Blog Archives

Healthy or harmful? It’s a piece of cake

The obesity epidemic is creating panic in the community, with media commentators expressing outrage at our widening waistbands and academics raising alarms about the health implications of carrying excess weight. Billboards – designed to shame – tell us to eat right, eat less, eat sensibly, count calories, exercise more, reduce fat, reject junk foods, and […] … learn more→

Natural levels of nitrogen in tropical forests may increase vulnerability to pollution

Waterways in remote, pristine tropical forests located in the Caribbean and Central America contain levels of nitrogen comparable to amounts found in streams and rivers flowing through polluted forests in the United States and Europe. This discovery by a Princeton University-led research team raises questions about how tropical forests might respond if they were to […] … learn more→

Lots of trouble

Quick: Name a great parking lot. You probably cannot think of one offhand. If you did, it would certainly surprise Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of landscape architecture and urban design at MIT. A few years ago, teaching MIT’s venerable site-planning class, Ben-Joseph found himself confronted with the problem of explaining to students why parking lots […] … learn more→

The power of being heard

To help promote peace in the Middle East, many organizations have established “peace camps” or similar conflict-resolution programs that bring Israelis and Palestinians together to foster greater understanding of the opposing group. One common feature of such programs is the opportunity for members of each group to share stories about their lives with members of […] … learn more→

Can you afford to relocate?

Once you get an offer in another city, you’ll probably do everything you can to see if the new job is in your kind of town. If it is, don’t say ‘yes’ right away — make sure the salary is enough to pay for your lifestyle in that particular place. Your desired location might have […] … learn more→

Meteorologist discusses mild winter, future 2012 weather

Throughout the continental 48 states, the 2011-12 winter has been oddly mild. While past winters in Pennsylvania and other hardy winter regions have delivered a few warm, sunny days each year like previews of spring, they usually have been surrounded by more seasonally appropriate temperatures, freezing and below. This year it seemed that very cold […] … learn more→

World wind power climbs to new record in 2011

Wind energy developers installed a record 41,000 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity in 2011, bringing the world total to 238,000 megawatts. With more than 80 countries now harnessing the wind, there is enough installed wind power capacity worldwide to meet the residential electricity needs of 380 million people at the European level of consumption. China led […] … learn more→

Good nutrition starts with the basics

March brings another National Nutrition Month. We Americans have unlimited sources of dietary information and frequent reminders about weight, diets, nutrition and food. Look at the magazine rack at the supermarket, the large sections devoted to cooking and food in bookstores and on, or search for “nutrition” on the Web and it’s all there. […] … learn more→