Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movies... Alexandria-Style!

Anyone who knows me, knows I love movies. And not just any movies, but the good movies. But that is neither here nor there. What is here, and by here I mean Alexandria where I work, is the largest movie theater I have ever been inside. This place has an IMAX screen which is fairly cool. The net effect of having a huge IMAX screen in your theater is that the lobby is ridiculously large. Make note of the size of the people in the below picture standing in front of the ticket counter to put the scale in perspective.

Now, at the moment there aren't any good movies showing on the IMAX screen (something about the Jonas Brothers? anyway) but I look forward to riding those escalators. Which brings me to my next point: there aren't any new movies out at the moment that are worth seeing (not to say that there aren't any good movies out... there are... but I've already seen them!) So it's time for some good movies. Hopefully something will soon come out worth the ride up those escalators.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Global Warming Debate is OVER!

For each year since 1998 the global mean temperature has gotten colder and since 2002 the Arctic ice shelf measurements show a growth of ice. There has been stints of warming in our more recent history, but no more than has been shortly measurable in other periods of history.

Beyond what I've said here, the reality is that some folks representing a hardline view of AGW would have us believe the debate is over (before it has event started.) The fact is that there are plenty of educated people debating AGW and the issue is far from over:,25197,24700827-7583,00.html

As thinking American individuals we need to not be lemmings and do the responsible thing, which is to say rightly ignor Al Gore's McCarthy-like statements about the debate being over and flat out disregard the emotional if not completely anti-constitutional / bill of rights violating statement by President Barack Obama to declare that he will bring an end to Global Warming "denial" (meaning he will, what... suspend freedom of speech with regard to this issue?)

As reasonable people, we need to send emails and postal mail to our Senators and tell them they had better start reviewing reasonable and intelligent scientific positions that examine the questionable claims of AGW science. We need to tell them without a doubt that we are not interested in becoming indebted to the United Nation's Carbon Taxes or wealth redistributive policies, goals and objectives.

[NOTE: There is plenty of emotional statements on either side of this issue. I think it is time for people to learn more on AGW, for and against, and then decide for themselves. It makes no sense to me that the New York Times along with other papers are beginning to publish information about the Fed adding Carbon Taxes to every day products and services when Congress hasn't been to date willing to review and hear an actual debate on such an intense topic. It feels like AGW is getting the same knee-jerk response as the Economic Bailout. Because it has been decided that it is a huge issue, the result is to decide that the government needs to be made responsible to solve it and so without much review or speculation, quick expensive decisions are made that pretend to include lots of oversight, but are defined within a Bill that the majority of Congress hasn't even taken the time to read! AGW as well as the economy aren't fast moving machines. We have time for weeks of detailed publically visible debates over these issues. There is only one reason the pressure to pass these measures is so hot!... because they don't want people to truly review those Bills.

There is another solution. Just because Congress decides to spend the money, doesn't mean that it has to get spent, or that taxes have to get enacted. Our state governments could put the breaks on and take responsability to review those bills and their details before signing up to take part in these fiascos. I think it is time for the Government of the State to stand up again.

There is a reason that Congress is still at or below a 30% approval rating. How long would you be allowed to run your employers company with an approval rating that low?]

Friday, February 13, 2009

Laser Micro 2000

Remember in the 1980s when it was cool to “market” products using buzzwords like “laser” or “micro” or “2000.” Back in the 80s there was something magical and futuristic about owning something with the number “2000” in the name. It felt like you were using something from the future. I am sure if we wracked our brains we could come up with a few more “marketing” buzzword from the 1980s.

What brought this on? This morning on the way into the office I stopped to grab a coffee. When I got back to my car the wind had blown a paper box lid under my rear tire (had my phone been with me, I would have taken a picture.) The box lid said “Paper Lazer 2000.”

It got me thinking. What are today’s marketing buzzwords? I think because so much of our world is plastic today, organic-sounding words are the marketing buzzwords of the 2000s. For example, next time you walk through the grocery store see how many products incorporate these words in the product marketing: green, bio, eco, clean, holistic, hybrid, sustain, nature, energy, recycled, precycled, freecycled, and then organic… the word itself. Even more interesting is how this “greenwashing” is finding its way into the employment field. I know you’ve heard of “blue collar,” and you may be “white collar,” but maybe you know someone who just graduated with a “green collar” degree?

Rest assured I am not attempting to minimize personal responsibility toward investing in “sustainable” living (see, even I am dropping the buzzwords.) If anything, just be aware that there are almost no standards to ensure that many of your “greenwash”-marketed products have done anything measurably different to deserve the application of those terms. They are mostly marketing. Think of energy bars. Stop at any convenience store and notice the stack of energy bars that claim to boost and enhance and invigorate. Flip the bars and compare the difference between the “energizing” elements in the bar. One focuses on getting you sugars through lots of carbs, while another attempts to rebuild your energy through jacked up protein gram-counts. Anyway, this isn’t about the validity of how to use any of these terms. This is just about having fun remembering buzzwords.

So, if you happen to have the time and you want to try your hand at it, think up a few new futuristic buzzwords and add a comment to this blog entry. Here is the rule. You either have to use the current buzzwords of the 2000s OR come up with a buzzword so crazy that I can’t help but post it up here!

I will kick this off… here are two:

Ecoecho: the act of passing along unsolicited advice about how someone should change their behavior and start living a more environmentally conscious life by simply quoting some enviro-conscious news piece they saw on Good Morning America. Use – “I would like to ecoecho that by saying that 100% people who die this year will exhale excess carbon into our atmosphere, so if you could please just breath-in-only you would be helping all of us.”

Bio-logical: thinking up good sound ideas for sustainable living. Use- “Hey, when you said that you were going to paint your car green and see if that might improve your gas mileage, that made sense to me. Very bio-logical of you!”

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

VOTE NO... on the Stimulus Package

It is an important day. The country needs a good healthy shot in the arm to get things rolling again. What we don't need is a short term quick recovery that many future generations will have to pay for (including our current generation.)

Currently, the proposed stimulus package contains plenty of "special interest" spending that will not (1) create jobs or truly (2) bolster the economy. It surely will not (3) help people stay in their homes. Some estimate that nearly half of the economic plan could be trimmed out and not harm the above 3 objectives.

There are plenty of programs included in the stimulus that are good, worthy programs, but they are not stimulus and will not directly help the objectives. We need to send a strong immediate message that says, "Hey! First things first! Let's approve a solid stimulus package that aims to achieve the actual objectives. Let the other good programming stand-alone and be voted for on their own merits!"

So, what can you do?

First, go and sign the "country first" petition and tell the Senate to vote no on this package as it stands today:

Next, pass this blog post along to friends. You likely have a healthy digital network of friends, using tools like facebook or myspace. And those "networks" might include multiple groups of friends. Immediately reposting a link to this blog post in your social networking site will ensure that more people can encourage the Senate to focus on "First things first!"