August 16, 2006

Transportation 101

This is another entry from my old (and soon to be expiring) website. I suspect that it's pretty much guaranteed to mess up my formatting since it begins with a large table (that fit fine on my old page, but I'm a little more *pushes out with each elbow* confined over here).

This post was originally made in the Winter of 2001 and some of the cartoons hold a bit more irony today than they probably did back then.

oh, and again, no promises on the links.

Transportation 101


Approx. cost to

Approx. cost to

Approx. cost to

walkingcost of shoes ($50)cost of paving sidewalkpositive health benefits

increased productivity
bikingcost of bike ($250)cost of paving bike lanemedical costs of people
who breath in (minimal) bike tire dust
cost of car ($15,000)

cost of gas

cost of auto registration

cost of drivers license

cost of auto insurance

cost of paving streets and highways

cost of lights, stop signs, etc.

cost of police to enforce speed limits

cost of meter maids to enforce parking limits

health costs that aren't covered by individuals

items to address noise issues

cost of legislators to develop laws regarding travel

cost of clean up from spilled oil

cost of department setup to oversee auto registrations,
drivers' testing, etc.

medical costs of people who breath
in car tire dust

medical costs of people who breath
in car exhaust

medical costs of people
who live near auto factories

medical costs of people who are affected
by spilled oil

(not to mention the loss of beauty as the earth gets
paved over, etc.)

driving +

(SUV's, clunkers, etc.)
lower mpg leads to greater gas costs

dittogreater damage to environment leads to increased
medical problems

increased risk of a fatality in an accident
(leads to lower productivity since the dead guy can no longer

Medical Effects

* Walkers have less incidence of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other killer diseases.

* smog can cause birth defects

* living near auto factories creates a higher likelihood of children having cancer

* more people are being killed by air pollution from traffic than from
traffic crashes each year
(and again) (and again)

* auto exhaust can lead to respiratory ailments

* tire dust can lead to rhinitis (runny nose), conjunctivitis (tearful
eyes), to hives (urticaria), bronchial asthma, and occasionally
even a life-threatening condition called anaphylactic shock

(and again)

* tire dust can build sensitivities to latex (and again)

* auto traffic stirs up pollens and molds and may therefore worsen
asthma and hay fever

* ground level ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung
function, aggravate asthma, and/or inflame and damage the lining
of the lung
(and again)

* nationally
there are approximately 18.1 auto-accident-related deaths per
100,000 people

* Compared with other vehicle types, utility vehicles experienced the highest rollover rates: 37.8 percent in fatal crashes, 10.0 percent
in injury crashes, and 2.5 percent in property-damage-only crashes.

* healthier employees are often happier and more productive (and
(and again)
Environmental Effects (which often lead to Medical Effects)
* oil spills and leaks destroy the environment and may be closer than
you think
(more) (still more) (and a little more)

* air pollution is causing problems in national parks

* auto manufacturing produces great quantities of pollutants

* SUV's are allowed, by law, to produce more pollutants than passenger cars

* SUV's get crappy gas mileage (compare
the gas mileage for cars page to the best and worst of SUV's page)

August 6, 2006

Fruit Pastry

This is a great dish to make at the same time as the Zucchini Custard Pie since it'll help use up leftover phillo dough.

It's also pretty darn tasty.

phillo dough
fruit (frozen or fresh)
sweetener (honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, whatever)

Butter the bottom and sides of the pan. (I used a "smaller than brownie pan" sized pan. I don't really know it's dimensions. But it fits neatly inside my 13 x 9 pan, if that helps.)

Layer phillo dough in the bottom of the pan, occasionally spreading melted butter over the layers. Build about 10 or so layers high. ... maybe more if you feel inspired.

Throw a bunch of fruit on top of the layers. I used frozen raspberries in the pastry shown here. (Frozen?!! In the middle of summer? Yup, and let me tell you why. The last 3 or 4 batches of raspberries that I've picked up at the store have had bad guys at the bottom that flavored the rest of the berries with that yucky, moldy berry flavor. I was sick of it and I didn't want to have to go picking through the berries. So there.)

Slather a bunch of honey (or whatever) on top of the berries. I probably used a cup or so of honey.

Cover the berries with several more layers of dough and butter.

Cook until the top starts to brown slightly.

(Dang! I just noticed that the hot pad underneath the pastry is showing. It makes it a little harder to tell where the pastry starts and the hot pad stops. Oh well.)

Zucchini Custard Pie

Last night I sat back after dinner and thought, "Dang, that was good. I rock."

Yes. Dinner was that good.

I was inspired by a feta zucchini tart that was in a recent issue of Saveur Magazine. But I didn't have all of the ingredients they listed (nor did I want to go through all the work that the recipe seemed to require) so I made up my own recipe.


phillo dough (i use an organic brand that's at the store, but what i'd really like to find some day is a whole wheat brand.)
butter. lots.
zucchini (i used 2 medium sized zucs but i probably should have used at least one more if not 2 more.)
1 diced onion
1 close garlic
salt and pepper to taste
5 or 6 eggs (or more. if i had added more zucchini i probably would have used more eggs. i think i used 5 eggs this time around.)
2 cups milk or cream (i used whole milk and that worked well.)
fresh basil

Saute onion in a bit of butter. When the onions are almost translucent, toss in the zucchini. I had Naomi use the side of the grater (that makes slices) to cut the zucchini up. I cooked the zuc on low heat with a lid so that it steamed as well. I tossed the garlic in near the end. (I used our new little, itty, bitty garlic grater on the garlic. It worked really well.) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Coat bottom and sides of a brownie pan (I used a glass 13 x 9 pan.) with melted butter. Alternate layers of phillo dough and more butter. (I don't put butter between every single layer. But when I do put it on, I'm fairly liberal. Add as much or as little butter as you want. It's your waist line.) Make this layer as thick as you want. I probably used 10 - 12 layers of dough.

Chop up some feta. (Use as much or as little as you like. I didn't put any on the kids side but when they tried it with feta they liked it so next time the feta goes on the whole thing.)

Spread the feta out on top of the phillo dough. Then spread the zuc/onion/garlic mixture on top of that.

Beat the eggs and milk (and more salt and pepper if you'd like) and pour over the whole deal.

Wash and tear up a bunch of basil leaves (the more the merrier) and sprinkle over the top. I didn't add tomatoes but I think several tomato slices along the top would have been a great addition. (I just didn't have any on hand.)

Cook at 350 degrees F until the center is set. (It shouldn't jiggle or slide around.) A lightly browned top would be nice, though I don't think I let mine cook quite that long. We were too hungry to wait.