Much as we need giant new HDTVs, what we really need are things on our roof that will one day make each of us a mini clean-energy power plant.  According to this,  Panasonic gets that.  (“Panasonic Shifts To Solar Panels As TV Business Slows.”)  It’s early for most people to be buying solar panels – the prices are still so high (so how about those LEDs?).  Or for putting windmills on their roofs.  But the general idea is sound: the next couple of decades need to be about infrastructure and efficiency, not stuff we don’t really need.  (Sorry, QVC, but it’s true.)

Instead of buying a Christmas tree this year, why not buy an avocado tree or a mango tree, if you live in a Southern clime, or an apple tree?  (Actually, according to this, if you want apples, you’ll need two apple trees. Who knew?)  Since this may be a rotten time of year to plant where you live, set the cash aside to buy and plant in May.  But … right?  One way you spend money cutting down a tree; the other way you spend money to grow one; and possibly look forward to a freezer full of mango-slice-filled baggies a few years from now.  Shifting priorities.

What to get your folks?  Or Grandma?  A certificate promising to plant the tree of their choice in the Spring.  They get the fun of choosing with you the variety of tree they want and the anticipation of seeing you in the Spring when you’ll come plant it – and will think of your thoughtfulness every time thereafter that they look at it.


New York Times columnist David Pogue recommends this to eliminate ads on the web pages you read.  “Basically, it makes any Web page look like a printed book page or a Kindle page, and it’s glorious.”  You also get to set the type size.  Free.  “It completely transforms the Web experience, turning your computer into an e-book reader.  I think I’m in love,” he writes.  (And, yes, he addresses the “then how are the content providers supposed to make any money?” question.)


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