Coolio ‘preparing to live off the grid’

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Coolio at the Great GoogaMooga Festival

Where do old rappers go to die?

American Rapper Coolio has told a newspaper he is preparing for a social collapse and plans to end his days off grid.  “I’ve acquired knowledge of people and the world — knowledge that will help me survive in any given situation” he told the SundayTimes. ” I can track stuff. I can fix a car. I can build a house. I could build a wind turbine if I wanted to.

“I’m preparing to live off the grid, without electricity, air conditioning and heat. You could say it’s preparation for an apocalypse or a natural disaster. The poles are shifting and I’m not optimistic about the future,” he said.

Coolio,  best known for his hit single Gangsta’s Paradise, would like to get rid of the entire tax system — and believes tax is illegal under the US constitution.  “If I was in charge, I’d get rid of tax completely. I’d get rid of money too. I’d go back to the barter system. In my opinion, and according to the constitution of my country, tax is illegal.”

The Grammy award-winner, who says he is not on good terms with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), believes investing in people, gold and diamonds is the best way to save for his retirement. He admits, though, that he has an expensive shoe habit and buys a pair “at least once a week” — sometimes for as much as $1,000 [£785].

He does not personally own any property – “Property can be taken away from you by “eminent domain” [the right of the government to seize your property]. That can happen to anyone in America. I’m going to put all my money in people, gold and diamonds.

 “As for gold and diamonds, that’s something you are always going to be able to use to get food and water. I’m thinking ahead to the time when a bottle of water is going to cost $10. Hopefully, I won’t live that long, but I think that time will come.

Back when he was starting, said Coolio “to make ends meet, I hustled. I sold things: drugs, shoes, jewellery, whatever I could get my hands on. The name of my first album was It Takes a Thief, you know? I’ve been around the block a few times. It made me determined — determined to not live like that for the rest of my life. I got mad at myself. I told myself: “You should be doing better. You’re smart enough — you should be Steve Jobs [the founder of Apple] or someone like that. Get off your ass and go get some money.

“I had to sleep in my car. Sometimes I didn’t have enough money to pay the rent and would get thrown out of where I was living. Other times, I went hungry. I was fortunate in that I had good friends around me who would spot me a $20 bill if I asked them to.

“My mother, Jackie Mae, was a gangster. She took money with her pistol and her knife. She was never a hooker but when it came to money, she believed: “[Get it] by any means necessary.”

“But we were all born dying anyway. I’m not scared to die. I’ve had a fulfilling life. When my time comes, I’m going to leave with a smile on my face . . . or a grimace at the bullet that killed me.

“I support the Jarez Music Foundation. Jarez is a young musician in Vegas, and he has a music foundation which is trying to put musical instruments back in schools. I’ll work and perform for his foundation for free, and I mentor some of the kids.”

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr, Coolio’s big hit was released in 1995 and featured on the soundtrack of the film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer. It became one of the most successful rap songs of all time, reaching No 1 in the charts in the UK, America and 14 other countries. He has released eight studio albums.

This autumn Coolio joins the I Love the 90s tour, playing dates in the UK between September 29 and October 7 alongside other acts who had big hits in that decade, such as Vanilla Ice and Salt-N-Pepa.

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Join me in southern New Hampshire, US

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I’m looking to purchase land in southern New Hampshire, United States soon (Currently I live in Rhode Island), and am looking for a few other like minded individuals to help me in this task. I have a specific idea of what I am looking to accomplish, and am very open minded to including the ideas and goals of others.

My initial goal is to homestead and be self sufficient in life, being able to wake up and fall asleep with the sun, eliminating the day to day hassle of our consumer culture, which never really resonated with me. I am a blacksmith and a welder as well and enjoy working with my hands. I am not an expert in farming/gardening but I bring a fair amount of knowledge there as well as a little in keeping chickens and bee keeping. I would ideally look for people who have skills to compliment mine but am open to anyone with passion and desire.

My long term goal is to grow enough food where we are able to help low income families by providing low cost organic food to there. Growing up with only my mother and two siblings food was not abundant and while my mom made sure we never went hungry, that would often mean less diversity in our meals. I wish to do my part in ensuring families can have the ability to add healthy ingredients to their diets.

Those are my goals and my current ability levels more or less, I’m currently reading books and volunteering on farms to increase my knowledge. I would like to hear back and meet up with anyone interested in southern New Hampshire. My E-Mail address is leon.couturieriii@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

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Spain’s Sun Tax to be axed

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Sun tax, Spain, Off-grid, solar panels, tax, grid

Is the sun finally setting on Spain’s controversial “sun tax”?

In October 2015, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved a controversial tax on those using electricity produced by their own solar installations. However, a new government says solar panel owners could soon see the back of the so called sun tax.

What is the sun tax?

This legislation causes those with self-consumptive photovoltaic systems to pay the same grid fees as those without solar panels. This covers the power contracted from an electricity company. But they also have to pay a second “sun tax” which means solar panel owners pay for the electricity they generate and use from their PV systems, even though it doesn’t come into contact with the grid.

There are other facets of the legislation which also caused more outrage. Photovoltaic systems up to 100 kW are not able to sell any excess electricity they produce. Instead, they must “donate” the extra to the grid free of charge. Systems over 100 kW must register if they wish to sell the extra electricity. Community ownership of PV systems, of all sizes, under this legislation is prohibited. Not only this, but the legislation is retroactive; meaning installations prior to the introduction of the tax must comply. If the conditions are not met, then the PV system owners are subject to a penalty fee of up to €60 million ($64 million). To put this in perspective, this is twice the penalty of a radioactive leak from a nuclear plant. Unsurprisingly, this caused outrage.

Exceptions to the tax

There are some circumstances where the tax does not apply. Fear not off-gridders, this tax is only for those connected to the grid. If you run an off-grid system then no grid tax needs to be paid at all. Installations smaller than 10 kW are also exempt from paying the second sun tax. The Canary Islands and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish territories in Africa) are also exempt from the second tax. Mallorca and Menorca pay the second sun tax at a reduced rate.

The Spanish government defended the legislation by saying the fees contribute to overall grid system costs. However, the Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) pointed out how uneconomic the new law was. Their spokesperson stated, “Each kWh imported from the grid by a self-consumer will pay double the tolls compared to a kWh imported from the gird by another consumer.”

Change on the horizon

The current legislation is an unnecessary burden placed upon solar consumers who want to be more economical and environmentally friendly. This has been recognized by opposing political parties and other unions and consumers. The political party which initially brought in the sun tax is now a minority. Therefore, there is now the opportunity for all opposing parties to remove this expensive and impractical legislation.

In January 2017 a law proposal was registered in congress, beginning the process of the sun tax removal. The urgent changes to the legislation listed in the document include the right to self-consumption of solar energy without charge. Along with this, several consumers should be able to pool their resources to share a self-consumption facility to help tackle poverty. Plus, the proposal also adapts the sanctioning regime to avoid the multi-million euro fines, becoming more realistic. Finally, the importance of renewable energy as an appropriate instrument to help reduce environmental impact of electricity production has been recognised. Alongside, the role it can play in strengthening energy independence for Spain. The President of the UNEF, Jorge Barredo, said of the proposal, “it is a very important step in defining a different and more favourable regulatory framework for self-consumption.”

The law proposal has outlined a period of 3 months for the legislation to come into action.

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Off grid living: Grow 25 pounds of sweet potatoes in a bucket

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Although sweet potatoes are an important staple food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, this versatile, orange root tuber can be added to many other meals all year round. While sweet potatoes have been used for ages by many cultures around the world, until recently they weren’t a regular sight on American kitchen tables outside of the Holiday season.

In the past decade, however, the sweet potato has found its way to our hearts. According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the root vegetable’s popularity has skyrocketed between 2000 and 2014, with its consumption increasing by nearly 80 percent. And for a good reason; sweet potatoes pack a powerful nutritional punch.

They are loaded with essential micronutrients to promote overall health and have fewer calories than ordinary potatoes. Essential nutrients found in sweet potatoes include fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, and many vitamins of the B-complex.

What’s more, you actually don’t need a big garden or a lot of space to grow your own supply of sweet potatoes. Read on to find out how to grow sweet potatoes at your home.

Easy steps to grow sweet potatoes in a bucket

  1. Select the right sweet potato – Rooted sweet potatoes will give you the best result since you can be sure that they are not treated with pesticides to stop the sprouting process.
  2. Create some heat – Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes love the heat. While sweet potatoes will still grow at a minimum temperature of 50 °F (10°C), they seem to do much better at room temperature. So, if you live in a colder climate, make sure to keep them indoors.
  3. Prepare a 5-gallon bucket – Once you have selected the right sprouted potato, fill a container that has draining holes in the bottom with moist soil. Plant one potato per 5-gallon bucket, tops exposed.
  4. Waiting for “slips” to emerge – After a while, green shoots or slips will start to grow out of the sweet potato. This step will take about 90 days.
  5. Transplant the slips – Once the slips are big enough, about 6 to 12 inches, it is time to gently remove them from the sweet potato and transplant them to a larger 20-gallon container. In each 20-gallon container, you can plant six sweet potato slips.
  6. Pick the right season – As mentioned before, sweet potatoes are a heat-loving plant. If you are planning to grown them outdoors, make sure the last frost of spring has already passed. Late spring is the ideal time of the year. Also, make sure they stay well-watered.
  7. Harvest time – After about 3 to 4 months – or when the leaves and vines start to turn yellow – you can start digging up the sweet potatoes. If you grow outdoors, this is usually just after the first frost. After digging up the sweet potatoes, shake off any excess dirt, but do not wash them with water as sweet potatoes need a curing process to create their delicious, sweet taste.
  8. Cure sweet potatoes – Next to enhancing their flavor, curing allows a second skin to form over scratches and bruises you made while digging up the potatoes. This protective layer makes it possible to store sweet potatoes at room temperature for up to a year. To cure, store the harvested tubers in a warm, humid place (80°F or 27°C) for two weeks.

As reported by Off The Grid News, bucket-grown sweet potatoes will have a yield of about 25 pounds for each 20-gallon container. (RELATED: Find more information about off-the-grid living at OffGrid.news.)

Source : www.naturalnews.com

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Return of the Scottish Hut

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Hut, Scotland, Building Regulations, Bothies, Off Grid

Huts or bothies were part of Scotland’s culture since early C20th.

If you fancy buying an inexpensive off-grid getaway in Europe – try Scotland.

The government announced changes to their building regulations early this year. This will include huts of up to 30m² becoming exempt from regulations, specifically aimed at making it simple for people to achieve a life off the grid.

In a few months, you could be gazing out from a building like the one in the picture for less than $25,000 inclusive.

Scotland has a strong hutting culture dating back to the early 20th century; it was only 60 years ago that this began to dwindle. The largest remaining hut community in Carbeth, near Glasgow, managed to weather this decline. The community bought the land on which their 140 huts stand in 2013. But now resurgence is happening, thanks mainly to the campaign A Thousand Huts championed by the environment organisation Reforesting Scotland.

This organisation recognises the benefits of hut life, offering a retreat for rest, recreation, enjoying nature and making memories with family. Alongside use as a base for outdoor activities, huts contribute to sustainable development and encourage learning new skills. Reforesting Scotland have been lobbying for changes to the law for some time and are keen to encourage more people to adopt the hut lifestyle. Now changes to building regulations are being finalised this year, more people can benefit from having their own off-grid getaway.

Scottish planning (zoning) policy requires all developments to get planning permission for a new build from their local authority. This involves providing a description of plans on the chosen location. This part of the process will not change and will still have to take place.

However, single storey huts will no longer need a building warrant or have to comply with strict building regulations. This gives hut builders more freedom in how they build their huts and can significantly reduce building costs. There are still some rules which will have to be met.

Firstly, the build must fit the description of a hut as given in Scottish Planning Policy documents, which is as follows:

“A simple building used intermittently as recreational accommodation, having an internal floor area of no more than 30m²; constructed from low impact materials; generally not connected to mains water, electricity or sewage; and built in such a way that it is removable with little or no trace at the end of its life.”

By restricting size, the risk of structural instability of the hut is reduced but its energy efficiency is maximised.

Secondly, some health and safety regulations will have to be met, for example relating to fire risk and spread. A guidance document outlining these will be published by Reforesting Scotland later this year.

The Scottish Government has also allowed provision for a sleeping platform and amenities such as composting toilets within the hut. In terms of energy use and production, off-grid solutions such as solar panels and micro wind turbines are most desirable, however these are location dependent.

There are hutting cultures in other locations, such as the Scandinavian countries. However, these seem to be growing in size and elaborateness. The aim of this policy development in Scotland is to take people back to basics and off the grid.

 

 

More information can be found here:

www.thousandhuts.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/160215-Huts-Guidance-FINAL-screen-res.pdf

A Guide to the Planning System in Scotland can be found here:

www.gov.scot/resource/doc/281542/0084999.pdf

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What Would It Take To Go Completely Off Grid?

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Most people have no idea how much their lifestyles depend on the rest of society. As Leonard Read explained in his famous essay, I Pencil, even the construction of a single pencil requires the cooperation of countless people. If a single pencil is that complicated, then how complicated would it be to leave behind the […]

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