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A new website assesses property risk

Earlier this week I learned that I'm eligible, via my mother, for Dutch citizenship, which means I could potentially work, vote, and live in Holland without having to go through the hassle of visa applications. Before moving to a country that lies largely below sea level, though, I might want to check out Climate Appraisal, which, as its name suggests, is a website where you can size up the environmental hazards of your desired address. A joint project of a former banking executive and climate scientists at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the site has plenty of free information …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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What’s in your status symbol?

That's right. I actually saw a Hummer pulling a trailer with stuff in it yesterday. Although stunned, I recovered in time to get a shot of his trailer as he pulled away from the transfer station. Coincidentally, I was also pulling a trailer on my bike (also visible in the lower right hand corner). We smirked at one another as we passed. I think it's adorable how he painted is little red wagon to match his big red Hummer. Hummers are a joke in some circles and a huge badge of honor in others. Not long ago, while I was …

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Condi in a Tesla

I give you Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, riding in a Tesla electric car: More gape-worthy Tesla pics here. More about Rice here. (thanks LL!)

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Friday music blogging: Mark Ronson

Two of the best pop albums of the last year are Lily Allen's Alright, Still and Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. What do they have in common (besides cute, clever female singer-songwriters, that is)? Producer Mark Ronson. The guy's a mad pop genius. As it happens, Ronson puts out albums of his own. The latest is called Version, and it's composed of cover versions of contemporary pop songs. Here, for your listening pleasure, is a cover of the song "Valerie" (originally done by The Zutons on their album Tired of Hanging Around) sung by the aforementioned Amy Winehouse. Enjoy.

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More Gore

Here's Al Gore on David Letterman, Thursday night. Bizarrely substantive! Part one: Part two:

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Funny

Al Gore was on The Daily Show on Thursday. I thought he did quite well -- and the crowd was nuts for him. Here's part one: And here's part two:

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A South American take on Gore’s film

Jessica Weisberg is an American journalist currently based in South America. The following is her take on the peculiar cultural dominance of An Inconvenient Truth. ----- I liked Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Really, I did. But when I count off my reasons -- the special effects, the wet-your-pants astonishment, the drama -- I find myself applauding the film's popular appeal more than its take-home message. The film has achieved a global monopoly in the fight against global warming, becoming not just a film about climate change, but the film about climate change. Even in South America, where the fight …

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From Singin’ to Smokin’

Quit playing games (with his dolphins) Show him the meaning of being a U.N. special ambassador: former boy-bander Nick Carter will soon begin work on a campaign to save wild dolphins. This from a guy who couldn't even save the Backstreet Boys -- but wait'll you hear his latest project, The Charismatic Megafauna. Photos: iStockphoto and joeltelling via flickr Who shot J.R.? Julia Roberts is on a role, soon to get her Brit on as conservationist Joan Root. But don't expect a happy ending: Root was shot by a gunman in Kenya last year. Also suspiciously slain: Canadian conservationist Glen …

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The media continues to prove his new book right

As I mentioned the other day, there's a certain irony to the fact that Al Gore is out touring behind a book about the decline of reasoned public dialogue, since his emergence on the public scene inevitably elicits paroxysms of the shallowest, bitchiest, most vacuous commentary of which our punditariat is capable -- and that's saying something. Today brings examples so telling they hurt. I mean literally hurt. You've been warned. Start with this dazzlingly obtuse column by Slate's Jack Shafer, who misses Gore's point so fundamentally one can only gape. Shafer seems to think, based on ... well, god …

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The carpet company and its visionary CEO in the NYT

They're a little old now, but I wanted to call attention to two great NYT articles on the environmental initiatives at carpet company Interface and its visionary CEO Ray Anderson: He challenged his colleagues to set a deadline for Interface to become a "restorative enterprise," a sustainable operation that takes nothing out of the earth that cannot be recycled or quickly regenerated, and that does no harm to the biosphere. The deadline they ultimately set is 2020, and the idea has taken hold throughout the company. ... Use of fossil fuels is down 45 percent (and net greenhouse gas production, …