Archive for March, 2011


Thursday, March 31, 2011

You may have read that a prison just for pirates opened recently, financed with UN money and appropriately located in Somaliland, the self-declared autonomous region of Somalia.

Somali pirates arrested by French commandos, photo via

A UN rep laments that they needed to build the prison because while countries will hold trials for stateless people, like pirates roaming the high seas, no one wants to make room for them in their prisons. So the UN decided to build one special.

This story, making the news wire rounds, puts Somali pirates in particular back in the international spotlight. It’s been a while, but you may recall the international melee a few years back when pirates off the coast of Somalia kept kidnapping Europeans and demanding high ransoms for their return. The most interesting part of the story, from a trash perspective, is that these pirates claimed to be defending African waters from the illegal dumping of toxic chemicals by huge European corporations.

As Bloomberg reports, the class, trash and power issues run deep:

Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia carried out 15 of the 16 hijackings at sea this year, according to figures released by the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center on March 24. There are currently 28 seized vessels with 576 hostages held by Somali pirates, the bureau said.

Piracy has flourished off the coast of the Horn of African nation, where a two-decade long war has left the country with no effective government and a moribund economy. Remittances from overseas workers of about $1 billion a year are the country’s main source of revenue, according to the London-based charity World Vision, which runs health, water and education projects in Somalia.

Wasted clothes

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

via USAgain

Women in orange

Saturday, March 26, 2011

On my way home from a lovely vacation in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, last week, I spent a day in the city of Querétaro where the sanwomen all wear orange.



On the go

How I Met Your Mother

Monday, March 21, 2011

…is a really good show. Case in point, in a recent episode entitled “Garbage Island,” the character of Marshall gets obsessed with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


Hilarity ensues. Here’s a link to the episode.

Weekly Compactor: Clever upcycling edition

Friday, March 18, 2011

It’s been so long since I’ve done one that you may have forgotten that Weekly Compactor is our cutesy term for a roundup of links. This week, please enjoy clever upcycling tips recently shared across the blogosphere:

Arno Mathies' cardboard furniture via Curbly

A bunch of people shared ideas on how to reuse old blue jeans. I have to say though, I have yet to see anything cute or stylish made out of old denim. Have you? By all means share links and ideas in the comments. I have a feeling there are far better industrial reuses for jeans than trying to squeeze a second fashionable life out of them. After all, the washes and colors are objectively so universally similar in virgin form, yet subtle differences act as dramatic markers of class, taste and hipness…




Waste in Space

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Check out this infographic from GOOD (thanks for the tip, Lauren!).



Calabrese engineering

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Check out this project carried out Calabrese style by my bandmate, Flex Unger aka Pasquale Cangiano, whose upcycling skills and self-built recording studio and we’ve featured here before:

Calabrese Engineering

What is Calabrese Engineering you ask ? What are the rules of Calabrese Wood Working ? Rule #1 never use rules or a ruler ! I found all this wood in the trash and crafted a computer stand / flat files for drawings to go near my drafting table so I can have a clear drawing surface and be online at the same time. I used no ruler at all and did all the measuring with the wood itself and eyeballed everything else. Yeah its a bit lopsided and make shift but that is the Calabrese style of building taught to me by my Grandfather he used no rulers either 🙂 Big Up’s to my band mate Leila Darabi’s Everyday Trash can I get a reblog ?

Click through for a slide show. Note the music that accompanies the photos is that of the modern son of Calabria and made in a warehouse in Brooklyn. More traditional regional music — I have learned from Flex — sounds like this. Or like children screaming.

Trash Mash-Up hits the East Coast

Friday, March 11, 2011

Exciting news: Trash Mash-Up — the San Francisco-based organization that leads workshops on how to create art from trash — is coming to Brooklyn!

Trash Mash-Up

TMU, run by sisters Bridget and Jessica McCracken, will be in town working with Women in Need, a local nonprofit that provides housing, skills training and other resources to homeless women and their families. Stay tuned for updates. You can follow both groups on Facebook here and here.


Mousso Koroba chairs

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

This is one of my favorite reuses of plastic bags ever: bike wheel framed rocking chairs from Mali!

Mousso Koroba chairs

Get the skinny over at inhabitat or KIX.

via Timbuktu Chronicles. Thanks for sharing via Google reader, Jen!

Share your trash

Monday, March 7, 2011

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve added a “share” button to the bottom of every post so you can pass on tidbits to friends and acquaintances who might also be interested. Use it!

Pimp my bin

Monday, March 7, 2011

Attn: Ruby Re-Usable and Little Shiva. Looks like there are some folks in the UK we need to recruit to participate Decorative Dumpster Day 2011. I found this link, then Googled “pimp my bin” and discovered a wealth of hits like the YouTube video below. Amazing.


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