Most Americans use electricity, gas or oil to heat and cool their homes. But the small city of Brainerd, Minn., is turning to something a bit less conventional: the sewer.
As it turns out, a sewer — the place where a city's hot showers, dishwashing water and organic matter end up — is a pretty warm place. That heat can generate energy — meaning a city's sewer system can hold tremendous potential for heating and cooling.
It's just that unexpected energy source that Brainerd hopes to exploit.
This week, President Obama signed a law banning synthetic marijuana and other synthetic drugs. Dozens of states and local governments have already tried to outlaw fake marijuana, which has been blamed for hundreds of emergency room visits and a handful of fatalities.
But the bans have proved largely ineffective, and there are fears that the federal law won't be any different.
Synthetic marijuana looks a bit like dried grass clippings. It's readily available on the Internet and in convenience stores and smoke shops, where it's sold as herbal incense or potpourri.
In 2005 Gayle Lemmon headed to Afghanistan for three weeks on a writing assignment for the Financial Times. She hoped to find a meaningful story about entrepreneurs who were really making a difference. Contacts of contacts put her in touch with a very young woman who had started a dressmaking business that supported her entire community under the rule of the Taliban. Lemmon was struck most with the realization of just how much work woman were actually doing inside their homes during the years when they could not go outside.
Audubon New Mexico released a report on the heels of a visit here by Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar. The study argues that restoring natural streamflows will bring environmental and economic benefits.
Dams, reservoirs, and levees are all tools used to alter the natural flow of a river for crop irrigation, drinking water and industrial use. The benefits are substantial. But they also create major changes to the natural flow pattern of New Mexico’s rivers and streams.
As the natural gas boom has spread to the eastern United States, the term “fracking” has become common in news reports coming out of Pennsylvania and New York. But fracking has been a part of New Mexico’s history for decades.
After all, fracking is not a new technology. Halliburton pioneered hydraulic fracturing, as it’s officially known, in the 1940s. And it has been used around New Mexico for decades.
Maxima Guerrero and Daniel Rodriguez canvass for votes in Phoenix. Rodriguez moved to the U.S. with his mother when he was a child, and is undocumented. "The best thing I can do now," he says, "is organize those that can [vote], and make them vote for me."
For years, Maricopa County, Ariz., has been ground zero in the debate over immigration.
On one hand, the massive county, which includes the state capital of Phoenix, has a growing Latino population. On the other, it's home to publicity savvy Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has made his name by strictly enforcing, some say overstepping, immigration laws.