Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Earth Day is today. And petroleum-based grocery bags hit the checkout aisle back in 1977. Presented as a revolutionary idea, they are now recognized as an environmental hazard. Just like bottled water, plastic bags are made from crude oil, contributing to global warming.

The numbers:
—1000: Estimated years for a plastic bag to decompose.
—1460: Plastic bags used in a year by an average family of four in the U.S.
—12 million: Barrels of oil used to make the plastic bags that the U.S. consumes annually.
—Less than 1%: Percentage of all plastic bags that get recycled in the U.S.
—88.5 billion: Plastic bags consumed in the U.S. last year.
—500 billion: Estimated plastic bags sold worldwide each year.

Meanwhile, JoAnn Fabric Stores’ e-mail to crafters is offering crafts using "plarn" —plastic bags cut into strips that can then be used for knitting, crocheting and even weaving. The store advises, "One method for making plarn is to cut plastic shopping bags crosswise in strips that form long loops. The loops are interlocked to create a chain — essentially forming a double-thick strand of plarn. Another method has you cut the bag in a spiral from the top to the bottom."

Ironically, the e-mail suggests using plarn to craft reusable shopping bags, but anyone handy with a chubby crochet hook can use it to create other household items like rugs, placements, coasters, dish scrubbers and doormats.


Professional Administrators Day

Earth Day
Today is Earth Day, honoring the planet Earth, one of our most beloved planets. I know it's certainly my favorite.
Congressmen will be celebrating Earth Day buy selling themselves “dirt cheap”.

1864 - “In God We Trust” was placed on U.S. coins
The phrase "In God We Trust" was stamped on all U.S. coins for the first time on this date in 1864. Coming in a close second was the liberal choice ... "Whatever." I think it is time Democrats and Republicans alike trust God….since they seriously can’t trust each other.


Mitchell's Accusation
Former astronaut Edgar Mitchell insists that extraterrestrial life exists, and that the truth is being concealed by the U.S. government... mostly because Washington doesn't want us to know just how much money we've spent to bail out the entire Martian banking system.

Morgan Stanley Banks
Morgan Stanley executives are considering buying smaller banks across the U.S. in hopes of diversifying the business, getting into consumer lending, and having a really good place to hide their excessive bonuses.

Consumer Reports says people routinely send in letters complaining about small items arriving in way too much packaging. To check the problem, Consumer Reports ordered small items from 13 companies, including Avon, Staples, drugstore.com, Oriental Trading Company, and Best Buy. Consumer Reports was really surprised to find that so many tiny items came in boxes that were way too big.Avon arrived with just one lip balm as well. Inside a box from the Oriental Trading Company—just one small vial of beads. And a box from Staples—it could easily fit 200 pencils but contains…just one. Less packaging could make a real difference. If Americans cut back the use of cardboard from 100 tons to 90, it would save more than 5,300 pounds of waste…20,000 gallons of wastewater…and more than 34,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent. Some companies, such as Avon, Staples, and Lands End, told Consumer Reports that they recycle thousands of tons of cardboard a year.www.greenerchoices.org/wastetips.cfm.

You call this camping? Yellowstone completed a wireless communications plan this month after taking public comment on a proposal released last fall. The plan includes a limited expansion of cell phone service, restrictions on wireless Internet at historic lodges and rules for new scientific monitoring stations. “Not all potential services are appropriate in all areas,” park spokesman Al Nash said Monday. “It really is about an expectation that visitors have of a certain experience in Yellowstone, whether it’s in historic lodging or in the backcountry. This plan recognizes technological change but works to protect the experience people seek in Yellowstone.” Good time to discuss just exactly what IS camping? What must you have and what must you NOT have to consider it camping?

When’s the last time you had a pillow fight? - The man police say organized an impromptu pillow fight in front of a Vermont mall is being dragged into court to face charges. Darin Cassler, 21, of South Burlington, Vt., was charged Friday by city police after he allegedly incited a pillow fight at the town center on Church Street. Police said his actions warranted a disorderly conduct charge. The feathery fracas was organized by Cassler, police say, and included about 50 participants. A video of the pillow pounding appears on several Internet sites and shows about a two-minute scrum that began and ended with a whistle being blown. The pillow fight was organized on the social networking site Facebook, which listed the following rules:

1. Bring a pillow and a container in which to conceal it.
2. Assemble on the street as if you were loitering, do not acknowledge anyone else participating.
3. Our host will shout ‘pillow fight’ and we will all spontaneously break into a big miasma of feathers and pillows.
4. Soft pillows only!
5. Swing lightly, many people will be swinging at once.
6. Do not swing at people without pillows or with cameras.
7. Remove glasses beforehand!
8.The event is free and appropriate for all ages.
9. Wait until the signal to begin.
10.This event is more fun with feathers!

It’s Soccer Season! Let the stories begin…The parents of a traveling Maryland 13 year old girls soccer team were forced to watch their kids play from 100 yards away Sunday as a punishment for their behavior at a previous game, the Washington Post reported. The Washington Area Girls Soccer League banned the parents from the sidelines for two games after a parent from the Bethesda Legacy travel team approached an assistant referee following a call at the end of last season. After several snide remarks and a parent starting to “raise his voice,” another Bethesda parent reportedly yelled at the referee’s daughter, “Your father should be fired!” according to minutes of a disciplinary hearing. The league’s disciplinary committee ruled the parents violated the league’s code of conduct, the Post reported. I remember a Little League Coach forcing his players to do push ups right then and there, during the game, when a team mate messed up. All the while I couldn’t help but think that the coach probably couldn’t do 2 push ups without passing out. The kids didn’t look like they were having a good time , even with extra orange slices.

Hawaii is the least-stressed state in the nation. The Aloha State had the nation’s lowest rate of frequent mental distress, or FMD, for adults. Hawaii’s rate of 6.6 percent was lower than the national average of 9.4 percent, according to a study to be published in the June issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. South Dakota and Nebraska were among the lowest, while Kentucky was the most stressed state at 14.4 percent, the report said. The study concluded that where people live could affect their state of mind. Well, YEAH!!! Hawaii? The only stress I could think of if I lived there would be in trying to decide which SPF to choose. What makes your state most of least stressful?

OOPS! The monument that marks the only area in the U.S. where four states meet, is apparently in the wrong spot. The Four Corners monument marks the intersection where new Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah meet, and it’s a popular tourist stop.
But according to readings by the National Geodetic Survey, the real four corners is actually 2-point-5 miles east of the monument. Surveyors say they used satellite maps and gps units to track down the right location. The current four corners monument is on land owned by the Navajo Nation. Federal officials say it’s up to the Navajo Nation and the Ute Mountain Indian Tribe to decide if they want to move the monument to the correct spot. Makes you wonder what else we might have gotten wrong.

Most motorists in the USA — 78% — call aggressive driving a serious concern yet nearly half admit speeding on major highways in the past 30 days, according to a survey and analysis of research made public today by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers also confessed to recently speeding on residential streets, speeding up to beat yellow lights, honking at other drivers and tailgating. Here are some warning signs to find out if you might be an aggressive driver:

• Turn signals aren’t for signaling a lane change; they’re just clues as to your next move in “road battle.”
• You believe the faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.
• Braking is to be done as hard and as late as possible to insure that your antilock braking system kicks in to give you a nice relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates.
• You believe that if another driver comes in eye contact with you…you instantly have the right of way.

Pet Airways is the first pet-only airline to take to the skies, starting in July. The first five cities to be served are Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York and Washington, D.C. A one-way flight costs around $149, and Pet Airways is now accepting reservations for its first New York to Los Angeles flight, scheduled for July 14. Right now the website for Pet Airways is over capacity but they are encouraging folks to check out their Facebook Fan Page, follow them on Twitter (@petairways) and inquire about reservations by e-mail at: reservations@petairways.com.

Here’s a fun and yet serious topic - Can painful, unwanted memories be altered or even eradicated? That’s the provocative question being raised by the emerging science of forgetting. Visit Newsweek.com for the whole story. Too long and ‘sciencey’, but the question is intriguing. What are your thoughts? If you could erase that painful memory would you, or has it made you into a better person? Without the bad can we truly grow and mature? The ability to recall pain can sometime prevent future pain, yes? I’ll stop here.

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