Intelligence Briefs

An eclectic collection of discoveries:

It’s not easy being green. The race to adopt wind energy systems is being slowed by a shortage of wind turbines. And green-minded homeowners who install solar panels and other unaesthetic-but-eco-friendly features are getting flak from neighbors, homeowners associations and historic-preservation boards. The Wall Street Journal (9 July 2007 and 12 July 2007, subscription required)

Citizens of Eastern Europe have acquired (or reacquired) a taste for brands, rock bands and television programs of the Communist period. The craze is known by the German word Ostalgie (“nostalgia for the East”). The Chronicle of Higher Education (15 June 2007, subscription required)

A new majority (60%) of working moms in the U.S. would be happiest in part-time jobs, with fewer seeing full-time work as an ideal.Pew Research Center / The Washington Post (12 July 2007, registration required) 

McDonald’s Corp., in an energy-saving initiative, plans to use a new power-line networking system to more efficiently monitor and control fryers, grills, milk-shake machines, air conditioners and lights. The network, which uses the restaurant’s electrical wiring as a communications pathway, allows the devices to be programmed via the Internet to reduce energy usage during lulls in demand. press reports / Echelon Corp.

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