Lehman Brothers Employees Protest

Outraged by the greed and excesses of management that led to the downfall of their employer, Lehman Brothers employees protest by blockading the entrance to the company headquarters.

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Posted in Business, Economy | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Social Networks are Killing Porn

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, writes in his new book Click: What Millions of People are Doing Online and Why It Matters that surfing for porn has dropped to about 10% of searches from 20% a decade ago, particularly among the 18-24 age group, only to be replaced by social networking sites. At first glance, this seems like great news—instead of the anti-social activity of sitting alone in front of a monitor masturbating, kids are being more social. That’s until you remember a couple things about social networking sites.

  • You’re still sitting alone in front of a monitor. Being social requires other people being present otherwise it’s called corresponding.
  • Instead of performances from paid “actors”, sites like MySpace provide the perhaps more titillating experience of “real people” with whom you can flirt and swap photos. If you want online sex you can get it from social networking as much as from porn. It’s still about sex. Alone.

Are we seeing a change in behavior? Not really, just a change in tastes. Money is being shifted away from porn to the more palatable social networking, yet our anti-social habits remain the same.

Tancer has more good news. America’s obsession with celebrities and image hasn’t slowed down a bit. Celebrity websites garner more attention than sites devoted to religion, politics, well-being and diets combined—with no sign that this is waning. In fact, web-surfers were far more interested in searching for images of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin than for information on her policies.

Voyeurism is still king, not matter how it’s packaged.

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Posted in Entertainment, Society | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The 2008 Dollar

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Posted in Business, Politics | Tagged | Leave a comment

Texas and Brown Gold

Greed and deregulation has sent the US economy into the toilet. The sooner we accept it, the sooner we can use it to start making some money! That’s exactly what San Antonio, Texas is doing. A state that struck it rich with Black Gold is doing it again, but this time with what they are affectionately calling biosolids, or as I like to call it, Brown Gold.

San Antonio will harvest methane gas from the 140,000 tons of human waste that its residents produce per year and turn it into clean-burning natural gas. Does gas get any more natural? Getting methane from human waste isn’t new, but San Antonio plans to use 90% of its human waste which makes it the first large scale project of its kind. They already use the solid waste for composting and the liquid waste for irrigation, this is the next logical step in a state that uses every part of the pig.

Speaking of pigs, I hear only two things come from Texas, and one them is steers. With all the cow and pig farms in Texas, you’d think animal waste would be a more logical step.

Did you see that? I just used logical and Texas in the same sentence. Yeeha!

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Posted in Energy, Science | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Disney, Hockey, Putin, and the Ice President

A brilliant parody of what Disney’s take on Sarah Palin would be:

And then there is this CBS version:

I’m really not sure which one is more frightening absurd!

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Posted in Entertainment, Politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Now Seeking Qualified Candidates

The US Legislative Branch is now seeking qualified candidates to apply for representative positions. Since April 1, 1789, the USLB has been working to advance the goals of its stakeholders. Responsibilities include:

  1. Toeing the party line - balance not required
  2. Caving to special interests - candidates who fear the dark and bats need not apply
  3. Pandering to the base - the base can be reached by following the party line, see item #1
  4. Crafting budgets - the craftier the better
  5. Earmarking - actual handling of livestock not required, unless you shoot them yourself
  6. Determining the use of force - this is more of a ceremonial task

Qualifications include being 25 years of age for district representatives and 30 years for state representatives. You must be a US citizen for at least the past seven years—nine for state, and you must currently live in the state you will serve. No other qualifications required or needed. Compensation is officially $169,300 per year; however, you may be eligible for additional “bonuses” depending upon your legislative success.

Candidates will be notified on November 5th, 2008 if they have been selected, provided there are no frivolous lawsuits regarding the selection process. The USLB is looking to fill 435 district positions, and 35 state positions. Previous or seated representatives need not apply.

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Posted in Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A CEO Disgraced

It became publicly known with Kenneth Lay upon the collapse of Enron, passed through Carly Fiorina of HP after a 50% drop in revenue and the layoff of 20,000 people, and most recently was unjustly denied to Daniel Mudd and Richard Syron of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. CEO’s have a self-evident right to award themselves tens of millions of dollars, even as the companies they lead are swirling around the porcelain. It’s in The US Constitution. It’s the American way. They work hard. The failure is always someone else’s fault and they should not have to suffer for it.

That’s why AIG former CEO Robert Willumstad is such a disgrace. AIG is on the verge of collapse, but will survive due to an $85 billion bailout from you, the taxpayer, by way of the Federal Reserve. Large corporations are what make this country great, and therefore it’s only fitting that we save this great national resource, much in the same way we would save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) from oil drilling. We’re still doing that right?

But ex-CEO Robert Willumstad is spitting in the face of American capitalism. He has rejected a $22 million severance payment from AIG and in doing so has disrespected shat upon every American who aspires to the kind of wealth a CEO is entitled to have. Shame on you Robert Willumstad. Shame.

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Posted in Business, Justice | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

100 Calories Too Many

There is no better example of an American industry that excels in mediocrity, than the junk food industry. Okay, that’s probably an overstatement considering the fast food and entertainment industries. And how could I forget porn?! But back to junk food. I mean, this is the industry that gave us diarrhea Olean!

Fighting increased awareness about their contribution to obesity and the diseases that come with it, junk food marketers have found a way to pretend that their food is actually good for your diet. You’ve probably seen the 100 calorie packs for cookies, crackers, chips and other goodies and thought, well, I can have that, it’s only 100 calories! It’s all about portion control, right? This is my lucky day!

Well, no. It’s not. Studies show that the perception that you’ll eat less because of smaller packaging is false. You’ll eat more, because the guilt is gone. The end result is that you consume more, they sell more, and everybody feels good about it. That, my friends, is the taste of genius.

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Posted in Health | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Meat or Potatoes, Not Both

Meatloaf and mashed potatoes, burgers and fries, corned beef and hash, steak and scalloped potatoes, and the list goes on. While all of these are delicious (to those who aren’t vegetarianists) there is one main reason not to eat them. Beef. Don’t get me wrong, I like beef. Cows are very cute and they are wonderful producers of methane gas milk for dairy products. And there’s no denying cows are delicious, but they are horrible resource hogs. (Hogs, get it?)

The San Diego Natural History Museum is currently exhibiting Water: H2O=Life and had a couple of interesting facts:

  1. Only 3% of the water on Earth is freshwater, and only 1% is available for use by life on the planet’s surface. The rest of the freshwater is hidden underground, or frozen.
  2. This is the amount of freshwater it takes to grow:
    • 1 lb. potato - 60 gallons
    • 1 lb. rice - 200 gallons
    • 1 lb. beef - 8,000 gallons

In 2007 The US consumed 28.1 billion pounds of beef. That’s 224 trillion gallons of water for 93.6 pounds of beef per person per year at a population of 300 million (that includes babies and people who don’t eat beef, so really, it’s more that that per beef eater). If you assume that you eat 1/4 pound of beef per meal, that’s 374 meals a year. If you ate potatoes instead, you could have had 49,920 meals for the same amount of water. Potatoes are just an example, there are other vegetables, you know. Same goes for cows and other meats.

Freshwater is scarce and is far more necessary to life than oil. Look at the wars fought over oil, just imagine the wars that will be fought over freshwater. Desert areas like the Middle-East and Africa are already arguing over water rights, imagine when those volatile areas become desperate. Do you really need to eat that much beef? Who, ultimately, will really be the one to get slaughtered for that burger.

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Posted in Environment | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Big Mac over KFC 23,000 to 0

Don Gorske of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin has eaten 23,000 Big Macs since May 17th, 1972 - that’s about 1.75 a day, every day (except the day his mother died, per her request) over 36 years. Don says that it’s the highlight of his day, since he loves them so much. What even more astonishing is that he’s 54-years-old and still alive.

Apparently Don hasn’t tried Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe, a recipe so secret, that KFC is completely revamping the security on the recipe that only two company executives have access to it at any given time, and no one knows who they are. Apparently, having it locked in a cabinet with two locks, behind a door with three locks, all inside a vault, wasn’t enough. Still, if that’s all you’ve got going and it’s making you $5.3 billion a year, then by all means - beef up security.

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Posted in Business, Health | Tagged , | Leave a comment