Americana: All Cooped Up

To make a statement about waste in U.S. society, Economist David Osterberg, 35, of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, moved into a chicken coop nearly two years ago. The quarters are small (9 ft. by 12 ft.) but cheap: $40 a month for rent and electricity. Osterberg installed a glass skylight, insulation and not-so-spartan furnishings, including a stereo, color television, refrigerator, telephone, toaster oven and several Persian rugs. Says he: "Living this way makes me feel that at least I'm not part of the problem."

Now the county health board is trying to evict Osterberg from his home, maintaining that the...

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