Living

ReGeneration Roadtrip: Yeah ... but is it art?

The Wolf Trap Center connects art and nature

    This is a guest post from my travel partner, Todd Dwyer, head blogger for Dell’s ReGeneration.org. —– After our visit to the amazing Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis, Maryland, Sarah and I hopped in our trusty steed, Cletus the Prius, for a drive to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in search of the nature of art and the art of nature. Although the Wolf Trap is located in Vienna, Virginia, our contact, Chris Guerre, requested we meet him at a farmer’s market at Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria. Apparently, Chris is a very busy …

Shortages to the left of me, shortages to the right

Demand for green products exceeds supply

My relatives in the D.C. area are on a Prius waiting list. People wanting to build their own electric bikes are on waiting lists for parts. If you’re planning to put up some solar panels, well, get in line. According to Rich Bunch, at Silicon Solar Inc, their next shipment of solar components is due on Oct. 15 and 90 percent of it is already spoken for. I’m guessing that this shipment, like most shipments, is coming from China. Shortages not only trip up building schedules, but they also inflate prices. I recently received an estimate of about $9,000 to …

ReGeneration Roadtrip: A Green Exchange of ideas

Constructing a green space for green biz

Driving along I-90/94W out of downtown Chicago, you can see London, France, the old Vassar Swiss Underwear Company building now under construction. A sign adorning the highway-facing façade tells you this will soon be the Green Exchange, a retail and office facility that will house some 100 businesses, all of them environmentally and socially responsible. To fully see the potential for this place, Todd and I were fitted with hard hats and given the hand-wave tour: you know, “this over here” and “that over there” and “imagine here, if you can.” As we stepped over dust and debris in this …

Phthalates linked to abnormal genitalia in baby boys

Mothers exposed to high levels of phthalates during pregnancy are more likely to bear sons with abnormal genitals, says new environmental research published in the journal Environmental Research. (See what we did there?) The study looked at only 106 mothers and sons, and the afflictions — undescended testicles, smaller penises, and a shorter anogenital distance — aren’t serious problems in and of themselves. But the results, combined with previous studies linking phthalates to reduced sperm quality, DNA damage, hormonal changes, reduced lung function, and premature puberty, make researchers understandably wary. (The American Chemistry Council is decidedly not wary, declaring on …

From Goldilocks to the Three Bears

Hedwig and the extra inch Blondes have more fun — if you call not being creamed by a truck fun. Which we do. Fore minutes to save the world Justin Timberlake’s got some summer love for golf, and his new course is n’sync with LEED certification. He’ll put those sticks in a box and go clubbin’ — but can he bring sexy back to golf pants? Photo: WireImage Poking fun Quote of the week: “A lot of people talk about loving the earth. But how many of them actually penetrate it?” Paging a Mr. Godwin Some claim that Nazis, like …

All-electric version of tiny Smart car unveiled at Paris Auto Show

Automaker Daimler unveiled an all-electric version of its tiny Smart car at the Paris Auto Show this week, dubbed the Smart ED for its electric drive. Diesel-powered versions of the ultra-cute, ultra-compact Smart Fortwo went on sale in the United States just this January to wide acclaim. Company spokespeople said the all-electric Smart Fortwo will be available in the U.S. by 2012 at the latest, and that a very small number of the EDs will be available somewhere in the world by the end of 2009. Daimler has been testing 100 or so of the Smart EDs in London since …

How to turn black walnuts into a delicious dish

When I was growing up in central Ohio, school began right after Labor Day. This was advantageous compared to today’s August start, and not just because of the longer summer break. The extra time also allowed the black walnuts to ripen just in time to give us something to hurl at each other as we walked to school that first morning. Front-yard bounty. They littered the ground all through the streets on my route to elementary school. It was customary to announce your approach behind fellow students by pelting them with the large green orbs. The nuts seemed to have …

Trick or treat?

As Halloween nears, beware of the ‘fat-free’ candy corn

It’s the beginning of October and as the cooler temperatures and colorful leaves start to make an appearance, every retailer in America is switching storefronts to include pumpkins and of course, Halloween candy. The orange and black packages are cropping up in drugstores and supermarkets nationwide, and the glycemic high that lasts from Halloween through Easter has certainly begun. Since the lipid-phobia of the late 80s, high-sugar candies like gummy bears, gum drops, and candy corn have marketed themselves as “fat-free,” but, because most candy contains high-fructose corn syrup, recent research might make you reconsider those “fat-free” claims. In June, …

Oh noes, driving down!

As of July, U.S. driving declined for nine months straight. Average gas prices have dropped almost 50 cents since then — I’ll be very curious to see the figures for Aug. and Sep. This seems like a good time to revisit the fact that our transportation infrastructure is funded by gas taxes and thus is harmed by a reduction in driving, whereas any number of other social problems — wrecks, congestion, air pollution — benefit. Seems like something to revisit in next year’s transportation bill. Here’s a question for y’all: how should transportation infrastructure be funded? Va. governor Tim Kaine …

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