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May 2010

May 31, 2010

finalists « Inhabitat – Spring Greening Competition

This is a light fixture made from aluminum zip-top lids pried off empty soda cans.

If you want to see (and vote on) some of the coolest, greenest functional art ever (built by amazingly inventive people using reclaimed stuff), here are some projects that will wow you.  If you're not wowed, please tell me why.

May 14, 2010

Natural Dandelion Killer


I've never really been bothered by dandelions.  They break up the boring green monoculture known as lawn. 

But they're out of hand this year. 

In fact, just yesterday as I was cutting the lawn I thought, "Dang, I wish somebody would come up with a natural dandelion killer, because these dandelions are getting my goat.  If I had a goat.  Which I don't.  But if I did have a goat, I bet that goat would eat these dandelions. I wonder how much goats cost. I wonder how much goats poo."  Does everyone else have thoughts this deep while cutting the lawn? I doubt it.

So TODAY, as if by MAGIC, this press announcement landed in my InBox, courtesy of Home Improvement Retailing.

Scotts Unveils Natural Weed Killer

Scotts Canada has developed a dandelion killing product which can be used across the country in any centre that has banned pesticides, says Glenn Martin, director of marketing. Scotts EcoSense Weed B Gon is a ready-to-use liquid weed control product that controls broadleaf weeds without harming the grass or the environment. Derived from iron, it is absorbed by the weeds where it is oxidized by the cells destroying the plant from the inside out. Plus, the iron is a nutrient for the lawn. It can be used at any stage in the life cycle of the weed and works within five to 14 days.

"Unveils"?  Does that means it's on shelves?  Or has it just been announced in front of some industry insiders and the rest of us have to wait months while retailers decide whether or not to stock it?

I've already called Media Relations at Scott's Canada to find out where to buy it.  As soon as I can get my hands on some of this Weed B Gon stuff I'm going to try it. 

If it works, I'll let you know retailer info.  If it doesn't work, I"ll let you know where to buy goats.

May 13, 2010

Rock Your Walls with Frames Wallpaper


This freakishly cool wallpaper, 'Frames', just became available in Canada. 

The press release says, "Canadians no longer need to beg British friends to send a roll of Frames to them".  Because apparently some style-savvy Canadians had developed this level of desire for Frames.

I'd never heard of Frames wallpaper before today, but I think the concept is cool. A lot cooler than, say, taking a black crayon and drawing free-hand boxes all over your walls.  Because that kind of behaviour doesn't go unnoticed by concerned relatives, who would much rather you use wallpaper.

Frames is obviously customizable.  You could make your entire wall into a giant Vision Board.

Frames can be found at ICI paint stores across Canada in late May 2010. For information on Graham & Brown and their wallcoverings visit www.grahambrown.com.


May 12, 2010

Meet the Woman Behind Sugru (Wired UK)

[A short nice article via www.wired.co.uk]

Jane is the coolest person I've met on the Internet this year, and her product, Sugru (Irish word meaning 'play') is so good, it's hard to describe without sounding like a zealot.

(TIP: That's a big wad of Sugru in Jane's left hand; it comes in several colours.)

Sugru is Jane's invention - a silicone rubber compound that comes out of the packet soft, mouldable and stretchy, and cures to a very tough, shape-holding stiffness (but still slightly flexible) about 24 hours later.  Sugru is like having your own plastic extrusion facility, except you form the stuff with your own fingers.

Sugru also gives you an insanely fun way to hack, fix, alter, amend, append, connect, reinforce, improve or fabricate anything you need, plus it sticks to aluminium, steel, ceramics, glass, wood, leather and many fabrics and plastics.  

Back in December I ordered a sample pack of Sugru on the first and only day it went on sale (because its entire production run sold out in the first 18 hours!).  Some of my hacks are featured in posts below.  I love this stuff.

Obviously the overwhelming response from hackers worldwide meant that Jane had to tool up to meet huge demand, and that's what she's been doing for the past 6 months.

People of earth, get ready for Sugru.  It's coming very, very soon.  (You can track Sugru updates on their Facebook page or on Twitter (@projectsugru).

May 11, 2010

Raccoons Busted My Birdfeeder


You can't blame the lady raccoons in the neighborhood; they're nursing and they're ravenous.  So they have a springtime habit of destroying bird feeders to pillage the seedy offerings within. 

Rather than replace this unit I fixed it with my new answer to everything - Sugru, a silicone rubber 'putty' that can be formed by hand and cures at room temperature in a few hours to a waterproof, heat resistant, UV resistant and even dishwasher-proof resilience.

Continue reading "Raccoons Busted My Birdfeeder " »


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Mag's Books

  • : We're All In This Together

    We're All In This Together
    Based on four years of interviews with Steve Smith, Mag's unconventional biography reveals the personal stories, sorrows and joys that continue to inspire the man behind the Red Green legacy.

  • : How Hard Can It Be?

    How Hard Can It Be?
    Mag's quirky and entertaining book of home improvement projects for beginners.

Nota Bene

  • It’s never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot (1819-1880)
  • Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought. - My fortune cookie