March 2, 2009

Headline roundup

A few stories I clipped from the paper over the last week or so.

Art Studio Fills Empty Spaces.
In some cultures, you burn a smudge stick to drive out the evil spirits, the bad luck. The past.

But in these days of loss and worry, of pulling back, shutting down and starting over, it might help to put some art on the walls.

That's the idea behind artist Ethan Jack Harrington's traveling studio.

Harrington plans to move his work space from one emptied Seattle storefront to another each month, essentially chasing the bad juju of the recession away, and replacing it with creative energy, beauty and an eye to building and preserving community.
The article points out that it is a win-win situation. The artist gets exposure for his artwork, and the storefront gets some activity instead of remaining empty. Filling empty storefronts also benefits the neighborhood. The article goes on to point out this line of thinking could be applied to vacant houses as well. "someone keeping the home fires burning at a foreclosed home until things turn around."

There was a Stuff You Should Know podcast a week or so ago on squatting. It mentioned that in 2007 there were 672,000 homeless folks and 16.7 million vacant houses. The show seemed in favor of the idea of filling all these empty houses, but they also mentioned how hard it is to get a squatter out of a house.

Cut Your Calories to Lose Weight
For people who are trying to lose weight, it does not matter if they are counting carbohydrates, protein or fat. All that matters is that they are counting something...After two years, every diet group had lost — and regained — about the same amount of weight regardless of what diet had been assigned.
Kind of one of those common sense things, but the diet industry is a massive one selling the latest fad. The good news is it doesn't matter which program clicks with you. It is all about taking in less calories than you burn off. I'll be publishing my "Eat Less, Move More" book soon. Well pamphlet.

"Miracle" water a low-cost alternative cleaner to harsh chemicals

It's a kitchen degreaser. It's a window cleaner. It kills athlete's foot. Oh, and you can drink it.

Sounds like the old "Saturday Night Live" gag for Shimmer, the faux floor polish plugged by Gilda Radner. But the elixir is real. U.S. regulators have approved it. And it's starting to replace the toxic chemicals Americans use at home and on the job.

The stuff is a simple mixture of table salt and tap water whose ions have been scrambled with an electric current. Researchers have dubbed it electrolyzed water, not as catchy as Mr. Clean. But at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, Calif., some hotel workers are calling it "el liquido milagroso," the miracle liquid.

That's as good a name as any for a substance that scientists said is powerful enough to kill anthrax spores without harming people or the environment.

It's green and it saves money - the mixture costs less than a penny a gallon. It isn't ready for the home yet as the machine costs about $10,000, but hotels, etc. can save money while getting rid of toxic chemicals.

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