Archive for 2008-04

Jim Kunstler Interview

02008-04-30 @ 18:04

Jim Kunstler Interview in Business Week : TreeHugger
Business Week has a good interview with Jim Kunstler for those who are not familiar with his work. A typical question:

Why is suburbia now threatened?
Cheap oil is what made suburbia possible. But we’ll run into problems with spot shortages. As we get into trouble with these supplies, our economy will suffer. Major instabilities in the system will present themselves much sooner than we are led to believe. And by that I mean the way we produce food, the way we conduct commerce, and the way we move around.

When will all that happen?
The rise and fall of oil production is asymmetrical. In other words, it’ll be a steeper, rockier tumble down than the steady increase going up. My own sense of things is that we will be in very serious trouble inside of five years.

Continue reading in Business Week

Kunstler on Colbert:

There is also this funny and informative TED talk, given by Kunstler in 2004, which I mentioned before.

What really goes on…

02008-04-30 @ 17:04

TED | Talks | Brian Cox: What really goes on at the Large Hadron Collider (video)
“Rock star physicist” Brian Cox talks about his work on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Discussing the biggest of big science in an engaging, accessible way, Cox brings us along on a tour of the massive complex and describes his part in it – and the vital role it’s going to play in understanding our universe.

Human Progress

02008-04-30 @ 12:04

Long Views » Blog Archive » Niall Ferguson & Peter Schwartz, “Historian vs. Futurist on Human Progress”
Questions from the audience ended with one asking whether optimism or pessimism was a more useful way to think about the future. Schwartz said, “Optimism lets you imagine how you can overcome problems, and those possibilities motivate change.” Ferguson said, “You must always focus on worst-case scenarios, and history will teach them to you.”

Sounds like a fascinating seminar. Looking forward to the video.

Designers Accord

02008-04-29 @ 19:04

The Designers Accord
The Designers Accord envisions a creative community where the principles of sustainable design are seamlessly integrated into all practice and production.

Albert Hofman

02008-04-29 @ 15:04

This is my second post about a centenarian in 24 hours.

Albert Hofmann, LSD inventor, RIP (SEEMS SO) – Boing Boing
Albert Hofmann, who first synthesized Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), has passed away. He was 102 years-old.

So Long and Thanks for All the Trips | Slog | The Stranger | Seattle’s Only Newspaper

Just Really Drunk

02008-04-29 @ 12:04

Sorry, Absinthe Trippers: Scientists Say You’re Just Really Drunk | Wired Science from
The long-cherished idea that absinthe, an anise-flavored alcoholic beverage with a history of use by artists like Van Gogh and Picasso, is or ever was hallucinogenic might have met its death by data today.

German scientists put old bottles of the substance to the test and found that the liquid is 70 percent alcohol (140 proof) and 0 percent hallucination.

Continue reading…

Yesterday’s dinner

02008-04-29 @ 06:04

Making Fettuccine - 3
Home-made fettuccine on a drying rack.

Three Years Ago – 2005

02008-04-29 @ 06:04


Two weeks ago I made a post called Perfect Shave, which I had picked up from that morning. It referenced this piece on MSNBC. Well, the article made a lot of sense to me and I ordered some of the items that were recommended: the Merkur Hefty Classic double-edge safety razor, a DOVO Travel Brush, and the Proraso shaving cream – the web site for the shaving cream sucks, but go here and select Proraso from the list on the left. I spent a little more on the brush than necessary, but what can I say, I wanted something to travel with, and brushed steel does it for me…

The shaving cream is fantastic and so is the brush. It is astounding how much water a good brush can hold!

I like the razor as well, but I will like it even more once I master it. The first shave was a bit of a blood bath, on the second occasion I sliced through a little bump on my chin, which had been there for decades and should have been remembered. Today there were no gashes, just a few minor slices, which means I am making progress. A lot of it has to do with undoing years of bad habits like pushing down hard on a disposable, whereas you have to handle this razor lightly, very lightly, and show it the respect this little weapon deserves…

All in all it feels like one of those great manly rituals, right up there with properly removing a champagne cork… I never learned shaving like this from my dad, because he and grandpa loved their Braun electric razors. But he taught me how to uncork any bottle without spillage!!

To sum it up: I am sold on this way of shaving. My skin gets less irritated and feels much better afterwards, and I especially like the fact that shaving has changed into an art rather than a chore.

Zeisel @ 101

02008-04-28 @ 20:04

Metropolis Magazine Has A Blog | Metropolis POV
If it seems like Eva Zeisel has been getting a lot of publicity lately, well, it’s no wonder. The legendary designer has continued to produce her signature curvy ceramics while hitting a string of milestone birthdays (she turned 101 last November), a combination that, obviously, no journalist can resist.
(Via Beyond the Beyond – Wired Blogs)

It’s a Monday

02008-04-28 @ 08:04

Reading: Assassin’s Cloak

You are having a monday… people are getting you down. You are not alone, my friend. Check out this diary entry by Noël Coward from 1958:

It is hard to imagine, considering the inherent silliness, cruelty and superstition of the human race, how it has contrived to last as long as it has. The witch-hunting, the torturing, the gullibility, the massacres, the intolerance, the wild futility of human behavior over the centuries is hardly credible. And laws, as they stand today, are almost always inconceivably stupid.

Doesn’t it seem as fresh and appropriate today, 50 years later? :)

Paper or Plastic?

02008-04-28 @ 07:04

Re: Paper or Plastic? Neither!

In anticipation of the plastic shopping bag tax here in Seattle, I just bought two re-usable bags from ChicoBag for our household use. The plastic shopping bags tax is still a proposal, but I’m looking forward to its approval and implementation next year. So I might as well change my habits early.

Why am I confident that the proposal will pass here in the Emerald City?

First, there’s already a successful precedent in Ireland.


tax on plastic shopping bags in the Republic of Ireland has cut their

use by more than 90% and raised millions of euros in revenue, the

government says.”[see Irish bag tax hailed success]

Second, we’re so addicted to plastic bags that we don’t notice it anymore. So here’s artist/photographer Chris Jordan reminding us of our plastic bags consumption.

And third, if China is doing it, what’s our excuse?

(Via ~C4Chaos)

Twitter Updates for 2008-04-27

02008-04-27 @ 23:04
  • Took a walk in town and then made fresh fettuccine for tonight. #

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An Appeal

02008-04-27 @ 12:04

An Appeal To All Chinese Spiritual Brothers And Sisters
The Chinese and the Tibetan people share common spiritual heritage in Mahayana Buddhism. We worship the Buddha of Compassion – Guan Yin in the Chinese tradition and Chenrezig in Tibetan tradition – and cherish compassion for all suffering beings as one of the highest spiritual ideals. Furthermore, since Buddhism flourished in China before it came to Tibet from India, I have always viewed the Chinese Buddhists with the reverence due to senior spiritual brothers and sisters.

Continue reading

Twitter Updates for 2008-04-26

02008-04-26 @ 23:04
  • Watching ‘Blade Runner’ – Final Cut. #

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Peak Water

02008-04-25 @ 12:04

Peak Water: Aquifers and Rivers Are Running Dry. How Three Regions Are Coping
Water has been a serious issue in the developing world for so long that dire reports of shortages in Cairo or Karachi barely register. But the scarcity of freshwater is no longer a problem restricted to poor countries. Shortages are reaching crisis proportions in even the most highly developed regions, and they’re quickly becoming commonplace in our own backyard, from the bleached-white bathtub ring around the Southwest’s half-empty Lake Mead to the parched state of Georgia, where the governor prays for rain. Crops are collapsing, groundwater is disappearing, rivers are failing to reach the sea. Call it peak water, the point at which the renewable supply is forever outstripped by unquenchable demand.

More people = less water. Simple really. Nobody wants to notice the elephant in the room, the one with the words population control on its side. 20 billion humans are forecast for the end of this century, with a billion in the USA.

Music History

02008-04-25 @ 11:04

The history of the Amen Break from 1969.
Related: Diary


02008-04-25 @ 11:04

Gas $7 Per Gallon in Four Years

02008-04-25 @ 11:04

Gas $7 Per Gallon in Four Years : TreeHugger
Time to buy a bike: Gasoline prices in North America will soar over the next four years to $7.00, causing a massive jolt to the continent’s manufacturing base not seen since the oil shocks of the 1970s, a leading economist is warning. Jeff Rubin of CIBC World Markets was laughed at three years ago when he predicted $ 100 per barrel oil, and now thinks it will climb to $225 in four years. (Houston Chronicle quotes him as saying gas will cost $10 per gallon)

I can’t find the source right now, but I read that the federal government supports roadway building and improvement to the tune of 40 Billion dollars while railway receives less than 2 Billion. Don’t you think it would be smart to change that balance? We need better railways and mass transit and bike paths.

China Offers to Meet With Dalai Lama Envoys

02008-04-25 @ 11:04

In Shift, China Offers to Meet With Dalai Lama Envoys – New York Times
BEIJING — China appeared to bend to international pressure on Friday as the government announced it would meet with envoys of the Dalai Lama, an unexpected shift that comes as Tibetan unrest in western China has threatened to cast a pall over the Beijing Olympics in August.

Crash Bonsai

02008-04-25 @ 07:04


(Via Ektopia)


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