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July 2013

How To Get Bicyclists To Obey Traffic Signals

After installing micro radar sensors in the pavement to monitor the behavior of bicyclists, Chicago has figured out how to make them obey traffic signals: give them their own.
"If you actually give a cyclist their own space and you give them their…

DOT To Cities: Teach Me To Ride A Bike

Struggling to adapt to a nation that relies less on automobiles, the U.S. Department of Transportation is turning to cities, pioneers of the complete streets movement, to help it stay relevant and funded as people shift to bicycles, public transit,…

Oilfield filter socks, used to filter wastewater at drilling sites, have turned up in some odd corners of North Dakota, including a roadside, an Indian Reservation, a city garbage can, and tucked under other waste trucked to landfills.
The socks…

A Defense of Corporate Yoga Chains

by Jeff McMahon Corporations exploit yoga, goes the refrain. They make decisions for profit motives that conflict with yogic principles. They divorce yoga from its philosophy and ethics. They take only one of Patanjali’s eight limbs—asana—and turn…

Will Ernest Moniz's eGallon Catch On?

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz wants electric-vehicle drivers to know how much money they save by cruising past the gas pumps, so the U.S. Department of Energy unveiled the eGallon last month—a calculation of the gasoline-equivalent cost to drive an…

A few years ago, I studied tai-chi with a Buddhist teacher who was, like me, a writer and a teacher of writing. After class one evening I asked her, “How has your practice affected your writing?” “It stopped it!” she said. “In Buddhism, there is no…

(In)Voluntary Simplicity

by Jeff McMahon I’ve always mistrusted money. That mistrust has helped me steer clear of compromising jobs and situations all my life, but it’s also helped me steer clear of prosperity. It was the voice I heeded when I decided to become a writer.…

Beginner’s Mind

What were you thinking the moment you were born? There was sudden light, a painful rush of sensation—maybe it was cold, maybe it was dry, maybe you were slapped—and then you felt the thrill of doing something for the first time that your body was…