Colorado Springs – It’s finally here: Sugar Rush for Kids. Halloween marks the annual rite of passage in which kids, gearing up for lives as future obese and beached whales, will pander to neighbors around the country in hopes for a quick and instant fix. Parents meanwhile, will be dreading the incessant tummy-aches that always seems to follow trick-or-treaters home.

Well, it’s not all bad news, you know? It is Halloween, a time for kids to be kids. Let them dress up and be their favorite super hero. Let them use their imagination and determine what Jack looked like as he climbed the famous and fictional greenstalk. Whatever we do, let’s allow children to enjoy being a child, free to explore the wonders of a holiday that rivals those found in Columbia where drug lords rain white powder during celebratory festivals.

So, have yourself a great and safe Halloween. And most of all, let Halloween be for kids.

Be good .. or be good at it.

:)

Paotie

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Posted at 11:15 PM under Daily Crumblings

Colorado Springs – I received a couple emails yesterday from a friend in New Mexico, pleading for people to protect the environment. I got the impression that my Deaf friend had suddenly understood the light that is clouded by pollution around the world. It was his newfound passion dripping through in his many emails about the environment and what’s being done (or not) to save our Earth that compelled me to write about greenwashing.

At first, I wanted to email my Deaf friend back and explain to him that not everything is what it seems. Ethanol, many Americans seem to think, is a cure-all to our country’s dependence on oil. That may seem logical to think, but what many people don’t understand is the fact that ethanol producers tend to grow corn, and of all the crops currently utilized for production of biofuels, corn generally encourages more pollution (think of all the fertilizer that farmers require; think of the water resources needed to grow corn; think of all the gas/diesel that tractors require; and all that to make what is essentially moonshine.)

I suspect my Deaf friend is somewhat late to the environmentalism aspect of our society, but people are slowly starting to understand the consequences of many corporations’ efforts at trying to promote “green” products/services or approaches that end up contributing to pollution – still. In Aspen, the environmental engineer there had this to say about the Aspen Ski Area’s attempt at being increasingly”green” in it’s marketing and operational focuses:

“Who are we kidding?” he says. Despite all his exertions, the resort’s greenhouse-gas emissions continue to creep up year after year. More vacationers mean larger lodgings burning more power. Warmer winters require tons of additional artificial snow, another energy drain. “I’ve succeeded in doing a lot of sexy projects yet utterly failed in what I set out to do,” he said. “How do you really green your company? It’s almost f—— impossible.”

Greenwashing

For many of us long involved in environmental and corporate issues, we’ve long known the hypocrisy of ethanol production in terms of environmental pollution. What many others in the general public, including my Deaf friend, seem to not be aware of is the term, “greenwash.” Greenwash is simply the marketing efforts of a corporation aimed at promoting allocation of significantly more money or time spent advertising being green (environmentally friendly), when in fact, the corporation acts in the opposite way.

In fact, one critic has stated that ethanol production will do more harm to the environment than good, and yet, many Americans jumped on the ethanol bandwagon without understanding the consequences of ethanol production. Corn farmers and other ethanol producers have been loudly proclaiming the biofuel as a healthy alternative to fossil fuels, such as oil and gasoline – in otherwords, they are engaging in greenwashing Americans into believing ethanol is the one of the better alternatives to fossil fuels.

Today’s modern corporation is focused on selling and marketing itself as an environmentally-friendly organization that consumers can buy products that they believe will help the environment. Sadly, the stark truth remains that few corporations exist that are completely green from top to bottom simply because of the nature of being in business (it’s virtually impossible to make a profit while protecting the environment completely). Greenwashing has prevented many Americans from understanding fully how and why renewable fuels are currently so difficult and expensive to produce, and yet many continue to jump on the ethanol bandwagon in misguided attempts at protecting our Earth.

Algae as a biofuel

I bet you didn’t even know that algae may be one of the better alternatives to both ethanol and fossil fuels. That’s right – algae. Studies demonstrating algae production reflect the fact that algae is far easier to grow than corn (for ethanol production) and without as much environmental waste and damage. Factories in Arizona and New Mexico are beginning to use algae to trap and consume carbon dioxide emissions from plants to create biofuels from algae.

So, why haven’t we heard more about algae? Well, probably because most of the special interest groups that exist and circulate around environmental issues are funded by ethanol producers (such as corn growers), as well as biofuel distributors. As algae is further refined, other alternative fuels may also become available without the high costs passed onto the environment.

The next time you see a corporation advertise itself as “eco-friendly,” or a “green” corporation, it may be worth your time to dig deeper to make sure that greenwashing isn’t taking place. Don’t be fooled by all those marketing gimmicks out there – for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction, especially in the environment.

If you really want to help preserve the environment, then it may include a greater understanding of the costs and consequences of many of the proposed alternatives to fossil fuels. I won’t be rushing to pump ethanol into my truck anytime soon, and instead, will eagerly await how the algae plants may help solve at least a portion of our energy problems here in the United States.

And by the way, you should know that in Brazil, they produce biofuels using sugar cane. Sounds good until you begin considering the rain forests have a new threat to their existence: alternative fuel producers (sugar cane growers). Imagine creating alternative fuels that promote poverty in Brazil – all in the name of greenwashing.

Finally, to my Deaf friend in New Mexico – you’re on the right track. Keep digging and learning as much as you can to be an informed and educated consumer. Don’t fall victim to greenwashing attempts by major corporations who pretend to be eco-friendly and add to the pollution of the world. We can save our Earth, but only through diligence, knowledge and an understanding that the drive to find renewable fuels that do not harm the Earth will be a long-term and on-going process.

Have a great Tuesday.

:)

Paotie

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Posted at 11:15 PM under Crumblings of Stuffs

Colorado Springs – I saw a murder yesterday and didn’t even realize it. I had been tinkering with my truck outside when I saw a group of black figures circling down the street from me. The visual noise in my brain gave me a series of squawks emanating from the group itself, and I flippantly waved them off with a greased hand.

Of course I didn’t call the police. If I had known it was a murder, then I would’ve reported it immediately, but it wasn’t a murder, really. It was just a murder of crows that I saw. The term itself isn’t so much a scientific description as it is a literary description, so you won’t see nerds standing in fields with binoculars stating to one another, “Ahh .. yes, I see the murder. Quite a nice murder, too. Healthy, strong numbers in the murder. And they made that stupid TV show, Murder, She Wrote, too. Oh look! I see another murder coming in from the south!”

Anyway, bad jokes aside, let’s get you started on a good week this Monday morning. So, where ever you are at work, you can give out odd facts and weird bits of news to keep the day moving along steadily. And if boredom strikes you, head for the nearest exit or window and try to find a murder if you can. If someone asks what you’re doing, just say, “I’m thinking about a murder.”

Or maybe you shouldn’t.

Anyway, this week’s Monday Morning Weirdness:

In Japan, groping is a national problem, so much so that Japanese women are flashing on their cell phones a popular program designed to ward off wandering hands in Japan’s congested commuter trains. “Anti-Groping Appli” by games developer Takahashi was released in late 2005 but has only recently climbed up popularity rankings, reaching No. 7 in this week’s top-10 cell phone applications list compiled by Web-based publisher Spicy Soft Corp.

The application flashes increasingly threatening messages in bold print on the phone’s screen to show to the offender: “Excuse me, did you just grope me?” “Groping is a crime,” and finally, “Shall we head to the police?” Users press an “Anger” icon in the program to progress to the next threat. A warning chime accompanies the messages.

  • Paotie’s PostScript: Bukkake ain’t no Sara Lee product, okay? The Japanese are simply weird.

At a BBQ in Tennessee, a man demonstrated the ultimate gluttony of hamburgers when he shoved 103 hamburgers down his throat in 8 minutes. No, it wasn’t your rude brother-in-law, who only appears when free food is served (a bit like me), that was in a hurry to get to the next all-you-can-eat BBQ at another relative’s house; it was Joey Chestnut, 23, who won the $10,000 Krystal Hamburger Eating Championship earlier this weekend. Each of the hamburgers were 2.5 inches square.

  • Paotie’s PostScript: An amazing feat unto itself. I can’t and won’t speculate about the aftermath of all that gluttony (what goes in must come out), but the curious thing about Chestnut is that he was “sidelined” from competitive engorging because of lingering jaw pain after having a wisdom tooth extracted in June. Good to see people come off the disabled list and perform their “A-games,”; that’s a lot of hamburgers, man – 103. I think I’ll skip Wendy’s for a while.

Producers of television soap operas and Spanish novellas would do well to listen to Englishwoman Elaine Morgan, who has a novel idea to explain her nakedness at the home of another man (read: not her husband). Mrs. Morgan apparently was visiting the home of Stephen Clarke and become quite worried about soiling her dress at Mr. Clarke’s abode, and innocently changed into nothing but a towel. Her husband, Anthony – 70 and quite the famous pub owner in town – walked in and discovered his wife frolicking around semi-nude.

Mr. Morgan then proceeded to bash the heads of both his wife and Mr. Clarke with a cricket stick and broke her nose. The couple who have been together for 21 years, have no hopes for reconciliation. Still, Mr. Morgan, who pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and had his sentence of 9-months in jail suspended for a year, was commended by the judge who said:

“You clearly run a good pub. Everyone says so.”

  • Paotie’s PostScript: Is this a sign of the times: a “Jerry Springer” for geriatrics?

A man in Cedar Rapids, Iowa was arrested after a government agent allegedly found him in an office building restroom lying next to an inflatable, anatomically correct doll with his pants down. Craig S. McCullough, 47, was charged Wednesday with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.

McCullough’s criminal record includes a 2004 conviction for burglarizing Just For Me bridal boutique. Shortly after the burglary, police officers found McCullough in a nearby alley, carrying a mannequin while wearing a bridal dress. The criminal complaint against McCullough says he was discovered in the public restroom by an agent for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, which is one of the federal agencies that rents space in the Hach office building where McCullough was found.

  • Paotie’s PostScript: Uhhh .. you know, those rules against inter-office dating are there for a reason, right? Certainly, this was not a victimless crime after all – think about the embarrassment the doll (and all other dolls across the country) has to endure now! The inhumanity of it all ..

In Naples, Florida, a mother of a 13-year-old literally and figuratively found a way to prevent her daughter from having sex: she had her daughter’s genitalia pierced to make it uncomfortable for her to have sex. The 39-year-old mother, whose name is being withheld to protect her daughter’s identity, could have faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted of aggravated child abuse charges.

The girl, now 16, had testified that her mother asked a friend in 2004 to shave the girl’s head to make her unattractive to boys and later held her down for the piercing. A jury deliberated for about three hours before deciding the mother’s actions didn’t involve punishment or malicious intent, or cause permanent damage or disfigurement and acquitted the mother.

  • Paotie’s PostScript: Some parents are stupid. What’s next? Nipple-piercings with iron bars running horizontally from bewbie to bewbie to keep the boys “off-limits?” What about lesbians, man – they have rights, too!

So, there you have it – a bit of the weird and stupid thrown in together.

Whether you’re a brother
Or whether you’re a mother,
You’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Feel the city breakin’
And ev’rybody shakin’
And we’re stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin’ alive.
Stayin’ alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha,
Stayin’ aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive.

*does the disco dance*

Sorry for digressing. I hope you have a fantastic week and the days at work pass by quickly for all of us. And watch out for them murder of crows – you never know what they’re really up to.

Be good .. or be good at it.

:)

Paotie

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Posted at 11:15 PM under Daily Crumblings