10 forward gears

And a Georgia overdrive: With the nations trucking companies hiring like mad, enrollment has shot up at schools that teach people how to handle 18-wheelers.

The appeal of truck- driving jobs is obvious. Starting pay is about $40,000 a year, and you can find ample supplies of those foam-front truckers caps, cheap, at thrift shops in hip urban neighborhoods.

Radiant City: With oil supplies expected to dwindle, the energy-efficient city of the future will be powered by an electric smart grid, as displayed at a recent electronics show in Japan.

The show rejected a companion display that depicted the far-flung suburbs of the petroleum-deprived future, whose inhabitants heat their dwellings by burning their furniture.

Green slime, too: What some have called the last lingering hangover from Prohibition would fade away if voters approve measures taking the state out of the liquor-selling business.

If you feel a cold breeze while grabbing a bottle of Jim Beam off the shelves at Safeway, it wont be the air conditioning system. Itll be the agitated ghost of Mrs. W. F. Thomas, local president of the Womans Christian Temperance Union in the 1880s.

Mark Carlson, Herald staff