Monday, November 20, 2006

I Want to Rent Your Soul

Please help me retain regal authority as the Forest King, while at the same time receiving an automatic email when new stuff comes up on the 'kart. I promise I won't sell your information. And no spam, period. Unsubscribe at any time. *Have I disclaimed enough?

Man, of course I wanna receive reminders from the 'kart!
Here's my email::

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Greening the Nation's Capitol

A MAJOR development heads your way this morning. As reported by the Washington Post, DC is "poised to become the first major city in the country to require that private developers build environmentally friendly projects that incorporate energy-saving measures." If passed in Council next week, this will be a monumental victory in cleaning up the District's air (ie lowering respiratory damage to kids in predominately minority neighborhoods), as well as promoting the numerous advantages of high-performance buildings. It seems we're finally leaving the age where brawn has ruled the day, behavior such as cranking up the heat in the middle of summer because the building doesn't have openable windows and the A/C is giving everyone frostbite.

I'd like to applaud my colleagues that have put in lots of work on this bill, and a self-pat for my small contributions (and I do mean small). I'm extremely fortunate to be a part of this ongoing "project," and know that we're in good hands with the professionals that have contributed fulltime. Just goes to show what can happen when citizens, private enterprise, and municipalities work together to benefit the common good.

Full passage means a better quality of life for everyone, regardless of income. What I like most about green buildings is they approach building construction from a systems standpoint, thus providing more comfortable buildings at little incremental cost. Workers and residents tend to be happier, you know with their big new windows, and the air inside is much cleaner. Not to mention the fossil-fuel fired electricity plants at Benning Road and Buzzard Point won't spew as much mercury and carbon dioxide all over nearby residents' clotheslines.

So yes, I'm extremely happy about this development. Read the full article here. [Image above showing Coal Worker's Pneumoconiosis or "Black Lung." Coal, mmmm.]

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shoes for Yous

There's a gentleman in our office named Mr. Lu. Lu is an engineer of some sort; I think he works on building plans, as evidenced by the rolls of paper poking beyond the top of his cubicle. Every morning, and presumably afternoon as well, Mr. Lu shuffles up to the top floor employee gym. Now I've never seen him in action up there, but my supervisor claims he likes to stretch out on his back, hands to the side, eyes skyward behind those thick plastic glasses. What he's doing, or thinking about, nobody knows. What we do know is Mr. Lu loves his little flat shoes. The same kind you see on hipsters and fashionistas from Milan to Maricopa, as well as peasants in North Korea. I'm not one for the communist-era solewear, but there's something intrinsically lovable about their simplicity. The drawback, to me anyway, has been thinking they were produced in sweatshops.

Now, worry no longer ye legions of fair traders. Toms shoes have come to your rescue, and they have a cool deal where when us wealthy and consumptive North Americans buy a pair, the company donates another pair to a kid in Argentina, where they're made. They are produced under a strict 'no sweatshop' criteria, from local materials such as canvas and leather. They'll set you back $38, but that's not bad for 2 pairs of shoes. Will I purchase a pair? Maybe. They look like something my dad would wear on Saturdays to go fishing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.