Living

A song for the end of an era

Friday music blogging: Eliza Gilkyson

According to dozens of experts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal, we’re heading into a recession that will be the worst in 50 years, with at least three consecutive quarters of less-than-zero growth. Millions of homeowners face foreclosure, trillions of dollars have been lost in the stock market, and we’re going to see a spike in joblessness — perhaps a big one. In a jaw-dropping story in yesterday’s Washington Post, a news analyst even wonders whether we’re seeing “The End of American Capitalism?” (Now there’s a headline I never thought I’d see in a major U.S. newspaper.) Listen Play “The …

From Peeps to Piehole

Hangin’ with my peeps Keep the kids close to the nest: the illicit urban chicken movement is taking wing across the nation, hatching plans to egg houses and fowl backyards. Illicit chickens could be anywhere — so watch your bawk, Hoboken. Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard Cows and Mills were both rejected by Sir Paul, but now Heather has the advantage: Only she can put out the secret ingredient in new Ben & Jerry’s flavor Chocolate Chip Nookie Dough. Photo: WireImage/Mike Marsland Reading butt-y Instances of talking out of your ass are well-documented, but reading out …

Recipes for a classic, unfussy Southern meal built around field peas and history

It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Photos: April McGreger Growing up in a rural Mississippi farming community, I learned to value connectedness to the land, to the people who grow our food, to those who cook it, to those who gather at the table, and to the memories of all who have enjoyed this food before us. My identity is grounded in every step of the process. To remind myself who I am, I have an annual tryst with a dishpan of purple hull peas. I sit in the rocker on my front porch and shell peas while sipping …

Bisphenol A may reduce effectiveness of chemotherapy

Oh, bisphenol A, what can’t you do? The ubiquitous chemical, present in polycarbonate plastic and most can linings, may reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy, says new research published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers subjected human breast cancer cells to low levels of BPA. “It’s actually acting by protecting existing cancer cells from dying in response to anti-cancer drugs,” says researcher Nira Ben-Jonathan. As the study authors note, “These data provide considerable support to the accumulating evidence that BPA is hazardous to human health.” Other studies have linked BPA to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, behavioral disorders, reproductive problems, and obesity. Lest …

ReGeneration Roadtrip: All the world's a green stage

The Green Theater Initiative aims to direct change

    Actor Gideon Banner cut his professional stage chops as a performer with Blue Man Group — and yes, that means he spent his evenings covered ear-to-ear in blue paint. But it seems that a nice shade of green is really more his style. Banner is the founder of the Green Theater Initiative, a nonprofit organization hoping for a curtain call on the unsustainable aspects of the theater industry. Similar to efforts being led by Wicked producer David Stone, Banner’s aim is to help regional theaters realize that making a few changes could not only make them greener, but …

Some venues relocated to minimize eco-impact of Russia’s 2014 Olympics

Final venues have been approved for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. Following outcry from environmentalists over the original proposal for a gigantic winter-sports complex adjacent to a national park, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reared his head and suggested changes to mitigate eco-impact. Organizers have relocated some venues, as well as cutting a planned inter-venue light-rail system from two tracks to one and a highway from four lanes to three. As organizers make plans to build 250 facilities, mostly from scratch, Sochi 2014 President Dmitry Chernyshenko gives the ambitious assurance that they’re “committed to an environmental policy that …

Umbra on green cookware

Dear Umbra, I’m thinking it’s time to start switching out my family’s cookware. When hubby and I got legally partnered, we received some Calphalon (am I allowed to name names?) and pseudo-Calphalon non-stick cookware, and we’ve used it for a number of years. While the non-stick finish has been well cared for and is not chipping, flaking, or peeling, I have some concern about non-stick finishes and want to be able to put my cookware under the broiler. I know cast iron is supposed to be good, but is the enamel-coated kind OK? (I fear all that seasoning.) Or should …

ReGeneration Roadtrip: There's no green business like show business

Film Biz Recycling aims to roll credits on the wasteful film industry

When a director yells “cut!” on the set of a TV show, commercial, or feature-length film, the cameras may stop rolling but production is far from over. While editors are looking at raw footage, producers are eyeing premiere numbers, and actors are reading over new scripts, someone else is tearing down the sets and getting props off the lot. But where does this stuff end up? Too often, it’s the landfill, says Eva Radke, founder of Film Biz Recycling. Once tasked with dumping sets herself, Radke knows the business — and the folks in it — from her years of …

Driving down those roads

July sees another sharp drop in U.S. driving

July saw another sharp drop in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) according to the Federal Highway Administration’s monthly report on “Traffic Volume Trends.” Lost in all the news about the financial meltdown and the election is the report that Americans drove 3.6 percent less, or 9.6 billion miles fewer, in July 2008 than July 2007. Okay, maybe it wasn’t lost in all the news — it looks like the FHA didn’t bother issuing a press release (see here). I guess even they are blasé about reductions in driving that just a few months ago would have been record-setting. In any case, …

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