Interesting article in the Atlantic about the lack of social mobility and economic progress in America.

Click to read.

You want drama?
You want drama?
Go ahead...make my the RED button....,
You just never know what might happen next time you go out
for a nice quiet cuppa coffee-!!!
Press the red button and find out...


Small House Movement

The small house movement advocates living in small homes. Family size is shrinking while homes have grown in size.

There is a very good environmental argument for decreasing home size.  Smaller homes take less energy to construct, heat, and cool. Many of the homes proposed in the small house movement are too small for most people. But there are good solid reasons to reduce our footprint on the ground.


Interesting article in  on commuting. New York has by far the most transit users. But a surprise is that Washington, DC has the second highest percent of transit users.

Click to read the article.

End of the Big Beasts

Who or what killed off North America's mammoths and other megafauna 13,000 years ago?

There are four major theories on what caused the extintion. Click to read an interesting article on the subject.

Costs of Environmental Regulations

The article below quantifies the economic costs of environmental regulations. There are real costs to regulations. Of course there are real benefits also, and it is very difficult to quantify the true costs and benefits.


The Effects of Environmental Regulation on the Competitiveness of U.S. Manufacturing

Michael GreenstoneJohn A. ListChad Syverson

NBER Working Paper No. 18392
Issued in September 2012
NBER Program(s):   EEE   IO   PR 

The economic costs of environmental regulations have been widely debated since the U.S. began to restrict pollution emissions more than four decades ago. Using detailed production data from nearly 1.2 million plant observations drawn from the 1972-1993 Annual Survey of Manufactures, we estimate the effects of air quality regulations on manufacturing plants’ total factor productivity (TFP) levels. We find that among surviving polluting plants, stricter air quality regulations are associated with a roughly 2.6 percent decline in TFP.

Click to read the article 

France, Germany, and the United States

We spent the last month touring France and Germany.  Two very nice countries that we always enjoy.

The two countries are very successful and great places to visit and live.  Germany has made a major commitment to wind and solar power generation and there are numerous solar panels on rooftops and wind turbines on hilltops and ridges.  France has a high percentage of their power generated by nuclear plants. Germany has decided to eliminate nuclear power.

All three countries enjoy a high standard of living. The per capita income of the United States is still considerably higher, however, according to figures published by the world bank.

United States    48,442

Germany          39,414

France             35,194

Our Travel Blog

Our Photos

GDP Per Capita by Nation

World map showing countries above and below the world GDP (PPP) per capita, currently $10,700. Source: IMF (International Monetary Fund).
Blue above world GDP (PPP) per capita
Orange below world GDP (PPP) per capita.

Click to see the per capita income by country.

The United States is still near the top despite 

our recent economic problems.

In San Francisco, a secret project bears fruit


Published: Sunday, Sep. 16, 2012 - 1:00 am
All Tara Hui wanted to do was plant some pears and plums and cherries for the residents of her sunny, working-class neighborhood, a place with no grocery stores and limited access to fresh produce.
But officials in this arboreally challenged city, which rose from beneath a blanket of sand dunes, don't allow fruit trees along San Francisco's sidewalks, fearing the mess, the rodents and the lawsuits that might follow.
So when a nonprofit planted a purple-leaf plum in front of Hui's Visitacion Valley bungalow 31/2 years ago - all flowers and no fruit, so it was on San Francisco's list of sanctioned species - the soft-spoken 41-year-old got out her grafting knife.
"I tried to advocate for planting productive trees, making my neighborhood useful, so people could have free access to at least fruit," she said. "I just wasn't getting anywhere."
Today, Hui is the force behind Guerrilla Grafters, a renegade band of idealistic produce lovers who attach fruit-growing branches onto public trees in Bay Area cities (they are loath to specify exactly where for fear of reprisal).

Thanks to Mike Yui for sharing.


Agrivoltaics: combining agricultural and renewable energy production on the same piece of land. Farming under solar panels - A win-win Click...