Saturday, December 6, 2014

Shoes Make the Invisible Man

Lui Bolin
Some may remember the Where's Waldo books, a children's reading saga that involved--not so much reading--as trying to find a man named Waldo in the pictures surrounded by dozens of other things that look just like him. Now we find Chinese artist Lui Bolin takes this one step further by not only blending in, but by being "one" with his surroundings. 

Bolin is known as "the invisible man" in worldwide art circles and he describes his work as "creating scenes that are statements about our relationship with our surroundings." Bolin is best known for his "hiding in the city" series, which is depicted in photographs some of which we show here. From what we can tell, the best way to find Bolin, is to find his shoes.









Sunday, November 2, 2014

Haunted Houses OK for resale in PA---EEEEk!

    This from Courthouse News....(CN) - The sellers of homes do not have to disclose "psychological stigmas," such as murders, to prospective buyers, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled.
     The state's highest court unanimously ruled Monday in favor of Kathleen and Joseph Jacono regarding the sale of their Delaware County house in 2007 for $610,000.
     The buyer, Janet Milliken, sued the couple for failing to disclose that a previous owner, Konstantinos Koumboulis, killed himself and his wife in the house in February 2006. Miliken said she learned of the deaths from a neighbor after she moved in from California.
     She sued for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and violations of state consumer protection laws. The trial court later tossed the suit, holding the Jacanos had no duty to disclose the deaths and that they made no misrepresentation of material fact to support the claims.
     Writing for the state Supreme Court, Justice J. Michael Eakin agreed with the lower court that the deaths were not material facts that should have been disclosed. He noted that "the varieties of traumatizing events" that could happen at a property "are endless."
     "Efforts to define those that would warrant mandatory disclosure would be a Sisyphean task," the eight-page opinion stated. "One cannot quantify the psychological impact of different genres of murder, or suicide - does a bloodless death by poisoning or overdose create a less significant 'defect' than a bloody one from a stabbing or shooting? How would one treat other violent crimes such as rape, assault, home invasion, or child abuse? What if the killings were elsewhere, but the sadistic serial killer lived there? What if satanic rituals were performed in the house?"
     Although such events would disturb most people and make them not want to live in the house, the tragic events are not defects in the structure itself, Eakin said.
     "The occurrence of a tragic event inside a house does not affect the quality of the real estate, which is what seller disclosure duties are intended to address," the opinion stated. "We are not prepared to set a standard under which the visceral impact an event has on the populace serves to gauge whether its occurrence constitutes a material defect in property. Such a standard would be impossible to apply with consistency and would place an unmanageable burden on sellers, resulting in disclosures of tangential issues that threaten to bury the pertinent information that disclosures are intended to convey."
     If anything, the passage of time may make such events "historical curiosities" that "may even increase the value of the property," Eakin suggested. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ON Board with Jared Rusten


"Rusten" is a good name for someone in the eco biz. It sounds very organic, which is exactly how Jared Rusten of San Francisco, a prolific woodworker and furniture guru, thinks. He's best known for his "California" series which offers eager buyers desks and coffee tables in the shape of the "golden state."  All of his pieces are as pristine as the grand outdoor locations from which the wood originally hails, and they are oiled in low toxic tung and linseed. It turns out that the California state shape is perfect for wrapping a neat corner since it skirts the body so nicely. 

Since 2007, Rusten has been crafting this iconic furniture out of Claro Walnut. He said,"I can't think of a greater tribute to this material than to create from it, functional pieces of furniture in the shape of its geographic origin." In honor of that origin, he spends an extraordinary amount of time on every part of the construction process which makes his craftsmanship pure perfection.


He's on the look out for "Intense grains."

Unlike other wood species, Claro Walnut possesses a spectrum of colors and textures. Neither is it easy to find. Rusten has to source the materials from small lumberyards and independent sawyers. Then it has to be milled, laid out, joined, hand sanded, and buffed. All this this work is very time consuming. Add to that the fact that Claro Walnut is no longer planted in orchards to be regularly harvested, and you have to wonder at the relatively reasonable pricing of Rusten's furniture. The average cost of a small 56"L x 16'H coffee table is $1650. He sells through his website and also on Etsy.


To ensure the unique quality of his furniture, Rusten is always on the look out for Claro Maple that has what he calls an "intense grain." This attention to detail is what makes Rusten furniture special. Once examined, you'll appreciate the time expended on finding just the right pieces of wood. They are worth the wait; so eco smart, modern and chic that we can only say,"Happy hunting!"
Jared Rusten on board

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Insanely Efficient: How Much Space Do You Need?


"Open one of the closets and you'll find ten stackable chairs."
--Buzzbuzz

Buzzbuzz Home News, reports that New York entrepreneur Graham Hill, founder of  Treehugger.com  found a way to pack eight rooms into 350 square feet by designing his Soho studio as a transforming space.“The living room and office become the bedroom with a tug of a bookshelf,” explains a post on Gizmodo.com. “Open one of the closets and you’ll find 10 stackable chairs that go around a telescopic dining table,,"  They call it "Goliath" and it sets the perfect size for larger dinner parties. An entire guest room with bunk-beds and a closet are revealed behind a wall that slides out on tracks. And in addition, there's a full, well designed kitchen, a bathroom with shower and a pull down seat which covers the toilet, basically converting the space into a telephone booth for private conversations. The room is also filled with space saving furniture from places like Resource Furniture. Also video'd here from BuzzBuzz: A home inspired by "origami" in Manhattan--450 sq. ft-- owned by third-grade-teacher Eric Schneider and in Seattle,182 square feet that's racked, packed and stacked and owned by engineer, Steve Sauer who shows to what levels space-saving can go!  

 

.
....BONUS The tiniest yet--108 square feet!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WASTE NOT: MAKING Teeth from HUMAN Urine

This is one of those: "Never in a  million years," discoveries that, while true is almost too strange to digest. 

Imagine using your own urine to help create new teeth for yourself, which is possible according the BBC News. A July 29, 2013 online article states that urine can be used to create stem cells that can then be used to create teeth. The results have been published in Cell Regeneration Journal; the science was done by the Guangzhou Institute of Bio medicine in China. The researchers even claim that after three weeks of growth the "teeth" contained dentin, pulp and had enamel like the real thing. 


"A POOR SOURCE"
--Prof. Chris Mason, London

Others, however, are not so quick to jump on the pee pee tooth fairy wagon. Professor, Chris Mason, a stem cell specialist from University College London, denounced the discovery saying urine was a poor starting point and added that there was a great risk for bacteria. infection and other potential unknown hazards. That said, even the Chinese research team admits a urine made tooth is not as strong as natural human teeth.  Still the research is promising, and there may be a day in the not too distant future when permanent teeth will finally be able to be replaced from the body's own resources. 

The Guangzhou Institute for Bio medicine is a government sponsored scientific research organization affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which has a combination of 500 researchers and grad students working full throttle.
Their director proudly states on their web page: "We serve the citizens of China and world through discovery." For the full BBC story, click here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

REAL MEN Wear Their Father's CLOTHES

Jack Kennedy
The Kennedy clan's men are famous or probably more correctly infamous for following male type. They were also metrosexuals before it was cool, an air and style that caught the attention of ladies and men alike.

We're liking this idea of guys going back to the clean and classic, which in doing our research came to the forefront time and time again in several blogs and men's trend magazines. The TV series Mad Men rebooted relaxed formality, and as super fans and big supporters of recycling in every area of your life and not big supporters of the baseball cap and pulled-down-pants-underwear-n-booty look, we're breathing a collective sigh of relief that young fashionistos are analyzing old movies, and digging in their father's (and grandfather's) closets for new fashion inspiration, once again.

One great trend watching site is Ivy Style. The editor, known simply as "Christian," takes a look at ivy league attire past and present. In an older post, he reminisces on his own style experiments which were being photographed and catalogued by Japanese journalists, even as he was updating them.

"PIPES AND CARDIGANS 
GET THE CHICKS!"
--Ivy Style on Hugh Hefner

Sean Jean fashion house

Marc Jacobs  fashion house
Another good find: FashionBeans: Timeless Style for the Modern Gent. Their latest installation (as of the date of this post) included a wonderful article on men's street style; various photographs of regular guys and how they fashion themselves. And of course, Pinterest will give you a plethora of men's and young men's looks from head to foot. Everyone from Marc Jacobs to Sean John is calling for men to be "clean and structured," "urban and individual" or "post modern." So, we say to them, "damn skippy!"  This is style that can be had anywhere from 7th Avenue to bargain basements.
Mick Jagger's daytime rags


Friday, May 3, 2013

NEWS YOU CAN USE--Barcodes


     Perhaps these are things you never really wanted to know anyway. But just in case...



If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 690, 691 or 692, the product is MADE IN CHINA. 471 is Made in Taiwan .
If the first 3 digits of the bar code are 00-09 then it's made or sourced in USA. 

     It is our right to know, but the government and related departments never educate the public; therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves (as usual). Nowadays, many Chinese businessmen know that American consumers prefer not to purchase products "MADE IN CHINA", so they don't always show the country of origin. However, if you want or need this information, you may now refer to the barcode. The first three digits tell the story:

890......MADE IN INDIA
690, 691, 692 ...MADE IN CHINA
00 - 09 ... USA and CANADA
30 - 37 ... FRANCE
40 - 44 ... GERMANY
471 ........ Taiwan
45 or 49 ........JAPAN
489...........HONG KONG
50 .......... UK
57 .........DENMARK 
64..........FINLAND
76.........SWITZERLAND and LIENCHTENSTIEN 
471......... is Made in TAIWAN (see sample) 
628.........SAUDI ARABIA 
629.........UNITED ARAB EMIRATES 
740..........745 - CENTRAL AMERICA

All 480 Codes are Made in the PHILIPPINES. Share this Info!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SCORE for GOLIATH on MONSANTO/ WHOLE FOODS ECO DEBACLE
















"DID MONSANTO BACK 
A DELIVERY TRUCK OVER 
THE WHOLE FOODS KID?"
 --Greensburgher on Twitter

     It was a fierce twelve year struggle between the organic elite and genetic engineers with no clear winner in sight. But in the wake of the battle, it was obvious who had the bloodier ax. Monsanto emerged the victor with the help of  the U.S. Calvary--Uncle Sam. At stake were over 25,000 organic farms and ranches, the very people we have been depending on to keep our food supply uncontaminated.

     In the beginning, there was a conclave of greenies headed by Whole Foods, Stoneyfield Farm and Organic Valley who took up "the cause;" indeed the fight to keep the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive genetically engineered perennial crop away from John Q. Public. The crop was GE (genetically engineered) alfalfa--Round Up Ready Alfalfa-- which some, like World Truth TV, say was guaranteed to spread its mutant seeds across the nation; eventually contaminate organic animals; most likely poison farm workers, cause the use of toxic herbicides which in turn will in time will produce a super weeds, which will require even more potent herbicides to kill it.  At first blush, Whole Foods staunchly defended what they called "seed purity." but in the end it seemed they were overwhelmed by Monsanto, "the bio tech bully of St. Louis [and the government's] bio tech cheerleader, Tom Vilsack," said World Truth.


Whole Foods, however, sees it differently.

"THESE ARE TROUBLING TIMES IN THE KINGDOM"--Flo, Progressive Insurance

     "USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently invited representatives from agriculture, business and consumer organizations to explore coexistence between non-GE proponents and GE proponents.  It showed refreshing leadership after many years of debate that has cost farmers with contaminated crops in this country millions of dollars in litigation over the years," defended Whole Food in their blog, The Whole Story.

     Several months down the pike, they were on the defensive again pleading with the public to "get back to your scheduled shopping," comforted by these assurances:


"We have not been bought out by Monsanto... we (no way!) made a secret deal with Monsanto...Wrong again! GMO's [genetically modified organisms] have been in our food supply for as long as there have been GMOs." And even allowing that coexistence between GMO and NonGMO  "is a must!"

Two years ago, The NonGMO Project agreed stating: "...if the fields are contaminated...biotechnology companies for the first time would be held accountable and...forced to pay for the damages."

     Sigh. It would have been nice if the convincing had gone the other direction. This should have been a simple case of David vs. Goliath. In case you don't know your King James--David wins. In the bible, the mighty giant is slain by the tween with the power of the Almighty. Cool. But in this case we sense some unfair play, Monsanto may have just backed a delivery truck over the Whole Foods kid, who was probably on a bike. And they got away with it. Not cool. In the words of Flo from Progressive, these are "troubling times in the kingdom."




Thursday, March 21, 2013

PIttsburgh Mayor Puts "Green" Money Where His Mouth Is

"Mayor Luke" of Pittsburgh, as he is called by both his friends and enemies, was the youngest mayor ever elected in the city's history, and one of the few nationwide in 2006 at age 26. He survived a special election, a re-election, a divorce, a series of alleged girlfriends and enough controversy to last a life time. Is it any wonder after snatching his hat out of the mayoral race in March of 2013 that he's now grazing in the calm of "greener" pastures?  No, you can't kick a man when he's up. 

Seen Green salutes Mayor Ravenstahl's "Edible Gardens" Program and his plans to "plant 10-15 edible gardens in targeted 'food deserts' throughout the City that can harvest 2,000 pounds of fresh produce for 200 families in low income neighborhoods."

It all part of the Mayor's Serve Pittsburgh Program in conjunction with the Department of Public Works fueled by a $100,00 grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies. Here's to hoping it all works. To learn more or apply, click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

2013 Global Warming Rate Equal To 11,300 Years Ago

Researchers are warning us again, but are we not listening again? According to recent CNN reports, the last time temperatures rose at this rate was11,300 years back. Apparently 1901-1909 were the coldest decades, and we've been on the rise ever since. This ironically neatly coincides with the invention of the "motorwagon"  by Karl Benz. in 1885, who sold 25 cars in 5 years, mostly in France. Add to that Henry Ford's efforts in 1908 with the creation of an affordable modern car that sold 10,000 it's first year and you begin to see an obvious pattern. Steel-making and industry surely didn't help. One century later, we're being told 2000-2009 were some of the hottest years, and it appears were in crisis inventing catch-up technology to manage a monster of our own creation.

Said CNN, "A century is a very short period of time for such a spike. If not for man-made influences, the Earth would be in a very cold phase right now and getting even colder, according the joint study by Oregon State University and Harvard University. Climatologist Shaun Marcott was the lead author of the report on its results." His main concerns center around our ability to adapt globally and our inability to accept needed change.

While Marcott didn't want to comment on what the would might look like in the next century, CNN reports his hopes that we can "pull out of it." 
Tokyo born artist, Naoko Ito's work speaks to the salvage heart. Here, she "preserves" nature in mason jars. Ito currently lives and works in New York. This piece is from her Urban Nature series which she has been expanding since its inception in 2008. Her credits include exhibitions in New York and the far east: The Shirey,  Soho20 Chelsea Gallery, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, The affordable Art Fair, and the Yasashii Yokan Gallery in Tokyo, Japan.
     
        

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Future of Coca Cola Is Green


From the days of "Things go better with Coke," to today's "Live Positively," the Coca Cola marketing train has never run out of ideas. Enter Kent Muhtar, son of a Turkish diplomat, and you have yet another spokesman in the soft drink's iconic PR wheel. Muhtar is the current Chief Officer of Coca Cola, but he titles himself, "Chief Sustainability Officer." 

Even while the company battles accusations from detractors, who think their product has entirely too much sugar and contributes to childhood obesity, Muhtar and his team have diplomatically moved past these complaints by offering people something they can hang their eco hats on: A broad ranging sustainability program that's integrated throughout the company's entire business plan.
 
Said Muhtar in a Forbes interview: "The [original plan] didn't have the right metrics around it. Sustainability was just a warm and fuzzy word in our corporate social responsibility report, and part of compliance. We also didn't have proper alignment with our bottling partners." 

Now Cola Cola is making constructive changes that have even their harshest critics blinking in disbelief. Some of their bolder plans involve returning as much water to the earth as they take out or becoming "water neutral"; reducing their carbon footprint by 5%, and the introduction of a "plantbottle" which is 30% plant material and 100% recyclable. Ideally, this should make the global manufacturing of their over 3,000 products a bit more palatable to John Q. Public.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pittsburgh's Tech, Art, Eco Fest Returns for 2013



"Never perfect...Just Beautiful" is the caption for GA/GI Fest. Each year, a mixture of the quirkiest, emerging and off-beat art, eco and tech ideas get a chance to be seen and heard during April's edition of First Fridays on Penn Avenue, an art crawl known as "Unblurred." This year it's on April 5th and 6th so mark those calendars! For more info from the blog, click here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Recyling Images: Warhol and Basquiat Olympic Art

Between 1983 and 1985, Basquiat and Warhol did a series of collaborative works. The 1984 Olympic games inspired this piece, which will be used as official art during the London games of 2012. Some say the two became somewhat co-dependent on each other during this period. As by then, Warhol's star was waning and Basquiat's was just rising. Still the interesting mix of "ready-made" iconography with oppositional graffiti was powerful. Get more-- Artlyst.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Eco Fashion: Dine in a Dress Made (YES!) From Wine


     Kudos for the University of Australia for coming up with this concept: In the future ladies, your dress may form itself right on your body without needing a stitch! And it's all thanks to a biological fermentation process that allows living microbes to produce fabric. These Aussy researchers for this process are even looking at ways to create alternate colors since they know the red color won't do for every girl. So far they have only come up with clear from beer or white wine, but they will most likely work that out as they tend to a few other "bugs. For example, unless you like a fine French "bouquet," you and your significant other won't enjoy that the fabric will smell like the vintage that created it.  And for heaven's sake don't get caught in the rain! When wet, these dresses will turn to sludge.

     On the up side, provided you do like wine aroma and live in southern Califtornia, where it hardly rains, or some other agreeable clime, this may be the (future) look for you. Says Bioalloy, makers of the--uh, stuff--they have named micro"be": "Instead of lifeless weaving maching producing the textile," it will all happen with living microbes.

     They have set out to explore, they say, the possible forms and implications of futuristic dressmaking and textile technologies.While the idea of a bacterial fermented seemless garment may seem like an alien concept, it will certainly "rupture the the meaning of traditional interactions with body and clothing."

Monday, June 11, 2012

Makey Makey: Computerize your Bananas into Bongos, Baby

...or even just piano keys.      Two 32-year graduate students--Jay Silver and Eric Rosenbaum--created the cool  Makey Makey device at the MIT Media Lab in Boston, Massachusetts.

     Their Kickstarter funding page (ending June 12) has got them 10,491 backers, netting them a war chest of over a half million at this writing!  But the pair wants their invention to be affordable, so they intend to sell Makey Makey for just around $35.

     The invention's name derives from Make + Key, and the product basically uses alligator clips, a USB connector, and a circuit board that can turn nearly anything with only a whiff of electronic charge (like gummies, cats, dogs or staircases) into a touch pad capable of typing, surfing the net, playing video games or music. Yes, you can even turn you and your friends into human synthesizers! The circuit board (which can be flipped and used on either side) is manufactured at Sparkfun, a company in Boulder, Colorado.

     Get more information click here or look on Silver and Rosenbaum's website.





Sunday, May 27, 2012

Eat This / Strange Fruit

500 species of odd ball fruit reside at Miami-Dade County's Fruit and Spice Park in Florida. Bearing names that sound like characters in a future Luke Skywalker film--Antidesmas, Rollinas, and Ruskams--these plants are not only here and now, but some can be sampled on site. One to try: Black Sponte. It tastes like (not chicken ;-) chocolate pudding! If you visit the park, consider making it an all day outing; take lots of folks with you including grandma and the kids. We're talkin' 37 acres of natural weirdness, people. On your stroll, you'll enjoy over 160 varieties of mango trees, 75 varieties of bananas and other "exotic wonders." Get your marching orders from the park's visitors center. And this fruity space is the only one of its kind in the U.S.A., so don't be bashful. Get your full daily dose.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Jody Noble Choder: Raising the Roost in Pittsburgh, PA

For 2013 Info Click here!
We've all been taught about the greatest historical "movements": Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and even Beethoven's Fifth. But a chicken movement? Oh, yeah! It's the hottest, new trend and it's coming to a back yard near you. Consider the case of Jody Noble Choder, an urban chicken farmer in the Highland Park community of Pittsburgh, PA.


     Choder, has a normal job as a respected corporate attorney. She never really had it in her mind to raise chickens. However, with roots in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, she did consider herself a country bred girl with a dark secret.


     "To tell you the truth, when I hit my teenage years, I couldn't wait to get out to the city, " Choder admitted. "I wanted the bright lights, the wide sidewalks; all of that." And so, years later, after starting her legal career and getting married, she and her husband, Steve moved to Pittsburgh and into the Point Breeze community where after only a year into the renovation of their new home, Jody Noble Choder found a better house, a quiet place with a big yard, plenty of flora and fauna; up against the Highland Park damn. It would become the best of all possible worlds for her. 


     Said Choder, "You can take the girl out of the country, but not the country out of the girl. Well, it didn't stop there. Next thing I knew, I was watching Martha Stewart's TV show, putting in vegetable and French potager garden; building raised bed and gravel paths."


     No one can deny that Martha Stewart makes country living look more than incredible. When the lifestyle diva ran a story on raising chickens, Choder was smitten. She ran the idea of getting some young peeps past her husband. He was no instant Martha fan. He would only agree with the plan, if they built their own chicken coop, to save the expense. It was only much later that the couple realized they didn't have the carpentry skills to do it right.


     "We bought a dog house from Lowes and tried to retro fit it. The problem is we forgot about the door." The first spring their young peeps where killed by weasels, who lived near the damn. Choder refused to accept failure, but vowed not to bring another peep into the house, until they had their act together. 


     The second year, the Choders went back to To Lambert's Tack and Feed in Butler, PA, determined to get more peeps, and raise a better roost. With only a few more setbacks--young ducklings they purchased "disappeared," possibly met with foul play--the Choders soon became worthy of the title: Urban chicken farmers. They purchased a heat lamp and kept it and the young peeps on their sun porch to warm the downy birds so they could safely "feather out." They learned they had to harden them off, much like plants before the peeps could be placed outdoors. They perused every chicken raising catalogue and magazine known to man. Sure, they could build a better dog house, but it still wasn't a chicken coop. Before long, they spied an amazing Amish built chicken domicile.


     "Our chickens went from humble Section 8 housing to a five-star mansion," Choder said. The new coop had automatic doors, heated roots to warm their feet, special in-door lighting, nesting boxes, and an easy-clean floor. "Our hens must have felt like they hit the chicken lottery!"  The Choders then dubbed their feather friends with names. Now in addition to their dog, two cats and pond fish, there was Gregory Peck, a rooster; Buffy the Worm Slayer, Attila the Hen, Hillary Rodham Chicken, Princess Lay-a, and finally (who could resist it?) Mother Clucker.


     By six degrees of separation, the Choders began find other urban chicken farmers. the network grew through friends and friends of friends. By 2010 the group wanted to host the city's first self-guided coop tour. The plans were somewhat hampered when they learned the City of Pittsburgh was looking to create a chicken ordinance that required a zoning variance. However, by the next year the dust settled and the tour could be planned. And so, with four east end coops and four on the Northside, the first Urban Chicken Coop Tour was launched.


     "We expected some success, but for a first year event, the interest was phenomenal! We had over 450 people attend coming from Uniontown, West Virginia and as far away as Ohio." The numbers included a diverse range of men, women and children. At a price of only $5 for adults and children for free, the tour had great family appeal. The event even made the front page of the Wall Street Journal.


     Choder added simply: "People want to know where their food is coming from. It's an opportunity for parents to teach their kids something, and everyone wants to eat healthier." Tour-goers also got to see a variety of yard set-ups, and exchange chicken farming tips." It seemed not a single person went away lacking information.


     One of the surprise hits of the tour were the tee-shirts designed by Jason Sauer, owner of Most Wanted Fine Art, a gallery and Yoga spot on Penn Avenue. The tees were emblazoned with the caption: Chicks In The Hood. They quickly sold out. Proceeds from the the tour were donated to the Urban Food Bank.


     "Chickens are lot like potato chips; you can't have just one," explained Jody Noble Choder. Still, she hasn't gone down the crazy chicken slope, like a friend of hers (who shall remain nameless). She only maintains five chickens."The treatment of the birds by most urban farmers is very humane. The birds aren't injected with chemicals, they are free range, and we give them organic feed." The Choders raise a kinder, gentler chicken. The eggs the hens produce are given away to friends and even neighborhood restaurants like Salt, which have offered trade in return.


     "Some people are surprised by what we do, but I don't know why," said Choder. "People use to raise chickens in the city all the time, before it fell out of favor. It's such a good and holistic practice. It's nice to have some control over what you eat."




Take your Dad to see some Chicks this Fathers’ Day!

CHICKS-IN-THE-HOOD

2nd Annual Pittsburgh Urban Chicken Coop Tour

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Recycling Mick Jagger is a Good Thing


While a good portion of the world was freezing it's keisters off  this winter, the White House was having a hot time in the old town with who else but--Mick Jagger! We just came out of our winter doldrums to find this little gem belatedly posted on Mick's Facebook page. We're only one of over 172,000 fans, who visits there every once in while in the hopes that Mick might give us something epic. Even the thought that he's browsing a computer from time to time is kind of surreal. But seeing the still-mighty, Mick who at 69 can still high kick and get Prez Obama and First Lady Michelle rockin' is enough to make us stand up and clap and probably lift every baby-boomer, couch potato too. Mick has made 22 albums in 45 years with the Rolling Stones--a title the band picked up from blue's man Muddy Waters-- and they earned over 437 million on their last tour earning them a place in the Guinness World Records. Mick just keeps coming back, and back and back...and bringing it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

TRASH TALK Exhibit @ The Carnegie Makes Recycled Art Sound Good


TRASH TALK/
An Exhibition of
Extraordinary Art 
from Ordinary Objects
Sept 2-30 
Gallery @ Main Library, The CARNEGIE--Oakland
Curated by C.K.C. Bethea
Artists: Sheila Ali, Dean Cercone, Bill Cousins,
Daviea Davis, LaVerne Kemp, Karen Page and Paula Weiner w/ art by Amir and 
Mr. Imagination Courtesy of Bob Ziller.

Closing Reception, Sun. Sept 25 @ 2-4:30pm 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Is Barbie-making Bad for the Environment?

Blonds have been maligned for years, the subject of ill humor and the butt of bad jokes. So what's this latest brouhaha? The plastic used to make her world famous form may not be eco-friendly. "Plastics" as many will recall from the movie "The Graduate" was the word issued by Mr. Robinson to actor Dustin Hoffman as the one material "that will save us all." Fast forward several decades and we've learned that plastic is causing our environment to pay a heavy toll by bein precisely what we expect it to be--indestructible. Sure, we are doing our best to purge ourselves of the need for plastics, but are we willing to supplant the fantasies of young girls from the ages of "3 on up" not to mention the countless collectors, many of them men, who have counted on Barbie's durability to help them sustain their lifelong addictions to the icon? We'll let the experts weigh in.

Testing the environmental safety of the doll, students in the California College Of The Arts' first ever MRA In Design Strategy program recently assessed the level of Barbie's sustainability. Their three year study revealed that each doll consumes the equivalent of 3.2 cups of oil (or 1.127 watts of energy) throughout its production, shipping, and use. Despite Barbie's 25-year life expectancy the test was set for three years, because the scientists discovered that was the life expectancy of the doll in a child's toy arsenal. Not surprisingly 90% of America's girls have at least one of these 11.5 inch dolls, but that is no indication that the average child's interest in them is deep and lasting. Sold in 150 countries worldwide, Barbie has become a $1.5 billion dollar-per-year industry -- but without plastic, she'd be another crustacean by now and it's doubtful that information of impending eco disaster will detour any true Barbie fans. More than likely, this may be one dirty (blond) cultural vice that millions will stick with, no matter the eco-consequences.


From "The Graduate"

Friday, February 25, 2011

The New Way Businesses "Meat" and Greet

After a hiatus from posting at Seen Green for a while, we found out about this little gem which  made us rush back to blab on our blog. We were trying to imagine what would happen if everyone added more meat--literally-- to their  business diet? In a world where lasting impressions are critical, you will be unforgettable if you slap a piece of  piece of beef jerky in the hand of a potential client.

Next time you need to reorder your calling card stock, forget about laser cuts, pop-ups and UV lamination. Meatcards takes 100% beef jerky and  sears it with your logo or message. Meatcards even claims your cards will last through any eco disaster, so it might be best to set a few aside a few of these life sustaining widgets for later!We just hope the people who receive these great cards have a sense of  humor and don't get too salty. Some of the best businesses in town are getting jerky. For more info: meatcards.com.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reynolds Wrap Goes Green



When an product is an American icon, its always good to see progress since its inception which in this case is 1919. But check the history and you will soon discover that the Reynolds company is no stranger to green innovation. It's origins began in the same home town as the "Louisville slugger" baseball bat---Louisville, Kentucky. Then Reynolds went through several corporate acquisitions, make-overs, and headquarter moves, along the way buying another icon, Eskimo Pies and swathing them in foil. But it was in 1947, that the Reynolds Metals Co. used surplus aluminum from World War II to make Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil, creating its most famous product. We don't know if they went to ungreen and back to green, but we suspect that they finally get bragging rights for being on the right track. You can find the new green Reynolds on Facebook, subscribe to their e-news letter, get online coupons, cooking tips and more on their site. So if you're wondering...

From the Reynolds FAQ's:
Is Reynolds Wrap® Foil from 100% Recycled Aluminum safe to use with food? [It is!]

Aluminum foil made from recycled aluminum is as clean and safe to use with food as foil made from new, also referred to as virgin, aluminum. The process of melting down the recycled aluminum requires heating the metal to more than 1200°F, which burns off any debris in the metal. Once it turns into a molten liquid, the aluminum is sent through a filtration process, poured and rolled into thin sheets.

Get more info, click here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Girls Get It: Prom Dresses from Gum Wrappers, Drink Boxes and Trash



In Pittsburgh, PA the recent Geek Art /Green Innovators Festival on April 2, featured fashion attractions of trash. Five students from the Neighborhood Academy created clothing inspired by discards from their cafeteria and even bags from a local store. The Trader Joe's dress above is by "Briana." All this indisposable fashion energy comes from a new wave of stylish young ladies who are happy to help save the environment and have mothers who will be eternally grateful to them. As one spirited young lady said, "First we have to eat the trash; then throw away trash, so now we'll wear the trash."

Also shown: Blue Gum Wrapper gown created by Junior Elizabeth Rasmuson of Ganer, Iowa, who decided to make something for herself and her boyfriend Jordan Weaver. Elizabeth said, "I heard about somebody making a dress out of duct tape or something one time so I just like what's something cool and I've always liked the colors of the "Five" gum."

We think this trumps the duct tape, Elizabeth.

Tech Fields Still Prone to Health Hazzards

Think your not at risk because you're in the tech industry? 20 tech-related health issues are on the rise including electrical burns and the common flu....Click here

Green Tales from YouTube: Back to the Tap

Is it possible you dissed your faucet offerings too soon?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Blood Falls From Glacier: Has Man Killed the Earth?


"Did we really hurt the Earth?," wondered Diana Hickman, a community blogger for Greenwala. Thankfully however, the Earth is not bleeding. This is an image of Blood Falls located in Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. It seems that this five-story waterfall has a red blood like color due to a 2 million year old ecosystem of microbes that were once trapped under the glacier that are now free due to the glacier melting; creating a fissure in the glacier according to scientists.

In addition, the lake area where the glacier is located is rich in iron and has very high salinity. What seems to have scientists excited is that the microbes represent life in the most extreme conditions. Who knows what those microbes represent from a disease or nature impact something that-- according to our current sources--is not currently being studied.

100% Recycled Chair

Look at the legs on this puppy! They're made from recycled aluminum! The chair's seat and back is from recycled newspapers and corrugated cardboard. The frame is cast aluminum made of 100% recycled automotive rims. The screws came from a salvage project site. Says David Lasher on Greenwala, "We can totally upcycle the seat, back and frame into another chair or something completely different."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Diamonds Going Rough in Sluggish Global Economy


Amid rumors that the diamond industry is headed for a short-fall in "roughs," many analysts are looking at the situation very seriously. A new, productive diamond mine hasn't been discovered in the past 15 years and those planning to open, cant seem to get up the steam to keep going. According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Des Kilalea: "Diamond mining is a hugely expensive business and finding deposits and proving their commercial viability can take several years, as well as tens or even tens of thousands of dollars." Apparently, even if a plausible diamond mine were to be found today, it couldn't open until 2015.

In addition to high costs, the business of bringing a diamond operation "on line" is a daunting. "Botswana’s Orapa [an African] mine is on the surface and yet took four years to develop," Kilalea explained. "The Jwaneng mine, also in Botswana and of the size of mine needed to overcome a possible future supply shortfall, took 10 years to move from discovery to production. The Venetia operation in South Africa took 12 years. In Canada, the Ekati mine took 10 years to find and seven to prove and build. Even roads to the mines – which may open for only a few weeks a year – can cost $20 million to build."

This is the source of the problem. It appears that despite investments of hundreds of millions of dollars in global exploration, the diamond industry has thus far failed to discover sufficient commercial diamond deposits to replace existing finite mines. As a result, production is projected to remain essentially flat for at least the next decade. Even the new mines able to come on stream will not make up for the shortfall as older mines become depleted.

Said Kilalea of RBC: "The Argyle mine in Australia that used to produce 30 million carats is now down to half that amount.

The four largest producers – De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton – account for 90 percent of total diamond output, while smaller players include Harry Winston Diamond Corp, Petra Diamonds, and Gem Diamonds. “A host of mid-tier and juniors kick in the rest; they are small and often not well financed,” Kilalea said. Of the more than 100 firms involved in diamond mining, fewer than 20 have “meaningful production,” Kilalea added.

Also working against productivity is the terrain. The world’s diamond mining is concentrated in a few areas which are not at all hospitable. These include Canada’s frigid North West Territories, and Russia’s equally frigid Far East. Deposits are to be found in a range of African countries other than Botswana. However, in some cases, wading through the waters of questionable governance is as difficult as cutting through glacial ice. Some forecasters believe this opens a window for style experimentation, such as cutting overall costs by dealing with diamonds in the rough. Take the excellent examples of rough-style diamond rings (pictured above) created by Sruli Recht, a self proclaimed 'nomad' with a passion for making "ugly things beautiful." Others think the possible short-fall in diamond production leaves room for the simulated market to expand, while others would argue that there is no replacement for a "real diamond."

Still, whatever the shortfalls or the pitfalls, or the prognostications or procrastinations, one thing is crystal clear: the diamond industry isn't going away. And there is good news: If production improves, the demand for quality diamonds is quite strong. Not only is it good, but its growing. Markets like India and China are clamoring for these stones!

Said diamond industry analyst Ken Gassman said, "You can't turn around a love affair [of making and buying jewelry] the human race has had for 50,000 years. "

And new discoveries are being made every day. One of the largest high quality diamonds to date was found last fall in South African by Petra at the Cullinan mine which, as luck would have it, unearthed the world's largest diamond over 100 years ago. The 507 carat stone could be worth in excess of 20 million dollars.

Sources: Elran Diamonds
Teumim Enterprise
BBC News

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Don't MIss The Geotourisum Summit in DC..... If There is Still Room


Phone: 202-828-8044, Email: sustourism@ngs.org ...We're giving you the 411 right up front, because you just MIGHT (we said might) be able book passage to the hottest ticket this winter--National Geographic's Geotourism Summit on February 2, 2010! The event actually kicks off on February lst with ambassador training on sustainable tourisum, and the site says has they've added a few more slots. The activities also include a lecture with author James H. Gilmore, conversations with industry experts and U.S. Department of Commerce. There's a side visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibition as well to see those incredible soldiers made 2,00o years ago to guard China's first emperor. To help you field your footing, the Geotourism site lists the closest hotels and a map.
To get there....Click here. To buy the Terra Cotta Warriors book...Click here.