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Root Simple

A Brief History of Secret Drawers

A Brief History of Secret Drawers

In 1642 a young couple, Robert and Susannah Jones, bought a large used chest. The couple lived with the chest for 20 years until, one day, they decided to move it. They heard a rattling inside and did

Saturday Tweets: Vive la Revolution!

Our world is burning down in front of our eyes, and too few are acting. It's all hands on deck time. We need to inspire our friends, neighbors, siblings, colleagues to act. We need to talk about
123 Beekeeping Mistakes I Have Made

123 Beekeeping Mistakes I Have Made

On the podcast this week is a recording of a talk I gave to the Long Beach Beekeepers on Sunday August 5th 2018. Several times you’ll hear me refer to the “Backwards Beekeepers.” The Backwards
On the Possibilities and Problems of Groups

On the Possibilities and Problems of Groups

I’ve had several conversations with friends recently about the difficulty of organizing groups. Too often a bunch of people get together for a worthwhile cause only to see numbers dwindle, enthusiasm

Saturday Tweets: Dogs, Land Use, Kale and Rocket Cats

Adam Curtis on the dangers of self-expression: https://t.co/No2cjEZ9dO — Root Simple (@rootsimple) August 4, 2018 Cities in CA inland areas must make street tree changes to adapt to future climate.
Who’s Gonna Care?

Who’s Gonna Care?

In lieu of a Root Simple podcast today (it’s just too hot in our editing room) I’m going to point you to Douglas Rushkoff’s always engaging Team Human Podcast. You should listen to them all but I want
John Ruskin On Perfection and the Nature of the Gothic

John Ruskin On Perfection and the Nature of the Gothic

In a one of his attempts to hold back the tides of the great industrial crappening, William Morris published a beautiful edition of an excerpt from John Ruskin’s sprawling tome, The Stones of Venice.

Saturday Tweets: A Big Excuse to Post Cats with Mustaches

$1 million San Francisco loft has diagonal support beam that cuts through the middle of the kitchen https://t.co/KmVhOQUMU5 — Root Simple (@rootsimple) July 27, 2018 What would Henry David think?
Irving Gill: the Greatest Architect You’ve Never Heard Of

Irving Gill: the Greatest Architect You’ve Never Heard Of

Last week I met up with a friend in San Diego, where I lived for ten years in the 1990s. I took a long walk between downtown and the neighborhood where Kelly and I shared an apartment, Hillcrest
The Amazing Online Building Technology Heritage Library

The Amazing Online Building Technology Heritage Library

Are you an old house nerd? Do you enjoy old building material catalogs? Get ready to cancel Netflix. The geniuses at the Association of Preservation Technology (APT) have teamed up with Internet
What to Do With Junk Mail and Shredded Paper

What to Do With Junk Mail and Shredded Paper

Perhaps obsessing over reducing junk mail while simultaneously generating a metric freak-ton of construction debris is a bit of a pathological redirection, but I’m really tired of the daily chore of

Saturday Tweets: Rats, DIY Plastic Recycling and Old Flatbread

We can't do it all ourselves: https://t.co/9M1WvjSGZ6 — Root Simple (@rootsimple) July 21, 2018 These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products: https://t.co/Agu7r1KLdQ — Root Simple
122 Artist, Gardener and Activist Renee Garner

122 Artist, Gardener and Activist Renee Garner

There’s a struggle in cities, around the world, to make streets safer for everyone, especially our children and elders. One hundred years of car-centric planning has created cities and suburbs that
Random Acts of Beauty

Random Acts of Beauty

Thank you librarians of this world for your shelves of suggested new books. The librarians of LA’s Central Library have been a big part of my effort to cut down on screen time in the evening (during

Saturday Tweets: Cow Appreciation Day

How Online Hobbyists Can Reaffirm Your Faith in the Internet https://t.co/889gaIDHAu — Root Simple (@rootsimple) July 14, 2018 Fascinating: A new theory explains why certain plants spread worldwide–
Make Your Own Molding With a Table Saw

Make Your Own Molding With a Table Saw

Not much posting this week as we’re racing to finish the home restoration project we began in May. I spent the past week installing another wood floor and replicating 1920s era molding that is no

Shed Factoids and Resources

After hours of research attempting to find a kind of grand unified theory of sheds I gave up realizing that the topic is so deep, thanks to the tiny house movement, that the best I could do would be

Saturday Tweets: Spiders, Boomerangs and a New HGTV

Spiders Use Earth’s Electric Field to Fly Hundreds of Miles – The Atlantic https://t.co/Doy3LLVc9t — Root Simple (@rootsimple) July 5, 2018 I just published “Survival of the Richest”
An Improvised Roof Rack for Lumber and Sheet Goods

An Improvised Roof Rack for Lumber and Sheet Goods

Lately I’ve had to transport 4 x 8 sheet goods on top of our undersized chariot. Thanks to YouTuber Dan Pattison, I now have a handy method. It’s as simple as attaching 2 x 4s to an existing roof
121 Beekeeping, Fireworks, Solar Power and Extending Wi-Fi with Will of the Weekend Homestead

121 Beekeeping, Fireworks, Solar Power and Extending Wi-Fi with Will of the Weekend Homestead

Will of the Weekend Homestead returns to the Root Simple podcast to talk about how to get into beekeeping without busting the bank, fireworks, rigging up a simple solar power system and extending your