My tiny house project: finally some light
January 27, 2007, 10:32 pm by bottleman. Filed under: my tiny house project, tiny houses.

It’s been a while since I reported on this project, since construction has been too active to let me easily get in and take photos. Though a few key windows are still obstructed (notably a circular detail window which you should see in the big triangular wall, below), these shots show that all the ideas I’ve talked about in previous posts are starting to work. This place is going to feel and live bigger than its roughly 280-square foot footprint.

That’s important, because if smaller dwellings are going to fulfill their environmental promise, it has to be more than just possible to live in them. Those fickle Homo sapiens have to want to live in them too.

Note: float mouse over photos to see descriptive info.

looking forward from back of loft


The mark of Zotero (software review)
January 8, 2007, 3:16 pm by bottleman. Filed under: reviews, software.

I’ve made it my tedious, stick-up-the-butt habit to intermittently harangue others in the blogosphere about one thing: the need to dig in to original experiences or primary data, instead of just “adding to the chamber of echoes” — that is, re-re-re-hashing highly processed media reports or press releases.

If you’re writing (say) about sewer overflows, please: get in to one! (In the company of safety-oriented professionals only, of course.)

photo by flickr user owlhere, licensed under Creative Commons. see

If lieu of that, study a technical report about the number of miles of giant pipe produced, or how and why such systems are designed to overflow.

You might find that it’s not just bloggers that get basic facts wrong, it’s also professional journalists. They don’t know any more about sewers than you, and if the only sources they rely on are “expert” flacks from various interest groups their stories will be missing some really important context.

Still I know that using primary data isn’t easy. Finding and comprehending it is more work. And wrangling facts can be like herding cats: when you’ve got hold of one, catching another lets the first one squibble out of your hands. Documents on the web move and change. Links disappear. Accountability becomes fluid.

Thankfully there’s a new, totally free piece of software that can really help wrangling all those squirmy cats — oops, I mean facts. And statements. And ideas. It’s called Zotero, and though it’s currently still in beta, I recommend it now. …more