Featured Green Architect Michelle Kaufmann

michelle kaufmann designs 04 Featured Green Architect Michelle Kaufmann

We would like to introduce Architect Michelle Kaufmann and her green Architecture firm, MK Designs. Michelle, has established her self as something of a spokes person for green living as well as a full time Architect designing and building some interesting green prefabs. Over the next few weeks, we will post some of Michelle video tips, how to live a little green. But right now, why don’t we let Michelle tell us a little about herself.

Michelle Kaufmann

Growing up in Iowa, I have always had a deep understanding of the relationship between humankind and the environment. I strive to ingrain this awareness into everything I do. I believe that how we develop our landscape is such an integral part of our culture and that what we build, and how we build, should improve the environment rather than harm it.
After receiving my undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and my Masters from Princeton University, I was fortunate enough to work for both Frank Gehry as well as for Michael Graves. Both of these brilliant architects have engaged in product design as a means for bringing good design to the masses, Graves with his product work with Target and Gehry with his work for Tiffany & Co., Swatch and others.

When I relocated to Northern California, I found a lack of affordable, sustainable, well-designed homes. I soon realized I could make a difference through my architecture. In 2002, I founded Michelle Kaufmann Designs and began my effort to make thoughtful, sustainable design accessible to all.

Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to become a leader in the green design community. My commitment to sustainable living and design remains constant throughout all of my work, of which I’m very proud, including my sustainable home designs as well as through designing custom homes and holistic, green communities.

michelle kaufmann designs 01 Featured Green Architect Michelle Kaufmann

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Professor Carl Sagan’s Last Interview on Charlie Rose About The Importance Of Science

(Part 1 Video – Part 2 and 3 after the jump)

Recently I have been reading a lot about Carl Sagan and the things he spent his life on. He was an amazing man driven to waken all of us to the world we actually live in. Carl Sagan gave his last interview with Charlie rose on May 27th 1996. He discussed pseudo-science, religion, unfounded claims, his personal love affair with science and his struggle with myelodysplasia as well as other elements of his last book: The Demon-Haunted World. Carl lost his fight with myelodysplasia shortly after this interview on December 20, 1996.

Carl Sagan “Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy. And in the final tolling it often turns out that the facts are more comforting than the fantasy.”

via wikipedia.org / Carl Edward Sagan, Ph.D. (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) was an American astronomer, astrochemist, author, and highly successful popularizer of astronomy, astrophysics and other natural sciences. He pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

carl sagan viking space craft Professor Carl Sagans Last Interview on Charlie Rose About The Importance Of Science

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Quest Looks At Creating Marine Protection Areas

marine reserve california 02 Quest Looks At Creating Marine Protection Areas

I have lived in Venice California for over 10 years now and I have to tell you the water off the coast is just plain dirty. With all the trash, oil and other garbage running out of the storm drains into our ocean, it can’t handle the overload. It makes me wonder what it is like to have to live in those waters. Well, I guess the State is finally waking up and has started working on new programs to protect areas of the ocean completely. Protection from pollution and fishing.

Quest: The waters off the coast of California are some of the richest in the world. But declines in fish species have led state leaders to begin creating large protected areas, or “no fishing zones,” similar to wilderness areas on land. Although controversial with some fishing groups, the idea is to protect entire ecosystems instead of single species. The hope is that a statewide network may help bring back fish, birds and marine mammals that are currently on the brink.

Through the eyes of these scientists, we witness the undersea life in bloom. They clearly have one of the best offices to go to work to each day.

QUEST on KQED Public Media. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

A Bike For The Urban Dwelling Modernist, The IF Mode Folding Bike

if mode bike 01 A Bike For The Urban Dwelling Modernist, The IF Mode Folding Bike

As we continue our quest for the perfect urban lifestyle bike, we take a look at a folder. Yes, a folder. One of those bikes, which in an instant break down and can be tossed in the back of a car or under your desk at work. The advantage of this type of bike are many. You don’t have to leave them outside tempting bike thieves, and you don’t have to have one of those ugly bike racks on the back of your car.

Todays folder is called the IF- Mode. It’s a cross between a storm trooper and a swiss army knife. The look is very modern and definitely unique, with it’s three simple spoked wheels. The cool thing is how this thing folds up so quickly. You should checkout the video after the jump. The down sides would have to be the price and the weight. Coming in at 32 pounds, it’s just half the weight of my A2B fully electric bike. Plus at $2,250 it is just as expensive. If the price doesn’t bother you, we found the bike for sale at Areaware.com

Other major cool factors are, the design won the 2008 Eurobike Award, and the 2009 iF Gold Award (along with the Apple iPhone, the Macbook Air and the VW Golf Mk6), the IF-Mode is a rolling, folding work of art and a bike collector’s dream machine.

if mode bike 01a A Bike For The Urban Dwelling Modernist, The IF Mode Folding Bike

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Good Transparency Video Explains How Drinking Water Is Killing People

It’s the source of life but it’s also the cause of a lot of unnecessary death. In places where clean water isn’t available, water-related diseases like cholera cause massive diarrhea, dehydration, and thousands of deaths each day. Affordable water-treatment solutions exist. We’d like to see them flourish.

Women in poor communities across Asia, Africa, and South America typically walk an average of 3 miles a day to fetch water for their households, often from contaminated sources such as rivers, unprotected springs, and shallow wells, say Sauer and Tamburro, both from the Washington, DC-based group Water Advocates. The time this takes could be spent instead on income-generating activities, education, and caring for the family. Moreover, the quality of water that women in developing nations must bring home puts people at risk of deadly diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and amoebic dysentery, diarrheal diseases that kill more children under five than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined. “Only with safe and accessible water will women and their families have a chance to live and to lead productive lives,” write Sauer and Tamburro.

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Sharkwater, Who Is The Real Killer | Watch The Full Docomentary on G Living

sharkwater 03 Sharkwater, Who Is The Real Killer | Watch The Full Docomentary on G Living

When biologist / filmmaker Rob Stewart set out to document a creature most of us see only in Hollywood movies (or in our worst nightmares), he knew the project would be one of the most difficult in his life. But he never could have imagined the extreme and bizarre nature of those difficulties. In the process of making this emotional and tragic film about the Earth’s most feared predators, he realized that sharks were in fact prey — and that their greatest enemy was mankind.

A lifelong fascination with sharks led Toronto-born Stewart, an experienced diver and underwater photographer, to embark on “Sharkwater”. Along the way, the filmmaker managed to expose and debunk the stereotype of the 4.5 million-year-old stewards of the oceans as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveal the reality of sharks as a key component to the earth’s circle of life.

But after surviving generation after generation of mass extinctions on this planet, sharks are officially in danger of being wiped out by human greed.

Part One
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A Wicked delicate Brooklyn Truck Farm

truckfarmwickedproductions A Wicked delicate Brooklyn Truck Farm

What do you do, if you are itching to grow things, but live in a walk up apartment in Brooklyn? You convert a old pickup into a mobile Truck Farm. A funny way to indulge your green thumb. Wicked Delicate Productions, created a very special film about their journey to create their very own Truck Farm.

The ordinary looking truck — ordinary aside from the bed filled with soil (using green roof technology) and heirloom veggies — parked on Van Brunt Street had been turning heads in the neighborhood for a while but no one knew quite what to make of it. Two months later, Cheney’s mobile garden/CSA-on-wheels/four-wheeled farm is literally all over the place.

Truck Farm by Wicked Delicate Episode One (part 2 after the jump)

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Canadian Shipping Container Home

Another Architect tries out using shipping containers as building blocks for new home construction. This one is in Victoria BC and the home uses both containers and traditional building technics in the construction. The cost of the home with upgraded appliances is coming in under $180 per sq ft, which the Architect says is good for that part of Canada and he expects the next few buildings he designs will come down in cost. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

How Cool Are Opossums

opossums 01 How Cool Are Opossums

I have seen these crazy looking rat guys here in Venice for years. Walking up and down the streets in the middle of the night, balancing on tops of fences and magically disappearing before the sun rises. I have always been too scared of their looks to ever get close to one. So, when I saw the Quest Show Feature on Opossums, I knew I had to post it on G Living. They turn out to be cool guys to have around the garden and they are not that scary.

Did you know that opossums are good to have in your backyard? Learn why and a bunch of other cool critter facts when we visit the wildlife ambassadors that live at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek, CA.

QUEST on KQED Public Media. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos

Michelle Kaufmann’s Green It Yourself Vertical Wall Planting

We are really into gardening and designing. So, when we saw Architect Michelle Kaufmanns little web shows about vertical wall gardens, we had to post it. Michelle shows us how to add green to a tiny or even nonexistent garden with a wall mounted garden. A vertical garden can work in doors or on any exterior wall.

This is a Green It Yourself Project. For the project you will need a vertical plastic planting tray, soil and some plants.

vertical wall planting Michelle Kaufmanns Green It Yourself Vertical Wall Planting

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The Cove, A Film Everyone Should See

thecove The Cove, A Film Everyone Should See

In the 1960’s, Richard O’Barry was the world’s leading authority on dolphin training, working on the set of the popular television program Flipper. Day in and day out, O’Barry kept the dolphins working and television audiences smiling. But one day, that all came to a tragic end. THE COVE, directed by Louie Psihoyos, tells the amazing true story of how Psihoyos, O’Barry and an elite team of activists, filmmakers and freedivers embarked on a covert mission to penetrate a hidden cove in Japan, shining light on a dark and deadly secret. The mysteries they uncovered were only the tip of the iceberg. Watch the trailer on Apple.com

Los Angeles Times, reviews The Cove (video below)

“The Cove” is a powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking, but it’s difficult to watch it without thinking of subtitles like “The Place Where Evil Dwells” or “The Little Town With the Really Big Secret.” Which is no accident.

“The Cove’s” story of a quiet village in Japan that specializes in clandestine dolphin slaughter is quite consciously structured as a thriller by director Louie Psihoyos who won an audience award for it at Sundance. Read the full story on latimes.com

Is It Wrong To Still Love Depeche Mode?

depeche mode soundsoftheuniverse wrong 01 Is It Wrong To Still Love Depeche Mode?

I thought maybe you needed a music break, so I dug up a little Depeche Mode. I have always been into their music, since the very beginning. But it wasn’t until the live concert album 101, that I officially became a Mode Monkie. That album seem to speak volumes about my own life. Every song seem to touch on a subject which I myself was struggling with. I was in my mid teens and still figuring out what the hell this world was all about. Who is this god everyone seems to blindly believe in and if he is so good, why is our world so screwed up? This is the same question the song Blasphemous Rumours had the courage to ask about.

It’s amazing after all these years, they are still cranking out powerful music. Their latest release is called Sounds of the Universe. They decided to sell the album before they even finished it on Apples iTunes. If you purchased it in advance, you actually got two albums, with songs, remixes and videos. The cool part was, as they finished something you instantly got it. You didn’t have to wait until some official release date when everything was done. After the official release date, all the extra’s disappeared. If you waited to long, you lost out. I guess that was their way of rewarding the devoted fans. People who trust them and actually paid in advance. I am glad I was one of the devoted. I have an extra 10 songs / remixes and behind the scene videos of them making the album. Pretty cool, don’t you think?

I posted a live performance video below for the first single called Wrong. After the jump I posted several more classics. Now click play and get your mode on!


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