Solve for X

“Life is an open book exam,” he said, “It’s not about memorizing formulas, but figuring out how to solve problems.” That approach worked well for me in college, although not all professors had the same attitude. Most engineering classes were tough, and slide rules complicated the precision of many answers, so partial credit was necessary. […]

Anna’s Friends

“…in order to do something big, to think globally and act globally, one starts with something small and one starts where it counts. Practice, then, is about making the ordinary special and the special more widely accessible — expanding the boundaries of understanding and possibility with vision and common sense. ~ Nabeel Hamdi Over thirty […]

Future Suburbs

All good solutions are beautiful. They have proportion, balance and harmony – all parts fit with one another, and the solutions fit rightly into the bigger picture. ~ Boast and Martin, Masters of Change If you’re doing transit-oriented development without adding transit, then what’s the point? ~ Peter Moskowitz My adult son groans when I […]

Doom and Gloom

Some people walk in the rain; others just get wet. ~ Roger Miller It’s easy for me to get depressed these days. Heat waves and glacial melting present as dire warnings that climate change is here and not just some far-off threat that may plague future generations. National politics have become horribly malicious, and so […]

Footprints

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. ~ Arthur Ashe A few years ago I became intrigued by the concept of ‘carbon footprint’, the sum of all the greenhouse gases — like carbon dioxide — emitted by someone’s actions. Early on, the size of your footprint was represented by the […]

Conversations

… It is not a sentimental but a grimly literal fact that unless we share this terrestrial globe with creatures other than ourselves, we shall not be able to live on it for long. Joseph Wood Krutch The other night our big cat, Betty, sat by the closed French door staring out through the glass. […]

It’s Al Gore’s Fault

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” Greek Proverb “In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.” Wilma Mankiller “It’s all Al Gore’s fault anyway,” […]

Changing the Climate

“It’s a boondoggle based on bad science and ignores the geologic record,” my friend stated decisively. “It’s bad enough that they’re making us drive electric cars, bankrupting the coal industry, and subsidizing wind farms, but now they’re trying to charge a carbon tax to pay for their outlandish schemes.” He regrouped for his final argument, […]

Paper or Plastic?

“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.” attributed to Thomas Jefferson “Paper or plastic?” the cashier asked. I glanced at my purchases already snugged into a plastic bag, but saw no paper bags on the counter. Seeing my puzzled look, she said, “Cash or credit card?” A few […]