Natural Beekeeping Conference this Saturday and Sunday

2828电影电影在线


This weekend, January 18th and 19th I’ll be a part of Honey Love’s Natural Beekeeping Conference at USC. In honor of the memory of?Susan Rudnicki, I’m going to discuss bee removal scams, corruption in bee academia and pesticide astroturfing campaigns among other incendiary topics that Susan tirelessly pursued for the sake of the bees she loved so much. I’m humbled to be a part of a roster that includes all of the knowledgeable voices in the natural beekeeping world:

2828电影电影在线? Michael Bush ? Les Crowder ? Dr. May Berenbaum ? Sam Comfort ? Michael Thiele ? Laura Bee Ferguson ? Rob Keller ? Sarah Red-Laird ?? Solomon Parker ? Jacqueline Freeman ? Noah Wilson Rich ? Matt Reed ? Amanda Shaw ? Paul Cronshaw? ? Ariella Daly ? Anna Marie Despiris ? Fonta Molyneaux ? Erik Knutzen ? Max Wong ? Rob and Chelsea McFarland

If you’re interested in bees this conference is not to be missed. For more information head over to Honey Love.

Saturday Linkages: Cat Memes, Food Allergies and a Monteverdi Drop

How a cat named Smudge’s distaste for salad created one of 2019’s most popular memes

Why the world is becoming more allergic to food

No One Wants Your Used Clothes Anymore

‘Like sending bees to war’: the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession

DIY Rolling Umbrella Base

A 27-year-old Costco fan loves the store so much he got a logo tattooed and had a birthday party in the food court

Music break: Lamento della Ninfa by Claudio Monteverdi

Fixing a Door Strike Plate With Repair Realism

I’ve been struggling to find a word or phrase for those many times, especially in an old house, when you just resign yourself to a repair solution that just kinda works without fixing the underlying problem. I’m thinking of calling it “repair realism” as a nod to Mark Fisher’s idea of capitalist realism (the sense that we can’t imagine a way out of our current mess and we’ll just have to accept it).

We’ve got this door that moves up and down with the seasons. Sure it would be great to repair the foundation and beef up the floor joists. But since the hasty builders who slapped together this bungalow a hundred years ago didn’t bother to give us a basement or even enough of a crawl space to access the foundation, those structural repairs ain’t gonna happen.

So to make less tedious the yearly task of adjusting the strike plate of the door so that the latch bolt will go into it, I came up with a “repair realist” solution: just notch the damn strike plate so that you can move it up and down. Then all you have to do is loosen the screws rather than have to drill new holes or worse, have to repair the holes before you can drill them again.

Strike plates are a kind of security theater anyways. They don’t really do anything. One meek kick to the door and the strike plate will break away. Why even bother with them? I suppose they keep the wood from getting rubbed away by the latch bolt but they don’t do much else.

While we’re at it we need to find a clever solution for doors that swell and contract. One of the signs of spring here is neighbors hiring people to cut down their doors. We should have doors with tops and bottoms that extend and contract. Much of the knowledge of furniture making relates to how to allow for seasonal wood movement so that your table or cabinet doesn’t pull apart between the cold of winter and the heat and humidity of summer. Consider the repair realist notion of adjustable doors as a downmarket idea related to cabinetry’s more lofty methods. To paraphrase über-realist ghoul Margaret Thatcher, “There is no alternative.”

On the 100th Birthday of Our House: The Past and Future of Housing in the U.S.

This year marks our home’s 100th birthday. Throughout the year I plan on writing a few posts on what it’s like to live in an intact and, mostly, unaltered 980 square foot 1920s era bungalow. Let’s start with the differences between a house in 1920 and now.

In 1920 the average house size in the U.S. was just over 1,000 square feet. Square footage peaked a few years ago at around 2,600 square feet and has declined slightly since. The often forgotten part of these statistics is the fact that the number of people in the average house has declined from around four people in the 1920s to 2.5 today. My late mom told the story of sleeping in the breakfast nook when she was a child in the 20s and, at various times, the family took care of older relatives.

In most other parts of the world people do with a lot less space. In Russia today folks have about the same square feet per person as an American in 1920. By contrast folks in the U.S. today have over four times more space per person. In countries like Russia and Hong Kong, or the U.S. a hundred years ago, you’re likely living in close quarters with extended family. This has implications for child and elder care and tends to make these cultures far less individualistic.

While square footage per person has gone up in the U.S., new houses have become a lot more energy efficient between 1920 and now. We know this from experience. Our old L.A. bungalow is drafty in the winter and sweltering in the summer. New houses use half as much energy per person and are more likely to burn cleaner sources of energy. But, as Bonnie Maas Morrison points out in a paper, “Ninety Years of U.S. Household Energy History,” household energy savings have been more than offset by increases in consumption elsewhere in our lives.

Think of the conveniences required for today’s dual-earner, single-parent/multi-job holding households. Think of the eating-out phenomenon, think of the pre-packaged, pre-prepared meals (from freezer, to micro-wave, to table, to garbage can, all in one container). Think of the transportation to and from places of work, shopping and leisure demanded by these households. Think of the energy demanded in these places of work, leisure, and retail. Think of the energy demanded to process the waste products of this “convenience.”

Even though this paper was written in the 1990s, Morrison goes on to make a point that has become even more true in an always connected internet and smart phone age.

Time itself has become a commodity and convenience has become the oil that lubricates the wheel of time, allowing more activities, to take place either at one time in the same place (i.e. using the cellular car phones while driving), or in a particular time period but in a different place (i.e. doing grocery shopping, while dishes or clothes are machine washed).

In the book, The Overworked American, 1991, Juliet Schor suggests that “U.S. employees currently work 320 more hours–the equivalent of over 2 months–than their counter-parts in West Germany or France.” This American lifestyle demands convenience, and that demand is exercised both inside and outside the household.

So the differences between our 1920s bungalow and the average U.S. house today are much more than just an increase in square footage and more consumer electronics. These differences lead to a difficult discussion about what a more energy efficient future might look like. Our future might be less about energy efficient tiny houses and more about sharing an apartment with relatives. Or getting your not-in-my-backyard neighbors to agree to a bus-only lane on an already congested boulevard. Or democratizing the workplace to ask for fewer hours for more pay to allow more time for cooking and child care. Or revisiting the bungalow court, granny flat or, gasp, looking to multi-generational communal living. These are tough ideas to contemplate from the luxury of our quiet and comfortable but also overpriced and drafty L.A. bungalow.