Since Chuck is on a mid-summer vacation with the family before an extremely busy second half of the year, he asked me to take care of the world-famous “Friday News Digest” this week.  It’s somewhat of an abbreviated version and it doesn’t include excerpts.  Sorry about that.  Feel free to post any interesting or important news articles you stumbled across this past week in the comments section.   Enjoy!

  • Some will tell you that in the future, automobiles will not run on gasoline.  With an increasing world demand for oil and a decreasing supply, I tend to think they are right.  I can’t wait for the day when I can sit on the sidewalk outside of the local coffee shop and not have to listen to the rumbling noise of passing traffic.  But I’m not sure this is a much better alternative.
  • Although I was ahead of the technology curve way back in 9th grade by being one of the first kids in school to have a cellular phone, I’ve since been lapped by my peers many times over again.  It’s now 2012 and I still haven’t had the courage to join the “smart phone” revolution.  Every time I see new “apps” like this one for carpooling, I question my decision to continue being a Luddite.   Even though carpooling isn’t going to save suburbia, it has so many environmental and economical advantages it just makes sense. 

  • Since the forecast on foreclosures continues to look grim, the number of abandoned and dilapidated buildings will undoubtedly increase.  Here’s a simple way some folks in New Orleans (post Katrina) decided to express themselves using old, rundown buildings.  Both cool and inspirational. 

  • At Strong Towns, we’re huge advocates for Economic Gardening. Here’s an article Chuck passed along to me that includes three tips for small businesses (crucial to economic gardening) on “making a difference” while still staying true to their vision.

  • Slowing down traffic in neighborhoods can be difficult.  Here are some quick and some not-so-quick ideas for reducing the speed of automobiles in areas where they shouldn’t be speeding.   My personal favorite:  “Screaming”.  Be prepared A Better Brainerd; I’m on the lookout for a megaphone.  

  • Here’s an interesting article on the transformation of public spaces in London.  In order to make them more desirable places they’ve introduced contemporary art, reduced auto congestion, and created free cycle banks.  And they still aren’t satisfied.  We should be taking notes, United States.

  • I have to admit, I haven’t read this one yet that Chuck emailed to me, but I can guarantee you it will be good since the first five words of the title are “Interview with James Howard Kunstler…”

  • And finally, I know that Chuck and the girls were jammin’ out to “Party Rock Anthem” on their way down to Texas and although I do appreciate their stellar dance moves, I prefer a different type of background music.  Have a fantastic weekend everyone… party rock ya’ll!


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