moldybluecheesecurds 2

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Weekly roundup #2

What we don't know about sunscreens.  A fascinating discussion of the tradeoff between slathering on active chemicals and getting roasted by the sun.  Lesser of two evils?  Note: the one thing we know for sure is don't use sunscreens with Vitamin A.

If you think property taxes are high, start thinking about how much of those tax dollars are going to support your car.

Does the 10th amendment give the states power to nullify federal laws that are beyond the scope of the constitution?  Eric Black asks whether lawsuits to the Supreme Court would be more appropriate than threats of nullification.

Weekly roundup

  • Increased focus on tests means lest time for physical education in schools: read more
  • There's no scientific evidence that special running shoes provide any benefit: read more
  • Pork-filled Counter-Islamic Bomb Device: would it ruin a suicide bomber's day to be covered in pork (unclean) when they detonate their device?  read more
  • Financial Reform: what's in it and how does it work?  read more

Dear Apple,

I got your iPhone 4 after wanting an iPhone for a long time.  It's nice.  I like the apps, the internets, and the camera.  However, I think you should call it an iPuter, because the phone part blows.

If I hold it with no case, the amazing AT&T bar thief takes all my bars.  No calls.

If I have the case on, but the network is congested, I get voicemail notifications several hours after the call (and the phone never rang).  Text messages come through in clumps when you have a spare moment.  Sometimes the phone has to be reset to be a phone (Hello, are you Windows?)

If I have the case on and the phone to my ear in my dining room and a plane flies over, the call dies. 

And although my phone does 100,000 more things than my Motorola RAZR on the Sprint network, I never dropped a call with the RAZR.  Ever.  I've dropped at least 10 calls in 1 month oh this shiny piece of industrial design. 

Really, it's sad.  And I hope it's AT&T's fault, because it's more fun to blame the phone company than someone who knows how to advertise cool.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Was this giving a fish or teaching to fish?

TreeHugger: "Circle of Blue writes, 'A technology once heralded as a simple solution to Africa's drinking water problem now stands as a broken, unused and poorly planned reminder of international water aid's latest misstep.'"
You may have read about the PlayPump a couple years ago, an innovative concept where kids playing on a playground merry-go-round would pump water for parched African villages. Sadly, it never worked as promised. Like so many clever concepts to help the developing world, this one lacked sufficient follow-through.


Monday, July 26, 2010

John McCain: climate coward "There was a time when Mr. McCain was considered a friend of the environment. Back in 2003 he burnished his maverick image by co-sponsoring legislation that would have created a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. He reaffirmed support for such a system during his presidential campaign, and things might look very different now if he had continued to back climate action once his opponent was in the White House. But he didn’t — and it’s hard to see his switch as anything other than the act of a man willing to sacrifice his principles, and humanity’s future, for the sake of a few years added to his political career."

We’re Gonna Be Sorry

Congress gave up on climate change legislation last week, and I think Tom Friedman's summary expresses my sentiments well. "The last word goes to the contrarian hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham, who in his July letter to investors, noted: “Conspiracy theorists claim to believe that global warming is a carefully constructed hoax driven by scientists desperate for ... what? Being needled by nonscientific newspaper reports, by blogs and by right-wing politicians and think tanks? I have a much simpler but plausible ‘conspiracy theory’: the fossil energy companies, driven by the need to protect hundreds of billions of dollars of profits, encourage obfuscation of the inconvenient scientific results. I, for one, admire them for their P.R. skills, while wondering, as always: “Have they no grandchildren?”"

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Post-vacation catch-all