Awesome Stories 181

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.”

Creative Container Homescontainer homes, Awesome Stories

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!

3D Printed Electric Car!Local Motors, 3D EV, Awesome Stories

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.

Amazing Mushrooms

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.

What are you growing in your life? Maybe something dark and earthy like mushrooms. XD


17 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 181

  1. Wow! So many wonderful things – the container houses, the artists helping others, the “printed” car, the mushrooms – how awesome! This is a great post and it looks like it’s a series, so I’ll definitely look forward to these. 🙂


  2. I saw that video on mushrooms a couple of years ago, and I thought it was fascinating. Apparently there are spaces where certain plants are able to absorb chemicals from soil. Interesting as well that mushrooms have a similar composition to brains.

    We stayed in a natural/organic home a little while ago, while on holiday. That one wasn’t made from containers, but it had windows facing sunrise, it was warm and solar powered. It smelt incredible, and the energy within the house was just lovely. Never tried a container home, but it looks interesting.

    It’s helpful to see all the work that is being done in building a caring society. I think it helps to show new ideas, and to set imagination free. Thank you.


  3. You’re welcome Nicci, I know we both share a passion for nature and living more gently on this wonderful planet. I’ve been lucky to visit a few natural homes like an “earthship” made of tires and earth, adobe and cob homes. Most of them have a nicer look and feel for me too. I haven’t been in a container home, they look a little cold to me, but I love the re-purposing. You’ve touched on why I like to share these kinds of stories; to offer hope and inspiration in a world that dwells on problems and despair. to imagination! 🙂


  4. Simple, impactful and kind. Gregory Kloehn demonstrates compassionate action. All it takes is a little stirring of one’s soul, coupled with heeding one’s heart and… voila! Inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it, Brad.


  5. Wonderful stories once again Brad! I love the Art with Heart and the work that man is doing! And those Creative Container Homes are amazing! I plan to watch the mushroom video later as I’m a bit short on time this morning, but thanks so much for sharing these, and hope you have a lovely day! 🙂


  6. Thanks Julie, I aim to please. XD I was touched that he would devote all his time and creativity to the homeless. There are so many fun and inspiring things happening around the world. I’m going on a tour of our local botanical gardens, so I pretty sure it will be a lovely day. I hope yours is lovely as well. 🙂


  7. Great Brad!! I have so much to say but will “edit!” The container homes look awesome…and like you, I love repurposing items….container to home…WOW!! And the 3D printed car…not sure of a proper word for that. I have seen a “small” 3D printer in action and I have to say this technology is amazing…the advancements it can serve in the medical world will be phenomenal. But a car….?
    Love to you ❤


  8. You’ve got my curiosity about the edit! I really want to see that 3D printed car. It looks good, but I have no idea the quality or impression in person, but wild advancements as you said. Thanks for your enthusiastic support and friendship Lorrie. 🙂


  9. I like the idea of the homeless homes, clever use of recycling materials too! Perhaps we should all live in little homes like that, most of us have far more than we need anyway. But I wonder about how they would look being wheeled down a pavement – quite large I suspect!! 🙂


Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s