Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

May 2003

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Put a Match to Your Siding

When I was a teenager still living with my parents, a neighbor's son was mowing his yard when he hit a rock and sent it flying about 40 yards across our backyard and through the vinyl siding on our house. After chuckling with the neighbor about it for a bit, my father went to the spot where he stored siding, left over from when he installed it just a couple of years before, and replaced the damaged piece.

Aside From Wood and Vinyl

The Evolution of Vinyl Siding

Homeowners can be an obsessive bunch. They think it's good sport to drive around new, upscale subdivisions and study siding. It's fun to see how that Victorian reproduction has mixed natural-colored, hand-split shakes with ivy green, half-round shingles. That Colonial looks striking, with its crisp, gray clapboards, trimmed out with white crown window molding and corner blocks flanking the doors. But look closely. The biggest surprise might be that most of these handsome facades are created not from wood, but from vinyl. There was a time when vinyl-clad houses were easy to spot.

A guide to the language of cellular technology

CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) - The most common digital technology in which information is digitized, assigned a unique code and spread over the entire bandwidth available to the phone. The receiver uses the same code to reassemble the signal. CDMA allows as many as 10 separate calls to occupy the same amount of space as an analog call. TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) - The first digital cellular technology to hit the market.

A Mad Cow in the Garden?

The diagnosis of Mad Cow Disease in 30 people in Great Britain raised concerns as to whether using animal by-products in the garden poses a hazard. Most human cases of Mad Cow Disease resulted from people eating animals that had been fed tainted by-products, but four gardeners who came down with the disease might have been infected by inhaling bone-meal dust they were using on their roses.

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