Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Lazy Environmentalist


I recently purchased this book. The author's thought is that lots of people want to live green but don't know how, where to start, or don't want to do all the research. So, he did it for us and lays out the basics of what products to buy, what companies go the extra mile to "go green" with their products, and little tips for your every day life. It is more of a reference book when you are deciding to buy something (ie. a toothbrush, a car, shoes, stocks, etc.) than a read through.

-sjc

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ShopLocal

Here's a site that helps you find what you are looking for at a location close to you. It's not hugely broad-reaching yet, but perhaps it will become more so as time goes on.

Bike Sharing, DC

This is a great idea! Really cool!

The Washington Post reports that we will soon have access to SmartBike DC, a bicycle-sharing program touted as the first of its kind in the nation. The program is a public-private partnership between the District government and advertising giant Clear Channel Outdoor, which operates similar automated bike rental systems in France, Norway, Sweden and Spain.

By mid-May, the racks will be filled with 120 red three-speed bicycles ready for riding around town, said Jim Sebastian of the D.C. Department of Transportation.

The concept is similar to such car-sharing programs as Zipcar. For an annual fee of $40, bikes can be rented for as long as three hours at a time for an unlimited number of rentals.

The bicycles, which look like a cross between a folding bike and a BMX with a metal basket on the front, are not designed for the Tour de France but for use on lunch dates, errands and local excursions.

SmartBike DC works by swiping a magnetic card at one of 10 designated kiosks. The sites are mostly near downtown Metro stations. A few are not, such as one in the Logan Circle area at 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW.

The computerized system assigns the rider one of the bicycles, which are locked in numbered spots on the rack. A light indicates when the bike may be removed. The bicycles may be returned to any of the 10 racks and are available 365 days a year, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Bob Dylan's Brain


Vanity Fair has a list of songs, bands, guests, themes, etc. compiled from Bob Dylan's XM radio show. It's kind of cool.

Here's an example:

The Themes

Weather, Mother, Drinking, Baseball, Coffee , Jail, Fathers, Wedding, Divorce, Summer, Flowers, Cars, Rich Man/Poor Man, The Devil, Eyes, Dogs, Friends & Neighbors, Radio, The Bible, Musical Maps, School, Telephone, Water, Time, Guns, Halloween, Dance, Sleep, Food, Thanksgiving Leftovers, Tennessee, Moon, Countdown, Christmas, Women’s Names, Hair, Musical Instruments, Luck, Tears, Laughter, Heart, Shoes, Color, Texas, Trains, Fools, New York, Death & Taxes, Spring Cleaning, Hello, Youth & Age, Days of the Week, California, Classic Rock, Cadillac, Head to Toe, Smokin’, Dreams, Party, Countdown, One, Walkin’, Around the World, Lock & Key, Mail, President’s Day, Doctors, Danger, Birds, Joe, Heat, Cold

And, from the "One Liners" section:

“The distinctive voice of Aaron Neville. A lot of people think we sing the same.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spoon-BREAD!

A few weeks ago I posted this on my own blog, but thought I'd share it with all of you. It can be the mascot food of the SPOON blog!

Spoonbread is one of my family's favorite recipies. You know when normal people make sweet potato casserole for holidays; well, we make spoonbread. Sweet, with syrup or honey, or savory, with chives and bacon it is a simple easy and fun dish.

Even more fun, though, are the variations in wednesday's S.F. Chronicle:
In its purest form, spoonbread is one of several cornbread incarnations, this one made casserole-style to be served with - you guessed it - a spoon. Its light texture comes from whipped egg whites and sometimes baking powder. Yellow or white cornmeal, softened butter, and milk or another liquid are the only other ingredients required to complete the dish, and this base recipe - best slathered with butter, of course - is often served as a side dish for poultry, beef or pork.

Much like a new twist on an old fashion, spoonbread is easily updated to reflect today's trends. That might mean homing in on what's available at local farmers' markets for additional ingredients to create a seasonal dish like green garlic, spring onion and Gruyere cheese spoonbread. The pungent aromatics lend a savoriness that makes this go well with a seasonal salad.

There's a basic spoonbread recipe, and 5 Variations:
--Strawberry Spoonbread with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
--Green Garlic, Spring Onion & Gruyere Cheese Spoonbread
--Asparagus & Herb Spoonbread with Feta Cheese
--Roasted Poblano Pepper, Sweet Potato & Monterey Jack Spoonbread
--Maple-Glazed Bacon Spoonbread

(Photos, from article by Craig Lee)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Green Building Challenge

I know that this dialog is long, but it's worth it! From the National Capital Region, Emerging Green Builders' Online Forum.

It concludes with this:

"As to the patent diagram of an umbrella from 1914 which was previously posted...it was not a submission to the design challenge, however inconsiderately sarcastic it might have seemed, which I assume generated its removal. The point is the trouble you get youself into thinking about all impact as negative. You can't really justify much of human culture, and you're not left with many options besides an umbrella."

I would add a plea to those utopian-seeking liberals who have adopted Green Building as their own to note the growing movement of Crunchy Cons--and work to include us! This is no time for partisan relegating of issues. As Rod Dreher noted in his book, the conservative movement has been so slow to embrace green ideas b/c the ideas were largely taken up by radical political groups initially--and off putting to those who differed so stringently with them on political issues. The issues of Green should stand on conscience, education, science, and innovation. Not on politics.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Victorian Interiors

Lavish Victorian Interiors of Philadelphia

Sat., June 28

LOCATION
Departs 4th and Independence Ave., SW
southeast corner of the Air & Space Museum
Fringe stop at I-495, Exit 27 Carpool lot

PROGRAM DETAILS
Although Philadelphia has a European flavor with its many neighborhoods of historic homes on well–established treelined streets and its charming mews and alley houses, it is also well-known for its wealth of grand Victorian architecture. The tour begins at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, a National Historic Landmark building furnished with American fine and decorative art from the first half of the 19th century. Next, the Egyptian Hall of the Masonic Temple is often called “the only perfect specimen of Egyptian architecture in America.” Enjoy lunch in Philadelphia’s splendid historic Bellevue Hotel.

In the afternoon, we visit the Academy of Fine Arts, designed by noted architect Frank Furness, followed by the Rosenbach Museum and Library. The museum was the home of brothers Dr. A.S.W., a legendary dealer and collector of rare books and manuscripts, and Philip, an expert on the fine decorative arts. The last stop is St. Mark’s Episcopal Church near Rittenhouse Square, designed in high Gothic style and based in part on medieval plans supplied by the British Ecclesiological Society.

Architectural historian Gary Scott leads this day tour.

Upcoming Events

There are some really great events upcoming in DC.

Passport DC:
Saturday, May 3, 2008 - Saturday, May 17, 2008

Location: Citywide

May 3 through 17, 2008, Cultural Tourism DC’s Passport DC will open doors to one of Washington’s most distinctive assets – its diplomatic community. From Iraq and Ethiopia to Slovenia and Argentina, the new annual celebration of international culture will showcase Washington’s embassies and cultural organizations with a wide range of performances, talks, and exhibits.

WalkingTown, DC Spring Edition 2008 WalkingTown, DC Spring Edition 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - Sunday, April 27, 2008
Location: Across the City

Join Cultural Tourism DC for 80 free walking tours (and a few bike tours) in 18 neighborhoods across Washington, DC. Select from the schedule below!

China: An Incomparable Journey is a series of more than 20 lectures, seminars, studio arts classes, performances, and local tours that celebrate and illuminate the past, present, and future of China.

Let me remind you that the Luckett's Antique Fair is upcoming.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Yeh, I know, just when you thought the ABC's couldn't get any cooler, they come out with this.

I think 'W' might be my favorite.

- SC