Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Your love hurts - the planet and everything on it

So says Slate, making "The environmental case against long-distance relationships."

It's the same GHGs and airplanes thing, just calculated out to show the impact of your relationship on our atmosphere. Which is to say, your cross-country love sucks! Our local love is superior to yours, because it's eco-friendly! (So what if he beats you? It's better for the environment.)

This is what I hate about "green." The merging of environmentalism and popular culture creating superficial data sets and superficial solutions. "Date local!" Slate cries, thus trivializing everything I believe about sustainability.

Earlier today I was thinking about how I dislike the now-popular word, "locavore." "Locavore" smacks of elitism, something Whole Foods would use in its branding materials. A word that's sure to disappear with the end of whatever era we're in. But eating locally produced food should be as cheap, easy, and accessible as growing a garden in your yard - and not hiring a hipster to do it.

To me, the concept of "green" is a paradox between popularizing environmentalism and slowing climate change, and fueling a slightly softer form of yuppie consumerism. In other words, American life as normal, but with some well-deserved guilt.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wanna-be emperor has new clothes

I'm kinda grossed out by the Huffington Post. What with their classless impact headlines, and general disdain for design and good taste in favor of highly partisan politicking. I just read the New Yorker profile of Arianna Huffington and was additionally turned off by the air-kissing self-promotion. But anyhow, guilty pleasure: This article and slideshow of Sarah Palin's post-nomination shopping spree.

I love the comparisons made:

...it was revealed that Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514). To put it another way: Palin received more valuable clothes in one month than the average American household spends on clothes in 80 years. A Democrat put it in even blunter terms: her clothes were the cost of health care for 15 or so people.

It's as if pundits check off the buzz words of the past week. "We gotta get a plumber reference in there, Sam," the editor says. "And the health care. Can we find a Dem to say that? Tell them we definitely don't attribute quotes." (But does the PuffHo have editors? I think probably not.)

I'm still feeling conflicted about media coverage of Palin. She's awful and I can't bear to put my mind in a place where she would be vice president. But those pictures of her bare calves leading into her sexy new shoes? You want to say she's asking for it. That's what they say about rape victims. Not good.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Something of the Mondays

Au pied du pic du Milieu, BĂ©raldi, 1900

Vase avec bouquet

I wish I could crawl into Flickr Commons and live there.

Hey, did you know that there are catastrophic frog die-offs occurring all over the world? I didn't, until today. Our poor little amphibian friends! Never again will I get pissed off when I hear a bullfrog burping and screaming outside my window. Instead I will find him, pin a green-and-brown ribbon to his chest, and call him a survivor.

Also, this: It feels good when a Harvard scientist asks you for help.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My friend on reality TV

Christina is my best friend from college. She's been a ski patroller for the past three years. This summer, when I visited her in Peru, she kept mentioning how she is a star in a reality TV show about ski patrol.

I did not believe her. Christina has a long history of bullshitting me. Claiming she was on a reality TV show seemed a little audacious, though.

She's like the girl who cried reality show.

I said would not believe her until I had evidence. The above video is evidence. A video and a website seems too complex and time-consuming a ruse for a person who does not have a computer. It's true (tru!): I have a friend on reality TV.

I love how in the video she says "dramatic" like, five times. Makes me want to hug her.

awww! so cute! Nini in Peru:

Friday, October 03, 2008

Larval fish & VP Debate drinking game

Bloated much?

These whimsical baby fish come courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution's flickr set of Belize Larval Fish. Every time I see something cool and science-y like this, my first thought is, "What can I do to watch people do this... in Belize... and have someone else pay for it?" That's journalism, right? Someday I'll crack the code.

So the vice presidential debates were last night. I tuned in with hopes of seeing Sarah Palin lose it - and by it I mean her last meal - on the podium, out of nervousness and insecurity. And, does incompetence make you hurl? Unfortunately, she held it down, kept it together, and exceeded everyone's expectations. Which isn't saying much. Expectations are at a historical low these days. In every sector.

Anyhow, if you were clever, you totally could have gotten wasted during the debate, by playing:


The rules are DRINK when:

  • When a candidate blatantly evades the question
  • When the moderator calls the candidate out on evading the question
  • When a candidate utters "maverick"
  • Palin drops the 'g' on the end of her words
  • Palin says somethin' unbearably folksy
  • Palin mentions that she knows a thing or two about energy
  • Palin winks directly at YOU
  • Biden looks like he's tearing up
  • When Wall Street and Main Street are mentioned in the same sentence, in opposition
CHUG when:

  • Palin loses it on the podium
Sadly, the chugging opportunity never came. Not to mention I did not have a beer at hand during the debate. I was reduced to looking over Marshall's shoulder at some weird animation representing the Cubs game on the laptop, to alleviate the boredom of talking points and politics in general.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Happy New Year: A celebration of Jewishness in my family

Cute old Jewish people run in the family.

My great-grandmother and great-great-aunt.

In Springfield, Massachusetts. Our family is Russian/Romanian Jews.

My great-aunt. The women pictured above are her mother and aunt. Here, she's trying to look like a drunk old man while thoroughly enjoying her chocolate martini. If all goes as planned, I'll look like this when I'm 90, and be at least half as happy with my life.