23 April, 2009

And that is all that love's about, and we'll recall when time runs out

So here's the thing.

Given my current responsiblities at work, I probably should be a bit more conscientious about saving the planet, and ensuring that we preserve this world for the future. The problem is, I don't really care. It's not that I'm actively trying to destroy the world - it's a very pretty place, and I would be sad if it was rendered unlivable. Or at least, I would be sad if I weren't dead because of the unlivable state of the world.

It's just that I'm fundamentally lazy, cheap, and selfish. This is the reason why I work in a green sea of empty V bottles on my desk. I never used to accumulate empty V bottles, because I used to have a rubbish bin by my desk that I could throw things into. It was easy to keep my desk clear of rubbish, and I did so. (This meant the only things I accumulated on my desk were several days worth of used dishes that I couldn't be bothered taking to the dishwasher and couldn't throw away.) But then they took my bin away, instead expecting me to use the various recycling bins by the kitchen to dispose of my rubbish. That's a full 24 steps for me to take to reach the rubbish bin, and another 24 steps back to my desk. 48 steps! And that's an intolerable distance for a lazy person to go. So I only gather up my empty V bottles and make that trip once my manager has told me for the third time this week to get rid of the bottles. Now, once I'm there, yes, I dispose of my bottles in the glass recycling bin, because it's no more effort to throw the bottles in that bin than the general rubbish bin (well, you do have to wash the bottles, but I don't mind that because playing with water is fun), but in general, if they didn't force me to recycle, I probably wouldn't bother.

Honestly, yes, I should recycle, yes, I could care about the extinction of the whales, yes, I should eat free-range eggs and chickens. But recycling is a big effort, I'm actually a little curious what whale-meat tastes like, and while I'll admit free-range eggs and chicken do taste better, it's not the three-times improvement required by the price increase, and since I'm not the person being hunted to extinction or kept in a tiny cage, I'm not really bothered. It's so much effort to do the right thing, especially when it's so easy to do the wrong thing. I mean, why bother going to a rubbish bin when it's so simple to wind down my car window and drop things out as I drive along. Hell, with electric windows, I don't even need to go to all the effort of manually winding the windows down, I just press a button and whoosh, the rubbish is gone.

So, yes, I guess I am destroying the Earth. Oh well, it's not like I'm the only guilty party - there are lots of other people that are doing much worse than me. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go and watch Wall-E, because those Pixar films are very good. In the meantime, I found this week's Basic Instructions strip particularly funny.

21 April, 2009

Johann Gambolputty de von Ausfern-schplenden-schlitter-crasscrenbon-n├╝rnburger-bratwustle-gerspurten-mitz-grandlich-grumblemeyer von Hautkopft of Ulm

So here's the thing.

As someone whose home town is the city of Wanganui, which is divided by the Whanganui River, I'm very much aware of the challenges that can attach to correct spelling of placenames. Naturally, I'll be following with interest the process by the New Zealand Geographic Board to potentially change the spelling of the city's name, and am curious what the final outcome will be.

But today I learned that, H or no H, it could be worse.

Officials have agreed to correct spelling errors in road signs pointing to a central Massachusetts lake with a 45-letter name.

Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg in Webster has one of the world's longest place names. It's been spelled many different ways over the years. Some locals have given up and simply call it Lake Webster.

But after researching historical spelling combinations, the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester said local Chamber of Commerce officials agreed that some signs were wrong. There was an "o" at letter 20 where a "u" should have been, and an "h" at letter 38 where an "n" should go.

There are many stories and legends about the origin of the Indian name. One popular myth - later debunked - holds that the name translates roughly to 'You fish on your side, I fish on my side, and nobody fish in the middle.'

17 April, 2009

PPIP

So here's the thing.

Really entertaining interview last night on The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart interviewing the Harvard University professor chairing the Congressional Oversight Panel on TARP (the Troubled Asset Relef Program). Basically, she's the person responsible for overseeing the largest of the US Goverment's measures to address the subprime mortgage problems. It's a much more enjoyable interview than it sounds.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren Pt. 1
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor


The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Elizabeth Warren Pt. 2
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor