Friday, January 30, 2009

Poo Mining

The Japanese are once again putting us to shame in the realm of doing more with less.

Two days ago, sewage plant operator Nagano Prefecture Suwa Construction Office announced that approximately 4.2 pounds of gold can be mined from each ton of molten fly ash generated when incinerating sludge at its facility in the town of Suwa. And it has actually proven profitable. In their first month of poo mining, Nagano Prefecture filtered out $56,000 worth of gold.

Now, you're probably saying to yourself, We have poo. Where's our gold? Excellent question. There is no time better than during an economic recession to begin searching for alternative sources of income.

Please contact your Congressperson and tell them that you want America to start poo mining today. (Click here to find out who represents you.)

Via Pink Tentacle.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miniature Cattle

As feed prices drive up the cost of keeping cows, farmers like Sally and Warren Coad say they've found a cost-efficient way to raise cattle: raise miniature cattle. Plus, they say, smaller breeds lend themselves to smaller cow handlers.

Indeed, standing three feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds, miniature cattle truly are the future of farming--perfect for the farmer under four feet tall.

Via the Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Project Live Small Salutes Mini Luchadores

The video above features Mexican mini luchador Mascarita Dorada performing his signature move on an unknown opponent who is at least two feet taller. Note what a great advantage his smaller size gives him.

Now, you're probably asking yourself, La altura es Mascarita Dorada? Unfortunately, we have no precise answer for you, but we can safely assume that he stands less than four feet tall.

Well done, SeƱor Dorada. Project Live Small salutes you.

More mini luchadores action.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tom Thumb Weddings

Reading Robertson Davies' The Manticore on the train this morning, I stumbled upon this gem:

"A Tom Thumb Wedding is a mock nuptial ceremony in which all the participants are children, and the delight of it is its miniature quality."

The two pages that follow describe a Tom Thumb Wedding in detail. I was immediately intrigued and did a bit of research.

According to this excellent article, the tradition began with the "real" Tom Thumb, a little person named Charles Stratton (b. 1838) who at the age of four became an entertainer with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, and in 1863 married a dwarf named Lavinia Warren (pictured right). It was a highly publicized and lavish wedding.

Ever since, Americans have been staging their own Tom Thumb Weddings, with children standing in for the bride and groom, and the entire wedding party (as pictured above). In many places, Tom Thumb Weddings have evolved into amazingly successful community fund-raising events.

The good news, of course, is that in the future, because the population will be two feet smaller, every wedding will be a Tom Thumb Wedding. In other words, cha-ching! Never again will a father-of-the-bride need to shell out thousands. On the contrary, the first under-four-feet generation will be a true cash cow. Another unforeseen benefit of Project Live Small.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Collapsible Bathroom

Well, the Australians have done it again! And by "it" I mean saving us precious bathroom space.

Not long after the Australian sanitary ware and plumbing firm Caroma brought us the sink/toilet, Australian designer Michael Trudgeon brings us the collapsible bathroom. Not only is it completely enclosed and portable, the Cirrus MVR has its own recycling system that keeps it running longer on less water.

A two-thirds-scale versions will be perfect for the future.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Staggering Statistic of the Day

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from starvation or hunger-related causes—that is one child every five seconds. (The Hunger Site)

In addition, approximately 8,000 adults die every day from starvation or hunger-related causes, bringing the total to a staggering 24,000 people per day. This is down from 35,000 ten years ago, and 41,000 twenty years ago, but there is still much work to be done.

Thankfully, when each member of our growing population measures less than four feet tall, less food will be needed to combat starvation around the world. Economists estimate that, if everyone were two feet shorter, the world population would consume over 30% less food and hunger-related deaths might very well be cut in half.

We all need to do our part. Please contact your Congressperson and let them know that you support Project Live Small. (Click here to find out who represents you.)

Though each one of us casts only a small shadow (and will cast an even smaller one in the future), together we can make a huge impact.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On to Europe

As it continues to gain momentum, the Live Small movement is going international.

Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company plans to make stops in the UK and the Republic of Ireland next September, with workshops scheduled for the 12th and 13th in London and the 19th and 20th in Dublin from 9am to 5pm. He will cover how to build a tiny house from the foundation to the roof and take a look at building basics, types of trailers, heaters, kitchen equipment and windows. He will also look at design and "the human element of living in a smaller space."

Now it won't be very long before everyone wants to be two feet smaller.

Via thriving too, which has an excellent collection of links to small living sites.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We Love Jay Shafer

Jay Shafer is a Live-Small visionary and founder of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (check out their blog also). Since 1997 he has been living in houses that measure under 100 square feet.

Mr. Shafer is exactly the type of person we need leading the Live Small movement. He even took his tiny home on a cross-country tour this past summer (pictured above).

Please watch the video below to see him giving a tour of his 89 sq. ft. home.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Vern Troyer: Model Citizen

Vern Troyer's ex-wife Genevieve Gallen recently spilled the beans about her brief marriage to the former Austin Powers star.

Though Ms. Gallen alleges that her 2ft 8in ex has a sex addiction and a drinking problem, but--a 36-year-old former Playboy model who seems to have had few qualms about role-playing and having sex up to ten times per day--also claims that Mr. Troyer was only the second man she had ever slept with. Nevertheless, that is hardly the most intriguing part of the article. It turns out that Mr. Troyer not only is small, but he lives small too.

The first time Mr. Troyer brought his future wife back to his place, she was surprised to learn that his house was actually a shed in the back of his manager's garden. Inside, everything was miniature. "There was a miniature futon and a miniature refrigerator and bed," Ms. Gallen recalled. "The light switches were all down at the level of my knee, and the toilet was no bigger than a child’s potty."

We would love to know where Mr. Troyer purchased his home furnishings and appliances. He was truly prepared for the future.

Full Article

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pocket Projectors

The hottest new gadget this year seems to be the pocket projector. 3M, Optoma, and Toshiba have each released one, and engadget speculates that we'll be absolutely bombarded with them come CES 2009.

According to several reviewers (listed below), the miniature projectors shine--no pun intended--when connected to other miniature devices such as digital cameras, smart phones, and iPods. In other words, they will be perfect for anyone less than four feet tall. We might as well dub the pocket projector the home theater of the future.

3M MPro110 (pictured above; 7 lumens, $359; popsci review)

Optoma Pico Pocket Projector (9 lumens, $430; nytimes review)

Toshiba LED Pico Projector (10 lumens, price unknown; computerworld review)