December 2005 Archives

I am no longer an ashamed environmentalist.

December 27, 2005

A few weeks ago we replaced The Black Pearl (our late 90's Explorer) with a brand new Toyota Matrix, christened Mary Ann (seen below in the snow). I'm happy to report that we got between 30 and 35 miles per gallon on the road between the Twin Cities and Missouri this weekend (and back), almost hitting the EPA expectation of 36 MPG (EPA estimates are generally overrated anyway, according to many sources, and certainly don't take into account the hills we were driving through). No, its not a hybrid, but that's significantly better than the 16-19 I was getting in the Pearl.


Changing subjects: we had an excellent snowfall before Christmas, topping out at 7 inches of total coverage. Read on for more pictures of the snowfall around our house.

United Religions Initiative - Organizational Design

December 12, 2005

I've slowly begun adding to the WikiPedia article on the United Religions Initiative. Last night I added this little piece on Organizational Design:

The URI is composed of over 300 Cooperation Circles (CCs) – groups of 7 or more individuals dedicated to the URI Preamble, Purpose, and Principles (collectively, the Charter). For administrative purposes, these CCs are divided into 8 regions:

Each region elects 3 Trustees to sit on the Global Council (GC), which functions as the Board of Directors for the United Religions Initiative, Inc. (a California 501(c)(3) non-profit organization). The GC is elected every 3 years; the most recent elections were held in 2005. In addition as serving as the fiscal agents for the global URI, the GC sets policy formal policy and approves new member CCs. The GC is defined by the URI Charter and Bylaws as primarily an advisor to the local CCs, rather than a command-and-control body.

Are cities for the birds? Yes and no.

December 4, 2005

Are cities for the birds? Yes and no.: Why some birds just can't hack it in the big city is an excellent article on the research going on in Dr. Rob Blair's lab at the U. of Minnesota. Incidentally, my wife is the grad student working on crow behavior =). The point of the lab's work is to understand various avian traits and characteristics – such as behavior, predation, nesting, and foraging – and how they relate to survival in urban and semi-urban habitats, with the practical application of learning how to optimize green spaces for maximum biodiversity and health.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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