Tagged: smart

What Would Happen If…

What would happen if everyone who owns American homes — urban, suburban, or otherwise — converted their lush lawns into vegetable gardens?  What would happen if every American family became a one-automobile unit and committed to using bicycles and public transportation except when carpooling? What would happen if the majority of Americans walked everywhere except...

Asking the Right Question About Lotteries

A nearly destitute rancher, living in one of the ten poorest counties in the United States, in South Dakota, just won $232 million in the inter-state Powerball lottery. He will take home a lump sum of nearly $89 million after taxes.  More important to some — namely, those who market state lotteries and those who...

The Fable of the Fable

There once lived a Regular Person with regular talents and regular desires, including the one that most regular people have: to be less regular and more extraordinary, to be more like an exalted Them and less like an unheralded Us.  So, despite her regular looks — some would unkindly say that she was not even...

Turning Rejection Into Acceptance, Solarly

Improved growing technology and niggardly consumption of resources now allows industrial farmers to grow ten-to-twenty-times more vegetables indoors in smartly designed greenhouses by employing hydroponics and sun-capture techniques. The new hothouse method uses fewer chemicals, water, and arable land, and it feeds more people. The only obstacle to upgrading our produce paradigm is money: the...

All Atwitter

First MySpace, then Facebook, and now Twitter. The idea of simultaneously communicating with hundreds or thousands or millions of “friends” has gone from clunky functionality to improved efficiency to instant success, “connecting” people no matter their geographic or spiritual distance. Finally, after much fretting and fomenting, we’ve overcome our existential solitude. We are one.  That’s...

Tough Questions

Is it worth keeping millions of Americans employed in an industry that produces products which harm our country? Would those laborers be better utilized making something that’s good for society? Or is it simply more important to provide jobs — to maintain jobs — no matter how pointless and unhelpful they are?  Other than the...

“Flow,” the Film

If you’re still drinking bottled water — or are in favor of more asphalt roads, lateral real estate development, and industrial farming — we’ve got a movie for you.  It’s called Flow, and like other cinematic wake-up calls, such as An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary coolly and convincingly correlates normal and accepted human behavior with the despoiling...

Unbelievable!

If what I’m hearing every time I turn on a television, computer, or radio is true, we’re living in a peculiar epoch in which the freakiest, most unexpected, downright craziest stuff is happening on a daily basis. Ours is the Age of Strained Credulity.  Everything is unbelievable! (Or “great,” but that’s another story.) People who...

Badasses

News has reached these benighted shores that Rolling Stone, a magazine that earned its former journalistic reputation for its solemn coverage of a once-relevant musical genre known variously as rock & roll, rock, adult-oriented rock, alternative rock, and dinosaur rock, hath declared that, in their view, the greatest singer in the history of popular music is...

Next in Line at the Latrine

For much of the nation’s existence, India has either been colonized by its European superiors or shackled with cuffs of poverty. Until recently, the average Indian endured squalor and neediness unimaginable to those of us who expend our excess calories at cardio-striptease classes. Even now, as viewers of the urban fairy tale “Slumdog Millionaire” note...