Amish Hand-Demolish Building in Tennessee

Who to call when you need your building “hand-demolished”? To the general public, “Amish” often equates to handcrafted – meaning hand-milked cows, handmade quilts, hand-built furniture, and the like (whether that perception is always accurate is another question).

And in that spirit, one Tennessee city found that an Amish hands-on approach was exactly what they needed to remove a historic structure. The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reports that an Amish crew of workers has been deconstructing the city’s 140-year-old Hodgson/Dabbs building, brick-by-brick.

Read more: Amish Hand-Demolish Building in Tennessee, Amish America, June 27, 2019. Image by Henry Taylor for the Leaf Chronicle.

The Complication of Leisure

During the past two decades there has been a disturbing trend in American sports, a trend in which our “toys” have evolved from the simple to the intricate. No matter whether it’s boating, bicycling, skiing or backpacking, the goal seems to be the same: to improve the performance and efficiency of the equipment. Outdoor equipment today becomes “obsolete” after only a season or two, made so by the constant introduction of newer, more sophisticated models.

Manufacturers of recreational equipment — who have the most to gain from the complication of leisure — spend millions to promote “new, improved” products. And at what cost to our sense of fun and play? We seem so bent on results — on being “successful” — that we often forget why we took up a particular sport in the first place. In other words, play is beginning to look more and more like work. And, at the same time, the price tag on our toys has gone sky-high.

One of the primary benefits of using traditional archery gear — aside from saving lots of money, especially when you make your own gear — is that it promotes a sense of fun and encourages a carefree spirit. Archers who go traditional always seem to agree that once they make the switch, archery is once again exciting.

Quoted from the introduction to “The Traditional Bower’s Bible, Volume One“, Steve Allely, Tim Baker, Paul Comstock, Jim Hamm, Ron Hardcastle, Jay Massey, and John Strunk, 1992. Image by Clay Hayes.

How to Dredge Out the Netherlands without Fossil Fuels

The dredging industry has been the backbone of the Dutch economy for centuries. If canals, harbours and rivers weren’t dredged out for a few years, the whole country would literally grind to a halt. Today, dredging happens with oil powered ships. However, the Dutch waterways were dredged mostly by hand for centuries, using simple but ingenious tools. Could it be done again?

Mobile Clothes Washer

The Breathing Mobile Washer was designed so that manually plunging, the washer forces water through clothing. Compared to friction washing with hands, washboards and rocks, the mobile washer is easier to use, much less abrasive, reduces wear on clothes, and provides a superior clean. Review.

 

Slow Travel: Crossing Europe with a Giant Land Ship

Belgian art collective Time Circus built their first prototype of a giant Land Ship that will travel through Europe. Like a modern-day galley, the land ship will be propelled by the muscle power of the participating travelers. The journey is understood as a 21st century pilgrimage and will take an estimated 10 years. [Read more…]

Prototype of a Hydro-Pneumatic Human Power Plant

The Human Power Plant is a working prototype of a muscular power generator, manned by a group of people. It is an all-round off-the-grid solution, which can supply energy in the form of electricity, water under pressure, and compressed air. It is built from simple and durable parts.

These days, we have automated and motorised even the smallest physical efforts. At the same time, we go to the gym to keep in shape, generating energy that’s wasted. The Human Power Plant restores the connection between physical exercise and energy use.

See and read more: The Hydro-Pneumatic Human Power Plant: How it Works. Drawing: Melle Smets.