Charlottesville has been named one of the top ten healthiest cities to live in and retire to by AARP’s magazine. Here is the list of the Top Ten healthiest cities to live and retire to:

1. Ann Arbor, Mich.,

2. Honolulu,

3. Madison, Wisc.,

4. Santa Fe, N.M.,

5. Fargo, N.D.,

6. Boulder, Colo.,

7. Charlottesville,

8. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.,

9. San Francisco Bay Area;

10. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.

The magazine evaluated more than 20 measures for the rankings, including: opportunities for exercise, number of doctors in the area, availability of healthcare, housing affordability, the local economy, educational resources, crime, climate, recreational amenities, and arts and culture.


Ever use Google Maps to get driving directions? Good news! Now you can get walking directions.

It’s Google’s world and we’re just living in it.

This video is about an EcoDorm at Warren Wilson College in the small town of Swannanoa just outside Asheville, North Carolina. The Warren Wilson College is seeking LEED Platinum certification for their EcoDorm.

Al Gore challenges the United States to switch to renewable energy sources in 10 years. The former Vice President challenges the next administration to spearhead the effort.

This Radiohead video is amazing. Radiohead made it with lasers and data — no video cameras. According to the Official Google Blog, “two scanning technologies were used to capture 3D images. Geometric Informatics scanning systems produced structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne LIDAR system that uses multiple lasers was used to capture large environments such as landscapes. In the video, 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute produced all the exterior scenes.”

GM Goes Solar

General Motors (GM) recently announced that they were adding the world’s largest, rooftop, solar power installation to its car assembly plant in Zaragoza, Spain. The solar installation will have 85,000 solar panels covering about 2,000,000 sf of roof space, it will generate about 15.1 million kWh of power annually, and it will cost $78.5 million. Additionally, the solar panels will avoid about 7,000 tons of emissions each year, and it the installation should be completed in Fall 2008.

The obesity epidemic is sweeping across America, and CalorieLab recently mapped the percentage of the obese adult population for each state in the United States.

Colorado, Utah, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Montana have smallest percentages.

Missisippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama have the highest percentages.

The U.S. is divided East/West and North/South. Why do these differences exist? Wealth? Education? Religion? Political views? Cultural backgrounds? Climate? Unemployment?

Oklahoma billionaire T. Boone Pickens wants to lead an effort to increase wind energy production in the United States. More specifically, T. Boone has picked a “wind corridor” in the Midwest that will support America’s electricity production. Pickens’ vision is that the increase in wind energy will allow Americans to use natural gas to fuel automobiles. Thus, reducing our reliance on foreign oil.

You may or may not like T. Boone Pickens, but it’s a good sign to see an oil tycoon embrace alternative forms of energy. If the United States is to change its energy habits, we need to see changes in our leadership and in the business world.

Personally, I would like to see Pickens embrace solar energy as well. The Southwest would be a perfect corridor for a “solar corridor.”

This video shows a TED Talk with Chris Jordan. Chris is an amazing photographer who uses photographs of everyday objects to convey the amount of stuff we make and consume every day. In this video Chris shows photographs of plastic air plane cups, cigarette cartons, prescription medicine, and Barbie dolls. His artwork is eerily beautiful and it will make you question your daily living habits and the unsustainable American lifestyle. Check out his website,, for more art.

So, how do we change? How do we change the American lifestyle? How do we change individually?

The Daily News Leader staff changed the title, but my letter to the editor was published in today’s paper. I wrote this letter about The Centre at Staunton because the press was only covering the economic and monetary issues associated with the development. I wanted to ensure that other concerns (i.e. cultural, environmental, aesthetic) were brought to the discussion so that the development that gets built successfully caters to the needs of the City of Staunton and its residents.

I recognize that the property in question is privately owned and the owners are entitled to develop it in any manner that is deemed appropriate by local zoning laws, but I wanted to point out that the general public will experience some of the positives and negatives that the development will bring. Thus, we should have a voice in how it is designed.

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