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Rooftop gardens come to San Francisco

Graze the Roof, a rooftop garden at Glide

Deep in the heart of winter, a small garden continues to flourish, producing winter crops such as kale, turnips, radishes, carrots and leafy greens. During the summer, this plot of land high above San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, seven stories closer to the sun, was a lush edible rooftop landscape. Sunflowers and neatly arranged boxes of kale and Chinese cabbage dotted the roof. Beans, cucumbers and squash reached up trellises against the water tower, and kiwi vines straddled the barbed-wire fence.

Graze the Roof, a fledgling garden project on top of the Glide Memorial Church's offices, was created by residents in a neighborhood known more for urban blight than fresh produce and green space. It's a partnership between Glide and Oakland nonprofit Bay Localize, which promotes edible rooftops and urban self-reliance. Such gardens are seen as an important, and largely untapped, opportunity to increase local food production. In addition to providing veggies for participants, the garden demonstrates to apartment dwellers that having a flat roof is all you need to grow good food.

French teenagers mug Santa Claus

BBC NEWS | Europe | French teenagers mug Santa Claus
A group of French teenagers have mugged Father Christmas, attempting to steal his sack of presents. The man dressed as Santa Claus was handing out sweets in the southern town of Ales when things turned nasty. One of the teenagers demanded extra sweets and, when the red-cloaked Santa refused, he and his friends started kicking and pummelling the man. The teenager and his friends, all about 15 years of age, were eventually scared off by passers-by. Father Christmas suffered multiple bruises and has lodged a criminal complaint, the AFP news agency reported.

Mr. Obama's Neighborhood

Surfacing - Mr. Obama’s Neighborhood - Hyde Park, Chicago - NYTimes.com
HYDE PARK hasn’t gotten this much attention since 1893, when the Chicago World’s Fair introduced the country to electricity and serial killers. But in recent weeks, this leafy, racially diverse neighborhood of stately town houses near the University of Chicago has become an overnight sensation, thanks to President-elect Barack Obama, who lives in a six-bedroom, Georgian-style house on South Greenwood Avenue. Since Election Day, throngs of tourists, history buffs and proud Chicagoans have flocked to Hyde Park to see where the soon-to-be 44th president launched his political career. What they’ll find is a compact grid of wide, tree-lined streets that are home to a friendly mix of wealthy African-American professionals and less-affluent professors who mingle easily at the neighborhood’s wine shops, cash-checking places and university bookstores.

Burning Coal at Home Is Making a Comeback

Burning Coal at Home Is Making a Comeback - NYTimes.com
Aptly, perhaps, for an era of hard times, coal is making a comeback as a home heating fuel. Problematic in some ways and difficult to handle, coal is nonetheless a cheap, plentiful, mined-in-America source of heat. And with the cost of heating oil and natural gas increasingly prone to spikes, some homeowners in the Northeast, pockets of the Midwest and even Alaska are deciding coal is worth the trouble.... Online coal forums are buzzing with activity, as residential coal enthusiasts trade tips and advice for buying and tending to coal heaters. And manufacturers and dealers of coal-burning stoves say they have been deluged with orders — many placed when the price of heating oil jumped last summer — that they are struggling to fill.

Bush is hated

angry_bush.jpgAll's I know is: Today at work, seemingly mild-mannered, educated and moderate young people all agreed that they can't figure out why nobody's taken a shot at this guy, yet. That's pretty heavy. Poll: 75% glad Bush is done - CNN.com
(CNN) -- A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel President Bush's departure from office is coming not a moment too soon. Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they're glad Bush is going; 23 percent indicated they'll miss him. Twenty-eight percent of those polled say President Bush is the worst president in U.S. history.

Phila. man shot because family talked during movie

cialella_300.jpgPictured: The accused. Phila. man shot because family talked during movie | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/26/2008
A South Philadelphia man enraged because a father and son were talking during a Christmas showing of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button took care of the situation when he pulled a .380-caliber gun and shot the father, police said. James Joseph Cialella Jr., 29, of the 1900 block of Hollywood Street is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and weapons violations.... Police were called to the Riverview Theatre in the 1400 block of Columbus Boulevard about 9:30 p.m. where the gunshot victim, a Philadelphia man who was not identified, told police a man sitting near him told his family to be quiet and threw popcorn at his son. After exchanging words, Vanore said Cialella allegedly got out of his seat to confront the family when the father got up to protect them. That's when the victim was shot once in the left arm, sending others in the theatre running to safety. Cialella then sat down to watch the movie. Police arrived a short time later and arrested Cialella and confiscated his weapon, Vanore said.

December 24, 2008

NORAD TRACKS SANTA 2008

NORAD TRACKS SANTA 2008 norad.JPG NORAD Tracks Santa - Lajes do Pico, Portugal