Oil rig escape pods turned into real-life Survivaballs

You remember Survivaballs, don't you? They're the ultimate solution to a planet gone crazy with excess thermal energy, marketed directly to the executives most directly responsible for all this climate change. Well, now someone has turned oil rig escape pods into the …

Wicked wicks: Ask Umbra on paraffin candle disposal

How to dispose of toxic tapers? Ask Umbra burns the candle at both ends to find out.

Ask Umbra at the tar-sands protests and on the radio

Ask Umbra joins the tar-sands protests and gets interviewed by a radio program called Mrs. Green's World.

Raising chickens is totally rock and roll

Jenifer Jourdanne has expensive tastes, expensive shoes, and "designer chickens." In an essay in xoJane, she talks about how her long-standing backyard coop didn't dent her rocker cred: I will have you know I was a maverick. I was the …

Are vegetarians more fun in the sack?

Apparently vegetarians do eat meat. Data from the online dating site OKCupid indicate that vegetarians enjoy giving oral sex more — or anyway, they say they do. There are all sorts of causation and correlation-based theories we could attempt here, …

Teenager builds tiny home to avoid mortgage trap

Sixteen-year-old Austin Hay of Santa Rosa, Calif., has been sleeping in a work-in-progress 130 square foot “tiny home” in his parents' backyard for months. The project came about because "like every teenager, I want to move out," says Hay.

The dilemma of growth, as dramatized by the voices in my head

Is continued economic growth inevitable and necessary to drive improvements in the human condition? Or is continued economic growth impossible, constrained by biophysical limitations? I let the two sides battle it out in my brain.

Teaching kids to love nature and buy less stuff

Kids are getting the sort of education that guarantees they'll soon be fighting each other, Hunger Games-style, for Earth's dwindling resources. The solution is to cram everyone in America into Berkeley, California, say the authors of the new book The …

Busting myths about China's one-child policy

Joe Biden's latest gaffe thrust China's population policy into the headlines. Let's seize this opportunity to set a few things straight.