Posts by: adam

Recipe: charred eggplant salad with herbs and tomatoes

Smoky eggplant spreads turn out to be a surprisingly cross-cultural phenomenon, probably because the creamy vegetable carries flavors so well. Most of the versions follow a familiar pattern: the flesh of the eggplant, cooked until soft and smoky + chopped green herbs + acid (either citrus or vinegar) + allium (garlic or onion or both) + oil, because you can… read more →

Efficient incandescent light bulbs: available now

Just a few weeks ago I wrote about the technological advances being made with regular old incandescent light bulbs. What do you know, they're already on the market. Head over to to stock up on Philips Halogena Energy Saver light bulbs in a variety of wattages and configurations. Some caveats: * the bulbs are about 30% more efficient than… read more →

Detroit Electric is reborn. Just not in Detroit.

Are you a fan of cheap symbolism? Well then, feast on this: a popular and successful electric car used to be produced in the United States under the name Detroit Electric. Competition with conventional gasoline-powered cars finally shuttered the line -- in 1939. Now the Detroit Electric brand is being revived by a British entrepreneur as a Netherlands-based company backed… read more →

Seriously: the Waxman-Markey bill is good

Thomas Friedman makes a bunch of very good points in his recent column on the Waxman Markey climate change bill that just passed in the House. But the opening comes on awfully strong: > There is much in the House cap-and-trade energy bill that just passed that I absolutely hate. It is too weak in key areas and way too… read more →

Windbelts: wind power without the turbine

We've covered micro-wind a number of times here, but I think this may be the coolest innovation I've seen in a while: inventor Shawn Frayne has come up with a device that harnesses the power of wind without any rotating parts. Instead, his company's Windbelts capture energy using fluttering fabric. You can best understand the process by watching this short… read more →

Waxman-Markey passes the House

So, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 passed the House on Friday. First, to get the necessary throat-clearing out of the way: this is an historic moment that was both an extremely long time in coming and also a lot speedier than many dared hope. When Henry Waxman announced his intention of bring the bill to a… read more →

Some cities shrink to survive

I've written before about our urban future. The flip side of the increasing concentration of people in growing cities is that other areas have to shrink. And that's exactly what's happening. This story about false fire alarms going off in the abandoned sprawl outside Phoenix, AZ has the eerie quality of that Ray Bradbury story about the slow death of… read more →

Recipes: potatoes with dandelion greens, mustardy mustard greens

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article in the surging culinary interest in, well, weeds. Plants like chickweed, dandelion, purslane, and lamb's quarters have gotten a lot of positive press lately for their nutritional properties and their flavor. They also happen to be abundant on suburban lawns. It's a shame that these plants are now considered yuppie fare. I… read more →

Flying the more expensive skies

The American Clean Energy and Security (née Waxman Markey) covers an impressive swath of the U.S. economy -- nearly 85% of total carbon emissions, as compared to Europe's 52%. One area it doesn't cover, however, is aviation, at least not via the cap-and-trade mechanism that puts a hard limit on total emissions. Instead, the bill makes brief mention of creating… read more →

Did Chicago get burned on parking reform?

Last year, I wrote about Chicago's decision to lease its parking spaces to a private company. Although no vendor had yet been selected, the deal seemed like a good idea in principle. Parking reform -- which generally means raising the price of curbside spots to something approaching market rates, and perhaps even dynamically adjusting them based on time, location, and… read more →
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