Quotable Quotes: George Bernard Shaw

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

— George Bernard Shaw

That quote makes me feel better about being someone who constantly agitates for change and seeks to improve things…some people consider me unreasonable at times. 🙂

The Triumph of Coal Marketing: Putting Things in Perspective

Is that a shocking graphic or what? If you can’t quite make out the word on the far left, it’s “Nuclear”. This chart compares the number of deaths generating nuclear, oil, and coal-based power on a per-watt basis. Seth Goodin shared this and I found it quite profound. I’ve been a proponent of nuclear power for a few years now, and this chart only further drives home the truth. Coal, and oil, are destructive, messy, finite energy sources and we need to move toward nuclear power to generate our electricity. Yes, the problems with the nuclear power plants in Japan are scary, but the hard reality is that even when incredible disasters occur like the 8.9 earthquake and the resulting tsunami, modern nuclear power plants are still fairly safe. There were some lessons that were learned in Japan – such as placing the back-up power generators underground, along with their fuel supply – that will help ensure nuclear power is safer for everyone in the future.

A Tale of Three Boxes of Tissues: Smart Consumerism

Know what the difference is between the three boxes of tissues above? Before this week, I’d have probably shrugged and said “Not much”. My eyes were opened to a certain type of consumerism; someone smarter than me probably has a name for it, but for the lack of a better term I’ll call it “Mindless Re-Purchasing”. If you’re anything like me, once you start buying a certain brand and package of product, you’ll pretty much keep it up forever, without stopping to think if there’s something better or less expensive. Continue reading A Tale of Three Boxes of Tissues: Smart Consumerism

AT&T Releases “Don’t Text While Driving” Documentary

This is powerful stuff here – and it’s part of the continued groundswell against texting while driving. If you’ve ever read or sent a text while driving – and, shamefully, I have to put myself in that category – this is something you should watch. Please share it with other people as well.

“The Little Book of Procrastination Remedies” by Leo Babuta

“Procrastination is one of those topics that, it seems, I can’t write enough about. There isn’t a person among us who doesn’t procrastinate, and that’s a fact of life. It’s deep within us. We think we’re going to do something later, or read that classic novel later, or learn French later. But we always overestimate how much we can do later, and we overestimate the ability of our later selves to beat procrastination. If our current self can’t beat procrastination, why will our future self do it? I thought I should cover some of the best procrastination-beating strategies, in light of my recent book, focus. People seem to want ways to beat procrastination, so they can actually get down to focusing. Here’s a quick guide.”

I recently started following a new blog called Zen Habits, written by the interesting and compelling Leo Babuta, and his post on procrastination really got me thinking. If you struggle with getting things done sometimes – and who doesn’t? – then you owe it to yourself to give this a read.

It ‘Aint Easy Being Green

A bit over a week ago, I was driving about 5.5 hours for a funeral. We have a 2009 GMC Acadia that seats seven people, and we drove the first leg of the trip (about three hours with a break in the middle, 287 KM) with myself, Ashley, and Logan in the car. We used up 1/4 of a tank of gas, and I refilled it when we finished the first leg. The next leg of the trip, the last 2.5 hours (248 KM) had two more adults (approximately 360 extra pounds including bags), and we used up half a tank of gas. Adding that extra 360 pounds made the fuel efficiency more than twice as worse, which begs the question: does it always make sense to carpool? Or is there a crossover point where, based on the type of vehicle you have, it’s better to take two vehicles because you’ll use up less fuel that way? I’m sure someone who’s brilliant with math can figure that out…but it made me wonder if the common wisdom of carpooling was actually wise in all circumstances.

Fat Guy + Running = Skinny Guy

As someone would needs to drop a few pounds myself (say, in the 20-30 pound range), I found this video to be quite inspiring in its simplicity; the guy hit rock bottom, decided to change his life, and started running. The simplicity of the solution to dropping a few pounds never quite translates into action on my part however…

Respect The Power of the Fortune Cookie

On Sunday night we got some Chinese food, and the above fortune was what I got in my fortune cookie. Today I was told my writing contract with Microsoft wasn’t going to be renewed (it ended in June). Props to you, Mr. Fortune Cookie Writer, you nailed it. I’d buy you a beer, but I’m trying to watch my expenses because, well, you know…

In Case You Thought It Was a Hoax: The Smoking Two Year Old

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I’ve Implemented the DISQUS Commenting System

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll notice that for comments, I’m now using DISQUS. It’s a system that makes it much easier for people to comment, because rather than registering with this blog to comment, people can post a comment using a variety of credentials; Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID, or DISQUS. I’ve managed to get the old comments imported into DISQUS, but as far as I can tell, you can’t log in to the old WordPress commenting system any more – to post a comment, you’ll need to log in with one of the authentication methods offered. Your old comments aren’t associated with your DISQUS comments unfortunately; they stand alone. I’m not happy with that, but ultimately I think this new system will make it easier for people to comment, which is the goal.