Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things.

Living

This robot enjoys nature for you while you’re stuck at your desk

Rat race getting you down? Shitty economy and lack of full-time benefits keeping you from that summer retreat you dreamed of? Fear not, you can have it all: the semi-stability of wage-slave employment and the idyll of skipping stones through a perfect Idaho pond. Skippy the stone-skipping robot’s here to help you out. See, you can “feel what summer’s all about” even from your over air-conditioned office. You have to wait your turn, but then you get to choose where the robot throws the stone and how hard.

Cities

Slightly insulting posters beat the hell out of those ‘I Heart [City]‘ shirts

What is love if not the right to gently poke fun at the object of your affection, be it a boyfriend, relative, or cherished city neighborhood? It’s clear that Jeni Brendemuehl, Lauren Schroer, and RC Jones have a great fondness for Chicago. They just choose to express that love with Slightly Insulting Chicago Posters like this one: RedEye Chicago’s Leonor Vivanco relates:

Living

Here’s what to buy so you can stop living in self-denial

Trying to reduce a building’s energy footprint is so dang hard, especially when it involves leaving pee in the toilet, sweating through hot days, and nagging your significant other to please turn off the goddamn lights when leaving the house. And while some people might want to live like that, most people don’t. Normally we don’t advocate buying more stuff, but if you buy the right stuff, you can live in energy-efficient bliss without suffering like a cloistered monk. Here is a handy guide:

Living

If Park Slope parents suck so bad at contraception, what hope is there for the rest of us?

In fiscal year 2012, the federal budget marked out $610 million for international family planning programs. But perhaps some of that funding needs to be directed inward, to fix the backwards bourgeois parents of Park Slope. Amy Sohn writes in the Awl: You would think people with multiple children would be responsible about contraception because they understand the financial and emotional toll of childrearing. Instead they are as clueless and blasé as teens, teens who really don’t know any better … In the 90s we did “everything but intercourse” because of AIDSphobia. Now we do it because of laziness. As …

Living

This summer’s blockbuster: Tiny House, THE MOVIE

The best cinema taps into our secret dreams, and TINY taps in specifically to our secret dreams about running away to Colorado and building a tiny house. Thus, we think it’s reasonable to assume it’ll be bigger than Avengers. TINY chronicles filmmaker Christopher Smith’s attempt to build a tiny house more or less from scratch. Smith directed the movie and Merete Mueller, who will also live in the house, wrote and produced it. They’re both quite charming, and to get a sense of both their ambitions and their learning process, consider this bit from the blog chronicling the project:

Living

In the future, your clothes could be made of bacteria poo

The nice way to talk about Suzanne Lee’s garments is to say that they’re “biocouture” — biodegradable clothes that required no animal products in the making. The grosser to way to talk about them is to say that they’re made of bacteria excretion. She explains: You can start with something like green tea, you add sugar as a nutrient and then you introduce another culture which is a living organism and that basically feeds on the sugar and the green tea and it spins threads of cellulose. Basically, these are Kombucha clothes. Those cellulose threads gather at the surface of …

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