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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

Douglas Adams hit that particular nail squarely on the head. We concern ourselves overwhelmingly with money. Who has it, how much of it, and most of all how can I can my hands on more of it?

To be honest, I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Simply by living in this society, we agree to participate in a sick game where money is the means of keeping score and most of the time the players who start out with the best hand will stay that way. But they are the ones who dictate the game rules, they are the ones who decide when and how the next hand will be played, forcing the rest of us to compete on their turf.

But the truth is, we have made massive advances in science and technology, advances which should and could make it possible for us all to have enough food, shelter, electricity and water without having to scrape together the pennies in between the couch cushions. We have the ability to move beyond the polluting and dwindling fuels of yesteryear. We have the imagination and insight to take great leaps forward in educating the next generation and caring for the last one.

Playing the Money Game stops us from doing it. For so long as we are playing by the rules of the moneyed elite, we will be serving their interests in preserving the status quo.

If we weren’t forcing ourselves to play the game, we could abolish poverty, hunger and homelessness from these United States for eternity. We could become the shining beacon of liberty which we currently only pretend to be.

Think about that the next time you play Monopoly.

The true wealth of this nation – of every nation – is held in its ideas. The true power of this nation – of every nation – is held in its people. The true justice of this nation – of every nation – is held in its compassion.

What can you do to break out of the Money Game?

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Friends and longtime readers will probably know that I work for Xerox. With this post, I’m doing them the favor of highlighting something rather awesome that got launched today.
 
Xerox ColorQube

(Obligatory CYA text: This post is entirely my own and does not represent Xerox – and I wouldn’t ordinarily do a product plug unless I really thought the product was worth it. All graphics here are, however, copyright and used with permission of Xerox Corp.)

When I worked in graphics offices, printers were often the bane of my existence. Paper would get jammed, toner cartridges would need changing (an extremely messy process), and the quantity of garbage generated was depressing to someone who actually cares about the environment. And any time you needed to open the machine up, it was a pain to see what you needed to do and the manual wasn’t much help.

Enter ColorQube.

First of all, there IS no toner cartridge. Just sticks of solid ink, which can be loaded easily even while the printer is running.

ColorQube Solid Ink sticks

Because it is not subject to the texture of the paper surface, a solid ink printer can produce the same perfect image on recycled paper as it can on new – and since there’s no toner cartridge, the amount of waste is very low – indeed, 90% less than with a typical laser printer. Added to the 12% drop in CO2 emissions and the 10% drop in energy requirements, and you have probably the most environmentally friendly printer on the market.

But no printer is perfect, and paper will always get jammed. The way Xerox has dealt with this is to have clear help videos built right into the console, and internal blue LEDs which illuminate the paper path so you can find the jam and clear it very quickly.

And did I mention that the operating costs are actually lower than virtually any other color printer out there?

I know the vast majority of my readers don’t have much say in their workplace’s IT purchasing… but for those who do – take a look at one of these, I think you’ll find it’s worth every penny and more.

colorqube gui

I’m all done plugging now. For those interested, you can follow today’s ColorQube launch on Twitter by following @XeroxEvents.

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I test drove a Toyota Prius today.

prius

I’ve been curious about the Prius for some time, and goodness knows I’d like to be doing better on gas mileage, for the planet just as much as for my wallet.

It was pretty sweet in a lot of ways. For those who don’t know me in person, I’m 6’7″ tall, and as such have a hard time fitting behind the wheel of a lot of cars. The Prius, though, had plenty of space.
Prius interior

It also has a fancy little computer in the dash that lets you know how much gas you’re saving.

BUT.

It weighs nothing. Like, I could pick it up and toss it places. And driving it in even mild winds was therefore less than pleasant. Can’t imagine it would handle too well in snow, either, since it’s quite low to the ground and has neither 4WD nor AWD.

I wanted to like it, really I did. I wanted to be the good little green consumer.

But it wasn’t to be.

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I suppose the title of this post is a little misleading, in that if I have bothered to list something here, then I apparently at least a partial fuck about it, enough to write about it. Some would argue, though, that a partial fuck is in its own way more pathetic than no fuck at all, but most of all, these nine things could vanish from the face of the earth and I would not miss them in any way.

1. Miley Cyrus

By extension, Hannah Montana and High School Musical in their entirety. So, so sick of seeing these bloody things advertised on everything that is large enough to contain a facsimile of Miley’s unfeasibly large and artificial smile.

2. The dodgy activities of the neighbor of the boyfriend of the daughter of the former employee of the college buddy of the pastor of the husband of a defeated vice-presidential candidate.

Why are the media still squeeing over Sarah Palin? Until she gets indicted for something or runs for office again, stop trying to make a scandal over people she might vaguely recognize if she passed them on the street.

3. Slash fiction

House isn’t screwing Wilson. Snape did not bugger Harry. And I’d be willing to bet that Ernie is not giving it to Bert.

Just stop.

If you want to write fiction with gay protagonists, and include explicitly or implicitly sexual scenes, then great – I have no issue with this, and will quite happily read it. If you want to take somebody else’s characters out of context just to have them shag, regardless of how inappropriate and unrealistic it might be, I think you might need to root out whatever pathological impulse is driving this and stomp on it.

4. Screamo

This is where I’m going to sound like an old person: if you can’t make music without screaming tunelessly into the microphone while your band throws their instruments down fifteen flights of stairs… don’t bother. Find something else to do, like whining on your MySpace about how nobody understands you. At least there, I don’t have to encounter it.

This is where I hope to sound less old again: there is such a thing as good emo, contrary to some of my earlier assertations. Panic at the Disco, The Academy Is, and several other bands from the FueledByRamen/DecayDance stable are well worth a listen.

5. Superhero movies

Facile plots, wooden acting and outrageous special-effect budgets. Did I miss anything?

There are a few exceptions to this, of course, but haven’t we had enough superhero movies for one decade? Maybe something totally new and creative and well-acted wouldn’t actually kill anyone.

6. The Jolie-Pitt family

Nothing else I can really say here. There’s drama. There are many babies. There are tabloid ‘scoops’. I simply don’t care.

7. Drug-resistant hyper-virulent strains of bird flu

There’s no point worrying about this. It’s hyper-virulent. It’s drug-resistant. So if it has your name on it, you’re going to get it. Take the usual precautions you would take against getting sick and hope for the best.

8. Snowed-out global warming conferences

It was ironic to hear about it the first time. Now it’s just annoying. Yes, it’s still going to snow. Sometimes even in May, or September. That’s because the issue is more complex than “OMG the world is gettin hotter :(“. Many people have chosen the path of referring to the issue as ‘climate change’ in order to make it less confusing for the retards who point to snowflakes as proof that global warming is a myth.

Ultimately, even if we’re not actually causing global warming, we are still pumping ton after ton of toxic chemical shit into our air and water – shouldn’t we be doing something about that even if we’re not staring the Grim Reaper in the face?

9. The novelty song about ‘Barack the Magic Negro’

It’s racist. It aired on the Rush Limbaugh show. Was anyone still looking for proof that Limbaugh is a dick? This was just one more example in a long career of dickitude.

This may well be all I have to say on any of these topics for the rest of 2009 if not beyond. Now for some more positive content.

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