Saturday, December 22, 2007
For the latest rain year data, see the California Nevada River Forecast Center page for data for the most recent two years. Or data for the past 6-24 hours.
Some thoughts on water policy.
[LA] Mayor Villarairgosa called for voluntary water conservation, but only if it does not involve sacrifice or inconvenience for anyone. I suggested to Mark that we let our small patch of lawn in the front yard go brown in anticipation of replacing it with EasyTurf like in the backyard. Mark was adamant that we will not do any more conservation of any sort because we will be punished again.
(Remember Stick that Up Your Light Socket? We conserved electricity in 2000 so we weren't eligible for $ credit in 2001 when people were rewarded based upon how much they reduced their electricity usage between 2000 and 2001.)
If we conserve water now, we will be punished again when water rationing is implemented for real. They are suggesting baseline water allotments based on historical use. If you used more in the past, you will be given a higher allotment. There will likely be an appeal process, which will be as inconvenient as possible to discourage people from using it. Unlike Brent, I object to being put through administrative hoops to get a reasonable water allotment. (I am busy enough.)
It will be galling to watch profligate water wasters be given a higher allotment because they "need" more, based upon prior history. Consumers do learn--the wrong lessons. Perhaps we should fill our jacuzzi tub for nightly bubble baths for everyone to establish that we have a "need" for huge amounts of water. Or maybe I will wash our cars in the driveway twice a week.
Los Angeles Rainfall
California and Nevada Precipitation Data both real-time and archival long-term history
Friday, December 21, 2007
We like blue/purple in our household. We also like green, both figuratively and literally. Sadly, another NYT article, Flash in the Can, says that green (as in eco) is so over. That's the problem with fashion. It's in, it's out; but the earth still pays for our sins.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
I posted instructions a long time ago, on my sister's blog. See the
picture of Iris in this scarf.
I generally followed the directions given in the Sew News Threads of Distinction article. I also searched the web and read that some people had trouble removing the stabilizer completely or removing the residue from the basting spray. I decided to use plain old Solvy instead of the thicker Ultra Solvy. Sure enough, it dissolved fairly easily when swished around in a sink full of warm water and a little shampoo.
Further cruising seemed to indicate that the basting spray does not dissolve easily in water so I used it very lightly. I used the very minimal amount of spray that was still tacky enough to hold the fibers in place as I worked. Other people's blogs indicate that the brand of basting spray matters. I stayed away from the brand that people had trouble with and used the June Tailor basting spray as recommended by the Threads of Distinction article.
The ToD instructions say to spray both layers of Solvy. But, if you spray both layers of Solvy, then how do you put the top layer of Solvy on without getting a wrinkled mess? I enlisted the help of a friend and we still had trouble laying it on straight and wrinkle-free. For the second scarf, I sprayed only the bottom layer of Solvy with basting glue. I rolled the top layer of Solvy up and then carefully unrolled it over the fibers and bottom layer, starting at one scarf end and finishing at the other.
Machine stitching the grid can be rather tedious. If your sewing machine chews up metallic threads in the needle, try putting it in the bobbin instead. Rather than buying multi-colored embroidery thread, you can use up bits of leftover colors of sewing thread in multiple colors. Different colors of thread in the bobbin and needle produce an interesting twisted color effect.
- For a 9” wide scarf, buy enough yardage for the desired length of the scarf.
- For an 18” wide stole, buy double the length of the stole.
- Ribbon yarn
- 5 times the length of the scarf
- 8-10 times the length of the stole
- Bits of lightweight fabrics
- Small amounts of different yarns
- Try some fluffy eyelash and/or recycled silk yarn
- Sewing and embroidery thread in coordinating colors.
- Cut a piece of 19" wide Sulky Solvy to the length of your scarf.
- Cut it in half lengthwise to two 9.5" wide pieces.
- Roll one piece up and set it aside.
- Lay the other piece out on newspaper and spray enough June Tailor basting spray to make it tacky enough to hold your fibers down.
- Move the newspaper out of the way (so your fibers don't stick to the newspaper).
- Weight the tacky Solvy down with sewing weights at the corners to keep it taut.
- Lay ribbon or ribbon yarn around the perimeter of your scarf.
- Lay a few pieces of ribbon lengthwise to give it a bit more structure.
- Lay your other yarns, fibers, and fabric bits down in any way that appeals to you.
- Admire your work. Fill in sparse areas because you want the density of the scarf to be roughly even and balanced.
- Carefully unroll the remaining piece of Solvy over your fiber collage.
- Pin as necessary to keep the sandwich together.
- Sew with a medium straight stitch (~2.8 mm) around the perimeter of your piece.
- Sew a mesh (both lengthwise and crosswise) about ½ to ¾” apart.
- Admire your work. If there are areas where the grid is spaced too far apart, fill in the area with more stitching.
- Swish the piece in a sink full of warm water and a few drops of shampoo until the Solvy is completely dissolved. Rinse.
- Roll the piece up in a towel to blot the water out, and then air-dry.
- Admire your work.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
SAS sells odd lots of fabrics and trims left over from the fashion industry at generally low prices. I took a picture of the trims in the window.
I also took a picture of the zippers (mostly YKK w/ some Talon) before the manager told me that photography is not allowed in the store. Too bad, because the trim aisle is incredible, and incredibly cheap.
I found some elastic for 10 cents a yard, but I came home with a bit more than on my shopping list. Look at the cute penguin crepe de chine. At 99 cents/yard, I expected it to be polyester. The manager says that the piece was sold to them as silk. I thought it had to be very good quality polyester because it felt so much like real silk. At any rate, it would make a good lining. When I got it home and did a flame test, it really was silk. If you want some silk for 99 cents, they have a few other prints in the same barrel, to the right of the door. Maybe the one with basketballs swooshing through a hoop against a black background?
I bought some trims. The entire roll of cotton/rayon grosgrain (so soft) was $4.
I was also on the lookout for more of the snakeskin vinyl that we used as a tablecloth for the last 2 years. (See Stencils Before Dinner for a picture of the tablecloth.) It had finally worn through and ripped in several places. SAS had sold out of the natural/black color. They had purple/black and green/black for $2.99/yd, but they didn't look appetizing. Then I found the entire missing roll of natural/black at the Cotton Shop for $7.99/yd. Actually, I suspect that the Cotton Shop gets some of their fabrics and trims from SAS. I know some people feel too nervous to go to Lawndale to shop at SAS. But, then other people might feel nervous about coming to "felony flats".
I also bought some stuff at Artfibers during my San Francisco trip. The retail prices at the store are significantly higher than on their website. It occurred to me too late, that it would be cheaper and easier to order on-line. Pay the shipping and stop worrying about cramming stuff in my suitcase. But, if I ordered on-line, I wouldn't have seen the tweedy black color, which is so new, it isn't on-line yet. I am going to make Connie's Henley Perfected with the black Alfabeto (silk/superkid mohair/wool).
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Truth be told, Iris is not too happy about our upcoming trip to New Zealand. To get affordable (to us) airfares, we need to catch a red-eye leaving Los Angeles on December 23. Flying east, across the international dateline, we skip Christmas eve and land in Auckland on Christmas day. Iris is bereft.
How will Santa find Iris? No airplane we know has a chimney. I don't think he can come in through the jet engine exhaust; that sounds kind of dangerous. We will just have to hope that Santa's magic will overcome all obstacles.
(Never mind all that stuff about how you have to be good to get a visit from Santa.)
I have a sneaking suspicion she doesn't think Santa is real. Read The Santa Chronicles and The Santa Chronicles II. A smart kid would rightly guess that the minute she lets on that she doesn't believe in Santa, the presents stop. The real act isn't for the parents to pretend that Santa exists. It is for the child to convince the parents that she still believes. That said, Mark has asked Santa for a blu-ray player for Christmas.
All is not bah humbug at Chez Bad Mom. We have been counting down the days at NORAD Santa (website available in many languages). This year, you will have to download Google Earth in order to Track Santa. We did that. While waiting for the big event, the website has many games and puzzles for children.
NORAD is the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado Springs, a joint venture between the US and Canada. Since 1955, they have used radar and satellites to track Santa's journey around the world. The annual "video" footage is hilarious.
Lovely holiday cards and letters are arriving daily, adding to our sense of failure. I haven't even started my holiday shopping. Why can't more people call a gift moratorium?
Luckily, we are a multi-cultural family. My mother in law sends out our holiday cards before the Jewish New Year in the Autumn. My mother sends out her cards before the Lunar New Year in late winter. Thus, anything in between those two holidays counts as on time! Saved by multi-culturalism.
Besides, we hope to have some lovely pictures from our trip.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Today I resigned.Go read the whole thing, and the comments, especially the one by Wenchequilts:
I've alluded before to the fact that I haven't been comfortable back at work. I always felt I returned because I had to, not because I wanted to. Once back at work, I've felt incredibly torn between how I am defined - a mother, an architect, a designer. Up till now it's always been a relatively free definition, without much compromise or contradiction. But 2 children have changed the balance. I myself, the person I am, has changed the balance. I've been frustrated at my inability to lock down each role as I need to. Work crossed over into home life, and home life crossed over into work life, and I really felt I was being pulled in too many directions. Compromise is viscous.
Hi, as a woman architect in Norway, with full time architect job, 4 kids (3-14y), I have to say that I respect your decision. But how are things to change? My daughters have to learn that a woman must work and earn money to be independent of her husband...Is it really her choice? Or was she pushed over a cliff?
Notice that the use of a generic name like greencar.com that sounds sort of like greenercars.org, a website of the veteran non profit, The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy? ACEEE has been working to enlighten the public about the environmental impact of cars for years.
Back in high school physics, we had to calculate the speed at which two vehicles with two different centers of gravity (approximating a passenger vehicle and a truck) can safely take a turn before tipping. The takeaway lesson was that the truck tips over at half the speed that would tip over a passenger car. This lesson stuck with me for life. I am very careful when driving around trucks and I would NEVER, NOT EVER ferry my kids around in a truck. (The SUV hadn't been invented yet.)
The insanity of driving a car on stilts, endangering myself and my passengers. The waste of carrying a ton (or 3) more weight around in stop and go traffic than necessary. The increased emissions of surface level air pollution and greenhouse gases. The antisocial attitude of blocking the sight lines of everyone else, thus endangering them even further...
The worse part about it is that the SUV/truck craze has forced the passenger cars to get taller and fatter as well, just to protect their occupants. This causes all vehicles to use more fuel. It also makes passenger cars more top heavy and tippy as well.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
That's me and a buddy from grad school, former assistant seismologist for the state of Alaska. Hey, if you are a seismologist, you gotta be willing to live in places with earthquakes. He makes a great companion for after meeting dinners; he holds black belts in several styles of karate.
Moscone Center West is a beautiful building. Notice this staircase on the northern end of the building. That's one single tree, taken apart and reassembled on site.
Note the lovely grain and carving. Does anyone know what kind of tree this is?
I work in a windowless office. My home has a great view of the apartment building 10 feet away. I miss seeing the sky.
Fortunately, I had a corner hotel room last week with bay windows on two sides. It was wonderful to work at the desk in one bay window. I almost didn't mind the morning sun directly in my eyes, especially when the clouds rolled in.
The view from the other window, towards Union Square.
I had one free evening without meetings and work-related dinners. I went to Artfibers and Neiman Marcus. Despite the huge markdowns at NM, I managed to resist all temptation.
I tried on an Issey Miyake pleated polyester dress. It was several sizes too big, but you get the idea.
A Yohji Yamamoto dress made for someone much taller than me. Notice the folds around the bodice. They shouldn't be there. The fashion industry thinks that only very tall and thin women are interested in fashion. I wonder why?
The YY dress has an attached skirt that ties with an elastic cord. The skirt is attached to the front in beautiful curved seams. It was marked down to a price that I could afford. Too bad the dress was made for giants (with very thin arms).
Anyone notice that I tried on dresses by the same designers featured in Stylized Sculpture?
I was so enamoured of the bamboo sculptures and baskets of the Lloyd Cotsen exhibition on view at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, I posted a Flickr slideshow of the baskets. There are over 900 pieces in the collection; pieces are rotated every 6 months. These are the ones that were on view in December 2007.
The museum has a on-line catalog with 224 pictures from the collection.
Read more about the collection at asianart.com.
I have had a crush on Lloyd Cotsen since my first visit to the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. This guy collects textiles. He donated a whole wing to the museum. The museum displayed a picture of a very young shirtless
If you like bamboo sculptures, consider buying the book, Contemporary Japanese Bamboo Arts by Robert T. Coffland. He helped Lloyd Cotsen build his collection.
Friday, December 14, 2007
* You, Y (email@example.com), Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University and a whole bunch of other people, including her PhD advisor.
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are considered to be important man-made reservoir of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Using the electromagnetic induction (EMI) method of geophysical characterization, we measured the apparent subsurface electrical conductivity (ECa) at a CAFO site in order to assess the movement of pollutants associated with animal waste. The map of ECa and other available data suggest that (1) soil surrounding a poultry litter storage shed is contaminated by poultry waste, (2) a contamination plume in the subsurface emanates from that shed, and (3) the development of that plume is due to groundwater flow. We focused on understanding the spread of tetracycline resistance (TcR), because tetracycline is one of the most frequently used antibiotics in food animal production and therefore probably used at our field site. Microbiological experiments show the presence of TcR bacteria in the subsurface and indicate higher concentrations in the top soil than in the aquifer. Environmental DNA was extracted to identify CAFO- associated TcR genes and to explore a link between the presence of TcR and CAFO practices. A "shot-gun" cloning approach is under development to target the most prevalent TcR gene. This gene will be monitored in future experiments, in which we will study the transmission of TcR to naive E. coli under selective pressure of TcR. Experimental results will be used to develop a mathematical/numerical model in order to describe the transmission process and to subsequently make estimates regarding the large-scale spread of antibiotic resistance.Why did this poster catch my eye? The words tetracycline and poultry, together. Then it hit me.
My doctors and I have been trying to figure out if I am sensitive to chicken in some way. I tested not allergic to chicken proteins. There is a theory that chicken is high in arachadonic acid, a chemical in the inflammation pathway. Perhaps the arachadonic acid found in chicken and beef are exacerbating inflammation of my joints and skin?
If so, then why don't fruits like bananas, also high in arachadonic acid, cause inflammation? Why is it sporadic? Why don't I have the inflammation every time I eat meat?
I am allergic to tetracycline. They feed it to animals. When I eat the dead animals, I am taking tetracycline. Only it is not labeled anywhere. That is apparently legal.
Ya Qi helpfully told me that tetracycline is fed to chickens to help shorten the time to market (40 days from hatchling to roast chicken!). It is fed to pretty much all 'conventionally raised' animals. tetracyline is so prevalent in our food system that the TcR gene has been found in organic beef (and even flies). The presence of the TcR gene in an animal doesn't mean it has been fed tetracycline. It only means that tetracycline resistance is now a common characteristic in our environment, due to heavy and indiscriminate use in the past and present.
How did dumping drugs and other chemicals into our food chain become 'conventional' farming and not doing so become 'alternative' farming?
Her poster showed the apparatus that she used to get a core of the soil floor of a poultry shed. It is like the ones used to get ice cores from glaciers. So cool. The stuff she told me about factory farming in the US and China, not so cool. It kind of turns the stomach, actually. We eat organic dairy and eggs. But we don't always buy organic meats. Now I know better.
See the full abstracts for that poster session. It is hair-rising. Don't read it right after eating.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Mr. Cotsen, a resident of Los Angeles and the former CEO and chairman of the Neutrogena Corporation, assembled his collection during the course of what he calls a “forty-year love affair” with Japanese bamboo baskets. In explaining their appeal, he says, “I was attracted by the tensions created by the balancing of forces: of cohesion and chaos, structure and nature, refinement and exuberance, and ultimately, simplicity and complexity.”Learn more about the collection.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Before the meeting, I visited the Stylized Sculpture exhibit at the Asian Art Museum.
...this special exhibition spotlights the sculptural essence of contemporary Japanese fashion through the works of Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, and others.20 ensembles on loan from the Kyoto Costume Institute. Bamboo baskets from the Lloyd Cotsen collection. I am on sensory overload from both the meeting and the museum. The books and shibori scarves in the Asian Art Museum gift shop were also a treat for the eyes.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I wrapped the presents, one new and one recycled, in outdated maps that would otherwise have gone into the recycling bin. I tied them with leftover trim from the time I sewed 22 Bavarian costumes for her Montessori class concert. Notice that a reusable fossil magnet is taped on instead of a plastic ribbon bow. So eco-chic.
I am leaving town tomorrow, so I stopped by the city library and the quilt guild library to exchange books. Using the library instead of buying more books is part of my stuff diet.
Buying 24 yards of quilt fabric off the $2/yd shelf at a local quilt shop (home of the South Bay Quilters' Guild Library) is not part of the stuff diet.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
But, I can't help wondering if we should be rebuilding in the middle of a flood plain. The reason that the lower 9th ward was built later than the French quarter and the garden district is because it is lower in elevation. The place is more flood prone and dangerous. Should we really encourage people to resettle there?
In fact, the area is more risky than when it was originally built. The land is settling so that the elevation is actually decreasing. Storm intensity is up for global, regional and local reasons. E. g., beachfront development has reduced the acreage of saltwater marshes that absorb the impact of storms. The levee system prevents natural processes such as sediment build up that gradually raises ground elevation. Urbanization (paving over) has made the area less porous to rainwater and more prone to flooding. Irrigation of crops between storms has decreased the ability of the soil to absorb rainwater. Increases in the temperature of offshore water intensifies the energy of hurricanes. The list goes on and on.
The only rational argument I have heard for resettling the area is to rebuild the social fabric of the neighborhood. Mark and I can attest to the friendliness and worthiness of the neighborhood first hand. When we visited New Orleans, we escaped the crowds and the Disneyesque atmosphere of the French quarter and gravitated to the lower 9th ward.
What if the populace of the lower 9th ward were to pick up and rebuild together on higher ground? It has been done in the past. Whole towns, or subsets of towns used to move together to new territory in the pioneer days. (Are the pioneer days gone or do we still have some pioneer spirit left?) Think of the residents of Salina, Kansas moving west and founding Salina, Colorado. Recall the Mormon pushcart emigrants. Think big.
Friday, December 07, 2007
Suppose you are an amateur astronomer and you want to track a satellite or know when it will be visible over a certain spot? Or you want to calculate the location of the moon on a certain night? If you have a Mac or Unix/Linux box, then wonder no more.
I installed John A. Magliacane's Predict program on my MacBook Pro and wrote down a few notes in case anyone else wants to try it.
- Install Xtools if it is not already installed.
- Make sure you have the ncurses library. (Do a "man ncurses" to check. It should be part of the Xtools package.)
- Make sure you have a c compiler. (Do a "which cc" to check.)
- Download the latest predict tar file from http://www.qsl.net/kd2bd/predict.html
- Untar the package. cd into the predict-2.2.X directory.
- For a Mac running OS X, the soundcard library can trip you up. Delete the "#include
" line from installer.c
- type "./configure" (don't ask why typing "configure" doesn't work)
- If you want to track a satellite that is not in the standard file, create a *.tle file using default/predict.tle as a template. You can download two elements (TLE) for a variety of satellites at www.celestrak.com. For the uninitiated, they even explain what a two line element is.
- Create a custom ground station site *.qth using default/predict.qth as a template. Remember that predict uses degrees west.
- Invoke predict and your non-default files (using your filenames): "predict -q losangeles.qth -t dmsp.tle"
- Invoke logging by typing L to toggle logging on/off. Your logfile will appear in SATNAME.txt
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
It is hard to photograph this sweater because of the color. I wore it with a teal blouse and black pants today so you can decide whether the yarn is black or green. I can't decide. It depends strongly on the lighting. In the sun, it looks off-black. Under fluorescent lighting, it looks like a shaded malachite green.
Note the length of the sleeves. I knit and washed a swatch before measuring the gauge (18x24). I calculated the changes to the pattern to meet my desired measurements. After knitting, I blocked to the measurements. Then I put the sweater on and saw gravity work its magic upon the 100% cotton tape yarn.
The knit fabric stretches about 10% in length (and shrinks about 5-10% in width). In retrospect, I would have shortened the sleeves by 2" and widened the sweater by at least 2 inches.
When Artfibers discontinued Papyrus, I grabbed three 1100 yard skeins off their clearance shelves. I still have two more in pearl gray and medium green. I already chose a lace pullover pattern from the same Adrienne Vittadini booklet for the pearl gray. With gravity adjustment.
Currently, I am working on Annie's Butt Skirt in Cotton-ease, in the toned plum color. Spanx and I are ready.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
In Richard Florida's book, The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life, he argues that about 38 million Americans constitute a "Creative Class" that creates ideas for a living. I count myself as one of them.
In his Rant chapter, he described how "creatives" do not see a distinction between work and their "real" lives. Working merely as a means to consume later is anathema to us. I would further add, trading your lifeblood for consuming crap is tragic.
She is a girl. I, too, was a girl, full of idealism and spatial skills that rarely occur in nature, much less in the same person. ;-) Through much effort and expense, I trained for my dream career, performing environmental science research in the public interest.
Like I wrote in The Mommy Wars,
One point that is not discussed much is the obligation that women in traditionally male occupations feel to not let down the women coming up after them. Throughout my education, I heard comments about how so and so (professors) had a point in not supporting female graduate students because women were going to quit science anyway when they had kids. Thus, scarce resources were preserved for men who would presumably stay in science. Therefore, if we quit, then we will prove those people right and make it more difficult for younger women.While I was ill last month, I watched Raise the Red Lantern. Read a description of the movie and the criticism about 'Confusion Ethics' here. The wives depicted in the movie have value only as bearers of male children.
What was the point of educating me if I were to quit (paid, market) work now? What is the point of educating my daughter? Why go through this
Why must she be so afraid?
Remember the post, Why don't smart people reproduce?
This woman had recently earned a PhD after many years of struggle with a research project that was more complex than originally believed. (Is there any other type of PhD research project?) Throw in some family tragedy that also slowed progress. If she wants children, she can't put it off any longer.
The birth of a first child, any planned and hoped for child, should be a joyous occasion. Additionally, I would like to see more smart and nice people like this woman and her husband in this world. Why does she have to be made to feel like a criminal?
I have a whole series of posts about birthrates, but What do I tell her? is most especially pertinent.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
But I have to say I am disappointed in the quiz. For instance, you would expect choosing a cheetah for an animal companion to strongly influence whether or not you are super fast. Guess again. If you made the same first 4 selections I did, the fifth and final question can still give four possible superpowers. How do I know? Well, my first instinct was to pick wind, but I thought I should put down weather because I am a meteorologist. But I didn't want to be invisibility and I decided to go back to my first instinct. That gave super speed. BTW, the last three options on question 5 all give invisibility. Then I played around with some other combinations and I don't see the reasoning at all for the selections.
What does this mean? It means that I should quit taking on-line quizzes and get ready for AGU and our trip to New Zealand.
Thomasina suggested a trip to Artfibers in downtown San Francisco as a break from AGU on Wednesday. Leave a comment with your email address if you want to join us.
We are going to visit both the north and south Islands. Mark has set up an itinerary that includes both glaciers and volcanoes. From Clementine's Shoes' Flickr photos, it looks we might have to bundle up for hiking around glaciers. Anyone know how cold it is in midsummer in the glacier fields of the south island?
Anybody have suggestions for yarn shopping in New Zealand? My sister suggested I buy possum fur yarn while I am there. My budget is more modest than hers. I was thinking more along the lines of soft merinos. But, I might buy a little possum/merino blend for a scarf or Moebius neck ring.
I did shop for some host gifts today. Two families in Auckland and Christchurch offered to house us--offers greatly appreciated as the dollar continues to plummet. From what I can tell, NZ is a very friendly country. One host family are old friends that we have hosted. But his parents offered to host us as well, though they have never even met us. I gave some new neighbors Iris' outgrown toddler seat. When we met the visiting grandparents from NZ, the grandfather immediately offered to host us. Unfortunately, they didn't live on our itinerary so we took a raincheck.
It seems to me the objections to the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid's being called "green" fall into three categories:
Symbolic: The Tahoe Hybrid is not merely a Prius that can tow a boat. It is a 5,716-pound supertanker of a vehicle that is still twice the mass necessary to do the job it's typically assigned to do, that is, move a person or persons in and out of the suburbs. The Green Car Journal award seems to enable the continuing American fixation on super-sized vehicles.
Practical: The charge is "greenwashing," which is to say, the Tahoe Hybrid program will be a painfully small-volume effort that will net more positive media than real economy.
Strategic: This is the strongest objection. In a time of surpassing urgency -- whether your pet issue is global warming, oil security or economic disruption -- we are accepting, even rewarding relatively modest and incremental changes in efficiency that require no sacrifice, no change in consumer behavior at all. This isn't going to get it done, people. The notion that American drivers can sally on as before, driving the miles and tonnage they do, and only the technology under the hood has to change, is complete bollocks. We will incrementalize ourselves to the crack of doom.
|Your Superpower Should Be Super Speed|
You're quick witted and fast to act.
You're mind works at warp speed. From your perspective, everyone else is living in slow motion.
You get so much done, people have accused you of not sleeping.
Definitely not a couch potato, you feel a bit crazy if you're not busy doing something.
Why you would be a good superhero: You're be the first on the scene... and likely to finish the job before anyone else shows up
Your biggest problem as a superhero: Being bored by everyone else. Including other superheroes!
In the mean time, I had to settle for this kind of Time Machine. Fortunately, the OS X Leopard upgrade went off without a hitch. I connected a brand new 200 GB external hard drive before the first reboot and voila!