Measured Architecture

9 12 2008

was interviewed this morning on CBC Radio.

It was the first time I heard an architect talk about sun, wind and trees. From their award winning design:

Given these parameters, the objective was to derive maximum benefit from the sun and the site, so orientation to the existing trees, to the sun, and to cool breezes from the adjacent valley were carefully considered.


From sunrise to sunset the sky is a constant presence, making everyone aware of the character of the day. Electric lights are needed only at night, and the house can be heated even in the deepest winter using just the wood stove. In the winter the house is very social, with all of the action happening in the main room. In the summertime, when the doors are open, it’s as cool as sitting under a tree, and the light reflected off the dried grass outside is warm and even.


I guess I am wanting to take the same approach with the development of T’a’grarial. It has taken living there for several years to attune oneself to the light, wind and natural landscape. Our ideas continue to evolve.


Little Boxes (of Stinging Nettles)

26 11 2008

From Wikipedia:

As Old English Stiðe, nettle is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century. Nettle is believed to be a galactagogue[2] and a clinical trial has shown that the juice is diuretic in patients with congestive heart failure[citation needed].

Urtication, or flogging with nettles, is the process of deliberately applying stinging nettles to the skin in order to provoke inflammation. An agent thus used is known as a rubefacient (i.e. something that causes redness). This is done as a folk remedy for rheumatism, as it provides temporary relief from pain.

Extracts can be used to treat arthritis, anemia, hay fever, kidney problems, and pain.

Nettle leaf is a herb that has a long tradition of use as an adjuvant remedy in the treatment of arthritis in Germany. Nettle leaf extract contains active compounds that reduce TNF-α and other inflammatory cytokines.[3][4]

Nettle is used in hair shampoos to control dandruff, and is said to make hair more glossy, which is why some farmers include a handful of nettles with cattle feed.[5] It is also thought nettles can ease eczema.

Nettle root extracts have been extensively studied in human clinical trials as a treatment for symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). These extracts have been shown to help relieve symptoms compared to placebo both by themselves and when combined with other herbal medicines.[6]

Because it contains 3,4-divanillyltetrahydrofuran, certain extracts of the nettle are used by bodybuilders in an effort to increase free testosterone by occupying sex-hormone binding globulin.[citation needed]

Fresh nettle is used in folk remedies to stop all types of bleeding, due to its high Vitamin K content. Meanwhile, in dry U. dioica, the Vitamin K is practically non-existent, and so is used as a blood thinner.

Not only does nettle leaf lower TNF-a levels, but it has been demonstrated that it does so by potently inhibiting the genetic transcription factor that activates TNF-a and IL-1B in the synovial tissue that lines the joint.[7]

An extract from the nettle root (Urtica dioica) is used to alleviate symptoms of benign prostate enlargement. Nettle leaf extract, on the other hand, is what has been shown to reduce the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-a and IL-B1.

Cooking, crushing or chopping disables the stinging hairs. Stinging nettle leaves are high in nutrients, and the leaves can be mixed with other ingredients to create a soup rich in calcium and iron.[8] Nettle soup is a good source of nutrients for people who lack meat or fruit in their diets.[9] The young leaves are edible and make a very good pot-herb. The leaves are also dried and may then be used to make a tisane, as can also be done with the nettle’s flowers.

Asset/Supplies Wishlist Vancouver

28 10 2008

Paint for painting on rubber.

Asset Purchase Powell River

28 10 2008

2 Wheelbarrows (Rona?)

20 Feet 5/16″ Chain (Rona?)

“Master” Brand Key Lock for above chain. (Wal-Mart)

We’re All Over This One

22 10 2008

From their “Press” section:


“London has never seen anything quite like this before.”
– Peter Watts, Time Out. Read the full article here.

“The ambition is to offer a road map to a fuller life – secular and interior, not religious – toward which end a sense of humor helps. With its bookshelves and a glass cabinet stocked with knickknacks, it looks much more like a curiosity shop than like a school.” Read the full article here.
– Michael Kimmelman, The New York Times.

“Meeting new people challenges the way you think, and your fears and prejudices get thrown up in the air – all of which is very healthy when it comes to the subject of love, because it is an area in which you repeat patterns…..I’ve learned a profound truth about myself , which I hope will take me into the world a nicer, saner person”

Liz Hoggard, Evening Standard

“Step into The School of Life premises in Bloomsbury. I defy you not to be enthralled.” Read the full article here.
Hermione Eyre, The Independent on Sunday.

“a place where you go to think seriously about life, a private but open-doored university where you can take courses, read books and even travel in new ways”

– Emma Townshend, The Times. Read the full article here.

“An amazing project – an emporium of emotions, a bazaar of bibliotherapy, a convenience store of concepts, a trading post of triumphant philosophies.”

– Bel Mooney, author and journalist

“The school will be offering nothing less than a taste transfusion, a culture implant.  It deserves to succeed”.”

– Terence Blacker, The Independent

“At a stroke the phrase ‘Too cool for school’ has been rendered obsolete.”

– Geoff Dyer, writer

“I love the sheer range of activities it promotes, and the way it connects up courses with holidays psychotherapy and communal meals. This is the sort of place that can make you genuinely wise, rather than merely smart. In its spirit, it achieves everything I’ve been trying to do with my own writing for the past 15 years.”

– Alain de Botton, writer

“We think we lead satisfying lives at Monocle, but The School of Life has certainly had us reconsidering our position.”
– Saul Taylor, Monocle. Watch Monocle’s short film about The School of Life here.

“The environment and identity perfectly sum up the school’s motivating forces of curiosity, humanism, creativity and conviviality.”
– Angharad Lewis, Grafik

“A visitor’s first experience of The School of Life will be its shop, in a tucked-away corner of Bloomsbury, a space that will be organised as “a chemist for the mind” and which will happily sell you books, artwork, courses, holidays and “stigma-free psychotherapy”.  But, perhaps in homage to Mr Benn, the shop boasts a magic door, through which punters can enter a kind of salon that will be home to lively debates on all manner of pressing intellectual and emotional matters.”

– Alex Clark, Granta Magazine

“From the outset, The School of Life has been both a utopian and a pragmatic endeavour. It owes much to the vision of many short-lived (and sometimes never realised) projects which have sought to close the gap between art and life.”
– Sophie Howarth,
Director of The School of Life, in Tate etc. Read the full article here.

We’re behind schedule on Video

11 10 2008

We were supposed to have a compilation “Mauling” video up by now. This is the best I could find of what we shot. Music’s faint (Van Morrison – Days Before Rock and Roll), Not much dialogue, No synchronization. Eventually, as the movie says “All Things Merge Into One and a River Runs Through It.”

Reiki Massage

5 09 2008

Spoke to someone yesterday who currently offers Reiki Massage.

They are interested in Byssantium as a possible venue.