Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:20 PM
Harnessing the power of collaborative
learning and DIY science, California’s
Maker Faire aims to combat throwaway culture by giving young people the tools
and inspiration to invent.
This article originally appeared at Shareable.
Since 2006, Maker Faire has
provided a space for inventors, tinkerers, builders, crafters, and
wannabe-scientists to showcase their creations with the intent of encouraging
others to dabble in inventing something themselves. With large-scale kinetic
sculptures racing and roaming the grounds, science experiments with electronics
and activities like clothing and apparel re-purposing stations on site,
participants are encouraged to touch, ask questions, and take what they learn
into their own workshops for some fun experimentation outside of the Maker
Faires' big top.
Sherry Huss, vice president of Maker Media, doesn't look the role of a
lab-coat wearing mad scientist that one might expect to be a Maker Faire organizer.
There are no beakers popping up and bubbling over in her office. She wears no
tool belt as she navigates the work spaces of Maker Media's headquarters in Sonoma County, California.
Yet, as anyone who has attended a Maker Faire may believe, Huss has the stuff
that genius is made of. Every year, she meets with her small planning team and
formulates the clever uses of time and space for what is referred to in their
tag line as “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth.”
“We do it the old fashioned way,
with post-it notes and lay them out. And it somehow always magically works
out,” says Huss. “You have to get your head into it because everything that is
happening on site is intentional. There are very few things that just come
together,” she added.
And what comes together for
roughly 100,000 visitors after months of tireless planning is quite brilliant.
In addition to seeing a nearly
40 percent increase in new exhibitors each year, the contagious spirit of Maker
Faire continues to spread from the Maker's Bay Area headquarters to the rest of
the world. With annual events in San Mateo and New York, and
over 100 mini-Faires or satellite events internationally (including Rome, UK and a rotating country Maker Faire Africa, among others),
Maker Faire has an accessible, inclusive vibe that leads many to start
tinkering with or concocting projects of their own.
“Making is all over. It’s not
just the Bay Area,” says Huss. “We don't own the license on it...there are
Space is free for makers, and
event organizers only charge a small fee if an exhibitor plans to offer items
for sale. Maker is also careful with the selection process, focusing on
non-commercial exhibitors and ensuring that all of Maker Faire's inventive
action is family-friendly and safe. Especially with so much
up-close-and-personal, hands-on DIY participation.
“People are there showing their
projects and sharing how they made them,” says Huss. “Our goal is to make
Makers. People who come to the Faire get the confidence to become a Maker.””
Based on feedback from previous
years' attendees, demos and hands-on craft projects and exchanging ideas have
been the biggest draw. Naturally, organizers continue to foster the
collaborative learning that happens at the annual events that span two days. This
year's theme is Maker Spaces, which is sure to be a huge hit among DIY
enthusiasts. Similar to model homes and the nifty kitchen design displays at
big box stores, Maker Faire will showcase these Maker Spaces to plant seeds of
empowerment in the minds of aspiring makers from all walks of life. What
defines these spaces, however, is not simply the presence of tools and a simple
tool bench, but the act of making itself.
“Just look at Mister Jalopy, chronicling the decline
of the work bench in the garage,” says Huss. “Garages now are mostly just
storage places. They used to have a work bench. The toaster broke, you didn't
get a new one; you took it out and fixed it. I am hoping that this movement
will swing it back that way.”
Although the days of dad
tinkering with old radios and small appliances on his work bench in the garage
were often solitary escapes, the makers and fixers of today tend to have a more
collaborative focus. In addition to crews of several hundred helping hands,
sponsors and organizations collaborate to ensure that the festivities go on
without a hitch. In Detroit,
they collaborated with The Henry Ford
Museum and Research Center. In Kansas
City, they had help from the Kauffman Foundation. Portland partnered with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.
Huss isn't directly involved in
programming for all of the Faires outside of New York and the Bay Area, but she
provides training opportunities for those interested in setting up their own
events, ensuring that the infectious Maker spirit spreads to the garages and
minds of the aspiring tinkerer in all of us. After all, Maker is not just a
one-time event. More than anything, Maker is a way of life that brings together
communities in a too-often competitive culture, and encourages--above all
else--collaboration, innovation, and fun.
“I think there is a lot of
(interest) with continuing education and the Maker Space community,” says Huss.
“Like the old grange where people came together; usually around food. It is so
cool for people to come together to make things,” she concludes.
Image by Bridgette
Vanderlaan, Maker Faire.
Friday, April 05, 2013 11:12 AM
With moss, graffiti artists and activists get green, literally speaking.
Quick, what can you make with a handful of moss, some yogurt, and a
can of beer?
Over the last several years, gardeners and graffiti artists
have been discovering common ground—on walls. While it’s difficult to pinpoint
the origin of the moss graffiti movement, Edina Tokodi—a.k.a. Mosstica—seems a
likely source. The Hungarian artist has been putting moss in public spaces since
2004 (above, a work from 2008; below, from 2004).
Since then, word has spread (alongside striking photos) about
how to make and grow this fuzzy paint. Methods vary slightly, but most follow
the general formula of this recipe
from Destructables or this
concoction featuring beer and corn syrup from Gardening Guru. These simple approaches have made the technique
accessible to internationally recognized artists and Occupiers alike.
While moss’s inclination to keep trim makes it a clear
choice for wall growth, the bryophyte has another quality that makes it ideal.
Because the “paint” making process involves putting the moss in a blender, this
technique would only work with a plant that spreads via spores. One drawback to
moss: unless you live in a rainy clime, this art will require upkeep. In drier
regions, the moss must be sprayed religiously.
Set in London,
Anna Garforth’s Grow seems to
encourage the wilderness that’s crept back into an unused plot of land (slated
for redevelopment). “It’s amazing how quickly the wild reclaims its space and
carries on growing even after is has been destroyed,” she writes.
Many are touting moss graffiti as a green alternative to
spray paint— aerosol and solvent free, with fewer cans left on the ground. While
street art techniques like wheatpasting have been environmentally-friendly
options for quite some time, the stunning effects of this green graffiti cannot
green graffiti at Environmental
Graffiti, or check out Good’s
round-up of cool
guerilla gardens from around the world.
Cattle (Brooklyn, 2008) and As It
Started (Budapest, 2004): Mosstika; Occupy: finiculi,
Grow: Anna Garforth
Monday, February 25, 2013 10:33 AM
By giving old clothes a new life, Katie Haegele keeps up with fashion's whims while avoiding its excesses. Here, she reflects on the why and how behind her sew-it-yourself ethos.
really don’t have to be a political radical or a homesteader with trendy chickens to make and mend your own clothing, but depending on your demographics it can
certainly feel that way. People under 40 (that’s still me, woo hoo!), those who
grew up in an urban environment or another area with no 4H club (also me), and
those who went to a school with no resources for a home ec. program (me again)
may never have received a lesson in the basic human skill of threading a needle
and making or repairing useful things out of fabric. Even if you like to sew,
you have to concede that we live a lot differently than the way people always
have. It is now entirely possible to buy, rather than make, all the clothes you
will ever wear, then chuck them out when they get worn or ripped, even if you
aren’t rolling in dough. In one or two generations, sewing skills have become
an extra rather than a necessity.
Examples of sewing keep springing up in
the popular culture, though. It’s magic to watch the artists on Project Runway
dream up clothing designs, then pin and sew their ideas into reality, one bead
at a time. On RuPaul’s Drag Race, a kind of lower-rent but more imaginative
Project Runway, the contestants make their own costumes. This is interesting to
watch because some of them have a strong dressmaking background while others
don’t. To make the things they want to wear the less experienced performers
have to rely on their sense of invention (and also a hot glue gun). It’s
inspiring to watch them work, a reminder that when you make something for
yourself it does not have to be perfect. It can look like whatever you want.
Speaking of self-invention, I recently
read a memoir called The Beauty Experiment, in
which author Phoebe Baker Hyde gives up make-up and hair stuff for a year. She
also scales way back on her clothes shopping and fashion choices, which creates
a space for her to think about what her desire for beautiful clothing might
mean, down-deep. At one point she tells a story about her grandmother, who grew
up in rural Washington
and, keen to escape her “farm-girl past,” married “southern breeding” and moved
to a fancy suburb on the east coast. This woman, Sugar, could study an
expensive piece of clothing on its rack in the department store and then go
home and recreate it precisely, sometimes even adding a fake label to complete
the illusion. Whatever you think about ideas like boot-strapping and
label-loving, you’ve got to credit a person like that with ingenuity and
creativity. She wanted to be something so she dressed like that thing, then
became it. Those are my favorite kinds of stories.
After all this bloviating I don’t have a
serious sewing tutorial to share with you, just this big honkin’ thrift store
skirt that I bought a few weeks ago and have been wanting to take up. It’s a
voluminous Talbot’s “petite collection” skirt made of heavy cotton, and I stood
on a stool so you can see the whole unstylishly long thing. (I’m about 5’6” so
I can only imagine how overwhelming this style would be on a bona fide petite,
but I guess that was the ’90s for you. Or the ’80s. Who can tell, it’s
I bought it at a thrift store near Allentown, PA,
for $6.99, which is a little more than I usually like to pay for secondhand
clothes, but the skirt is well made and I thought I could find a way to wear
it. I have some basic sewing skills that I learned from my mother as a kid and
in a sewing class I took at a local fabric store as a young adult. I also own a
sewing machine, which my mom gave me as a birthday gift several years ago. I’ve
used it to make and alter many pieces of clothing and other useful things, such
as a patch quilt for a cat, but almost every time I get it out again I need to
watch this video by a lovely guy named Chris,
in which he demonstrates how to thread a Brother sewing machine like the one I
have. Chris has a gentle manner and he takes his time explaining what he’s
doing, and the camera close-ups clearly show what his hands are doing with the
fussy little parts of the machine. I love watching sewing tutorials on Youtube.
For one thing, I find it much easier to learn how to do things with my hands
when I can see them being done, as opposed to following written instructions in
a book. Beyond that, the videos are a nice reminder that sewing is a skill that
has been been passed on by example for all of human history. I find it really
touching that on Youtube you can find what appears to be every single area of
human endeavor depicted in an instructional fashion. It’s beautiful the way we
want to teach each other how to do things, not for money, just because.
So. At a thrift store several years ago I
found a plastic bag filled with wooden spools of thread for use on an
industrial machine. I bought them because they’re old and pretty, and I keep
them in a ceramic bowl on my bookcase.
But over the years they have sometimes
come in useful, like today, when I found that one of them matches the color of
my skirt almost exactly. I chopped close to seven inches off the skirt’s
bottom, folded another half-inch under for a hem, pinned it in place with
straight pins, and sewed it up. I didn’t bother ironing the hem before I sewed
it because I’m lazy. (Actually it’s because I don’t own an iron, which is
because I’m lazy.)
You do not need a machine to sew, and you
certainly don’t need one to make simple alterations like this. If I’d felt like
spending a few extra minutes on this project or if I hadn’t wanted the seam to
show, I could have sewn it by hand and done a “blind” hem by only stitching
through to the front every few inches. But my machine hem works just fine for
this skirt. Its heavy fabric is almost like denim so it doesn’t need to look
delicate. And anyway, it doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to look the
way I want it to look. I’m pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?
For a really solid foundation on sewing,
you might think about getting a copy of Raleigh Briggs’ pretty little
zine-book, Fix Your Clothes, for $5. I ordered one and
I have found it very useful even though I already know a lot of the basics. For
instance, Briggs talks about when to use shank buttons as opposed to flat ones,
which was a revelation to me, and how to remove and repair a zipper. I wanted
to try that last one on a busted but nice-quality leather handbag I bought for
a buck fifty, but I got intimidated by the thought of working with leather.
Maybe next time.
Thursday, February 07, 2013 3:18 PM
That's me and my OpenROV co-founder Eric Stackpole working on a prototype underwater robot.
This post originally appeared at Shareable.
Don't get me wrong, I like collaborative consumption. I think Airbnb makes the world a more interesting place, allowing people have more authentic travel experiences. I love TaskRabbit. I use it all the time for errands. I've written about tool libraries for MAKE Magazine. I get it. Access is certainly more appealing that ownership. For my lifestyle, at least.
But I still think collaborative consumption is overrated compared to the other side of the sharing economy coin: collaborative creation. The true potential of a networked, peer-to-peer economy is just starting to show with the maker movement. And it's not just about what we can consume together, it's about what we can create together.
Sure, collaborative consumption can help you earn some side money, subsidize car ownership, or have a more human-centered vacation, but rarely can it help you learn new skills, build a small business, or drive a new industry. Collaborative creation is about building new forms of wealth, not just sharing it. Collaborative consumption isn’t designed to create high-skilled, meaningful livelihoods for users. From personal experience, I believe that the skill-building, job-creating potential of the maker movement is more important than a new way to consume. It can address one of society’s biggest problems -- high unemployment, especially among young adults like myself.
As Chris Anderson eloquently described in his new book, Makers, the Internet is the prototype, the model for how to create with wide participation. And now we're seeing the same surge of creativity with stuff, and it's changing the way we experience the objects in our lives. From 3D printing to makerspace communities, Etsy to Kickstarter, the maker infrastructure is maturing to a stage where literally anyone can make significant contributions.
I've had a front row seat to this emerging trend. I've been writing the Zero to Maker column for MAKE, chronicling my journey from total beginner to improving amateur. After losing my job in 2011, I felt I didn't have much of a choice. I knew I wanted to get out from behind the computer, but I also had zero technical experience. Luckily, I found the maker community to be friendly and empowering.
I started an open-source underwater robot project with my friend (and hero) Eric Stackpole. In the last year, OpenROV has grown from a conversation between me and Eric into an award winning open-source project as well as a fledgeling business. We're not making much money, but we're fine with that. We've found something much more valuable: a global community of collaborators who are working hand-in-hand to democratize ocean exploration. The experience is rich in community as well as what Eric and I refer to as "Return on Adventure."
The OpenROV underwater robot in action.
My Zero to Maker experience at TechShop has been a shining example of the true potential of the sharing economy - both collaborative creation and consumption. The tool-access afforded by the makerspace was critical in my development, because without the shared-resource model my plight would’ve been impossible. But the real value - the meat on the bones - was the way members and staff supported our project. OpenROV simply wouldn't exist without the communities that have supported us: TechShop, Kickstarter, and the larger maker community.
It’s the process of creation that instills meaning into the products we use. Consuming together can’t inject meaning in the products around us. Moving away from a culture of rampant over-consumption will take much more than changing our eating, driving, and buying habits. It’s going to take a whole suite of new values, technologies, and experiences. The maker movement is an opportunity to build that re-imagined future.
Perhaps the most encouraging news is that it's more accessible than ever to get involved. It seems that every maker I meet had a similarly warm welcome. Each feel a duty to pay it forward, which builds a culture of inclusion and possibility. The tools that seemed so intimidating when I got started, like 3D printers and CNC machines, each came with someone, either local or online, who did a great job teaching. Even something as crazy as an open-source underwater robot project was able to find a supportive home.
The experience has opened my eyes to the potential of collaborative creation. Lucky for you, anyone fluent in collaborative consumption already has many of the skills needed to thrive in the maker world. After all, they’re just two sides of the same movement.
David Lang is the co-founder of OpenROV as well as the author of the book-in-progress, Zero to Maker.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 12:30 PM
A Pair of Pears' guide to DIY gift wrapping.
Whether you’ve been too busy, broke, or lazy to finish (or start)
your holiday shopping, it’s not too late to find or make thoughtful gifts. And
with an emphasis on local, DIY, and green gifting, you can avoid the mall
the internet, your telephone, and a credit card, you can help support your loved
ones’ favorite local spots. Chip in for a visit to that zero-waste locavore
restaurant your sister loves. Treat your mom to an hour with her local
masseuse. Get your stepdad a round of golf (not the greenest, maybe, but better
than another tie). Asking yourself what your loved ones like to do is usually
easier than trying to figure out what they want. Alternatively, consider
sharing some favorite local finds from your area. Whether you choose practical
items (honey, soap) or extravagances (chocolate, wine), you’ll be sharing a
piece of your everyday life.
has a creative streak. Whether your strengths are in the kitchen, the garden,
or the art studio, there’s a gift waiting for you to make it. Here are a few
ideas for getting started. Food
Republic has slightly-sinful holiday treats, from vanilla bourbon to spicy
candied bacon fudge (yes, you read that right). Odessa
May Society’s DIY tulip-and-daffodil-bulb gift basket will bring the
reassurance of spring to friends who get the winter blues. For music and poetry
lovers, ABeautiful Mess shows how to make wall art out of verse. And if you have
paint chip samples secreted away somewhere, How About Orange reveals how to
turn them into magnets
patterned wall art. Love drawing or graphic design? Handmade soaps,
lotions, teas, salves,
perfumes and colognes offer a blank slate for designing labels and packaging
that shows off your style.
a hungry mind with a year’s worth of food-for-thought and support the independent press. Here are some of our favorite
For the environmentalist: Orion
The informed optimist: Yes!
friend who hates consumer culture: Adbusters
The new parents: Brain,
The intellectual cyclist: Boneshaker: A
The practical cyclist: Bicycle Times
The farmer (or wanna-be): Small Farmer’s Journal
The hardcore sustainable do-it-yourselfer: Mother Earth News
left-leaning news junkie: The NationThe open-minded
conservative: American ConservativeThe
feminist: BitchThe empowered girl: New Moon(Or
Reader with a friend!)
seem strange to donate instead of giving a gift, but if you’re buying for the
family activist this will likely supply the desired warm, fuzzy feeling. Talk
to them beforehand about causes they support.
to buy and use less this holiday don’t have to stop at the gift. In case you
thought newspaper and brown paper shopping bags couldn’t look classy, check out
guide to upcycled gift wrapping. A
Pair of Pears and Redesign
Revolution offer more ideas for making DIY and reusable wrapping look
Still freaking out?
For practical advice on paring down and handling holiday stress, see the Mayo
Clinic’s tips for
coping with the holidays.
A Pair of Pears' guide to DIY gift wrapping; Sweet & spicy nuts via SassyRadish, licensed under Creative Commons; Gift for the Gardener by Odessa May Society; November/December 2012 cover of
; Cloth gift wrap from The Merriment Blog (via Redesign Revolution).
Thursday, August 09, 2012 4:04 PM
This article originally appeared in
(August 2, 2012), a weekly print publication with articles, reviews, classifieds, personals and happenings in Hartford, Connecticut, and surrounding communities.
I don't have a lot of money. It's not uncommon to hear of educated folks in their late 20s and early 30s living paycheck to paycheck because their jobs don't pay well and they have debts (the legal, credit-card and student-loan kind, not the knee-breaky, loan-sharky sort). We live in apartments with "character" in neighborhoods that would make our parents cringe if they had any clue. We eschew cable and the timely watching of our pop culture TV obsessions for Netflix and Hulu, and if we can swing it, we eat real food.
A Laundry Conundrum
Recently I was faced with a laundry conundrum after my roommate moved out and took his mini, apartment-sized washer and dryer with him. The apartment he and I moved into last year had no workable washer and dryer hookups in the basement, and after months of trudging to his mom's house to hang out and do our laundry, he bought the little machines. Yes, laundromats are an option, but not one I'm comfortable with in my neighborhood. Call me entitled, but I believe the option to wash my underwear in the comfort of my own home is part of the American Dream. Plus people keep getting shot outside the laundromats by my house. So, no thanks. With laundromats out of the question and being unable to afford to replace those machines, my search for cheaper alternatives led me to the Mobile Washer, a DIY washing machine you can use in the comfort of your own home.
Having the machines in our kitchen was a super convenience. No lugging uncomfortably balanced collections of unmentionables and jeans carrying three weeks of life around on them down to the basement via narrow stairwells. In the words of Michael Cera's character from Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, "I never wash my pants. I like to keep the night on them." It's gross, but whatever. No searching for quarters or waiting in line behind a houseful of people you're slightly acquainted with. It was great.
The Quest for an Alternative
After realizing I was potentially laundry-less once again, my first move was to start visiting my parents more often. Trips home mean free laundry, even if it's a 40-minute drive up to Old Lyme. Free laundry, free food, and quality time with our dogs, sisters to me, is not a bad tradeoff. But my car is quite old and my gas budget is small. Next I started browsing around the Internet for smaller, cheaper versions of the machines my old roommate had bought. Amazon has a handful of miniature, apartment-appropriate laundry options in addition to the tiny washer and dryer I was already familiar with. Unfortunately, most of it is priced out of my affordability range, or had bad reviews that made me nervous about making the investment: Everything from electric-powered washers and dryers to machines powered by good old elbow grease via a hand crank.
Then, lo and behold, I noticed the Breathing Mobile Washer. It looks like a toilet plunger. You use it in a sink, tub or bucket. It costs less than $30. I knew I'd found the one. I also bought a drying rack to use for the time being. I'm hoping to be able to afford an electric-powered centrifugal force dryer, like a salad spinner for clothes.
The Mobile Washer and drying rack arrived sooner than expected, erasing my fears of going a couple weeks without clean underwear. My initial concerns were that all of the glowing reviews were plants and I'd find the washer impossible to use as directed, and that my clothes would eventually dry to be stiff and crinkly because I didn't have any liquid fabric softener at the time. I imagined my attempts to do anything unfamiliar on my own resembling some hellish episode of "I Love Lucy." I braced myself for the possibility of destroying my bathroom and still having piles of dirty underwear.
Taking the Plunge
I purchased three of those orange, all-purpose five-gallon buckets from Home Depot and, after warning my new roommate that I would do all I could to avoid a disaster, I set up shop in my bathtub. I filled each bucket with about six inches of cold water and lined them up so that the one that should end up with the cleanest laundry and water was closest to the faucet. I threw three pairs of underwear and two tank tops into the first bucket, and added about two teaspoons of powder detergent.
The directions that come with the Mobile Washer aren't exactly detailed or specific, so most of what I did was guesswork, trying to emulate the YouTube videos I'd watched as research. To get the Mobile Washer to do its thing, you simply push it down and up under the water, like you'd move a toilet plunger. It moves the water through the fabric of the clothes, instead of just sloshing them around in some soapy water, to get the dirt out. After a couple minutes of this, switching hands and grip positions a few times, I moved the clothes to the middle bucket to begin the rinsing process. Using the same technique and motion, I saw the clear rinse water slowly turning soapy. I've done a few loads of laundry with the Mobile Washer now, and I'm still not sure how long each "cycle" should be. It's guesswork until I get a better feel for it.
Watch Alison use her Mobile Washer
After rinsing, I moved the clothes to another bucket of clean water to ensure all the soap was gone. Having three buckets means I can designate one for soapy, washing water, and rotate the other two for rinsing, enabling me to keep rinsing between the two buckets until that water stays clear.
Now, What About a Dryer?
Wringing the clothes out is the hardest part. No matter how hard you squeeze and twist, it's still not enough. I did another load of a skirt, pair of pajama pants, leggings and another pair of underwear after the first one, and then hung everything up on the drying rack in my room. After a few minutes I realized that everything was dripping onto my floor, even though I'd squeezed and squeezed till my carpal tunnel screamed in protest. I threw a spare bath towel down under the rack and collapsed on my bed to rest. (Having used this method for laundry for a few weeks, I decided it was better to hang up my clean clothes in the kitchen, where the floor is linoleum, and therefore drippy clothes will not rot the floor.) Thankfully, my new roommate does not object.
I'm not gonna lie, washing clothes this way won't be easy. I ended up pretty sweaty, but that's not all the fault of the work required by the Mobile Washer. Third floor apartments are cauldrons this time of year. Still, the entire experience was quite rewarding. A small batch of my clothes were drying peacefully in my room as I admired my handiwork from my bed. I'd say the entire process probably took about 45 minutes, from dirty to drying. Clean-up was simple, as I just dumped the water into the tub, stacked the buckets and stuck the Mobile Washer in the top bucket. Boom, done.
Going Green Accidentally
In terms of the things we do to save money, switching to hand washing isn't the only accidentally green way we try to save some green. A quick poll of friends on Facebook and Twitter revealed that many have taken to walking to work due to the inability to afford a car, or have gotten rid of their cars entirely, or have taken to hanging (presumably machine-washed) laundry out to dry in the yard in the warmer months. All of these things come with some risks, as being carless puts you out and about on foot in New Haven, or wherever you live, more often. Hanging your clothes outside runs the risk of someone making off with your favorite t-shirt.
When I lived in a nicer part of town, I walked to work just because I could, and saved money on gas and car repair while losing a bit of weight in the process. "Going green" doesn't have to mean spending a zillion dollars to add solar panels to your house, or buying an expensive electric car, when those options are clearly out of the question due to lack of financial stability. Opting to wash my clothes this way will certainly lower my electric bill, which did jump up after we started using the mini appliances. Having a little extra money when you're stretched so thin financially is nice, and I may just be able to afford healthy groceries consistently with the money I'll save on electricity. Eating healthier will help me lose weight, which will ultimately help to use less gas when I drive my car, which means less pollution and less money spent at the pump.
Running a washer and dryer for a couple loads of laundry every week can cost a few hundred dollars a year—not to mention the cost of the machines. And the time spent at a laundromat is time you'll never get back. Washing my clothes by hand at home with a DIY washing machine eats into whatever "leisure time" I'd normally have while doing laundry, but the benefits far outweigh the loss of a couple hours of sittin' on my butt. I never thought a few pieces of plastic and a wooden handle could do so much.
Top image courtesy of moonlightbulb, licensed under Creative Commons
Monday, February 27, 2012 2:38 PM
“If you grew up suburban, barefoot, and curious, your first memory of pain is probably a bee sting,” muses William Bostwick at Gilt Taste. “One wrong step, and clover-specked lawns suddenly feel like minefields. As humans, though, our first experience of sweetness—high-grade, system-shocking, what is this stuff sweetness—was probably honey.”
By relating a pair of nearly universal childhood experiences, Bostwick was trying to explain his innate pull to harvest honey himself, to keep a hive of 5,000 stinging insects in his backyard. To many (like Bostwick’s very concerned neighbors), a few pints of local honey doesn’t make up for the labor, investment, or danger of bee stings that a home hive entails. But to him, the cultivation and enjoyment of locally-sourced honey is an art unto itself.
“More than anything I can think of,” writes Bostwick, “it captures a season, a place—what’s blooming when, and where. Smoky mesquite honey from New Mexico; velvety tan oak from Sonoma County; sparkling, light-as-spring-dew clover from Vermont; molasses-dark avocado from the Central Valley. One day, Dan and I looked around our own neighborhood: sage, eucalyptus, jasmine, fennel. We wanted to taste home.”
Outside of artistry, keeping a hive helps others connect to a more natural way of living—even in the middle of the city. “The Beekeeper,” a mini-documentary by the DIY videography collective Made by Hand, profiles another passionate rooftop beekeeper, Brooklyn’s Megan Paska. “Being a beekeeper has given me a real sense of purpose,” Paska says in the video. “It’s like, that’s my religion. That’s what keeps me sane. That’s what keeps me connected to the world.” Watch the video below:
Although neither the essay nor the video offer much new information about urban beekeeping, they both provide a precious, elegant glimpse into the rewarding hobby.
Sources: Gilt Taste, Made by Hand
Image by CarbonNYC, licensed under Creative Commons.
Friday, September 30, 2011 11:12 AM
Despite the overwhelming popularity of the blog as a means of proliferating ideas and opinions, zines—those ever-so-frugally produced mini-books you might see next to the cash register at your community bookstore or stuffed illegally in between issues of USA Today—are flourishing as a literary form. Perhaps this is because zines and blogs attract different kinds of people. While blogging allows writers to (maybe) reach the world with a single mouse-click, producing a zine requires a much greater effort—and the potential audience for a zine is only as large as the number of copies its publisher can afford to print up at Kinko’s. Some would say that makes zines inefficient and unnecessary, but those who produce the little magazines argue that it’s a labor of love. There is a certain satisfaction in producing a physical object, after all, and in the publishing world, zines are the ultimate incarnation of an independent press.
This past weekend, a public gymnasium in Utne’s hometown hosted Twin Cities Zinefest, an annual event designed to bring Minneapolis’ underground publishing community together, and to let the public know that it exists. Below are some highlights from the one-day festival (and yes, after that lead-in, we understand the irony in directing you to the websites of zine publishers):
Creative Ladies Are Powerful (C.L.A.P.) describes itself as “a progressive quarterly zine that celebrates women in all their various forms of creative living.” Feminism—and women in general—had a strong presence at Zinefest, with many tables dedicated to female writers and artists. If that’s your bag, also check out Girl Germs Radio, the hosts of which produce a hard-to-find zine about the horrors of working as a waitress.
Top Secret Nerd Brigade seeks to marry old-school arts and crafts with modern technology. Aside from its author’s various experimental zines, TSNB also sells QR Code Cross Stitch Kits.
Damaged Mentality is a zine about author Synthia Nicole’s experiences coping with a disabling brain injury. Its descriptions of how the trauma affected every aspect of her life go a long way in putting a face on a side of humanity about which few people know much.
A whole bevy of comic artists and illustrators attended the convention, with a wide array of styles and inspirations represented. There was Anna Bongiovanni, whose surreal illustration incorporates pen, watercolor, computer graphics, and even crayons. Multi-disciplinary artist Michael Perez brought a zine called I’d Sleep There, a catalog of places where he wouldn’t mind taking a nap. And Erica Williams showed off Little Constructs, an international collaborative effort between Williams and Londoner Jo Cheung.
But not all zines are tiny expressions of one or two peoples’ ids. Some enterprising self-publishers have made a mini-industry out of printing zines, and chief among them is Portland/Kansas-based Microcosm Publishing, perhaps the closest thing in the zine world to a Pan Macmillan or a Harper Collins. Microcosm’s booth at the show was literally spilling over with hundreds of little publications for the zine-hungry masses.
Images by Philip James Hart.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 1:28 PM
Equal parts utopianism, dissent, and grassroots activism, “tactical urbanism” is the latest trend in city improvement. Strong Towns Blog calls it “a do-it-yourself mashup of Jane Jacobs thinking and the Sons of Liberty tactics.” Intervention is the name of the game for tactical urbanists. Before federal, state, and municipal budgets are entirely eviscerated, the renegade city-advocates intervene “in their blocks and neighborhoods to experiment in building stronger towns.” Strong Towns Blog’s Charles Marohn elaborates:
While it can be a touch counterculture at times, it is also quite pragmatic. Interventions are typically low scale and low budget, creating a low-stakes model for broader future change. Where local governments embrace the approach, a flood of positive interventions can occur on a limited budget.
Gee-whiz, right? It all sounds perfectly fine and dandy, so it’s good that Planetizen’s Mike Lydon reminds us that change—especially on the city-level—comes slow. “But while progressive planning efforts continue to revive a normative trajectory of city building—one found before the meteoric rise of petroleum-based planning,” Lydon writes, “it’s increasingly obvious that translating great principles, design manuals, built projects, and innovative zoning codes into truly great places is still not done easily.”
Despite activist rhetoric and borderline illegal methods, tactical urbanism initiatives are typically community-oriented. “Most involve partnership with government agencies or local business owners,” writes Sarah Goodyear over at Grist, “but they are almost all things that ordinary folks can initiate.”
I’ve written about one such initiative before: seedbombing, lobbing a ball loaded with wildflower seeds into an abandoned lot like a fertile grenade. Spinning off of that neologism, “chairbombing” is the latest subversive idea to get community members to sit around and, you know, talk to each other. Check out the video below and find out how one group in Brooklyn got their neighbors to shoot the breeze.
DoTank:Brooklyn - Chair bombing at North 5th and Berry from Aurash Khawarzad on Vimeo.
Sources: Grist, Planetizen, Strong Towns Blog
Image by saragoldsmith, licensed under Creative Commons.
Thursday, July 29, 2010 11:17 AM
Do you hate subwoofers like I hate subwoofers? Does the low-fi din of an earth-shaking, bumper-rattling car stereo, detectable from a quarter-mile away and meant to broadcast the owner’s flagrant and rebellious love of bass-heavy hip-hop, make you want to just shut the thing off? If so, I think Make magazine can help us out.
You see, a couple of months ago Make, the do-it-yourself magazine for techno-geeks and home tinkerers, featured plans for the TV-B-Gone hoodie. The TV-B-Gone is a small device that will shut off any TV within range, and the hoodie is meant to conceal this sometimes controversial act by executing it with a mere shift of the zipper.
Now, in its most recent issue, Make features a different DIY creation, the solar car subwoofer, in which the author shares his plans for mounting solar panels on his car to drive his booming speakers. “What’s a road trip without awesome tuneage?” writes the enthusiastic but misguided lad, who’s employing green technology to practice dark arts.
You see where I’m going with this, right? The Subwoofer-B-Gone hoodie. For its next issue, I challenge Make to create a device that will allow me to silence subwoofers—solar powered or not—with my “modded” hoodie. I’m not interested in hearing why it won’t work: I’m leaving it to these genius tinkerers to find a way. Then, the next time some inconsiderate punk is disrupting my day by getting crunk, or hyphy, or grimy, or whatever the hell that horrible sound is, I won’t have to stand for it.
The only problem, perhaps, is that I’d have to wear a hoodie. And do you want to hear how I hate hoodies?
Image by Josef Rousek, licensed under Creative Commons.
Thursday, July 08, 2010 2:34 PM
There’s never a bad time to publish a zine—but here in Minneapolis it is undoubtedly a perfect moment. This weekend marks the Twin Cities Zinefest, an exhibition of more than 40 zine publishers and artists. These reputable defenders of the small press may have honed their methods over many years, but zine-making is fundamentally an amateur’s game.
Zine-making is as easy or elaborate as you make it. Start with the supplies—for a basic zine, all you’ll need is a pen, paper, glue and a pair of scissors. From there, the possibilities are endless. Honesty, self-expression and personal satisfaction are the only core values of zine-production according to the “Cut & Paste” mini-documentary.
Once you’ve mastered the process, why not follow Broken Pencil's guide to set up a DIY screen-printing press and make your zine even more memorable? No matter how you cut and paste your zine, we can’t wait to read it. Seriously. Send it here:
12 N. 12th Street, Suite 400
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Unlike blogs, zines are tactile, unique and timeless. And despite the popularity of online publishing tools, as Utne Reader’s former librarian Danielle Maestretti wrote in 2007, the zine-scene is here to stay.
Source: Broken Pencil
Image by wadem, licensed under Creative Commons.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010 10:42 AM
is a digest of inspiration and wisdom written by our favorite editors, journalists, artists, and visionaries. Today's guest is Jen Angel, author of Get Noticed! How to Publicize your Book or Film. Angel has been here before, with her post Five Amazing Activist Organizations That You've Probably Never Heard Of.
The world of book publishing is changing. In the last 10 years, the advent and expansion of new print-on-demand services like Lulu and CafePress has led more and more individuals to publish their own books. Book publishers are no longer gatekeepers deciding what gets published on the basis of how much profit it will make.
While the self-publishing process may seem awesome–total creative control, for example–the world of self publishing is not so simple. Printing your own book means you are now responsible for all of the other things that the publisher would normally do. The biggest one? Selling your book.
The world is changing for book publishing houses too–as the landscape of how people interact with and consume media changes, they’re feeling the financial crunch. This means that they may have a smaller budget or a smaller staff than in the past and they won’t be able to put the time or energy into promoting your book that they (or you!) would really like. While your book may be the biggest or most important thing you’ve ever done, your title is likely just one of many that this publisher will be working on this year and it may not be the number one on their list.
So regardless of whether you’ve been published by a reputable book publisher or you’ve done it on your own, if you want your book to be successful, you need to take matters into your own hands. You need to be a master of self-promotion!
Right now that may be conjuring up an image in your head of that really annoying person who talks about their project ad nauseum (and at inappropriate times). But, really, that doesn’t need to be you. The goal of publicity and promotion is to make it easy for people who want your book to find out about it and to purchase it, not to push your ideas on any unsuspecting people you come in contact with. After working with authors and filmmakers for the last several years, here are the five (free or cheap) beginning steps to get you started promoting your book or project.
Before you begin, the most important thing you can do is figure out who your audience is. Once you identify one or two groups that you want to read your book, consider where and how those groups get their information. This will help guide you as you go through these five steps to promoting your work…
Five beginning steps to promoting your book
One: The first thing you should do, before you do any other of these activities, is to make a website. It can be simple, like a free blog from Wordpress or Blogspot, or you can pay someone to make you a really fancy one. Regardless, your website should have a picture of the book, a description, something about you, any reviews of the book, a way to contact you, and, most importantly, a link to where they can buy the book—whether it’s directly from you through Paypal or from an online retailer like Amazon.com (I prefer Powells.com).
Two: Tell everyone you know. No, not in that annoying way.Your family, friends, and professional colleagues are your best opportunity to get the word out about the book. You can easily take advantage of this network by sending a simple email letting people know that the book is out and where they can buy it. They’ll be interested because they know you–but send them one email (a personalized message if you have time), not five. Ask them to forward it to anyone who they think might be interested. Once you’ve done that, add a small sentence in the signature of your email account with a link to your site so that every email you send includes information about your book–you never know who might be interested.
Three: Interact with your community. Go to conferences, read blogs (and comment on posts), write letters to the editor. Include your name and attribution in the signature of your letter or post, just like at the bottom of this blog post.
Four: Make promotional materials (like a business card or a postcard) and always have them with you. While you’re at those conferences and meetings, you’ll meet people who might be interested in your book. Having something to hand them that reminds them of your name and website will increase the chances that they’ll remember and follow up.
Five: Use social media. Depending on your audience, you may think that Facebook or Twitter aren’t for you. But, really, they are. Recent statistics show that 5% of all time spent online is spent on Facebook, and Facebook accounts for one third of all social networking use. Facebook claims that it has over 250 million active (users who have returned to the site in the last 30 days), and that more than 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day. That’s an audience you really can’t afford to ignore. They say that more than two-thirds of Facebook users are outside of college, and the fastest growing demographic is those 35 years old and older. (These stats were published on the company’s website in September 2009.)
There’s a lot more you can do, like reaching out to media or hiring a professional publicist. Publishing a book is a long-term commitment. You’ll be promoting it for several years. A lot of that can be done on your own if you’re motivated!
Bio: Jen Angel is a publicist and social justice activist living in Berkeley, California. She is the co-author of Get Noticed! How to Publicize your Book or Film and blogs at http://jenangel.wordpress.com
Wednesday, March 10, 2010 4:31 PM
How does your bird seed grow? With noxious weeds from invasive seeds, scattered wherever birds go? You bet. A few years ago, researchers identified the seeds of more than 50 weed species in commercial wild bird feeds, according to Organic Gardening. “It’s easy enough to snuff out noxious weeds that sprout under the feeder,” the magazine reports. “But when birds eat the seeds and the fly off and distribute weeds in their droppings, wild areas can be affected.”
Over half the weed seeds researchers found were viable; 10 of them were noxious—aggressive spreaders that can be harmful to other plants, animals, and humans. “When we informally questioned landowners and farmers to investigate the spread of a relatively new weed in the Pacific Northwest—velvetleaf—we found it growing in the soil beneath backyard birdfeeders,” horticulturist Jed Colquhoun, one of the researchers, recently told SeedWorld, an agriculture and seed industry publication.
What to do? Organic Gardening suggests choosing feeds that won’t sprout, including peanuts, sunflower hearts, and suet cakes, or growing a “bird buffet”—a garden of native perennials and grasses upon which birds can feast. Or make your own bird feed blends or homemade suet cakes with recipes from Mother Earth News. If you do buy commercial feed, Christian Science Monitor recommends making sure that it is baked so weed seeds are not viable.
Sources: Organic Gardening, SeedWorld, Mother Earth News, Christian Science Monitor
, licensed under
Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:50 PM
The spookiest day of the year is just around the corner—and the alt-press has been gearing up for weeks. So hold out your virtual goodie bags and let us load them up with links to everything from the best pumpkin ales and vegan Halloween candy, to expertly carved pumpkins and how to mind your spooky manners. Here’s wishing you a very alternative holiday.
—Trick-or-treating? Forgo the plastic pumpkin pail. Craft has DIY instructions for recycling a t-shirt into a trick-or-treat bag.
—VegNews has the Official Guide to Vegan Halloween Candy. Too much candy? Discover reports on two charity-minded Michigan dentists’ cash-for-candy scheme.
—Psychology Today offers advice on Halloween etiquette, including how to signal to others whether or not you’re handing out treats.
—Did you know you can recycle candy wrappers? Our sister publication Natural Home lists some less-obvious ways to green your Halloween.
—For the adults, Imbibe recommends a seasonal selection of spicy pumpkin ales, one of which gets a second thumbs-up from Paste’s editor in chief.
—Mental Floss rounds up classic Halloween TV specials, as well as some creative ways to carve pumpkins. Creative Review also has a nice (albeit small) gallery of illustrators’ art pumpkins.
—Banish boring pumpkin seeds: Natural Solutions recommends roasting pepitas with a pinch of chili-lime seasoning; Mothering shares a promising recipe for pumpkin seed pesto ravioli.
Sources: Craft, VegNews, Psychology Today, Natural Home, Discover, Imbibe, Mental Floss, Creative Review, Natural Solutions, Mothering
Image by foundphotoslj, licensed under Creative Commons.
Friday, September 18, 2009 9:25 AM
Adding a bell or a splashguard to a bicycle wouldn’t be enough of an improvement for Dave Schneider, writing for the electrical engineering magazine IEEE Spectrum. Schneider decided to modify his bike into a DIY, human-electric hybrid. Using a battery from a wrecked Toyota Prius, some lathe work, and some elbow grease, Schneider’s bike can easily go 20 miles per hour and seamlessly switch back and forth from human to electric power. The total cost was about $750.00. The bike might not do everything that a car can, but it’s cheaper and better for the environment, too.
What was the best improvement you’ve ever made to your bike?
Source: IEEE Spectrum
, licensed under
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 8:41 AM
There’s no doubt the recession has spurred interest in living more affordably—cutting back, scaling down, and doing more with less. There’s just one hitch with the prevailing frugal ethos: A fair number of penny-pinching Americans have confused thrifty with cheap, bargain hunting in discount shops that rely, for example, on low-wage labor or disposable design.
Taking a page from Ellen Rupel Shell’s Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture, Noreen Malone expounds in the American Prospect: “Houses won’t last and clothes won’t be handed down because we no longer ask that they be built for the long run. . . . We might be cheap, but we’re no longer thrifty. In fact, even if we recover that instinct, we’ll have left ourselves with gaping holes in the reusable products ecosystem.”
In a nutshell, an Ikea couch makes an unlikely family heirloom. And the longer cheap culture prevails, so ebbs the flow of quality goods to thrift stores and reuse centers.
As a sort of antidote to the cheapening of thrift culture, I’d enthusiastically suggest picking up a copy of Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs. Recently published by Microcosm, it’s an adorable, addictive, pint-sized compendium of DIY advice, ranging from house-cleaning solutions and garden-tending skills to nontoxic bodycare products and natural remedies.
It’s not that I don’t have anywhere else to turn for this type of advice and information; on the contrary, here at the Utne Reader library we have a regular embarrassment of resources. As a matter of fact, our sister publication Natural Home just published a bang-up breakdown of the essential ingredients in a nontoxic cleaning kit. Another one of our sister magazines, Herb Companion, focuses an entire sector of its coverage on herbal remedies and using herbs for health.
There is an extra spoonful magic in Briggs’ pages, though. Make Your Place is neatly hand-lettered and illustrated throughout; the first two chapters began life as zines. When looking to disrupt the low-wage, productivity-maximizing philosophy of cheap, picking up a book that’s been crafted with such care, it seems to me, is quite an appropriate rebuttal.
Source: American Prospect, Make Your Place, Natural Home, Herb Companion
Friday, April 17, 2009 7:00 PM
Artist and educator Jer Thorp has done something extraordinary and absurd—he’s wired a smoke alarm to his computer and set it to go off if the New York Times Newswire registers something catastrophic
It’s all because of a nagging feeling we can all relate to: “When I check news websites in the morning,” Thorp writes at his blog, blprnt, “somewhere in the back of my mind, I suspect that the world might have caught on fire while I was asleep.”
Thorp’s news alarm tutorial is almost as delightful as the back and forth in the comment section:
Commenter: While I applaud your ingenuity, I must raise the question as to whether it’s wise to use a smoke alarm as the alert signal. Smoke alarms have a distinctive, fairly-unique alarm sound that has so far been reserved for the event of smoke or fire. Using this sound for another purpose diminishes its capacity to do its intended purpose effectively.
Thorp: This is an art project. Quite frankly, you’d have to be insane to want an 85 dB alarm telling you when news has arrived.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009 4:04 PM
bills itself as the magazine for “technology on your time,” and its blog spotlights all manner of DIY tech projects. But the site’s eye for creative, unusual work, and its tone—cheeky, accessible, and infinitely curious—makes it one of my favorite web destinations for art. The blog presents pieces with the exploratory ethos of a science fair, reveling in the geeky pragmatics of process and construction. Here's a sampling of projects that Make has covered recently:
Magdalena Kohler and Hanna Wiesener built a voice knitting machine that translates vocal frequencies into knitted patterns:
Robert Wechler's public art relies on the natural curve in a line of shopping carts:
Chris O’Shea and Cinimod Studio’s kinetic light installation “Beacon” interacts with visitors as they move through a gallery space:
Friday, January 02, 2009 10:02 AM
Scraper bikes began as low-budget analogs to the colorful, big-rimmed cars—also called scrapers—often seen cruising around east Oakland. Tricked-out scavenged frames with foil, colored tape, and candy wrappers, the bikes are a resourceful homage. Until recently they were a purely local phenomenon. But after a cameo in a YouTube rap video, prominent placement in the first-ever solar-powered hip-hop festival, and support from Bay Area businesses and museums, the bikes are garnering worldwide attention. Many people see potential in the maturing scraper bike movement; they hope the enterprising youth behind it can be a positive force for change in Oakland.
Tyrone Stevenson, the “Scraper Bike King” who pioneered the bikes, has played an energetic role in popularizing them. He sells them to places as far away as Germany, and teaches people to build them in the informal workshops he holds in his backyard. Andre Ernest, director of the Super Innovative Teens nonprofit, believes Stevenson has already made an impact. “He’s helping the kids who would otherwise be on the street,” Ernest told the Christian Science Monitor. According to Wiretap, Stevenson recently applied for a small business grant and is working to patent his design. He hopes to open a shop where he can continue to teach bike-building skills. “If we had a center, where a lot of kids could just come, I feel deep in my heart that would really reduce a lot of the crime,” he says.
Take a look at this slideshow of scraper bike photos, and watch the video that catapulted the bikes into the limelight below:
Image courtesy of Green Jobs Now, licensed under Creative Commons.
Monday, December 29, 2008 3:00 PM
The sting of cold in the winter is often accompanied by the shock of rising energy bills. Since not everyone can afford to install new, energy-efficient appliances throughout their homes, Utne Reader’s sister publication Mother Earth News published a guide to energy-saving and cost-reducing do-it-yourself projects.
Many of the projects are surprisingly simple. Managing the energy used by the computers in his house, writer Gary Reysa spent $20 and an hour of work, and it ended up saving an estimated $178 yearly. Reysa also suggests insulating windows with bubble wrap and buying an electric mattress pad. And since not every do-it-yourself project is good for every situation, Reysa includes a guide to choosing which projects are right for any given situation.
Friday, August 01, 2008 11:53 AM
An economic downturn could be a mixed blessing for U.S. libraries. On the one hand, recession drives up library usage, as more people borrow—instead of buy—books. Libraries also provide information (and computer access) for job seekers, as well as cash-strapped citizens who are learning about a more frugal DIY ethic. Both the New York Times and National Public Radio have recently reported on this phenomenon.
Caveat lector, though. As we saw in 2003, tough economic times can also spur budget cuts, putting a strain on already-thin public and school library resources. Better-but-not-best-case-scenario, libraries will have to serve increased demand on static budgets. The FISH Bits blog, all about “creating great school and public libraries,” has some smart thoughts on how libraries can thrive during this crunch time.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 1:44 PM
Our sister publication Mother Earth News has an online rundown of a fun little springtime DIY project: making kites from recycled materials.
You can choose from designs that use paper bags or newspaper. Or you can go with non-recycled (but still inexpensive) fare such as paper, foam balls, and feathers. For the expert kite-flyer and -maker, there’s some guidance on DIY sport and stunt kites, too.
Image by ronnie44052, licensed under Creative Commons.
Friday, February 29, 2008 5:02 PM
At one point in the adult entertainment industry’s sordid history, the Internet was considered the greatest thing since the videocassette. The first time some enterprising entrepreneur uploaded a risqué photo must have been like the moment when two lovers with equally shady pasts finally met and, well, fell in love. Now, some ick-flick traders are saying the Internet and DIY porn are killing the industry, according to an article in Halifax, Nova Scotia alternative weekly the Coast. And some of their claims sound eerily similar to those coming out of the print media sector. Amateur porn may be the adult biz’s version of blogging and citizen journalism, and studio-produced porn may go the way of the newspaper, some old-school porn producers fear. The fact that the newspaper hasn’t yet gone the way of the newspaper shouldn’t affect these doomsday predictions. Not in an industry where Paris Hilton can “accidentally” become one of its most successful practitioners.
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