Saturday, August 2, 2008

you GO michelle williams...

im so happy she finally has a hit! i always felt bad that she was in beyonce and kelly's shadow. LOVE this song!







kristen chenoweth...

can have my babies. and ill carry them, and her, around in my pocket. i mean seriously, who else can sing like that? and she is SO damn funny!

Friday, August 1, 2008

love me some mindy smith...

and dolly is still flawless! and she spends the budget of a small third world country to make sure she remains so.


adele...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

no one has ever done it better...

not even the king.

Nadja the brilliant...

if you ever get the chance to see nadja salerno-sonnenberg live (she is playing with the ASO this season) jump at it. she is quite simply beyond words. in my estimation, the greatest violinist living today. (she is on the left)

just sit back and listen...

Amos Lee

Thursday, January 3, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEARS!

i DONT drink... much... or often... dammit...

silent night, UN-holy night...

just having some fun. sheet music would have helped this situation.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Monday, September 10, 2007

Saturday, September 8, 2007

OH! HELL! YEAH!



Don't know much about your life
Don't know much about your world but

Don't want to be alone tonight
On this planet they call earth.

You don't know about my past
And I don't have a future figured out
And maybe this is going too fast
And maybe it's not meant to last

But what do you say to takin' chances?
What do you say to jumpin' off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or a hand to hold, or hell to pay
What do you say?
What do you say?

I just want to start again
Maybe you can show me how to try
Maybe you could take me in
Somewhere underneath your skin

What do you say to takin' chances?
What do you say to jumpin' off the edge?
Never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or a hand to hold, or hell to pay
What do you say?
What do you say?

And I had my heart beaten down
But I always come back for more, yeah.
There's nothing but love to pull you up,
When you're lying down on the floor yeah
So talk to me, talk to me
Like lovers do
Yeah walk with me, walk with me
Like lovers do
Like lovers do

What do you say to takin' chances?
What do you say to jumpin' off the edge?
And never knowing if there's solid ground below
Or a hand to hold, or hell to pay
What do you say?
What do you say?

Don't know much about your life,
And I don't know much about your world.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Moi...

You Are An ENFP

The Inspirer

You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!

In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.

At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.

How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding

When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The proof is in the numbers!!!

The Republicans are too narrow minded and money hungry to get out of the pockets of the Insurance Industry to allow our country to switch to a nationalized system of health, but for that matter it seems the Democrats are as well- at least the ones in the House and Senate. The Democratic candidates for President seem to be whistling a different tune, but lets wait and see if their promises come to fruition. Bottom line, we need a change and we need it now. Our country is dying. The numbers dont lie. And if you want to see proof of that, go see SICKO!

"US Slipping in Life Expectancy Rankings"
Aug 12, 7:03 AM (ET)

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.

For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles.

Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

"Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Macau, San Marino and Singapore.

The shortest life expectancies were clustered in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that has been hit hard by an epidemic of HIV and AIDS, as well as famine and civil strife. Swaziland has the shortest, at 34.1 years, followed by Zambia, Angola, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

Researchers said several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized nations. A major one is that 45 million Americans lack health insurance, while Canada and many

European countries have universal health care, they say.
But "it's not as simple as saying we don't have national health insurance," said Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. "It's not that easy."

Among the other factors:

- Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

"The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy," said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. "We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times."

- Racial disparities. Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans.
Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly longer than the averages for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

- A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.
Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.

"It really reflects the social conditions in which African American women grow up and have children," said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health. "We haven't done anything to eliminate those disparities."
Another reason for the U.S. drop in the ranking is that the Census Bureau now tracks life expectancy for a lot more countries - 222 in 2004 - than it did in the 1980s. However, that does not explain why so many countries entered the rankings with longer life expectancies than the United States.

Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But, he predicted, the U.S. won't move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.

Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

"Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States," Murray said. "The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sad but true!






Stu Bykofsky | To save America, we need another 9/11
ONE MONTH from The Anniversary, I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America.

What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?

A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically - thanks mainly to our ineptitude in Iraq - that we have forgotten who the enemy is.

It is not Bush and it is not Hillary and it is not Daily Kos or Bill O'Reilly or Giuliani or Barack. It is global terrorists who use Islam to justify their hideous sins, including blowing up women and children.

Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies. We are deeply divided and division is weakness.

Most Americans today believe Iraq was a mistake. Why?

Not because Americans are "anti-war."

Americans have turned their backs because the war has dragged on too long and we don't have the patience for a long slog. We've been in Iraq for four years, but to some it seems like a century. In contrast, Britain just pulled its soldiers out of Northern Ireland where they had been, often being shot at, almost 40 years.

That's not the American way.

In Iraq, we don't believe our military is being beaten on the battleground. It's more that there is no formal "battleground." There is the drip of daily casualties and victory is not around the corner. Americans are impatient. We like fast food and fast war.

Americans loved the 1991 Gulf War. It raged for just 100 hours when George H.W. Bush ended it with a declaration of victory. He sent a half-million troops into harm's way and we suffered fewer than 300 deaths.

America likes wars shorter than the World Series.

Bush I did everything right, Bush II did everything wrong - but he did it with the backing of Congress.

Because the war has been a botch so far, Democrats and Republicans are attacking one another, when they aren't attacking themselves. The dialog of discord echoes across America.

Turn back to 9/11.

Remember the community of outrage and national resolve? America had not been so united since the first Day of Infamy - 12/7/41.

We knew who the enemy was then.

We knew who the enemy was shortly after 9/11.

Because we have mislaid 9/11, we have endless sideshow squabbles about whether the surge is working, if we are "safer" now, whether the FBI should listen in on foreign phone calls, whether cops should detain odd-acting "flying imams," whether those plotting alleged attacks on Fort Dix or Kennedy airport are serious threats or amateur bumblers. We bicker over the trees while the forest is ablaze.

America's fabric is pulling apart like a cheap sweater.

What would sew us back together?

Another 9/11 attack.

The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.

Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?

If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.

The unity brought by such an attack sadly won't last forever.

The first 9/11 proved that. *

E-mail stubyko@phillynews.com or call 215-854-5977. For recent columns:

http://go.philly.com/byko.

The Vacation President






Aug. 9, 2007, 9:01PM
Bush on track to become the vacation president

By JULIE MASON
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

President Bush tries to set an example for Americans whenever he can, in terms of physical fitness, faith, optimism and a certain overall moral rectitude. He also sets an excellent example on taking vacation.

On Thursday, Bush left for a weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine, and his family's summer compound, Walker's Point. On Monday, he heads to his Crawford retreat, where he has spent all or part of 418 days of his presidency, according to Mark Knoller, a CBS News White House correspondent and meticulous record-keeper.

Never a fan of Washington's more cosmopolitan pleasures, Bush will be in Central Texas for about two weeks, with an overnight trip to Ottawa to meet with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

At a White House press conference Thursday, Bush appeared to be already inhabiting his vacation mode, shedding the businesslike, sometimes grim demeanor he's had of late to slouch against the podium and be avuncular.

He gamely joked and mugged with reporters, at one point raising two fists in a boxing stance to illustrate what not to do in a photo op with the president of Iran.

"You don't want the picture to be kind of, you know, duking it out, you know?" Bush said " 'OK, put up your dukes.' That's an old boxing expression."

Bush's August sojourn will be his 65th trip to Crawford, according to Knoller.

The 1,600-acre ranch has proved a durable haven for Bush, who often disappears into its varied landscapes for days or weeks at a time without public appearances. He has an attractive stone house, shaded swimming pool, miles of rugged bike trails and law enforcement at every entry point keeping people out.

"I fell in love with it the minute I saw it," Bush said of his ranch in 2001. "I like being out here. I like spending a lot of time outside."

The presidential vacation-time record holder is the late Ronald Reagan, who tallied 436 days in his two terms. At 418 days, and with 17 months to go in his presidency, Bush is going to beat that easily.

Even so, this year's August vacation for Bush is a contrast to previous years such as 2005, when he dragged out vacation in Texas to five weeks. That was also the year Bush remained on vacation immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit.

Vice President Dick Cheney generally takes August off, often heading to Wyoming or coastal Maryland. Congress left last weekend and is gone until Sept. 4. The Iraqi parliament is taking August off, too.

Still, all this governmental time off is more than most Americans are taking. A recent survey by Yahoo Hot Jobs found nearly half of American workers did not take all of their vacation days last year.

Bush, on his 10th visit to Kennebunkport as president (according to Knoller), is scheduled for lunch Saturday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Indeed, on the issue of vacation, at least, Bush is much like a pleasure-seeking Frenchman. According to Expedia.com, French workers get about 39 days off a year and generally take all but one.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Our true size...



SIMPLY FASCINATING!








AT THIS SCALE JUPITER IS ABOUT 1 PIXEL, WHILE EARTH IS NOT EVEN VISIBLE.


ANTARES IS THE 15TH BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE SKY. IT IS MORE THAN 1000 LIGHT YEARS AWAY. AT THIS SCALE THE SUN IS ABOUT 1 PIXEL, WHILE JUPITER IS NOT VISIBLE.


THIS IS A HUBBLE TELESCOPE ULTRA DEEP FIELD INFRARED VIEW OF COUNTLESS "ENTIRE" GALAXIES BILLIONS OF LIGHT-YEARS AWAY.


THIS IS A CLOSE UP OF ONE OF THE DARKEST REGIONS OF THE PHOTO ABOVE.

H&M in the ATL!







H&M bringing cheap chic to Atlantic Station
Store will be Swedish clothing retailer's first in deep South

By PATTI BOND
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 08/06/07
Trendy H&M is finally bringing its low-priced, high-fashion concept to Atlanta.

A 24,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open this spring in an existing building at Atlantic Station. Work inside the two-story store will begin in October, leasing officials said Monday. Part of the space is now occupied by Metropolitan Deluxe, which is closing.

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Shopping hounds have impatiently waited for the Swedish retailer to debut here. H&M — short for Hennes & Mauritz — has stores in 28 countries and landed in the United States seven years ago but skipped over the deep South until now.

H&M becomes the second popular Swede to set up shop at Atlantic Station. Cheap-chic furnishings store Ikea has generated a steady stream of traffic since opening there in 2005.

"I think H&M will have the same sort of impact," said Brian Leary, a vice president with AIG Global Real Estate, the developer for Atlantic Station. "This is big for us."

H&M has built a cultlike following out of being the Ikea of sorts in the fashion world, churning out couture knockoffs at thrift-store prices. Though H&M has been described as the "fast food of fashion," its designers strike a chord with pop culture by hooking up with stars such as Madonna and Kylie Minogue for celebrity-themed lines.

The Atlantic Station site will be H&M's flagship store in Atlanta, meaning there might be room for more H&M locations here later.

The entrance will be along 18th Street, with most of the retail space on the second floor, Leary said.

H&M, which becomes one of the largest specialty stores at the mixed-use complex, will carry the retailer's full line, including clothing for men, women and children, he said.

"It's a major presence and a major statement, for H&M and for us," Leary said.

Some Atlantic Station critics have said the urban-focused center suffers from too much mall-based retail. Many of the apparel stores, for example, are also at suburban malls around Atlanta.

Leary said that landing H&M will help the center attract other far-flung retailers, particularly those that haven't come to Atlanta yet.

"We want to talk to every hot retailer — whether they're based in Japan, Spain or elsewhere — about expanding and coming here," he said. "We're trying to raise the bar with each announcement."

Atlantic Station's master development plan, including residential and office space, is only 40 percent complete, Leary said.

When Target opens in October, Atlantic Station will have about 1.3 million square feet of retail space, he said.

A silver lining?






A War We Just Might Win


By MICHAEL E. O’HANLON and KENNETH M. POLLACK
Washington


VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.

In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.

In Baghdad’s Ghazaliya neighborhood, which has seen some of the worst sectarian combat, we walked a street slowly coming back to life with stores and shoppers. The Sunni residents were unhappy with the nearby police checkpoint, where Shiite officers reportedly abused them, but they seemed genuinely happy with the American soldiers and a mostly Kurdish Iraqi Army company patrolling the street. The local Sunni militia even had agreed to confine itself to its compound once the Americans and Iraqi units arrived.

We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi Army troops cover the countryside. A local mayor told us his greatest fear was an overly rapid American departure from Iraq. All across the country, the dependability of Iraqi security forces over the long term remains a major question mark.

But for now, things look much better than before. American advisers told us that many of the corrupt and sectarian Iraqi commanders who once infested the force have been removed. The American high command assesses that more than three-quarters of the Iraqi Army battalion commanders in Baghdad are now reliable partners (at least for as long as American forces remain in Iraq).

In addition, far more Iraqi units are well integrated in terms of ethnicity and religion. The Iraqi Army’s highly effective Third Infantry Division started out as overwhelmingly Kurdish in 2005. Today, it is 45 percent Shiite, 28 percent Kurdish, and 27 percent Sunni Arab.

In the past, few Iraqi units could do more than provide a few “jundis” (soldiers) to put a thin Iraqi face on largely American operations. Today, in only a few sectors did we find American commanders complaining that their Iraqi formations were useless — something that was the rule, not the exception, on a previous trip to Iraq in late 2005.

The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus’s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave.

In war, sometimes it’s important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so. A major factor in the sudden change in American fortunes has been the outpouring of popular animus against Al Qaeda and other Salafist groups, as well as (to a lesser extent) against Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

These groups have tried to impose Shariah law, brutalized average Iraqis to keep them in line, killed important local leaders and seized young women to marry off to their loyalists. The result has been that in the last six months Iraqis have begun to turn on the extremists and turn to the Americans for security and help. The most important and best-known example of this is in Anbar Province, which in less than six months has gone from the worst part of Iraq to the best (outside the Kurdish areas). Today the Sunni sheiks there are close to crippling Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies. Just a few months ago, American marines were fighting for every yard of Ramadi; last week we strolled down its streets without body armor.

Another surprise was how well the coalition’s new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working. Wherever we found a fully staffed team, we also found local Iraqi leaders and businessmen cooperating with it to revive the local economy and build new political structures. Although much more needs to be done to create jobs, a new emphasis on microloans and small-scale projects was having some success where the previous aid programs often built white elephants.

In some places where we have failed to provide the civilian manpower to fill out the reconstruction teams, the surge has still allowed the military to fashion its own advisory groups from battalion, brigade and division staffs. We talked to dozens of military officers who before the war had known little about governance or business but were now ably immersing themselves in projects to provide the average Iraqi with a decent life.

Outside Baghdad, one of the biggest factors in the progress so far has been the efforts to decentralize power to the provinces and local governments. But more must be done. For example, the Iraqi National Police, which are controlled by the Interior Ministry, remain mostly a disaster. In response, many towns and neighborhoods are standing up local police forces, which generally prove more effective, less corrupt and less sectarian. The coalition has to force the warlords in Baghdad to allow the creation of neutral security forces beyond their control.

In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front. Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards reconciliation — or at least accommodation — are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely. Otherwise, once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines.

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

Michael E. O’Hanlon is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Kenneth M. Pollack is the director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.

Pox on Fox







Hey Mr. Green,
My whole family had embraced the concept of compact fluorescent bulbs (because they are so efficient), but a negative report from Fox News about their mercury hazards has us a little confused. Can you respond to our concern? --Carl in Center Moriches, New York



Hey Carl,
Thank you for calling my attention to this hatchet job, which I never would have noticed because I try to avoid the right-wing contrivances that Fox peddles as fair and balanced.

The people at Fox News are either brain-damaged from huffing mercury (they do seem to have a fondness for the highly toxic) or they have unscrupulously cherry-picked their facts. (In their sniping about the rules to replace incandescents with compact fluorescents [CFLs] "either adopted or being considered in California, Canada, the European Union and Australia," it's surprising that they overlooked the bulb-replacement programs in Cuba and Venezuela. That would've given them a fine opportunity to present compact fluorescent bulbs as part of a communist takeover.)

This classic example of enviro-bashing is full of flaws. First, the Fox writer trots out one report of one environmental bureaucrat's overreaction to a bulb breakage to make it sound like a busted CFL will turn a house into a Superfund site. The fact is, CFLs do contain mercury, but nowhere near enough to provoke panic or evacuation. If you break a bulb, you can do the cleanup yourself, without renting a moon suit or contacting authorities.

The EPA advises the following treatment:

Open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes (to let the mercury vaporize).
Remove all materials (i.e., the pieces of the broken bulb) without using a vacuum cleaner. You don't want even a small amount of mercury lurking in your vacuum. To do so:
Wear disposable rubber gloves, if available. (Never touch the bulb pieces with your bare hands.)
Carefully scoop up the fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard (you don't want the stuff to get on your broom or dustpan either).
Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipe. Sticky tape, such as duct tape (yet another use for the versatile material!), can be used to pick up small pieces and powder.
Place all cleanup materials in a plastic bag and seal it. If your state permits you to put used or broken CFLs in the garbage, seal the CFL in two plastic bags and put into the outside trash (if no other disposal or recycling options are available). If your state doesn't allow this, consult the local hazardous-waste authority for safe-recycling information. Some hardware stores will also accept old bulbs; to find a recycler near you, try Earth 911, or (800) CLEAN-UP, for a location near you.
Wash your hands after disposing of the bag.
The first time you vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag once done cleaning the area (or empty and wipe the canister) and put the bag and/or vacuum debris, as well as the cleaning materials, in two sealed plastic bags in the outdoor trash or protected outdoor location for normal disposal.
So much for that part of Fox's story, but I'm not quite done with calling them on their hokum. So read on, if you wish. The Fox piece chides environmentalists for contradicting themselves by promoting fluorescent lightbulbs while having "whipped up so much fear of mercury among the public that many local governments have even launched mercury thermometer exchange programs" and going "berserk at the thought of mercury being emitted from power plants."

Yes, as Fox notes, a fluorescent bulb contains around 5 milligrams of mercury (although some brands, such as Philips Lighting, claim their bulbs have as little as 1.23 to 3 milligrams). What Fox conveniently doesn't bother to mention is that a thermometer can contain 140 times as much mercury as a fluorescent lightbulb, making concern about these instruments eminently reasonable. Nor is it exactly going "berserk" to worry about mercury from power plants. Coal-burning power plants emit 50 tons of the stuff every year, around 40 percent of the total mercury emissions in the United States.

Since residential lighting accounts for about 5.7 percent of our total national electricity consumption--about half of which is generated by coal--creating power for home lighting releases about 1.4 tons of mercury every year. And since incandescent bulbs account for about 88 percent of all bulbs, they are responsible for emitting around 1.2 tons of mercury a year.

Let's imagine for a moment that all 4 billion residential lightbulbs have become CFLs, each one with an average life span of 5.5 years (the minimum for EPA-approved bulbs). That means we'd have to change about 727 million fluorescent bulbs a year. At 5 grams of mercury per bulb, that adds up to about 4 tons of mercury. Since fluorescents use only 25 percent as much energy as incandescents, installing them in all houses would decrease mercury emissions from power plants by 0.9 tons a year.

So even in the incredibly unlikely scenario that every single dead bulb were smashed, and its contents released into the environment, switching to CFLs would yield a maximum 3.1 tons of mercury each year--the 4 tons in them minus the 0.9 tons of emissions they offset. (If all bulbs used were the longer-lived models, with a life span of nine years, the net emission would drop to 1.9 tons annually even if not a single bulb got recycled. And as lower-mercury bulbs came online, the net release would drop even more.)

Fox simply ignores the fact that people don't have to throw away all those burned-out fluorescents in the first place. About 25 percent are already being recycled, just because the government requires businesses to do so. If consumers were better educated about compact fluorescents, they would recycle more of them, as they have learned to do with other materials. If we created an economic incentive--a stiff deposit on CFLs, for example--recycling rates would vastly increase, just as they have with cans and bottles in states where container deposits are required.

Of course, by focusing on mercury, Fox also fails to note that even the shorter-lived fluorescents would eliminate about 100 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants alone, and an equivalent amount of other pollutants. That's something to weigh heavily even against the heavy metal mercury.

Environmentally,
Mr. Green
The Sierra Club

Friday, July 27, 2007

You go John!

GOP Chickens!



Just goes to show you how out of touch the Republicans are and how the political world is changing under their feet. This election wont be won by likely voters, it will be decided by the UN likely voters who are disgusted and fed up with this administration and its party. Women, African Americans and the young people of this country will be the driving force behind this countries turn around and the much needed change that will be brought in 2008!

YOUTUBE, TAKE TWO Few GOP Candidates Commit to Debate
McCain Adviser Trims Advertising Strategy
Friday, July 27, 2007; A06

YOUTUBE, TAKE TWO Few GOP Candidates Commit to Debate

Four days after the Democratic debate in Charleston, S.C., more than 400 questions directed to the GOP presidential field have been uploaded on YouTube, as Republicans are scheduled to take their turn at video-populism on Sept. 17.

But only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) have agreed to participate in the debate, co-hosted by the Republican Party of Florida in St. Petersburg.

"Aside from those two candidates, we haven't heard from anyone else," said Sam Feist of CNN, which is co-sponsoring the debate with the popular video-sharing site.

Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mitt Romney, both with dozens of videos on their YouTube channels, have not signed up. Neither have the rest of the Republican candidates, including Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.), whose "Tancredo Takes" on his YouTube channel draw hundreds of views. Sources familiar with the Giuliani campaign said the former New York mayor is unlikely to participate. Kevin Madden, Romney's spokesman, said the former Massachusetts governor has seven debate invitations over a span of 11 days in September.

"We haven't committed to any of them yet," Madden said.

In an interview Wednesday with the New Hampshire Union Leader, Romney said he's not a fan of the CNN/YouTube format. Referring to the video of a snowman asking the Democratic candidates about global warming, Romney quipped, "I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman."

The Sept. 17 Republican debate was announced last Friday by YouTube, CNN and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), who called Monday's Democratic showdown "the people's debate."

Patrick Ruffini, former eCampaign director at the Republican National Committee who served as online adviser to Giuliani for a few months earlier this year, said it would "very problematic" if the Republican candidates declined. "What's worse -- questions from the public, many of whom are supporters, or questions from the media, who many Republicans believe are biased? This is YouTube. That's not something they'd want to snub," Ruffini said.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

BASE!!!!!






so there is this amazing store on lincoln road on south beach in miami called BASE. they are a clothing store/ homegoods/ fragrance/ music/ furniture/ design mecca. it is one of the coolest stores youve never been in! i discovered them back in '02 when i moved down to be with augie, and fell in love instantly. the first thing that hits you, besides the cool air from the blasting air conditioners rescuing you from the sweltering south florida heat, is the scent. THE scent. the whole place is permeated. its called sand. they make it there. in the back. bottle by glorius bottle. the next thing you notice is just how COOL the place it. everything is new. everything is fresh. everything is different. they make a lot of their own clothes. they cull the hottest accesories from around the world. they are on the tip of whats hot in music. and now they have opened a new store, called the annex, where they sell furniture. can you imagine... the coolest store in miami now sells furniture! so not only can you dress yourself in the hippest clothes, bath in the most amazing scents, and jam to the hottest songs... now you can fill your home with the most unique, off the wall, trendiest furniture this side of italy. if your boring little exisitence needs a jump start, head down to BASE on lincoln road in miami... follow their lead and they will transform your life.






Oh which oh which oh which...

so like everyone, i sit around contemplating, with much joy, what i would do if i won the lottery. clearly one of the first things i would do would be buy a car... or two... or three. one of them would obviously be a long wheelbase sedan, most likely european. and if it were a hybrid, id be in heaven! for the longest time i always said that if i could buy any car it would be an audi A8 W12. fast, stylish, suave, yet not crazy over-the-top. understated elegance, thats me. :-) but lately some other car companies have been upping their game. so now, the contestants...



Lexus LS Hybrid

$120,185.00




Mercedes Benz S600

$154,900




BMW 760Li

$123,375




Audi S8

$110,180




Audi A8 W12

$135,189


The 1 Series...

its so cute! and obviously itll be fast as hell and very go-kart-ish, much like bmw's mini cooper.