A healthy investment. A family will spend on the average of $70 a year to grow their own produce with a resultant yield worth up to 10 times that amount.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. The Air Force is studying nature, specifically dragonflies and hummingbirds, in an effort to configure its next generation of inconspicuous unmanned intelligence gathering devices.

A fond memory from childhood. One of my favorite treats as a kid when visiting my grandparents in Paris was to wait on the east doorstep for the Rogerland Dairyman to drop off the morning delivery of their delicious milk. It never lasted long when grandkids were around. People in the Denver, Colorado area are fortunate to still have home delivery of not just milk but also cheese and eggs from Royal Crest Dairy. It started back in 1927, in competition with 80 other dairies. Today, it’s the only one left. Customers place orders on line and one of a fleet of 150 drivers will deliver to the home. Milk goes from cow to customer in about 48 hours. (Sigh.)

The shillelagh of the Irish. What is today a handsome walking stick made from some pretty stout blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) from the Counties of Wicklow, Cork and Kerry was once a necessary object of self defense in olden times.

The gift that keeps on giving. Recycle Bank, a New York City-based company that offers incentives for recycling is being tested in some Chicago suburbs. Step One. Recyclables go into special microchip-equipped street bins. Step Two. Chips log the weight of the recyclables. Step Three. Consumers are rewarded points based on how much they recycle. Rewards include gift cards, discounts to events in the city, etc. Cool!