Living

Food for thought

Ask Umbra’s pearls of wisdom on supermarket shopping

Dearest readers, Sometimes when I’m down in the stacks researching answers to your latest dilemmas, I enjoy taking a stroll down Ask Umbra archives lane. Here are some glossy tidbits I culled from my past …

To half and to hold

I paid $50 for this book and all I got was this lousy feeling of hope and goodwill

I received a free review copy of The Power of Half, but it ended up costing me $50. Fifty bucks that won’t go toward a much-needed (fine, much-wanted) pedicure, about a dozen cinnamon lattes, a …

Picking up the PACE

San Francisco commits $150 million to green homes

Monday night I was having drinks in downtown San Francisco with some seriously smart people — top-level IBM scientists and strategists involved in Big Blue’s Smarter Planet initiative.  Given the room’s collective interest in creating …

To Half and Have Not

Ask Umbra’s Change Agent: Hannah Salwen

What would you do with half? Half the house, half the lattes, half the TV watching, half the Tweets, half the email checking? More importantly, what would you do with the other half — the …

One Less Car; One More Terrified Biker

Car free in Boston, for all the wrong reasons

I’m currently in transportation transition. By the end of the month, I will have transferred my aging VW into my partner’s name, and canceled my own insurance. I will have tuned up my bike, spent …

NEXT STEPS

Walking: A simple focus for the Smart Growth movement

I expected to hear a lot more about sexy green urban design projects at the New Partners in Smart Growth conference in Seattle last week. I expected more sleek design and big new developments akin …

we audi know better

The unheralded significance of the Audi ‘green police’ ad

Is it me or were the Super Bowl commercials this year unusually ugly, misogynistic, and, worst of all, unfunny? Some of America’s biggest corporations seemed to be trying to play to Teabag America, and the …

Solid gold

Ask Umbra on engagement rings, straws, and napkins

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, My boyfriend and I are talking seriously about marriage, and he knows I don’t want a diamond ring (at least not a new one) because of the …

Get a heart on

Ask Umbra’s pearls of wisdom on Valentine’s Day

Dearest readers, Sometimes when I’m down in the stacks researching answers to your latest dilemmas, I enjoy taking a stroll down Ask Umbra archives lane. Here are some sparkly tidbits I culled from my past …

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