Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two of the Smartest People I Know Won World Water Day Challenge!

The winner of's competition, Visualizing Urban Water Challenge, is Joseph Bergen and Nickie Huang of GSD at Harvard. Congrats, they won $5,000!

I'm sure you'll agree with the judges, who praised their work for being unique, easily accessible, and interactive. So basically, you can roll over countries here:
Then you find out things about water, like this:
The smaller story here is the love and support offered by Verdantic throughout the project. Behind Team Bergen & Huang, Verdantic helped out with some key pointers. Some comments went unheeded, like, notice how that cow looks really small and sad compared to the goat? Fortunately, the genius of their project easily overcame the petty details of Verdantic.

Congratulations to Joseph and Nickie, and the 2 runner-ups that got $500!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Genius: Green Collar Baseball

The Oakland A's are in first place. Indeed, they are. For the 2010 season, the A's launched their new ad campaign, Green Collar Baseball. Yes, the A's are the only team that wears green. Yes, the A's are a blue collar poor man's team. Yes, we all want to see more green jobs and the green economy.

"The Green Collar Baseball campaign communicates that we do things unconventionally and that our young team works exceptionally hard to succeed," said Jim Leahey, A's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "In communicating that message, the campaign highlights the personality of our team, connecting our fans to our players in a fun and irreverent way."

There will be a total of 10 commercials--some also feature Mark Ellis, Trevor Cahill and A's great Dave Stewart--will gradually make their way to both the A's Web site and local television screens. Looking forward to it.

2010 MLB on FOX Broadcast schedule

Baseball is back and so is Verdantic--at least for now. You may be wondering what this post has to do with verdantic's eco-theme. Not much, but my post of the 2009 Schedule received many visitors. I have decided that this is a great resource for the baseball community and myself. At the very least, I will visit to see what arbitrary game FOX tries to force us to watch. Let's see: 7 Yankee games and 1 Oakland game. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, they are the defending champs and it's about money and viewership . . . even people who don't like baseball like watching the Yankees too.

Saturday, April 10, 2010 (*3:00 PM ET)
New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers

Saturday, April 17, 2009
New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals
Chicago White Sox at Cleveland Indians
San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

Saturday, April 24, 2010
New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox

Saturday, May 1, 2010 (*3:00 PM ET)
New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies
Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves

Saturday, May 8, 2010 (*3:00 PM ET)
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies at Milwaukee Brewers
Seattle Mariners at Tampa Bay Rays
Houston Astros at San Francisco Giants

Saturday, May 22, 2010 (*7:00 PM ET)
New York Yankees at New York Mets
Boston Red Sox at Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs at Texas Rangers
Detroit Tigers at Los Angeles Dodgers

Saturday, May 29, 2010
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins
Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Saturday, June 5, 2010
Florida Marlins at New York Mets
Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Seattle Mariners

Saturday, June 12, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies at Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs

Saturday, June 19, 2010
Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston Red Sox
Minnesota Twins at Philadelphia Phillies

Saturday, June 26, 2010 (*7:00 PM ET)
New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers
Boston Red Sox at San Francisco Giants
Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox

Saturday, July 3, 2010
Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays at Minnesota Twins
Florida Marlins at Atlanta Braves

Saturday, July 10, 2010
Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers
Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees
Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

Saturday, July 24, 2010
New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers
Colorado Rockies at Philadelphia Phillies
Minnesota Twins at Baltimore Orioles

Saturday, July 31, 2010
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners at Minnesota Twins

Saturday, August 7, 2010
Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves

Saturday, August 14, 2010
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres at San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

Saturday, August 21, 2010
Atlanta Braves at Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Minnesota Twins
Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles

Saturday, August 28, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies at San Diego Padres
Minnesota Twins at Seattle Mariners
Florida Marlins at Atlanta Braves

Saturday, September 4, 2010
New York Mets at Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Oakland A’s
Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins

Saturday, September 11, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves
Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Saturday, September 18, 2010
Atlanta Braves at New York Mets
Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox
Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday, November 14, 2009

United Airlines' Unfriendly Skies

I like to think that bicycle-friendly cities and establishments are met with admiration and appreciation. While businesses that put out dog drinking water bowls on the sidewalk may get the nod from dog-owners, bicycle friendliness is a progressive act with environmental benefits.
Prior to my last trip back to NYC, my bicycle gang shipped a padded bicycle bag so that I could ride again. LAX long term parking drops me off at United Airlines with my bicycle bag. So far so good. United Airlines charges me $175 to check in my bicycle—that’s for one way. That's more than the ticket for my seat. With my car miles away in a lot, I am stuck at the check-in counter with a bicycle. I can’t bring it back to my car or lock it up at the airport, but if I do bring it, it will cost me $350. As I’m calculating this crisis in my head, the mean old UA staff that issued the ticket harrumphs at me for deliberating my financial demise. He gives me the number for a courier company that might hold it over the weekend for a couple hundred bucks. A younger UA employee pitied me and talked to his pals in baggage that agreed to watch and store my bicycle for free. I tipped the nice young man enough money for a 6-pack.
Guess who else charges $175 for bicycles? Other shitty airlines that don’t give a shit, like Delta Airlines. It’s clearly a penalizing deterrent to justify bad service. site provides links to Fedex encouraging you to ship your luggage ahead of you. Certainly more convenient for United but how is that more convenient for me? What’s a fair price? I understand most airlines charge $20 for each checked baggage. Bicycles with case should weigh less than 50 pounds but they are a bit more difficult to handle. I think $50 is fair. And so does JetBlue and Virgin America.
If United Airlines was a motorist, he would be an old curmudgeon in a polluting Pontiac clunker. Instead of honking and high-beaming at cyclists like motorists tend to typically do, he pins cyclists against a tree at the knees. Unsatisfied with the helpless nature of the cyclist, United pulls down the cyclist’s pants then has a sidewalk sale to sell salvaged bike parts from the wreckage.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yellow Pages, "Little. Yellow. Different."

As print newspapers embrace and imitate the generic exit strategy of moving online, it is sad to see them go. While print may not be the most environmentally sound, the publication effects many families and the communities. Here's a brief list of prints that are flailing in the sea change of technology: Ann Arbor News, Asian Week, Bloomfield Free Press, The Bridge, The Capital Times, Christian Science Monitor, Kansas City Kansan, Kentucky Post, Rhinoceros Times, Tucson Citizen. Personally, in many cases, I just don't believe that there is enough content and useful information to fill a daily print issue. As such, papers are often filled with irrelevant ads and fluff. Turning the paper into "tabloid size" can only stave off extinction for so long.
My tilt today is not against newspapers but with the yellow pages, or super yellow pages, as it were. They used to stack of shoe box-sized phone books stack outside of my apartment building. This huge heap of phone books would seldom be taken into an apartment unit, usually by the old and digital illiterate. Then after a thunderstorm, the pile would turn into a heavy stinking pile of wet paper.
Prior to completely moving online, they forced their way into my home by shrinking the phone book into a 6x9 booklet (wrapped in plastic) that fit into my teeny mailbox. I must admire their thoughtfulness of only providing my with a "Midtown West: October 2009-2010" edition focusing on my local area and not all five boroughs. This little book is going straight to the recycling bin. They may have eluded death this year, but death is imminent.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Verdantic's Dream Car

Sometimes it seems that in order for something to be believably eco-friendly, it has to be ugly. Sure, there are beacons of beautiful eco designs, like Piano's California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Here's some ugly ones: solar vest, washing machine + toilet collabo and most of all, eco cars. Why does an eco car, electric vehicle or hybrid irrevocably have to be ugly or unsafe? Verdantic will be needing a car soon as I prepare my move back to California. Here's my car of choice: The Volkswagen Jetta TDI Stationwagen.
Here's some car dork mumbo jumbo:
Turbo compressor

1,968 cc 2.0 liters in-line 4 front engine with 81.0 mm bore, 95.5 mm stroke, 16.5 compression ratio, overhead cam and four valves per cylinder

Diesel fuel
Diesel common rail fuel system

14.5 gallon main diesel fuel tank 12.1

Power: 104 kW , 140 HP SAE @ 4,000 rpm; 236 ft lb , 320 Nm @ 1,750 rpm
- 2.0L L4 engine

Here's what I need to know about it:
- Turbo!
- 30 MPG city / 41 MPG highway
- Diesel and convertible to bio-diesel
- Engine sounds like a real car
- Looks like a normal car

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dirty problem, Cleaner solution: Pee Poople

To calculate the number of pet dogs in a populated area, you divide the human population by 2.65 then multiply by .534. For New York City's 8 million, that works out to 1.6 million pet dogs. Let's assume 90% of dog walkers pick up their dog'(s)' daily shit. Assume some are crazy enough to pick it up with a newspaper. Some may use bio-bags as well. I could go on to calculate the number of unpicked up turds per city block in NYC, but that's not exactly the point. Point is, that's at least a million plastic bags a day. Banning plastic bags in this regard will be a tough sell. I can't imagine President Obama picking up Bo's poop without plastic.
Meet the Peepoople. They developed a biodegradable bag to help sanitation in Africa. The bag serves as a toilet but when buried, it provides organic fertilizer for improved soil structure. Perhaps this innovation could help NYC reduce trash and enhance urban farming and gardening.