Tweet of the Day: 80-year Old Does Everest

VERY inspiring story of oldest man to summit Mt. Everest, 80-years old, broken hip two years ago, heart surgery this past January…

…the excuses for becoming a decrepit old fart are running out.

Upcycling: Iris’ Recycled Skateboard

back-to-the-futureRemember that scene from the 1985 movie Back to the Future, where Marty McFly, in a panic to get away from a gang of thugs in pursuit, “borrows” a scooter from a kid, rips the crate/handlebar assembly from the platform, and gets away on what appears to be the first skateboard any of the onlookers have ever seen?

Well, that’s one unique way to make a skateboard, and now George Rocha at Iris Skateboards in San Francisco has come up with another method, one that is supremely satisfying from a sustainability, reduce-reuse-recycle perspective:

iris_skateboardVia Wired.com:

George Rocha turned his life-long skateboarding passion into a career of building massive concrete skateparks. Now he’s added another product to his repertoire: artisan-quality wooden skateboards assembled from strips of used and broken boards.

Modern skateboards are made of plywood. It gives them both strength and flexibility — the perpendicular placement of each wooden layer helps the overall board withstand cracks, while the complex curvatures are made possible by pressing the individually pliable sheets of wood into a mold while being glued. As plywood decks became the norm, manufacturers began to color layers to add a visual element. Strips of red, blue, yellow, pink or various combinations could be found between the light hues of natural wood, with splashy graphics on the board’s bottoms and black grip tape on top, sometimes cut into artistic patterns.

Rocha assembles new decks using the remnants of broken and discarded skateboards, laminating them together and slicing the resulting stack sideways to create his material. The result is gorgeous and always unique, turning the distinct patterning of the thin multicolored ply into the standout feature of the decks’ tops and bottoms.

Rocha also uses ground recycled glass to create a course traction surface for the top of the deck.

Check out this cool video, showing how the boards are made.

Eyecatchers: A VERY Different Kind of Mobile Home

Now THIS is incredibly cool!

Via Inhabitat, I’ve come across this amazing tiny house, built on a trailer bed, in which five skiers/snowboarders lived, as they traveled around the U.S. and Canada in search of the best fresh powder they could find.

And the kicker, a killer surprise, it turns out that I know one of the skiers, a guy who helped my wife and I build a rock climbing wall in our home.

Anyway, it’s one thing to dream up an idea like this, but it really comes down to implementation, and this structure is nothing short of tremendously rad!

With only 112 square feet of space, which breaks down to a mere 22.4 square feet per person, space-saving measures like a sleeping loft, minimalist spiral staircase, mini-kitchenette, and a tiny wood-burning stove, make the space surprisingly functional. But, what I think is special, is that this house was built with great attention to detail as well as aesthetics. This could have been simply, ugly shack, but the carpentry is exquisite, with elegant trim touches, and the tiny front porch is an incredibly cute touch.

Here are some more photos (click on the images to enlarge), along with the 20-minute video about the project:

Eyecatchers: Paralympics Pics

Ok, I confess, I did not watch even one event during the whole two weeks or so of the London 2012 Olympics. When I was a kid, my eyes were always glued to the TV screen whenever the games were on, but for a variety of reasons I’ve lost all interest over the years.

But, if anything was to renew my interest in an international sports competition, it might just be the other London 2012 Olympics, still going on right now: the London 2012 Paralympics.

Thanks to a STUNNING gallery of photos at The Atlantic, I am completely blown away by the passion, determination, and courage that these athletes ooze from every pore of their bodies.

Seriously, I habitually get all whiny because of my herniated disc, and now I look at these images of folks from all over the world who have refused to be held back by congenital or injury-related disabilities, and I feel utterly lazy and ridiculous.

The photography here is powerful, capturing all of the dramatic subtext of this remarkable event, and I can’t imagine anyone not being moved and inspired by them.

Here are some of my favorites, be sure to click on each image to see them larger, and PLEASE be sure to view the whole gallery, where the captions help tell the story: