11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. A pair of Willie Nelson’s braids is worth $37,000. (Learn more at NY Times) 2. A thin, million-mile-long cloud of solar material is suspended above the sun. (Learn more at NASA) 3. Some of London’s iconic red phone booths are becoming solar-powered charging stations for mobile devices. (Learn more at Gizmodo) >> 10 Best U.S. Train Trips to Take This Fall 4. Paul Revere, the rock star from the 1960s and ’70s who dressed in …

Solar Panels: Rent, Buy or Skip?

Whether you’re concerned about saving the environment or just interested in saving yourself a few bucks, equipping your house with a solar energy system is an interesting, albeit rather complicated, proposition to consider. The cost of installing a residential solar system has fallen dramatically over the years. Now a number of companies have started programs to lease, instead of sell, solar energy equipment to homeowners, some in partnership with home improvement centers including Lowes and Home Depot. Sign up for …

Get Cooking With a DIY Solar Oven

With plenty of sunny days still ahead – but with summer vacation nearing its sunset for kids and grandkids – here’s a fun, inexpensive and educational project to do with the young people in your life during the dog days of summer.  Build a simple solar oven (aka a “solar cooker”) from repurposed household items. It will not only amaze and amuse kids of all ages, but it really works. And it will save you money and keep the heat out …

Will Fast Food Save the World?

I once took it as a personal affront for anyone to suggest that I chow down at a fast food eatery. I do not necessarily dine at five-star restaurants every night but never would I lower my cultural standing by being seen at a place that serves fat-soaked burgers and French fries deep-fried in pig lard or whatever. But I think I may be changing my mind. My U-turn is based on an article by Bruce Watson in a newspaper …