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Eco-parents unimpressed by ‘green’ Barbie accessories

Barbie BCause, toymaker Mattel's attempt to appeal to the green-minded tyke, has turned out to be not so popular with green-minded parents. The line of patchwork-y Barbie accessories made from cast-off fabric has inspired a blogging backlash. "The eco-conscious young girls I know of steer clear of Barbie," wrote Jennifer Lance on blog Eco Child's Play. "Truly green families will not be fooled by Mattel's greenwashing." Mother Jones blogger Jen Phillips agreed that touting Barbie BCause as green is "pretty ironic given that Barbie dolls themselves are made out of plastic and are packaged in even more plastic." And that's …

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Socially conscious bugout hip-hop funk

Friday music blogging: Lyrics Born

Lyrics Born is part of the Bay area Quannum crew, and like his confreres he has a dazzling vocabulary and amazing verbal skills. Unlike them, he has strayed farther and farther from straight hip-hop, touring with a live funk band and experimenting with a wide variety of far-out sounds. These days, his tracks sound more like Gnarls Barkley or Andre 3000 than something you might hear on rap radio. His new album, Everywhere at Once, will be released on Monday, and it's great. This -- "Do U Buy It?" -- isn't the best song on the album, but it caught …

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From Death to Life

We'll undertake 'er Feeling deathly ill? Rest in peace on one of these slightly used sofas. Sure, they were coffins in another life, but now they're in a better place: your living room! Love those British chicks You can thank global warming for an abundance of great tits. Ewes you can use Let us get scentimental: Wool you believe they make air fresheners out of poo? You herd it here first. But we're a bit sheepish about trying this poo-pourri. Polluters should have toupee Thanks to rising levels of air pollution in urban areas, the once-endangered comb-over is hanging on …

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Dissolving your corpse is the green way to go

Concerned about the environmental impact of your burial or cremation? Well, don't die. But if you must, consider a third option: have your corpse dissolved. In a procedure called alkaline hydrolysis, the deceased is put into a stainless-steel cylinder resembling a pressure cooker; application of lye, 300-degree heat, and 60 pounds of pressure per inch produces a brown, syrupy liquid that can be unceremoniously dumped down the drain. (It also leaves a dry residue that could be buried or displayed in an urn on the mantel, for those who wish.) The procedure has been used in the U.S. for over …

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Summer festivals tune into sustainability

July 4th, Memorial Day weekends offer green jams

Missed the Coachella Express but still on board for a summerful of sustainable-ish music fests? Check out Rothbury, dubbed the "party with a purpose." The festival, which has attracted an impressive lineup including Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, John Mayer, Snoop Dogg, and Modest Mouse, will be held Fourth of July weekend in Rothbury, Mich. According to their website, Rothbury's goal is to "harness the unique energy of the live music community into a durable social movement toward an important cause" -- that cause being climate change and clean energy alternatives. How are they planning to rock such a hefty …

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It's Barack vs. Britney

Politics gaining ground in popular celeb rags

And Barack is winning ...

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On the Ball: Balls, balls, and more balls

Give this roundup a sporting chance

Ado, ado, ado. It's been a while since our last sports roundup, so with no further ado: Baseball: Major League Baseball was all about Earth Day. The Seattle Mariners hosted the league's first carbon-neutral game, while the uniforms of the Boston Red Sox displayed a pair of red socks in a green recycling logo. (Reaction from Grist Prez -- and Sox fan -- Chip Giller: "This is butt ugly! And what does the recycling sign have to do with energy issues?") Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Phillies have bought 20 million kilowatt-hours of renewable-energy certificates. The L.A. Dodgers have unveiled a new …

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How to use extra-virgin olive oils, from the extraordinary to the merely wonderful

I met with my friend, chef Didi Emmons, on a recent spring morning for breakfast in Harvard Square. We met at the Hi-Rise Pie Company, where we bought a loaf of potato bread and crept up the stairs to the little rooms filled with ancient chairs and tables. Peak oil. Didi pulled a dark green glass bottle from her rucksack. I wondered what the other patrons thought, since it was a bit early in the day for a tipple. But once we tore our loaf of bread into pieces and started dipping it in the liquid that we poured out …

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Brazilians and Indians are the greenest, says survey

Brazilians and Indians are the most eco-friendly folks in the world, and Canadians and Americans are the least, according to a new survey done by the National Geographic Society. Consumers in 14 countries, representing more than half of the world's population and about three-quarters of its energy use, were ranked on their sustainability in the areas of housing, transportation, food, and consumer goods. Brazil and India tied for the win with a score of 60 on the sustainable-consumption scale, followed by China, Mexico, Hungary, Russia, a tie between Great Britain and Germany and Australia, Spain, Japan, France, Canada, and the …

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