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Yellow Submarine on sizzurp

Friday music blogging: The Ruby Suns

In 2005, New Zealand indie band The Ruby Suns put out a (self-titled) dreamy, beautiful psych-pop album that's been one of my favorites for years. Now they've finally released the follow-up: Sea Lion. The product description at Amazon is unusually accurate: The melodic musings of "Sea Lion" found inspiration in the natural world and Ryan McPhun's travels with in it. With a Dictaphone, he ventured into the wilds of Africa, the ancient monasteries of Thailand, and the haunting landscapes of New Zealand that surround his everyday. It was intended to be a world music album, but reverb and psychedelic pop …

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From D’oh to Dash

Jessica and Ashlee not included Universal Studios is launching a Simpsons-themed ride, but don't have a cow, man! It uses LED lighting and energy-efficient electronics -- so it's as green as Ned Flanders' sweater. Ay, caramba! Though, not, of course, as green as having no ride at all ... D'oh! © 2007 Universal Orlando. All Rights Reserved. Can't see the chest hair for the trees Looking for the best way to "showcase the pain involved in deforestation"? Hairy Harrison suggests a nice chest wax. More than we can stomach Oh, PETA, lettuce say this: the half-naked chick thing? Getting a …

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On Target

Target launches eco-friendly line by Rogan Gregory

Photos: Target Big-box store Target -- or Tar-zhay, as I like to call it -- is launching its first eco-friendly line of apparel ... at luxury retailer Barneys New York. The collection, designed by Rogan Gregory of Edun and Loomstate denim fame, uses organic cotton, hemp, linen, and bamboo to create a "beach safari vibe" and "relaxed silhouettes." And this guy doesn't skimp on eco-materials ... no "5 percent organic" here. Says a Target rep, "[Gregory's] expertise at fusing organic material with skillful design will show women everywhere how easy it is to be environmentally conscientious while remaining stylish." The …

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Right to bare legs

Today, No Pants Day will undoubtedly spark dialogue about climate change

Arguably, a far superior cousin to Earth Day: No Pants Day. It may seem to be an innocuous, juvenile ritual devoid of underlying political intentions, but neglecting one's trousers provides unavoidable commentary about global warming. Conversation starter: "My legs are hot ... and so is the planet." (Bringing up body hair and deforestation is optional.) After all, "When large groups of people parade around in public without their pants, amazing things are bound to happen."

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An interview with Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Stacy Malkan. Beauty, they say, is only skin deep. But given the load of toxic chemicals in everyday products like shampoo, deodorant, and makeup, that superficial truth is still cause for concern. With increasing frequency, studies point to hidden dangers in the medicine cabinet: things like lead in lipstick, phthalates in baby lotions, aluminum in deodorant. While the amount of each toxic may be tiny on its own, the number of products most people use each day means we're exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks -- all in the name of looking and smelling good. In 2002, the Campaign for Safe …

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650 million years in 94 minutes

A History Channel production on climate is worthwhile

A coworker lent me an amazing piece of work called A Global Warning? It does an excellent job illustrating the chaotic nature of terrestrial climate and explaining the theories behind some of the most dramatic climate transitions. It's not a perfect movie, but if you won't read With Speed and Violence, it's probably the best thing there is. It gets into both ocean clathrates (methane hydrate crystals) and the melting permafrost (more methane). Best of all, not a single denialist or confusionist in the whole thing. It simply says "most scientists," cites the IPCC (the only appearance by Gore is …

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CSAs can transform Iowa’s farm economy — and take its sandwiches to the next level

Getting fresh. Here in Iowa, the farmers markets are just emerging from hibernation, and with them the CSAs. Community-supported agriculture is not a new idea, but it certainly has been gaining ground over the past few years as ideas such as "local" and "sustainable" migrate from the fringes to the center. For the uninitiated, CSAs operate a lot like magazine subscriptions. You find one whose content you like, pay your money up front, and receive weekly allotments of fresh local produce, dairy, eggs, flowers, and sometimes meat. CSAs offer a great way to "go local," and they present you with …

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Sun is in the sky, oh why, oh why, would she wanna be anywhere else?

Lily Allen backs U.K. solar incentive campaign

Brit popster Lily Allen has sung about "riding through the city on [her] bike all day" at the Premises solar-powered recording studio. Now, she's added her backing to a campaign to reward homes that generate their own green energy. The amendment to an energy bill in Parliament this week introduces a "feed-in tariff," which would "guarantee a minimum price for all renewable energy generated by homes and businesses through a system of long-term contracts with energy companies." Thanks for your support, Lil' -- that amendment oughta be a shoo-in now ...

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Notable quotable

On God and gas

"God is the only one we can turn to at this point. Our leaders don't seem to be able to do anything about it." -- Rocky Twyman, who is organizing "pray-ins" at San Francisco gas stations, asking God to lower gas prices (via Streetsblog)

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