Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Earth Day 2009

April 22nd is the day when we celebrate the Earth and all she's given us. It's also the day that we can be over the top annoying about helping the planet because it's Earth Day. The other days of the year, we go behind people, pick up their trash and hope they don't do it again. Today we can go find that person, throw their trash back at them and then publicly harangue them for being a no good stinky litter bug.

Although not all trash is courtesy of people. I was waiting next to my bike this morning when I saw a Clemson squirrel go into the trash can, take out something wrapped in paper, gnaw at it, and then not put it back in the trash. I guess animal littering is okay?

Also saw the PeePoo bag. It's a biodegradable (45% post consumer recycled content, with plans to get that to 100%) plastic bag coated with urea that breaks down human excrement into ammonium hydroxide and other nicer compounds and fertilizes the ground where it is buried. Great for hikers, hunters, and citizens of 3rd world countries that don't have access to sewage treatment plants or running water!

Up next is an article written by Joe Lederman, an editor with, which is a Mesothelioma cancer resource website. Asbestos is a silicate (silicon oxide) containing mineral that is mined and has great flame retardant properties. Unfortunately the fine fibers and particles can get into our lungs and cause all sorts of nasty side effects. There are many green options for insulating your house (recycled blue jeans being my personal favorite) so please look into what's in your house's walls now or before you buy. Hope you enjoy the guest post:

Green Insulation Alternatives Make the Use of Asbestos Obsolete

In the world of home construction, there are many things that should be taken into consideration. Many older homes could need repairs or additional renovations in areas that are susceptible to natural disasters. Often appearing in roof shingles, popcorn ceilings, piping and insulation, asbestos became one of the most popular building applications of the 20th century. One of the main things that can go unnoticed is taking simple precautions to avoid asbestos exposure.

The implementation of eco-construction and alternative energy solutions will play an important role in the transformation to a healthier and sustainable world. Building green will have profound impacts on many facets of our daily lives.

If you locate any suspected asbestos in the home, most experts suggest leaving it un-disturbed until a home inspector can examine your property, take evaluations and determine the safest course of action. Disturbing asbestos in good condition may cause its fibers to be released into the air. However, if removal is necessary, it must be performed by a licensed abatement contractor who is trained in handling hazardous substances.

Long term exposure to damaged airborne asbestos fibers can lead to the development of a severe lung ailment known as mesothelioma . With a latency period that lasts from 20 to 50 years, it isn’t until the later stages of progression when physicians usually are able to accurately diagnose. The amount of asbestos-related incidents throughout the world has resulted in mesothelioma lawyers advocating and protecting victim’s individual rights. Many are unaware to the wrongdoings done in the contraction of diseases associated with asbestos.

Many cities and states in the U.S. are pushing for green sustainable technologies to be utilized in the public and private sectors. Everyone strives for clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Unfortunately, many modern conveniences increase pollution and health problems.

Green alternatives to asbestos include the use of lcynene foam, cotton fiber and cellulose. The use of cotton fiber foam has demonstrated to reduce energy costs by 25 % per year. There is no need for any products used in construction to be made from asbestos, yet over 3,000 work and home-based materials still contain this toxin. Many locations throughout the United States are swiftly changing their construction practices to suit the environment and the health of human beings.

Implementing green methods of building can have positive environmental, health and economic benefits. These include:

-    Conservation of natural resources

-    Enhance air quality and protect ecosystems

-    Energy sustainability

-    Increase property value

-    Improve quality of life

-    Improvement of pulmonary and cardiac health

-    Reduce waste

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Yesterday was of course 4-20 aka Hitler's birthday aka April 20th. I hope you enjoyed it. It was great weather down here.

Earth Day is tomorrow! Hooray! Thankfully, it will be nice and sunny so I can ride my bike in and then swing by the Earth Day booths on campus. I would like to volunteer but that doesn't make the priority list right now.

J is really helping me with my writing. I was going down a bit of the wrong path, or wasn't on the right path long enough, but she has really stepped up and given me guidance and feedback and it's paying off.

I burnt our lab's water pump to a crisp over the weekend. I left it at 50C for 3 days, it ran dry, caught on fire, tripped circuit breakers and made me ever so distraught yesterday.

I'm not a huge PETA fan, because if the animals are treated humanely and fed a natural diet of grass and hay, they're delicious! But I absolutely understand it takes way more resources to get meat on my plate than veggies, so J and I are trying to live a little more "3rd World" style and limit our protein to mostly veggies and beans and not too much meat, and even when we do have meat, make sure we don't eat tons and it was responsibly harvested.

So we made vegan-ish blueberry pancakes (we have vegan butter from my week long vegan experiment but it's flavorless, so these were cooked in butter) which have no eggs and soy milk. We used basically this recipe but added a splash of vanilla. Delicious! Really light and fluffy and the frozen blueberries we used didn't break and turn the batter all purple.

Later that day we made a shepherd's pie with ground goat purchased from Split Creek Goat Farm, and that goat was tasty!

So for Earth Day, carpool, walk, bike, take public transit, eat some vegetables, plant some vegetables, get outside and enjoy Earth!

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Help is on the way!

J has been recruited to help revise my writing. It's nice to get another opinion on my writing style and help me focus on my results instead of so much background. She's also helping me set mini everyday goals. Off to work on that now.

If I don't post for a while, I will eventually.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


New cars!

Hooray! It's that time of year again when all the new cars start popping up in your local dealerships.

So far my short list of new cars to look at are:
Honda Insight
Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Nissan Cube
Kia Soul

Now, as you know, I'm still in grad school and will not be purchasing any new anything for a good bit, but these will be slightly used cars by the time I'm in the market, so here we go.
2010 Honda Insight: Honda's new hybrid to compete with the popular Prius made by Toyota. It's cheaper, handles like a Honda (not that most Honda drivers know what that means) and basically looks like a Prius except has a big "H" on the front. BUT it looks like Honda is still not gay friendly, so they just lost their direct link. Ouch.

Actually it turns out that only Nissan is a gay friendly company, so only they will get photos and a direct link, which will make writing this post easier.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe: SuperBowl ad with the fabulous Rhys "Mad Skills" Millen, who is a Kiwi and comes from some amazing rally heritage courtesy of his dad Rod, and it's basically almost my dream car. Rear wheel drive, turbo charged 4 cylinder (with an available V6), and kinda lightweight (at around 3000 pounds, 1360 kgs) and it doesn't look half bad. But the very gay friendly Subaru and Toyota should have their version of that coming out soon and I can't freaking wait!

Kia Soul: Funky looking mini SUV thing that has a really neat red on black interior. And it's a Korean company which J supports for "country of her birth" reasons.

And finally, some pictures and a link to the amazing new Nissan Cube! It's one of those "lifestyle" vehicles that come in a box. 122 hp 1.8 liters of 4 cylinder fury, 6 speed manual, power windows and locks, ABS, 6 air bags, 60/40 fold down seats, and traction control (although I can't imagine why). All standard (peep the trim levels on this pdf) and starting at $14,000. Not too shabby, plus it's so cool looking. If you're looking for a car with tons of cargo space, great interior, and easy driving due to the huge greenhouse, I would highly recommend a Nissan Cube. And look at all the colors!

I seriously have no idea what car I want next. Obviously I want my WRX wagon, my Lotus Elise and a couple motorcycles and bicycles, but in reality I have no clue. I think it depends on where we end up once I get a job.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, April 03, 2009



J and I watched Blindness over the previous two nights. It is based upon the book by 1998 Nobel Prize winner in literature Jose Saramago called "Blindness". The premise is a city (filmed in lovely Montevideo, Uruguay but unnamed in the book) is stricken by a plague of white blindness. The first people are quarantined to an older unused hospital. It goes from scary to depths of humanity pretty quickly. Most everyone is blind except for the doctor's wife (played by the always great Julianne Moore aka Maude from The Big Lebowski) who must be the sole eye witness to the depravity and vile sanitary conditions. A group of people (maybe criminals) take over one ward and take all the food and extort the other people. They eventually figure out that the soldiers at the gate are gone and they can leave and see what happened to the city. The small band of main characters make their way to the doctor's house and pick up a cute dog on the way. Their blindness eventually goes away and supposedly life returns to normal.

Definitely not for kids, not too much language, some female breasts and lots of asses. The one complaint I have is the removal of one of my favorite scenes from the book. Julianne's character finds a staircase at the back of a virtually empty grocery store which leads to a locked door where they keep the extra food. Since everyone is blind, they did not see the key hanging on a nearby hook. Doc's wife goes down, feels around, finds some matches, grabs some food, leaves and FORGETS TO LOCK THE DOOR! She comes back a few days later and the blind people have found the cache of lovely food, created a stampede and she returns to find the place on fire and basically hell on earth. Doh! Maybe next time she'll remember to lock the best place to find unspoiled food in the city that only she knows about.

The movie leaves that part out presumably because it didn't add much to the story, but I liked that part of the book. Even though she can see doesn't mean she catches everything.

I've always wanted to try a blind day or at least a blind hour or so. I think I'll do that once I'm done writing.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


RIP Shane McConkey

Shane McConkey was one of the great big mountain skiers. He was instrumental in ski design and eventually decided to ski off a mountain with a parachute strapped to his back. He pushed the envelope of skiing and human achievement. He was skiing in the Dolomites in Italy, did a double back flip and his chute failed to open. He is survived by his wife Sherry and daughter Ayla.

For a brief glimpse into who Shane was, please check out the Outside Online tribute.

Photos courtesy of
Vid from youtube

Labels: ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


View Products
Freedom is NORML

Search WWW Search
Who Links Here