Before we had refrigerators we kept vegetables and fruit fresh by keeping them in fresh well water. Works just as well as or better then refrigerators but the electric bill is zero and a well lasts for many generations.
If you have a stream or a natural spring nearby you can use this cutting edge river refrigeration system, perfect several millennia ago. More or less free if you scrounge up the wood parts. It should last decades. No grid needed.
The Rolls-Royce of old school refrigeration is the home by the river: lead part of it into your house, keep what needs cooling in an upper basin and keep live fish in the lower basin. Rinse your daily wash up here so that every little food morsel is used to feed the fish.

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More from @wrathofgnon

14 Oct
Edo, (old Tokyo 16th/17th-late 19th c.) had a clever system to administrate half a million townspeople and keep the security at the same time: by delegation, to jishinban (left) and kidoban (right), a double set of guard posts at the entrance of each of the 994 town districts.
The jishinban (here illustrated as a book cover) was manned by the major landowner and his deputies, 3-5 at a time, answered for security and fire detection. It doubled as liaison office for civic administration: if you needed a birth certificate for ex., this was were you went.
The kidoban on the other side was manned by retired old men who lived there and kept the town gate closed from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. Anyone wanting to enter after closing needed permission and kidoban guards would communicate comings and goings across the city using wooden clappers.
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep
Homelessness is a symptom that makes everything else much worse for everyone involved, not least the tax payer. The good thing is that we already know how to solve it. But as usual, there's no money in the cure, and riches to be made in the treatment.…
Build a couple of these and house the worst cases no questions asked. Simple food, simple lodging, simple clothing. Simple gardening and building work in return, staffed by ex-homeless and lay-brothers and sisters from monastic orders. Sex segregated.
You can fit an almshouse and its gardens on the parking lot of a typical supermarket. Make the rules as strict or as lenient as needed. Keep building them until everyone is housed, if there is ever a surplus, charge rent or start housing single elderly.
Read 5 tweets
23 Sep
This year's winner of the @DriehausPrize in the Building Arts in Spain, in the Glasswork category, are the beautiful family of master glassworkers, Vetraria Muñoz de Pablos, in Segovia. Outstanding stained glasswork. Do they take on foreign apprentices?
"My children and I have saved glass painting. Everything about the grisailles was lost, and we have seriously recovered it. Regardless, now that we know how to do it, somehow we need to pass it on." Image
"What we have learned in a workshop, in a disciple-master context, is not learned in standardized teaching... The workshop is a very important place to think, to act, to put mind and hand together... an almost spiritual communication." Image
Read 4 tweets
26 Aug
By the 1960s, the old traditional merchant town of Kawagoe in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo was in steep decline as business and people abandoned the area in favor of the more convenient new shopping centers around the local train stations. Something had to be done...
In 1983 a group of local shop owners, historians, and architects who hated to see the old town go funded a group committed to preserving the townscape: they establish voluntary rules and guidelines on street development for new constructions and renovations, preserving the town.
The result was an astounding success and both local and national governments moved to designate the area traditional townscape a cultural heritage asset, this meant better funding. Today Old Town Kawagoe is a tourist magnet with millions of visitors, setting a good example for...
Read 11 tweets
26 Aug
Japanese government opens new search engine covering the collections of hundreds of digital archives of museums and government agencies around the country.
Related news item from 美術手帳.…
I dive straight for the images of thatched roofs and find this cool looking young woman with what remains of some serious winter snow fall in the spring of 1960 in Kaneyama Township, Fukushima Prefecture. She must be in her 80s now. ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
19 Aug
"Compact developments with long views into nature." One sentence that describes so much very compactly. @stevemouzon is on a roll lately here on Twitter. Here on how to build better suburbs. If only we started building towns like this too. Image
Riquewihr is the textbook example of a "compact" development/city with long views into nature.
Jakriborg in Sweden is an actual (super rare) compact suburb/development that can (and probably will turn) into a town in the future.
Read 6 tweets

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