(Karen_Chappell)

What Kind Of Ice Melt Should You Buy?

I stopped by Walmart over the weekend, and there was a large sign at the entrance to the seasonal department: “NO ICE MELT.” That’s the case all over the country this winter, which means that if you do find some ice melt, you might be limited to what some gal down the street is hoarding in her garage. [More]

Need Sunscreen? Here Are The Ones Consumer Reports Likes

Need Sunscreen? Here Are The Ones Consumer Reports Likes

It’s Memorial Day! There is sunshine out my window, and it’s calling me to come bathe in it! But before I go get arrested for public nudity in the park, I’m going to apply some decent sunscreen that blocks both UVB rays and UVA rays. Consumer Reports tested sunscreens recently and says these are the top 4 products in terms of effectiveness. All of them are sprays, and fortunately the top scorer is also the second cheapest in the entire test group. [More]

If This SPF Goes Any Higher, My Sunscreen Will Turn Into Aluminum Foil

If This SPF Goes Any Higher, My Sunscreen Will Turn Into Aluminum Foil

The difference in UVB protection between an SPF 100 and SPF 50 is marginal. Far from offering double the blockage, SPF 100 blocks 99 percent of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98 percent. (SPF 30, that old-timer, holds its own, deflecting 96.7 percent).

Is Your Sunblock Effective?

Is Your Sunblock Effective?

Yesterday several news outlets published the results of a study that said “four out of five brand-name sunscreens either provide inadequate sun protection or contain chemicals that may be unsafe.” The report comes from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and has been heavily criticized by sunblock makers, although their complaints are of the general sort (“they don’t understand sunblock!”) or vaguely hysterical (“they’ll convince people to stop using sunblock!”). We don’t know how valid the study ultimately is, but here are the basics—and regardless of the more sensational claims, their list of the best sunblocks may help you when choosing a product.

LA Has 4,000 Illegal Billboards, But City Looks On Helplessly

LA Has 4,000 Illegal Billboards, But City Looks On Helplessly

In 2002, LA banned any new billboards from going up in the city. Since then, an estimated four thousand have been put up by advertising companies who have ignored the law, which obviously the city’s billboard inspectors—”a tiny, and some say incredibly inept, group”—have never bothered to enforce.

8 Sensible Gift Ideas For Outdoor Enthusiasts

8 Sensible Gift Ideas For Outdoor Enthusiasts

Here are some practical gift ideas that your family can use the next time they go looking for a Christmas tree and get trapped in the snow for three days. Unlike too many of the “gift lists” the media spits out each December, these are fairly affordable items—most of them are priced between $20-$40. Or if you’re really on a budget, you can go for the $4 gift and give your loved one a Spork XM, made from a “durable polycarbonate that brings its weight down to a half-ounce.”

Don't Get Burned When Buying Firewood

Don't Get Burned When Buying Firewood

(Photo: Ordinary Guy)