The top ten posts of the week, from cars to bikes
Most of the top ten posts are on wheels this week and most of our writers are standing around looking at cars; there's Zach and a Beemer and Katherine being a TeslaHugger.
10. Conqueror popup trailer has a place for everything and is ready for anythingConqueror 440/Screen capture
Travel trailers offer a lot of lessons for living in small spaces, using fewer resources and creating multifunctional spaces. TreeHugger has shown a lot of them, but never one the astonishing UEV440 from Australia's Conqueror. UEV stands for Urban Escape Vehicle but this thing looks like it could go to the moon.
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9. 3 key CrossFit concepts that will improve any kind of workout© Jennifer Lamont (used with permission)
CrossFit may not be for everyone, and that’s OK; diversity makes the exercise world more fun and interesting. In fact, without diversity, CrossFit wouldn’t exist! But CrossFit does have several key concepts that are valuable and applicable to all forms of fitness.
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8. What happens when a non-gearhead drives the Tesla Model S?© Martinko
I should clarify that I am not a car expert, nor have I been following Tesla’s development over the years, which means that my interaction with the Model S was, in a way, more objective than someone who knows a lot about electric cars and may already love it; hence the ‘non-gearhead's review.’
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7. The most efficient car in the United States is now the BMW i3 electric carZachary Shahan/CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
The EPA has just released official "fuel economy" and range information for the BMW i3 100% electric car. A bit surprisingly, it tops the list of all cars on the US market when it comes to fuel economy. The EPA gave it a rating of 124 MPGe. That's 74 MPGe above the fuel economy of the Toyota Prius, which is the most efficient car that can't plug in and charge using electricity.
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6. Hal Ruzal from Bicycle Habitat grades your bike-locking abilities (what grade would you get?)SF/Screen capture
Do you lock your bike properly? Do you really, or do you just think you do? Hal Ruzal from Bicycle Habitat (he co-founded it in 1978!) took a walk around New York City with our friend Clarence at Streetfilms and graded various locked bikes, pointing out what was done correctly and what was wrong with each of them.
5. Build your own open source cargo bike (or buy it from XYZ Cycle)
XYZ Cargo/Promo image
Over at Low Tech Magazine, Kris de Decker shows an alternative built out of open source technology, the XYZ Nodule designed by N55. You could build this bike yourself; it is all creative commons licenced. The system is so simple that you don't need complicated or expensive tools; really, not much more than a drill and a hand saw.
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4. Homemade sourdough is food for body and soul© K Martinko
This is the greatest loaf of bread I have ever baked, and I bake a lot of bread. It is sourdough, made from a two-year-old starter that a baker friend gave me. The starter came in the bottom of a coffee cup – just a few tablespoons of stretchy goop that I babied for days with regular feedings of flour and water. I thought I’d killed it. I know how to handle baby people, but baby starters? Talk about intimidating.
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3. More: eBay is giving away a Tesla Model S on May 27th
You'd like to drive an all-electric Tesla Model S but don't have the fortitude of wallet required to afford one? Your best bet is probably to wait a few years for the next generation of Teslas to come out at a much lower price... But if you're feeling impatient and particularly lucky, you can drop your name into the eBay Garage hat for a chance to win a Model S electric car gratis.
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2. More on why Japanese houses are so weird: They are almost worthless soon after they are builtArchitizer/ House in Kohoku by Torafu Architects/via
When I wrote Why are Japanese houses so weird? a lot of readers objected to the title and thought I was being a xenophobic American, when I am neither. Now the Guardian has picked up on the story, wondering why a country with a shrinking population is has so much new housing going up.
More: More on why Japanese houses are so weird: They are almost worthless soon after they are built
1. 6 Edible ground cover plants for backyards and gardensPatrick Standish/CC BY 3.0
Our modern love affair with grass lawns is somewhat at odds with many of our efforts to conserve water and energy in our yards, along with our desire to produce more of the food and herbs we eat. By replacing part or all of a lawn with edible ground covers, and using them as understory plants between trees, we can keep our yard green and lush without having to constantly mow, while also reaping the benefits of having more edible plants in our landscape. Here are six great ground cover plants that are also at home in the kitchen.
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