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Why burning a vinyl album is a bad idea

Thursday night, a group of us Grist gals headed out to The Stranger's Valentine's Day Bash -- a yearly purge for Seattle's lovelorn wherein the wronged bring in mementos of their failed relationship and host Dan Savage destroys them on stage in some sick and twisted but totally satisfying way. (Fret not, old boyfriends, I didn't destroy anything of yours ...) Weapons of choice include a sledgehammer, a power saw, liquid nitrogen, men's urinals, a high-powered blender, and a blowtorch. But it was not the dude in a pink furry costume nor the trio of women screwed by the same …

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A breathless appraisal of Lance’s new bicycle mecca and mission

Lance Armstrong will soon unveil his 18,000-square-foot Austin-based bike shop, Mellow Johnny's (named after the Tour de France's yellow jersey -- or "maillot jaune"). The goal of the shop is to promote bike culture and bike commuting: "This city is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting..." Showers and a locker room will allow commuters who don't have facilities at their offices to ride downtown, store their bikes at the shop, bathe and catch a ride on a pedicab or walk the rest of the way to work. …

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Depressing ocean news buoyed by Pam Anderson’s striptease

Walking into the office this morning, I saw this headline in bold letters on the front of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: "Scientists fear 'tipping point' in Pacific Ocean." Then, a news search told me this: "As vast as the oceans are, almost no waters remain untouched by human activities." It's enough to make me wanna strangle myself with me old eyepatch... But then, I turned to my favorite celeb goss site, as I often do in these times of turmoil, and I found this: Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson followed in the footsteps of French actress Brigitte Bardot on Thursday by …

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Aussie musician Xavier Rudd chats about coming to America and greening his tour

Xavier Rudd. Photo: James Looker When Australian musician Xavier Rudd was 10 years old, he realized that he could reuse an old vacuum-cleaner hose as a didgeridoo. Talk about a career rooted in green values. Since then, Rudd has moved on from vacuum-cleaner hoses to guitars, harmonicas, banjos, lapsteels, and even real didgeridoos -- but his environmental ethics remain the same. The singer/songwriter/one-man-band is an avid supporter of several environmental organizations and often incorporates socially conscious lyrics into his bluesy roots music: His White Moth single "Better People" -- which opens "People saving whales/And giving your thanks to our seas/My …

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From Flesh to Flurry

Vegan exposure The perfect eco-nightspot: Casa Diablo. "[It's] vixens not veal; sizzle, not steak," says the owner. "We put the meat on the pole, not on the plate." Photo: iStockphoto You want a piece of her? A letter to the Parents Spears: "We have heard that Britney asked for ice cream while she was in the hospital. ... Switching to a vegan diet might very well benefit Britney's mental health." Uh, PETA? This may not be the best time for vegangelism. Stiff competition This model citizen wants to tell you all about his wood. About how it's so sustainable and …

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Researchers develop energy-generating clothing

We like the idea of harvesting energy from our own movement, but wearing a knee brace just sounds too clunky. But now U.S. researchers publishing in Nature have developed a way to generate electricity from nanofibers woven into fabric. If the technology goes mainstream, we'll be able to generate energy just by getting dressed -- which, of course, we do every day. Except on Nude Friday.

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A pair of decadent desserts guaranteed to sweeten up your Valentine’s Day

Like every food writer the world over, I am duty-bound to offer a chocolate recipe for Valentine's Day. I was fortunate to get a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes from the Woodstar Café in Northampton, Mass., a bakery whose goods are so delicious that I have been known to eat there twice a day when I'm in town. Nothing says I Love You like a cannelé. Photo: Canto 6 Bakery and Café But I also wanted to offer a non-chocolate alternative for those who can't have chocolate or who just prefer other flavors. The owners of Canto 6, a bakery …

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More ideas for Valentine’s Day bliss

In "Mad Flavor," I describe exceptional culinary experiences from small artisan producers. Showing my usual absolute devotion to the interests of Grist readers and disdain for my own, I attended a tasting last night of wine and chocolate pairings. I made this sacrifice to give you, dear readers, more ideas for a festive Valentine's Day. The tasting took place at 3 Cups in Chapel Hill, a cafe fanatical about sourcing and serving excellent coffee, wine, chocolate, and tea. 3 Cups chocolate buyer Jonathan Wallace and wine guy Matt Souza paired four small-batch chocolates with Italian wines from small farms. Wallace …

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Campaign will let restaurant patrons donate to drinking-water project

Mark your calendars for the week of March 16, when diners at participating restaurants can choose to drink local tap water instead of bottled water and donate $1 to the Tap Project. Proceeds from the project benefit Unicef's efforts to provide clean drinking water to children in developing countries. The Tap Project was started pro bono last year by New York boutique exec David Droga; it raised $100,000 in New York last year, will go forth in more than a dozen additional cities next month, and may go global in 2009. sources:

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Veganism as relationship deal breaker

Love is in the air, and according to the New York Times, it's also served up at the dinner table. But when it comes to dueling food preferences -- he loves meat, she doesn't -- sometimes dinner leaves couples, well, hungry for more. No-holds-barred carnivores, for example, may share the view of Anthony Bourdain, who wrote in his book Kitchen Confidential that "vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans ... are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit." Returning the compliment, many vegetarians say they cannot date anyone who eats meat. Vegans, who avoid eating …

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