September 30, 2008

The Tipping Point: Part Nine

Let's tip garbage. I don't mean tipping the cans over. I mean, is there a way to dramatically lower the amount of garbage that people throw away? Right now, in most communities, there is no real limit on trash. You can fill up the dumpster in your apartment complex to the brim. Or bring as many bins down to the end of your driveway as you want. And it gets taken away by men and trucks paid for by taxpayer dollars. But, what if you had to pay for precisely what you threw away? And because landfill use is probably best valued in terms of volume, let's say you'd pay "per cubic foot" or something like that. You'd think about what you're discarding, recycling, buying and keeping a lot more carefully, wouldn't you? Of course, this would likely lead to other problems. People storing mounds of garbage in their backyard, or dumping garbage in inappropriate places to avoid the fees. Frankly, this is probably why most communities handle garbage the way they do. But, could there be another way? One that would cause us to think about what we're actually throwing away?
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September 29, 2008

Collie Crack-Down

I've been seeing a lot of dogs lately riding in cars without seat belts. Remember. Their medical injuries affect all of our vet bill costs. The free ride's over, Lassie. EDIT: Yes, this is satire.
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September 26, 2008

Things That Stick With You

Isn't it funny? The moments in your life that stick with you so vividly? I can remember every broken arm (four) and the lead-up to the disaster. I can remember the time where I stole a girl's cracker, and became terribly afraid of the consequences as she ran to tell on me. I can remember self-sacrificing moments from both of my parents. Pretty much every part of my wedding day. And one moment from several years ago. I was playing ultimate frisbee with some friends. I didn't have much experience at the time, and threw the frisbee quite off mark. Then, this guy looked at me and said, "Well, let's just chalk that up to yet another thing you're not any good at." He laughed. I had a single second of anger and desire to defend myself well up within me. Then, the next was my bewildered reaction to that reaction. Because I do desire to be better than everybody at just about everything. And I do understand how silly and counter-productive that desire is. I often wonder why we remember the things we remember. But I think, at least in this case, it's because I'm supposed to.
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September 25, 2008

Name Your Price

What is the least amount of money you would accept to vote for the candidate you oppose winning the upcoming Presidential election? Note: I understand that in many of your states, your vote is not likely to influence the election. The question is still the same.
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September 24, 2008

Sub-par. Sub-human. Sub-urban.

Is the word "suburbs" meant to shame me? As if I am something less than my urban friends. Because of my gas-guzzling commute. Because of my willing separation from the cultural mecca that is Chicago. On the plus side, I get to record drums in my basement without violating noise permits, my wife has a vegetable garden in our backyard, and we have hundreds of miles of biking trails nearby. I'll keep it.
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September 23, 2008

Cake is Cake

"Wow, this cake is amazing." No, it's not. It's cake. And perhaps frosting. By definition, this can't be the "greatest cake you've ever had" more than it can be the "worst cake you've ever had." While it is very difficult to make a good cake (proportions, temperature and timing have to all be perfect), the result is only one of two options. Moist or dry. Good or bad. The simplicity of the ingredients make it impossible for cake to achieve the status of greatness. It's cake or it's crap. (note: this post stems from Emily's comment yesterday. Just goes to show you, your suggestions are welcome here.)
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September 22, 2008

Yea or Nay

Should Congress vote with the collective interests of the people in mind, or the individual freedoms of the people in mind?
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September 19, 2008

Surival of the Fastest

Do you realize that the very fastest and strongest out of the millions of sperm competing for a place in that egg was the beginning of you? Therefore, by default, you're already the pick of the litter. Well done.
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September 18, 2008

Dalai Lama vs. Dr. Phil

It's a draw. I just finished reading, "The Art of Happiness", by the Dalai Lama. It consisted of basic wisdom, and promoted methods for positive thinking. While I found this information to be extremely profitable, I also think that most of these ideas could be attained by watching a couple episodes of Dr. Phil. Perhaps classifying Buddhism as a philosophy rather than a religion might be more appropriate? Because the tenents presented aim to help people better live their lives. But, as far as answering the bigger questions that many people have, it doesn't seem like it tries. Which is fine. But, it's not apples to apples with Christianity, Judaism or Islam, which claim to explain the role and relationship between Creator and creation. Which if there is one, would heavily influence the Dalai Lama's philosophy.
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September 17, 2008

We Don’t Need No Water

"Thanks to your help, we were able to get bottled water vending machines banned from school campuses across the nation!" This was the beginning line of an in-show commercial during "The Biggest Loser" last night, and completely startled me. We were then reminded how bad these plastic bottles are bad for the environment. I remember when I was in high school, there was an initiative to get soda machines out of schools, and replace them with bottled water. So, now that the bottled water machines are gone, are we going back to cans of coke, or just refraining from beverages as a whole?
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