Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: 8-Bit, Dr Horrible, felicia day, nerd-cool, NPH | No Comments »
It’s been posted nearly everywhere on the web already, so why not here, too. Feast your eyes on the genius that is the 8-Bit version of Dr. Horrible: Act 1.
(Of course, you’ve already seen the original Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, right?)
This is just what we needed to celebrate the official announcement that Dr. Horrible 2 is coming soon. NPH + Whedon FTW.
Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: blog challenge, commute, graph, green, transit, urbanism | No Comments »
The graph above comes courtesy of Transportation for America’s recent comprehensive survey. Of course, I’ve been writing quite a bit this month about our road systems, urban living, and the effects commuting can have on our lives, and according to T4A, it looks like the vast majority of Americans can at least agree on one solution: better mass transit.
Of course, when you say “mass transit” a lot of people in our part of the country think about dirty buses with smelly hobos urinating on the seats and/or trying to karate-chop you.
The reality, though, is that mass transit is whatever we fund it to become. As American’s, we’ve been fed the “lure of the open road” and “the ultimate driving experience” in 30-second highlight clips for decades. We could all probably name some features that we consider “must-haves” in an automobile we were looking to purchase (power windows, sun-roof, cruise-control, seat warmer, cocktail mixer, etc), but how long would you have to think to come up with a list of must-have features for mass-transit?
The charts above and below show that a lot of people agree that mass transit is a good idea, especially if we put our tax dollars to fund it. I don’t know the math behind federal funding for mass transit, but I’m sure it could benefit from some of the programs being used for endless highway build-outs.
More than four-in-five voters (82 percent) say that “the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system, such as rail and buses” and a solid majority (56 percent) “strongly agree” with that statement. This is a widely held view with overwhelming majorities of voters in every region of the country and in every type of community. Fully 79 percent of rural voters agreed with the statement, despite much lower use of public transportation compared to Americans in urban areas.
When asked about reducing traffic congestion, three-in-five voters choose improving public transportation and making it easier to walk and bike over building more roads and expanding existing roads (59% to 38%). [...]
These same respondents would prefer to almost double the allocation to public transportation, saying that 37 cents of every federal transportation dollar is what they think should be the norm. Fully 59% of the electorate cite some amount that is greater than what the federal government currently spends (18 cents or greater). (source)
Think about it, we’ve debated health-care and lack of insurance and how hard it is for working class Americans to get the things they need in life over-and-over-again for the last year. Here’s a solution that can attack a basic factor in the problem: Make it easier for someone to get to work/school, and they can use it to get to a better place in life. Instead of addressing the symptoms, let’s attack the disease.
(This is Day 16 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, be sure to check out the other participants at #30DayBC)
Posted: April 8th, 2010 | Author: Ryan | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: good idea, green | No Comments »
A new “all natural” cigarette, sporting filters packed with flower seeds so it can be either composted or literally planted to grow plants, hopes to counter the harmful effect cigarettes have on the environment.
I don’t smoke cigarettes, but having grown up with parents who do smoke, I can appreciate how much bulk those little filters can become in the long run. Sort of imagine if I had to roll up a piece of paper everyday, several times a day, and then flung it out over the yard, street, park, etc, when I was done holding it. So when I read this article, I thought it was pretty cool to at least see someone being constructive about the solution, instead of the usual “stop smoking stop smoking stop smoking” line, since that’s gotten us so far.
EcoRI writes, “Smoking-related materials represented more than 30 percent of what was collected and disposed of by teams worldwide in 2008, according to the Ocean Conservancy’s 2009 International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) report. The numbers are staggering. Globally, in 2008, ICC teams collected 3,216,991 cigarette filters on beaches and along coastlines and waterways. That number represented a whopping 28 percent, by weight, of all collected debris. Plastic bags ranked No. 2 at 12 percent.”
So clearly cigarette butts are a HUGE issue for our planet if they were able to over-take plastic bags in terms of volume of litter. Plus, keeping toxic trash out of the ocean is always a boon. It does however, look like they should take this product one step further:
Perhaps Greenbutts should have embedded tree seeds – after all, around 600 million trees are destroyed every year just to provide fuel to dry tobacco, equating to about one tree killed per 300 cigarettes. Globally, tobacco curing requires 11.4 million tons of solid wood each year. Seems butts should be turned back into trees at every opportunity.