What is fracking? Here’s an explainer movie. MIT has created a website to help landowners rate Landmen — the gas company representatives who get landowners to sign leases. Reuters describes the site: “We have a lot of information [about drilling] from the industry, and from the states,” explains Chris Csikszentmihályi, director of the Center for […]

John McPhee: Los Angeles Against the Mountain (Fire Edition, part 1)

Published in the New Yorker magazine in 1988, which later became a chapter in his book, The Control of Nature, John McPhee eloquently describes that mountainous California habitat — chaparal. [via Susan Orlean via LA Observed] (link goes to part 1 of article, so it’s a nice taste for you). This book is now on […]

Chart uploaded by Steven Chu on his Facebook page

Steven Chu: More energy for buildings than transportation

Just saw this chart by U.S. Sec of Energy Steven Chu. (as posted on Facebook) More efficient home heating and commercial building lighting would save a significant amount of energy.

Cool High Schools (the perfect follow on)

Cool High Schools (the perfect follow on)

15 Cool High School College and University Building Designs. How’d you like to do your learning in an environment like one of these? This is the perfect follow on to the previous post about how buildings and environment affect mood, creativity, and work.

How Room Design Affects Your Work & Mood

Scientific American on you and your immediate surroundings. Greenery and Sunlight (or light with blue wavelength) are good. Ceiling height makes a difference. Can you improve test scores by changing the surroundings?

Pick your city.

So tell me: You want to go to war with Iran? Pick your city! Pick your city! Tell me which one you want gone! Seattle, LA, Boston, New York, Miamy… Pick one! ‘Cause at least one’s going! And that’s something we should all think about before we march down this path of insanity! — Scott […]

Who’s resurrecting the electric car?

Electro-Shock Therapy. When one of the world’s mightiest corporations throws everything it’s got at a project, and when it shreds its rule book in the process, the results are likely to be impressive. The story of GM’s Volt. Not your standard hybrid: Still, even for General Motors, the Volt is a reach. If it meets […]

Forward thinking

Al Gore at the TED conference (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design): We ought to approach this challenge with a sense of profound joy and gratitude that we are the generation about which 1000 years from now orchestras and poets and singers will celebrate by saying: they were the ones that found within themselves to […]

Parking spaces cost more than cars

More thinking on the hidden costs behind a car-centric culture from Livable Places: Did you know that the average parking space costs more than the average car? Did you know that about a third of traffic in commercial districts is people in cars cruising for parking spots – wasting fuel and time and creating pollution, […]

Sustainability and density: Better climate with closer quarters

WorldChanging’s Alex Steffen talks about how to make a better world by denser living. If you live closer together, you can go places on foot. You don’t need a car. The best car-related innovation we have is not to improve the car, but eliminate the need to drive it everywhere we go. Lots of interesting […]