Short Takes: News From All Over

Hungry Like the Werewolf: How to Get Lucky on Hallowe’en
By Daisy Goldstein,
For singles, Halloween is an opportunity for last-chance romance before the dark chill of winter entombs us in wool socks and parkas. But before you embarrass yourself with a polyurethane cat suit or an old-hat cowboy shtick, eyeball some tips for love at first fright. Daisy Goldstein suggests interactivity, for example. ‘If you are dressing up as a tooth fairy, bring a bunch of chocolate coins with you and offer them to some eligible zombies.’ Also, quirkiness and originality will spark conversation, so stay away from Playboy bunny or gangster. But don’t forget the sexy: a friend of Goldstein’s pulled off an all-too-convincing ‘Pat.’ — Morgon Mae Schultz

The New Seensters
By Lorena Dexter, The Tyee
There is something intriguingly voyeuristic about the ‘I Saw You’ ad, that brand of personal advertisement that hinges upon noticing and having been noticed by someone. No wonder it has become trendy amongst alienated hipsters longing to be seen. Or maybe it’s a phenomenon of a generation reared on the safe distance of email. Lorena Dexter became one of these ‘seensters’ when she developed an addiction to reading the ads in her local paper. — Rose Miller

Canada: Environmental Bad Boy
By Anne McIlroy, The Guardian
Many Canadians are eager for their country to be ahead of the game when it comes to protecting the environment, but a new report commissioned by the environmentally focused David Suzuki Foundation reveals that Canada ranks 28th out of 30 OECD countries when it comes to environmental performance on factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, smog, and energy use. While Canada pledged to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent of 1990 levels by 2012, emissions have, in fact, risen more than 20 percent, leaving some Canadians dismayed. — Rose Miller

Mushroom Magic
By Paul Stamets, Resurgence
Paul Stamets, an author of several books on mushrooms, theorizes that an unfrozen, prehistoric man used the fungi tethered to his hip to quell a stomach infection and carry smoldering embers of fire. Modern science can use mushrooms to help clean up oil spills and dispose of chemical weapons. All this and more, including the intriguing ‘fungal intelligence’ concept, is detailed in this excerpt from the book Nature’s Operating Instructions. — Ty Otis

New Gig: Why a TV pro moved from Channel 7 to Al-Jazeera
By Michael Roberts, Denver Westword
Last May, Gabriel Elizondo made what seemed, to his co-workers at Denver’s Channel 7 news, to be an unusual career move. Elizondo decided to leave his job as an assignment editor at the local ABC affiliate to become a programming producer for Al-Jazeera International, an English-language spin-off of the embattled Arabic network. After careful consideration, he took the position because he saw Al-Jazeera, as he says, ‘doing good, courageous journalism in the Arab world,’ showing the realistic ‘ugly side of war.’ — Archie Ingersoll

Cows Make Fuel for Biogas Train
By Tim Franks, BBC Newsnight
Swedish innovation is taking the virtue of using all of the animal to new heights. Or distances rather. The world’s first biogas-fueled passenger train relies on methane captured from stewing cow organs, guts, and fat. One cow sends riders down about 2.5 miles of track. The train is just one example of a fleet of biogas vehicles greening transportation in the Scandinavian country. — Hannah Lobel

Comments? Story tips? Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to Utne magazine

In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.