big wheels

The love child of a tractor and a bicycle

Some people really put the “alternative” in alternative transportation. Just meet the Monsterbike. After a few weeks with it, and you’ll have Monsterquadriceps. Via

what the cough?!

Tailpipe fumes are five times worse for bikers than for drivers, study finds

Well this is a bummer: A Belgian study finds that bicyclists on urban streets inhale tens of millions of toxic nanoparticles with each breath, taking in five times as much as drivers and pedestrians on …

Reading Maritime

The best books about the deep blue sea, just in time for World Oceans Day

All reading lists are incomplete and arbitrary. This is especially true of a list limited to a dozen works about the ocean, the blue immensity that comprises 71 percent of our planet. So take this …

my blue heaven

Ask Umbra on celebrating World Oceans Day

Some water over the rainbow … maybe there isn’t an oil spill.Photo: Sean Linehan, NOAAAhoy, mateys! Today is June 8th, and it’s one of my favorite holidays: World Oceans Day! World Oceans Day was officially …


Ask Umbra on rinsing recyclables, flipping off fluorescents, and poisoning yourself

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, How important is it to rinse out containers before they go into recycling bins? Does a failure to rinse a jar contaminate the whole bin? What about …

Churn and churn about

Summer in a bowl: Blueberry buttermilk ice cream

April McGreger photos Ask me about my favorite foods, and I will inevitably list my favorite food experiences — all of which, by no coincidence, are cooked or eaten outside: boiled peanuts, barbecue, fried crappie, …

sitting on the crock of the bay

The absolute worst thing that could happen with the oil spill, according to Michael Bay

If blockbuster film director Michael Bay had anything to do with it, the expanding oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico would hail the Armageddon and Matt Damon would be wearing top hats and taking …

cart blanch

Ditching shopping carts one-ups bans on plastic bags

Why would we want to teach our little rascals that shopping carts and cars don’t go together?Sean Dreilinger via Flickr Creative CommonsCalifornia may think it’s bag-ass for its progress toward banning plastic shopping bags. However, …

paper cuts

Children’s books about saving rainforests actually destroy them

You’re killing me, kid.marko2marko via Flickr Creative Commons OK, parents. We know it’s tough raising kids, but as you read Junior a touching tale about sloths in the Amazon, you may be doing more razing …

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