Sunday, October 28, 2007

Left, Right and Center for Mother Earth News

Recently, while surfing the Mother Earth News blog postings, I encountered one that was discussing the environmental news of the day: Vice-President Al Gore receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on environmental issues through the years. I was very disappointed in the strength of the anger in some people's comments, and it really saddens me.

We have all heard the rhetoric about Vice-President Gore that personalizes the arguments, and many of the comments on this blog were no exception. I am tired of that.

I personally know that over the past two decades, people from both extremes of the political landscape have become scared, and they often react in anger. It is natural, part of the Fight or Flight mechanism. Don't be afraid. Remember, "Fear is the MindKiller!" In our nation's history, Americans solve problems by finding common ground. Let's all try. We may not be perfect at it, but we may find our lives improve just through the effort.

Here is my response to the Mother Earth News blog posting, What You Can Do About Global Climate Change , by Megan Phelps:

This blog posting really made an impression on people. It's too bad that that the Blog Action Day for the Environment post on October 15, 2007 was ignored by most Mother Earth readers.

Happily, I have noticed that people from all sides of the political spectrum read Mother Earth News. What is the common factor that holds us all together on the same boat? I believe it is our desire to use sustainable processes to save money, the environment or both.

Let's enjoy Mother Earth News. I doubt if anyone will agree with EVERY article that is written or the independent ideas of their guests, but it is still a great magazine. Let's be thankful that we have this wonderful forum in which to debate or add to the conversation about simple living on the Earth.

When I first subscribed again, I wondered how the new Mother Earth News would be in keeping with the traditions of the old. I have been pleasantly surprised, especially with their encouragement for smaller spaces, in urban and rural areas.

It is always easier to tear something or someone down than it is to contribute to a rational growth and development. That is why farmers and those who love nature are such rare birds these days. It seems to me that anyone, including Vice-President Gore, who helps people think about the environment, ecosystems and habitats, deserves our respect and should be commended.

I know there are those who love to hate. I would suggest that you "count to ten....then to one hundred", let your blood pressure decrease, and then try to rationally frame your arguments about the topic...

It seems to me that the internet often makes us feel anonymous, so it may seem easier to personalize our attacks. In fact, you are not really anonymous. Try to take the high road if you can. This often achieves more positive long term results for your argument.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chavez and Bush: Was the $55.00/Barrel Deal Real?

On Clipmarks, my clippers and I discuss many issues. Over the past few days, we have debated the soundness of Bush's rebuff of the offer by Chavez, of Venezuela, to make a contract with a guaranteed price of $55.00 per barrel of oil. While some Clippers don't believe that Chavez could or would honor that contract, other Clippers believe he would and the Americans should have taken the deal.

It is my contention that all this high drama between Chavez and Bush is not where the real choices in government are taking place. So here is part of my response to those Clippers, my good acquaintances, who think the American government made a mistake by not negotiating with Chavez to develop a set barrel price for oil.

Yes, I know what the point is, many people believe that Bush should not have turned down Chavez's offer of lifetime treaty guarantee of $55.00 per barrel, especially when $65.00 barrel oil was the standard price when he made the offer. We can't cry over spilt milk. It seems to me that it was easy for Chavez to make this offer. Because Venezuela nationalized the oil companies, they owned infrastructure that they didn't have to pay for....instant profit.

From his actions and speeches, it seems that Chavez wants to crack the whip on the Americans, but he would REALLY like to crack the whip on the Saudis. They control OPEC, and it seems to me, that he wants to be independent of them or in charge.

As for the Chinese in South America, that may happen, but many of Venezuela's neighboring countries have suffered extensively from many decades of guerrilla incursions by the leftist terrorist group, The Shining Path. Because of China's support for this group, these SA countries have said publicly that they are not comfortable with this latest attention from China.

These leaders put on quite a passion play, very choreographed. Chavez and Bush, the soap opera, is just the shell game for the real behind the scenes action of large corporations' push for the North American Union. They point to Chavez and insist that he is a rogue element, so we must band together for mutual protection. The main show seems to be led by George Schultz.

Like the hero in the song "Poor Man's Heaven", I hope people, especially young people, get really angry about what the Exploitation Culture has done to keep them from the fulfillment of their modern version of the heroes dream, ...a little piece of land, a house with a feather bed for each of us....

I don't know how many people are angry that we, as Americans, didn't stay the path towards energy efficiency started in the 1970's.I hope a critical mass of Americans will get there, but not beg for handouts. We can take advantage of the current energy crisis by implementing a national energy plan with highly focused individual tax breaks here and there to build the alternative energy infrastructure for moving homes and small businesses off the grid.

It is my contention that there will be a negligible effect on current energy producers. It won't even make a jot of difference in the short term price of oil. Relieving the burden on the nation's electrical grid should, over time, keep things from getting worse, and the individual consumer will receive a direct benefit. It would also protect the entire country from the possibility of bringing our infrastructure to its knees in one fell swoop.

Plus, what the media in our country don't tell you is that there is a massive, unknown quantity of oil, in the United States, that was abandoned by the large oil companies. Currently, the small producers are working feverishly to pick up the slack.

The corporations cover all their bases, so, it seems logical that they also will continue to scare Americans by telling that we need new reservoirs of petroleum (and strip mining for coal in the Rockies). They will continue to press for drilling rights in Arctic region of Alaska. The Congress and President may grant permission, even though we know it is not safe to drill there.

I don't know if it really matters what the Americans or Canadians do now, because the Russians already laid claim to the entire Arctic region and will try to drill in the Arctic ocean as soon as possible. The takeover of international waters could be the first major conflict on our Northern Borders.

As always, another major issue is the lack of refining capacity. Alcohol distilleries, for ethanol, are being built all over the United States, but not new oil refineries.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

RSS: Witchy Woman - Sometimes

Sometimes, I act in a witchy way. Yes, that is a play on words for the times I want to make a point, and the point is a complaint. Yes, a complaint...wwaaahaaahaaa...a bone to pick.

I have a bone to pick with bloggers who don't make their RSS feed easy to access. I have a bone to pick with bloggers who don't make their blog feeds accessible to a variety of feed readers. I have a bone to pick with the rss feed links that take me straight to My Yahoo! My Yahoo doesn't even know who they are right now, ooooh that is another witchy woman story.

Not only do I have a complaint about various rss feed faux paux, I wonder why they even bother? If you want people to subscribe to your blog, you should make the blog feed subscription links easy to use in as many reader formats as possible.

What do I want? What can make the witchy womany happy? Well, in a perfect world, there would be a little popup window or an icon that starts to flash faster (with a 10 second timer) on the blog guiding me click here to subscribe. Then the subscription will be sent directly to my reader, or I can request the reader I want to access for the subscription.

I am more likely to want to subscribe right away.....if I don't have to give my email address....If the blog is good, I will make time to comment...then the blogger will have my email address. Let's say hello and get to know each other before we show our personals.

Subscribing takes time, and I don't want to hunt around for the rss feed link. I know it's not a perfect world, and I have found some subscription methodologies that I do like. Wheuuw! Aren't I special? HAHAHA! Yes, today I am the Witchy Woman!

As a minimum fallback position, I want to have a noticeable rss feed icon, so I can easily copy the link location to paste in my feed reader. Not My Yahoo! They don't know who they are right now...oh yea! That's another story!

The best feed link I have seen is the type that gives me several feed reader options. I really like it when they include Pageflakes. If they don't, the link can usually be any other rss feed reader. Ahhhhhh!

I like this multiple option type of rss feed subscription setup so much that I have subscribed to blogs, just because of all these accoutrements.

BTW: These complaints apply to all other feed formats. The take away messages are: Is it easy to subscribe to your blog? Don't you want it to be an easy process?

MMMMhhhmmmm! While I am looking for the splinter in everyone else's proverbial blog eye, I guess I had better go check for any possible logs in my own blog subscription options, icons and opportunities. WWaaaaHHHaaaaHHHaaaaa!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Want a New OS! "One that Won't Keep Me Up All Night"

Microsoft Windows Updates have been the bane of my existence for years. It seems to me that everytime I update, I end up troubleshooting computer troubles that the update caused. I only update at certain times, because I want my complementary software to know about the Microsoft update before I download it on my computer. Then I get all other software updates to match it.

It seems that Microsoft, a computer software company, no longer believes in logic, LOL....IF THEY EVER DID...

These unauthorized sneak attacks on our computers represent the best example of malware I have seen in recent history. "Oh", you say, "Wait, Microsoft has written it into their service agreement that they can do that." I say Great! That just makes my logical reasoning easier to go opensource. This is a different world than it was in the last century, and I choose to follow another path. Logic dictates that I choose efficiency and effectiveness over a bloated brand name, so I need a new operating system.

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Thanks to Windows Secrets, we also know that Microsoft is playing the same trick on Vista systems. We've also found that even if you have Windows Update turned off, Microsoft will sneak these stealth "updates" onto your PC.

we know that Microsoft automatically updates Windows XP SP 2 systems without your knowledge or permission.

Doesn't sound likely? Then you're no systems administrator. Even publicly announced "patches" can blow up applications. Ask the users of Skype, the popular VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) program how they felt about the August 2007 Patch Tuesday update.

Here's the bottom line. I don't know, and I really don't even care why you're making these stealth changes. Get out of my machine and stay out.

And people wonder why I recommend desktop Linux over Windows!

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Thanks to Huey Lewis and the News for the effective expressions...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Google Evil Eye

Need vs Want; I guess that is the real ? to be answered by our use of the internet.
Thinking it would help, I used to be very cautious about what information I gave out, but that became irrelevant when Google, started putting my address, phone number and a map to my home in my Googled name search results in 2002.
"Fear is the mind killer!" F. Herbert
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Does the Big G know too much about us?
I have not kept a journal. Yet, like many people, I do have a place where I regularly confide my fears, insecurities, and dreams:
Google is always willing to listen—and to cough up details about high-school classmates.
Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty. Click image to expand.
Gmail exists in a murky privacy area.
Google servers "read" your e-mail to place the ads
Gmail may not be a protected communication in the same way that a letter sent through the postal service is
When I called Daniel Brandt, Google's most persistent and dedicated critic,
runs a site called Google Watch,
Brandt created a site called Scroogle, which allows you to query Google anonymously and returns search results without ads or other Google ad-ons.
So what? you might ask. Think back to the supposedly anonymous search logs released by AOL last year, which were quickly linked to individual users.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Dynamic Duo Captured on the Ocean

It's scary, yet elegant.
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Is it real or a conspiracy theory?

Use this video to teach critical thinking skills. It there a serious connection between the North American Union and the RFID chip, or are these the ideas of conspiracy theorists. An excellent opportunity to research the topics, so the students can compare/contrast the connection based on a world government or overactive imaginations of conspiracy theorists.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Come On Down! EDTech Blog Carnival arrived!

The 2nd Educational Technology Blog Carnival arrived, even better than the first. Best Practice, Emerging Technologies, Philosophy, and Research are covered, in exciting stories about humor, student experiences and new products. I was personally interested in the ComicLife, Smartboards vs. Tablets, and the growing innovation crisis in the USA

read more | digg story

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bill Nye Boo'd For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun

Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of idiot adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

read more | digg story

We have been talking about this article at Clipmarks! Thanks so much to bloggers, diggers and clippers for telling this story to a wider audience. If you read this, please pass it on.

I wonder what those people would have done if Bill had told them about the Marsdial, the sundial sent on the Mars lander with a web cam so kids on earth could compare and contrast the Mars time with the Earth time?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tattoos BANNED in OK City

OKC police determined that the tattooed fish, along with several thousand dollars worth of other artificially colored fish in his store, violated a city ordinance. Officers confiscated and euthanized the fish.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Checking the Weather

It is easy to check the weather from your own computer. Each morning, I access and receive an entire specific forecast for my town. Since the forecast contains information directly provided by the National Weather Service, I trust these meteorologists completely. Especially since, the National Weather Service gives the same information to all the radio and television forecasters. Once you access this site, you can see the most up-to-date Doppler radar, satellite imaging and other important information about your area....or anywhere in the 50 states.

Using this website is a most valuable lifehack.

Try out this excellent bit of technology. I am including a screenshot of the current webpage from for Wichita, KS.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Another Science Blog, A Wired Science Correlation

I saw this excerpt on Twitter, and I thought you might be interested in a new show on PBS...Wired Science
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This is the true story...of eight strangers...picked to share a new science together, and have their research and interests find out what happens when scientists and media experts stop being esoteric...and start getting real...CORRELATIONS.


Correlations World Premiere October 3rd! Stay Tuned...

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