My friend Tom and I arrived in the USA on June 13th, ready to start the biggest cycle of our lives. It didn't start smoothly. We have completed 361 miles to date after 7 days of cycling, this is pretty much bang on schedule which is a good position to be in for the Trans-America cycling tour.
The Trans-America trail cycle across America.
Buzz…sting…ouch! Why are yellow jackets more aggressive at this time of year?
The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s upcoming annual conference on sustainable farming will focus on how to achieve sustainability in our food system, as well as the future of agriculture in general.
Is there a more heartwarming and majestic sight than gorgeous old-fashioned cows in a peaceful grassy meadow, calves scampering by their sides? Awesome. But have you given much considered thought to exactly how those calves will come to be?
Heat Recovery innovator produces a safe hot water heating system kit for wood stoves.
Forget pesticides or kerosene. Instead, smother badly placed yellow jacket nests with a translucent cover.
There are various means for developing an edible landscape.
Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.
Research shows a direct connection between global warming and our extreme weather.
A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.
The Land Institute of Salina, Kan., held the 34th annual Prairie Festival Sept. 28-30, 2012. Keynote speakers including Wendell Berry and Palgummi Sainath inspired local farmers, students, and nature lovers.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
You can find joy and delight in the season of cold and snow.
Global surface temperatures may be flat, but we’ll pay for this “respite” eventually.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.
This is a modified version of a guest post written by Zach O’Connor, Communications and Publications Coordinator for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), for the "Building the U.S. Bicycle Route System" blog. In it Zach explains how his coworker’s bicycle commute from the suburbs to the heart of Washington, D.C., makes use of the District’s newly improved bicycle facilities.
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway, and despite an unexpected snowstorm, progress has been made on the concrete slab and the risers.
An overview of the permafrost meling tipping point.
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.
On a snowy winter morning, the kitchen table becomes the grand cathedral of a home. It is the place of family, song, wood fires, community and love as we wait for spring.
A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
MAX doesn't have a front license plate, and here's why Jack would like to keep it that way.
If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
The speed of global warming imperils habitats and species alike.
Short overnight trips are a great way to introduce your family to bicycle travel.
One of the best—albeit not the warmest—times to bicycle in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is during the month of April.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
The ARCX dome has been sold to young couple!
Michael Morley will post regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here, he discusses options for installing a colored concrete floor, and considering whether to install a solar hot water system.
Entrepreneurial capitalism could provide important answers for questions about social justice and environmental sustainability.
A new report from the World Bank warns of what a 4-degree global warming world will look like.
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
An explanation of why one degree Celsius makes such a big difference in our climate.
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
Making Music on the Front Porch ... let's define what the musical Front Porch is.
A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
MAX gets a couple of cheap and easy thermoformed headlight protectors, to keep light from getting out and rocks from getting in.
MAX's classic race car skin remains a work in progress. Jack wants MAX to look Lola-esque, but not too Lola-esque.
Create your own virtual - or real - jack-o'-lanterns this Halloween season.
An after-the-fact analysis of MAX's accident on the way to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair, and the dangers of "getthereitis."
So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.
En route to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, Jack listens all too well to GPS and ends up on dirt roads in the Oregon Outback.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks about HVAC work and installing windows.
The factory farm creates the wealth for the doctors, lawyers, government regulators, and bankers … is it ironic that these same professionals will choose a Beechnut Turkey or an Oaknut Ham from Big Horn Ranch for their family gathering?
A searchable index for the MAX Updates posts, and a few more thoughts on the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
My MAX car got licensed with the local DOT to run on vegetable oil fuel and pay its proper taxes per gallon. Each state has its own rules; here's how we do it in Oregon.
Is MAX an actual modern-day vehicle, or just a high school shop class experiment? In this update, Jack answers sharp questions from an automotive engineer.
Learning from experience, I've put some impact-resistant structure on the back of MAX.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
The second attempt at weatherproofing MAX involves a convertible top which flips open to get in or out of the cockpit. Not perfect, but not bad.
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
The "High Mileage Car Show" at the latest Mother Earth News Fair, and the pleasure of driving a fuel efficient car.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
MAX gets a lightweight belly pan under the engine, to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
MAX isn't just streamlined - MAX has its rolling resistance down to a minimum too, thanks to low-drag tires and lubricants. Here's a video to show how much it matters.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
As organic industry leaders urge consumers to take action against GMOs--the biggest threat the industry faces this year--soapmaker David Bronner gives $25,000 to seed an anti-GMO march on Capitol Hill.
With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
MAX is getting a garage mate. We're building a high-mileage pickup truck for those jobs that a sports car can't do, and this post outlines what we're starting with.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
In my 7,500-plus mile adventure in MAX this summer, one lesson really stands out: Haste Makes Waste.
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
A surprising benefit of MAX's streamlining is the increased luggage space.
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
An update to the refrigerator root cellar and how the Thermo Cube is keeping it from dipping below the freezing point and how we decided to start a terrace system to make more flat spots in a chicken pasture that's on a hillside that is steep.