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Tuesday, September 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Fair
The Daily


New coat of paint

From hybrid cars to biodegradable plastic picnic utensils, products historically about as "green" as battery acid are changing their image, if not their chemical structure. Paint is no exception. For parents who want to decorate a newborn's room to construction professionals who have developed chemical sensitivities, a new innovation to an old environmental hazard is filling a much-needed niche in a decidedly chemical-heavy industry: low-VOC paint. >More
 Natural pie

It's so easy. Instant gratification. In the bakery section of your local grocer's, they line the shelf, stacked high, bearing stickers that claim authenticity as proof: Freshly Baked Apple Pie. It's $5, you can't resist - you buy, you rush home, you unwrap, you snarf. Minutes later, you're left to ponder the sticky residue on your taste buds: Did I just eat half that pie? >More
 Collect 'em now

While the polls will fluctuate, there's no doubt that Barack Obama is the crafter's candidate in '08, from a search of the arts-and-crafts marketing site Etsy. Even the Republican veep choice comes in far behind the Democratic nominee. However, the real also-ran in the gallery contest is Joe Biden, who has yet to be crafted into a barrette, necklace, earring, candle or bar of soap. >More
 How much energy?

Sure, you can check out books at the Madison Public Library, and CDs, DVDs, and even toys. You can also check out a portable energy meter. Through a joint program with MGE, patrons can take home a plug-in meter that will measure electricity used by various appliances and how much it costs to run them, even see how much electricity appliances that are turned "off" are using. The meter works on any standard 120-volt appliance. Check-out period is for two weeks. For more info, see or call your local branch library. >More
 Rev up the coffee grinder... with a bicycle?

When former Madison resident Tamara Dean moved to rural Vernon County, she wanted to start putting into practice some of the ecological ideas she'd previously only thought about. In the process, The Human Powered Home: Choosing Muscles Over Motors (New Society Press), was born. >More
 Raise high the roofbeams, organizers!

Remember the year you decided to store the canoe in the back yard and somebody walked off with it? Don't let that happen again. Hoist your canoe safely to the roof of your garage with the Harken Hoister four-point storage lift (pictured, top left). This elegant pulley system can even be set up so that you can drive into the garage and hoist the canoe (or kayak) straight from the roof of your vehicle to the ceiling. >More
 Miles of tiles

Tile Art is moving from Knickerbocker Place to a spot near Orange Tree imports on Monroe Street. This showcase for handcrafted and natural material tiles plans a grand reopening in conjunction with Gallery Night, Friday, Oct. 3. >More
 The pop-in

As the weather gets colder, it's time to cuddle under a down comforter, pop in a DVD and set out the popcorn via bowl, bucket or tub. Cost Plus World Market sells old-timey cardboard popcorn boxes ($8/20), which would be enough for everyone at a kid's movie night. Or invest in permanent ceramic tub ($10 medium/ $15 for extra large) that borrows the trad popcorn red-and-white color scheme. >More
 Silver lining

The UW's Silver Buckle Press is a fine art letterpress printer operating under the auspices of the UW Libraries; it not only teaches about book arts but prints beautifully designed limited-edition posters and broadsides for sale. >More
 Eco-design is not just a fad

Kenneth Brown looks to the past and sees inspiration for the future of eco-friendly design. "I always go back to the mid-century architects who did the Case Study Houses out in California," says the Los Angeles-based interior designer and star of HGTV's reDesign series. >More
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