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Arnie Cooper

Arnie Cooper
Arnie Cooper, a freelance writer based in Santa Barbara, Calif., covers food, travel and popular culture, as well as architecture and the sustainability movement. He is a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal's Leisure and Arts page; his writing has also appeared in Outside, Esquire, Orion and Dwell. He's working on a memoir about his childhood experiences in New York City.

Recent posts

 

What Happens to All Those Hotel Soap Bars?

The Global Soap Project aims to tidy those slivers’ trip to the landfill by sending reclaimed soap to poor countries.

 

That’s Disgusting: Researcher Studies Gag Reflex

In a revolting development, research psychologist Rachel Herz has cornered the market on discussing what disgusts us.

 

Conservation’s Earnest Message Could Use Levity

Lions, gorillas, and wolves, oh my! Two on-the-ground proponents of saving the tropics think a great way to both engage and enlighten the West is to deploy a dollop of satire.

 

Simon Johnson Critiques Democracy vs. Financialization

The former chief economist for the IMF discusses the unfairness of the existing American financial infrastructure and the complex policy prescriptions that seek a remedy.

 

Obamacare: No Friends in Free-Market, Single-Payer Camps

It’s the president of the free-market-minded Galen Institute versus a pediatrician/activist for a single-payer system in spirited debate on improving American health care.

 

Solutions to Water Supply Issues Surface in the West

In the quarter-century since Marc Reisner issued a grim prognosis for water in the American West, various entities have made efforts to reverse what once seemed inevitable.

 

Water Shortages Threaten the American West Lifestyle

While not every dire prediction has come true, amid swimming pools and thirsty crops, the hard truth remains that the American West cannot maintain its spendthrift ways of using fresh water.

 

Greening the Desert? Not So Fast!

On The 25th anniversary of the book “Cadillac Desert,” we look at the work of an earlier Cassandra of Western water shortages, explorer John Wesley Powell.

 

As Environment Degrades, Our Well-Being Grows?

The environment is faltering even as measurements show human well-being is improving. How long can that last?

 

Europe’s Muslims Get to be the Continent’s New Jews

Issues swirling around Europe’s non-assimilation of its Muslim population recall its anti-Semitic past, according to scholar Reza Aslan.

 

Is Islam ‘Worse’ Than Any Other Religion?

Scholar Reza Aslan discusses anti-Islamic feelings in the U.S. and reflects on how other faiths have faced down feelings of “otherness.”

 

Solar on the Cheap: Thanks Purple Pokeberry!

A dye made from the purple pokeberry — a common weed — proves uncommonly effective at juicing up the prospects for solar power.

 

Learning from the Ancients

A leading archaeologist’s take on the pre-European Maya discounts ‘ecocide’ and suggests the people were actually astute stewards of the jungle who could teach us a thing or two.

 

Are You Normal or Finally Diagnosed?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a list that can be abused to the detriment of patients and benefit of drug companies.

 

Who Benefits? DSM Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts, whether over ties to the pharmaceutical industry or fights over new categories of illness, come with the turf in revising psychiatry’s most important reference.

 

Infallibility and Psychiatry’s Bible

The latest “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” is being revised and, by some, reviled.

 

Straw Homes That Would Have Foiled the Wolf

Demonstration farm in rural California draws attention with its crop of unique building experiments.

 

If Bridges Could Talk …

New monitoring systems should make smart bridges that let on when they’re feeling fatigued.

 

Guidance From Above on Food Insecurity

An American-led famine early warning system uses satellite technology to predict where best to stave off future starving in the rest of the world.

 

Gecko Feet and Adhesives

Scientists are adapting the gecko’s ‘sticky feet’ to create bonding materials for sporting equipment and robots.

 

Bumblebees for Crash Avoidance

Engineers at Nissan creating a buzz with their ‘Safety Shield.’

 

The Lotus as Water Repellant

Sto Corp’s self-cleaning Lotusan exterior paint uses the plant’s micro-structural qualities to remove dirt just after a rain.

 

Termites and Climate Control

An African skyscraper built in 2007 features a unique climate-control system inspired by the gigantic termite mounds found in the Zimbabwean bush.

 

Five Products From a Famous Multinational — Nature

A growing number of scientists, ecologists and entrepreneurs have begun to incorporate ‘biomimicry’ across a vast spectrum of enterprises.

 

Flowers and Solar Panels

MIT students use the concept of phototropism to design a sun-tracking solar panel that requires no motor or electronic control system.

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How to Water a Farm in Sandy Ground

Physicists investigate how to grow food more efficiently in fine-grained soil.

Unlocking Consciousness

A study of vegetative patients closes in on the nature of consciousness.

Advice for Emergency Alert Systems: Don’t Cry Wolf

A survey finds college students don't always take alerts seriously.

Brain’s Reward Center Does More Than Manage Rewards

Nucleus accumbens tracks many different connections in the world, a new rat study suggests.

A City’s Fingerprints Lie in Its Streets and Alleyways

Researchers propose another way to analyze the character and evolution of cities.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

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