Sunday, March 18, 2007

One Nation Under God

Camp counselors rally the children around a cardboard cutout of George W Bush. Scary

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Environment still top of mind

Europe continues to lead the fight against climate change while North American, Indian, and Chinese government and business leaders are asleep at the switch.
Already on track to reduce the emission of global-warming gases by an average of 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, the EU has now committed to a 20-percent and possibly as much as 30% reduction below 1990 levels by 2020.
One area that would certainly help is by increasing taxes on jet fuel. Taxing airplane fuel for international flights is prohibited by an archaic international agreement. I personally am required to travel at my office a fair bit. The current cheap price of these flights acts as an incentive for businesses to demand face to face meetings wherever possible. Many of these trips are unnecessary and would be avoided if the true costs of this harmful travel were reflected in the price of the ticket

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Queen St. Shopping

Cute robots

Hmm. corporate greenwashing or ecobunk? Triton Logging is trumpeting its patented Sawfish™ technology. According to a news release, Triton wood has been selected for a list of top 10 green building products.
"With an estimated 300 million trees submerged worldwide, flooded forests represent a significant resource."
I don't know. There's something about hydro electric dams, flooded forests, and sustainability that just doesn't sit right with me. Maybe I'm too old-fashioned... But the little robot is so cute! But dams are bad! But the robot is cute! Oh the cognitive dissonance.
Environmentalism is very trendy right now. Maybe it's the dying planet. Even the US Army is getting into the game.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Bukowski + Memphis

“Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live”

I'm reading Charles Bukowski in Memphis. His prose about living on the edge seems appropriate here, even though there's no indication that Bukowski ever lived in Tennessee.

Bukowski wrote gritty fiction about Henry Chinaski, a largely autobiographical character. Chinaski smokes, drinks, and screws his way through the 50s, 60s and 70s. And Memphis is a gritty, gritty town on the banks of the Misssissipi river.

The building across the street is burned out, and a large number of for sale and for lease signs dot the storefronts of the central business district. The park across the street commemorates a forgotton hero: Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America. Around here, the Civil War is "The War", and the Confederates are the "good guys". And Martin Luther King was assasinated at 450 Mulberry St on April 4, 1968 .

But Memphis has a rich musical past too. In the 1950's Johnny Cash lived here and sold appliances while playing in a band called the Tennessee Two with Luther Perkins. Indeed, Johnny Cash and a number of other artists got their first big break at Sun Records, including Elvis and Roy Orbison. Elvis made his home here until August 16, 1977 where he met his untimely death.