Solar cooking is the simplest, safest, most convenient way to cook food without consuming fuels or heating up the kitchen. The first solar cooker we know of was invented by Horace de Saussure, a Swiss naturalist experimenting as early as 1767. Â A solar cooker is like a hot box, in which we can cook our food without any cooking gas or kerosene, electricity, coal or wood. Solar cooking is not only fun but it's a great educational tool. Solar box cookers, constructed using cardboard, newspaper, aluminum foil, and a piece of glass will typically cook at temperatures between 225 - 275 F. Â Box solar cookers have the advantage of slow, even cooking of large quantities of food. Variations include slanting the face toward the sun and the number of reflectors. With box cookers, the food will cook more quickly if it is divided into several smaller pots instead of having it all in one large pot. A good first food to try is a small quantity of rice, since it is fairly easy to cook and looks very different cooked than it does raw. Chicken or fish is also very easy to cook. There's no need to rotate the oven to follow the sun, though it will improve cooking times. Bon Appetit!
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Brooklynn Olivia Bird, of Folsom, CA, was crowned the World Championship Baby after she was born closest to nine months since the San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series. Baby Brooklynn born at 8:02 p.m. on Aug. 1 -- exactly eight minutes and nine months to the day that the Giants beat the Texas Rangers at 7:54 p.m. on Nov. 1. Brooklynn's parents, Jennifer and Robert Bird, had entered CSN Bay Area's World Championship Baby search in July when the sports network was looking for a baby who may have been made during a "private" celebration for the Giants' win. Brooklynn beat 929 contestants who entered from as far as Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island, contest officials said. The winning Bird familyÂ will receive a birth certificate signed by the Giants, a commemorative brick at AT&T Park engraved with Brooklynn's name, a $2,010 gift card, and the brag-worthy title of "Comcast SportsNet 2010 Giants World Championship Baby."
Mom and Dad are serious fans - Jennifer and Robert married on Oct. 23, 2010, the night the Giants won the pennant to get into the World Series.
In the near future, the worldâs largest chocolate makers in Switzerland will market a new candy bar to fight wrinkles!!!!Â Are those angels I hear singing? Â Â The plan is to mix the chocolate bar with âanti-oxidantsâ - the super-drug that supposedly reverses the aging process and reduces your chance of cancer. âAnti-oxidantsâ have been compared to natural sponges that soak up all the toxins in your body. The result: Look younger by eating chocolate.
More proof that we do, in fact, live in wondrous times!!!
Seems the Naga Viperâs short reign as the world's hottest chili pepper may already be coming to a close. A group of Australians is seeking world record status for a new variety of chili, a bright red pepper so potent that processing it for eating requires gas masks and protective chemical warfare-like clothing.
The "Trinidad Scorpion Butch T" chilli, which is only about an inch long, comes in at a fiery 1.46 million Scoville Heat Units (SHU) per chili, taking it well past the Naga Viper British Chili, the current Guinness record-holder at 1.38 million SHU. By comparison, a jalapeno pepper contains anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 SHU!!!
"I had hallucinations, I had to lie down, I couldn't walk for 20 minutes, dizzy," said one man who helped develop and grew the flaming vegetable, when he ate a raw Trinidad Scorpion Butch T. Â He continued, "This chili was so severe. I will never, ever do it again, I can tell you that."
Even processing the chili requires the utmost care.Â Pickers wear gloves and take care to not let the plant touch any part of their skin due to the burning sensation that would result.Â People involved in boiling the minced chili into puree for putting in sauces wear chemical masks and protective clothing to avoid the fumes.
Gonna pass on this one ...
Frenchman Dr. Laurent Helewa has designed a biodegradable portable toilet. The lightweight, easy to construct and carry toilet was developed after Hurricane Katrina, when thousands of displaced people were crammed into a stadium for a week, with hardly any access to facilities.
As Helewa puts it, "It's a taboo subject, but necessary in case of natural disasters," pointing to the earthquakes in Japan and Haiti that displaced tens of thousands of people.
Weighing about 4.4 pounds, his invention is essentially a piece of cardboard that folds into a boxed seat in a minute, and comes with plastic bags that each contain an absorbent pad to soak up liquids. Helewa claims that the heavy-duty version is able to withstand a weight of 440 pounds (!) and usage of 20 hours a day.
Iâm not sure my toilet at home could stand up (or sit down) to those claims!
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Worried about how many calories you are going to consume in that slice of pizza, chocolate cake or bag of fries? A new iPhone application may help.
After taking a picture of the meal with the phone, the app gives a calorie read-out almost instantly.Â The app is called MealSnap. Supposedly, within minutes of taking a picture of a meal and matching it to a database of some 500,000 food items, the app sends users an alert with a range of calories for the meal that was photographed. The database can quickly help identity the food, how many calories there are, proteins, fat, carbs, vitamins, whatever you may want to know. Â The creator say itâs like a food journal, but easier. All you do is take the picture. MealSnap is available on the iTunes store for $2.99.
Now all we need is an app that makes you burn calories just by scanning a picture of the gym equipment that you Â intend to work out on, so you can spend that time multi tasking by sitting on your couch and watching more TVâ¦....
A new study finds that â surprise! - men are far more likely to ignore directions given by their GPS systems than women. Talk about perpetuating the stereotype that men hate asking for directions. While 83 percent of male drivers regularly rebel against their sat navs, less than three-quarters of women disobey the devices.
Over one third of drivers said their navigation system had led them between one and five miles astray, while more than half said directions provided by global positioning systems had triggered an argument with a passenger. You know what else can trigger an argument? Getting hopelessly lost because the man behind the wheel wonât ask for directions- not even from a machine.
One man explains it this way - "A GPS should aid your own navigational abilities rather than replace them." Â No word on whether the man answered to the name Magellanâ¦.
What makes a woman the perfect girlfriend, huh? Well recently, over 3000 bachelors (an important word here) were asked that question.Â Generally, these gentlemen agreed that their âperfect womanâ has a super-charged sex drive, can drink beers with the guys, and gets ready for a night-on-the-town in less than 10-minutes. Hmmm... They went on to describe their dream date, which had to have âperky breastsâ and a âbouncing bootyâ. She also needed to be slender, shorter than him (even in heels), with long luscious hair, and enough confidence to leave the house without any make-up. Really? Finally, when it came to entertainment, the guys said that the bouncy, perky, jiggly, skinny, beer swilling, sex-crazed perfect girl also needs to enjoy watching college basketball â all weekend long.
Any big surprise that these guys are still single?
Stressed out law students at Yale University now have some relief at the library. A border terrier mix named âGeneral Montgomeryâ is available for check-out. Students can take the dog out to play for up to 30-minutes at a time.Â A memo went out to Yale law students explaining that the Â library was intending to run a 3 day pilot program during which students will be able to âcheck outâ their certified library therapy dog, Monty.
Oh no! The dog ate the stuff that I checked out from the libary! Â Oh wait - Â the dog IS what I checked out from the library - never mind....
It was the best of times, it was the weirdest of times: Here are some of the more random stories that colored the news in 2010:
** A Copenhagen bus company put "love seats" on 103 of its vehicles for people looking for a partner. "Even love at first sight is possible on the bus," said a spokesman for the British owned Arriva company to explain the two seats on each bus that areÂ covered in red cloth and a "love seat" sign.
**Shoppers at an international luxury fair in Verona, Italy, found a cell-phone-equipped golden coffin among the items on display. The phones will help "the deceased" contact relatives if they have been buried alive by mistake.
** Paul the octopus (see photo), who shot to fame during this year's football World Cup for his flawless record in predicting game results, died peacefully in his sleep in an aquarium.
** A Mozambican prisoner who had been released on parole broke back into jail after discovering he didn't like life on the outside.
** A robber in New York came up with a disarming way to pull off his latest bank heist, approaching the teller's window with a large bouquet of flowers and handing over a hold-up note.
**A Kuwaiti MP proposed state-aid for male citizens to take second wives, in a bid to reduce the large number of unmarried women in the oil-rich emirate.
**A Frenchman who lost all his limbs in an electrical accident successfully swam across the Channel, a challenge he had been preparing for two years.
** A set of dentures made for Britain's war-time prime minister Winston Churchill known as "the teeth that saved the world" sold for nearly 28,000 dollars at auction.
**The strongest and most expensive beer ever created sold out within hours, a Scottish brewery said, as they courted controversy by packaging the bottles inside the bodies of stuffed squirrels.
** Two Australian men needed surgery after shooting each other in the buttocks during a drinking session to see if it would hurt.
A company which makes the world's biggest knickers has been forced to make even larger underwear - for women who are a size 74 with 105 inch waistlines. The Big Bloomers Company was set up by mother and daughter Dianne and Laura Mannering earlier this year making underwear up to XXXXXXXXL for 490 pound women. Â But they were inundated with calls from obese women around the world claiming that the 8XL panties were too small.Â So the pair have developed their latest range - which are a staggering XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL - to fit 630 pound women who have a 8.75 foot waistline (105 inches around) and a dress size of 74. Yep, size 14XL. Women from New Zealand, France and Australia have already been clamoring for the garments, which have been flying off the shelves since going on sale.
Want to make your holidays greener? How about making your own wrapping paper! Most mass-produced wrapping paper you find in stores is not recyclable and ends up in landfills. Instead, here's a great chance to get creative! Wrap presents with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper, or children's artwork. Or use a scarf, attractive dish towel, bandana, or some other useful cloth item. If every family wrapped just three gifts this way, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields!
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Gals - usually, purchasing aÂ push-up bras implies you're looking to give your boobs a lift, but retail analysts say you may be giving the economy a boost too. Retail analysts are noticing a nice bump in sales of luxury goods like Victoria's Secret Bras, as opposed to last year's hot sellers like diapers, coffee makers and winter coats.Â A shift back to "want it" gear and away from "need it" gear is a good sign that the economy is ramping up again. Specifically, they note that since the pricey "Miraculous" bras at Victoriaâs Secret are flying off the shelves, shoppers are once again willing to splurge and buy more items for themselves than in the past two holiday seasons. The bras, which launched last year, range from $49.50 to $250.
November 19th is World Toilet Day - a day to celebrate the importance of sanitation and raise awareness for the 2.5 billion people (nearly half of the world's population) who don't have access to toilets and proper sanitation.
Even though there is a serious message, World Toilet Day canât help but bring out the potty humor in all of us, right? To that end, according toÂ TheSmokingJacket.com, here's a rundown of some of the best porta potty company names in America:
Honey Bucket,Â Â Happy Can,Â Â Leprecan,Â Â Doodie Calls, Â Potty Queen, Â Spanky's, Â Blow Bros.,Â Gotugo,Â Â Ker Plunk, and my favorite -Â Â Yesterday's Meals on Wheels.
Jones Soda is always ahead of the soft-drink game â they sell tofurkey and gravy flavored soda - Â Â and now the company has introduced bacon-flavored soda. Mmm.
The concoction was created in partnership with J&Dâs Foods (home of many bacon products) and comes in a fancy gift pack:Â Order now, and you'll get two bottles of soda, bacon salt, bacon gravy, bacon popcornÂ and bacon lip balm (all pictured at left).
That's a whole lotta pig for $9.99.
New Yorkers can now drop their dogs off at Manhattan's first dog disco when they spend a night on the town. Â The Fetch Club, in New York's Financial District, features a disco ball, stain-resistant carpeting and a sheepskin rug where dogs can get a massage when they're all danced out. When the canines are done cutting the rug, they can dine on barbecued-squirrel treats or even dog sushi. The pampered pups can also curl up on luxurious day beds scattered around the floor, and if they're dog-tired they can head over to the sheepskin for their mutt massage.
Wow â if THATâS a dogâs life, sign me up!!!
The toilet paper roll is about to undergo its biggest change in 100 years: going tubeless. Kimberly Clark, one of the world's biggest makers of household paper products, will begin testing Scott Naturals Tube-Free toilet paper in stores throughout the Northeast. If sales take off, it may introduce the line nationally and globally â and even consider adapting the technology into its paper towel brands. No, the holes in the rolls aren't perfectly round. But they do fit over TP spindles and come with this promise: Even the last piece of toilet paper will be usable â without glue stuck on it. Big green news in the $9 billion â but stagnant â toilet paper market!
The 17 billion toilet paper tubes produced annually in the USA account for 160 million pounds of trash, and could stretch more than a million miles placed end-to-end. That's from here to the moon and back â twice. Most consumers toss, rather than recycle used tubes.
Environmentalist applaud the move, calling it a positive example of how companies are seeking creative ways to reduce environmental impact.
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com.
Ladies - If you're anything like me, when you're heading out for the night you're always trying to find the tiniest purse to fit three very important items: your keys, lipstick and cell phone, of course. And even when you find the right purse, you still have to deal with carrying it around all night, which is not what you want to be worrying about while you're out having fun.Â Good news: One company has solved that issue for us with the invention of a dress that also doubles as a cell phone. This innovative dress designed by Cute Circuit, aims to be elegant yet convenient, by allowing you to spend a night on the town without any extra baggage but also giving you the capability to make and receive phone calls- directly from your dress.Â Simply slip your sim card into the label of the dress and you're all ready to begin dress dialing. Different ringtones can be assigned so that you always know who is calling, however the dress is limited to calling only a few pre-programmed numbers.
Of course this may lead to new pick up lines such as "Could I borrow your...phone?"
If the high price of gasoline has you worried, this car may be just what you're looking for. An entrepreneur in Virginia has developed a vehicle that can go 100 miles on just one gallon of gas. The Edison2 Very Light Car, Â weighs just 830 pounds. It's so light, chief designer Ron Mathis can push the vehicle with his thumb. And not only is the car light, its sleek, aerodynamic design allows it to move at a pretty good clip down the highway. "It will run at about 120 (mph)," Mathis said. "It cruises very happily at about 85." The car is only a prototype, so amenities and other creature comforts will be built into later versions. The Edison2 isn't likely to ever have power windows or other power driven accessories that add weight and decrease fuel efficiency in cars. So at what point will American car buyers be willing to trade luxury for efficiency? "Right around the time gas hits five bucks a gallon, this is going to start to seem like a really good idea," says Mathis
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Have you ever wanted to whack cancer with a club? Well, here's your chance! The Me-One Foundation is hosting their 2nd Annual Tee'd Off at Cancer Golf Classic on Monday, November 1st at Granite Bay Golf Club. Â Come out and hit the links with proceeds from the day benefiting the Me-One Foundation's Camp Challenge. It's an awesome, free weekend getaway fro adult cancer patients and their families. l know - talk about a great reason to play hooky, huh? Here's your chance to play Granite Bay, a gorgeous, private course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. And after an epic day of fairways and greens, you'll dine on a feast of offerings from some of the hottest restaurants in town. So bring you best game and maybe a few of your best pals to Granite Bay Golf Club on Monday, November 1st, and help provide a free vacation for families that are fighting cancer everyday. Â Here's your shot to take a crack at cancer, and this time, we'll even put it on a tee for you. It's the 2nd Annual Tee'd off at Cancer Golf Classic benefiting the Me-One Foundation, keeping life's scoreboard at: Â Cancer - Zero, Me- One. Â For more information, log on toÂ www.me-onefoundation.org
A New York woman who purchased a McDonalds Happy Meal six months ago says the uneaten burger and fries are in as good shape as they were the day she bought them.The claim, backed up by a seemingly indestructible Happy Meal sitting in artist-photographer Sally Davies' Manhattan apartment, has amazed people around the world. The burger has been featured on television shows and become the subject of intense speculation as people wonder how fast food can apparently show barely a trace of age after six months on a plate.
On April 10th Davies bought one hamburger and Â began photographing it. âIt smelled for one day, and it stopped," she said. The burger has shrunken a little, but is mold-free and visually the same as one delivered in one of McDonald's famous boxes. As Daives says, there is no odor. Her two dogs walk past without showing the slightest interest. The Happy Meal's endurance has puzzled and worried many, wondering whether food lasting so long can be healthy. McDonalds declined an interview request, but said in a statement that "menu items are freshly prepared in ourÂ restaurants.â
Here are three Â - OK, maybe two - simple ways to save water and money on your utility bills. Create âplaytimeâ in the bathtub and have your young kidlets bathe all at the same time. Also, you can reduce the amount of time you spend in the shower by singing your favorite song. When the song ends, so should your shower. Then thereâs the idea of couples sharing their shower time, ostensibly to converse water. But guess what?Â A new study has found that, surprise! Showering together doesnât necessarily make the shower time any shorter. Couples can often get, well, distracted, and end up spending even more time in the shower than the average length of two individual ones. Â Pass the soap.
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
It's good to be a Barbie girl in this Barbie's world! A custom-designed Barbie doll is donning a necklace featuring a 1-carat pink diamond. She's being offered Oct. 20 at Christie's auction house in New York for an estimated $300,000 to $500,000. At that selling price, Christie's says she would be the world's most expensive Barbie.Â All proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in support of breast cancer awareness month.
And if you think for a minute that Ken had anything to do with this - no, no he did not....
Solar power is coming to President Barack Obama's house. The most famous residence in America, which has already boosted its green credentials by planting a garden, plans to install solar panels atop the White House's living quarters. The solar panels are to be installed by spring 2011, and will heat water for the first family and supply some electricity.
Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush both tapped the sun during their days in the White House. In the late 1970s Carter spent $30,000 on a solar water-heating system for West Wing offices. Bush's solar systems powered a maintenance building and some of the mansion, and heated water for the pool.
Obama, who has championed renewable energy, has been under increasing pressure to lead by example by installing solar at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, something White House officials said has been under consideration since he first took office.
As Solar Energy Industries Association President Rhone Resch put it,Â "Putting solar on the roof of the nation's most important real estate is a powerful symbol calling on all Americans to rethink how we generate electricity,"
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
DC has officially licensed the 1966 Batmobile for real, full-scale car production. Yes, Â you can actually buy this car now, to drive legally in all countries where it's legal to drive Â fire-spitting cars in spandex suits. For just $150,000, Â the folks at Fiberglass Freaks Replicas will get you a full, exact copy of the 1966 Batmobile with:
â¢ Rocket exhaust flamethrower works (YES!)
â¢ Show-car quality paint job.
â¢ Car sports Radir wheels with accurately shaped bat spinners.
â¢ Brand new GM 350 crate engine and brand new transmission.
â¢ Center console aluminum trim
â¢ Five light flasher, steering bezel, door sill chevron plates, "chrome-painted seat buckets, and even the very knobs, buttons and T handles are molded from vintage equipment."
â¢ Five highly-polished aluminum roll top dashboard doors that glide open.
â¢ Red beacon light.
â¢ Batbeam antenna grid raises between the front windshields.
â¢ Detect-a-scope radar screen glows green.
â¢ DVD player that plays on the LCD screen in the dash.
â¢ Hood and trunk raise and lower with actuator switches.
â¢ High-end stereo to play back the original Batman theme or the Prince one.
Apparently the boyish sidekick is not includedâ¦.
Your dog's poop needn't go straight into the trashcan -- it can be used as an energy source. So says Â Matthew Mazzottawho developed a methane digester that turns pet waste into enough electricity to power a light in a Cambridge, Massachusetts dog park.
The concept is based off of technology being used in India and China.Â It takes cow manure, puts it into a tankÂ and makes the perfect environment for the little microbes in the manure to put off methane, and this methane can then be used to cook or heat spaces."
All summer long, people have been disposing of their pet's poop by placing it in a biodegradable bag and then putting it in the methane digester. The waste was then converted to energy to power a lamp post in the dog park. The hope is one day this type of recycled refuse will be a viable source of renewable energy. And with dogs creating tons of poop in cities everywhere, the idea of using its untapped power has a much more broad appeal than say, stepping in itâ¦.
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Women on college campuses are making a quick 500 bucks. KFC is paying themÂ to wear the KFC logo on their butt cheeks â they have KFC sweatpants with âDouble Downâ written across the seat.Â Seems college-age men love the âbunlessâ Double Down sandwich. Yes that one â made with two chicken breast fillets with bacon strips, two cheeses and KFC sauce in between. And although the Double Down doesnât come with buns, at 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1380 milligrams of sodium, it may very well end up on YOUR buns!
British researchers say a firm handshake could be a sign of a longer life expectancy. Scientists found that elderly people who could still give a firm handshake and walk at a brisk pace were likely to outlive their slower peers.
They found simple measures of physical capability like shaking hands, walking, getting up from a chair and balancing on one leg were related to life span, even after accounting for age, sex and body size. Of 14 studies dealing with grip strength, the researchers found that those with the strongest hand grasps tended to live longer than those with limp grips.
The death rate over the period of the studies for people with weak handshakes was 67 percent higher than for people with a firm grip.
All this in case you need another reason to lose the limp, wet fish handshake â eeeewww!!!!!!
Who knew you could use urine to power a battery? The Pee Battery uses the ions in human urine to keep 1.5 volts streaming for 90 minutes, and its makers say it can be tweaked to last even longer. The basic principle is that a mixture of magnesium and carbon reacts when mixed with a liquid to produce, in the case of the AA battery, up to 500 milliamp-hours of life. Each time the battery is recharged it has a lower power level than the time before and the life cycle allows for about 3 to 5 recharges before disposing of the battery. Each battery can potentially keep its charge for up to 10 years which could be great for many life saving devices in remote locations. Since the battery does not contain mercury and other harmful materials, it can be easily disposed of without worry for the environment. They're even saying that all other bodily fluids work equally well. Sounds like an unpleasant way to get that iPod working again....
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
An artist named Laura Ann Jacobs has created an exhibit of bras created out of seashells, antlers and broken glass â ouch! Â Unless youâve got some type of a weird fetish, these bras are designed to be hanging on walls or showcased in galleries. As the artist puts it, âThey would be very limiting if they were designed to be worn.â Thereâs an understatement.Â One of her sculpted lingerie pieces is called âBras that pinchâ. Why? Because itâs constructed fromâ¦.lobster claws!
The makers of high fructose corn syrup want to sweeten up its image with a new name: corn sugar. The bid to rename the sweetener comes as Americans' concerns about health and obesity have sent consumption of high fructose corn syrup, used in soft drinks but also in bread, cereal and other foods, to a 20-year low. The Corn Refinerâs Association plans to apply Â to the Food and Drug Administration to get "corn sugar" approved as an alternative name for food labels.
Renaming products has succeeded before. For example, low eurcic acid rapeseed oil became much more popular after becoming âcanola oilâ in 1988. Prunes tried to shed a stodgy image by becoming "dried plums" in 2000.
Yeah, but âcorn sugarâ sounds more healthy, more nutritious, more calorie conscious â how?
Close to 50 carrot growers have banded together for a $25 million marketing campaign to get people to consider carrots instead of junk food for those lunch-boxes. Â The growers have hired an ad agency Â to come up with an ad and branding campaign that will make baby carrots just as hip and Â appealing (or more so) than junk food ads for children's lunches. The new campaign sees baby carrots packaged in Doritos-like bags. Â Theyâll be putting catchy slogans on billboards and packs: " Baby carrots: the Â original orange doodles." Â There are even plans for a phone app powered by the sound of folks munching carrots in real time. Â The campaign will also air TV spots that tout baby carrots as extreme, futuristic and even sexy. Â Sexy?
And finally, there will even be special seasonal tie-ins. This Halloween will introduce us to "scarrots." Â Yikes! And as the family that gives out baby carrots instead of candy on Halloween, start saving up for the therapy your child will undoubtedly needâ¦
Pedal power is gaining traction as thousands of bikes and elliptical machines are retrofitted to produce electricity. Â Gyms are using sweat equity to help power their facilities. A Brooklyn eatery uses it to make smoothies. Female inmates at a Phoenix jail pedal to power their TV to watch soap operas. Actor Ed Begley Jr. bikes to run his toaster.
"Business is really taking off," says Jay Whelan, CEO of The Green Revolution, a Connecticut-based company that retrofits bikes for spinning classes. Since April 2009, he has added devices to nearly 1,000 bikes at 60 gyms that convert the direct current created by pedaling into alternating current to be sent to the power grid.Â
ReRev, a Florida company, has added similar devices to more than 300 elliptical trainers at 23 gyms in a dozen states since June 2008. It's a low-cost way to get into the renewable energy game. Who Â would ever have thought we'd capture energy from a workout?
Pedal power cannot run factories, but Whelan estimates a spinning class of 20 people over a year could light 72 homes for a month. A 30-minute workout on an ellipticals generates about 50 watts, enough to run a laptop for an hour or charge a cell phone six times. "We're not going to solve global warming, but we're trying to help in any way we can," Whelan says.
At the Habana Outpost restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y., it takes about a minute of bike pedaling to power a blender. "You get $1 off if you pedal your own smoothie," says Elvis Rosa, a manager. Most customers saddle up.
Maricopa County, Ariz., Sheriff Joe Arpaio sees such bikes as a solution for couch potatoes. In April, to get overweight inmates to exercise, he hooked one up to a TV in the women's section of his Tent City jail in Phoenix. The 19-inch TV works only if an inmate pedals.
All the women in that section of the jail signed up for the "pedal-vision program," he says. "Give them access to their favorite soaps and cop shows," he says, "and they'll pedal till the cows come home."
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Remember vuvuzelas? Those obnoxious horns that buzzed endlessly during this year's soccer World Cup? Well now the plastic trumpet has earned a place in the Oxford Dictionary of English. Yes, God help us, vuvuzela is among 2,000 new words and phrases added to the third edition of the dictionary, which is compiled from analysis of two billion words used in everything from novels to internet message boards.
The credit crunch features heavily in this year's additions, with terms such as "overleveraged," having taken on too much debt and "quantitative easing," the introduction of new money in to the money supply by the central bank, among those included. "Staycation," a holiday spent in one's home country, and "bargainous," costing less than usual, also reflect the hot topic of belt-tightening among consumers during the economic downturn.
The rise of "social media," itself a new term, has spawned several additions, including "defriend," removing someone from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking site, and "tweetup," a meeting organized via posts on Twitter. Other words include:
Bromance: a close but non-sexual relationship between two men
Buzzkill: a person or thing that has a depressing or dispiriting effect
Cheeseball: lacking taste, style or originality
Chillax: calm down and relax
Frenemy: a person with whom one is friendly despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry
Interweb: the internet
Wardrobe malfunction: an instance of a person accidentally exposing an intimate part of their body as result of an article of clothing slipping out of position
So congratulations to all of the new words headed for the Oxford Dictionary. All of them, except for "Vuvuzela."Â I can't go there....
The Japanese have an easy, unique way to beat the summer heat: Refrigerated underwear. Yes, they sell brand new undies fromÂ cooled vending machines. So, on the very hottest of days, you can now slip into something comfortable and cool â brilliant! Â The underwear gained popularity inÂ adult stores - surprise! -Â where the chilled underwear apparently sold 10 times faster than the room temperature pairsÂ on the store shelves. Â So right there, next to the Coke machines, you slide in your bill and out pops cold, clean panties in a chilled container.Â The plastic dispenser looks very similar to a yogurt cup - minus the bacteria, one would hopeâ¦
This year, think about adding a little bit of extra Â excitement to your kidsâ back-to school anticipation by attempting to make their school year as eco-friendly as possible. Here are some easy green back to school ideas :
Take the Bus, Carpool, Bike or Walk
Taking the bus is often one of the easiest ways to make going back to school eco-friendly. School busses are timely in most cases, air conditioned, and a good way to get to know people. If your family lives close to school, walking or biking are great options. In respect to treating the environment well, biking and walking are head and shoulders above driving. Plus, that little bit of healthy exercise could really benefit todayâs stagnant youth. If driving is your favorite option, carpooling with some nearby friends saves on money and carbon emissions.
Bring an Eco-Friendly Lunch
The simple solution to this challenge is, of course, to send your students off to school with sack lunches. Brown paper bags are a better option than plastic, but the best choice for the environment is a bag that wonât ever be thrown away. From Spider Man lunch boxes to bento boxes to homemade fabric lunch sacks, the options are fun and endless. Â There are some great selections of environmentally-friendly lunch containers out there, including some made from old juice packs. Packaging inside a lunch sack can be eco-friendly as well if you ditch plastic sandwich and snack bags and choose small storage containers that can be washed and reused. Include some silverware (if necessary) that can be used more than once, and your familyâs school lunches will be uber-green!
It may sound silly, but writing utensils with a little extra pizzazz probably wonât be lost as fast. Whether that means buying special monogrammed pens or decorating one yourself, a pen with a little bit of sentimental value is less likely to be treated like itâs disposable. Also, itâs Â easier than ever to find a notebook and paper made from recycled materials. Â Office Depot and Staples sell recycled paper notebooks, and OfficeMax sells a 100 percent recycled printer paper.
Encourage Your School to Do More
Individuals and families can make a big impact on the environment by being more responsible consumers, but schools collect tons of waste on their own. Students and parents can talk to school officials about decreasing waste and recycling. Tell your school and friends about your green back to school ideas. Sometimes a single voice can make a big impact.
For more gree ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Fed up with the costs at the pump? Why not take a cue from Fred Flintsone? Â While the HumanCar Imagine PS won't have you motoring to work using your bare feet like the cartoon character, you could soon be "rowing" your car on your morning commute. The car is a four-seat vehicle powered by hand cranks that can take hills at 30 miles per hour and exceed 60 mph on flat terrain. Based in Eugene, Ore., HumanCar Inc. is preparing to start producing the human-powered car and is now accepting pre-orders. Â According to Â Autoblog Green, the lightweight Imagine PS (the PS stands for Power Station) is street legal and, if four people are cranking inside, can run on human power alone. The car also has electric plug-in capabilities, allowing it to be run with just one person handling the hand-crank in a rowing-like motion. According to HumanCar's website, the chassis is adaptable, and can work with different kinds of batteries and technology in the future without requiring an entirely new vehicle. The HumanCar site says the car will cost $15,500 when it goes on sale next year.Â Â Yaba daba doo!
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.comÂ
A Pop Tarts âcafeâ has opened in Times Square. Â The 3,200-square-foot store pays homage to the famous breakfast pastry. And granted, Kelloggâs fourth restaurant may not be a place for great nutrition, but if youâve got a sweet tooth, hold onto your fillings! Â Customers will be able to order a customized pastry or create a custom box filled with a mix of their favorite flavors. They can suggest new types of Pop-Tarts, select a Pop-Tarts T-shirt made by specialty artists or get "frosted" and "wrapped in foil" by a light show â ooohhh!!! Â Pop-Tarts â two layers of pastry with sweet filling â have been a Kellogg mainstay for nearly 50 years; Â about 2 billion sell each year. The menu at Pop Tart World includes everything from Fluffer Butter - butter marshmallow spread sandwiched between two Pop-Tarts frosted fudge pastries (!) â to Pop-Tarts Sushi Â (Hmm - sounds kinda weird..) Anyway you toast it, though, suffice to say that there will be some pretty seriously sugar infused kids (and adults) bouncing around Times Square!
More than 100 naked people jumped on a roller-coaster to set a new world record recently in England. The ride on the Green Scream rollercoaster was for a cancer charity â the riders raised more than $50,000 â and, OK, for a little notoriety too. The riders kicked naked butt on the previous records which was 70 people riding a roller coaster in their birthday suits. Â Hundred of photographers gathered for the event, and now get to decide which photos they can actually publish.Â One spectator said she wasnât sure whether all of the high pitched screaming was from the dangerous heights, the fast speeds or the sight of over 100 middle aged naked people. ARGHHHHH!!!!!!!
A woman in Connecticut has been painting and selling her works of art on eBay for years. What makes her paintings special? She paints with her size-38DD breasts. Yes, 34-year-old Kira Ayn Varszegiuses a mixture of colors, and angles her boobs in various different directions to create her eye-catching pieces (yeah, the paintings are the eye-catching part of this, right?). Â According to her website, she's been "specializing in museum-quality breast paintings since 2001. I enjoy working with different mediums and finding new ways to get paint on to a canvas. My intention is to provoke emotion through my art, make living spaces more beautiful, spark conversation, and most importantly, make people smile. I think my art raises more than a few smiles.â Â Â
Good to know that itâs smiles that she's hoping toÂ âraiseâ with her art....
A 60-foot sailboat built largely from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles docked on July 26th in Syndey Harbor, Australia, after four months crossing Â 8,000 nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean on a trip meant to raise awareness of the perils of plastic waste. Â The designers also wanted to prove that waste can be used as a resource through design and construction. The crew of the Plastiki, named in honor of the original Kon-Tiki voyage in 1947, weathered fierce storms after leaving San Francisco on March 20. The 130-day voyage was reasonably trouble free with the craft standing up well to big seas and strong winds of over 60 knots. Â The expeditionâs leader, David de Rothschild, said he was inspired by a 2006 United Nations report that said pollution, particularly plastic waste, threatened the worldâs oceans. He wanted to prove that trash could be effectively reused. The Plastiki, he said, is powered by solar panels and windmills. An organic glue made of sugar cane and cashews holds the bottles together, and the mast is recycled irrigation pipe.
The craft has been recycled one more time, this time into an exhibit. The "Plastiki" will spend the next month at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com
Proof that we live in miraculous times? It is now possible to get zero tan lines without going to a nude beach. Thereâs alternative swimwear that allows an all-over tan. The secret is in the fabric, which is called âTransolâ. It allows almost 80% of sunlight to penetrate what appears to be an ordinary swimsuit. Â This is a good news/bad news scenario, however: the first time you go out in âTransolâ swimwear, youâll need to apply sunscreen.Â Everywhere. Â Otherwise, you risk burning yourself, well everywhere, including âwhere the sun donâtâ shineâ, at least not up until nowâ¦Â
Businesses tear through copy paper at an estimated annual rate of 10,000 sheets for each office employee. Â Even if paper is relatively affordable, the cost of using it is many times higher. The real cost includes maintaining printers and copiers, mailing correspondence, storing records and handling office paper. Â While recycling office paper is a good idea, the most cost-effective waste management strategy is reduction. Attacking paper waste can reduce operating costs and result in savings in waste collection, transportation and processing. In addition to reducing whenever possible, keep valuable resources in use by purchasing paper with the highest percentage of recycled-content material for printing, copying, faxing and general office use. Â Here are some easy ways to reduce paper use:
Print and copy on both sides
Use e-mail to exchange documents and memos instead of printing or faxing.
Adjust fonts, margins and spacing to fit more text on a standard sheet.
When copying, reduce size to fit two pages of a report, book or periodical on one standard sheet.
Reuse paper printed on one side for internal memos, "draft" documents or scratch pads.
Use electronic data storage instead of hard copy files.
Use e-mail to exchange documents and memos instead of printing or faxing.
Eliminate mail list duplications from databases.
Use recycled-content, chlorine-free paper products, and use soy or other agri-based inks for printing projects.
This weekend, over 70 major cities around the globe will play host to the odd - and painful â âWorld Naked Bike Rideâ. The clothing-optional protest is dubbed the âcraziest, wildest and most insane event of the yearâ. Riders join for 3 reasons: they hate over-paying for gasoline, they want to take a stand (seat?) against Global Warming, or they just like to go naked in public.Â Organizers say itâs a âbare-as-you-dareâ event. Â Outfits range from your basic birthday suit, to thong and body paint, to fanciful costumes, to street clothes (boring!)Â Event coordinatorsÂ warn that exposed private parts or female nipples may make you a target for arrest. Even naked butts could be risky. Northern California cities participating in the June 12th World Naked Ride include Berkeley, San Francisco and Santa Cruz.
And for those of us who have always wondered where guys put all of their âpieces partsâ when they ride a bikeÂ - where does it all go? â this event might be the place to find out once and for all...
A new, locally produced Pink Tequila is aimed at the âSex and the Cityâ crowd.Â When you think about it, most bars are loaded with brown and yellow tequilas which are big sellers among guys.Â In fact, tequila is one of the few liquors considered in many circles to be a âmanâs drinkâ.Â Well now, for the ladies, comes Mejor Pink Tequila. Angel Penilla, who is part of the family that distills the stuff says, âVodka is the go-to drink for women, but we want to make it easy for gals to make that jump to tequila. Our pink tequila is for the happy hour culture. And pink always sell with the ladies.âÂ
No matter what color it is coming back up?
A hotel is more than just the place you sleep at night. The accommodations you choose have a major impact on the location where youâre staying. When you take a shower, turn on a light switch, or use any of the hotelâs facilities, the hotelâs environmental policies will affect the sustainability of your vacation. There are almost as many different environmental policies as there are different hotels and resorts.Â Several hotels define theirÂ brand based on sustainability,Â but many others engage in practices with far reaching consequences. Some of the harms that resorts can cause include water pollution, wasted electricity, and loss of native habitat. When golf courses replace mangrove forests, or rooms are chilled to 50 degrees in the tropics, that puts a huge strain on the ecosystem surrounding the hotel. One way to choose your hotel is to ask if they take part in theÂ Green Hotel Initiative. This industry program offers best-practices standards and accountability. Also, let hotels know that environmental concerns affect how you spend your money. On their guest comment card,Â encourage wherever you stay to adopt more sustainable policies.
For more green ideas, visit www.1thingsacramento.com
Remember when you were a kid andÂ water guns were big fun? You'd spray your friends. You'd spray your enemies. You'd even spray into your own mouth to get a drink. Well, now that youâve grown up (physically, at least) you can still have that kind of quality fun. In fact, being a grown up (at least chronologically) means you can actually do moreÂ -- like squirt beer instead of water. The Beer Blaster Liquid Shooter is the toy to help you do just this (if you must). For about 20 bucks, the Beer Blaster Liquid Shooter lets you load up a shaken, unopened can of beer and use it as ammunition. When you pull the trigger, the carbonation gives you the pressure needed to unleash cold brew all over anyone within a 10-foot radius. Need more pressure? Just give the gun a bit of a shake and fire away. Because nothing smells better than beer drying in your (former) friendâs hair and on their clothes, skin, etc.
The age old dilemma about what brides should do with their wedding dress once their honeymoon is over appears to have been solved by scientists. British researchers have developed an environmentally friendly garment that can simply be dissolved in water after being worn. Â Fashion and engineering students at Sheffield Hallam University developed the wedding dress, whichÂ containsÂ polyvinyl alcohol, a biodegradable substance that is used in laundry bags and washing detergents. This enables the dress to be dissolved into water without harming the environment. Â Their creation is part of an exhibition titled âA Sustainable Marriageâ. Â The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society's attitudes towards throwaway fashion.
But the payoff for the bride wearing this dress would be that they would need to carry an umbrella to their nuptials if rain was likely to spoil their big day. Then there are people like meÂ who spill on themselves. A lot. Can you say âWardrobe Malfunction?â
The folks at Cosmo magazine are trying to make it easier for you to groom âdown there.â They provide a 4-step plan to give yourself a homemade Brazilian Wax (!) complete with Â specially-designed stencils. You can choose from stencil shapes such as Â âLove Triangleâ, âSweetheartâ, âThis Way for Funâ and the âLanding Stripâ. Â Apparently, you punch the stencil out of the magazine, then âHold it up to the center of your V zone, and trace around it with an eyeliner pencil.â The final step is mixing hot wax and applying it to your sensitive regions.Â
Oh, I donâtâ think soâ¦.for so many reasons, I just donât think soâ¦..
10 to the 27th power is a colossal number, but will it be accepted as being hella big? Â Seems the slang word coined here in Northern California has been proposed as a worthy entry into the field of scientific measurement when calculating enormous numbers. Austin Sendek, a physics student at UC Davis, wants the number of 10 to the 27th power -- a trillion trillions -- to officially become "hella" big. Ya gotta love this!Â Along the lines of using the "kilo" prefix for kilometers or "giga" for gigabyte, Sendek is petitioning the International System of Units (SI) to use the term "hella" to describe really, really big measurements; such as the size of the universe. (now THATâS big!)Â "The diameter of the universe is 1.4 hellameters," Sendek said. "You know if someone says that's 'hella meters' you know exactly what they're talking about." Under Sendek's proposed terminology, you would say the mass of the earth is six hellagrams, and the power of the sun is 0.3 hellawatts. Â Sendek started an online petitionÂ on his Facebook page.Â He now has more than 23,000. ThoughÂ the ideaÂ started partially in jest, Sendek said it would be a great way to give "props" to Northern California. "It's another way to honor Northern California colloquialism and turn it into actual science," said Sendek.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is natural, economical and in almost every kitchen. It can safely replace many expensive products that are also potentially harmful to the environment. The following are eight of the most practical uses for baking soda.Drain cleaner and deodorizer: Put Â¼ cup of baking soda in the kitchen or bathroom drain. Pour Â½ cup white vinegar. Let the mixture bubble for 30 seconds before pouring Â½ cup warm water in the drain. Let stand for 10-15 minutes then run Â cold water down the drain for 10 seconds. Doing this every 3-4 weeks will keep your drains deodorized and will minimize clogs.
Household cleanser: Baking soda will clean tile, porcelain, stainless steel and plastic surfaces without scratching or leaving harmful residue. Sprinkle baking soda on the surface to be cleaned then with a wet cloth or sponge, scrub and rinse. You donât need a lot to get the job done, it doesnât leave behind harmful residue and it doesnât pollute the water system. Safe for cleaning baby toys, high chairs, etc.
Fire extinguisher: Every kitchen should have a container of baking soda near the stove. It effectively puts out cooking fires. If flames appear, quickly throw baking soda at the base of the fire. Be sure to stand at least an armâs length from the flames.
Fruit cleaner: Wax and surface pesticides on fruit are concerns for many people. By sprinkling baking soda on the fruit skin then, with damp fingers, rubbing and rinsing, you can enjoy clean, fresh tasting fruit without paying for commercial fruit cleansers.
Hand and face wash: Make a mixture of three parts water to one part baking soda. Use this paste to scrub away stubborn hands stains like paint and grease or strong odors like fish and garlic. The same mixture can be used to naturally exfoliate and soften your face after washing away surface dirt with soap and water. For more sensitive skin, make the mixture four parts water to one part baking soda. Baking soda in the tub helps to relieve stress and soften skin. Add Â¼- Â½ cup to your bath. This is safe for most skin allergies and doesnât leave behind oily residue that many bath oils and detergents can.
Heavy duty dish cleanser: To clean dishes with baked or burned on food, Â use baking soda to ease the cleansing without harsh steel wool or detergents. Sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the tough-to-clean area. Let stand for five minutes. Then add hot water and stand for 10-15 minutes. Wash as usual and the stuck-on food will wash away easily without excessive scrubbing.
Tooth and denture cleaner: If you ever find yourself without toothpaste, baking soda is an excellent alternative. Put a little on a damp toothbrush or the end of your finger and rub against your teeth. It helps remove food and stains and freshen your breath. For dentures, make a paste from baking soda and warm water then clean as usual. Or, for overnight soaking, use one part baking soda to four parts water. Rinse in warm water the next morning.
Acid indigestion and heart burn remedy: You can naturally neutralize painful stomach acids by adding Â½ teaspoon of baking soda to an 8-ounce glass of water. Stir until completely diluted then drink.
For more green ideas, visit www.1thingsacramento.com
According to Cosmo magazine, âThe Thong is Deadâ. Â Believe it or not (guys) the thongâs popularity seems to be fading.Â Recent sales show that the ever-popular Boy Shorts are taking over - yay!Â Women who never quite understood "Team Thong" would describe the floss like piece of materialÂ as neither flattering Â nor comfortable â a permanent wedgie at a premium price. Â In the current issue of Cosmo, they write an obituary for the most uncomfortable undergarment that man ever created. Because,you KNOW a woman would never invent have invented thongs!
THE MOST FATTENING BURGER ON THE PLANETA British restaurant claims that they are selling the world's most fattening burger.The Jolly Fryer Cafe has put together a monster called the Super Scooby Burger. It's four burgers, eight strips of bacon, eight slices of cheese, 12 onion rings and three types of relish. It also has two lettuce leaves and six slices of tomato.Brace yourself because the 15-dollar sandwich comes in at 2,645 calories.
Have you ever eaten a ton of food -- as a contest or a dare from a buddy? What exactly are you capable of scarfing down?
Are you currently on a diet that's making you crazy? Nothing but fresh fruit and salad greens? Who pressured you into this diet? How miserable are you? What food are you currently most tempted by?
Waste prevention, also referred to as "source reduction," means changing habits to reduce the amount of trash created every day. Putting reduce into practice is one of the best ways to help your community decrease the amount of material that goes to the landfill. Here are a few tips to help make less garbage and save money and resources :
**Pack zero waste lunches by using reusable storage containers and beverage containers instead of plastic sandwich bags and drink pouches.
**Purchase products in bulk sizes to reduce packaging waste.
**Purchase products with packaging made from recycled and/or recyclable materials (glass, plastic jugs, etc).
**Buy and use products in refillable containers and use reusable drink cups.
**Use reusable shopping bags instead of disposable paper or plastic bags.
**Trade books and magazines with friends and family.
**Compost your organic waste.
In addition, you can eliminate unwanted mail by removing your name from national mailing lists.
For more gree ideas, visit www.1thingsacramento.com
According to a controversial report out of London, condoms are the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions. The UK's Optimum Population Trust claims that stopping global population growth would be five times cheaper than any other method of tackling the world's greenhouse gases. Every five dollars spent on condoms for the next 40 years would supposedly reduce global CO2 emissions by a ton. It would cost 25 dollars to achieve the same result with low-carbon technologies. So it seems that by preventing one type of emission, you can reduce another type - sorry....
For more green ideas, visit www.1thingsacramento.com Â Â Â
I love bacon!Â It should be its own food group. WellÂ now, there'sÂ a new company - J&D's Foods - that makes everything taste like bacon, and they do mean everything. Â Their newest product isÂ Baconnaise - yes, bacon flavored mayonnaise.Â There is also Bacon Salt - salt flavored like a salty meat - wow. Other products include Bacon Lip Balm (ewww) and Bacon Lube, which they explain with the following quote: "We think meat flavored personal lubricants may just be the future of our business."Â Â Or not.....
If you've ever bought bling, then you know that karats cost! Furthermore, buying jewelry goes beyond impacting your wallet. The gold industry extracts 25,000 tons of gold per year from the earth, using a gnarly process that is harmful to the environment Fortunately, there is enough old and unused jewelry right here above ground stored in vaults and home safety boxes to satisfy gold demand for 50 years. A company named GreenKarat uses recycled precious metals to make beautiful rings, necklaces, earrings, etc.Â And now they have taken their A-game to another level with an easy, consumer driven jewelry recycling program called myKarat. Just look around your house and find old gold jewelry (white, rose, or yellow) that you don't wear anymore - you know, like the necklace from the guy who used to make your heart pound but now makes your skin crawl. Â Send it into MyKarat and you'll get store credit, which you can use to buy new jewelry. Yes, it's just that easy! Â My Karat actually pays you off in jewelry, in exchange for recycling. Hey - now you know where to send your gold grillz when you get tired of jewelry on your teeth!
For more cool green ideas, visit www.1thingsacramento.com
We all know how important it is to think green for the sake of our planet and save money at the same time. Most people think about greening at home, but many don't think about greening at the office. The fact is that the office environment offers many great opportunities to go green and save. For environmental conservation and cost savings try a few of these green office tips:
Use recycled paper products throughout the office. Separate your waste paper and take it to the local recycling center.
When purging files or documents, use a shredder and place the shredded paper in your paper recycling container.
Refill or recycle ink and toner cartridges. When possible, purchase a laser printer. These use less toner and no ink.
When possible, encourage the use of pencils instead of pens. Pens leave more waste in landfills and are more expensive.
Separate and recycle aluminum cans. A simple container that is readily accessible to everyone works fine. Cash these cans in to help support an annual company picnic!
Use bio-degradable trash bags. The small added expense is worth it for the planet.
Use only rechargeable batteries in battery-powered devices. Regular batteries go to landfills and pollute the earth.
If possible, coordinate a program whereby certain job descriptions can be performed from home with an internet connection and telephone. The savings realized by the company and the employee will be substantial.
It's that time of year again when I dust off my bike and start my training and fundraising for Breathe California of Sacramento Emigrant Trails - The Clean Air and Healthy Lungs People. We had such a great time in Napa last year that the Emigrant Trails Bike Trek will take place there again this September!Â We ill camp for two nights and ride at least 100 miles over three days.Â
If you are asking yourselves why I'm going on this 3 day biking experience that prevents me from walking properly for about a week afterwards yet again, well...I'm crazy. On top of that, however, I am riding to raise money for Breathe California to help eliminate lung disease, manage childhood asthma, eliminate teenage smoking and help improve air quality in the Sacramento region.
You can be part of the party and you don't even have to get your bike out. Heck, you don't even have to get off the couch to make a difference! By making a tax deductibleÂ donation, you are helping the over 45,000 children who suffer from asthma in our region. Â
AÂ few more startling facts:
440,000 people die each year from smoking related illnesses
3000 children start smoking each day
Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States
Your support would be greatly appreciated. If you can help, please make your tax deductible online donations by going to:Â
Click in my name, Kat Maudru, where it says "search for a participant", then click on my name on the next page. Finally, click on "support Kat" and follow the payment directions.
Thanks in advance for your support, and just know that on the Monday after the ride, I'll be doing the morning show on the Eagle standing up..... ouch!!!
Lawns are water guzzlers, requiring about an inch of water per week during the growing season to remain green and vibrant. Many arid regions of the nation don't get anywhere near that much average rainfall and many municipalities have restrictions on how much you can apply. To conserve water and get the best results for your lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs, remember these tips. Together, they can reduce lawn watering by 75% to 100%.
1. Water in the morning so that the surface of the lawn and garden dries off during the day. And DON'T WATER THE SIDEWALK!!!!
2. Water deeply and infrequently so the roots of the plants learn to grow down into the soil to get the water they need.
3. Use a timer, if you're in a rush in the morning, to automatically shut-off the sprinkler. New-age "evapotranspiration" monitors can communicate with local weather bureaus and tell your sprinkler system when to turn on.
4. Use organic fertilizers and soil amendments such as leaf mulch or compost toÂ increase the soil's water-holding capacity, allowing the lawn and garden to stay greener longer.
5. Choose the right plant for the right place. There is a big difference in California between a Sacramento or Fresno summer and one in Eureka, for example. You can't go wrong with most of the Fescues, which are fairly durable and heat tolerant. And finally, consider buying a mulching lawn mower. Grass clippings can provide most of the nutrients needed by a lawn if the clippings are small enough to decompose quickly without forming mats on top of the living grass.
Computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year. Â Make it a habit to turn off your computer-and the power strip it's plugged into-when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you're still burning energy even if you're not burning the midnight oil. (Check with your IT department to make sure the computer doesn't need to be on to run backups or other maintenance.) During the day, setting your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks can cut energy use by 70 percent. Remember, screen savers don't save energy. > Make it a policy to invest in energy-saving computers, monitors, and printersÂ and make sure that old equipment is properly recycled. Look for a recyclerÂ that has pledged not to export hazardous e-waste and to follow other safety guidelines. Old computers that still work, and are less than five years old, can be donatedÂ Â toÂ organizations that will refurbish them and find them new homes. (You may even get a tax deduction.)Â For more green ideas, visit www.1thingsacramento.com
If the shorter days and first signs of changing leaves don't remind you of the waning days of summer, all of the ads and store windows screaming "Back to School" certainly will. It used to be that we all took pride in cool new clothes, book bags and school supplies. Back to school season was always about buying more new stuff. Nowadays, though, everywhere you turn there are print and online articles about ways to applying the three Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle - to back to school preparations.
Your back-to-school purchases make a huge difference. Here's why: Â 14 billion pencils are produced every year, many made with wood from ancient forests. Americans use about 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, requiring 535 million trees and 12 billion gallons of oil to make. The average American consumes about 660 pounds of paper per year, compared to 550 pounds in Japan and only about 8.8 pounds in India.
So this year, think about reusing binders, pencils, and markers from last year.Â You might not need to buy much new.
For more green ideas, visit www.onethingsacramento.com.
Move over, Match.com and eHarmony. If you're looking for love, why not step out on the edge a bit? Here are some real dating websites that cater to, um, unique tastes:
Women Behind Bars -- It's a bargain. For only three bucks, you can get an address so you can converse with hot convicted felons via snail mail. womenbehindbars.com
Tall Friends -- Here you could mingle with tall singles, tall beautiful women and tall handsome men." tallfriends.com
Trek Passions -- An online community and personals site for science fiction lovers. trekpassions.com
Darwin Dating -- Only pretty people need apply. Their tagline? "Online dating minus ugly people." darwindating.com
420 Dating - Yes, even the stoners now have an online community where they can find someone to share the munchies with. Why toke alone? 420dating.com
Daily Diapers -- Online dating for Adult Babies, Diaper Lovers and fetishists who fantasize about returning to their childhood. According to the site: "Adult Babies like to wear diapers, but also enjoy other babyish things. They may wear baby clothes such as onesie-like snap-crotch T-shirts, rompers or play suits. Generally they like to be treated totally like a baby during this play time, being changed, bathed, and even spanked by their partner." dailydiapers.comÂ Â
Most of us are looking for information and tips on how to reduce greenhouse gases and help the environment. Your car is an excellent area to start with. Not only can you change your driving habits to become more 'green' but the way you look after your vehicle can also be 'greened' up.Â Any effort made will help the environment.
Here are seven tips to help 'green' up your car's maintenance routine:
1. Tires - Keep your vehicle tires properly inflated to the pressure that is recommended for your specific vehicle. The fuel economy decreases by one per cent for every three pounds of pressure your tires are below the recommended level. .
2. Consider better tires such as low-rolling resistance replacement tires (LLR). These are technologically advanced tires designed to improve the fuel economy of the vehicle, as opposed to typical tires which can reduce a vehicle's fuel economy by close to four per cent.
3. Monitor your fuel usage regularly. A sizeable change can indicate a problem with the engine or your brakes. Keeping an eye on this may prevent a developing issue from becoming a full-blown problem.
4. Change the oil in your car! By replacing the oil and the oil filter on a regular basis, you will improve your fuel efficiency and help your vehicle to last longer. When it is time to change the oil, make sure the oil is recycled. You can also buy recycled oil as a replacement.
5. Don't forget to take your vehicle in to have the emission control system checked. Make sure you don't ignore the instrument panel warning light if it ever comes on. It's important to take the vehicle in immediately if this does happen.
6. When fueling your vehicle, take care not to spill any at the gas station. Remember that gas fumes are both toxic and carcinogenic and will cause air pollution as well. Spilled gasoline is poisonous to the environment. It pollutes the water and poisons the ground.
7. Make sure you give your vehicle regular tune-ups. It doesn't matter if you do it yourself or take it to your mechanic. Just realize that tune-ups can increase your fuel efficiency.
The green scene has gone beyond gardens-it now includes litter boxes and doggie treats. If you have an animal companion who eats, sleeps, plays and poops, you've got plenty of opportunities to cut down on waste, raise your pet's quality of life and color your corner of the world green.
When emptying out closets, before throwing your dusty treasures away call your local shelters and ask if they need old towels, bedding, leashes, litter boxes and pet toys. They may even be looking for unused printers and computer monitors.
Use earth-friendly pet shampoos and grooming products whenever possible.
Scoop dog poop with biodegradable bags instead of plastic bags from the grocery store.Â Humans with cats can go for eco-friendly cat litters, avoiding brands with mined minerals. Should your furry love leave a little dribble (or more) on the carpeting or floor, don't reach for the bleach. Use vinegar instead. This environment-friendly liquid can act as an effective odor-remover and can kill mold and bacteria. Please keep in mind, though, that vinegar must be diluted correctly with water.
Consider making your own healthy dog biscuits and storing them in reusable containers. If you purchase store-bought treats, buy them in cardboard packaging and be sure to recycle. An finally, buyÂ pet supplies in bulk or the largest available size. You'll make fewer trips to the store and cut down on packaging to discard of.
Short shrieks, high-pitched yelps and drawn-out wails rang out in Thailand at an international competition aimed at setting a new record for the loudest scream.
Russian Sergey Savelyev chimed in at 116.8 decibels -- roughly as loud as an ambulance siren -- to win the recent competition in the seaside town of Pattaya.
Sadly, his effort fell short of breaking the 129-decibel Guinness World Record for the loudest scream set in 2000 in London. Â Bummer. Â Sergey, who walked away with a check for a whopping $900 for his efforts, was one of 11 finalists from a field of 1,500 competitors - wow! Â
How does one prepare for screaming as loud as an ambulance siren? Well, apparently there are various strategies for revving up the vocal cords which included contestants twisting their bodies and even throwing themselves on the ground.Â
For me, watching re-runs of Mr. Belvedere would probably do the trick.....
One of my favorite gifts to give is a donation on behalf of someone. There are endless possibilities of organizations in need of funds if you are looking for a meaningful, environmentally friendly gift for that tough to shop for person who already has, well, everything! "Send a Cow", for example, Â helps some of the poorest families in Africa. "Art-In-A-Box" benefits kids affected by HIV/AIDS. Â The list is virtually endless. Â Consider local no-kill shelters and rescues, sanctuaries, national organizations, and so on, depending on what your recipient finds important. To help you choose a worthy cause, get information about them at Charity Reports on the Better Business Bureau, Charity Watch, Guide Star, or other such watchdog resources.
You can find lots of more cool, environmentally friendly ideas at www.onethingsacramento.com
Organic beer is getting to be big business. In the past few years, the large national brewers Anheuser-Busch, Miller and New Belgium have all introduced organic products, joining a growing number of microbreweries offering organic beer. The next time you stock up on eco-friendly ales, here are a few things to look for.
Certified Organic: When you buy organic beer, you're supporting a farm system that uses fewer pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, which in turn enhances soil fertility, increases species diversity, conserves water and produces fewer greenhouse gases.
"Certified Organic" beers are made with at least 95 percent organic ingredients following all the standards set by the USDA, which include standards for the chemicals used to clean breweries.
Organic Hops: The USDA's National Organic Program allows nonorganic hops in organic beer, if the brewer can't get access to sufficient quantities. And because hops are important ingredients that add aroma and bitterness to beer, this has generated some debate about the "organicness" of organic beers that use nonorganic hops. If you want a 100-percent organic beer, buy from breweries that use organic hops.
Distribution: As with any food product, local, organic brews reduce fossil-fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions related to shipping, and they support local businesses. Fortunately, microbreweries with organic products have become popular over the last few decades, since beer may be brewed in small vats even in confined urban spaces.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Buying locally produced beer that hasn't been shipped long distances is a worthy alternative, even if the brewery doesn't sell organic beer.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â When throwing a party for large numbers of people, look for breweries that sell beer in kegs or growlers to reduce wasting glass bottles or aluminum cans.
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Brew your own organic beer. Some Starter kits start as low as $90. Visit 1 thing Sacramento for a list of places to get a brewing kit (www.breworganic.com, 800-768-4409).
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is defending a video on his Twitter page which shows him brandishing a huge hunting knife as he talks about the state's budget crisis. Our Governator, who is under fire for a budget plan announced this week that will see 15 billion dollars in spending cuts from services such as education and health care, said the light-hearted video was intended as a bit of fun. OK......
Schwarzenegger said, "You know, you sent a governor to Sacramento -- not El Stiffo, like some of the past were, but you sent someone that is a little bit more entertaining and has a little bit more fun with the whole thing, So just relax and have a little bit of a sense of humor."
Hmmm, let's see...a 26.3 billion dollar budget deficit, IOU's, furloughs...is it just me or is it hard to find humor in any of this?
NASA , the folks who brought us Tang orange drink, is now close to perfecting the next big advancement in human achievement - stink free underwear!!! Yep, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata has been up in the International Space Station, floating around in space while wearing high-tech underwear that stops the bacterial decomposition of sweat, allowing him to not change his undies for an entire week-- and not smell like rotting flesh.Â Yeah, but I'm not so sure that rotting flesh is the stink we'd be most concerned with when we're talking week old underwear.....
The manufacturers of the stink-free underwear are also working on stink-free socks. OK, for some - that's a bit closer to rotting flesh!
My family is taking a road trip next week - don't ask me why.Â Maybe that's why a recently compiled list of the most frequently heard comments onÂ summer road trips struck a chord with me. Any of these sound familiar to you?
Â "Are we there yet?" "How much longer?" "She's touching my side of the seat!!! "Let's pick up that hitchhiker." "I've never seen National Lampoon's Vacation." "I'm gonna take a nap." "Are we there yet?" "How much longer?" "I have to pee" "Are we there yet?Â "You're driving too fast!" "You're driving too slow!" "You should stop and ask for directions!" "Surprise! I made a playlist!" Â "No beef jerky!" "How much longer?" "Are we there yet?"Â "I feel car sick.""When are we gonna stop to pee?"
...and my personal favorite: "Why couldn't we have just flown?"
Mississippi's still king of cellulite, but an ominous tide is rolling toward doctors in neighboring Alabama: obese baby boomers. It's time for the nation's annual obesity rankings and, outside of fairly lean Colorado, there's little good news. Obesity rates among adults rose in 23 states over the past year and didn't decline anywhere. The news comes as dining at some restaurants becomes a new experience here in California which becomes the first state to require that chain restaurants supply calorie counts for virtually everything they serve.
No more guessing - or denial - Â about that double Western Bacon CheeseburgerÂ from Carl's Jr.: 960 calories. Side of Chili Cheese Fries to go with that? 990 calories. Maybe stick to the fried zucchini at 330 calories? Â Man....
The new law requires restaurants that have at least Â 20 storesÂ in California Â - about 17,000 locations statewide - to provide a brochure on site listing calories, sodium, saturated fat and carbohydrates for each menu item. Both sit-down and drive-through restaurants must comply.
Two bright lights in an otherwise dismal situation: alcoholic drinks aren't included. Also, at restaurants that serve only buffets, such asÂ Hometown Buffet, Â thankfully, we and our Buffet Pants will still be on our own!
Coming to a mall food court and hotel lobby near you: Vending machines filled with shoes - woo hoo!Â Two British companies are in competition. They've designed stylish vending machinesÂ that dispense 10 dollar a pairÂ shoes!Â The so-called "Rollasoles" come in Â four colors: Hi Ho Silver, Gold Digger, Back to Black, and Pink.Â Plus, they fall out of the machine with an option to get a matching tote bag.
Â I can't beÂ positive, but for me, I'm pretty sure this is what part of heaven looks like.....
According to a study conducted in Finland and published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine,Â people who can't relax and recover from the week's work stress on weekends have a higher chance of having heart attacks. Employees who said they "seldom" recovered from work stress were about three times more likely to die of stroke or heart disease as men and women who "almost always" were renewed on weekends.
So feel OK about laying around by the pool all weekend long - medicinal puposes! Doctor's orders!
GovernorÂ Schwarzenegger has said legislative leaders are going to need fortitude to solve California's $24.3 billion budget shortfall with deep cuts to cherished programs. To help with that, the Governator sent Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg a metal sculpture of bull testicles, intended as a gag gift (see photo - yikes!). SteinbergÂ was not amused and returned the football-sized gift with a terse note about the seriousness of the ongoing negotiations.Â Â
I'mÂ thinking the only way this could have gone worse is if Schwarzenegger has given the metal bull testicles to Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass....what the hell?
The following is a paid advertisement/endorsementÂ
OK, I know that Paul Martin's American Bistro isn't just for special events, but every time we have one, seems like the guest of honor picks Paul Martin's. Case in point? My dad's birthday was last week, and he'll pick a great meal over a sweater any day! His destination of choice? Paul Martin's American Bistro - hey, no complaints from me! Â What's not to love? Mouthwatering seasonal ingredients, the freshest seafood around, and aÂ wine list to die for ......OK, I'm getting really hungry for their French Dip Sandwich just writing this!! Hey, how about one of their recipes? Paul Martin's Grilled Artichoke With Pesto Aioli is absolutely heavenly (actually, anything with the word pesto in it rocks!) Enjoy! Â
GRILLED ARTICHOKE WITH PESTO AIOLI
4 artichokes (24 count)
1 gallon water
16 oz. white wine
6 sprigs Italian parsley
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 each bay leaves
Â½ of a yellow onion
4 each whole black pepper corns
4 each crushed garlic cloves
Meyer lemons for grilling (cut in half, two per artichoke)
Prepare pesto aioli (recipe follows)
Prepare the water for the cooking of the artichokes before grilling. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.Â While the water is coming to a boil, cut the top 1/3 of the artichoke off, with a pair of scissors clip off the spike end of each leaf. Once the water is simmering, add the artichokes and cook 25-30 minutes, until the chokes are tender when poked with a skewer. Cool artichokes with top side down in refrigerator. Once cooled, cut in half and remove the fuzzy part (choke) with a spoon. Â For grilling, brush with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and grill and heat until hot. Â Grill the Meyer lemons with cut side down on grill until warm. Serve on a heated plate with pesto aioli. To eat, pull leaves individually, squeeze grilled lemon juice on top and dip in pesto aioli.
1 cup mayonnaise
6 fresh garlic cloves minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
6-8 large basil leaves minced fine
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients and serve with artichoke as dipping sauce.
The preceeding was a paid advertisement/endorsement
Everybody lies. Even if it's just to tell someone their hair looks nice when it clearly does not. The average person lies about 10 times a day. Men and women are equal liars, although women tend to lie to make other people feel good, while most men lie to make themselves look better. So how do you know that someone is fibbing? Well, liars, Liars usually give short answers and look a little fidgety. Look carefully for shifty eyes, heavier breathing, perspiration and higher vocal pitch. Those could be giveaways.
Â And of course the ultimate giveaway that someone is a liar is that their pants are on fire.......
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the amount of time you spend in your car each day affects how much you weigh. If you have a long commute, you're more likely to be fat than someone who lives 10 minutes from work is. Seems yourÂ commute affects your waistline more thanÂ things likeÂ your income, education, gender or ethnicity. For every 30 minutes commuters drove each day, they had a three percent greater chance of being obese than their peers who drove less did.Â Bad news for the so called Super Commuters - a whole newÂ meaning to the term Super Size Me!
Is the bad economy bad for your waistline? Well, a new survey finds that the recession is taking a toll on Americans' diets, with 1 in 10 workers reporting more daily snacking amid concerns over the economic slowdown. One in fourÂ workers reported snacking two or more times a day, on unhealthy snacks out of the vending machine. So the love handles, the thunder thighs and the party ass are not a result of our totalÂ lack of willpower or our stagnant lifestyle.....it's the economy!!!!
Wanna have a great dinner and raise money for an awesome, local organization? Then come out to BJ's in Roseville, 1200 Roseville Parkway tonight from 4pm to 10pm. They're hosting a fundraiser for the Me-One Foundation, which offers cost free weekends away for adult cancer patients and their families. BJ's will donate 15% of tonight's proceeds to the Me-One Foundation - keeping life's scoreboard at: Cancer - zero, Me-One!Just go to the Me-One website at www.me-onefoundation.org , print the BJ's flyer to present at the door and come join the party! If you know someone who has cancer and is interested in going to the free camp, pass along the website. While you're on the site, give it a read - see you tonight!
A company in New Jersey has developed a way to mix artificial flavors and....printer ink? Yep. The result is a new product called "Taste it Notes", sticky pads that taste like foods, spices or alcohol (!) . In the future, the plan is apparently for magazine ads to taste exactly like the food being pictured, as long as you're willing to eat the paper....
This recession is hitting men below the belt literally! Doctors are reporting a sharp rise in requests for vasectomies since the economy tanked. It's particularly true in New York where hospitals have shown about a 50% increase in the procedure since last year, with nealry half of these new patients coming from Wall Street. Seems some men will endure cutlery near their privates and a bag of frozen peas over the sky high price of raising children.....
These days, airlines charge for luggage, snacks, blankets, headphones and more â what next? Well, Â Ryanair, which is Europeâs largest budget airline, is talking about charging passengers to use the toilet while flying â scary news for those of us with Mouse Bladders. Â One thing they are considering is putting a coin slot on the toilet door. Passengers already bring their own snacks and pillows on board rather than paying - I would watch for a spike in the purchase of adult diapers in Europe! Â Â
Daylight Savings time is this weekend. Â When my daughter asked me questions about this convention â why we do it, how it came to be, does the whole world do it, and if not, why not - I began thinking about how arbitrary day light savings time is. Â Apparently we spring forward earlier this year â who decides this? I would like to meet them. Â Why donât we get a say? How come some parts of the country keep the same time all year while others, like us, hope we remember to change our clocks and get to work on time that first Monday after? Â And why do some countries observe day light savings while others donât ? This is all very confusing and random when really - daylight is daylight -Â it canâ be saved or lost. It simplyâ¦.is.