Thursday, May 29, 2008

Today's Photo

spring swing

Nothing says, "Hello, Spring" quite like a smiling little girl with a flower hat.

Google Likes This Blog

Readership of this blog has skyrocketed to somewhere around four unique visits per day. That must be why Google has decided to put it at the top of the search results for 'Brucifer.' Go ahead: Google 'Brucifer' and see what I mean. Isn't that fabulous?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

10 Tips for a Greener You

You know about changing your incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent ones. Turning down your air conditioning at night. Driving a fuel efficient vehicle. All the things to help reduce your carbon footprint and feel better about yourself. But did you know there are lots of other little things you can do to make the world a greener place? Here are 10 of them.

1) Take the stairs. Each 10-floor elevator ride produces roughly 35 lbs. of carbon dioxide. Over the course of a year, that adds up to over 25 tons of CO2.

2) Exercise less. All that walking (or running, or benching, or stair climbing) you're doing is polluting the air with 5 lbs of CO2 per half-hour workout. The more oxygen you need, the more CO2 you're putting out. A yearly exercise regimen can easily exceed a ton of greenhouse gas.

3) Eat fewer raw vegetables. Did you know that the average human passes gas equivalent to 1.25 lbs of carbon dioxide per year? Change your diet of fresh vegetables in favor of processed meats and white bread, and you could produce flatus equaling as little as half a pound per year.

4) Clear forests to plant more trees. Wood is an excellent way to "lock in" carbon for long-term storage. If you have forested property, you should clear-cut all the trees, then store them in a cool, dry space for maximum carbon retention. Meanwhile, plant new trees in their place to soak up additional carbon. Wait 20 years. Repeat.

5) Limit your activism. The average American activist event produces 25 tons of carbon dioxide. Regardless of your political affiliation or issue, limit your activity to the walls of your home. Have a big conference call or web chat. Write letters to your senators. No matter the subject, you can be sure that it will be nicely tinged with green.

6) Hold in your sneezes. Surprisingly, a sneeze produces three times the CO2 as a typical breath does. Simply remembering to plug your nose and keeping that sneeze on the inside will significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

7) Wear white. Dark clothes attract the heat of the sun, and act as a super-magnet for heat. While your black turtleneck can help you make that perfect tragically hip statement, think of what it's doing to the environment. Switch to white. Your conscience will thank you.

8) Grow algae. Studies have shown that algae-infested waters capture fifteen times more CO2 than clear waters. If you have water on your property, or own a pool, let the algae take over. The desire for beauty and cleanliness doesn't justify eliminating our green, carbon-friendly ally.

9) Avoid gardening. You might think that back yard gardening is one of the greenest things you can do. But you'd be wrong. Mulching, tilling and plowing all release massive amounts of carbon dioxide. Some of that CO2 is recaptured in the form of grown vegetables, but those vegetables, once consumed, revert to a deplorable CO2 producing state, leaving your carbon deficit greater than it was before. Better to leave the food production to the big farmers that know how to be environmentally friendly.

10) Pass this information along. Just think. If everyone followed these few simple rules, global warming would be a thing of the past. Do your part, and let all your friends know about this simple list of ways to be greener.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Phoenix Has Landed

I love reading new stories about science and technology accomplishing the seemingly impossible. Earlier this year it was shooting down a falling satellite. Today it's the Mars Phoenix Lander touching down in the northern reaches of Mars. From the story,
Landing on Mars is a notoriously tricky business. There has been about a 50% failure rate on all Mars missions since Russia launched the first one in 1960.

Phoenix is an apt name for the current mission, as it rose from the ashes of two previous failures.

In September 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft crashed into the Red Planet following a navigation error caused when technicians mixed up "English" (imperial) and metric units.

A few months later, another Nasa spacecraft, the Mars Polar Lander (MPL), was lost near the planet's South Pole.

The last time a Mars probe landed using its thrusters ("soft landing") was in 1976.

There's little that's more exciting than finding out new information about the final frontier.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Gooch and I

The season finale of Dancing with the Stars is slated to be the most predictable in years. Kristi Yamaguchi is going to run away with it. She enters the fan voting period with a commanding 8-point lead in judges' scores (a perfect 60 for 60).

If that isn't enough, having me as her partner is sure to put her over the top.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Doesn't the U.N. have anything better to do?

Seriously. The council of clowns has decided to take a break from writing strongly-worded letters to oppressive dictatorships in order to investigate racism in the United States. Apparently they have an expert on staff, one Doudou Diene, who can sniff out a racist from a mile away.

Government policies in this country are already so lopsidedly in favor of minorities that, if this were a serious venture, Mr. Diene would recommend the abolition of every law overcompensating for institutionalized majority guilt for policies past.

While he's at it, he might as well do a thorough assessment of our Judeo-Christian value system and how it disenfranchises those who eschew any moral accountability.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Flowers for Mothers Day

For all you mothers out there, I shot some nice flowers for you.
Happy Mothers Day!


Friday, May 09, 2008

Playing the Ag Card

Pundits everywhere are saying that the age of America's clout on the international stage is just about over. And most evidence suggests that it's true. The Fed has gutted the dollar. Iraq has our military stretched way too thin. China pirates and replicates our technology even as it's developed. Our national debt continues to soar. The blight of illegal immigration increasingly stifles the economy. And the American lifestyle is characterized by living on credit – and those debts must be paid, sooner or later.

But there's one area in which America still dominates the world: food production. Here's a list of the world's top ten ag exporters:

World Top 10
Agriculture Exporters

Country In Million Dollars
United States 42,826
France 24,262
Netherlands 19,780
Germany 13,842
United Kingdom 11,613
Canada 10,107
Australia 9,824
Italy 9,446
Belgium 9,013
Spain 6,621

The U.S. accounts for 27% of world food exports! The oil-exporting Arab countries are net food importers. China is on the verge of becoming one as well. If push ever comes to shove, that's some serious leverage right there. Maybe the economic equivalent of the 'red button.' Unfortunately, all the influential pinheads would proclaim that playing the 'food card' is inhumane and deplorable.

Personally, I say we start pushing our agricultural weight around, sticking our adversaries with higher prices for our commodities. Interestingly, the Cult of Global Warming may be accomplishing this very feat as it drives up U.S food prices. Let's have the government impose a stiff tariff against those who aren't behaving nicely towards us. That would not only give them incentive to cooperate, but also possibly ease rising food prices at home.