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A quick read on green lifestyle magazines

Choices are good, but good choices are better. Periodically, I find myself wandering the ever-expanding magazine aisles at local newsstands and bookstores. And I'm often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of, well, volumes. You've got mags for every hobby, interest, celeb, fetish, and lifestyle. So when I set out to grab some light reading about light green, I expected to be inundated with options. I stocked up on Band-Aids just anticipating the paper cuts involved in an exhaustive flip-thru of every green-living rag out there. But when I actually hit the stands, I found myself poking around, peeking behind every …

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High Line Park

What's going on in New York with the High Line Park is extremely cool. Check out this video: Yeah, some grumps will argue that public money could be better spent elsewhere, but when is that not true? Sometimes you gotta do something pretty even though it doesn't make sense. Hardly worth being human otherwise.

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An interview with Bonk author Mary Roach

Photo: cybertoad Ah, sex. Source of carnal bliss, domestic harmony, cute infants ... and global population problems. (Oh, environmentalists are such killjoys.) Overpopulation aside for the moment, sex is fundamental to humanity, and to the rest of the natural world -- and besides, it's a dang fascinating subject, as Mary Roach found out while researching her new book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Mary Roach. Photo: David Paul Morris To produce her latest work, Roach delved into the quirky and occasionally sordid history of human sexual research, following the fearless scientists who devote their lives to figuring …

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R.I. court reverses ruling, says paint companies not responsible for lead cleanup

Three paint companies should not have to clean up lead contamination in Rhode Island homes, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The decision reverses a landmark 2006 ruling in which the state was victorious in alleging that Sherwin-Williams Co., NL Industries Inc., and Millennium Holdings LLC created a public nuisance by manufacturing and selling lead-based paint, despite knowing it was unsafe. Lead paint was banned in the U.S. in 1978, but some 240,000 homes in Rhode Island still contain it. The court decided 4-0 that the companies should not be on the hook to spend an estimated $2.4 billion for …

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Three guidebooks for a dream vacation at your dining-room table

Eat your way around the world, without leaving home. If you had to choose one place in the world to go for a summer break, where would it be? For me, it would be a place I stayed once in Puglia, at the heel of Italy's boot. In 2003, my friends and I spent a week at an agriturismo operation -- a working organic olive farm that doubled as a kind of low-key rural hotel. Our quarters were in the cellar of a 17th century farmhouse, so during a heat wave that turned even the night into a cauldron, we …

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Milk jug gets a makeover

Another example of how carbon constraints may benefit big box retailers

Wal-Mart and Costco have adopted a version of the one-gallon milk jug designed with efficiency in mind. The boxier containers stack better, eliminating the need for milk crates and conserving space in trucks and on refrigerated store shelves: The company estimates this kind of shipping has cut labor by half and water use by 60 to 70 percent. More gallons fit on a truck and in Sam's Club coolers, and no empty crates need to be picked up, reducing trips to each Sam's Club store to two a week, from five -- a big fuel savings. Also, Sam's Club can …

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Drought hampering Fourth of July celebrations

Friday is July 4, otherwise known in the U.S. as the Fourth of July. Independence-celebrating Americans are accustomed to gazing upon red-glaring rockets, air-bursting bombs, and other shows of pyrotechnic pomp -- but this year, many fireworks shows may lose their sparkle. Because of drought conditions, many shows across the country have been canceled, and several places will impose fines on backyard detonations as well. In California, where lightning-sparked wildfires are raging, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger told residents this week, "Don't buy the fireworks, don't go out and play with fireworks, because it's just too dry and too dangerous to do …

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Green Onion

The Onion's green issue is out, and it's a doozy -- from eco-junkies recycling ("If you come across an old needle lying around, by all means, use it"), to crediting Working Assets' long-distance with the planet's survival, to an opinion piece by a smokestack ("Soon, my tummy starts to feel full. And when I feel like I can't hold any more, out pop the wonderful clouds!"). They even get in a poke at Steven Johnson! Priceless.

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15 green books you can actually read at the beach

Green books that are fun to read? What a novel idea. So maybe you'll finally have a chance to catch up on some reading this summer. But so many of those books about the environment seem kind of ... well, homework-y. What's a vacationing enviro to do? Turn to Grist for advice, of course! Here are 15 recent page-turners just perfect for stuffing in your hemp beach tote. Got sunny-day suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments section below. The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring Richard Preston, Random House, 2007 Think nature writing is …

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An interview with author James Howard Kunstler

Author and social critic James Howard Kunstler, known for predicting our post-peak-oil future in nonfiction works such as The Long Emergency, has also brought his forecasts to life through fiction. His newest novel, World Made By Hand, describes the near future in a small town in upstate New York -- not unlike the place Kunstler himself lives today -- where a chain of global crises has forced the community to fend for itself. Despite the tragedy and violence that surround his characters, Kunstler says his vision of the future isn't nearly as grim as it might seem. "I resent the …

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