Wednesday, September 28, 2005

SPECIAL: Still thinking about Earth

This article in the New York Times today talks about the shrinking of the Arctic ice cap.

This is not an environmental blog. But this stuff is really weighing on my mind. I must have contracted the Kyoto virus at that Gore talk.

The thing that's really buggin' me is the resistance to the FACT of global warming and human culpability. This article explains.

I've always cared, but I am late to the game in really taking a hard look. And I don't really know much about the science. But I am trying to learn. Yesterday I purposefully bought 100% recycled toilet paper ( I can no longer wipe my ass with a freshly-cut tree in good conscience), and rechargeable* batteries.



I also called the toilet paper brand I used to buy (love those ripples) and told them I was switching and would come back to them when they manufactured a post-consumer product. Tiny things. But imagine if everyone did the same.

Does anyone know what this means?



It's 100% recycled but the post-consumer content is 10-25%. I don't get it. I know so little. Kinda scary.

Thinking about a hybrid, sooner rather than later, too. Here's what Umbra from Grist says on the subject.

*The Blogger spell check didn't know the word rechargeable!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

SPECIAL: Climate Crisis, Time to Act

Last night I attended an excellent talk given by Al Gore on climate change. I have always been attentive to conservation issues, but now am convinced that we've got to step up and really solve this problem. We are ethically and morally bound to do so. And we have to do it RIGHT NOW. "Too late" is looming.

Laurie David, wife of Larry David, is the producer of the Al Gore talks (and resulting documentary) and these suggestions are from her site.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO FIGHT THE CLIMATE CRISIS

1. DRIVE SMART

- Buy a hybrid car!
- Make fuel efficiency a top question when purchasing a new car.
- Carpool when possible.
- Get your engine tuned up and keep your tires inflated.
- Start a no-idle rule in your school or church carpool lane.

2. BE ENERGY EFFICIENT

- Buy energy efficient appliances with the Energy Star” label.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. These compact bulbs produce the same amount of light, last 10 times as long, and use a 1/4 of the electricity. Use clean energy to power your home and business.
- When you are in a hotel that is over-air conditioned or they leave all of the lights on in your room, complain!
- Unplug your cell phone charger and other electronics from the wall when you are not using them. Did you know that even when turned off your hairdryers, cell phone chargers, and cameras use energy?
- Call your local utility and sign up for renewable energy. If they don'’t offer it, ask them why not!
- Weatherize your home, caulk, and weather-strip your doorways and windows. Not only will this save energy, but it will also save you money!

3. CREATE INCENTIVES

- Give coveted parking spots at churches, schools, malls, and community centers to hybrid cars.
- Let's pass car pool lane incentives and offer free parking meters for hybrid vehicles.
- If you are a business owner, offer clean-energy incentives to employees like the software maker Hyperion, who is giving $5,000 to every employee who buys a car that gets 45 mpg or higher.

4. PAPER PRODUCTS

- Buy only post consumer products, including toilet paper and tissues . The paper industry is the third greatest contributor to global warming emissions .
- Recycle your paper.
- Don'’t buy from companies that refuse to make post consumer paper! Producing new paper, glass, and metal products from recycled materials saves 70% to 90% of the energy and pollution that results from products made from virgin materials.

5. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD

- Join a national or local environmental group that is fighting the climate crisis everyday so their membership numbers swell and their voice can't be ignored.
- Write to your elected officials, your mayors, your city council members, your state legislator, your Senators and members of Congress, and your President. Tell your local officials to adopt new goals. Write your congressional representatives that you support the McCain/Lieberman global warming bill. Ask your friends to do the same.
- Tell the companies you invest in that you care about global warming and you will pull your investments if they don'’t address the issue. Don'’t like a company's stance on global warming? Stop buying their product! Are you on a company'’s board? Promote solutions to global warming.
- Write to your local newspapers and call your radio shows and tell them you care about global warming; question the skeptics.
- Get these issues into the curriculum in schools.
- Email relevant articles to your friends and family to get them fired up about global warming.
- Go to shareholder meetings and speak-up!

Friday, September 23, 2005

NYC: They are DEVA... D.E.V.A.

Saw this kick-ass DEVO cover band called DEVA at Webster Hall. They opened for Le Tigre.



They even had a Mutant Monkey Man on stage in a diaper.



Hello Monkey Man!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

NYC: Why Italians Rock #264

The San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy is a mecca for treats, Italian style. You like cannoli? Tiramisu? Calamari? Gelato? Yeah baby, I do. And they also have this... torrone. Gigantic blocks of it!



Get your nougat on, people. This is Jean, she is a torrone hacker. Go Jean!



p.s. I am not Italian, just want to be.

p.p.s. They also have fried Oreos at the fest, but I decline to comment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

NYC: Battle of the Kitschy Chatchkes

If you need a translation you haven't spent enough time in New York. Look at these colored mirror-y thingies. Wow. Spine-tinglingly kitschy.



But then, from behind, on the inside, comes the Russian nesting dolls in a modern stylee.



You know you want one.

And then sometimes cheese is so honed and well-done that it's not actually cheesy anymore... it becomes... pimped. I don't know much about car culture, but these dudes know what they're doing. A fully chromified engine!



My favorite element was the ice in the center of all four white-walled wheels. That would look awesome on my '95 Subaru.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

NYC: Politics on da Street

Public participation stickers are all the rage in NYC right now. They basically help the average person throw up graf without the guilt. "But officer! There was a blank sticker to write on!" Here's a link to an artist who does it with speech bubbles (thanks, BoingBoing). And though the grammar is awkward as all get out, the sentiment is funny on this Mad Libs-inspired poster.



George Bush causes me a great deal of depression. But this blog is about things that please me. Funny t-shirt.

Monday, September 19, 2005

NYC: Behold Central Park in September

To my, um... eight readers out there (counter says 000008 since I put it on the site last week), sorry I haven't posted in a while. But there are a bunch coming up. Besides anyway, I know you eight are probably just "next blog->" stumblers and... um... hi mom.

Here's an appetizer...New York City in September is extremely pleasing. Window glare, but you can still see how awesome Central Park looks from way high up at 59th & 5th.



Monday, September 05, 2005

Could this be the Housing Bubble Bursting?

I saw something yesterday that was very interesting and very different than I've seen in the past 2 1/2 years. I saw a huge bevy of signs pointing people towards open houses on this corner in one of the hottest housing markets in the nation - Mar Vista (near Venice Beach and Santa Monica), CA.



You can't see from the photo, but the signs went all the way around the corner and down part of the block. I would say there were about 20 total.

You always see a few signs like this on the weekends around the area, and it WAS the Labor Day weekend (a hot selling weekend?). So perhaps my assumption is wrong. But I just thought I would post this in case it turns out to be the big turning point, and than I would be cool like a breaking news blog!