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Watch E.O. Wilson explain the meaning of human existence, in 6 minutes

Notable biologist and big-thinker E.O. Wilson drops the mic on the ways nature and human nature are intertwined.

four little birds told me

How to turn a boring old book into a stash box

On the fourth day of DIY Christmas, keep prying eyes away with this secret box camouflaged as a book.


Can I justify a fake Christmas tree?

A reader wants the greenest artificial Christmas tree possible. Umbra gets real.


Reducing food waste takes more than finishing your plate

Wasting less where food is produced is not only good for the planet, but it also helps reduce poverty -- the best way to get at hunger.

Climate & Energy

Weak deal at Lima climate talks disappoints climate hawks

The U.N. climate summit kicked off with optimism, but fizzled out at the end as countries punted decisions on hot-button topics.

twee french hens

How to make your true love an adorable jewelry stand

On the third day of DIY Christmas, you will be delighted by this custom knick-knack stand.

beet it

Delicious recipes to beet your winter blues

The many ways to get through an overload of beets, starting with this bright salad.

two turtledove-shaped succulent planters

How to make your true love a sweet succulent terrarium

On the second day of DIY Christmas, check out this dinosaur-shaped succulent planter.

Climate & Energy

California communities fight back against crude by rail

When Ed Ruszel discovered the prospect of a 25-fold increase in the amount of crude-by-rail, he and his community in Benicia started speaking up.

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