Short Takes: News From All Over

Appalachian Ecovillage
By Christopher Gutsche and Kathleen Smith, YES! Magazine
At Berea College, students don’t just learn about sustainability, they live it. The Berea Ecovillage campus housing was built to reuse waste and rainwater, and encourage recycling, composting, and community interaction among students and their families. While not having a dishwasher or dryer is a radical adjustment for some, the values of conservation and protecting the air and land are right at home in Appalachian country. — Grace Hanson

Wooster Collective: A Celebration of Street Art
By Staff,
Liberated billboards, stunning graffiti murals, and random acts of installation art from around the world are just a few of the images that fill the Wooster Collective’s online gallery. Pictures of urban art submitted from Milwaukee, to Melbourne, to Malta are posted daily on the photoblog. But don’t try to send anything from Manchester’s libraries. Their systems and technology manager apparently thinks the site promotes ‘Criminal Activity.’ — Barb Jacobs

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
By Robert Greenwald, Brave New Films
Robert Greenwald, the producer and director of 2004’s Outfoxed, is turning a critical lens on Wal-Mart in a Brave New Films documentary about families struggling against the corporate giant. The grass-roots filmmakers are accepting photo and video submissions, and soliciting volunteers to host community showings for an off-the-grid premiere-week this November. — Julie Hanus

Pet Insurance: Another Worker Perk
By Karen Matthews, The Gay Financial Network
Think you have good benefits? Medical, dental, and vision. What about pets? The Gay Financial Network reports that a handful of creature-friendly companies are offering insurance for Felix and Fido as an added incentive to keep employees happy and on the job. — Hannah Lobel

The Housewife Theory of History
By Rebecca Solnit, Orion
The people behind the 9/11 Commission, the Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Education for All Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency aren’t the great men of history — they’re housewives. The ‘supposedly powerless’ women have managed to wage some of the world’s most successful grassroots campaigns. Rebecca Solnit looks back on how housewives like those behind Women Strike for Peace ‘used their gender and their genteel, housewifely image to suggest that being against what the government was doing wasn’t radical but sensible, motherly, and kindhearted.’ — Hannah Lobel

Feeling Pain and Witnessing it Have Same Effect on Muscles
By Staff,
A stabbing on CSI can make our stomachs tighten, and a punch in a wrestling match can make us wince. There’s no telling what jerks and spasms would be in store if the news channels ran images of the violence in Iraq. New research delves into the empathetic reaction viewers of pain experience. Turns out that people watching someone in pain ‘exhibit the same physical reactions’ of the person who’s actually being hurt. — Hannah Lobel

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