Archive for November, 2009

11
Nov
09

Prioritizing Priorities

It’s time for The United States to get its act together. I’m sick of hearing about how health care reform is going to save this nation. It won’t because it’ll never get through Congress because it’s too controversial. You want health care? Then try passing it on a state level first.   I really could care less what happens in Oregon. I don’t understand why this is being done at a national level. Or move to Canada. I don’t give a shit, just stop wasting my time.

Why is it controversial? Because its INSURANCE. Yes, it is expensive to stay healthy, but people aren’t supposed to live on a diet of bio-engineered cows and Fritos and then die at 85.  We expect to do whatever the hell we want and then expect the government to pay for it. “Insurance” is something responsible people buy, it is not a necessity. This is where the health industry is going wrong. We don’t need to collectively pay for a better system, we just need to be more responsible. We need to stop buying so many pills to eat everyday, we need to spend more time outdoors exercising which is what nature has, for millions of years, engineered us to do. I’m sick of paying for other people’s choices. Maybe going to the doctor’s office to get medical attention wouldn’t be so expensive if it wasn’t clogged full of over-weight smokers.

Yikes

Look at the Mustache on Her! Are you going to pay the doctor/lumberjack's fee for its removal?

“Insurance” and “Company”. Two words; neither of which are implying that it must be fair and given to everyone. I have a good deal to say about health insurance, but that’s not the point of this post. It’s to show how out of wack of priorities are.

And so this takes me to part two of this rant. Our country is faced with several glaring problems simultaneously. An economic recession that seems to loom over us. I keep hearing that the recession is almost over. What are these people talking about? The only thing keeping this country going right now is that trillion dollar injection that is about to run out. We need to produce something; a new industry, and East Asia stole our IT one that we had going for half a second and now India is scooping up our service industry. That’s problem one. Problem 2 is that whole mideast/terrorism/Iraq/Afghanistan deal. Yikes. They hate us, we’re funneling money in there to do something?, we’re trying not to hate them, more money funnels away, we’re locked in because they got our drug, etc. Problem 3 is a long-term, more detrimental issue. The other two will doom our Western society, this one could kill everyone. Environmental issues, global warming, etc. I’m not a hippie. I don’t care about saving the elephants because Earth’s elephant population number do not affect my health. As long as there is a living elephant at the Bronx Zoo, I am reaping the maximum benefits from the elephant’s existence. I am not going to die from a lack of elephants, but I will die from an overaboundance of carbon in the atmosphere.

Solar Spain

Check out these bad boys. They power the city of Seville. We're getting a few here too : http://cleantechnica.com/2009/11/03/united-technologies-rocket-scientists-to-build-150-mw-solar-heliostat-in-sonoran-desert/

Three bad problems, one solution. Alternative energy. Apparently the government has trillions of dollars to spend on bailing out banks (that’ll be covered in another rant), wars, health care, and who knows what else. Here is a huge industry that can put us back on the map and we’re bailing out automakers who spent the last 30 years making oil lamps with wheels. Doing a hell of a job GM,

here’s a couple billion. There’s so much amazing technology being developed, but it takes a lot of money to implement it and a lot of people.A lot of jobs in high tech areas. We should have thousands of people installing re-charging stations along our highways, and people working at Ford figuring out ways to produce every car with more than 50 mpg.  People painting the tops of buildings white to cut down on cooling costs, and so on.

This isn’t just a rant though. Its a call to action. We really can’t just sit by and say, “ah let the hippies take care of it.” because then we’re going to lose. This isn’t a republican, democrat, conservative, liberal, gay, black, whatever thing. This is something that is of crucial national interest and we’re going to be screwed if we don’t start taking this seriously. I’m not saying donate money or anything. If you can, awesome. Invest in a clean company (Consert is a great company, they’re working on a smart power grid with IBM). Volunteer to clean something up. Switch to clean energy through your local utility company, write your congressman, protest, or just read an article about the importance of energy efficiency and discuss it with someone. cleantechnica.com is a great blog about alternative technology. Get people thinking about something that has importance, not American Idol.

We’re always asking why our country isn’t doing more for us, when we do nothing for it. -improvised John Kennedy line.

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10
Nov
09

Photos to Bring a Little Perspective

Grossest River Ever

This is a view of the Citarum River in West Java. 5 million people live in its basin, many making money by sifting through the trash for anything remotely valuable. Consider yourself blessed.

Flood In Malaysia

Tribal War

This is an old school style tribal war, with bows and arrors. This is not a reinactment or anything of that sort. People died.

Nuclear Reactors

These are within the city limits of Moscow. They look pretty old and Russia/the former USSR is not great at containing radioactive material and limiting the effects. See next picture.

Radioactive Smoker

This is one of the residents of Semey, Kazakhstan, which was the Russian version of the Nevada Test Site except Semey has 300K people in it.

A Million Windows of Opportunity

06
Nov
09

What’s Happenin’ Today

So last night, the Yankees won a great game and the World Series. Epic moments were everywhere. I spent the evening at the Pourhouse on 3rd Ave.  watching the game with some friends. We then proceeded to lead a motley crue to Union Sq destroying whatever got in our path (including a spare tire which was returned back to the street). Union Sq. was fairly quiet until we arrived. Once our rowdy group showed up, the larger, quieter group decided to stop west-bound traffic on 14th street. In comparison, Times Sq. was about as rowdy as an GMAT prep class.

On that note, here‘s a video (under 4 minutes) detailing all 27 World Series wins.

In other baseball news, 2008 NL Cy Young Award winner, Tim Lincecum was pulled over in his home state of Washington for having some weed. Oh, fucking no. Boo, fucking hoo. I just hope no one makes a big deal out of this. It better not be a Michael Phelps deal. I just learned this yesterday, but it seemed that  a no-hitter thrown by Dock Ellis in the 70s was done on acid. Woah! The deal is, who the hell cares. It’s fucking pot, not crack cocaine. It’s not even as harmful as booze for god’s sake. Also, he’s a pitcher in baseball, which is a game. He is not a senator, he plays a GAME for a living. So if he wants to smoke weed, and can still excel at this particular sport, then whatever.

Goodbye Kitty

Goodbye (or Terminator) Kitty

In other news, it looks like Paul Harris is headed to Maine! Devendorf, who is also trying? to get into the NBDL isn’t going to be drafted. I dunno what that kid is thinking, but he’s going to end up playing for the Stockholm Stockings if he’s not careful. He should maybe take this situation a little more seriously.

I haven’t had Indian food in over 2 years. I hate Indian food, but everyone keeps telling me how good it is and that I’ll change my mind. I was going to go here, but if anyone has any recommendations, I would be happy to investigate. I require it to be fairly inexpensive, close (below 23rd street), and tasty.

06
Nov
09

The Best Pictures Today

Fantastic. Utterly Fantastic.

APTOPIX Russia Parade Rehearsal

Nasdaroveya!

Very Cold Planes

Probably Also In Russia

Christmas Light Win

Speaks for Itself (from Failblog)

01
Nov
09

Defending the MTA (someone has to)

The subway smells like a variety of unpleasantries, any morning commute train is so packed that there is not enough room to move your arm to get something in your pocket, and the price to take the tube is going up all the time while service becomes more and more patchy. What a sham, right?

You Can Fit!

Get In There! You're Going to be Late!

It’s certainly not the most ideal run agency in the world. All of the above is true. Take this into account and then watch the “progress” of the 2nd Avenue/T Line or a proposed 11.3% pay increase for transit workers and I’m ready to scream.

But wait, it’s the New York City transit system that made this city what it is today. Without the subway, New York would have become another LA, Houston, or Miami, where a car is necessary. One could attribute many of New York’s identifying characteristics directly to the subway. For example, if we drove, the city would have to allocate this amount of space to parking and new roads. Crazy. Goodbye urban center, hello urban sprawl.

Having a 24/7/365 transit system also allows residents to save a ton of fucking money. Here’s a helpful transit cost calculator (this doesn’t include added costs of driving in a city, such as parking violations, or the added risk of a break-in). Putting in the data for my parents two cars, it costs them about $1300 a month to own and operate. Taking into account my sister lives with them and does not own a car, that’s $433 and change per person per month. That’s more than 5 times what I spend (i buy a monthly subway metrocard), or $350 more dollars. That means I have $350 extra dollars a month to put bar into the economy. Awesome for me, and awesome for NYC. I can spend this money at restaurants, sporting events, bars, museums, etc because I don’t have to own and operate my own vehicle. Awesome. I’m of course not taking into account the taxes we pay which funds the construction, but this is obviously far short of $350 a month.

Think about this as well…let’s say you’re drunk, disabled, sleepy, 14 years old or have some other issue that prevents you from being able to operate a vehicle. It doesn’t matter in New York. You can go anywhere in the city (and metro area, really) and not have to worry about operating the transportation system. For that benefit alone, I think I would pay more than my parents pay.

So where am I going with this? I’m trying to defend the MTA and the

short shorts

If you drove to work, you'd miss this. You wouldn't want that, right?

NYC transit system in general. When the price goes up to $2.25 from $2, let’s not throw a shitfit. You’re not helping the situation and you look like a fucking idiot. It is completely reasonable to ask if this price increase is really necessary, no doubt about that. But in reality, I would be happy to pay $150 a month in knowing it would help the MTA build an even

more amazing transit system. Transportation costs are a necessity for anyone needs to leave their house and under $90 bucks a month is a steal.

“At $103 a month you’d expect they’d have a sauna, a pool and a Pilat

es class down there.” You know that advertisement? Yea. I fucking hate it it. For $103 I expect them to have an efficient, fairly clean (it’s not exactly a clean-room down there, but it’s not Mumbai either) system that takes me from point A to point B in under an hour.

The next time there is a MTA price increase (right now, scheduled for 2011)lets all just relax. Let’s ask, first, if this is really necessary. We should be able to look at the MTA’s budget, inflation rates, and necessary demands and verify if this is a reasonable request. Judging from history, I doubt if the MTA is going to propose an unreasonable price. As taxpayers, we own the subway. Let’s try and manage this great asset to the best ability. If it takes more money, than that’s what we gotta do.

01
Nov
09

Boehner and Congress’ Proposed Health Care Bill

I’m so glad Congress is getting ready to pass something that’s easy to understand! Probably not an earmark in that one.

 

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