Graham Hill Downsized His Life And Enjoyed It More. Why Can’t We All Do The Same?

Simple Studio ApartmentGraham Hill’s article “Living With Less. A Lot Less.” in the NY Times is an inspiring read. Mr. Hill, serial entrepreneur and founder of Treehugger.com, got rich early and had filled 5500 sq. ft of living space in two cities with stuff and then decided to simplify his life and belongings into a 420 sq. ft studio. From the NY Times:

“I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did.”

If you get a chance, read the full article and see if it inspires you to downsize your life.

Our household of five doesn’t live all that large but I can not wait to downsize the inside of our house and our outside lives. What’s holding us back? Unlike Graham Hill and like many families, it’s our elem/teen/tweenage kids that might suffer from the drastic change of downsizing while they’re still in school. Now on the day my youngest heads to college, our house will be abuzz because everything will go. Not storage – instead we’ll donate, give away and sell what we can because we’ll never live larger. T-minus 8 years and counting! [NY Times]

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The $875 Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Leather Edition Car Seat.

Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Leather Edition Car Seat.Car seats are vital for safely driving with your younger kids. The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Leather Edition with Air Protect® Technology and a Perfect Fit Harness has all the features you’d want in a car seat and works for kids up to 70 lbs but it’s $875 price tag is pretty extreme. Infant/child cars seats normally run in the $100-200 price range and provide the same regulated level of protection.

The Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 Leather Edition reminds me of the $45 baby perfume from Dolce and Gabbana – unnecessary for the kids but necessary for status-driven parents. I wonder if the product reviews for Pria 70 Leather Edition will come from the parents or the nannies. [Gizmodo]

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Jubbling + ABC’s Wipeout + Kid Birthday Party = Inexpensive, Fun And Memorable Celebration (Redux)

Planning a birthday party and want to keep it fun and on the cheap? Wipeout birthday is the way to go. From June 2012.

The Chunnel:  Lawn chairs with torn slip-n-slide on top.

The Chunnel: Lawn chairs with torn slip-n-slide on top.

My just-turned 9 year old son absolutely loves the ABC TV show Wipeout. He loves it so much that he will setup an obstacle course around our house and completing it is the last thing he’ll do before he goes to bed.

As the birthday party planner, I would normally go the “lets see a summer movie for your party” route because it’s easy to plan, lasts 2+ hours and I can sleep through it. This year, my kid wanted a Wipeout party and mom insisted we make it happen.

Wipeout Big BallsThinking about the details and the idea of corralling and keeping 7+ plus kids interested kept me awake the night before the party. How do you duplicate the Big Balls from the TV show? Then I realized that we just need keep it simple and we could reuse items we already own to create the course. So we thought of the things kids like to do/not do and we went through our house and yard looking for stuff to build the obstacle course.

The first obstacle was the dress up station where the kids had to put on a Farrah Fawcett wig, Army coat, pink-studded belt [all from our Halloween costume box and not my closet] and then do the hula hoop.

The grass is hot lava obstacle.

The grass is hot lava obstacle.

The next was the hula hoop (instead of tires) course that the kids had to run through, hop back and then run through again. The kids then had to traverse the rope crossing and not touch the grass – our poor man’s Big Balls. Four more obstacles completed the course.

After cake and presents, we had the kids run through it one more time and we added the water factor to complicate the course. Each race was timed and at the end, we gave small prizes to the winners. Total investment: about $25. We could’ve done it for nothing but we’re beginners as Wipeout party planners.

So if you’re planning a party soon, remember to keep it simple, accept help and try to reuse stuff you already own. It’ll Jubblingly keep the cost down and won’t affect the fun. And if possible, limit the party to 2 hours. Sub 10-year old boys can only keep it together for about that long before they start hurting each other.

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Jubbling Break: Little Amaya Wakes Up For Gangnam Style.

Harry – this post is for you; hit play and start dancing.

Watching this video reminded me of my little guy dancing to Electricity by OMD back in the low-quality cellphone video camera days. Enjoy! [YouTube via Laughing Squid]

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Explosion-Free Building Demolition.

The time-lapse video is of the 456′ Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka slowly being demolished in Japan.

Taisei Corporation's Tecorep high-rise dismantling systemDeveloped by Taisei Corporation of Japan, the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System (Tecorep) dismantles skyscrapers instead of using explosives to bring them down. From Taisei:

“This revolutionary new system enables systematic disassembly of high-rise buildings and allows reuse of the disassembled construction materials. In addition, the energy generated by lowering materials to ground level is used to offset overall CO2 emissions.”

And from the Huffington Post, here’s how the Tecorep works:

“Inside the building, jacks support the roof as floors are demolished from the top down, while an internal crane lowers materials and debris to the ground floor.”

If you’ve ever watched a building demolition live, you have a good idea of how much dust, fiberglass and who knows what else is spewed out.

Back in 2000 and during a moment of genius, I convinced my pregnant wife that we should take our one year-old son to go watch the Kingdome implosion. Compare the video above with the Kingdome implosion below:

Despite being a half-mile away, we had to run to get away from the fiberglass (asbestos?) infused dust cloud. It wasn’t a proud parenting moment.

I don’t think the Tecorep dismantling technique would’ve worked on the Kingdome but for a standard high-rise, it could be the most efficient and least wasteful method for bringing down a building. Of course “least wasteful” would only apply if there is sufficient reason to dismantle the building in the first place. [HuffPo]

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Jubbling Break: Live Action Toy Story Video

If you have kids and take road trips, bookmark the Live Action Toy Story video. The shot-for-shot live-action video took friends Jonason Pauley and Jesse Perrotta 2+ years to remake and they did it using donated toys from friends and used toys from Goodwill. There’s not much on YouTube that is better than Live Action Toy Story.

The homemade Live Action Toy Story video will not only entertain your kids but it may also inspire them to create their own masterpiece. [Neatorama]

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