This week Awesome Stories brings you prison reform, creative homes, art with heart, printed cars and angelic singing.
Prisons and Rehabilitation
Sadly, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, though this is more a reflection on the system than our citizens, like arresting people for marijuana use. Thankfully, there are some programs starting to address prison reform. Jacques Verduin has pioneered innovative prison rehabilitation programs in San Quentin, started insight-out organization and consulted on prison reform around the world. Their GRIP program (Guiding Rage into Power) helps people heal, transform their thoughts, feelings and actions, and emerge as leaders committed to helping others change. From their website, “We hold a vision of incarceration that goes beyond punishment to rehabilitation, giving prisoners the opportunity to learn how to take responsibility, honor their victims, heal the pain…and learn skills that give them a second chance.”
I’ve written many times about small homes and natural homes. Using old shipping containers is another creative twist on building more affordable, low impact homes. The blog author claims you can buy old containers for about $2000. Obviously, the cost of improvements varies greatly depending on how far you take the upgrades. Look at this lovely collection of homes built from containers. My favorite is pictured to the right. What’s your favorite?
Art with Heart
I love how this artist has turned his creativity and skill to helping the homeless. Gregory Kloehn previously built sculptures to sell to rich people, but he got tired of that market. As he was working on a small house project for himself, a homeless person came looking for a tarp, and everything changed. Gregory realized that his simple frame structure could be a home for this person. He now spends much of his time scouting dumpsters for free material to use in building his small, creative homes. They are simple and small, yet mean the world to someone who doesn’t have a home. I like the wheels so they can be moved!
Local Motors of Cincinatti, OH is set to build the first 3D printed electric car. This car will be built live at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. The design looks awesome to me. I want one! Local Motors and Oak Ridge Labs have partnered in this project to advance large scale 3D printing to a whole new level, greatly expanding the speed and capability of current 3D printers. Of course, this is a very special and expensive printer, called a BAAM machine. The car design was crowdsourced and an Italian design called the Strati won the contest for the first model.
Armand and Angelina
Recently at Unity of Fayetteville, we were treated to the joyful music of Armand and Angelina, a powerful duo of traveling musicians. Armand plays the court jester to Angelina and her angelic voice. Best of all, they deliver gentle messages in their beautiful and playful music. I’d love to see their delightful style of teaching used in schools to uplift with empowering messages, wrapped in the energy of play and joy. If you’d like to learn more, support their music or see their touring schedule, visit their website.
I’ve been fascinated with mushrooms since I was a kid, but these mysterious organisms might just be the key to our survival. Lately, I’ve been reading about many new uses for mushrooms, but this video is inspiring. Paul Stamets is a researcher with a passion for mushrooms. He has tested and demonstrated their extreme value in sequestering carbon, building soil, repairing water quality and fighting viruses. Learn more in this amazing TED Talk below.