Holiday Shopping for Engineers, Landscape Architects and Planners

I'm suggesting everyone pick up a copy of Alex Steffen's Carbon Zero on Kindle and Jeff Speck's newest Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time.

Amanda suggests The Works: the Anatomy of the City noting that she likes how it depicts "the inner workings of city infrastructure"

Noting the fact that they're local and use upcycled materials (the awesomeness of recycled bike tires never ceases to amaze), Justin makes the case for a belt from Alchemy Goods.

Kim, thinking of all of her cycling co-workers navigating the streets on these dark wintry months, thinks the BikeGlow Bicycle Safety Light would be awesome for someone's stocking.

David suggests a build-it-yourself CNC assembly kit. Talk about a catch 22; if he had the CNC already, he wouldn't have to order it. Maybe we'll get him one and he can use it to make us more.

Knowing that public meetings and presentations are always part of a great professional's skill set, a modest little book, Presentation Zen will help everyone learn better presenting techniques.

Peg had a laundry list---tree labels,  gloves,  lopers,  a great pencil,  walking shoes,  camera,  measuring tape---but the one that got us laughing thinking about the scene Christmas morning was this one: a bag of compost.  Locally, Cedar Grove is a great bet.

And if you want to splurge a bit , the Williams-Sonoma Chicken Coops were high on Regina's list.

Weekend Reading: Dark Earth, Bikeconomics, Carbon Taxes and Jay-Z

NASA's Blue Marble imaging of the Earth at night.

Over at the Atlantic, there's a great article on the buying power of cyclists and pedestrians that knocks the conventional wisdom--people in cars spend more than pedestrians or cyclists--for a loop.

Whoa! The Surgeon General has announced a call to action on walking, according to StreetsblogDC, as she declares, “We have to make being healthy joyful.” As our friend Paula said, "Remember what happened with smoking" once the Surgeon General got involved?

Seattle University has a lovely video documenting their new urban farm.

Seattle University's Urban Farm from First Sight Productions on Vimeo.

Over at The Architect's Newspaper, the urbanist and architectural historian Alan Brake pens an editorial about landscape architecture's ascendance. As you can imagine, the landscape architects in the office were sure to share it with the engineers.

We were also really disheartened to hear that legislators in the US Senate voted not to approve a UN treaty that is built on the solid framework of our own Americans with Disabilities Act.

Then there's this charming video (sorry, embeds not allowed) of Jay-Z taking the subway to his eighth show at Brooklyn's new Barclay's Center. An older woman, Ellen Grossman, who he sits next to remarks, "And you're taking the subway?! I'm proud of you!" So are we, Jay.

Over at Grist, a retort to Dave Roberts pooh poohing of pushing for a carbon tax.

Finally, the New York Times discovered Seattle is embarking on some engineering projects over the next couple of years.