The right attitude toward possessions

In this video from The Elegant Gentleman series, I talk about one's possessions and the attitude we should have toward them. In a nutshell: it's not about quantity, it's about quality. And it doesn't matter if you're wealthy or on a limited income. You should always opt for quality or you'll pay more and feel [...]

Signs of overpopulation

Signs of overpopulation are virtually everywhere -- and can even be seen when it comes to the basics of life, like food and shelter. Besides the obvious signs, like crowded cities and roads, and rampant consumption of our natural resources, there are other signs that may or may not be readily apparent, depending on your [...]

Pitch black darkness

Last night, the power went out everywhere. Completely. I happen to be staying in a village in the province of Dobrogea, Romania at the moment, and just as I stepped out of the house to walk to my car, all the lights blinked out of existence. It was, as they say, a dark and stormy [...]

How houses get built in the DC area

I thought that when I lived in Florida, the construction there was shoddy. I was wrong. At least there they used concrete pillars and floors for the houses, and the building code was so strict everything was anchored properly, especially after Hurricane Andrew. When I moved to the DC area, I thought construction would be [...]

The swelling McMansion backlash

Christopher Solomon of MSN Real Estate has a great article on the backlash toward McMansions, also called "starter castles", "Hummer houses" or, my favorite, "garage mahals". From the article: "Local governments and ordinary citizens are saying 'no' to so-called Hummer houses and starter castles. Tactics include energy-consumption restrictions, petitions and outright building moratoriums..." Great read!

Earthquake safety testing

From CNET News: "Video: Earthquake safety testing. Japan's Hyogo Earthquake Engineering Research Center tests real houses under earthquake conditions. This video shows the difference between two actual wooden houses, the one on the right retrofitted to limit damage." Very cool! Here is the link.