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Alien Ingredients

spam3_1.jpgIf this doesn’t make you turn green (literally and figuratively), our guess is that not much probably will.

Due out in March, Steve Ettlinger’s book, “Twinkie Reconstructed,” delves into the alien ingredients found on the labels of most of America’s food. Ettlinger’s narrative uncovers the mysteries behind the most common processed food ingredients and doubles as an educational look into the food industry. Check it out, if only because you want to know what polysorbate 60 is. And then pat yourself on the back during your next Whole Foods trip.

“Twinkie Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats” by Steve Ettlinger. On Sale in March, (Simon and Schuster).

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Green Building in the Big Apple

hearst_tower_57thstreet_1_1.jpgThere’s a green building revolution going on across America. Buildings, both large and small, are getting the green treatment. In fact, right here in New York City, new construction (albeit on a large scale) is incorporating more energy and environmentally-friendly features. (There may also be a couple of tax breaks involved.)

One green architectural monolith I frequently stroll past is that rather bizarre testament to green skyscraper innovation, the Hearst Tower. The 46-story building looms over mid-town Manhattan like a big, glass, index finger jutting up from its original humble base.

The floor of the atrium is paved with heat-conductive limestone. Polyethylene tubing is embedded under the floor, and filled with circulating water for cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. Rain collected on the roof and stored in a tank in the basement, is used in several ways — a key component in the cooling system, to irrigate plants, and for the impressive water sculpture in main lobby. Overall, the building was designed to use 25% less energy than the minimum requirements for the City of New York, and has earned a gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Bank of America Tower, now under construction at Bryant Park, will also be loaded with green, sustainable technology. The twin tower design will incorporate technologies such as wind turbines, translucent floor-to-ceiling insulating glass to contain heat and maximize natural light, and LED lights, which automatically dim during the daytime. The tower also features a grey-water system, which captures rainwater and reuses it. Bank of America reports that the building will be made largely of recycled and recyclable materials. Air entering the building will be purified to an impressive degree, when exhausted, it will be cleaner than when it started. The tower is expected to be up and running sometime in 2008.
Some green building links:


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alternative music

monkey_1_1_1.jpgThe term “alternative music” (Wikipedia def.) is often mis-used to categorize a segment of rock music that’s not targeted to mainstream or popular tastes, a little rough around the edges, or punk-ish. If Pearl Jam is still considered to be “alternative” I’ll eat my Dave Navarro “Rock Star Supernova” sweatshirt. That being said, I thought I’d list some music that I consider “alternative.” For starters:

Don’t Speak – Eagles of Death Metal,
(have some fun why dontcha)
Kingdom of Doom – The Good, The Bad and the Queen,
(Gorillaz gone retro – Brit and dark)
The Perfect Crime 2 – The Decemberists,
(sophisticated, a little folky, cool)
Punk Rocker – TeddyBears w/Iggy Pop,
(old school, you might have heard the Caddy commercial, still rocks)

electronica or similar
Original Run – LCD Soundsystem,
(45:00 of instrumental commissioned by Nike for joggers with good taste)
Galactic Jack – Briskey,
(low-fi, net 2.0, beatnik music)
Wardance Paris – Trio Electrico,
(for light exercise, house cleaning, or smoking alternative cigarettes)
Fast & Delirious – Lindstrom,
(Norwegian electronica from a top, midnight sun dj)
Desert – Thievery Corp,
(for those lazy, foggy nights)
Rockstar – Atmo. Brtschitsch,
(samples, beats, an ironic low-fi trip)

more later

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Hot Deals on Meals

waiter.gifDining Out or Ordering In doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg…here’s how to save a limb. offers deals on meals at a wide array of NYC restaurants. The site is free, easy-to-use, and dynamic — the choice of restaurants changes almost as often as a menu’s special of the day. Each restaurant offers a unique discount, and restrictions apply…but if you’re flexible, you can save some cash.

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Really Cool Foods: Pick-up & Prepare

SwansonCoolFood_1.jpgFret no more when foraging for healthy food in the Big Apple…I stumbled upon Really Cool Foods recently, and would like to share this great find. This enormous space appeared clean, modern and inviting from the outside, so I ventured in for a quick visit. If I hadn’t been on my way to a movie, I would have given it a go, right then and there.
Throughout the store you’ll find free-standing rack-card displays, filled with recipe cards. These are not your typical recipe cards. Each card contains an attractive photo of the meal/dip/soup/etc. and is color-coded to coordinate with the components needed to prepare the meal. Simply select the designated items on the shelves (all of the food is organic and/or natural), and check-out. You should be able to pull-together your meal at home in under 20 minutes.
The recipe cards list not only how to prepare the meal, but also what “equipment” you may need, and suggestions on what “goes with” the dish.

Really Cool Foods indeed. Cool recipes for healthy food when on the run. If you try it before I do, let me know how it goes.
1059 3rd Ave @ 63rd St. s/b Open 7 days, 11a-9p, but call to cfm hours 212 605-0900.


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