This changes everything

With the news of $60 a barrel of crude, this post couldn’t be more timely. I think most people have traditionally viewed sustainable development strategies as lower grade trade offs for things they’d rather have and most people just don’t want to do without. For example, vegetarianism is often seen as the consumption of twigs and berries when one might rather eat steak. My visit to Angel’s Nest outside of Taos NM demonstrates that recent ecological innovations are briskly shutting all of that thinking aside. Consider the Hummer Limo we saw at Angel’s Nest that runs exclusively on hydrogen and biodiesel:


The discussion of whether one should or should not drive gas-guzzlers becomes moot if your fuel source is hydrogen and bio-diesel made from recycled fryer grease. Below is a photo of the site power station

Don’t know about you but I’m thrilled with these sorts of examples of decadent over-consumption. Angel’s Nest has its own hydrogen fueling station, this one made by Air Products. And while I agree that a residence this size -10,000 sq feet with ten bedrooms and 9 bathrooms- is not financially viable for most of us,

the house shows what is possible for not only are its features utilitarian, they’re also unnecessarily beautiful. Here’s a photo of the cistern -yes, the cistern- Angel’s Nest collects its own water -there is no well or city water- and recycles it four times.

To aid in recycling, the house sustains a two story minature rain forest as evidenced by banana and lemon trees growing inside the house.

Here’s a picture of our tour guides. While their forte isn’t engineering, they make up for the lack with enthusiasm. They told us that CBS or Fox -they’re not sure, as I said, they’re spotty on details- will be filming a virtual reality show in this house.

I have lots more pictures but most of them are what most people would consider boring shots of the solar/wind electrical and water componentry of the property.

And speaking of the aforementioned twigs and berries, we found this fabulous Israeli vegetarian restaurant

…combination automotive shop :)

While I don’t know how good their mechanics are, it’s been a very long time since I’ve had such disgustingly rich spinach pie.

The Solar Village at the festival was a bit of a disappointment. Other than a handmade canoe, I didn’t see much beauty. There was some decadence tho. Some chicas were baking cookies in hand made solar ovens; the one below was made of foil-faced cardboard that turned out chocolate chip cookies so quickly that supply outstripped demand in full sun.

Naturally, I’ll be building my own solar oven-did you expect anything less? I’m also designing a solar fabric steamer and pleater but you’ll just have to wait for that later.

The last word I have on the whole event is that it was truly refreshing to see a whole bunch of people who were height and weight proportionate. It was nice seeing what bodies are intended to look like. With my anthropometric obsession, I did a lot of people watching. It’s so difficult to make clothing that’s aesthetically pleasing when people’s proportionates are so out of whack. I was inspired. As a formerly morbidly obese person, you can’t call me shallow but designing clothes is hard enough without trying to scale details. I don’t think some details can be successfully scaled and while offerings have improved in the BBW market, there’s a limit to the range of design possibilities. Form follows function.

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9 comments

  1. kathleen says:

    For another take on this trip, see Eric’s (the engineer) blog.
    http://www.zianet.com/ehusman/weblog/2005/06/taos-solar-music-festival.html

    Also, while I agree with a lot of his post, I don’t share his politics and I’d be mortified if anyone ever thought I did. I’d rather disembowel myself in the center lane of I-10 during rush hour traffic or hack off both of my forearms than to be a libertarian. And if I sound a little pissed, I am. He’s been blogging for SIX MONTHS and today is the first I hear of it. Makes me wonder if he’s going to tell me he’s been ~expletive deleted~ someone else too.

  2. Aidan says:

    So you’ve seen the future and Love it? TH eonly way to live is the sustainable way, It will only get better the more people there are like you who love the earth and do things to help our understanding grow. So thanks for stopping in the area and visiting angel’s nest. Did you get to see the other parts of the community?

  3. Jess says:

    If not a libertarian, then what? I really don’t have a party. I’m all over the place when it comes to most things. Do you have a religion? If I were jumping to conclusions I would think you were an atheist or maybe agnostic? I’m wiccan. Yes, I cast spells. No, I’m not crazy and I don’t worship the devil! tehe

  4. kathleen says:

    I just think libertarians are meanies ;)
    I was really pissed that my bf had been blogging well before I ever had; how can you keep that a secret? That’s like sleeping around or something, it felt like betrayal anyway and besides, if he’d fessed up, he could have helped me in tech ways. Have you ever installed movable type? It’s a nightmare! Most people have to pay someone to install it!

    Worst of all, my getting into blogging was totally HIS idea. I didn’t know what they were but he kept nagging at me about them and now you see where I’ve ended up. My friend John (also a doll and also a libertarian) says blogging was invented for me. We’ll see. He sent me a po letter because I used a bad word in my post. A very naughty word.

  5. Eric H says:

    mea culpa … mea culpa … mea cu Oh, hello! Didn’t see you there.

    Yes, the blog was my idea, and not a bad one at that. My own was a writing tool; my readership went up 800% after Kathleen linked to it.

    Wiccan, eh? I had a college roommate who is part Navajo, part Hopi, and his mother is a crystal gazer. Why don’t you cast a prosperity spell on our girl/host, here?

    PS next time you post under Jess’s name, go ahead and admit to the satanism.

    PPS Is satanism really so awful? Would we have to have an intervention and send you to SatAnon?

    Anyhoo, back to what I was doing … mea culpa … mea culpa … mea maxima culpa …

  6. Josh says:

    I have a blog of sorts. It’s really a journal about my life outside of sewing, which there isn’t much going on there lol. It’s mainly pop culture and blabs about how awful I feel.

    http://www.livejournal.com/users/frailx/

    I do have a chant for Kathleen that may help her with money. I say this every morning before I start sewing. I have a bell next to my sewing machine and I ring that bell a few times(it gets the gods awake) and I say 3 times..

    Money, Money, come to me
    In adundance, three times three

    May I be enriched in the best of ways
    Harming none on it’s way

    This I accept, so mote it be
    Bring me money three times three

    Now, you also have to visualize what it is you want. I am a strong believer in visualization. It helps to write it down on paper.

    This has always worked for me. When Jess and I lost our job with Kappler I began doing this. We weren’t gonna make it on just the font business because 3 years ago we weren’t making as much. I tripled the income from the fonts in a year and I think the chanting and visualizing helped a lot.

  7. kathleen says:

    Don’t make me quote the research but it has been proven that reciting as often as you think to do it
    every day and in every way, things are getting better and better
    …actually does work. In the same vein, it’s been proven that prayer works. This won’t delight fundamentalists but it doesn’t seem to matter >who or what is being prayed to.

    Speaking of beliefs, I had a client who -after reading my book- was worried we wouldn’t get along because she thought I was a fundamentalist! LOL Exhorting people to be good is not the province of religion but humanity.

    And at this point, I’ll just be glad when Saturn leaves my second house. And I don’t believe in astrology either ;)

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