A Convenient Blog Post

This weekend I saw An Inconvenient Truth on DVD and it immediately made an impact on me.  I found myself going out the next day to buy some compact fluorescent light bulbs.  If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend renting it, buying it, or borrowing it.  If even just half the stuff – heck, a quarter of the stuff – in the movie is true, then it is scary.  It is easier to believe the dire warnings of global warming when you look around and see the crazy weather we’ve had in the last year.  50 degrees on Christmas day in New England; snow in Southern California; flooding and killer heat throughout Europe. 

I guess you could chalk it up to the fact that in the long history of the earth, humans are but a blip of time, so how could we affect it so severely and so rapidly, or know that this hasn’t happened before but all indications seem to point that way.  I put faith in the scientific community that they haven’t found reliable ways to measure the past using technology and that our current trends are far worse than they have been historically.

Then this morning, this article hit the news wires regarding the release of a new study about global warming.   More interesting – nay, shocking – however, is this one about how 13 percent of Americans haven’t heard of global warming.  After watching An Inconvenient Truth and the suggestions on how to help the situation, the Pop Culture Gangsteress commented that this is pretty common-sense stuff – doesn’t everyone know this?  I referred her to the ugliness that we were shocked to see in Borat

When you consider some of the boorish values of people in the United States, it isn’t hard to imagine that people don’t understand that global warming is a problem or that we’re responsible for it.  We have vast numbers of people who don’t know who the President is or take the time to vote – why should they care about recycling or know about the environment?  Apathy is the worst enemy of taking care of our environment.

In the name of full disclosure, those of you who know me well might know that I drive an SUV.  It doesn’t get the worst gas mileage out there (it isn’t a Hummer!) but it certainly doesn’t get the best either.  Since it is quickly approaching the 8-year-old mark (but still runs great, knock on wood), I have been considering what my next vehicle might be, and I was finding myself struggling with getting another SUV, mainly due to gas prices, but also because of pollution.  Now, the only way I would get another SUV or truck is if it was a hybrid or one with extremely good gas mileage.   

Maybe me changing a few light bulbs and getting a more efficient car and recycling a bit more won’t make a huge difference, but I hope it contributes a little bit, and maybe blogging about it will inspire someone else to do the same. 

Quick Shots

This may be a beer for dogs, but I’m kind of intriuged by the idea of meat extract in beer.

Chinese teenagers are getting addicted to the Internet.  Now we know who’s watching all those YouTube clips!

Something I never thought of: women paying cash in order to avoid arguments over money with their husbands. 

I joined in with the drooling over the iPhone a few weeks ago, but now reading more about the introduction and some of the specs, I may take some of it back.

Who knew?  Ugly is "in."   Best line in the article: "Vegetables shouldn’t be judged by looks."  I didn’t know that vegetables were discriminated against because of their looks.   Go hug a stubby piece of celery or a crooked carrot and make it feel better.

Speaking of ugliness up close and personal.  Here’s something to ponder: what happens when porn stars go high-definition?  Apparently you see cellulite, wrinkles and – yipes – razor burn.  Talk about ruining the fantasy!

Bubbles, Blogs and Videos

First of all, here is one of the coolest products I’ve seen in a while: colored bubbles.  I can’t wait for the first jam band to make use of these during some long, trippy jam sessions.

Secondly, an idea popped into my head today that I am sure is already floating around other’s as well.  With all the user-generated content out there (YouTube, Revver, blogs, etc.) and all the attention given to the Golden Globes and the Oscars recently, how long until we see an awards show for online media?  It’ll be old-school media lauding new media, but the numbers have gotten to the critical mass point where you could have "funniest short clip" or "best personal diary."   I’m going to start my campaign for an award right now…

News Updates

A couple of quick shots for everyone this morning…  first of all, the whole Mentos/Diet Coke thing continues to get out of control.  This time it is an article in Business Week magazine.

Secondly, I would love to fly Virgin Airlines sometime and I hope that the politics and BS that is preventing them from flying in the U.S. will be resolved soon.

Speaking of Virgin, I think that seeing the earth from outer space would be the absolute coolest thing to do ever.

Perhaps by the time they allow people to go into space, marketers will figure out how to put a giant ad in the oceans or form the clouds into an ad.

Two articles that are inadvertently related:  the first one, about the death of design and how everything in our world has become over-designed.  Then one about the new "street furniture" that NYC is going to be installing over the next few years to help tie the city together better design-wise.

Wicked Good

"Wicked" is thrown about regularly by New Englanders to mean "good" or "cool" or even "intense" – as in that is a "wicked storm out there" or in the former meaning "that is a wicked good chowda."  However, never before could you say "That was a wicked good Wicked" until now.

If you haven’t read the book  read Wicked by Gregory Maguire , you really should, and if you haven’t seen Wicked the musical, then you need to get there quick. 

I am not enough of a theater goer to be able to review things like production quality or performances with any authority, but on a personal level, the show was extremely enjoyable and it puts such a spin on the Wizard of Oz that you will never watch it in the same way again – and I mean that in the best way possible. 

I watched the movie for the first time in years a few months ago and it surprised me how fast paced it was for an older "children’s" movie and the book/play combination of Wicked takes it even further out of the realm of being a work of juvenile literature, and more into a story of good, evil, deceit and truthfulness.

Truly a wicked good Wicked. 

Trends That Drive Me Nuts

I don’t know if there is a television show out there today that annoys me more than "My Super Sweet 16" on MTV.  American Idol comes in second, but it is a distant second.  None the less, I find myself sucked into the show when it comes on, watching is horror, disgust and awe at the shallowness of these spoiled brats who have no concept of reality and offer insufferable commentary on how terrible their lives have become because the wrong $500 centerpieces are on the tables.  I believe that violence isn’t the answer to life’s problems, but I wouldn’t mind seeing one of these drains on society getting slapped around into reality.  Every parent who is thinking of throwing a $100,000 party for their daughter and giving them a $50,000 car should refuse and make their offspring give the money to charity, which means they might actually do something worthwhile and meaningful with their lives.

*phew* OK – got that off my chest.

The next thing that I want to bitch about are people who walk around everywhere with a Bluetooth headset in their ear.  I want to rip them off, ear and all when I see all these people who clearly do NOT need to be in touch with everyone 24/7 with everyone in their lives while doing things like grocery shopping or ordering a sandwich.  Don’t they realize that they look like cyborgs, only far, far more stupid?  I hope they find out that wearing a Bluetooth for longer than an hour at a time causes ear infections and they all end up with a big ‘ol goiter on the side of their heads.

Colors, Fast Cars, Garbage Collectors and Ramen Noodles

A couple of quick notes to call your attention to:

First, an absolutely fascinating article on "The Color Association of the United States," a meeting of which is probably either best or worst place to wear clashing colors.  They talk about color trends and how they are picked out and how they influence what we buy.  Apparently we need to be on the look out for fluorescent colors to make a come back.  Awesome.  Can’t wait for ducktails to come back into fashion as well.

I never thought that Lamborghini was a struggling company, since you know, they sell cars for $100,000 a pop and all.  But according to this, they are just "turning the corner" towards success.  Who knew?!!?

While there are people trying to figure out how to market high end sports cars and which neon colors are going to be adorning our winter coats in two years from now, the official baseball cap of the New York Sanitation Department is a hot seller.  Maybe Lamborghini should try making a garbage truck?

Last, but certainly not least…  RIP Momofuku Ando – inventor of the Ramen instant noodle.  Many a poor college student owe him their sodium-soaked lives.  Note that he died of heart failure – one has to wonder if it was after eating a bowl of his own noodles.  On a side note: "Momofoku" is the coolest name EVER.

Thought They Needed A Little Publicity

I hate to jump on a bandwagon of any sort, but even though I still don’t own an iPod, I have heard about the new iPhone, and as a loyal Treo user, I found myself drooling over the features shown on the new web site.  The Treo has one of the better interfaces out there, but there are plenty of times I wish it was better.  In typical Apple fashion, they have improved the interface to the point where it is like functional art.  If they make it available through the Verizon network I will be hard pressed to not want to get it instead of a new Treo. 

At the very least one would hope that it will have the same effect on cell phone and cell phone interface design that Macs have had on computer and operating system design: to become more intuitive, attractive, and functional.

Date Night at Olive Garden

There is an Olive Garden commercial that has been on for a while that shoes an attractive woman walking into an Olive Garden restaurant (doesn’t matter which one, now does it?) and being asked by the hostess if she can be of assistance.  The woman says she’s looking for her date, who is "very handsome… and his shoes are probably untied."  At this point they cut away to the infuriatingly cute kid calling out "MOMMY!" which makes us all chuckle and laugh oh so much.

However, every time that commercial comes on, there’s a little part of me that hopes the camera will cut away to someone resembling Barney from The Simpsons bending over to tie his shoes, exposing his plumber ass crack, then falling over himself, landing at the woman’s feet in a drunken stupor, looking up at her and saying "Heeeey baby!" 

As the final payoff, after the Olive Garden the drunken fool looks up her dress and declares "Whoa… no underwear! It’s my lucky night! *hic*"

Just once…