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SMART STUFF #9, VOLUME 1. SEPTEMBER 2005 |..1..2..3..4..5.....>



A.Plow & Hearth watering device B.Billy Root Watering System

Plant watering made easier.
If you are anything like us, your plants lead a hard life. Not much smooching and an irregular water supply. But there is help even for those of us who do not have green fingers. At least as far as watering plants goes. These two inventions do the same thing, but they approach the problem from opposite sides. The left one (A) is supposed to be stuck into the soil after filling the container with water, thus watering from above. The one on the right (B) should be placed at the bottom of the pot, and supply the water from the roots. Which you choose may be a matter of personal taste, but the right one ought to be less visible, while the one on the left seems to be easier to implement; you do not have to dig up the entire plant go get it going... Via Hippy Shopper.

(A) From Plow & Hearth with a 40 fl. oz. (1.1 liter) container. This should last for up to two weeks, they claim. We think two weeks seems like an awful long time, but before we have had the opportunity to try it ourselves, we will accept it as written. A pack of two are USD 16:95.

(B) The Billy Root Watering System (yes, really) is available in several different sizes. The one in the picture has a two liter (67 fl.-oz.) container and will require an investment of GBP 5:99 at Tricor.

4 September 2005



Future homes to generate own heat?

Future homes generate own heat?
There has been quite a few energy efficient homes built in the last few years, but they have all been villas or townhouses. Now new technology developed by Swedish developers NCC and architect firm White, promise to make it possible to build equally energy efficient apartment buildings. The buildings will be built without traditional heating systems, and will shave up to 60 percent off the yearly energy bill, NCC and White claim.

The building will not need radiators, using insulation and effective heat re-cycling in the ventilation system. Heating will be provided by radiation from the sun, household appliances, lights and the inhabitant's own body heat. Not even during winter is temperatures inside supposed to go below +18°C (64°F). The building is calculated to use about 60-65 kWh electricity per square meter annually to provide hot water, additional heating and power for cooking. A comparable traditional building consumes about 140 kWh electricity per square meter annually The new type of building is calculated to cost between SEK 340:- and SEK 385:- (USD 46:- to 52:-) per square meter more in construction than traditional buildings, but with the annual energy savings the building should break even after some 8 to 15 years. The savings in greenhouse gasses and environmental impact will however be immediate.

3 September 2005




Danish Trio Bike can be bike, stroller, kid transporter and cargo bike Danish Trio Bike can be bike, stroller, kid transporter and cargo bikeDanish Trio Bike can be bike, stroller, kid transporter and cargo bike Danish Trio Bike can be bike, stroller, kid transporter and cargo bike Danish Trio Bike can be bike, stroller, kid transporter and cargo bike

Clever Danish four in one bike.
This bike looks more than usually interesting. It is called Trio Bike, and was designed by Lars Pedersen at Danish firm DesignAgenda ApS. Maybe it should have been called Quattro, since it has four uses, but we suspect the "quattro" has been trade marked by V.A.G. In any case, Treo can be almost whatever you want it to be. A regular push-bike, a bike transporter (popular in Denmark), a baggage trolley and – a pram. All transformations is supposed to be possible without special tools. The bike has an aluminum frame, a Shimano Nexus 7-speed hub and very cool integrated lights both back and front. The cart has seats (with seat-belts) for two children or a maximum of 80 kg (176 lb.) of stuff. The price, then? Well, to begin with DKK 14.000:- (USD 2,300:-) seems pretty steep, but considering you get one bike, one bike transporter, a cargo trolley and a pram for your bucks, it is not that bad after all. Thanks to Treehugger.

2 September 2005




Do what you can for the victims of hurricane Katrina.
This has nothing to do with the scope of this page, but our thoughts and hearts go out today to those that have lost their homes and maybe even their loved ones in the Katrina disaster in the US gulf states. The aftermath of hurricane Katrina is unveiling as perhaps the worst disaster in US history. We have learned that the family of our dear friend T. is all-right, although evacuated from New Orleans, but we know that many, many families are not so lucky. We urge all our readers to see what you can do to contribute small or large to those who have nothing left in the world. See American Red Cross for on-line donations and FEMA for additional information. Thank you. /Ed.

1 September 2005






Water tap frost protection sock.
Now that fall is on the way (oh, yes), maybe this little invention can be worth considering. It is an insulated bag supposed to be a faucet cover for your outside faucet and provide frost protection during winter. The bag has a weatherproofed outside and an Thinsulate™ lining just as some mitts and gloves do. The question is if not such a mitt would be just as effective? And besides, you might wonder how cold the part of the pipe that is just inside the wall gets, and how cold the inside of the bag gets after a week of sub-zero temperatures? But maybe it is worth trying. Available at Brookstone for USD 7:95. Via Book of Joe.

1 September 2005



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TIPS AND TRICKS | APPAREL | BAR AND DRINKS | BICYCLE | CAR AND DRIVING | COMPUTERS | CULTURE AND LEARNING | GARDENING | HOME | INTERNET | KITCHEN AND COOKING | OUTDOORS | PETS | TRAVEL | WORK AND BUSINESS


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