Ecology

The Smart Car

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by Laraine Newman

terrasse1.jpg Around 6 years ago, our family took a trip to France. Our friends have a house in Ramtuelle, a Medieval city built in a circle overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean. Honest, it does sparkle. We frolicked on Pamelonne Beach, made famous by the production company filming And God Created Woman with Brigitte Bardot and we ate at Club Cinquante Cinque (55). 

You know how you often hear “oh, the restaurant’s right on the beach”? Well, Club Cinquante Cinque (55), really, really IS right on the beach. Sitting around a large table in the canvas-shaded patio of this beautiful place, we had no idea how hard it was to get a reservation. Our girls, aged 12 and 7, adapted to the lifestyle like seasoned European travelers.  The kids ate everything that came to the table. Fried smelt were eaten like potato chips…that is, until the real thing came along (one of the restaurant’s specialties). Lena and Hannah devoured catch of the day and seasonal vegetables such as artichokes without the usual suspicion, wrinkled noses and coaxing. Score! After 2 weeks in Ramatuelle, we went off to Paris. 

Mr. Alexander Goes to Denver

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by Ann Nichols

bobalexander.jpgAfter spending years in the political closet (one of the dangers of a politically mixed marriage) I have emerged with a flourish, and a job as Press Person for a Michigan candidate for the United States House of Representatives. I have been working for Bob Alexander, a Democrat running in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District, against Mike Rogers, a four-term Republican incumbent. Bob is the kind of Democrat my parents are – a Joan Baez, “if you want peace, work for justice” kind of guy who spent years circulating petitions and working crowds “cold” to promote the value of a living wage for working people, and eventually persuaded the Michigan legislature to raise the minimum wage by 29 percent. He was not holding office at the time, mind you; it was just the right thing to do.

Mr. Alexander Goes to Denver: Part 2

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by Ann Nichols

bobgovernor.jpg Today was our first full day at the Democratic National Convention, and we started out at a breakfast sponsored by The Michigan Democratic Party. On our way down to breakfast in the elevator we ran into Dan Mulhern, the husband of Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. He was friendly, despite being hot and sweaty after his morning run, and Michael told him how much he enjoyed Dan’s newsletter, “Reading for Leading.” As a fitting start to a day when the buzz was all about Hillary Clinton’s speech, Bob ran into Granholm herself, Michigan’s own strong female leader, at the breakfast, and she spent some time talking with us.

Da Tango!

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by Ethan Harari

quarter.jpg

This thing is so awesome.  I would mortgage my soul for one of these (Satan, if you're reading this...).  It may be red on the outside but the inside is all green.  Since the engine is completely electric it is carbon emission free.  It can legally cut lanes at blistering speeds, 0-60 in 4 seconds... thats faster then the Lamborghini Gallardo!  

You and your passenger sit like F1 pilots in seats actually taken from fighter planes.  The designer claims its very safe using the same roll-bar technology that NASCAR drivers use. 

Still aren't impressed. Watch this...

Floral Fix

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by Jamie Wolf

6098_lg.jpgI’ve never actually studied flower arranging... I’ve kind of learned it as I’ve gone along, over the course of about 25 years... For me it’s what painting is for many other people...a way of relaxing, a way of listening to programs on the radio or to music without fidgeting, a way of showing affection to people I care about.., a way of centering myself...especially for me if it involves certain fragrances.... roses, stock, freesia, lily of the valley, peaches, nectarines,  honeysuckle. 

It’s like cooking. There’s no one way to do it right. You can start with what flowers are available at any given moment, as if they were ingredients, and improvise on those; or start with an idea, and see what ingredients would bring it into focus; or choose a container and think about various ways it could be shown to its best advantage. Or, most likely, use some combination of all these approaches.

Reducing your Carbon Footprint in 2008

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by Ed Begley, Jr.

earth_drop.jpg Here are four things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint in 2008.
 
1)     Buy a Terra Pass at: http://www.terrapass.com

You can get one to offset your automobile, air travel, home energy use…or all three!
 
2)     Cut down on your electric bill by turning off the lights or appliances that are not in use, or if you are in the market for a new appliance, buy one with a high energy star rating.

3)     Get out of your car! Ride a bike, if weather & fitness permit. Take public transportation, if it’s available near you.

4)     Buy compact fluorescent bulbs for as many lights in your house as you can. You’ll save power, AND some money!

Happy New Year!
Ed 

To Kindle or Not to Kindle

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by Lisa Dinsmore

kindle1.jpgMy husband Dave always seems to be ahead of the cool gadget curve, making sure we're the first kids on our block to have the latest and greatest tech toys. We've had our Wii for years, stood in line the first week for the iPhone (him not me), sold our regular laptop to upgrade to the MacBook Air (worth every penny) and are still jamming away a year later on Rock Band when most people have never even played the game. I couldn't imagine what he was going to pull out of his Christmas stocking this year. Thanks to the generosity of his boss, it was a Kindle. For those of you who shop on Amazon – which would be almost everyone with an Internet connection on the planet – the Kindle is not exactly new, but it sure is hard to get your hands on, which is a bit of a surprise considering how expensive it is.

I certainly wasn't going to pay $359 for this "toy." As an avid book reader who buys 30-40 books a year, I'd make my money back pretty quickly, considering the regular cost of new books. Of course, to actually read anything on it, you have to pay more, around $8-10 per download, which is about half the price of most hardcovers and over time seems like a good deal. Ultimately, my decision to not jump on this bandwagon was all about the experience. Sure, the "books" are cheaper and kept all in one place (you can switch from book to book at the click of a button and the device even keeps your place for you, which is nice), but what about the physicality of watching the story unfold as you turn the page? Of the feel of the paper beneath your fingertips? Of getting the latest book by your favorite author right off the press?

 

restaurant news

Bar Chloe
Los Angeles
by Maia Harari and Anna Harari

chloe_sm.jpgIt's sort of hidden.  You can't see it from the street and it's beneath a hotel that doesn't seem nearly as nice, the Hotel Carmel, that is.  It's called Chloe, the Westside complement to Laurie...

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Luke's Lobster Roll
New York
by Michael Tucker

ImageWinter on the Upper West Side of New York is a strange time and place to open a lobster shack. Where’s the beach, for example? Where’s the sun? The seagulls? It’s hard to conjure up seafood by the...

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Two New York WOW moments!
New York
by Nancy Ellison

How I love New York restaurants! I love my old standbys. I love the familiar friendly faces and food that I know exactly how it will taste. But, I also love going somewhere unexpected and...

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Antojéria La Popular: Mexican Street Food Debuts in Soho
New York
by Alex Rader

cricketsNestled under a nail salon, down just a few stairs, there lives an outpost of delicate seafood, with a touch of unexpected spice.

The thing most people will have heard of from Chef Andres...

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