Saturday, January 12, 2008

Environment Mobile Homes

Usually, mobile homes are not associated with terms such as long-term quality or environmental friendliness. Now, a professor of architecture at Mississippi State University (MSU) wants to change this. He has developed the concept of the GreenMobile home, an ultra-affordable and ecological-minded, factory-built housing unit. The first prototypes of these homes, which could be used as regular houses or for disaster relief housing, should be built in March 2008. And their cost is expected to be in the $50,000 range. Not too bad, especially if the value of these houses increases in the future as expects the development team. But read more…

SOURCE: Roland Piquepaille - Emerging Technology Trends

What is an Urban Planner

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Greener Death

While at McDonald's and after giving up trying to find a CC Cafe which was listed to have wifi service, I discovered the back page with a local piece about Louisiana cemeteries called Louisiana Burying Our Dead. While the piece took the entire back page and published eye catching beautiful photography of some of the best cemetery features, I couldn't find the online version to link to.

The brief feature was able to convey the beauty of a once time honored tradition that has now been left to the past and contains a history that has been mostly forgotten. Back in the early days French and Spanish settlers carried their burial traditions to the state of Louisiana. The cemeteries which was nick named cities of the dead due to the cluster of close nit tombs followed a tradition in which a family member's coffin were removed and the human remains were pushed to the back of the tomb or buried in a chamber called a caveau beneath the tomb one year and one day after they were buried. The process made room for the next family member who passed away.

I've always had an appreciation for cemeteries because many of the monuments, markings and tombs reflected that era's historical fashion preference as well as that era's society accepted practice. The bell tower tomb was often used in the times of epidemics when sickness generated a death like state in appearance only. If a victim found him or herself buried alive the person could ring the bell signaling that they were in fact alive. Thank gawd for modern technology. However, a bell tower could definitely help some online addicts who spend 10 + hours online – could I have mine mobile?

As the population of today's world outgrows what our planet can handle it should be 'interesting' to see how the future of human burial will be handled. Sadly, I see very little consideration of history's practicability of use and reuse of space. Coffins and monuments for the “someday I will be dead -- LOOK AT ME” have been created even a bigger or Nokia_cell_coffinpathetic fashion of vanity coffins such as the Nokia cell phone shaped and painted coffin...What no flip phone coffins? You will be dead! Cut your ass in half, throw you in, flip it shut and you've saved half the space needed for a cemetery plot.

One company has created and designs a great tree hugger happy idea for a coffin -- the biodegradable coffin. The Natural Burial Company has a brand new store in Portland, OR (of course) which just opened at the beginning of January 2008. Customers can choose a variety of eco-friendly burial coffins which are available in multiple colors and can be silk-screened with designs. Too cool :)