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sustainable materials

Review: Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air

A couple of months ago I reviewed the volume on urban transport, and here’s another in the series from UIT Cambridge – Sustainable Materials Without the Hot Air, by Julian Allwood and Johnathan Cullen. They and their team of eight spent five years researching sustainable materials, and this is the result. The book looks at […]

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How to be Wild, by Simon Barnes

Simon Barnes is an unusual writer. He was a sports writer and editor for the Times for over 30 years, and he also had a birdwatching column, and writes books about horses and about conservation. Sports and ecology aren’t worlds that don’t often go together, but Barnes writes with passion and flair about both. How […]

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Book review: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

A few weeks ago I received a copy of Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot in the post. Overweight, one could add to that list – this is a hefty tome. The Population Media Center must be spending a fortune posting these things out. The book is a coffee-table style volume about population and its impact on the […]

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the most good you can do

The Most Good You Can Do, by Peter Singer

Five years ago Peter Singer made a compelling case for giving in The Life You Can Save. A large number of people paid attention to that book, and along with other pioneers and experimenters, Singer now finds himself at the forefront of a movement towards ‘effective altruism’. This follow up book explores what this emerging […]

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promoting sustainable living

Promoting Sustainable Living, by Justyna Karakiewicz

Suburbia is not a sustainable pattern of living. Too much transport is involved, too much land and energy. A more sustainable way of life will mean settlements with greater density, but that’s not what most of us want. We’re still pretty wedded to the semi-detached house with a garden. People can’t be talked into wanting […]

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Could you host a Little Free Library?

Here’s an idea I heard about for the first time this week, and which is worth sharing: Little Free Libraries. I’ve come across free book shelves in pubs and cafes, B&Bs, or Bookmooch and Bookcrossing website. Little free libraries are a little different, as people put them up in their own front gardens. The first […]

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free mark scandrette

Book review: Free, by Mark Scandrette

We’re doing a project at work with Mark Scandrette next month, so I’ve been reading his books. I thought I’d mention this one, as its themes chime rather well with the message of the blog. Free: Spending your time and money on what matters most is all about simplifying your life around what is most […]

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the world beyond your head

Innovative advertising or attentional hijacking?

Here’s a novel advertising campaign that won a Golden Lion award at Cannes a couple of years ago. I’ll let the company explain it in their own terms: How you feel about this campaign may well depend on how much you like Dunkin Donuts, but it’s an interesting one. As far as the marketing company […]

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world beyond your head

The World Beyond Your Head, by Matthew Crawford

Matthew Crawford is a philosopher and a mechanic, dividing his time between the University of Virginia and his motorbike workshop. As you might expect, this unique combination gives rise to a philosophy that is rooted in material things, a counter-cultural perspective that elevates manual work and craftsmanship. Crawford has a writing style to match, highly […]

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the world beyond your head

The attentional commons

Matthew Crawford‘s The Case for Working With Your Hands is one of my favourite books, a work of profound but practical philosophy. I’ve been wondering what Crawford would write next, and it’s now out: The World Beyond Your Head – how to flourish in an age of distraction. It’s about how we steward our attention. […]

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