Archives for category: Socially Responsible

"Dude! It's like looking in a mirror!"

This TED Talk scares the shit out of me. Especially Venter’s breakdown of the process where he says, “…transforming that cell into a new bacterial species.”.

I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but my beliefs aside, I can’t say that I agree with the path this research has taken. It’s one thing to research and develop a way to cure alzheimer’s, cancer, malaria, or any number of other diseases, but it’s another thing ENTIRELY when you go past ‘playing’ God to actually playing with His toolset to create a new form of life from scratch. Yet lo and behold, with 15 years of pondering and tinkering, we’ve got ourselves a computer-program-created recipe for life, with it’s own URL.

Seriously? With it’s own URL? Written into the genetic code?

No, really, seriously? Isn’t that like etching your name on the knife that made God bleed?

I realize that this post may ruffle some feathers, but my God, if your feathers weren’t ruffled by the arrogance and forced humility shown in this talk, then I’m glad it was me who finally did (it is called Expect Sparks after all).

“This is the first self-replicating species that we’ve had on the planet who’s parent is a computer.”

I beg your pardon? How in the hell could anyone, particularly scientists, expect to anticipate how this new species will change or evolve? Granted, this is an extremist point of view and I’m certain that this new bacterial strain will be quarantined and kept under lock and key in a tiny agar dish, but… what if?

Maybe not so far-fetched after all?

Didn’t anyone see the movie “The Andromeda Strain“? Didn’t any of these guys read Stephen King’s “The Stand” or play “Resident Evil“? Sure, these are FICTIONAL stories and describe the absolute worst case scenarios, but keep in mind, Gene Roddenberry invented the flip-front cell phone in the 1960’s (“Beam me up, Scotty,”) … and let’s not overlook all the well-intentioned chemical discovery side-effects of the past like Agent Orange –

A defoliant used to thin jungles in Vietnam, based on the originally developed chemical growth hormone meant to adapt soybeans to a short growing season. Source: Wikipedia

Looking at this paradigm (develop a way to feed more people quickly with a chemical that kills and mutilates people more effectively than anything ever invented), it’s not that hard to think: What if?.

I guess if this experiment does go to shit, at least we’ll be able to decode the DNA of the bacteria and log onto it’s website to see who made it… you can’t do THAT with God’s creations.

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Why get what you want when you can buy what you don't get?

GoDaddy is horrendously confusing.
I think I just secured a couple of domains, but really have no idea if I can send/receive emails to them, and why the hell would I want to add ninety-seven other things to my order? Things I don’t even understand, nor care to…
I use GoDaddy because finding and securing a domain is cheap – but for the love of Pete, Mr. Parsons, please get your sales process under control and don’t SPAM the crap out of me before I’ve even given you my money… The process is similar to leasing a new car – the sales guy throws a thousand things at you at once to try and confuse you and get you to drop a wad on top of the car, AND they do their best to make you feel like a moron so out of fear of humiliation, you just agree to whatever the hell they say and end up getting screwed.

That’s almost as bad as the over-anxious teenager at the drive-thru window that keeps asking “Is that everything?” after everything you order.

“Can I take your order?”

“Yeah, can I get a combo #1…”

“Is that everything?”

“… with fries…”

“Is that everything?”

“… and root beer to drin…”

“Is that everything?”

“I hate you.”

Those of you who work in media buying, pay attention – this post might be about you.

Have you seen Jamie Oliver’s new show “Food Revolution” yet?

It’s an interesting concept: teach people how to NOT kill themselves – and their offspring – with crappy, frozen, convenient food, and instead, teach them how to start eating right. Novel idea (shaking my head).

On his website, Jamie has a pdf that speaks to a lot of issues with the food that is being served to kids in school on a daily basis, and the show really highlights how incredibly stubborn people can be when it comes to implementing change.

Dipping sauce? Oh, yeah. Big fan.

In one episode he debunks the theory that buying prepared, frozen food is faster and cheaper than making the same meal fresh. He took a box of frozen chicken strips for $8 and then bought fresh chicken and breading for under $5, made it from scratch and to the table in less time than it took to cook the frozen ones.

Here’s the real kicker: he used 6 ingredients. On the box of frozen ones it lists more than 10. He goes on to talk about preservatives (sodium phosphate) and additives (monosodium glutamate) and all the other chemicals that go into frozen food to keep it from rotting.

The underlying theme for the show is this: YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, SO DON’T EAT SHIT.

So, I’m watching this thinking that I’m going to have to take a look at the sides of the boxes of shit in my freezer, when they break for commercial and I see an ad for pre-cut, pre-washed, ready to boil chunks of potato to help us busy-folk make mashed faster – fresh from your grocer’s freezer.

Nice work on THAT media buy, dipshit. Oh, I get the demographic workup and the target base, but how about WATCHING the program to see if your product fits the theme? Why not look at the synopsis for the program before just buying ad space based on specialty channel viewer profiles? Jamie Oliver just finished telling you how prepared food is bad for you and making it yourself is just as easy… but no, by all means, tell me more of your fantastic, time saving, pre-washed/cut/cubed/sodium-phosphate-enriched, frozen-in-a-bag staple.

Smrt.

PS – here’s a link to a wikid chicken strip recipe from Black Health Now.

Half Marathon Litter

Lazy, ignorant runners... Carry it out, carry it back.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts you know I’m a runner, and more than that, I’m a social runner (and like a good High-5) and like to think that runners around the world belong to a loose fraternity of like-minded individuals.

You also know that I’m also a staunch supporter of recycling and protecting the environment (see my post on supposed Green Energy solutions).

Imagine how proud to be a runner I was when, while on a walk tonight after dinner with my kids, along the route of the Chilly Half-Marathon past my house I counted more than 40 used gel packs littered on the ground over 2K. My kids even made a game of it.

COME ON! If you brought the freaking gel with you on your run, it was in a pocket – so put it back in that same damn pocket when you’ve sucked it! How lazy can you be? And how contradictory to the activity!

I am so incredibly disappointed and pissed that runners would do this sort of thing. I use gels. I have pockets. One plus one, folks.

You’re running, so you can’t be lazy. You’re just ignorant.

Recognize the sign of the HI-5

Know how to spot a high-five

Runners, like boaters and bikers, have an unspoken rule that when passing a fellow enthusiast, it is common to acknowledge a comrade with a slight wave.

I like to take it a step further by actively seeking a high five.

In fact, when on a race, I will go out of my way to get a high-five from each and every volunteer police officer helping to direct traffic. Both as a sign of respect and thanks, as well as the funny looks you get on the approach and the warm smiles you get on take away.

Much to my chagrin, while on a stupid long run this weekend, lo and behold I happen to pass a group of fellow runners and I throw up the hand… and get completely snubbed.

How uncool. How un-fraternal. How come?

Please, lets all try a little harder next time to recognize the sign of someone looking to share in your enthusiasm and spirit and also to help perhaps motivate you to push through your next mile.

Stings, folks.

Looking for that last minute gift for that ‘impossible-to-buy-for person’ or your dad, who has everything?

It's not just a cute, cuddly, baby goat - it could save a life.

Get ’em a goat.

No, really, buy a goat or a fruit tree or clean water for an entire family or any number of amazingly simple, powerful gifts for someone in desperate need through The Plan or World Vision.

Please consider giving a gift that could change the life of someone you’re never going to meet – because you can, because they could really use your help, and because another “thing” will just end up on a shelf collecting dust. You’re going to have to get them something anyway, right? Make it meaningful, not mundane.

Is it sad that only around the holidays do we find ourselves thinking about the less fortunate? It is if we don’t act upon those thoughts and then try to think about it more often.

Best wishes for the Holidays!

Cam

I am amazed on a daily basis at how pre-programmed we are as a society, and how stupid and lazy we are becoming.

Case in point: a 4-way intersection in a mall parking lot, one way has stop signs, one doesn’t. Inevitably, the people without the stop sign stop, while those with the stop sign wait for them to figure out the other doesn’t have to stop, and thus begins the cursing. Racoons have opposable thumbs that allow them to open garbage cans, just like we have eyes and a brain that allows us to see things and interpret what we are seeing. If you don’t see a stop sign, do you really need to sit and wait for that person in the car on the left yelling at you to go first?

Safety-wise, of course, by all means slow down and make sure you’re not going to kill someone. Stop, even! But for the love of Bruce, LOOK AROUND!

We are so programmed to expect certain criteria/rules/inputs/actions that we have lost the ability to not only assess a common situation, but also the ability to improvise and think for ourselves. This is just plain lazy.

I almost hope this would happen...

Saturday mornings I bring my daughter to dance class and while she’s there I step over to the Tim Horton’s for breakfast treats. This particular Tim’s has two fundamental problems:

  1. It’s too small for the Saturday morning traffic crowd (this is especially annoying when it’s below zero outside and assbag behind you is holding the door open because they can’t fit all the way in, and there ain’t no way he’s going to wait!);
  2. It’s staffed with really dumb kids.

Point 1 – This is a combination of a lack of manners and the inability to recognize that wind and cold do not subscribe to the Les Nessman book of Invisible Boundaries. But it does strike of a lemming-esque trait that forces people in lines to expect that the line will suddenly start flooding forward, despite having been in the same line time and again.

Point 2 – Let’s face it (and even as I write this I realize how old it makes me sound), but kids are just plain lazy/dumb. Dumber than just a few years ago. And NO, I don’t have a prescription for arthritis meds nor did I walk 5 miles in the snow uphill to school when I was a kid, but I just can’t believe how brainless teens are. Ask for a slight modification to your bagel and best of luck to you. It’s like throwing a couple of foreign words into a sentence “Can I get two bagels, please? One toasted with butter and one blungawallakop eentorpit?“. The blank stare was the tell that I had a snowball’s chance in Hell at getting what I ordered, and all because they don’t have a button for eentorpit and the poor cashier just couldn’t be bothered to ask for help or look to see if there was a way to punch that in.

I picked up come Corona the other day and dropped into the grocery store for some limes. 4 for $1. Bagged them, dropped them on the conveyor belt at the cash, and the chicken-hawk teller looks for the little sticker with the produce code on it, which unfortunately is missing. “Heh, heh… Ummm, what are these things?”, he says. Come on! So, without a sticker with a number that gets keyed into a database to help this poor schmo identify what type of commonly found fruit he was holding he was utterly lost… It’s a LIME! A LIME!! WTF!? You need your cash register to tell you it’s A LIME!?!

I guess what I’m really getting at is the fact that the evolution of our society, and adoption-bred dependence upon technology, has decreased our ability to think for ourselves and (Jeff help us) retain our own internal database of information, and has created a world where the GUI and accessibility of information makes or breaks things.

Take the metric on web traffic that says “you have 5 seconds to grab someone’s attention and let them know you have something that will interest them,” and apply that to life – if I have to look for something that I expect to be there and can’t find it, I will start over again. What ever happened to self-reliance? What about taking the time to figure shit out for yourself?

Welcome to the future of us –

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