Dyslexie

A new typeface is making life easier for people everywhere who live with dyslexia.

Christian Boer, 33, is a Dutch graphic designer who created the font that makes reading easier for people, like himself, who have dyslexia, according to his website. Now, he’s offering it to people for free.

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The typeface is called “Dyslexie,” and Boer first developed it as a final thesis project when he was a student at the Utrecht Art Academy in the Netherlands. The font makes reading easier for people with dyslexia by varying the letter shapes more, making it harder to confuse similarly shaped letters like “b” and “d,” for example.

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Dyslexia is a language-based processing disorder resulting in a learning disability often characterized by difficulties with accurate word recognition, decoding and spelling, according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities.

Research suggests that about 17 percent of the population has dyslexia, according to PBS.

Watch the video below to hear more about how “Dyslexie” works:

Boer hopes the font will create more awareness around the problem of dyslexia, according to a press release.

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Traditional fonts are designed solely from an aesthetic point of view, which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognize for people with dyslexia,” his website reads. “Oftentimes, the letters of a word are confused, turned around or jumbled up because they look too similar.”

The font has been proven to get positive results, including a reduction in flipping and mirroring of letters and increased ease in reading for dylsexics. Independent studies at the University of Twente and Amsterdam found that nearly three-quarters of the students surveryed reported making fewer reading mistakes when taking a test written in the font, according to “Dyslexie’s” 2012 research.

To download “Dyslexie,” or for more information, visit this site.

h/t Reddit Uplifting News

Tracy Johns. Teacher.

This is a moving, intelligent concise post from the battles lines to preserve educational values in BC. Thank you, Tracy Johns.

 

Teaching in 2014.   September 3rd, 2014.

I am a teacher in B.C. and I have been quiet (for the most part) about the ongoing conflict and subsequent job action. Quiet even when reading comments online and in the papers attacking me as being selfish, lazy and greedy. Quiet even when the guy in the white SUV drove past me on the picket line yesterday screaming at me to “get back to work #$%^ing lazy…” There are a lot of statistics and ‘facts’ being put forth by the government but these are my facts, my reality.

1. I taught Grade 4 last year with 29 students. 6 students were on an Individual Education Plan and at least 10 more required a lot of support. More than I could give.

2. I had an amazing Education Assistant that worked tirelessly to help as many students as possible but was often required to follow and keep safe, the one student that had such high learning needs and anxiety that he would run from the class, building and even the school grounds.

3. I had students that would hit, punch, kick, swear, yell, cry, throw chairs etc. Students that were in and out of foster care, students that came to school hungry. With all these needs I often did not get to those who were not acting out. Consequently I found out months after it happened that one of my student’s parents had gotten divorced. She certainly could have used some extra attention and support.

4. You would think that this was a very unusual case and that most classes are not like this wouldn’t you? Unfortunately this is becoming the norm.

5. Despite the challenges, I LOVE my job. I genuinely care about all of my students and couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

6. B.C. has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the country, B.C.kids are funded $1000 each per year less than the national average while B.C.is one of the wealthiest provinces. $1000 less? How is that OK? (This makes me furious as a parent and as a teacher)

I have run the full gamut of emotions about this over the summer. Panic about how to feed my family (despite the stats being put forth- at 7 years of teaching without yet getting a continuing contract I make less as a teacher than I did at Starbucks), fear about the future for all our children, and finally anger. I have had enough. If you still think this is about a pay raise or better benefits then you really need to educate yourself. We will never, not ever, get back the money that we lost since this job action started.

Teachers, and everyone that works in a caring profession, go out of their way to make sure those in their care get what they need. After more than a decade of cuts,we can no longer stretch to cover what is not being funded. I can’t continue to buy supplies for students and the classroom that should be covered, parents should not have to hold bake sales, poinsettia sales, chocolate fundraisers etc., to cover what should be funded by our tax dollars. (Yes, teachers pay those taxes too). Children deserve classrooms that are not overcrowded, with enough support and textbooks- ones that you didn’t use yourself when you were in school.

At this point we need to ask ourselves what kind of society we want to live in. Are we so afraid of not being able to afford the latest gadgets and fancy cars/clothes/houses that we buy into the fear that the government is putting forth about affordability? I want to live in a society where children are well educated and taught to think critically, have empathy and learn to care about each other and our environment. I don’t want to see B.C. sold off to the highest bidder at the expense of our environment and our children. School is not a business to produce mindless masses ready for the workforce. Everyone should be standing up together and saying that this is not right. This is not just the teachers’ fight, this is a fight for everyone who values an educated society.

Inaction is no longer an option. If you aren’t standing up for what is right in this world you are just as guilty as those in power who are making the wrong decisions. Instead of clucking your tongue at the madness or burying your head in the sand hoping it will all sort itself out (or worse blaming the teachers) I challenge you to look at what is really going on and take a stand. I am fighting for your children and mine. If you aren’t standing up and doing the same, why aren’t you?

Farewell Concrete

Here are some great ideas for getting free of our reliance on concrete-an industrial process which creates a great deal of CO2 pollution. Fly ash from gassification is one of these ideas.

Would you live in a house made of sand and bacteria? It’s a surprisingly good idea

<strong>Had enough of concrete blocks?</strong> The hugely useful (but harmfully polluting) material responsible for the rise and rise of the modern city can no longer claim to be the only material available to architects.

Had enough of concrete blocks? The hugely useful (but harmfully polluting) material responsible for the rise and rise of the modern city can no longer claim to be the only material available to architects.

Edinburgh College of Art student Peter Trimble has created a possible solution using little more than sand and urea. <strong><a href='http://petertrimble.co.uk/microbial-manufacture' target='_blank'>Dupe</a></strong> is almost as structurally strong as concrete but produces no greenhouse gasses. Trimble's system is not yet ready for production, but similar concrete alternatives are already available to builders...

Edinburgh College of Art student Peter Trimble has created a possible solution using little more than sand and urea. Dupe is almost as structurally strong as concrete but produces no greenhouse gasses. Trimble’s system is not yet ready for production, but similar concrete alternatives are already available to builders…

Builders laying the concrete foundations of the Wilshire Grand Tower -- the skyscraper set to become Los Angeles' tallest building -- <a href='http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140217005645/en/Headwaters-Fly-Ash-Record-Setting-Los-Angeles#.UyhZevl_uDl' target='_blank'>substituted a quarter of the cement </a>with
Fly Ash” The waste ash from coal combustion at power plants in Utah and Arizona increases the durability of concrete while offsetting the CO2 cost of cement production.

Builders laying the concrete foundations of the Wilshire Grand Tower — the skyscraper set to become Los Angeles’ tallest building — substituted a quarter of the cement with “Fly Ash” The waste ash from coal combustion at power plants in Utah and Arizona increases the durability of concrete while offsetting the CO2 cost of cement production.

Japanese firm TIS & Partners have created a new building material called “CO2 Structure,” dreamed-up in the aftermath of the March 2011 Japanese Tsunami as an emergency rebuilding material than can be put in place quicker than slow-drying concrete. By injecting carbon dioxide into a silica (sand and quartz), they managed to developed a carbon-negative building material with twice the tensile strength of brick.

Natural building materials are a popular choice for those looking to cut CO2 emissions. Making bricks from hemp results in a net decrease in carbon dioxide levels, as the growing plant takes in CO2. These bricks are made of hemp combined with clay, while <strong><a href='http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/10/hempcrete-hemp-house_n_1506662.html' target='_blank'>Hempcrete</a></strong> (a mixture of hemp and lime) is sold internationally as a thermal walling material.

Natural building materials are a popular choice for those looking to cut CO2 emissions. Making bricks from hemp results in a net decrease in carbon dioxide levels, as the growing plant takes in CO2. These bricks are made of hemp combined with clay, while Hempcrete (a mixture of hemp and lime) is sold internationally as a thermal walling material.

<strong><a href='http://www.ecovativedesign.com/' target='_blank'>Ecovative</a></strong><strong> </strong>already make packaging from agricultural waste and mushroom

Ecovative is already make packaging from agricultural waste and mushroom “mycelium” — and their next project is building materials. Founder Eben Bayer describes mycelium as “essentially the ‘roots’ of mushrooms” and says it is very good at binding together organic materials, which could one day make building blocks.

Another natural material with carbon negative production: lowly straw is making a return to construction. In America's
Straw bales are used as a both a structural and insulating material. Companies such as UK’s ModCell manufacture pre-fabricated wall and roof panels from straw.

Another natural material with carbon negative production: lowly straw is making a return to construction. In America’s “Nebraska Method” homes, straw bales are used as a both a structural and insulating material. Companies such as UK’s ModCell manufacture pre-fabricated wall and roof panels from straw.

Traditional building materials such as mud and <strong><a href='http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2513154/Farmer-builds-house-just-150-using-materials-skips--current-tenant-pays-rent-MILK.html' target='_blank'>cob</a></strong> -- a mixture of sand, clay, straw and earth -- have been proposed as a non-polluting alternative building material for small buildings, such as households. One <a href='http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenerliving/10478442/Michael-Bucks-cob-house-Does-the-answer-to-the-housing-crisis-lie-within-a-150-cottage.html' target='_blank'>man from Oxford</a>, UK claims to have built a Hobbit-like home from cob for less than $250.

Traditional building materials such as mud and cob — a mixture of sand, clay, straw and earth — have been proposed as a non-polluting alternative building material for small buildings, such as households. One man from Oxford, UK claims to have built a Hobbit-like home from cob for less than $250.

Recycled materials are making up an increasing part of building blocks. <strong><a href='http://www.aggregate.com/products-and-services/blocks/enviroblock/' target='_blank'>Enviroblocks</a></strong> are made from over 70% recycled aggregates, bound with cement, while <strong><a href='http://www.durisol.net/pdfs/Durisol%20Flyer.pdf' target='_blank'>Durisol</a></strong> units contain 80% recycled woodchip, which is wrapped around steel bars for strength.

Recycled materials are making up an increasing part of building blocks.Enviroblocks are made from over 70% recycled aggregates, bound with cement, while Durisol units contain 80% recycled woodchip, which is wrapped around steel bars for strength.

Clay blocks with

Clay blocks with “honeycomb” structured cross-sections — often known asZiegel Blocks — have been common in some parts of Europe for decades, but are now spreading far beyond. Manufacturing blocks from clay rather than concrete means less CO2 emissions from production, while the blocks insulating characteristics can cut a building’s energy costs.

Cutting concrete pollution could mean rethinking our approach to construction from start to finish. Housing made from recycled <strong><a href='http://www.gizmag.com/infiniski-shipping-container-architecture/22365/' target='_blank'>shipping containers</a></strong> has popped up all over the world and provides one low-cost, low-emission solution. Are there others?

Cutting concrete pollution could mean rethinking our approach to construction from start to finish. Housing made from recycled shipping containers has popped up all over the world and provides one low-cost, low-emission solution. Are there others?

— Peter Trimble found his formula through trial and error. A design student at the University of Edinburgh, he was aiming to produce an artistic exhibition for a module on sustainability, when he stumbled on “Dupe,” a living alternative to concrete.

A lab technician introduced Trimble to Sporosarcina pasteurii, a bacterium with binding qualities, sometimes used to solidify soil to hold road signs in place. The student tested it with one of the world’s most abundant resources – sand. Pumping bacterial solution into a sand-filled mould, he added nutrients, urea derived from urine as fertilizer and calcium. After a year, and hundreds of failed experiments, this process manufactured a stool around 70% the compression strength of concrete.

The process requires less than one-sixth of the energy used in concrete production, and is completely biodegradable. Crucially, Trimble believes his mechanism has the added benefit that it could be employed by anyone, anywhere.

“Once you have the basic framework it should be transferable. Imagine a Tsunami-hit farm in Indonesia that is not getting supplies. You could use sand and bacteria on site, practically free, and have shelter housing that is far more permanent.”

Trimble is working with NGOs to apply Dupe to Aboriginal settlements and insecure regions of Morocco. But while the applications are new and experimental, the concept of growing the material for our built environment is increasingly regarded as not merely interesting, but essential.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the construction industry accounts for 40% of the world’s C02 emissions, 40% of U.S. landfill and has been uniquely resistant to change. Concrete, bricks and cement have remained the dominant materials since the industrial revolution in the early 19th century, and as pressure mounts on resources and climate, scientists and architects are looking to the natural world for solutions.

Buildingbacteria

Bacteria have been at the center of alternative methods. North Carolina start-upBiomason is growing bricks on an industrial scale, cultivated from sand by microorganisms. The company has won major prizes and funding for the bricks, which will be used in a structure for the first time this year in a pedestrian walkway, ahead of building projects across the world.

Similar processes are being developed to build in the most challenging environments. British architects see an opportunity to cultivate new life in deserts, while NASA believe bacteria could allow the construction of bases on other planets without the headache of ferrying the material there.

While bacterial processes save heavily on carbon, there are concerns that by-products could be poisonous. But another living brick — made from mushrooms — has no such problems.

Functional fungus

New York firm Ecovative are producing materials that combine agricultural waste products such as corn stock with mushroom mycelium — the roots of the vegetable. Over five days the mycelium binds the waste to create a block with a stronger compressive strength than concrete, with none of the heat or energy required by regular bricks.

The product is in commercial use for packaging, producing thousands of units a month, and the company is expanding into construction. Ecovative believe that in addition to being renewable and decomposable, natural properties give them a performance advantage.

“It has great insulation properties”, says Sam Harrington, Ecovative Director of Sustainability. “A key benefit is flame resistance — without adding any chemicals we were able to achieve a Class A fire rating”.

There is scope for development. Mycelium effectively dies once its growth is complete, but Harrington is looking ahead to material that does not. “We are exploring ideas of living materials, perhaps that are self-healing or respond to leaks with indicators.”

Ecovative are in dialogue with major construction companies, and the material will soon be tested on a historic scale. A collaboration with architects The Living won the prestigious MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) PS-1 competition, and their creation will be installed in the museum courtyard this summer.

Growing for gold

“Hy-Fi” will be the largest ever grown structure, and first large building to claim zero carbon emissions. It will be formed of three 40-foot spiral towers constructed from the mushroom material, with varying properties of brick to maximise light and ventilation.

The material’s versatility offers unique design opportunities, says David Benjamin, lead architect of the project.

“You can dial in almost any performance you want. You can mix and match a variety of properties such as water resistance or UV resistance, lightness or durability. You can grow the bricks in almost any shape”

Benjamin says the bio-bricks could be made to last as long as traditional materials, but believes architecture must embrace temporary structures.

“It’s essential to recognize that not all materials should last for centuries. A lot of the steel in our buildings will last longer than we need. Our idea is a building that be made locally and quickly, and then have a plan for when the life of the building is over.”

Future applications would include pop-up stores, festival “tents” and emergency shelters, says Benjamin, but there are greater hopes for the material within the industry.

Stronger than concrete

“I could imagine every structure you would built out of bricks”, says Dirk Hebel, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Construction at the Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore. “No high-rises, but smaller scale structures and houses. The material is stronger than concrete, with better insulation capacities”.

The challenge will come in commercializing the products, Hebel feels. “There is huge demand for alternative materials. The question is how easy it is to penetrate the existing market. This needs time and a couple of buildings to show the possibilities”.

Stealing from nature

Another, more radical approach takes the material from nature but also allows it to build the structure. Michael Pawlyn, director of Exploration Architecture, is a leading figure in biomimicry, having previously applied natural processes to create man-made forests in England and the Sahara Desert. His latest project to grow a “small venue for spoken word performances” from undersea biorock was recently unveiled at the Architecture Foundation in London.

“In biology, complex structures achieve resource efficiency by putting things in exactly the right place, which is very difficult with made materials”, says Pawlyn. “Our ways should deliver significant resource savings.”

Drawing on the natural accumulation of coral reefs, his team would install a steel frame in the deep ocean and leave it to attract material. Growth would be focused on specific areas of need using an electrical current.

“We’re interested in looking at its structural growth patterns. We have stress gauges on the structure to measure force in particular areas. If one is highly stressed, we can input more current so the rate of deposition matches the force.”

Pawlyn believes the structure could be built within two years, for consideration at scale. As with Ecovative, a key challenge ahead is to integrate still-living material to allow intelligent biosensors that respond to the building occupants.

Innovators in this space acknowledge the ongoing barriers presented in an industry that has resisted modernization. But from rock to fungus, sand to space dust, the use of materials and processes designed by nature herself offer both a solution to the sustainability crisis, and a glimpse of our new built environment: clean, efficient, and alive.

Carbon Neutrality is not enough.

US Believes only way out of global warming is to go carbon negative

Nuclear power plant

US is looking at ways of becoming carbon-negative.

A good start would be to deny the XL Pipeline. However: sequestration has its advocates. To suck up some of the dangerous CO2 levels of the past few decades.

With the mostly failed campaign to prevent climate change from raising global temperatures by more than 2 degrees Celsius, and no real prospect of rolling out significant amounts of renewable power generation in time to prevent a global meltdown, it looks like society only has two real options: Roll out a lot of nuclear power stations right now, or start burying (sequestering) gigatons of carbon dioxide underground. The nuclear option is looking unlikely — but sequestering carbon might just work, if some recent studies are to be believed. A new report from the Risky Business Project has laid out the long-term consequences of continued climate change for various geographical areas of the United States. Rather than focusing on incredibly dense scientific language, the RBP is led by the business community and emphasizes research conducted by economic firms. The goal was to create a report that would discuss the disruptive impact of climate change on businesses and the US economy. The result is an approachable report that discusses likely impacts to the US by splitting the country into multiple regions and estimating the chances of various outcomes. The following graph, for example, shows how the increasing likelihood of extreme weather events impacts observed conditions, even if no single storm, heat wave, or abnormally cold winter can be directly linked to global warming.

ExtremeWeather

With our mostly failed attempt to keep climate change below 2 Celisus, the new critical question is how governments might hold the increase to as low a level as possible. Despite improvements, no one seriously expects renewable energy to be ramped up in time to prevent climate change far in excess of 2C — the only way to avoid this limit would be to convert to nuclear or renewable power at a breakneck pace across the entire planet for the next few decades.It’s not going to happen. So what can we do? It turns out, we might be able to do rather a lot. Whenever the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issues its reports, a great deal of energy gets expended arguing about the reality of climate change. Some of the IPCC’s  more interesting ideas go undiscussed as a result, including the long-term potential for CCS — carbon capture and storage. According to the IPCC, CCS systems are absolutely vital to minimizing the long-term impact of greenhouse gas emissions. [Read: Nuclear power is our only hope, or, the greatest environmentalist hypocrisy of all time.]

Going carbon negative

Many companies today tout various technologies they claim allow them to be carbon neutral, but the only way to hold climate change below 2C in the long term is to actually go carbon negative. This can be achieved through the use of bio-energy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS for short. The idea is straightforward — as of last year, approximately 10% of total planetary energy was provided by biomass. Plants absorb CO2 as they grow, but the process of turning biomass into fuel typically releases that energy back into the atmosphere. What the IPCC proposes is using the biomass for energy, then using some of the energy generated to sequester the carbon underground in either old oil and gas deposits or in porous rock (known as saline formations) across the US.

Saline formations

Estimates of how much carbon could be stored in saline formations vary widely; the characteristics of the rock strata and its ability to store CO2 over the long-term are barely known — until recently, such rock held little interest for the oil and gas companies that have conducted most US geological research and therefore only a little information is available. The IPCC believes that carbon sequestration is vital to limiting the impact of CO2 buildup — if we fail to do so, we could see spiking values well in excess of 600 ppm (currently we stand a little over 400 ppm).

BECCS and carbon sequestration

The long-term goal is to sequester up to two gigatons of carbon per year by 2050, though scientists at Stanford have estimated that as much as 10 gigatons of carbon could be sequestered through this method by that point. Carbon sequestration in geological formations isn’t the only option, but it’s one of the few ideas that’s both achievable and reasonably well understood at this point. There are a few technologies being developed that might help us with carbon sequestration, but really there just hasn’t been much research into it yet. Other ideas, like seeding the ocean with iron particles to increase carbon sequestration have problems of their own — locking more CO2 into the depths increases ocean acidification, which is already becoming problematic for a number of species. When the ocean is too acidic, many crustaceans can’t form strong shells — the calcium carbonate that they rely on is in short supply. Coral is also negatively impacted, which reduces habitat and food supply for the species that depend on its abundance. [Read: ‘Supergreen’ hydrogen creation could capture carbon from the air and de-acidify the oceans.] The sheer vastness of the ocean means it may be possible to lock up some carbon in specific areas, but overall, there may not be enough headroom to meaningfully defray the long-term environmental impact of continued fossil fuel use. The alternative is to find a way to sequester carbon geologically — or get used to a world without any ice caps.

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Tiébélé

The African Village where every House is a work of Art

Thanks: Olga Stavrakis from TravelwithOlga.com  Much changed since I was there……original photo collection is amazing:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/rietje/sets/72157615598783227/with/3375700723/

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

All photography by Rita Willaert

Burkina Faso is by no means an area frequented by tourists, but at the base of a hill overlooking the surrounding sun-drenched West African savannah lies an extraordinary village, a circular 1.2 hectare complex of intricately embellished earthen architecture. It is the residence of the chief, the royal court and the nobility of the Kassena people, who first settled the region in the 15th century, making them one of the oldest ethnic groups in Burkina Faso.

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

I found these rare photographs of the village from a dedicated Flickr user Rita Willaert who traveled to Tiébélé in 2009 despite all odds (see all her photos of the village here). The village keeps itself extremely isolated and closed to outsiders, most likely to ensure the conservation and integrity of their structures and to protect the local traditions.  There is interest in developing the site as a cultural tourism destination to generate economic resources for conservation but it is a delicate process.

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

Travel blogger, Olga Stavrakis from TravelwithOlga.com also visited the site in 2009 and recalls her visit. She writes:

… It was only through a process of year long negotiations that we were permitted to enter the royal palace the entrance of which is pictured here. They were awaiting us and the grand old men of the village, the nobility, were all seated waiting for us. Each of the villages has muslims and animists (local religions) and no one much cares who believes in what. However, we were told in advance that we must not wear anything red and we may not carry an umbrella. Only the chiefly noble family is permitted that privilege and to do so would constitute a great affront to our hosts… 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

A royal residence in West Africa is not what we might think of when we imagine royal palaces. In Tiébélé, the Cour Royale is made up of a series of small mud brick structures inside a compound, covered with natural clay paints in elaborate geometric patterns to differentiate them from the homes of the common people.

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

The chief’s house has the smallest door for protection.

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

Olga and her group were even granted access to the interiors of the structures and found that even in a palace compound, the kitchen is simple, differing only from the rest of the kitchens in West Africa by the presence of a few extra clay and iron pots.

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

“Most meals are cooked in one pot over a brazier,” explains Olga, “There is little cutting and preparation required. They generally make a starch foofoo or thick paste like porridge which is then dipped into a sauce of vegetables and peppers. The richer the family the more goes into the sauce. Foofoo is made of cassava, yam, plantain, or corn.”

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

Some of the most elaborately decorated houses however are not actually living quarters but mausoleums for the dead, who are laid to rest in the same compound.  The photograph by Rita Willaert below is an example of one of the village mausoleums.

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

Some of the art is symbolic while a lot of it is purely decoration– all a result of the traditional skills of the isolated Kassena culture. DIY Level: 1000!

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

 

Cour Royale à Tiébélé

 

See dozens more photos of the village by Rita Willaert and read more about Olga’s account of her tour around the village on Travel with Olga

Doors Recycled–Reused–Rescued

 

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Door / window repurpose in the garden

Repurposed Doors In The Garden

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Old Paned Window planters

Old Paned Window planters

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old wrought iron garden gate

old wrought iron garden gate

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decorated garden gate

decorated garden gate

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Old doors.

Old doors.

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Image detail for -Primitive Country Decor Stands The Test Time Pictures

Image detail for -Primitive Country Decor Stands The Test Time Pictures

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old window chair

old window chair

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weathered door

weathered door

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use old doors to decorate!

use old doors to decorate!

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LOVE this Garden Gate~

LOVE this Garden Gate~

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reuse a panel door

reuse a panel door

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Great idea!         love!
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good reuse of doors

good reuse of doors

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Screen door trellis

Screen door trellis

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Old door turned into clock

Old door turned into clock

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backyard swing <3

backyard swing ♥

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Recycled garden backdrop    Cool garden installation made from recycled windows, a door frame and wrought iron.

Recycled garden backdrop Cool garden installation made from recycled windows, a door frame and wrought iron.

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Our summer yard art project.  Repurposed old door and window frame with a pallet path :)

Our summer yard art project. Repurposed old door and window frame with a pallet path 🙂

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A mirror, shutters and a gate painted black — gives the illusion of a door that leads to another side beyond the fence.

A mirror, shutters and a gate painted black — gives the illusion of a door that leads to another side beyond the fence.

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Potting bench with old sink and door ---> Love the shelves...but maybe a cupboard?

Potting bench with old sink and door —> Love the shelves…but maybe a cupboard?

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Old doors are easily found on garbage day. This old door must have been from the 70's.  Perfectly shabby making it ideal for a garden (plant) bench

Old doors are easily found on garbage day. This old door must have been from the 70’s. Perfectly shabby making it ideal for a garden (plant) bench

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A screen door project my husband made for my mom :)  Nice garden addition!!!

A screen door project my husband made for my mom 🙂 Nice garden addition!!!

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yearroundveggiegardener.blogspot.com

Niki Jabbour - The Year Round Veggie Gardener: I'm back.. with wonderful winter garden photos to share!

Niki Jabbour – The Year Round Veggie Gardener: I’m back.. with wonderful winter garden photos to share!

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yearroundveggiegardener.blogspot.com

teencraftconnection.com

DIY Vertical Kitchen garden & seed starting trays. Single repuposed bi-fold shuttered closet door and dollar store container trays. Materials used and the how Mom did it on Teen Craft Connection's page.

DIY Vertical Kitchen garden & seed starting trays. Single repuposed bi-fold shuttered closet door and dollar store container trays. Materials used and the how Mom did it on Teen Craft Connection’s page.

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teencraftconnection.com
Gorgeous & Colorful shed made of ten recycled doors, discovered in yes, you guessed it: Door County, WI

Gorgeous & Colorful shed made of ten recycled doors, discovered in yes, you guessed it: Door County, WI

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indulgy.com

repurposing old doors and windows | greenhouse made from old windows, love the tin siding (old tin ceiling ...

repurposing old doors and windows | greenhouse made from old windows, love the tin siding (old tin ceiling …

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indulgy.com

blog.bernideens.com

There's so many ways to use old doors in the garen. This one is very romantic looking.

There’s so many ways to use old doors in the garen. This one is very romantic looking.

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blog.bernideens.com

junkmarketstyle.com

Dressing up the Yard, My attempt at re-purposing an old bi-fold door

Dressing up the Yard, My attempt at re-purposing an old bi-fold door

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junkmarketstyle.com
Often we have problem on what to do with our defective doors, they would take a lot of our storage space! But if you are a crafty person, then you can upcycle them for a different purpose!

Often we have problem on what to do with our defective doors, they would take a lot of our storage space! But if you are a crafty person, then you can upcycle them for a different purpose!

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flickr.com

That door should be saved and not left to     rot.

That door should be saved and not left to rot.

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flickr.com
garden bench made from repurposed door...

garden bench made from repurposed door…

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fairenotions.blogspot.com

Repurposed Door garden shed.  But of course!  Why didn't I think of this?  Okay girls... looks like GG is a hunting at her ReStore.

Repurposed Door garden shed. But of course! Why didn’t I think of this? Okay girls… looks like GG is a hunting at her ReStore.

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fairenotions.blogspot.com

flickr.com

reusing glass doors from a for funky decor in garden - maybe one day when we have a bigger place

reusing glass doors from a for funky decor in garden – maybe one day when we have a bigger place

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flickr.com

repinly.at-my-style.com

garden decor: Re-purposed old French doors used for pseudo-wall/screen in the patio setting...love!  Idea to note: would start trailing vines to drape over

garden decor: Re-purposed old French doors used for pseudo-wall/screen in the patio setting…love! Idea to note: would start trailing vines to drape over

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repinly.at-my-style.com

myrepurposedlife.net

Door turned into a shelf; could easily be made into bench with storage underneath.  Picture the window panes with b/w photos in each.  Sweet!

Door turned into a shelf; could easily be made into bench with storage underneath. Picture the window panes with b/w photos in each. Sweet!

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myrepurposedlife.net

hometalk.com

Garden Salvage  I took an old door and coated the glass with mirror paint, then I mounted it on my fence. I added some porch poles and bunk bed slats as a frame around the door; decorating it with paint and flower pot finials. I added a decorative piece of steel as a topper and put some stepping stones in front of it. This is my

Garden Salvage I took an old door and coated the glass with mirror paint, then I mounted it on my fence. I added some porch poles and bunk bed slats as a frame around the door; decorating it with paint and flower pot finials. I added a decorative piece of steel as a topper and put some stepping stones in front of it. This is my “secret” door to nowhere.

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hometalk.com

landliebe-cottage-garden.blogspot.com.au

Re-purposed shutters as a garden screen. This is a great idea.  We used our front door's -  Old wrought iron doors for the back yard.....the ivy has started climbing.

Re-purposed shutters as a garden screen. This is a great idea. We used our front door’s – Old wrought iron doors for the back yard…..the ivy has started climbing.

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landliebe-cottage-garden.blogspot.com.au

dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com

New Takes On Old Doors: Salvaged Doors Repurposed potting bench for gardeners DIY. I had one of these from the red barn in Modesto. had to sell it when we moved. I guess I will make my next one.

New Takes On Old Doors: Salvaged Doors Repurposed potting bench for gardeners DIY. I had one of these from the red barn in Modesto. had to sell it when we moved. I guess I will make my next one.

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dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com
No instructions, but it looks pretty self-explanatory.

No instructions, but it looks pretty self-explanatory.

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Red, antique door used as a garden gate.  What a great idea!  garden ideas.  vintage doors.  repurposed doors.  gardening.  garden gate.

Red, antique door used as a garden gate. What a great idea! garden ideas. vintage doors. repurposed doors. gardening. garden gate.

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Raffaello D’Andrea. Quadcoptors.

Flying robots learn mind-boggling tricks

Professor Raffaello D'Andrea has devoted his academic life to building better, more intelligent machines. He spent ten years at Cornell University before joining the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) in 2007. He was instrumental in the setting up of the university's Flying Machine Arena -- a testbed for autonomous vehicles which are capable of learning incredible tricks.

Professor Raffaello D’Andrea has devoted his academic life to building better, more intelligent machines. He spent ten years at Cornell University before joining the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) in 2007. He was instrumental in the setting up of the university’s Flying Machine Arena — a testbed for autonomous vehicles which are capable of learning incredible tricks.  VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75VtzpYxaN4#t=19

D'Andrea and his team have taught quadrocopters to work together to catch balls and balance and throw poles to one another.

D’Andrea and his team have taught quadrocopters to work together to catch balls and balance and throw poles to one another.

D'Andrea advises a small group of grad students at ETH Zurich. Together they are creating ever more complex tasks for their fleet of quadrocopters. Here the group can be seen onstage during a presentation at a <a href='http://zurichminds.com/' target='_blank'>Zurich Minds</a> event last year.

D’Andrea advises a small group of grad students at ETH Zurich. Together they are creating ever more complex tasks for their fleet of quadrocopters. Here the group can be seen onstage during a presentation at a Zurich Minds event last year.

At the Flying Machine Arena, two quadrocopters prepare to perform ...

At the Flying Machine Arena, two quadrocopters prepare to perform …

 ... balancing and tossing a pole between them without dropping it.

… balancing and tossing a pole between them without dropping it.

This feat was engineered by ETH Zurich grad student Dario Brescianini. <a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pp89tTDxXuI' target='_blank'>Watch this</a> amazing video of the trick.

This feat was engineered by ETH Zurich grad student Dario Brescianini. Watch this amazing video of the trick.

Quadrocopters are popular now because of the shrinking size and cost of technology, says D'Andrea.

Quadrocopters are popular now because of the shrinking size and cost of technology, says D’Andrea.

Quadrocopters learn how to perform tasks using algorithms created by ETH Zurich. Here, three machines can been seen working together to cradle a ball in a net ...

Quadrocopters learn how to perform tasks using algorithms created by ETH Zurich. Here, three machines can been seen working together to cradle a ball in a net …

... before throwing the ball up in the air and them maneuvering to catch it as it drops back down. Watch video h<a href='http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hyGJBV1xnJI' target='_blank'>ere </a>

… before throwing the ball up in the air and them maneuvering to catch it as it drops back down. Watch video here

ETH Zurich have also put the quadrocopters to work building a six-meter model tower made by stacking blocks one on top of another.

ETH Zurich have also put the quadrocopters to work building a six-meter model tower made by stacking blocks one on top of another.

D'Andrea worked with Gramazio & Kohler architects on the project which was exhibited at the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France.

D’Andrea worked with Gramazio & Kohler architects on the project which was exhibited at the FRAC Centre in Orleans, France.

D'Andrea's academic adventures in robotics have borne fruit in the business world. He co-founded Kiva Systems -- a company which specializes in automated robotic systems for warehouses -- in 2003. The company was sold to Amazon for $775 million in 2012.

D’Andrea’s academic adventures in robotics have borne fruit in the business world. He co-founded Kiva Systems — a company which specializes in automated robotic systems for warehouses — in 2003. The company was sold to Amazon for $775 million in 2012.

The idea for Kiva Systems stemmed from D'Andrea's work at Cornell University's robot soccer team.

The idea for Kiva Systems stemmed from D’Andrea’s work at Cornell University’s robot soccer team.

D'Andrea was system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team which won the RoboCup (an international robotics competition) four times.

D’Andrea was system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team which won the RoboCup (an international robotics competition) four times.

The bold new world of flying robots
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(CNN) — Professor Raffaello D’Andrea isn’t short of admirers for his autonomous flying robots and the amazing tricks they perform.

Every week, he receives a flood of e-mails from excited people telling him how to use them, he says.

“Folks have contacted me about using them to deliver burritos and pizzas, paint walls, do search and rescue, monitor the environment, flying cameras for movies … It’s just endless,” D’Andrea says.

“I’m not going to pass judgment on whether they are good or bad … my role is to show people what is possible.”

It appears those possibilities are growing by the day at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich) where D’Andrea leads a team of researchers at the Flying Machine Arena (FMA).

Set up by D’Andrea five years ago, the arena offers a “sandbox environment” for testing a fleet of progressively acrobatic quadrocopters.

In the beginning, these four-rotor machines learned to flip through 360-degrees, “dance” to music and even play the piano. Today, increasingly complex flight maneuvers are being attempted as quadrocopters work together to build a six-meter tall model tower and juggle balls and poles. It is an extraordinary and slightly befuddling sight to behold.

Read: Billion dollar mission to reach the Earth’s mantle

Quadrocopters are controlled by varying the relative speed of each rotor blades, or pairs of rotor blades to generate thrust and control pitch, roll and yaw. They’ve been around for a long time, says D’Andrea, but what’s making them so popular now as a creative tool is the shrinking size and cost of technology.

“In order to fly these things you need gyros. Only recently have they become small, accurate, and cheap enough to put on these vehicles,” he explains.

The tiny motors driving each rotor are also extremely powerful and cheap now, he says, as are the batteries.

Last month, ETH Zurich released video footage of their latest stunt showing a quadrocopter balancing a pole before tossing it to another quadrocopter which successfully catches and controls the pole.

“We tried various catching maneuvers,” said grad student Dario Brescianini, who D’Andrea and a colleague supervised during the research, “but none of them worked until we introduced a learning algorithm, which adapts parameters of the catching trajectory to eliminate systematic errors.”

It took Brescianini around three months to perfect the move, D’Andrea says, but the infrastructure behind the FMA has taken much longer to build up.

Draped in protective netting and crash mats, the FMA looks like a rather down-at-heal gymnasium on first inspection, but a closer look reveals a high-tech suite of equipment which is crucial to understanding how the ETH’s quadrocopters fly.

Atop the 10-meter cubed space sits a motion capture system (made up of eight cameras) which locate objects in the FMA at rates of more than 200 frames per second.

The data from this indoor GPS system is sent to computers where custom-built software sends commands to the quadrocopters via wifi.

Read: Scientists build human brain inside a supercomputer

“Aerodynamics is a very complex phenomena to model properly. If we can create machines that learn and adapt what they are doing in aerobatics it pushes use towards more intelligent systems. It’s a great research challenge,” D’Andrea says.

Within five years he expects to see a proliferation of flying machines being used in a variety of settings.

There are already companies exploring flying vehicles for inspection and for humanitarian purposes. In the case of the latter, he points to the efforts of Californian-based start-up Matternet.

Founded by Andreas Raptopoulos, the company have ambitious plans to build a network of autonomous vehicles delivering food and aid to inaccessible areas in developing countries.

In between in his other projects at ETH Zurich, which include developing balancing cubes and actuated wingsuits, D’Andrea is also looking for ways to commercialize the university’s innovations. He’s currently in the process of starting a company which aims to maximize the potential of their quadrocopters in the arts and entertainment industry.

If his previous forays into the business world are anything to go by then expect it to be wildly successful.

In 2003, D’Andrea co-founded Kiva Systems, applying the knowledge learnt creating a team of soccer-playing robots at Cornell University.

Read: Search for alien life on Earth

The company, which provides automated robot systems for warehouses, was sold to Amazon for $775 million in 2012.

“When we were doing RoboCup (an international robotics competition) it did not enter my mind that the learnings I would take from my students I had trained could be used to build a company like Kiva Systems,” he says.

“Basically, my mode of operation is really to focus on creating things that have never been done before and push the boundaries of what autonomous systems can do. In the process, do great research and educate people on how to really make things work and the applications will come.”

There seems no limit to what autonomous flying robots might be capable of in the future and their unstoppable rise is increasingly causing concern, particularly their use in espionage and warfare. Suppressing the technology is not an option though, D’Andrea argues.

“I’m a firm believer that if the military use this technology then it’s just a short step away from everyone using it,” he says.

“We don’t want the technology to be misused. The starting point is that our governments don’t misuse the technology. As a society, we should question how much of a role, if any, these robots have in warfare.”

Efforts to outlaw weapon-carrying drones have been gathering speed and support in recent months. NGO Human Rights Watch published a report (Losing Humanity: The Case against Killer Robots) in November 2012 urging governments to pre-emptively ban autonomous weapons. Another campaign, “Stop the Killer Robots,” is being mobilized by the NGO International Committee for Robot Arms Control and is due to launch in April.

Far away from the social and political debates about the misuse of drones, D’Andrea is just keen to promote his teaching philosophy and how students should approach learning.

“I think there needs to be more room for unconstrained creation. We need to provide ways for folks, especially at university, to push the boundaries of what technology can do without being concerned about the immediate commercial application,” he says.

“We should be more concerned about fulfilling our dreams as children. What was it we wanted to do as children? We wanted to fly like birds. Well, why aren’t we doing that?”

 

VIDEO  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75VtzpYxaN4#t=19

STEVES. The Dean of the ALR

harold steves

Harold Steves’ unwavering passion for the land

Rod Mickleburgh

VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Forty-five years after Harold Steves’s first election to Richmond council, the legendary, perennial politician still relishes the whiff of the barn, the lure of the land.

Along with his wife, Kathy, he continues to farm what’s left of his family’s historic Steveston property, growing heirloom vegetables for the seeds and raising a dozen purebred Belted Galloway beef cattle.

Mr. Steves cleans out the barn every morning, and lately, for the first time in half a century or so, he’s been milking, too, forced to “empty” one of the cows that suddenly began producing too much milk.

“It’s fine,” he says, of his new daily chore, “as long as you’re agile enough to avoid the kicks, and you don’t get stuff on your shoes. We’ve come to enjoy having raw milk again for breakfast. I grew up on it.”

It’s all in a day’s work for the remarkable Mr. Steves. A fixture on council since 1968, broken only by a brief win-loss foray into provincial politics, he says he’s as busy now, at the age of 76, as he was back in his heady, activist days of the 1960s.

That’s when his greatest legacy took root. Without Harold Steves and a surreptitious municipal decision to zone his father’s dairy farm for housing, British Columbia might not have its cherished Agricultural Land Reserve, which has protected provincial farmland from development for the past 40 years.

It’s a story Mr. Steves never tires of telling. The residential rezoning meant his father could not get a permit to build the modernized barn he needed, and that was the end of the dairy farm. “It seems like yesterday. I’d just milked the cows and come in for breakfast. That’s when dad gave us the news.”

The calamity galvanized the young Steves. With houses already rising on rich farmland throughout the region, he began pressing his party, the NDP, to endorse the then radical idea of an agricultural land bank. It took three conventions. When the NDP took office in 1972, the basic thrust of Mr. Steves’s farmland preservation policy was implemented.

“I don’t think it would have happened without me getting angry when my dad was turned down for his barn,” he says.

All these years later, Mr. Steves’s passion for the land, for farming, and the environment is undiminished.

“I’m like Rip Van Winkle. I was an activist in the early days. Then, I had a very nice long nap. Now, I’ve woken up. I’ve become a re-activist.”

Mr. Steves keeps on chugging.

Besides his regular council duties, he is organizing an anti-Monsanto protest in October, he is in the forefront of the drive to restrict coal shipments along the Fraser River, he remains involved with the first university-based urban farm school in North America, centred in Richmond, and, for the past six years, he has spearheaded a regional food security strategy as chair of Metro Vancouver’s agricultural committee. “There’s still so much to do,” Mr. Steves says.

He is also forging new paths on the home front.

The Steves’s seed business began when they decided to recreate vegetables grown on their land 100 years earlier. Over time, however, many heritage seeds have disappeared. “Suddenly, what we’ve been doing for 30 years is in demand,” Mr. Steves says.

Their prize is a rare variety of tomato called Alpha. “We’ve got the only seed I know of on the entire planet.”

As for beef, the Steves have been raising grass-fed animals on their own patch of land and their son’s spread near Cache Creek for some time. They sell it directly from their home in Steveston. Orders are booked up until December, 2014. Their success is changing the marketing of produce in B.C., exults Mr. Steves.

His council tenure, meanwhile, is so lengthy, he’s one of the few municipal politicians to be bestowed not one, but two long service awards, as his career goes on and on. When Mr. Steves received his second notation, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie marvelled that Mr. Steves’s electoral victories have now touched six separate decades.

Will he run for another three-year term? “Oh yeah,” Mr. Steves replies, in a flash. “If I just sat at home on the couch, I’d probably start to deteriorate.”

AARON

Brian Knappenberger on capturing the life and death of Aaron Swartz in The Internet’s Own Boy

Aaron Swartz.
Noah BergerAaron Swartz.

In 1986, the U.S. Congress, spooked by the fictional film War Games — in which a hacker unwittingly almost kicks off the Third World War by breaking into NORAD’s supercomputer — enacted the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Nearly three decades later, that same anachronistic law became the basis of an overzealous prosecution and ultimate suicide of one of the online world’s most prodigious sons. In Hot Docs opening gala film The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, director Brian Knappenberger recounts this tragic tale, painting a sympathetic portrait of a technological wunderkind whose remarkable intelligence and benevolent intentions are cowed by a world governed by special interest groups and myopic bureaucrats.

“What I found so moving about Aaron’s life is that he was engaged in so many interesting big picture struggles that I think we’re all dealing with now. He was just a little ahead of us,” Knappenberger explained during a recent phone interview. “Being on that edge is not a comfortable place to be.”

Hot Docs
Hot DocsDirector Brian Knappenberger.

By the time of his suicide in January of 2013, the 26-year-old Swartz had already been a founder of the popular community message board site Reddit, helped create the ubiquitous syndication tool RSS and achieved figurehead status in the online free speech movement by leading the fight to kill the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill. He was also facing 13 felony charges and 50 years in prison for copying 4.8 million academic articles from the JSTOR database at MIT.

Knappenberger’s personal interest in Swartz began soon after that dour January day, when the director sat on a panel with several of those affected by the Internet activist’s passing. “It seemed really unusual to me that (Swartz’s suicide) hadn’t gotten the kind of public attention that a lot of notorious hackers had gotten,” he recalled.“I started filming right then. It was just at the beginning of the tsunami of outpouring for Aaron.”

The film begins with Swartz’s origin story: Reading at an early age, coding clunky but impressive programs and forming an indelible moral code of logic. With the help of internet anonymity, a young Swartz argues his way into the good graces of many of his older peers. As he ages, this same unwavering logic leads Swartz to force Reddit (by then owned by Conde Nast) to let him go when the office’s laid back work style frustrated his active mind, leading Swartz away from the prevalent start up culture and towards the fight for freedom of information.

“Aaron seemed to be after a kind of truth of the universe, in a way — science, research and knowledge and how that could help us better understand how to govern ourselves,” Knappenberger explained. “And yet, his famous line from his “Guerrilla Manifesto” (later used by prosecutors to prove his nefarious intent) is ‘Information is power, and like all power there are those who want to keep it for themselves.’ In some ways that’s the battle we’re in — the battle for science and research that is often stained by corporate greed or political power.”

Told through a series of talking head interviews with Swartz’s family, friends and allies including Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web) and Harvard free-speech activist Lawrence Lessig, the majority of The Internet’s Own Boy details Swartz’s political aspirations as he confronts government inefficiency. Swartz himself occasionally expresses his own frustration with the system in a series of archival interviews in which he appears confident but rarely boastful.

“He didn’t want to be the centre of attention,” Knappenberger said of Swartz. “There was a reluctance to feel better than other people. Even with SOPA, in which he certainly played an important role, he didn’t call a lot of attention to himself. He got attention because people gave it to him but he certainly didn’t eat it up the way Steve Jobs did.”

When he was caught scraping MIT’s servers, Swartz’s freedom fighter ambitions took a dark turn as prosecutors, weary of the freshly exposed WikiLeaks scandal, hoped to make an example of him. The film doesn’t feature interviews with government representatives since, as Knappenberger pointed out, they continually refused to comment.

“The hardest part of this film was getting answers about the case itself from the government,” he stated. “Why were they going after him? Why this person when we went through an entire economic meltdown without even a token prosecution? I tried for a really long time to get answers and they shut me down; they shut everybody down, they haven’t really talked about the case.”

Of course, Swartz saw to it that these questions would never be answered.

Knappenberger’s film doesn’t dwindle on the reasons for his suicide, focusing instead on its effect on Swartz’s friends, family and mentors. But for all the sadness, The Internet’s Own Boy closes with a glimmer of hope as Aaron’s Law, which aims to amend the CFAA to avoid recreating what happened to its namesake, appears to be headed to the congressional floor.

When asked for a status update Knappenberger sighed, “It ended up stalled in committee,” he said. “The reason why, we found out a few weeks ago, is because Oracle [the second largest software company in the world] uses it to go after their competitors.”

Aaron Swartz.

Hot Docs