We wish all of you a happy, life-changing year ahead, and thank you for all the good, important work you do and choices you make. We had our annual holiday party for staff and their guests on Wednesday evening; it's something we look forward to every year. If there was enough room, we'd have you all over. That's part of the reason we've developed this LIVE section of our website — so we can catch up with each other, have lively discussions, and bask in such good company. Here are some photos from our party. (Click the pictures for a larger version.)

SG Blocks of Charleston, NC, refabricates sea-truck shipping containers into modular construction units, and has been getting buzz on the likes of Bob Vila's show, the NBC Nightly News, and other newsy outlets.

[Clicking an image in this post will load a larger version of the image. A slideshow of the images in this post, and more, is also available.

[Clicking an image in this post will load a larger version of the image. A slideshow of the images in this post, and more, is also available. Previous posts in the "Notes from Sweden" series include #1: How They Get Around.] It's enough to make architects go weak at the knees.

The answer to this question is... MIT might, but only if it wants to.

[Clicking an image in this post will load a larger version of the image. A slideshow of the images in this post is also available.]Despite the light drizzle and the fading light of Sweden's mid-afternoon dusk when I arrived in Lund, it was immediately clear that the prevalent form of transportation here is bicycling. Bicycles are everywhere. Hundreds are parked at the train station, where I arrived from Copenhagen. For every person I saw in a private automobile, there were probably 20 on bicycles.

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"Humor is a serious thing. I like to think of it as one of our greatest natural resources, which must be preserved at all cost." —James Thurber

We talk a lot about energy efficiency here at Environmental Building News. If we follow Thurber's lead and add environmental humor to our concerns, what do we get? The green building light bulb joke, of course. I wrote these for your enjoyment. Feel free to add yours below!

Frank and I are going to tag-team on this post. We attended a presentation at Keene State College in New Hampshire yesterday about solar-hydronic radiant space heating, given by Jack Mann of Nobis.
I'd like to call your attention to the "Editorial Radar" box on the right-hand navigation column—that brown stripe next to these posts. You may have to scroll down (or up) a little.
Over lunch today I was reading the current issue of one of my favorite publications: The Owner Builder—"The Australasian Home Builders Magazine." You can get a taste of the magazine (which is much better looking than its website) from their Sample Articles page. In publication since 1982, the first 25 issues have just been released on CD. I'll be wanting to get one of those.
As the editor who collects all of the press releases, rumors, news tidbits, and blog posts for the editorial team to consider for the EBN news section, I tend to have a broad picture of what's going on in the green building world. In the last several months, green schools have been everywhere. I'm not entirely sure why schools are the latest building type to push for green, but I think it has something to do with the fact that we care an awful lot about our children, and want what's best for them.
It's not all about magnets. Two other nonchemical water treatment systems that have exhibited at Greenbuild for at least the last couple years are worth noting... for one reason or another.