holy hole-in-the-ground

Weird and wonderful places to live

The New York Times Magazine did a photo spread of some rather extreme conversions of churches, shipping containers, water towers, and even caves. We do our own roundup of TreeHugger favorites: A chapel converted to residence by ZECC Architects. Churches ZECC Architects, beloved of their conversion of a water tower into a residence, are at it again with this conversion of a Dutch chapel into a single family residence. In some ways it is a bit sad, when formerly public spaces get converted to private residences, but not every church can be converted into a bookstore or other public use, …

You get what you Palin for

Sarah Palin’s spendy nature documentary dreams to become reality TV — on TLC!

UPDATE: Discovery’s TLC has officially signed Alaska’s most famous former official. However, Discovery would really like everyone to stop calling it a reality show, and acknowledge it for what it really will be: a “documentary series about the remarkable Governor Palin and her home state of Alaska.” Will the network’s aspirations to keep it from becoming a “political program” be successful? Perhaps only with an airhead filter. Sarah Palin attracts more drama than Jersey Shore, so it’s only natural for her to guide us to the natural reality-TV shores of Alaska. Rumors say Palin’s asking Discovery Communications to coffer up …

bugging out

First came superweeds; now come the superbugs!

The current crop of superweeds plaguing farmers who rely on Monsanto’s RoundUp pesticide represents by now a well documented crisis. But watch out, world! Here come the superbugs. That’s right, Monsanto’s other flagship product, its “Bt” line of genetically modified seeds which emit their own pesticide in the form of a naturally occurring toxin, is now under threat from resistant insects. Science Magazine ($ub req’d) has the details: Monsanto has revealed that a common insect pest has developed resistance to its flagship genetically modified (GM) product in India. The agricultural biotechnology leader says it “detected unusual survival” of pink bollworms that fed …

Twinkie, Twinkie, little star, how I wonder what you are

Stuff your own Twinkies, then stuff your face

Editor’s note: In his book Food Rules, Michael Pollan declares, “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” The idea is that by cooking at home, you’ll avoid all the unpronounceable chemicals found in store-bought junk. And even though you might gorge on it, you can only eat as much as you made—and it takes hands-on effort, not just a trip to the supermarket, to procure more. In that spirit, we offer DIY Junk Food, the recipe column for those who want to get their hands dirty in the kitchen before enjoying some sublime …

Telly something I don't know

Love your mother: Vote for Grist’s MILF video in the Telly Awards

Remember last year when Grist said, Screw Earth Day? (What with every day being Earth Day, yadda yadda yadda.) Well, our fine and funny MILF video celebrating, er, loving your mother the right and wrong way, has been nominated for a Telly Award, which honors the “very best in video, film, and commercials.” Thanks, Telly, we like to think we’re the very best too. Why? Because we have the very best readers who will vote for us, of course. (Nudge, nudge.) You know the drill, baby, drill. Go here: and search for “Grist.” Click on that hot pair of …

If the Rocket Man made love to a jet ski

The JetLev indulges your wettest dreams of low-carbon flying

Are your arms tired of holding up frequent-flyer guilt? Don’t like the hassle of gassing up a personal blimp? Doubtful about the pie-in-the-sky eco-claims of recreational space tourism? Same here. That’s why we’re on cloud nine over the launch of JetLev, which allows you to fly by the seat of your wetsuit with the ease of a rocket and the carbon emissions of a small motor boat. It’s personal transportation for the wet jetsetters. Via James Fallows of The Atlantic. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this — …

You can go back home

Egger’s Head: The prodigal generation

Robert Egger has a lot going on in his head. Just ask him.  As a nonprofit entrepreneur, a serial searcher for ordinary people doing extraordinary things, a deeply deep thoughts kind of guy, Egger gives us something to ponder every week. We ask. He yaks. We listen. And now you can, too. Listen to Egger’s single-breath exposition on the Prodigal Generation. Trust us, it’s the most entertaining few minutes you’ll spend today. Egger is founder and President of the D.C. Central Kitchen, the nation’s first “community kitchen,” where unemployed men and women learn marketable culinary skills while donated food is …

chewing the scenery

Some tasty viewing for the first Monday of spring

In “Chewing the Scenery,” we round up interesting food-related video from around the Web. ——- Here’s a smorgasbord of videos to get your week started right. • After a brutal winter, spring has finally arrived, at least officially (it remains stubbornly cold and wet up here in the N.C. mountains). Let’s start with an earnest paean to the farmers market, from Cooking Up a Story, reporting from Portland. • Now, let’s get a little wonky. Also from Cooking Up a Story, organic seed breeder Frank Morton gives a short, lucid explanation of what hybrid seeds have meant historically. The agrichemical …

Hohm, sweet home

Things you didn’t know about your furnace

At a dinner this week in San Francisco, I found myself seated between Matt Golden, co-founder of energy efficiency retrofitter Recurve — the startup formerly known as Sustainable Spaces — and Cisco DeVries, co-founder of Renewable Funding, the Oakland outfit that pioneered municipal financing of residential solar arrays. The hot topic was Home Star — aka Cash for Caulkers — the proposed $6 billion federal energy efficiency rebate program now wending its way through Congress. The bill is being cast as a way to fight climate change, lower energy bills for 3.3 million homes and create an estimated 168,000 sustainable …

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