On MNN: Don't pack away that standing desk, a bridge to New Jersey and a few Boomer Alerts

MNN offices
CC BY 2.0 Lloyd Alter/ photo aging by Brad Hanna

We're rounding up the posts from our sister site, MNN, that we think would most appeal to TreeHuggers.

Don't pack away that standing desk yet

Everybody is talking about the new British study that says sitting doesn't hurt you and that standing desks don't really make a difference. However it should be noted that this is a British study, where people walk or cycle twice as much as Americans and it's looking at a group of civil servants who in fact get a lot of exercise. And there are lots of other benefits to standing desks. And they have been overhyped anyway, sitting never was the new smoking. More on MNN

Liberty Bridge is a glorious, pedestrians-only pipe dream

Liberty Bridge© Jeff Jordan Architects

Matt Hickman finds the coolest stuff, including this amazing proposal for a pedestrian and biking bridge to New Jersey. This is a bit tougher than say, crossing the Thames in London; the Hudson is wider and ships are taller. But wow.

Liberty Bridge would also serve as a bona fide tourist attraction with High Line-y flourishes such as landscaped recreation areas, food kiosks and art installations. The whole ADA-compliant shebang would be powered by solar panels and wind turbines. There’d also be free Wi-Fi for all.

More on MNN

Move over, MacGyver. The new word on the street is 'frugal innovation'

MacGyverTNS Sofres/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

When I was in school we called it adhocism. Then Melissa brought us into the late 20th century with MacGyvering. Now it's a thing again, but this time it's called Frugal Innovation.

Innovation and leadership strategist Navi Radjou explains that in the West there's a "more with more" attitude that throws serious money and resources into high-tech solutions that simply don't work in developing countries. (Don't get me started on toilets here or this post will totally derail.) He writes that "frugal innovation enables socially and environmentally responsible economic development through products and services that combine four qualities: affordability, accessibility, sustainability, and quality." Radjou advises that we should "use what is abundant to address what is scarce."

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How VW's diesel scam was discovered

Golf TDIWikipedia/CC BY 2.0

Jim Motavalli writes a long and exciting story about how VW got caught, and how "The automaker had a chance to contain the damage, but chose not to take it."

[ICCT Senior Fellow John] German is amazed that VW had the opportunity — back in 2014 — to get its cars into compliance (by removing the defeat device software during the recall). If it had quietly done that, it would have avoided the scandal now shaking its entire foundation. “It’s inexplicable,” he said. “They had a chance to fix it. Instead, they reflashed the memory and said that would solve the problem — but the emissions were still high. They were still trying to hide what they’d done with the software, and that’s beyond my comprehension.”

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Dumpster-dwelling professor upsizes (just a bit) to portable urban micro-homes

Kasita© Kasita

I personally thought Jeff Wilson, AKA Dr. Dumpster was a bit of a nutso publicity hound but this is very interesting project. I don't like his attitude towards my profession: “We didn't hire a single architect. We wanted something created by someone completely outside the (conventional) field." But I do like the concept:

Geared toward city-hopping Millennials, Kasita imagines a plug-and-play urban housing model that’s one part mobile home and one part tricked-out smart dwelling. Essentially, these are sleek, stylish and compact (208-square-feet) apartment units that you can take with you.

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What's the difference between Canadian Thanksgiving and American Thanksgiving?

thanksgiving dinnerKatherine Martinko, after Norman Rockwell/CC BY 2.0

Thanksgiving happens much earlier up north; the harvest is a bit earlier but probably the real reason it happens in October was to spread the statutory holidays around; Canadians used to all get November 11 off for Remembrance day. My family has dinner with TreeHugger Katherine Martinko's family (she's behind the camera in the photo above) and it is a highlight of our year.

Canadian Thanksgiving is not as exciting as American Thanksgiving; there are no massive parades, no big bargains to chase, it’s not the busiest day of the year in the airports. Just food, friends and family. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

More on MNN

Boomer Alert

lightsLloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Over on MNN I write a lot of posts focused on the baby boomer generation, the problems of aging, working, downsizing and more. A sampling:

Boomer alert: You need better lighting to compensate for aging eyes. But with all the new LED lights coming on the market, it's an easy fix.
Is your phone really eroding your memory? A new study finds that we cannot remember phone numbers anymore. Shocking!
How to lighten your life by downsizing- It can be stressful and emotional — or it can be liberating.
What's the 'club sandwich generation'? Some boomers are going to be supporting three generations, but their kids are going to have it worse.
Are older cyclists endangering themselves? NPR headline says deaths and injuries are spiking — but it's wrong.
In praise of the college town They have culture, street life, and yes, you can get a good espresso.

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