We interrupt your reading pleasure to bring you a devastating announcement: the Maderian Large White is the first butterfly to become extinct in Europe since the 17th century.
At a recent International conference of butterfly experts, it was confirmed that many butterfly species around the world are either endangered or extinct. The conference was held as the inaugural meeting of organizations partnering together to form the Butterfly Conservation Europe. Experts from over 31 different countries were represented and the devastating news of the Maderian Large White was announced.
Every year in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, an enormous Christmas tree lights up the night sky, enticing tens of millions of locals and tourists into the spirit of Christmas.
This year’s tree, however, has an added message. For the first time since the tradition began in 1931, the illuminated towering evergreen will be greener than ever. Last Tuesday, a 365 panel solar array was unveiled on the roof of one of Rock Center’s buildings. These panels will help power the tree’s 30,000 lights, which have been switched to energy efficient LEDs.
Angela Stokes knows a lot about weight loss. 160 pounds worth, to be exact — which is amazing, if you ask me. (As Margaret Cho would say, “that’s like getting a divorce.”) Stokes, an award-winning raw food author and lifestyle consultant achieved a seemingly impossible feat by reversing morbid obesity. And along way, she made the dramatic shift from a lonely, angry and defensive overeater to a person who loves life and feels balanced.
Does this sound like someone you know? (No finger pointing, here… just asking.) If so, you might want to check out Angela’s book Raw Emotions. In it, she writes that most weight loss programs fall short by focusing solely on the weight. Angela’s theory is that some overweight people (the ones she refers to as “comfort eaters”) need to examine more than their diet. Because for many, overeating is not just about too much food – it’s a very real lifestyle brought on by deeper issues. Stokes examines what can bring the weight on — and offers tips on how to free yourself from those patterns.
Actress Alicia Silverstone has done a complete turnaround from her days of acting an airhead to becoming someone we should all look up to. In case you’ve been living in a cave, Alicia’s a big supporter of PETA and a vegan.
Oh, and she’s in the middle of a scandal.
Unfortunately, her newest PETA ad has been banned in Houston, Texas — all because of her partial nudity in the 30 second clip. When I read that Comcast Spotlight (the advertising and sales division of Comcast Cable) pulled the commercial at the last minute, I was once again stunned by the ridiculously prude nature of our society.
It’s the human body, for goodness sake.
Let’s look back at some famous art in history. We have Dali, Donatello, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, to name a few — all of whom are world famous for their nude paintings and sculptures. Why is it when people look at their nude art, it’s seen as beauty and sensuality in natural form?
>The Hudson Yards, a large former rail yard next to midtown Manhattan’s Hudson River, is getting a redo. While it was inevitable that this long undeveloped site would eventually be given the designer treatment, what’s unexpected are the masterful plans proposed by Steve Holl, one of five designers invited to submit their designs Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Are you desperate for a spring fling but looking for something earth friendly?Sunset magazine recently compiled a list of 10 such jaunts that are easily accessible in North America. From the luxury-requiring traveler to the outdoor type, there’s something green for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of Sunset’s suggestions:
In California, there’s the Sustainable Vine Wine Bar in Santa Barbara, which provides a six-hour, behind-the-scenes look at the process of making organic wine. If all goes according to plan, you might get to visit the Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards, which is run by eco wine pioneer Richard Sanford. And yes, the tour van runs on biodiesel. For reservations, call (805) 698-3911.
Remember when instant mashed potatoes arrived on the food scene? While not as delicious as fresh and homemade, they boasted a precious saving of prep time in the kitchen. The problem was lumps, which are inherent in the natural variety but were noticeably absent from the fake ones. So, in an effort to produce more a more realistic-seeming fake product, the manufacturers of instant mashed potatoes began adding lumps.
But they didn’t fool me. They were still instant mashed potatoes.
Henrik Fisker is now attempting a similar endeavor with his new plug-in/solar electric hybrid Karma sports car. The fast but environmentally responsible vehicle can travel 80 kilometers (50 miles) without relying on gas, which cuts down tremendously on emissions and our dependence on foreign oil. When battery power runs out, the engine utilizes a one-gallon fuel reserve to recharge the car. Nice.
The last time I went to a personal trainer, he tried to talk me into buying one of those big medicine balls. He said it was one of the most versatile exercise tools around. All you needed was a wall to balance on / bounce off and you could work on your six-pack, improve core strength and build up your legs.
I didn’t buy one. Instead I bought a treadmill. I wanted something that basically did the work for me. All I had to do was turn it on and walk on it. No bouncing or balancing required.
Don’t feel like dressing all prissy, but still want to hold maintain that girly side? Then Anna Cohen’s designs might be the style for you. Fashionable and sensible, these garments are made for today’s women.
Cohen wants to design a product that is environmentally friendly; however, she claims that in today’s world, it is almost impossible to be 100% sustainable. Cohen does make it a point to be aware of the entire process of her clothing line from raw materials to disposal – the entire life cycle of her product.
On her website, Anna Cohen describes how she maintains her 75% sustainability. Using local organic materials, recycled materials, limiting the use of packaging and using recycled office products, Anna believes her company is doing its best to obtain as close to 100% sustainability as possible.
The Environmental House Plan is the brainchild of Lars Hundley of Clean Air Gardening and Bryan Welty of Virtual Architect. Like other modular homes, the plan is adaptable to many different combinations, and the architect is available to modify the plan to personal desire. The blueprints for this house alone are sold on their website, a set of 5 running $1,895.00.
It’s a good-looking idea at an even better looking price.
What gives Environmental House Plan its greenness factor over some other modular homes is site orientation. These guys offer free siting to maximize the efficiency of the sun’s angle. The overhangs and wood louvers block steep summer sun angles, but allow low angled winter sun into the house. The house has a heavy mass to the north or northwest side, which acts as a buffer to the cold side of the house. The raised pier foundation allows airflow around the house, and should cause little disturbance to the natural drainage of the building site.
And then there’s the rest of the plan. The plan suggests the owner choose eco-friendly options in building the rest of the house. Their website has a great list of online resources for building ecologically, but it’s DIY. You buy the best materials locally, like the engineered lumber. You pick out the energy efficient windows, doors and best available insulation. You do it up green. That’s why it’s called the Environmental House Plan.
You may not want to book future air travel too far in advance, for the new pricing wars may not come from recognizable names like Delta and American. The LTA (lighter-than-air) movement is taking off (pun intended) and competition in the design phase seems pretty stiff.
Here are the Contenders:
Perhaps the leader in airships right now is Skycat. Their Skycat-20 (a heavy-lifting, cargo aircraft) is due to make its maiden voyage in 2008 with a 6-month world tour. While most of us probably don’t have half a year to gallivant around the globe, what’s most intriguing is Skycat’s plan for a mass transport ship that will reportedly lower travel costs to $9 per 100 km, with movability (akin to that of a cruise) and passenger capacity (600+) unparalleled in modern flight services. Overall, Skycat flies the gamut of possible uses at about 25% the energy use of diesel and 40% of traditional aircraft.