Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Living in a treehouse - an ultimate life challenge

To have a cabin perched up in a tree: a child's dream that is coming reality for a growing number of people around the earth. Some wish to live in trees as an expensive toy, some to help the environment, others out of tradition or necessity. It's not just a children pastime anymore.

In fact, some treehouses are so well made and carefully detailed, they rival most people’s homes. The artistry and innovation put into some tree house designs and plans rise them to architectural wonders. They are located all over the world, from just north of New York to all over Europe or the rain forests of Costa Rica.

Modern design allows to install cabins without a single nail into the tree, without breaking off a single branch. The style varies from refined modern confort in new eco-friendly materials to simpler rustic wood, from functional to fanciful, sustainable to strange, residential to meditation or meeting functions, and from affordable to incredibly expensive.
Of course, some people live in traditional tree houses because that has been the local lifestyle for generations. In the jungles of Indonesian province of Papua, local tribes have slowly built their way up into the trees to escape pests and one another. Their residences now reach dizzying heights of over 100 feet.

Several companies offer a variety of models for those seeking privacy, nature and ecology in preserved areas. "La Cabane Perchée" has published a quite beautiful book, "Cabanes perchées", with examples of builded treehouses around the world.



Sunday, 20 September 2009

New german journey through The Northeast Passage

I have recently published 2 posts here and here concerning the Northeast Passage, or Northern Sea Route.

History has just been made on that route: for the first time, Russia allowed foreign commercial ships to make the journey.

Two German ships have become the first Western commercial vessels to navigate the Northeast Passage - the shipping route which goes from Asia to Europe around the Russian Arctic.

The two ships, that departed from South Corea, arrived yesterday, September 19, to the port of Arkhangel in the Nortwest of Russia. The icebreaker that sailed with them was never needed - sign of the arctic icecap retreat.

Niels Stolberg, president of Beluga shipping company, which is based in the German city of Bremen, called it the first time a Western shipping company successfully transited the Northeast Passage.

“To transit the Northeast Passage so well and professionally without incident on the premiere is the result of our extremely accurate preparation as well as the outstanding teamwork between our attentive captains, our reliable meteorologists, and our engaged crew.’’ Stolberg said.

"Beluga Fraternity" and "Beluga Foresight" the german ships that made history.

A journey from South Korea to the Netherlands is about 12,658 miles. By going northward and using the Northeast Passage, about 3,452 miles and 10 days can be saved. And, it is much safer up north: there are no pirates!

"This is an event of huge strategic importance," said chief commercial officer of the Arkhangel Sea Port Viktor Vorobyov. "It will signal the rebirth of this shipping route, and the renaissance of the whole of the Russian North."

With the activation of the commercial route, it is predictable that the russian arctic regions served by ports will largely benefit - Siberia may finally enter the modern world community.

Arctic icecap melting may be bad news for other areas in the globe, but it will allow economic growth and progress of civilization standards in many regions that were ignored, abandonned and depressed.

Vídeo on the german journey through the Route: