Category — URBAN

Venezuela enforces fingerprint registry to buy groceries: What to Do before rationing starts in America
by WRETHAOFFGRID on APRIL 6, 2014 - 5 Comments in COMMUNITY, FOOD, URBAN, WRETHA

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What if you were forced to “register” in order to buy groceries?  And what if, through that registration, the food you bought could be tracked and quantities could be limited?

That’s exactly the plan in Venezuela right now.  The AP reports that in an effort to crack down on “hoarding” that ID cards will be issued to families.  These will have to be presented before foodstuffs can be purchased.

President Nicolas Maduro’s administration says the cards to track families’ purchases will foil people who stock up on groceries at subsidized prices and then illegally resell them for several times the amount…Registration began Tuesday at more than 100 government-run supermarkets across the country. Working-class shoppers who sometimes endure hours-long lines at government-run stores to buy groceries at steeply reduced prices are welcoming the plan. (more…)
App uses social media data to make avoiding people easier
by TECHSTAR on MARCH 23, 2014 - 0 Comments in MOBILE, URBAN

A new iPhone app allows users to harness the power of social media to become as anti-social as possible.

Cloak lets users view a map with location data taken from their friends’ Foursquare and Instagram posts in order to avoid contact.

Users can flag specific friends — or all of them — and will receive an alert if they’re nearby. The warning distance ranges between within one block and 2 miles. (more…)

“$1m” Tree House under threat
by AMY SUAREZ on MARCH 14, 2014 - 1 Comment in URBAN

Wenatchee Treehouse in danger of demolition by local council

The Treehouse that Zeb built

A family in Wenatchee, WA have been told they can only keep their tree house if they takes out a $1M insurance policy in case it falls down

Zeb Postelwait built a tree house for his young sons in the front yard but the council say it is a threat to public safety.
Postelwait disagrees, says it is secure and does not obstruct the sidewalk. The council says that if Postelwait does not remove it, they will have an engineer appraise it, obtain an order to remove it and tear it down – and send him the bill for all costs. (more…)

Not prepped at all….
by WRETHAOFFGRID on FEBRUARY 9, 2014 - 6 Comments in COMMUNITY, FOOD, SHOP, URBAN, WATER, WRETHA

During this last major cold snap, I heard a story on NPR (National Public Radio), it’s the only radio station we can pick up out here, it’s quite a bit left leaning for our tastes, but we take that into consideration when we listen, especially to the news stories.

So this story was about (yet another) major cold snap that was about to hit major parts of the USA, there were going to be states of emergency declared because of the snow, ice and very low temps. There were going to be school and business closings.

The thing that really caught my attention, the thing that surprised me (but probably shouldn’t have) is the talk about “runs on the stores”, they were preparing for, get this, being potentially shut in for, (more…)

Living inside the box
by WRETHAOFFGRID on JANUARY 12, 2014 - 2 Comments in PEOPLE, URBAN, WRETHA

04 This absolutely falls under the “How cool is that!” category… I have seen lots of sheds, workshops and homes made out of shipping containers, some are buried in the ground, most just sit on the ground, some people are creative with them and create an entire home out of multiple containers. Most can be found in rural areas of the USA…

This has to the the most interesting one I have seen to date. These folks owned a small (read TINY) lot in NY, after lots of work and convincing, they created their home with several of these containers stacked up, it’s modern looking, it’s sleek, it’s clean and it works! (more…)

Private Underground Shelters
by NICK ROSEN on NOVEMBER 6, 2013 - 1 Comment in URBAN

Kansas Underground shelter owner Roberto Vicino of TerravivosDisaster preparedness is big business in the USA. The big banks all have shadow rooms, vast cavernous buildings on the edge of New York and Chicago where the entire dealing team cold decamp in the event of another 9/11 or another Sandy or a power outage caused by a solar flare – actually not the last one, because then everything would go phut.

The U.S. government maintains a series of deep underground bunkers. Their purpose is mostly to protect the president and top U.S. government officials from a catastrophic incident.

But very little is done to protect private citizens from the effects of global catastrophes. We will largely be left to fend for ourselves.

Until Now. (more…)

Taking an urban apartment off the grid
by NICK ROSEN on JULY 3, 2013 - 1 Comment in URBAN

London, Ont., Roommates Stephen Szucs and Dave Pope are living with no fridge, air conditioner, stove or hot, or running water this summer after deciding to disconnect from the electrical grid for three months.

At the beginning of June, the two, who are calling themselves the “Sustainable Joes,” cancelled their electricity, emptied their fridge and turned off their hot water heater in their two-bedroom apartment in a downtown London house. Until the end of August, they will be showering outside and using only the electricity they collect using a small number of solar panels. (more…)

Doomsday Prepper arrested with live alligator
by NICK ROSEN on JUNE 23, 2013 - 1 Comment in URBAN

Earthman - a knuckle dragger  and gator owner

Earthman – a knuckle dragger and croc owner

A “doomsday prepper” who was arrested Tuesday after Dallas police found bomb making materials and a Glock in his car has been kept in federal custody while his case is pending.

The decision was made by a judge after a search of his house turned up drugs, dangerous chemicals and a live alligator, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña.

Clayton Todd Earthman, 24, appeared in court Friday when the order was made. Knuckle-dragging Earthman is charged with being an unlawful user and addict of controlled substances in possession of a firearm, authorities said.

How he came by the alligator has been well-documented online: (more…)

Slums – testbeds for new ways of living
by SUPERJOE on JUNE 1, 2013 - 0 Comments in SELF-SUFFICIENCY, URBAN

This could be all our future

This could be all our future

We should not romanticise slums, but informal settlements can teach us a lot about society and the economy of resources.

Its amazing , for example, how most of us who live in cities, pay lip service to recycling – doing a bit here and there – consisting mainly of throwing bottles into the correct colored bag for the garbage disposal company to deal with.

The informal settlements of the global south could not be further removed from the financial centers where most of us spend our lives. But recycling is something that slum inhabitants do naturally, without expensive schemes.

In the slums you can find a whole new social geography … re-focus on adaptation and reuse and using scarcity as a resource to highlight the aspects that function better than the formal city around it. (more…)


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