the political cycle

Three of our favorite politicians on two wheels

While oil continues to gush in the Gulf of Mexico and the future of federal climate and energy legislation looks dim, there remains one relatively easy solution for those interested in saving the planet: riding …

Reading and the Deep Blue Sea

Ask Umbra’s Book Club discussion starts next week

Dearest readers, Next week, we’ll begin our discussion of The World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One by Sylvia Earle. If you haven’t gotten your book yet, there’s still time! Take …

who, us?

Department of Energy turns out to be the Energy Hog

“What changes are you willing to make to save energy at work?” asks a blog post from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Savers blog. Energy Hog Hiding Place #1: The Department of Energyenergyhog.orgFor starters, …

Dredging up the past

Cleanup efforts bring life back to Grand Calumet River

Grand Calumet River near Gary AirportLeslie DorworthThe first time I saw the Grand Calumet River, I was driving down the Indiana Toll Road. It was 1996, and I had just arrived in northwest Indiana from …

Bicycle trailers and human-powered house moves

I want my next move to be by bicycle. Crazy? Not at all. Thanks to impressive new bicycle trailer designs, such a move is now possible. So are other, similarly audacious feats of human-powered hauling, …

we all live in an oily submarine

Not even the Beatles can stop the oil spill [VIDEO]

When leaking crude threatens cartoon characters in a pineapple under the sea (under the sea!), the Beatles give it a go in this animated short. “We’ve been trying to stop the oil with our music,” …

Getting Lodi'd

It’s raining apples

These apples might look green, but they’re perfectly ripe — and begging to be picked.(Steph Larsen photos) I have my work cut out for me.When nature calls on the farm, we listen. Meaning, when a …

it's a party -- it doesn't have to make sense

Want a party? Kick cars off the street in Oakland

Shut down a street to autos and sunny revelry instantly breaks out with lots of happy Californians. OK, maybe not automatically, but a key appeal of Complete Streets is that human-scaled throughways tend to be …

slow me the money

Get drivers to slow down (and save fuel) by making it fun

From the people who brought you piano stairs comes an idea for getting more drivers to obey speed limits. “Fun theory award” winner Kevin Richardson suggests making it “fun” to drive the speed limit by …

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