As far as modern construction goes, a building of just about any shape imaginable can now be erected. From squares, to rectangles to spheres to hexagons, there are no limits to modern design- and architects are putting this limitless approach into practice every day. But this has not been a modern development; ancient builders utilized many different shapes, and many different practices to construct some of the grandest, and now longest standing, structures. The Pyramid of Giza, the tallest man-made structure in the world up until the completion of the Eiffel tower, was assembled using thousands of rectangular stones. The Pantheon in Rome was built using concentric circles fixed into a half sphere-shape set atop a rectangular building, and the Hagia Sophia, Taj Mahal and St. Peter’s Basilica all feature a similar spherical dome in their design.
A dome is essentially just an arch rotated around a central axis and continued all the way to the floor, creating an inner area free of support columns or pillars. The oldest domed structures ever found date back over 20,000 years. Found in the Ukraine in 1965, these simple dwellings were constructed using mammoth bones and tusks, though most early domes are thought to have been made out of bent over branches and layers of mud. Being so easy to erect, these structures allowed very early peoples to move with the seasons and follow their food supply. Because they have been found all over the world, it is thought that domes did not have a specific point of origin. Throughout human history the dome has been a staple of architecture for many cultures including those found in Mesopotamia, China and Syria- even the ancient Egyptians made regular use of domes in their building practices.
While domes seemed to be far more common in previous time periods, they are still being built today. Most modern domes are now designed with a bit more precision, but essentially the idea has not changed for millennia. Glass, concrete and steel has replaced many of the older building materials, and now engineered domes can be used for nearly every conceivable application. Pre-engineered and designed for any use, they can be built free standing or as an addition to almost every shape used in modern construction. There are several ways in which most domes today are built: either using a steel framed half-sphere and large glass panes, a similar metal skeletal frame around which is fixed an airfoil held up by constant air pressure supplied from within by massive fans or with a series of steel rebar set into blown-in concrete followed by layers of insulation and a finished “drywall” material. The location and intended use usually determines the dome’s method of construction
Domes have been used in the construction of many modern-era homes. So-called dome homes, geodesic or otherwise, were exceedingly popular in the 1960’s and though less popular are still being built today. Along with rather simple design and low cost building materials, domes are a very efficient and cost effective use of square footage, and can help retain heat in cooler times while dissipating it during warmer periods.
Being free standing structures, domes are also used as stadiums and gymnasiums where open space is a necessity. Since they do not need any support structures or pillars to hold up their roofs, domes have been constructed to house many indoor sports fields in less than hospitable climates all over the world. From the Astrodome in Houston and the Superdome in New Orleans, to the dome over the O2 Arena in London, many sports teams now call domes home. The Global Pagoda, now under construction in Bombay, India, is being built using modern as well as ancient Indian methods and was designed to last for thousands of years- a testament to the domes enduring characteristics.
By Will Inglis
Building Big. Domes. WGBH. PBS Online. n.d.
Welcome to monolithic.com. Monolithic Dome Homes. n.d.
ZWQ43. “Domes of the Past Present and Future.” Architecture: Domes Throughout History. YAHOOVoices. YAHOO. July7, 2008
In recovery we often start taking better care of ourselves, trying to eat well and get enough rest. We may also begin cooking more for ourselves and our fellows out of a desire to eat and share healthy meals and have fellowship and community.
Olive oil is one popular cooking oil. Organic butter or Kerrygold Irish butter are other options. Or ghee!
For those who are up for something a bit more tropical, coconut butter, which becomes oil when heated, can be a light and tasty choice. Barleans makes it. And they also do a nice flax oil which is an excellent supplement or salad dressing with lemon juice, but must never be heated! Coconut oil, in contrast, can be eaten raw or used for cooking, and has a milder taste. Other popular brands are Matyah’s, Artisana, and Nutiva. Delicious on popcorn!
A recipe you may wish to try for a refreshing dish is combining the coconut oil with quinoa, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and a little sea salt! It also makes a nice coleslaw with shredded cabbage, dash of stevia powder, dry mustard, celery seed, pepper, and vinegar.
Purported to be good for the lungs, thyroid, and hair, coconut oil is generally cooling and nourishing. As well it supports the immune system.
A promising article regarding the antiviral capacity of coconuts can be viewed here http://www.living-foods.com/articles/coconutbenefits.html
Coconut oil can be used topically as well as a natural moisturizer!
Fossil fuels propelled the industrial revolution over the last two hundred years which has brought wonderful advantages, comforts, and life-enhancing amenities, and some challenges as well. Development can be exciting and beneficial. It is important to look comprehensively at the costs associated with different methods of development because of the numerous options available in this day and age, so that enterprise can serve the greatest good.
Until the 1960′s and 70′s with the Clean Air and the Clean Water Acts, policy makers in America were not too concerned about the human and environmental costs of development. Bigger, better, faster were the concerns. During recent decades pollution and deforestation have become more severe and weather patterns more erratic so that the damage we do to nature can no longer be ignored.
Modern urban human life requires energy. Modern conveniences demand it. Taking this need for fuel into account, where will we get it? Well traditionally we have gotten it from oil, coal, and natural gas aka the fossil fuels http://carbonnationmovie.com/. We owe so many of our modern advancements to fossil fuels, and yet we must begin to wean off of them http://permaculture-media-download.blogspot.com/2011/02/power-of-community-how-cuba-survived.html.
Gigantic hydroelectric dams http://www.internationalrivers.org/node/4292 built on rivers destroying regions upstream and down (for example the Three Gorges dam in China http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9aU43suUvg&feature=player_embedded which displaced more than one million people) have also been used to generate electricity. Side effects of dams can be refugees, increased landslides and waterbourne diseases, and decreased biodiversity.
In recent decades nuclear power has been part of the energy picture as well. Despite scientific genius, nuclear power poses a serious problemhttp://www.ratical.org/radiation/IntoEternity/. Its byproducts like Iodine-129 can remain toxic for hundreds of thousands of years. Cobalt-60, another byproduct, is dangerous for only 5 years, but during that time close exposure to just 1 gram for a few minutes can be lethal. And there are over 430 nuclear plants worldwide http://www.beyondnuclear.org/human-rights/. Three Mile Island in 1979 in Pennsylvania was America’s biggest national nuclear accident that cost $975 million and 14 years to clean up and remove radioactive material. Other nuclear diasters include Chernobyl in 1986 in Ukraine, and Fukushima Daiichi in 2011 in Japan.
A review of nuclear energy policy around the world occurred after the Fukushima accident. Italy banned nuclear power. Germany decided to close all its reactors by 2022. Switzerland also decided to phase out nuclear at the end of the lifetime of its existing reactors (nuclear power plants have a 40 year max lifespan). And in September 2011, German engineering giant Siemens announced that as a result of the Fukushima catastrophe it would withdraw entirely from the nuclear industry and would no longer build nuclear power plants anywhere in the world. Australia, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Malaysia, and Israel are all opposed to nuclear power. Another drawback of nuclear is that it increases the availability of nuclear weapons material because uranium is used for both nuclear power and weapons. Uranium mining http://www.chiptaylor.com/ttlmnp2665-.cfm is hard on the environment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhrWCGIlku4.
The US has created 70,000 tons of nuclear waste over the past sixty years, and no one can figure out what to do with it because it is so deadly. The most popular suggestion is to stick it in a mountain near Las Vegas called Yucca Mountain which would require 40 miles of tunnels. The US has at least 108 sites designated as areas that are contaminated and unusable, sometimes many thousands of acres, due to nuclear power.
In examining the fossil fuels- oil, coal, and natural gas- there are a number of reasons why they are not sustainable http://www.blindspotdoc.com/. They are all found underground and must be mined or drilled for which can be quite disruptive http://www.crudethemovie.com/trailer-and-photos/.Their supplies are finite, meaning there will come a time when we have taken all there is to take out of the earth http://www.postcarbon.org/. And getting them requires that we displace people (often not compensating them for the loss of their land) and demolish ecosystems http://www.globalissues.org/article/86/nigeria-and-oil.
In any endeavor there is always a margin of error, and when an error occurs with technology used to extract or transport these fuels, the results are devastating, like the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989 in Alaska and the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Chilean mining accident in the coal mines of Copiapo in 2010, and the coal mine explosion in Montcoal, West Virginia in 2010 illustrate the dangers in mining for coal http://www.coalcountrythemovie.com/. Examples of natural gas accidents are the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California and the 2004 pipeline explosion in Ath, Belgium http://www.gaslandthemovie.com/.
Countries are recognizing that they can address these problems by investing in renewable energy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DflgducmN4. Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Improving both sources of energy and energy efficiency are the goals, plus creating lots of green jobs, and more localized, small-scale power generation so there is less dependence on monopolies and less energy used in transport of fuel and electricity. Green jobs http://www.bootsontheroof.com/about-us are especially satisfying because people do not have to compromise their conscience, contaminate their environment, or sacrifice their health in order to work http://www.solarenergy.org/womens-program. Application of renewable technologies adds to the diversity of electricity sources and, through local power generation, increases the adaptability of the system and its resistance to central shocks.
Solar http://www.thesolarfoundation.org/ and wind power http://www.awea.org/ are the world’s fastest growing energy sources. Leading renewable energy companies include First Solar, Q-Cells, Sharp Solar, Suntech, Gamesa, and Vestas. There are economic, social, and environmental benefits to renewable energy http://www.siemens.com/entry/cc/en/#/newzealand. Also wave power from the coastal ocean is being developed by companies like Aquamarine Power and Pelamis Wave.
Over 400 manufacturing facilities across America make components for wind turbines, and 37 states now have installed at least some utility-scale wind power. The Roscoe Wind Farm in Texas is the largest wind farm in the US http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/energy/solar-wind/4338280?page=2. Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Oregon, which Google is helping to build, will be the largest wind farm in the world when completed in 2012. As of 2011, 83 countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.
Solar Energy Generating Systems (SEGS) is the name given to nine solar power plants in California’s Mojave Desert, which were commissioned between 1984 and 1991. SEGS is the largest solar plant of any kind in the world.
More than 1.5 million homes and businesses currently use solar water heating in the United States. Compared to those with electric water heaters, Florida homeowners with solar water heaters save 50 to 85 percent on their water heating bills http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/index.php.
The global available solar energy resources are 3.8 YJ/yr (120,000 TW). Less than 0.02% of available solar resources are sufficient to entirely replace fossil fuels and nuclear power as an energy source. Solar cell production increased by 50% in 2007, and has been doubling every two years since http://cleantechnica.com/2011/05/29/ge-solar-power-cheaper-than-fossil-fuels-in-5-years/.
Sustainable biofuels are a great idea too, and can be made from things like algae http://www.oilgae.com/, sewage http://www.magnegas.com/index.html, and used vegetable oil http://www.lovecraftbiofuels.com/. Algae grows fast and has the added bonus of taking CO2 out of the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Finding a way to convert excrement into energy takes care of its disposal as well!
In airline news, more than 200 flights within Europe on Air France/KLM are expected to fly by burning used-cooking-oil biofuel. United Airlines launched its first flight, the ‘Eco Skies test flight’, powered with algae biofuel on November 7, 2011. Virgin and Alaska Airlines are also using jet biofuels, as is the US Military. The US Military has ventured into solar and wind as well http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/21/u-s-army-gets-its-first-solar-powered-microgrid/!
This Raw Hot Cocoa is something I started drinking as I began to try losing weight. I have a hopeless sweet tooth, and wanted to make something I could treat myself to often. This will satisfy your craving without the sugar crash or the heavy feeling from the dairy.
2-3 tbsp. Raw Cacao Powder (such as Navitas Naturals)
1-2 tbsp. Raw Agave Nectar
1 tsp. Raw Almond Butter
(optional) ¼ – ½ tsp. vanilla extract
(optional) a pinch of sea salt
*use more milk alternative and less water for a richer consistency/flavor.
Makes about 12oz
- Heat water in pot to just below boiling
- Whisk in cacao, immediately turn heat to low
- Add remaining ingredients and whisk
- Heat on low, whisking occasionally until fully blended
- Pour into mug and savor slowly.
I love sushi, and I am an environmentalist, but I never really saw the two as opposing forces. I ordered what I wanted off the menu, and I go to the farmer’s market, carry my tote instead of using plastic bags, and recycle. A recent National Public Radio article made me question the unity between the environmental lifestyle and my sushi habit. It really bothered me, because I love sushi too much to cut out of my life, but I want my life to live in harmony with the environment as much as it can. Ultimately, while overfishing is a huge issue, after a bit of research, I found a middle ground to still enjoy sushi and respect the environment.
The article directed me to a video, “The Story of Sushi,” showing tiny figurines depicting fishermen, fish, processing plants, and sushi restaurants. Corporate fishers on large boats catch the majority of fish using unsustainable practices . For example, they catch marine life indiscriminately and discard what they should not be catching, cannot process, or do not have license for. This discard is given the euphemism “by catch.” For each pound processed for food, five pounds are thrown out as “by catch” . Oh, it’s just a “byproduct,” not a giant environmental concern for the sustainability of the ocean, environment as a whole, food source, and economy. No big!
The worst part is that I don’t think I’m exaggerating the issue. The UN Food and Agriculture scientists found that nearly 80% of the fish worldwide are “exploited” and their populations are or will soon be depleted if fishing methods are not altered, giving the fish a change to repopulate.
The video, made by Bamboo Sushi in Portland, Oregon, advertises sustainable sushi, but adds that many current restaurants advertise as sustainable but aren’t. Bamboo Sushi is the “fist certified” sustainable sushi restaurant certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, and works with partners like the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
While a sustainable sushi restaurant may not be around the corner from the office, the Monterey Bay Aquarium provides an easy to use “Sushi Guide” downloadable from their website at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_sushi.aspx. Using this simple guide, which documents the “best choices,” “good alternatives,” and sushi to “avoid,” I can now eat good sushi and still keep my conscience clean. Do your part! Download the guide and tell friends about it in person or through social media. It’s easy to print out and keep folded in your purse or glove box for when you decide to dine at a sushi restaurant sustainably.
By Emily Friedman
Jessica Alba has started an online company for green childcare products. For $85- $100 you can have a month’s green diapers and wipes delivered to your door. Depending on where you live and what age your baby is, the average price of buying disposable diapers from the store for a month is about $80, cloth diapers washed by a service every month costs approximately $80, and cloth diapers washed at home for a month is around $20.
So Jessica’s company is economically comparable, the products are innovative and high-quality, and the philosophy logical. A free trial is offered to experience the products and service. The company is called www.honest.com and it also offers other convenient green baby products like baby shampoo, body balm, laundry detergent etc. A portion of proceeds from sales is donated to www.baby2baby.org which provides childcare basics to those in need in the LA area. Jessica’s product is in the higher price range, but wipes are included, the environmental and health impacts are positive, and the product is delivered directly to the customer’s door every month.
If you own an eco-conscious business, getting your target audience’s attention is only part of the pathway to success. Keeping it takes time and dedication and know-how, says Shannon Dunn of Conscious Life Media Limited (CLM)-a company that helps green and eco-conscious businesses to maximize their potential and customer reach.
With our global emphasis on green and sustainable living, many people are actively doing their part to engage in “green acts”. Whether its recycling, toting reusable grocery bags, there are a number of ways to engage yourself in balanced living
Real Estate mogul to the stars and green home guru, Ann Eysenring knows a thing or two about greening houses-and selling them.
With celebrity clients such as fashion photographer Herb Ritts, Louie Anderson, Russell Simmons and Sally Hershberger , she has built a solid reputation as a savvy agent in the know.
Living green can be overwhelming. Where to start? From eco cars and planet-friendly cleaning products to organic wines and veganism, its little wonder many opt to do nothing for fear of not being able to do it all.
Yet its the little steps that add up to mean something big.