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Eco-roofs and Earthquakes

Growing greenery on roofs brings many benefits. Buildings stay cooler, saving energy. Roofs last longer, saving money and materials. Birds and insects find new habitat, helping ecosystems. And green roofs make urban spaces more aesthetically and spiritually pleasing, as well as reducing heat-island effects for city dwellers.

Behind the Screens

Some of today’s flat-panel TV and computer screens are nearly as big as a living room wall. They bring us unimaginably sharp detail, from the spots on butterfly wings to the grimace on a linebacker’s face. Whether hooked up to your cable feed, DVD player or wi-fi, this technology is becoming integral to daily life. However, our love of flashy high-res has a dark side.

Wheat for the West

It is arguably the plant that made the West. Pioneers brought wheat in practically every wagon on the Oregon Trail. It fed farm families in the Willamette Valley and miners in the John Day and California gold-rush towns. It was currency and foreign exchange.

Toward a scholarly embrace

Ambling along the oaky trails at Finley Wildlife Refuge last Saturday morning — one of the first days without rain in a long, long time — my two friends and I paused at the edge of a pond along Woodpecker Loop.  Just under the murky surface, several rough-skinned newts were swimming in slow motion, their bodies undulating in rhythm with the rippling of the water and the dappling of the sun.

Quartet for the Earth

A mountaineer, a world traveler, an athlete and a Chinese scholar pursue answers to climate change questions.