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Ashley Braun's Posts

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WTF should you make for dinner?

The adventures of daily life are many and varied and often include decisions that don't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things. However, I find these are often the hardest choices to make. Take dinner, for example. Sometimes I just want to know what the f**k I should make for dinner that day. As a vegetarian, not just any f**king dinner will do. And did I mention that I f**king love "choose your own adventure" books? You can see, then, why I'm f**king thankful for the website What the f**ck should I make for dinner. With …

Read more: Food, Living

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The greatest wannabe junk food on the planet — 'extreme baby carrots'

Everybody knows there's no fate worse than being a vegetable. Oh, how those healthy veggies must pine after hungry shoppers as they bypass nutritious stacks of produce en route to snack aisle nirvana. If only vegetables had bright packaging, adrenaline-packed commercials, and millions of dollars for marketing campaigns! Maybe then they could compete with the glitzy success of junk food. Well, if you can't beat 'em, you can sell out like "baby carrots" and join 'em. "More crunchy than chips. More orange-y than cheese puffs. More addicting than any snack that ends in -itos. When you add it all up, …

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It (almost) can't get more local than growing at the grocery store

Are farmers markets not fresh enough for you? Is the urban farm down the street too full of dirt? Do you love the experience of walking up and down aisles of artificially lit food which the grocery store can offer but cringe at the miles and minutes it took for your dinner to reach you? Then Agropolis may be for you!  Photo: AgropolisIt's the soil-free, pesticide-free, and travel-free concept grocery store, urban farm, and restaurant, all rolled into one. Peruse the produce growing up the walls and pick what you like, while you have visions of tilapia dinners dancing in …

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Buy a breath of 'Fresh Air' in Hong Kong

Oxygen bars are so Japan circa 1997. Huffing canisters of "Fresh Air" is where it's at. At only two Hong Kong dollars a pop (that's one shiny U.S. quarter), Hong Kongers can finally huff and puff and blow their birthday candles out ... just "like the rest of the world does." With a deal like that, why would you breathe anything else? Unfortunately for the seven million residents respiring in Hong Kong, they have to breathe some of the dirtiest air in the world. Which is exactly why the Clean Air Network produced this video as a cheeky warning of …

Read more: Living

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How will you keep walruses from learning to fly?

That's what I consider the core message to be of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's cute animated video about climate change's effects on sea creatures. Deviating from the nature mockumentary style, this one instead takes the high tech approach to global warming by going the CGI walrus route. This pretty clearly emphasizes the difference between humans mitigating climate change (e.g., driving less) and marine life adapting to climate change (cue flying walruses). It's probably also worth noting that John Cleese narrates it and, according to the Aquarium, "to date has refused 3,982 plastic water bottles." I assume he uses the Holy …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Colorado town won't play nice with bicyclists — but its casino will

Photo: John Niedermeyer via Flickr You may remember the small town of Black Hawk, Colo., for its recent ban on cycling because bikes were getting in the way of all its casino traffic. Well, city officials still don't consider this move a gamble and to date have no plans to roll back the ban. As bike advocates gear up for a court battle over the issue, you might not think this wild west town would be going out of its way to court pro-cycling groups. Oh, the irony, then, when one of the town's top "priority" casinos sent an email …

Read more: Living, Politics

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Guerrilla art takes bike activism to the streets [SLIDESHOW]

Photo: Panoptico via Flickr As a healthy, affordable, and non-polluting way of getting around, the two-wheeled wonder that is bicycling can't be beat, which is probably why it's enjoying such an enthusiastic resurgence in popularity right now. However, U.S. streets, drivers, and even pedestrians may not be quite ready to welcome an influx of well-spoked folk. The pervasive attitude that roads were made for cars, not bikes, has pushed cyclists toward guerrilla street art to get their point across (and toward some cult-ish tendencies too). In homage to those positive and creative forces pushing non-gas pedals across the nation, we …

Read more: Cities, Living

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They Might Be Giants riding in electric cars [VIDEO]

As a general -- and generally very reliable -- rule, songs about environmental issues are cringeworthy. Plenty of bands and artists may walk the green talk, but they generally don't sing it. How refreshing, then, to hear the group They Might Be Giants geek out about clean tech vehicles in its catchy pop song for kids (and -- who are we kidding? -- the rest of us) by the name of "Electric Car." Not diesel, steam, or gasoline Let's take a ride in an electric car Happiness resides in an electric car You can even drive an electric car Won't …

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When streets tell the truth about people riding in cars (and on bikes)

It's pretty lame that cars "own" most roads in America, which is why we're such fans of spontaneous street art that aims to take back the streets for bikes and pedestrians. Maybe you shouldn't take things to the extreme of, say, painting your own bike lane (we know you're just dropping a big hint to city council). But that doesn't mean you can't paint the truth on the streets, as artist Peter Drew did here: Photo: Carlton Reid via Flickr, Art: Peter DrewHave you seen other amazing street art like this that speaks for folks on spokes (or folks on …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Swapping health care for people to get health care for forests

Could this be the cure for what’s ailing U.S. forests? Photo: Daniel Kulinski via Flickr If we want carbon-sequestering forests to be the picture of health, perhaps we've been barking up the wrong tree. About 60 percent of U.S. forest land is privately owned -- and often by people who like to keep it in the family. But when towering medical costs fall in those woods, the timber owners hear it loud and clear -- and are then more likely to swallow the bitter pill of selling off the family land to pay the bills. This news came out of …