Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mr. Clean... Coal.

Missed me? Sorry for the disappearance again- I am playing catch up with life. Here's an amusing little something from the Coen brothers ("The Big Lebowski", "No Country for Old Men"). Thanks to ThisIsReality for the video! And here is the rest of it. Read more!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Dark Sides of Tobacco- The Other Dark Sides.

(Image thanks to

I have never been a big fan of cigarettes. To be more accurate, I loathe them. And it isn't because of the health implications because everyone and their moms know that cigarettes are bad for one's health. No, it is because these big corporations have manipulated society into thinking that 1. they aren't really bad for you (back when it was fresh) 2. if you smoke, you will magically transform into the coolest kid in the world. And after they spoon-feed you this bullshit, they rape you of your money and reap the rewards. Essentially, we are paying these corps to ruin our health, our environment and the developing world.

Pesticides- they're everywhere. They're in our food, water, gardens and apparently in cigarettes. However, while the first three are regulated by government agencies, cigarettes largely go without oversight and regulation. To top this off, the pesticides that are used are some of the most toxic- they can cause birth defects, acute poisoning and damage to the nervous system. These pesticides also do severe damage to ecosystems- they decrease algae and fungi, endanger mammals, and harm some plants. And because we need space to cultivate these wonders of poison, deforestation occurs.

Another way that tobacco abuses our environment is when we smoke it. The smoke released from cigarettes contain the greenhouse gases CO2 and methane, which add about 2.6 billion kg of CO2 per year and 5.6 billion kg of methane gas per year (worldwide). Thus, with every moment that passes as you nurse your cigarette is every moment that passes that our environment is in a worse state than before.

As the developed worlds of the U.S. and Europe have decreased their consumption of cigarettes, tobacco companies have looked to the developing world with eyes of gold. Advertisements directed at both adults and children are on display luring them into submission. In Africa, for example, smoking has increased 4.3% per year, according to the World Health Organization. In countries that have such a high rate of poverty and such poor health care institutions, people cannot afford to inflict further harm to themselves.

Many developing countries realized this dilemma and in November 2008, 150 countries came to a solution: Fuck tobacco companies. What this means is threefold:
1. The government and tobacco companies will sever their ties.
2. Public smoking will be outlawed (second hand smoke kills, remember?)
3. Advertisements, especially ones that are directed towards children, will be banned.

So why do you need cigarettes? Don't you know that you're already the coolest kid in the world.

Read more!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Your Name can Lead to Marriage Equality.

Last week it was announced that the California Supreme Court will hear the case against Prop 8. It is now our turn to add our name onto a list of many to show our support of gay marriage. By adding your name, it will strengthen the argument that will be presented to the CA Supreme Court on March 5th against the unjust passage of Prop 8.

Sign your name... Support Gay Marriage... Support Equality! Read more!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Oslo Buses are going to the Shitter.

(Thanks to Star-Oslo Lokaltrafikk)
When I think about poop, it doesn't cross my mind that my poop is contributing to global warming. But my poop along with all the poops in the world are one of the sources of methane gas, a greenhouse gas, which happens to be 20 times worse in trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2. Oslo, Norway has found a funny but clever solution to its release of methane and CO2- poo-powered buses!

Oslo came to this decision when it saw that private and public transportation had increased CO2 emissions by 10% since 2000. And obviously, the most conventional solution to decrease this was to use poop (in actuality poop and other excrement that land in sewers) to solve this problem.

Prior to this ingenious idea, sewage plants were releasing the majority of their methane into the atmosphere. Now, instead of having it flared off, Oslo is going to trap the methane and turn it into Biomethane- a fuel that will energize around 200 of Oslo's buses. The way it works is that microorganisms break down materials found in sewers- poop, food, leaves, etc.- and then transforms our leftovers into gas. So not only does this technology make use of our leftovers and the methane that would have been released, it also decreases CO2 emissions by 44 tonnes per bus per year! Furthermore, excluding the initial start up costs, which aren't hefty because the engines of the buses only need to be slightly tweaked, Oslo will be saving .40 Euro/liter.

The U.S. needs to implement this strategy in its efforts to combat global warming. I would be more than enthused to lend my poop to the the greater good. Wouldn't you?
Read more!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Potential Prop H8 Reversal!

(Thanks to

Good evening sunshines,

It was just announced today that the California Supreme Court will hear oral arguments presented by organizations that challenge Prop 8. These hearings will be held on March 5th, 2009. In May 2008, the California Supreme Court expressed that the banning of gay marriage went against the equal protection clause in the California Constitution, which stated that all people should be treated equally under the law. However, after the passage of Prop 8 (passed only by 52%), a minority's rights were taken away by the will of the majority.

90 days after the hearing, the California Supreme Court will issue an opinion.

Click on the link if you want to learn more about the case, Strauss et al. v. Horton et al.
(It is 64 pages of goodness!)

Have a beautiful one,

Read more!