Accounting by Enron?
Total dollar amount of ‘unsupported accounting entries’ in the
Pentagon’s 2000 financial statements: $1.1 trillion.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company has demolished the first of three
dams on the Mokelumne River in northern California, reports
High Country News (August 18, 2003). Sediment
buildup had rendered the dams useless, and the utility tore them
down as part of the process required to renew its federal
hydropower license for other dams on the river. The project will
restore more than 40 miles of salmon habitat.
Milking Every Ad Opportunity
A Swiss firm has been launched to help companies advertise their
wares on the sides of cows, reports The Ecologist
(June 2003). The Cow Placard Company uses car paint on the grazing
animals to market their clients’ goods and services.
Breathe, Smile, Be Happy
For thousands of years, Buddhists have been talking up the benefits
of a rigorous meditation practice. Now Western scientists may know
why, notes New Scientist (May 24, 2003). Research
by neuroscientists at the University of Wisconsin and the
University of California San Francisco Medical Center indicates
that meditation actually stimulates the brain’s left prefrontal
lobes, home of positive emotions and good moods, and quiets the
amygdala, creator of, among other things, irrational fears.
Not In My Shed
Wind power advocates, conservationists, and power companies
currently face stiff opposition from homeowners in West Virginia,
Minnesota, Vermont, and elsewhere who oppose installation of giant
turbines for aesthetic reasons. The turbines disrupt their view. In
a discussion of the issue, Minnesota Conservation
Volunteer (Nov./Dec. 2003) reports on the use of a new
word that’s been coined for the area you can see: viewshed. The
term didn’t make it into the latest edition of The American
Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, but rates over
18,000 hits on google.com.
Lessons in Leisure
The international ‘slow food’ movement is launching the world’s
first University of Gastronomic Sciences this fall on campuses in
Italy. The school will offer degrees in Food and Gastronomy
Communications as well as in Food Management. The first class of 60
students will gather on campuses in Pollenzo and Colorno next
October. For more information, visit
Policies Worth Copying
Kinko’s, the nationwide chain of copy shops, announced it will no
longer buy paper from suppliers using wood logged from old-growth
or endangered forests, reports Enough! (Summer
2003). The company will also avoid suppliers that use genetically
modified organisms, and will make more 100-percent post-consumer
recycled and chlorine-free paper available to its customers.
Top 10 Activist Campuses
- University of Tehran (Iran)
- California Community Colleges
- New York University
- Howard University
- University of Michigan
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Virginia)
- University of Chicago
- St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia)
- UC Berkeley
- Yale University
Source: Mother Jones (Sept./Oct. 2003)
Car Insurance Gets Greener
Oregon has become the first state to encourage insurance companies
to offer so-called ‘pay as you drive’ car insurance policies. The
move could reward automobile owners who drive less, writes Elisa
Murray for the online magazine Grist
as well as cut congestion, collisions, and pollution.
Great Moments in Lawmaking
- In Denver, Colorado, it is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner
to your next-door neighbor.
- In Illinois, you must contact the police before entering the
city in an automobile.
- In New York, it is unlawful to walk around with an ice cream
cone in your pocket on a Sunday.
- In North Dakota, it is against the law to fall asleep with your
Source: This Abundant Life (July 2003)