Archives for posts with tag: 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.


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.


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.