Hoodwinking a Nation

Yeah, more false pretense by the top likely candidates running for the position of leader of our country.Let’s not debate, but we’ll call it a debate to make the citizens think there’s something important being discussed. Then we’ll talk about our feelings regarding a war thousands of miles away that we started under questionable circumstances and how decisive (or stuborn) we are and regardless of whether we’re going to hell in a handbasket or not (though we won’t say that), we’re going there decisively (or stubornly), because that’s what’s important! Then agree to talk about nothing else, including how to address the problems affecting this country directly. We’ll make it illegal to have another “debate” outside of this forum in which the audience is not allowed to pose questions, speak up, or critique anything said. And the whole process will be sponsored by large corporations.I’m so proud of what our country has become. *cough* Not! *cough*

Church of Stop Shopping

You have to admit, this guy is pretty creative.

During the past seven years, Talen has made himself a thorn in the paws of Walt Disney, Nike, Home Depot, Barnes & Noble and any other chain he says he views as casually destroying the essence of neighborhoods. Just one day before the Reseda Boulevard Starbucks intervention, he led 40 disciples to a Los Angeles Wal-Mart for a bit of protest theater known as a Whirl. The participants enter separately, discreetly, as if they don’t know one another; each grabs an empty shopping cart and simply circulates through the acres of aisles without stopping, falling in line behind other empty carts as he or she encounters them until a silent conga line of nonshoppers forms, snaking through the store in a hypnotic display of commercial disobedience. It gets under the skin of the store managers in a spectacular way.

New York Times Magazine: Reverend Billy’s Unholy War.(care of randomWalks)


I’ve started to become consumed by RSS feeds. What are RSS feeds? Basically, they are sources of content from the web, stripped down to the bare essential information and formatted in a (mostly) standardized way. Software is available to read and organize the feeds.I started reading three or four feeds several months ago, mostly news sites that I noticed were publishing RSS feeds. Then a number of personal friends started publishing weblogs (“blogs” for short) along with RSS feeds. In order to monitor when new entries on their blogs were posted, I began the search for a decent RSS feed reader. Continue reading

Slick or Sick?

I’m sure DuPont would like to prevent this news from sticking in the public’s mind. Apparently Teflon has been shown to release toxic fumes containing a chemical called Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), bad enough to cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and birth defects in pregnant women. DuPont allegedly has know about this since the 70’s and 80’s but illegally withheld the research findings.I guess it’s time to look into some alternative cookware options. The non-stick frying pan we have is long overdue for replacement. We registered for and received Calphalon Kitchen Essentials cookware as wedding gifts a while back but have yet to break them out of the box. Looks like they are in the hall of shame, too. Oh, and all that outdoor gear I have with Gore-Tex in it? PFC’s. *sigh*

Building A New Pyramid

The final revisions to the federal dietary guide [registration required *cough*] are in the midst of being completed. I wonder how much sway the food industry will have on the new pyramid. Considering the Atkins Diet and South Beach Diet have become so prevalent and how they have made Americans at least a little more aware of the impact of certain foods on their health, will the general public allow the wool to be pulled over their eyes again?

Building a Misunderstanding

Jennifer and I have begun the search for a house, so as I was skimming over the latest University of Michigan Alumni Association newsletter, this blurb about housing developments caught my eye:

Homebuyers prefer a view of the woods to a manicured lawn, according to U-M researchers. Researchers found that misuse and misunderstanding of the term “open space” fuel the myth that people prefer big lots. Developers and homebuyers use open space to mean acres of open space like lawns instead of preserved natural features. Researchers suggest planners use the term “conservation ordinance” rather than “open space ordinance” for areas marked for preservation from development.

If true, it’s a shame that so much natural woodland habitat has been torn down based on a misunderstanding. I wonder just how much this study will affect future developments around Michigan as well as the rest of the nation. With Michigan’s current governor Jennifer Granholm promoting Smart Growth within the state, hopefully it will have an impact sooner rather than later.