Shared posts

05 Mar 21:30

donttalkaboutdust: prostheticknowledge: Submarine Cable Map...



Submarine Cable Map 2014

A map put together by TeleGeography displays where all the undersea fibre-optic telecommunication cables are and who they connect to … in other words, a map of the physical internet:

The map depicts routes of 263 in-service and 22 planned undersea cables. Each country is colored according to how many international submarine cable system links are connected there. Capital cities and the location and direction of 44 cable vessels (as of December 6, 2013) are also provided.

The map provides detailed information about cable landing stations in key regions including Hawaii, Southern Florida, New York, New Jersey, Cornwall, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Sydney.

The map is available for purchase at TeleGeography. You can find out more about the map here

An interactive version of the map to view and zoom in your browser can be found here

An interview with TeleGeography’s research director about the subject can be found at CNN here

05 Mar 11:00

Chico Tiny House

by Kent Griswold

by Ally Nithya

My husband and I have a dream of creating a sustainable micro-homestead on a tiny backyard plot. We built this 120 square foot home on a limited budget with zero construction experience. Neither of us had ever swung a hammer before starting and we had less than $6k in the bank upon breaking ground. As far fetched as it all seemed, we decided to trust that anything is possible with inspiration, vision and enthusiasm.

chico tiny house

We learned framing, sheathing, roofing, dry walling, tiling, flooring, plumbing and wiring mostly from YouTube and a few select books. Each part of the project had a steep learning curve as we gathered the necessary tools and materials and knowledge. I mostly had to learn the art of patience and the supreme importance of good prep work!!

We designed the shell to be simple and approachable for first time builders. And because our budget was as tiny as the house, we used as much salvaged, reclaimed, restored, discounted and second hand materials as possible. The chronic lack of funds inspired a lot of creativity and I discovered an amazing alchemical skill for transforming trash to treasure. The whole thing cost less than $8500 to build and took about 9 months to manifest.


What a tremendous journey to build a house! Besides being a dynamic, hands-on education, it was an absolute joy to see our vision manifest and take shape, step by step. The result is a gorgeous labor of love that fits our simple lifestyle like a glove.

We have plans to develop the edible landscape with recycled grey water irrigation and to build a tiny greenhouse, rainwater catchment system and matching chook house.

living room

Having completed this project, Priyan is now interested in the creation of tiny home communities where beautiful, functional, sustainable homes are affordable and available to average people. Such communities would offer shared utilities and facilities and create safe, legal spaces to live large in tiny homes.

If you are interested in learning more about our projects and visions please find news and updates at our burgeoning FB page: Thanks for reading! Many blessings on your journey.



living room kitchen

04 Mar 19:45

nprmusic: nprmusic: Can we all agree that Carl Kasell’s grumpy...


via ragebun



Can we all agree that Carl Kasell’s grumpy face is the best part of OK Go’s Tiny Desk Concert?

Broadcasting legend Carl Kasell just announced that he’s retiring from Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me this spring and we’re still sure this GIF set is one for the books. We’re all gonna miss you, Carl! 

04 Mar 23:29

Apricot Bloom Time

by Stephen Sain

shared to infuriate billtron :)

As early bloomers most Apricots in the Los Lunas - Albuquerque area are reaching full bloom as seen below. Most flowers on these trees are fully open.

The late blooming Apricots like Harcot have not yet reached full flower. Some unopened flower buds remain on the tree.

In our area it appears that of the known Apricot varieties, Canadian White Blenheim is the latest to bloom. On Canadian White Blenheim most of the flower buds have not yet opened but are greatly swollen as in the picture below.

Canadian White Blenheim Apricot is a white fleshed variety that is very sweet and juicy. This variety is partially self fertile.  So consider Canadian White Blenheim Apricot is you are in an area that has a problem with late frosts.
04 Mar 22:16

Louisiana's Coastline Is Disappearing Too Quickly for Mappers to Keep Up

by Stephanie Garlock

Twenty-five years ago, miles of marshy land and grasses separated the small fishing outpost of Buras, Louisiana, from the Gulf of Mexico. But years of erosion – along with the one-two punch of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – have washed away much of that barrier. Today, the islands, inlets, and bays that once defined the coastline of Plaquemines Parish have begun to melt together.

Like all coasts, the land around the Mississippi River is constantly evolving. In past centuries, that process was slowed by the annual flooding of the River's vast delta, which brought new sediment to replace what was lost.

But climate change, coupled with better engineering (which brought effective channeling and stronger levees), have turned this coastline into one of the most rapidly eroding areas of the U.S. In the area around Buras, gone are the formerly distinct waterways of English Bay, Bay Jacquin, and Scofield Bay, leaving a vast expanse of water between the mainland and the barrier islands.

  The area south of the town of Buras, Louisiana, in 1990 (left) and today (right). NOAA has retired the names English Bay, Bay Jacquin, and Scofield Bay, acknowledging the vast water that now separates Buras from the barrier along Pelican Island (NOAA Chart 11358)

Each year, this part of the coastline loses around 16 square miles of land, according to David Muth, the state director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration Project. And until quite recently, even the most advanced maps of the area did little to reflect the changing environmental reality.

But in the last few years, renewed mapping efforts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have begun to catalog these changes. These new maps show water where there was once marshy land, and bays where there were once small inlets.

And in the last few years, more than 30 of the region's names – including English Bay, Bay Jacquin, and Scofield Bay – have been officially retired from the map. Meredith Westington, chief geographer at NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, keeps a running list of these newly extinct places handy on her desk. Though communities have become attached to the names of their nearby landscape, she explains, that it just "doesn't make sense to leave some island name in the chart where there’s no island there anymore."

  Coastal erosion has dramatically changed the size and shape of Adams Bay and Bastian Bay, once far more distinct waterways (NOAA Chart 11358).

These marshy regions of coastal Louisiana aren't normally the types of areas that attract close attention from NOAA, which focuses on larger ports with more significant commercial navigation traffic. But following Katrina and Rita, reports of debris prompted an unusual amount of new surveying efforts, according to Mike Espey, who oversees these projects as the chief of the Applications Branch of the Remote Sensing Division of NOAA's National Geodetic Survey.

In the old days, mapmakers used on-the-water travel or interviews about local terminology with Bayou fishermen to get the lay of the land. Now, Espey’s office uses a combination of aerial photographs and satellite images to catalog the new geography of this rapidly eroding region.

This, Espey explains, makes it possible to track changes to these tiny and navigationally insignificant areas. Since much of the surveyed land is marshy and ill-defined, these maps tend to mark where vegetation has stopped growing, more than anything else. The changes to these most recent charts are still nowhere near the finest scale of detail possible.

"The official maps are really trying to catch up."

Still, the land loss we can see is stark. "You're kind of seeing a culmination of decades of changes," Westington says. "And it looks very dramatic."

In many cases, the names lost forever from the maps represent places that have long since ceased to exist. "You’re cruising along and the water will be three, four feet deep, and the GPS will say you’re on land," Muth says. "The official maps are really trying to catch up, but land loss is so fast in certain parts of the coast that no one can keep up. You can have a piece of land out there that retreats 20, 30, 40 feet a year."

Bob Taylors Pond, one of the names officially put on the historical list, has become a part of Zinzin Bay (NOAA Chart 11361).

The latest surveys are still being processed, and already Westington's office has decided to retire ten additional names that appear on even NOAA's most recent set of charts. And future changes to the landscape could alter these maps even more. Soon, far larger bodies of water – like the several-miles-across Barataria Bay and Terrebone Bay – may lose their natural barriers and combine. And land rebuilding efforts, outlined in the state's 2012 Coastal Master Plan, could lead to new deposits of sediment, and eventually new land, in other parts of the river's vast delta.

No matter what, the map will certainly change again. "Because deltas are so dynamic, they're either building or they're eroding," Muth says. "The idea that you can pick a point in time and say, 'This is how we want the coast to look,' is, first of all, the wrong way to think about it. And second of all, it creates an impossible situation."

Top Image: Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser stands on a remnant of Cat Island, which has largely eroded into Barataria Bay, in Plaquemines Parish, La., in April 2013  (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).


04 Mar 19:05

Passenger leaves bizarre, sexist note for female WestJet pilot, she responds perfectly

by Abraham

via firehose

On Sunday, a passenger on WestJet flight 463 scrawled a note to the pilot on a napkin and left it at his seat to be found when he deplaned. Did it say “Hey, thanks for the safe flight!” or ”Really appreciate your mad aeronautical skills!”?

Carey Steacy

No, it didn’t say anything like that. Quite the opposite, actually. “David” of seat 12E had noticed the pilot when he boarded — Carey Steacy, a 17-year veteran and (Shocking!) a woman. This offended him…

Sexist Note for Female Pilot - 01

Sexist Note for Female Pilot - 02

(via Reddit)

Here’s a transcription of the absurd missive…

To Captain/WestJet,

The cockpit of airliner is no place for a woman. A woman being a mother is the most honor. Not as “captain.” We’re short mothers, not pilots, WestJet.

Proverbs 31

(Sorry not P.C.)

PS I wish WestJet could tell me a fair lady is at the helm so I can book another flight!

In the end this is all mere vanity…

Not impressed.

Respectfully in love,

David (or Daniel maybe?)

After Steacy got over the shock of receiving such obnoxious feedback, she responded on Facebook…

To @David in 12E on my flight #463 from Calgary to Victoria today.

It was my pleasure flying you safely to your destination. Thank you for the note you discreetly left me on your seat. You made sure to ask the flight attendants before we left if I had enough hours to be the Captain so safety is important to you, too.

I respectfully disagree with your opinion that the “cockpit” (we now call it the flight deck as no cocks are required) is no place for a lady. In fact, there are no places that are not for ladies anymore.

I have heard many comments from people throughout my 17 year career as a pilot. Most of them positive. Your note is, without a doubt, the funniest. It was a joke, right? RIGHT?? I thought, not.

You were more than welcome to deplane when you heard I was a “fair lady.” You have that right. Funny, we all, as humans, have the same rights in this great free country of ours.

Now, back to my most important role, being a mother.

In a follow-up interview, she said…

I just couldn’t believe there are still people in this country that think like that. It just shocked me.


04 Mar 18:59

After 5-Decade Career, NPR's Carl Kasell Will Retire


the nicest guy

Kasell, whose voice is synonymous with NPR, will record his final broadcast for Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me! this spring. From then on, he'll become "scorekeeper emeritus."

» E-Mail This

03 Mar 22:47

If He's Sexually Aggressive In Bars, It's Not Because He's Drunk


When researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington observed young people's behaviors in bars, they found that the man's aggressiveness didn't match his level of intoxication. There was no relationship.

Instead, men targeted women who were intoxicated.

The researchers hired and trained 140 young adults to go into bars in the Toronto area and note every incident of aggression that they saw. They found that 25 percent of all incidents involved sexual aggression. And 90 percent of the victims of sexual aggression were women being harassed by men.

Almost all of the aggression was physical, with about two-thirds of the aggressors physically touching women without consent. About 17 percent threatened contact. And 9 percent verbally harassed their targets.

Drink, by Ann Dowsett Johnston
Author Interviews
Drinking To 'Numb,' Women Gain On Men In Alcohol Abuse
Men may perceive intoxicated women either as more amenable to advances or as easier targets who are less able to rebuff them because they don't have their wits about them, the researchers say.

"There's no reason that women should be touched against their will," says Kate Graham, the study's lead researcher and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto. Women wouldn't accept that kind of behavior at school or on the street, she notes, but it seems to get a pass in bars, she tells Shots.

When men force unwanted sexual attention on women in bars, the problem isn't that the guy is drunk. Instead, a study finds, men target women who have been drinking and may be seen as more vulnerable.

» E-Mail This

02 Mar 19:10

This is what happens when ThOR gets together “in...

This is what happens when ThOR gets together “in person”

04 Mar 16:32

Wanted: Antique Forcing Pots

by Rochelle Greayer

I came across this image this morning over on Old House Gardens’ page about forcing bulbs.   I’ve never seen such wonderful forcing pots and I would love to find something as charming as that hedgehog crocus pot for some late winter fun (but I’d be thrilled to have any of them!).

Old House bulbs forcing pots via

A quick eBay search turned up absolutely nothing.  Has anyone ever seen something like this?  Know a source? Or perhaps you know someone who is making modern day versions?  Do share – I would be so grateful.

image from Old House Gardens — originally sourced from Peter Henderson Catalog NYC, 1900. 

04 Mar 16:20

Kentucky Won't Appeal Order To Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

A federal judge last month ruled the state must recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages. Tuesday, state Attorney General Jack Conway said "I won't be defending discrimination."

» E-Mail This

04 Mar 14:57

Yes, Obamacare is driving US health care costs lower

by Matt Phillips

via firehose

Early signs suggest that US president Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is driving the cost of healthcare lower, according to Goldman Sachs analysts, spotlighting yesterday’s data on consumer spending and prices.

“Cuts to Medicare payments that were used to finance some of the new benefits under the law have resulted in significant slowing in the health-related components of the PCE price index,” wrote Goldman analysts in a note to clients.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 9.16.22 AM

They note that the decrease in January health care prices is related to cuts to Medicare, the US program of health care for the elderly, which were made in the Affordable Care Act in order to pay for coverage of the uninsured:

Rather than reducing the quantity of services provided, the law mandates a smaller annual increase in the prices Medicare pays for services. This increase happens once a year in January or October, there should be little additional effect on the change in prices from the ACA for the next several months, though we expect the effect on the level of prices to persist.

While the Obamacare overhaul remains controversial in the US, budget geeks are nearly unanimous in spotlighting runaway health care costs as a long-term driver of the US national debt. And cross-country comparisons show that US health care spending is clearly out of line with international norms.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 9.42.32 AM

In other words, early indications that the Affordable Care Act is starting to control health care inflation is a good thing.

04 Mar 05:42

"It seems whenever a female character needs a juicy arc or humanizing touch, writers fall back on the..."

“It seems whenever a female character needs a juicy arc or humanizing touch, writers fall back on the easy, awful crime of rape.”

- Hey TV: Stop raping women. (via crush-the-patriarchy)
04 Mar 05:12

twinpeaksgifs: emoeba: I made a little Dale Cooper. oh gosh



I made a little Dale Cooper.

oh gosh

04 Mar 05:11

All the pie and coffee in Twin Peaks


Team Pie

All the pie and coffee in Twin Peaks

04 Mar 13:00

Explore Playing Cards

by Diane Lindquist

Hey firehose

Started on Kickstarter, the core idea for this deck is a lot like a catalog of cities and holiday destinations around the world:

"I want to create something so exclusive, so limited, so rare that people treasure and value them. The concept of Cardazine (Cards + Magazine) is a combination of visual illustrations of playing cards and the information of a magazine. Each release will feature a unique theme, the first of it being EXPLORE, a travel-themed deck of cards."

- Cardazine


Designed by Cardazine

Country: Australia

City: Melbourne



Related Posts:

04 Mar 03:39



team pie, massive massive quantities of team pie

03 Mar 21:02

theherbarium: Grimmia pulvinata moss by Edinburgh Nette on...


hi russian sledges

04 Mar 01:27

Nong’s Khao Man Gai to Open Restaurant

Nong’s Khao Man Gai to Open Restaurant:

The new Nong’s will occupy a sunlit space on 609 Southeast Ankeny, formerly leased by Origami Catering, and just next door to the old sauce-bottling operation. At the new counter service brick and mortar, customers will pass by a big glass display looking into Nong’s sauce factory, before taking one of the 38 seats inside (or out on the sidewalk beyond a rolling garage door.)

Expect the same, infallible chicken and rice, along with the rest of Nong’s expanded PSU menu, featuring Thai Basketball Mom’s Wings, sauced in tomato, Sriracha, and Chinese whiskey and her Coca Cola/cocoa powder-braised pork and rice offset by a heap of pickled mustard greens and boiled egg.

Local taps, along with some choice suds from Southeast Asia will stock the beer-only bar early on, with the promise of local cocktail collaborations in the near future. Also in the works: a signature KMG soft serve ice cream, with the exact flavor still to be determined.

03 Mar 19:33

And Now, a Late-Winter Reminder to Watch Out for Snow Plows

by Mike Riggs

Years from now, residents of the Mid-Atlantic will remember 2014 as the year they wore snow boots for a month. Reporter Steve Keeley, of FOX 29 in Philadelphia, will remember it as the year he got plowed: 

Hat tip to Dan McQuade, and condolences to Keeley, who says he's fine.

The Fox reporter wasn't alone in getting unsuspectingly doused by a plow's wave this winter. In early February, New York City resident Pedro Plaza got knocked down while trudging a sidewalk in Brooklyn: 

The two New York plow drivers are being investigated, and Plaza says he might sue the city

Watch out for those plows, y'all! 

Top image: REUTERS/Gary Cameron


03 Mar 18:41

How We Picture a City: Venice and Google Maps

by Robinson Meyer

College was boring, so, in the 18th century, young British nobles skipped it altogether. They went instead on The Grand Tour, a glitzy sojourn through Europe, the gap year to beat all gap years. On their tour, the juvenile gentleman might pass through Paris, dote on Dusseldorf, or reside in Rome. All that was nice. But they absolutely had to venture to Venice.

Because, Venice! It was the home of art, fashion, culture—and, crucially, other young men on their own Grand Tour.

"The greater part of them keep an inviolable fidelity to the language their nurses taught them,” Lady Mary Wortley Montagu wrote of the bros in her diary. "Their whole business (as far as I can perceive) being to buy new clothes, in which they shine in some coffee-house where they are sure of only meeting one another."

Travel to Venice and flaunt your Venice-ness, in other words. One way to parade Venice around long after the trip was to buy paintings by Giovanni Antonio Canal, who worked under the name Canaletto. A British agent named Joseph Smith hawked his work to British nobles passing through, and they bought them in the hundreds.

Canaletto’s paintings were more than the I ♥ [City] posters of their day, though. They’re now considered some of the great urban paintings, ever, and they distill our sense of early 18th-century Venice and London.

Canaletto’s Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, completed 1732 (Wikimedia) 

In 2013, we picture cities a little differently, with demography and photography. Cities live in Instagram, in patterns of light from space, in blueprints and visualizations and—most like Canaletto’s civic landscapes—on Google Street View. We can see where we’re going because the Street View car has gone there first, and we can see where the frontier is because the car has demarcated it.

Last week, we wrote about an artist in London has done some creative, comparative history, pairing Canaletto's Venice and London with contemporary depictions, as glimpsed by the Google van. In two, now apparently removed Imgur galleries, she placed a Canaletto image in the middle of a Google Street View image. (And we've written about him before).

So here’s Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, from above, within Google Street View:


And Canaletto’s Grand Canal and the Church of the Salute in its location:

Or, in London, Canaletto’s 1752 Northumberland House :


The artist Shystone (whose work is still available via Google Cache) writes:

On the South end of Trafalgar Square this huge townhouse stood from 1605 right up to 1874 when it was demolished after compulsorily purchase by Government to make way for a new road. There's a Waterstones on the corner now under an old hotel building. Although it was completely demolished, one of the original building's arches still stand, 7 miles away in East London as an entrance to a local community centre.

She juxtaposed other artist’s work, too. Here’s John Atkinson Grimshaw’s 1885 Blackman Street London, across time and light:


The church is St. George The Martyr. Again for any literary fans, this is the Church next to the notorious Marshalsea prison where Dickens' Little Dorrit is born. The only remains of the actual prison are tucked down an alleyway North of the church with a plaque in a small public garden. Today The Shard is the biggest spire you'll see looking North East up Borough Highstreet.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.


03 Mar 16:31

Right 2 Dream Too Co-Founder Ibrahim Mubarak Arrested

Right 2 Dream Too Co-Founder Ibrahim Mubarak Arrested:

Ibrahim Mubarak, co-founder of the Right 2 Dream Too homeless village in downtown Portland, was arrested in Portland February 27. This was first reported by the Portland Mercury.

Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson says Mubarak was arrested at 10:25 pm after police were called by a downtown security company that encountered protest in response to the company’s warnings about camping under the Burnside Bridge.

"I can confirm he was arrested," Simpson says. "He refused to give them his identity multiple times, and refused to leave the parking lot, so eventually, he was arrested." Mubarak was charged with trespassing, and interfering with a peace officer. He was booked into the Multnomah County Jail under his given name, Keith Jackson.

According to a Facebook announcement by Right 2 Dream Too,

Portland police have came to this area on a nightly basis with multiple appearances through out the last few weeks. . An hour after the arrest the police were back ” picking people out of the line they were sleeping in, and used 5 squad cars to block the street entrance to the driveway.” Reports from people sleeping under the bridge say; they will do this all night and Clean and Safe then will appear at 6 am to start waking the sleepers,writing tickets and throwing away belongings.

The Right 2 Dream Too Facebook page posted video of the arrest.

Willamette Week profiled Mubarak in 2002 in a piece titled “The Duke of Dignity Village,” by Nick Budnick, detailing Mubarak’s troubled drug history and his efforts to lead the Dignity Village homeless encampment.

The Portland City Council earlier this month voted to give Right 2 Dream Too more than $800,000 to find a new location. On Wednesday, WW obtained a list of 21 possible sites the city is considering for the camp.

03 Mar 16:08

Where It's Hardest for the Poor to Make Their Rent

by Graham MacDonald

Many Americans struggle to afford a decent, safe place to live in today’s market. Over the past five years, rents have risen while the number of renters who need moderately priced housing has increased. These two pressures make finding affordable housing even tougher for the very poor households in America. For every 100 extremely low-income renter households in the country, there are only 29 affordable and available rental units. Extremely low-income households—a definition used by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)—earn 30 percent of area median income or less. Depending on the area of the country, for a family of four, this translates into incomes of less than $7,450 to $33,300.

Not one county in the United States has an even balance between its ELI households and its affordable and available rental units. As a result, ELI households have to search harder for a place to live, spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent, or live in substandard housing.

Some markets are tighter than others. Of the top 100 U.S. counties in 2012, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, has the smallest gap in units that are affordable and available for ELI households; Cobb County, Georgia, has the largest. But does this mean ELI households in Suffolk County have it easy? The answer is no. Even in Suffolk County, which is home to Boston, only 50 units are affordable and available for every 100 families earning $29,350.

This situation would be much worse without HUD rental assistance, which we estimate provides almost 3.2 million affordable and available units to ELI households. HUD assistance comes in three forms: public housing, Housing Choice Vouchers, and privately owned but federally assisted housing. Without HUD rental assistance, we estimate that there would be 1 affordable and available rental unit for every 100 ELI households in the United States. The number would drop from 50 to 7 rental units for every 100 ELI households in Suffolk County, where an estimated 85 percent of the affordable and available rental housing for ELI households is federally assisted.

Why isn’t the private market filling this gap? The answer is relatively simple. With a few exceptions, the economics do not pencil out. Without subsidy, private developers cannot build or operate a new unit of rental housing at a cost ELI households can afford to pay.

The good news is some counties have been closing the affordability gap, including places like Suffolk County, Massachusetts, and Hennepin County, Minnesota, which is home to Minneapolis and its surrounding suburbs. Over the past decade, these two communities have engaged in intensive state and local efforts to preserve existing federally assisted housing that have stemmed the tide of losses. In addition to federal assistance, stakeholders in these communities invest significant state, local, and philanthropic resources in affordable housing serving ELI households.

Other counties have been losing significant ground. Wayne County, Michigan, and the District of Columbia offer two examples of how the affordability gap can widen under two dramatically different sets of market conditions: a really weak market, where incomes are low and lower-cost units are dropping out of the stock, versus a hot market where incomes are better but rents are rising faster. Wayne County (where Detroit is located) lost just over 22,400 rental units that are affordable and available to ELI households, likely due to demolitions of rental housing, but added approximately 10,700 ELI households competing for the units that remained. Between 2000 and 2012, DC lost approximately 8,000 units that are affordable and available for ELI households, likely due to gentrification, while losing just over 2,000 ELI households. DC’s overall affordability gap worsened during this period; in 2012, 23 percent fewer units are affordable and available for every 100 ELI households. That said, it is still near the top of the largest 100 counties with the highest number of units that are affordable and available for ELI households.

To zero in on trends for your own region, we encourage you to explore this new interactive map. The Urban Institute will update this map periodically. And, as data become available, we will track the affordability gap for ELI households, as well as very low-income and low-income households.

This post originally appeared on the Urban Institute's MetroTrends blog, an Atlantic partner site.


03 Mar 11:00

The Oldest House in America

by Scott Sidler


Oldest House in America

The oldest house in America (The Fairbanks House)
Image Credit:

What is the oldest house in America? Is there any way to really tell? The answer is yes, we really can tell what the oldest house in America is…we think.

When you go back centuries to colonial times records are not quite as complete or straight forward as they are today, but there are many ways to determine the age of a structure.

The oldest house in America is a timber frame house built ca. 1637-1641 in Dedham, MA called the Fairbanks House.

The house was built by Jonathan Fairebanke for his wife Grace Lee Smith and their family sometime between 1637 and 1641 according to dendrochronology testing. The house passed from one member of the Fairbanks family to the next through eight generations until 1904 when it was passed to The Fairbanks Family Association which continues to operate it today as a historic house museum.

On a side note, the home has never been encumbered by a mortgage in its entire 377 year history! Eat your heart out Dave Ramsey.

Fairbanks House

Image Credit: American Architect and Building News, 1881

The original portion of the house is constructed of thick oak timbers and divided into two lower rooms with two second story bedrooms and an attic all surrounding a massive central chimney. The large central chimney was a typical feature in New England homes of the period as it would radiate heat throughout the home during the brutally cold winters.

Even back then there was insulation. No it wasn’t fiberglass batts, but rather wattle and daub which is a mixture of clay, straw and lime. This filled in the spaces between the timber frame as in English Tudor style homes.

Like most really old houses, the Fairbanks House has been added on to many times over the last four centuries. Several small additions were made in the 1680s and a rather large addition in the 1790s. Despite these additions the home has remained largely unchanged and is a truly amazing example of life in these centuries past.

If you’re ever in Dedham, Massachusetts make a point to stop by and see this spectacular example of early American vernacular architecture that has stood proudly through every part of American history, even before it was America.



The post The Oldest House in America appeared first on The Craftsman Blog.

03 Mar 14:19

Let’s Move! scores one more: No white potatoes in the WIC package

by Marion

On Friday afternoon (that slow news moment), Let’s Move! and the USDA announced the release of the long-awaited Final Rules governing foods eligible for purchase by participants in WIC–The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

These are the first such revisions since 1980.  The rules:

  • Increase the dollar amount for purchases of fruits and vegetables.
  • Expand whole grain options.
  • Allow for yogurt as a partial milk substitute.
  • Allow parents of older infants to buy fresh produce instead of jarred infant food
  • Give states and local WIC agencies more flexibility in meeting the nutritional and cultural needs of WIC participants.

These are good moves but the big news is that the USDA stood up to lobbyists for the potato industry who have pushed the White House and Congress to allow participants to buy white potatoes with their WIC funds.

As I noted in an earlier post, the exclusion of white potatoes follows recommendations of the Institute of Medicine based on observations that WIC mothers already buy plenty of them.

Potato lobbyists got Congress to insert language in the 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill urging the USDA to allow white potatoes in the package.

The USDA responded by asking the Institute of Medicine to reexamine the WIC food package in time for reauthorization of child nutrition programs in 2015.  This is now underway.

Although WIC is a small program relative to SNAP, it still provides about $7 billion a year for its nearly 9 million participants.

Food companies fight fiercely to ensure that their products are eligible to be purchased with WIC funds.  The potato lobbyists got Congress to intervene in USDA rules on school meals.

They must have thought they could win this one too.

It’s encouraging when public health wins out over industry lobbying.

But this one is small potatoes.  How about a few wins against Big Food?

15 Feb 19:19

themarysue: bluelightseven: crazyquilt: browncoat-trekker: Ja...





Jayne Austin Book & Gun Club

Um, this might sort of be the most awesome thing in the history of ever.



19 Feb 01:49

"Don’t be slutty, don’t have sex. But be sexy. If you’re too sexy though and you get raped, then..."

“Don’t be slutty, don’t have sex. But be sexy. If you’re too sexy though and you get raped, then that’s your own fault because you’re not actually supposed to listen to us about being sexy, even though we tell you your value is derived from how sexy you are. If you get into a position of power, we will assume that you used your sex appeal to get there and not your brains and we will mock you even though we told you the only thing that mattered was your sex appeal. Make yourself accessible to me, but holy shit stop being so desperate and needy. Don’t be a tease. If we want to have sex with you, don’t friendzone us, even though we just fucking told you not to have sex.”

- patriarchy proverb (via perfect)
03 Mar 02:59


03 Mar 02:48

ladiesagainsthumanity: via @betsythemuffin or on facebook when...


via @betsythemuffin

or on facebook when an acquaintance or coworker sings its praises :\

03 Mar 02:38

No context needed

No context needed