Archive for October 2009

The Economics of Milk Delivery

Today, the Wall Street Journal's Cranky Consumer column tackled the growing industry of milk delivery. Actually a very old-fashioned industry, the milkman is staging a comeback as consumers become more interested in organic products, and in purchasing the wares of local farms. The Cranky Consumer columnists quite liked the experience, writing that "t… read more »

The 4-Day Workweek

No, it's not a 4-hour workweek. But according to this article from Time magazine, Utah's state experiment with keeping its government offices open longer hours, but only being open four days per week, has been a success.  Even though people are working the same number of hours, not having to heat or keep the lights on in buildings on that fifth day has reduced… read more »


I'm in the midst of reviewing Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives for City Journal. This book, by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, discusses the science of human connectedness, and why social networks dictate a lot more about human behavior than we tend to think. It's a fascinating book (though I'll save t… read more »

Grandma's greener than you

That's the subject of my most recent USA TODAY column--about how, by living as frugally as possible, Americans who lived through the Depression (or other lean times) came up with eco-friendly solutions that we now spend good money trying to approximate. Today's seniors who raised their own chickens and made dresses out of re-purposed feed sacks have more g… read more »

The Take-Out Trap

Looking to get out of the house the other night (see the post about 168 hours and an infant), and not wishing to cook, I decided to try something I rarely do: get take-out. I was reminded that I don't do it for a simple reason: it isn't that fast. First, you have to get to the restaurant. If it's remotely busy (which you hope it is because a dead restaurant is not a good s… read more »