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You've Got to See This Remarkable Off-Grid Cabin Built by Snowboarding Legend Mike Basich
Mike Basich once lived in a luxurious 4,000 square foot mansion, but right now, the former professional snowboarder is living out his childhood dreams in a tiny cabin in the snow-covered Sierra Nevada mountains.
But really, his 250-square-foot, off-grid home in Soda Springs, California is a dream come true for anyone who appreciates living off of the land.
Featured recently on the YouTube series Seeker Stories, Basich's home is a labor of love constructed over a five-year stretch. It's a fortress made with 175 tons of mountain rock that he and some friends moved with their own hands.
Nicknamed Area-241, the house gets powered by the sun, heat from a single fireplace and has a wood-fired hot tub with water supplied from a nearby waterfall. The pad sits on at 40-acre piece of land and has everything one possibly needs and even a personal chairlift.
There's one exception ... for whatever reason, Basich hasn't installed an indoor toilet, though he said in an interview about simple living: "It’s always going to be hard—that’s the best part about it all in some ways. To focus on what you are willing to give up if needed to make it happen, like using an outdoor toilet versus something you’re use to, etc.").
At one point in his snowboarding career, Basich told Seeker Stories he was pulling $170,000 a year and bought a giant home and a fancy car. When asked by host Lisa Ling why he decided to leave all that for something much simpler, he explained: "It didn't do anything different for me. It just took up time."
Now that he no longer in the professional circuit, he's found a second calling as a snowboarding photographer and does a lot of work with extreme-action video camera makers GoPro, of course.
"Nature inspires me, and that's why I choose this kind of environment," he said. "I want to learn how to live off the grid, have appreciation for nature, and how to keep the rain off my head and stay warm."
"I like to think of it as getting back to the basics of humanity," he added. "I like feeling connected to the Earth more than I could with a 4,000 square foot house."
In the video, Basich takes the viewer on a tour of his cabin and explains how its design inspiration came from the golden ratio law of nature.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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