Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Odds and Ends

Howdy-do! Just a few odds & ends and random musings for you:

First off, check out this amazing short video from the World Wildlife Fund. It features Bill Nighy, a Bond girl, and some of the most recently-discovered animal species (including colossal squids and the world's larges insect!). If this doesn't make you want to start conserving resources, I don't know what will.

Note: it's worth watching full-screen!

Speaking of cool British accents (a comment that won't make sense unless you've watched the above video), I HIGHLY recommend that you watch the premiere of The Hour tonight on BBCAmerica, or free download from iTunes, even though it doesn't have anything to do with the environment. It does deal with the media's responsibility to truth, however, which - as you'll read below -- is crucial to the green movement and the movement for sanity. I actually watched it a few days ago, taking advantage of the promotional download. It tells the story of journalists working at the BBC in the 50's, and the creation of a new news program called The Hour. It stars The Wire's Dominic West and prestige-drama vet Romola Garai, along with Ben Whishaw. A lot of reviewers have been comparing it to Mad Men, but so far the period details and the cocky male lead are the only similarities I've found. I loved the premiere and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

Now... to totally switch gears, this weekend I was in Seattle and visited Trophy Cupcakes, the virtues of which one of my close friends has been extolling for years. Cupcakes aren't exactly my thing; I'm more of a pie connoisseur. However, I have to say that the chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting I had was absolutely delicious. I was also happy to read that they use local butter, free-range eggs, and organic peanut butter. It's always a plus when delicious and green collide.

Kids love cupcakes and kids love SpongeBob (nice segue, right?). But FoxNews does not love SpongeBob. They recently criticized Nickelodeon for pushing a global warming agenda because the Department of Education hosted an event in which kiddos were given a book called SpongeBob Goes Green!: an Earth-friendly Adventure (click here to buy the book and piss off Gretchen Carlson). Fox also claimed -- erroneously -- that the kids at the event were shown a cartoon in which a character said, "Thanks to global warming, the temperature will soon go through the roof, and we'll have an endless summer", but didn't qualify his comment by noting that the man-made origin of global warming is "disputed." Huh? A) Take a joke; I know it's hard for y'all at FoxNews, but really? B) The stupidest part of all this? White House spokespeople actually had to take the time to respond to this idiocy.

FoxNews also doesn't seem to be too fond of Ron Paul either, giving his candidacy short shrift compared to other conservatives. Although I disagree with many of Paul's positions, I have an odd affection for him (but wouldn't vote for him - don't worry). I live about five blocks from the Federal Reserve Houston Branch, where Paul or his supporters can sometimes be seen holding little protests. He's a part of my neighborhood life. He's also ideologically consistent. On the environment, Paul retains his ideological consistency - he's not in favor of spending government money to reduce emissions, nor is he in favor of subsidizing oil companies. He thinks conserving resources is a good thing. Ideological consistency, hewing to one's core beliefs, that's something I think we can all learn from, even if our beliefs aren't the same as Paul's. However, FoxNews-style conservatives treat him as a joke, probably because they feel threatened by someone who actually stands by his beliefs. Like Dennis Kucinich on the left, he's painted as crazy ... and isn't it weird that we see people who actually stand for something as crazy?

And that's all the odds and ends I have to report! Any interesting things going on in your brain today?

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