money will make me happy.”
So in 30 years I will tell my children
they are not the most important thing in my life
My employer will know that
I have my priorities straight because
is more important than
I tell you this
Once upon a time
Families stayed together
but this will not be true in my era
This is a quick fix society
Experts tell me
30 years from now, I will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of my divorce
I do not concede that
I will live in a country of my own making
In the future
Environmental destruction will be the norm

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Twisted and Evil?

I’ve always wanted to be a super hero.

Weird lead right?

I’ve always wanted to be a super hero BUT I’ve never been chosen by a cosmic force, exposed to a high tech industrial accident or had the psychology to turn myself into a highly trained living weapon. While I know my body does some odd things, none of my genetic gifts could be used to rescue a cat from a burning building or foil a bank robbery.


Of course, there is always the ‘Iron Man’. I become so skilled at engineering I BUILD myself into a super hero. Well, provided I discover some power source that could substitute for an ARC Reactor. I’ve known for a few years though that if the impulse was strong enough I could always just grab a scalpel and turn myself into an underpowered Magneto.

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More machine than man…

What do the piercing and tattoo community, the borg, and a few nerds in basements and Universities have in common? I know that two out of the three read the Biomimicron, but until I start publishing on Wolf-359 the borg will be missing out.

keanu borg

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Science of Bioinspiration Is Spreading, But Lacks Commercial Teeth | Xconomy

See on Scoop.itbiomimicron

Can innovators learn anything about sustainability from the minimalist lifestyle of a two-toed sloth? This question occurred to me Wednesday during the Fou

David Parr‘s insight:

Interesting to see na economic publication both acknowledge biomimicry, but also make the point that in order to be ‘valued’ it must be technical and able to prove benefit.

Good to see some hard figures on growth of the ‘industry’ too, and plans for expansion and public awareness of the process. That said, I’d love to know how they calculated that "By the year 2030, bioinspiration in the U.S. could account for $425 billion" or that it would account for 15% of industry sales in chemical manufacturing and account for an equal amount in materials".

And economists say bio-inspiration struggles with a reputation as a soft science…. 

See on

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“iGeneration for Dummies” or 5 Things I learned on the internet

I was unemployed for a long time, and thanks largely to the support of my parents and talented little brother, I was able to keep pushing through it and come out the other side. On the way I learnt a few ways to get stuff done. So for one more moment stick with me. I hope sharing this helps.

Instant Expert

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“So Long, and Thanks for all the Clicks” or 5 indescribable moments in 5 months

temp temp (1)

Dave RGP has returned to
his home planet of Cardiff in
an attempt to rescue his
loyal friend the tree from the
clutches of the vile gangster
Jabber the Nonsense.
Little does South Wales know that
Dave has secretly
begun construction on a new
social project even
more powerful than the first
dreaded WordPress Blog.
When completed, this ultimate
weapon will spell certain doom
for the large number of problems
preventing him from restoring balance
to the Gower…

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