Michael Green Architects do Small Wood in Vancouver boat house

The Vancouver architect is famous for “tall wood” but still has a knack for little good wood buildings too.

Almost every building we have seen lately from Michael Green of MGA has been Tall Wood or Big Wood. Lately he has been in the news for becoming part of Disruptive Wood, selling out to Katerra. But he is still an architect capable of doing Small Wood, like this lovely little dock building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. According to the press release:

woman carrying boat © Ema Peter via V2com

“Delivering thoughtful, elegant architectural design is always possible regardless of budget,” said Michael Green, CEO and President of MGA. “This is what we set out to do when designing the Dock Building for the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.”

Boathouse exterior© Ema Peter via V2com

The building contains washrooms, showers, offices and workshops. According to the MGA site,

The project’s practical working needs, very modest budget, and prominent siting required a simple solution that honoured the cannery and industrial heritage of waterfront buildings that were once found on the site a half-century before. The design demonstrates that all projects from working industrial buildings to boutique museums can and should be realized with grace and architectural dignity.

Boathouse interior© Ema Peter via V2com

This TreeHugger has been in a lot of boathouses and dock buildings, and they are usually pretty dark and dank. But the translucent polycarbonate wall ” brings light into the workshop spaces and glows along the beach at night.”

The structure is a mix of glulam posts and beams with light timber infill decking and walls. The interior is predominantly construction-grade plywood, providing a tough, easily replaceable interior finish.

boat in boathouse© Ema Peter via V2com

Usually if you see “Royal” before the name of a yacht club, it is a pretty fancy and exclusive place. But Michael Green evidently still had to watch his pennies here, because almost half the budget went underground into piles and foundations. So above grade, “the details are modest and practical to work with the limited project budget.”

But this is when you learn whether an architect is really good or not- if they can make something so simple look elegant and expensive. Tall Wood is one thing, but Small Wood is tough, too.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/green-architecture/michael-green-architects-do-small-wood-vancouver-boat-house.html

White House Announces 25 Percent Tariff on Chinese Tech Goods

White House Announces 25 Percent Tariff on Chinese Tech Goods

June 15th, 2018

Via: The Verge:

Today, President Trump announced an aggressive new set of tariffs against China, setting a 25 percent import tax on $50 billion worth of “industrially significant technologies� imported from China. In previous discussions, China has threatened to retaliate against such tariffs, stoking fears of a far-reaching and unpredictable trade war between the countries. US Customs and Border Protection is set to begin collecting the tariffs on July 6th.

A list published by the White House details more than 1,000 specific products that will be affected by the tariffs. It includes a broad range of components used in electronics manufacturing, specifically naming touchscreens, batteries, and electric motors. General components like transistors are also named on the list as well as more specific components used in televisions, cameras, and radio receivers. Fiber optic cables are also on the list, although most fiber optic cable is manufactured by US companies. Notably, the list does not include cellphones or completed televisions.




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Modern, high-end tiny house and RV hybrid by Land Ark

Those interested in tiny house living might hear the oft-said refrain: why not just buy a conventional recreational vehicle (RV)? The thing is, ordinary RVs — even the costly ones — aren’t built to last and aren’t meant for year-round habitation, especially during winter. RVs simply are not in the same class as tiny houses: RVs are mass-manufactured with lightweight but not necessarily durable materials, and are often not well-insulated.

So it makes sense that those who are looking for something more durable would turn to alternatives like tiny houses. Colorado-based Land Ark recently debuted Drake, a tiny house-and-RV hybrid that’s certified as an RV by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA), but has been built like an extremely well-insulated home, engineered to handle ski-resort snow loads, yet can also be towed without a special permit.

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

Designed and built by husband-and-wife team Brian and Joni Buzarde, Drake is a result of the couple’s years as tiny house “guinea pigs,” living minimally in a RV-inspired tiny house they call Woody.

Drake’s exterior is clad with low-maintenance black corrugated metal siding. The 30-foot-long, 357-square-foot (33 square metres) interior features pine cladding, contrasted with metal details and fixtures. There are two lofts, which can sleep up to six people (seven if you include the custom-built sofa that has storage underneath). On the opposite side is a long counter that doubles as a workspace and dining area.

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

The kitchen has a very long counter for those who love to cook: there’s a three-burner stovetop, a gas-powered oven, a full-sized refrigerator, plus long shelves overhead for storing things.

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

At one end is the main sleeping loft, which can fit a king-sized bed and can be reached via a ladder.

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

The other end has another loft, which has a bit of an awkward crawling space that one has to traverse. Looking underneath, one sees that it’s a result of putting the washing machine area underneath.

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

Underneath this loft sits the bathroom, which has a shower-bathtub combo and vanity sink.

Jeremy Gudac© Jeremy Gudac

Admittedly, the Drake isn’t cheap for a tiny house: the model pictured here costs USD $139,900 — however that is comparable to conventional Class A motorhomes (which are typically built out of not-so-durable materials and for only occasional use). But thanks to its RVIA certification, the Drake can be parked in an RV park, like any regular RV. In any case, the Drake is yet another tiny house-RV hybrid out there that may interest those who are looking for the best of both worlds. To see more, visit Land Ark, or on Instagram and Twitter.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/drake-tiny-house-rv-hybrid-land-ark-rv.html

Victorian house converted into 193 sq. ft. micro-apartments

With housing prices skyrocketing in many major cities, many are looking for more affordable alternatives. That might be why micro-apartments are becoming popular in urban centres like Sydney, Paris and New York City.

Similarly in London, design firm Bicbloc was tasked with transforming an older, four-storey Victorian-era terraced house into 14 micro-apartments measuring 18 square metres (193 square feet), which feature modular multifunctional units that hold a bed, kitchen and storage. In addition, the property has communal interior spaces and a large, shared backyard.

Laura Encinas© Laura Encinas

Laura Encinas© Laura Encinas

Laura Encinas© Laura Encinas

The module has been made in a way that a group of basic design concepts can be adapted to each micro-apartment, and spatially as a “group of volumes intersecting with each other.” For instance, there’s an elevated bed that sits on top of storage and a pull-out desk/table, lighting, a hidden kitchen with a stove, refrigerator and microwave.

Laura Encinas© Laura Encinas

Laura Encinas© Laura Encinas

To keep the material palette warm, the volumes are covered with wood veneered panels in smoked walnut or black oak. The idea was to keep everything looking uniform and warm, so that it looks uncluttered.

Laura Encinas © Laura Encinas

Laura Encinas © Laura Encinas

Laura Encinas © Laura Encinas

Laura Encinas© Laura Encinas

The bathrooms are separate from the rest of the space and features toilets and showers.

Laura Encinas © Laura Encinas

Local regulations state that newly built apartments must be minimum of 37 square metres (398 square feet), but since this building was not new, the project was able to construct 14 micro-apartments instead. It’s meeting a rising demand for more affordable and efficient spaces, says Bicbloc’s head designer, Laura Encinas:

The client wished to convert the property into a new co-living concept to cater to the strong rental demand in London and changing living habits.

Laura Encinas © Laura Encinas

To see more, visit Bicbloc, on Facebook and Instagram.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/interior-design/micro-apartments-bicbloc.html

Child Sex Robots Ban Approved By US House Amid Nationwide Crackdown On Pedophiles

The US House of Representatives has approved a ban on importation and sale of child sex robots. The proposal says pedophiles can buy lifelike dolls which resemble children as young as three-years-old.

The bipartisan Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act will ban the importation and transportation of child sex dolls. Pedophiles buy and sell the lifelike silicone dolls, which resemble children as young as three years old, through online websites and marketplaces.

“Right now, a few clicks on a computer can allow a predator to order a vile child sex doll… Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to a child,” Congressman Dan Donovan who proposed the legislation, said.

The bill, dubbed the CREEPER Act, was passed by the House on Wednesday and is yet to be approved by the Senate. The dolls, usually imported from China, Japan, or Hong Kong, are anatomically correct and may have interchangeable wigs and lifelike facial expressions, including sadness and fear.

There are currently no laws in the US prohibiting the distribution of such sex dolls which are often labeled as ‘mannequins’ or ‘models’ to avoid their detection in the mail.

On AliExpress, a Chinese marketplace similar to Ebay, the dolls are on sale from as little as $100 dollars, with prices running into thousands of dollars. The manufacturers describe them as “pretty,” “innocent,” and “natural and cute.” Their height and weight vary from that of a three-year-old to a nine-year-old child, and they are sculpted from ‘cyberskin’ – a silicone material that feels eerily similar to human skin.

The legislation submitted to the House in December 2017 states that physical features, and the ‘‘personalities’’ of the robots “can resemble actual children.” The user can learn how to overcome resistance and subdue the victim by raping the robot.

“For users and children exposed to their use, the dolls and robots normalize submissiveness and normalize sex between adults and minors,” the statement concludes.

The legislation has already received support from a number of groups, including Safe Horizon, Stop Abuse Campaign and Campaign Against Sex Robots. A petition on change.org calling for the child sex dolls ban has already received over 166,000 signatures so far.

The text insists that child sex dolls can “normalize a pedophile’s behaviors, emboldening them to harm children, as is often the case with those who view child pornography”. 

One day before Congress voted on the CREEPER Act, the Department of Justice announced that more than 2,300 suspected online child sex offenders had been arrested after a three-month nationwide operation by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces.

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Source Article from https://worldtruth.tv/child-sex-robots-ban-approved-by-us-house-amid-nationwide-crackdown-on-pedophiles/

WATCH: Innocent Couple Held Up by Cops, Arrested for Questioning $1 Waffle House Charge

waffle housewaffle house

Fort Walton, FL — Yet another disturbing video of police officers assaulting patrons at a Waffle House has been released, leading to renewed calls for a boycott of the 24-hour restaurant. This time, the incident involved an innocent couple who were accused of theft who were subsequently handcuffed and arrested by police after they complained about being overcharged for their meal.

According to reports, the couple was complaining that they were overcharged $0.50 for a $1.00 orange juice on their to go order. Before they received their food, they complained and asked to speak to customer service.

Instead of customer service, however, Waffle House called the cops.

Body camera footage of the incident was recently released and shows police enter a Waffle House and tell the man, who was simply trying to dispute his bill before getting his food, to get out of the restaurant.

“Get out here,” the officer tells the man. “He needs to get out here and talk to me like a man.”

When the man complies with the officer, the cop then reverses his order completely and tells the innocent man to “back up, back up.”

When the man and the woman finally step outside, they try to explain to the police officers that they placed an order and then questioned a single charge.

“I was just asking why I was overcharged on my bill,” the man said. “I just asked….”

He’s then cut off by police who never let him finish his story. Naturally, he became upset and raised his voice, but the man never became physical and complied with police. Nevertheless, police draw their tasers and hold them on trained on the man’s chest.

Police repeatedly told the couple to go back inside and pay their bill, but having been overcharged, the man refused. The officers then wrongfully accused the man of theft and placed him in handcuffs.

The confusion seems to have sparked because police did not understand that the couple never received their food. If they never received their food and simply disputed the cost of the food before they paid for it, this is not theft, it is negotiation.

However, that was irrelevant to the officers who then placed both the man and the woman under arrest for a theft that never happened.

After the couple is arrested, according to a report out of Business Insider, the couple paid for the meals they never received and police released them because they had nothing with which to charge them. According to the report, the woman returned to the Waffle House — after paying for a meal she never received — and she was given a full refund.

In response to the incident, Waffle House released a statement noting that they are looking into the matter.

“As anyone who has dined with us knows, we have a very diverse customer base and workforce. We have had a culture of inclusion since we opened our doors in 1955, and are very proud of the fact that our restaurants have been open to all. We understand the concern over these incidents, and welcome continued communication with the community, its leaders and the customers involved.

With respect to the Saraland, Ala., and Warsaw, N.C., incidents, we concluded that our employees acted appropriately by calling the police in light of safety concerns for our customers and themselves. In the Fort Walton Beach, Fla., incident, our review of the matter is continuing.

Our CEO, Walt Ehmer, called Ms. Sheffield the same day we received a letter from her, and said he would personally review the matter. As part of our process, we’ve tried to contact Ms. Sheffield several times, but she has not responded. We would like to talk further with her before we conclude our review.

We hope that people will consider all the facts before making up their minds, and we stand ready to engage in open and constructive dialogue about our company, our values and our commitment to doing all we can to ensure that our customers have a great experience in our restaurants.”

As TFTP reported in April, the NAACP has stepped up after a graphic video from inside an Alabama Waffle House went viral showing a violent police struggle with a young woman. During the violent encounter, the woman’s breasts were exposed.

Then, in May, a young man was brutally attacked by cops while taking his little sister out to eat after prom. Both of these incidents have sparked calls for boycotts of the waffle chain.

While a boycott against Waffle House is a noble gesture, it does nothing to address the problem of police violence. Until officers are held accountable and retrained in de-escalation, we can expect to see countless more videos just like these.

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Source Article from https://thefreethoughtproject.com/waffle-house-innocent-couple-arrested-taser/

Family embraces plant-based, zero-waste lifestyle with tiny house (Video)

Is it possible to move into a tiny house as a family with a newborn baby? Some may say that such a small space can’t accommodate a growing child, yet we’re seeing numerous examples of families with one, two even three children and even a dog or two happily living in smaller spaces.

For Australian couple Mark and Joanna, tiny house living was one way to lessen their environmental impact and to live closer to their values. They’ve been taking big steps toward a zero-waste lifestyle, have switched over to a plant-based diet, and have built their own tiny home as an intentional way to welcome their new baby girl into the world. Watch the tour of their home via Living Big In A Tiny House‘s Bryce Langston:

Living Big in a Tiny House© Living Big in a Tiny House

The couple’s home is located on Mark’s parents’ property near Yarra, in the southern part of Australia, which has a warm climate perfect for enjoying the outdoors and growing food. This aspect is seen in the gardens around the couple’s tiny house — which are tended by both the couple and Mark’s mother, a passionate gardener.

Living Big in a Tiny House© Living Big in a Tiny House

The home has a self-built deck that extends the usable space around the home, which is made with recycled tomato stakes, which have been cut and grouped together as tiles, which facilitate their transportation when the couple moves in the future. It’s been used not only for eating outside, but also for recently homebirthing the couple’s baby, via a birthing tub.

Living Big in a Tiny House© Living Big in a Tiny House

The interior is done with a warm, minimalist aesthetic: walls painted white but offset with warm textures of wood and items neatly stacked or organized. There is a day-bed at one end of the house where the family can sit and watch movies. The stairs are integrated with storage for the refrigerator and washing machine; the last two steps can be moved and used as seating for guests when they visit.

Living Big in a Tiny House© Living Big in a Tiny House

Living Big in a Tiny HouseLiving Big in a Tiny House/Video screen capture

Living Big in a Tiny HouseLiving Big in a Tiny House/Video screen capture

Mark is a chef specializing in plant-based foods. The family has been eating a primarily plant-based diet for the last two years or so, and have started a pop-up restaurant called The Circle Dining as well, which brings delicious plant-based tasting experiences to the area. The couple is also aiming toward a zero-waste lifestyle, reducing their use of single-use plastics.

Living Big in a Tiny House© Living Big in a Tiny House

Living Big in a Tiny HouseLiving Big in a Tiny House/Video screen capture

The house includes a small room at the back that serves as the nursery for the couple’s newborn.

Living Big in a Tiny HouseLiving Big in a Tiny House/Video screen capture

The bathroom has been done as a wet room, meaning that it’s been waterproofed well, and there is no separation between shower and the rest of the room, leaving more space to move around.

Living Big in a Tiny HouseLiving Big in a Tiny House/Video screen capture

Over the kitchen, bathroom and nursery is the sleeping loft, which has windows on both side for improved cross-ventilation, and an extended floor to permit more movement around when upstairs.

Living Big in a Tiny House© Living Big in a Tiny House

In total, the couple spent around USD $38,000 in building the house themselves, which was completed in three months, with a bit of help from family, especially Mark’s father, who had construction experience. With their tiny house, they plan to save more money to buy land of their own. To learn more, visit Living Big in a Tiny House.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/family-living-plant-based-zero-waste-life-tiny-house.html

Microplastics in house dust rain down on our food

We each may be ingesting up to 68,415 microplastic particles every year simply from eating at home.

When I was young I used to marvel at the shimmering dust in the air, trying to catch the little fairy motes between my fingers. Now … cue the record scratch. Once I read the study that found 90 percent of house dust tested had toxic chemicals in it, well the daydreamy appreciation of dust has taken a dark turn.

And now it turns out that not only is our house dust simply toxic, it’s loaded with microplastics that drift down on our food, according to another study recently published in the journal Environmental Pollution. It’s not enough that we are ingesting itty bits of plastic from our seafood and sea salt and even bottled water?

The study was conducted by researchers from Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University, who found that every meal you eat could contain, on average, more than 100 microplastic particles.

Interestingly, the team set out to look at the plastic levels in mussels and wanted to compare those levels to how much might be found in a household meal. They did this by using petri dishes outfitted with sticky dust traps placed next to plates of food at mealtimes. At the end of a 20-minute meal, they checked the traps – on average, they found up to 114 plastic fibers on the dust traps. How did the mussels fare? There were fewer than two plastic fibers in each mussel.

That they found more plastic in the air in our homes than in seafood coming from habitat known to be flooded with microplastics is pretty disconcerting.

“These results may be surprising to some people who may expect the plastic fibers in seafood to be higher than those in household dust,” says Ted Henry, senior author of the study and professor of environmental toxicology at Heriot-Watt University.

All told, the researchers estimate that the average person may consume anywhere between 13,731 and 68,415 microplastic particles each year, simply by eating at home.

The particles most likely come form synthetic fabrics and soft furnishings, which gradually break down before binding to household dust, notes Newsweek. From there, the dust finds its way to our food … and down the hatch it goes.

While scientists still don’t know much about the health impact of ingesting microplastics, there is obviously concern that it’s not a good thing. I can’t imagine, once more research is done on the matter, that they’ll conclude that it is harmless. In the meantime, natural fabrics and non-synthetic soft furnishings are looking pretty good.

Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/plastic/microplastics-house-dust-rain-down-our-food.html

California crucial to Democratic hopes of retaking House in 2018

Rachel Maddow explains why districts in California where Hillary Clinton won but Republicans hold the congressional seat have national significance as Democrats decide which candidates to put up against incumbents in those districts.

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About The Rachel Maddow Show

Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life – as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise. See More

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Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/california-crucial-democratic-hopes-retaking-202126299.html