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Choosing desert plants depends on your caveats

A friend recently asked me about plants that he could install in a desert environment. Certainly, a large variety of plants could fill the bill, but he gave me a caveat — whatever plants I suggested would need to rely on naturally occurring water, not irrigation. That makes a world of difference in selecting the proper variety for this region.

Go wild with animal prints

A design trend, or in my mind a design staple, is the animal print. Each season as we gleefully see what the design mavens declare to be the latest and greatest, we're never disappointed to see animal prints back on the list.

What’s in the plastic bag?

Every day, we are each responsible for the increase in carbon emissions whether our activities and choices are big or small. Sometimes there is a bigness to small things like a plastic bag.

New rules cut water used in dishwasher

The latest Department of Energy proposed standards, which will become effective in January 2019, would require dishwashers to cut energy use 24 percent and water use 38 percent, leaving 3.1 gallons of water to clean an entire load of dishes in a normal wash cycle.

Snuff-sniffing figurine confuses historians

Staffordshire potters in 19th-century England liked to depict humorous people in everyday activities. The figurines were the only way to see what a brave lion tamer or important political figure looked like. There were no photos and few prints.

Wooden office chairs fell out of favor in 1990s

Chairs have one main purpose, but they are made in multiple shapes, sizes and types of material. Pictures show chairs in ancient Egypt, but they were not in common use until the 16th century. A king or religious leader had a very large chair (throne), often with arms that had elaborate decoration. Other people sat on stools.