Friday, August 29, 2008
McCain's About to Pick Palin
Still, Palin or no, the Republicans still aren't capable of delivering something as goosebump-inducing as what the Democrats put together last night. They also don't seem to have a plan to deal with healthcare or help people afford the rising cost of a college education—two issues that are especially important to me as a voter. Of course, I lean left and live in a state that always votes Republican anyway, so the McCain-Palin campaign can't be too concerned about getting my vote.
Update: Apparently, Sarah Palin is still in Alaska, so you may want to forget everything I just said.
Update: I was right after all.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
More on Waterless Urinals
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The Best Urinal Makers Read Scrambies
Monday, August 25, 2008
I've Seen the Future, and It Is Waterless
I'm glad that the waterless urinal worked so well, because a quick Google search tells me that a standard urinal uses one gallon of water per flush; and another quick Google search tells me that one gallon of water will provide the daily fluid needs of two small-in-stature adult humans. I know for a fact that a) hundreds of thousands of urinals flush dozens of times each day and that b) hundreds of thousands of people are suffering from dehydration and/or a lack of clean drinking water. Thus waterless urinals are instruments of compassion and justice. Think about that the next time the automatic flusher goes off.
If you'd like to learn more about waterless urinals, drop by www.waterless.com.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Overheard at the Tinley House
Meyer: Yes they do.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
You Shouldn't "Eww" Michael Phelps; and You Shouldn't Refer to Amanda Beard as a "Nude Pin-Up Swimmer"
More disturbing than Beard's comments was CNN's healine about the story (pictured): "Nude Pin-Up Swimmer Disses Phelps, 'Eww!' " The headline alludes to Beard's 2007 Playboy pictoral and her posing nude in a PETA ad campaign. While questioning Beard's decision-making is fair, referring to her as a "Nude Pin-Up" instead of as an "Olympic Swimmer" or "Seven-Time Medalist" is not. Had she not won two golds, four silvers, and a bronze, Playboy and PETA never would have come calling. That's my take.
For what it's worth, Phelps is now being linked to Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice, who won three golds in Beijing and holds the world record in the 200 and 400 IM. And Beard has apologized for her comments.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Lest You Big Ten Fans Get a Big Head
This guy takes SEC pride to another level, setting his SEC-is-better-than-the-Big-Ten rant to music (with accompanying video). I lived among Big Ten fans for the first twenty-four years of my life, and they really don't do this sort of thing.
Hat tip: Deadspin
Monday, August 18, 2008
Slave Chocolate Is Not Pure Chocolate
Here's the problem: Hershey's, like most major chocolate manufacturers, buys much of its cocoa from West Africa and particularly Côte d'Ivoire; hundreds of thousands of cocoa industry workers in West Africa are children; several thousand of the children picking cocoa beans in Côte d'Ivoire may be victims of human trafficking. Though Congress passed legislation back in 2001 mandating that chocolateers must "wean themselves from child labor, then certify that they had done so," an article earlier this year in Fortune magazine suggests that little progress has been made:
Researchers found that while industry and governments in West Africa have made initial steps, such as establishing task forces on child labor, conditions on the ground remain bad: Children still work in cocoa production, regularly miss school, perform dangerous tasks and suffer injury and sickness. The report criticized the governments of Ivory Coast and Ghana for lack of transparency. And it said the industry's certification process "contains no standards."
Hershey's, like Nestle, Cadbury, and others, needs to do more to ensure that its chocolate is as pure as these new commercials say it is. In the meantime, I'll need to figure out what to do with the bag of Rolos® already in my cupboard. Do I throw them away in protest, or do I eat them, so as not to dishonor the hard work of the children responsible for the cultivation of the candies' primary ingredient?
Friday, August 15, 2008
You can't help but feel for Natalie Coughlin, who won her 10th career Olympic medal Friday morning. Nobody noticed because Phelps was busy winning his sixth of these Games and setting his sixth world record in the 200 individual medley.
Or for Ryan Lochte, who won his first individual gold in the 200 backstroke and then finished third in that 200 IM 30 minutes later -- an amazing display of endurance and toughness. Lochte's double was relegated to the "In Other News" department.
Or for Rebecca Soni, who earned America's most surprising swimming gold so far with her upset over Australian Leisel Jones in the 200 breaststroke. Jones had held the world record in the event until Friday, when Soni shattered it and won easily.
I was delighted to see Lochte take gold in the 200 backstroke last night. He'd long played the George Harrison to Phelps and Aaron Peirsol's Lennon and McCartney. I also enjoyed watching Natalie Coughlin win the 100 back a few days back despite her seeming inability to swim the stroke in a straight line. As much as I've set my clock by Phelps this week, all of the swimmers on the U.S. team have, together, made for a wonderful primetime viewing experience.
Update: ESPN's Jim Caple has another great article on this subject that looks at some of the great non-American swimming stories. He writes about twelve-year-old Antoinette Joyce Guedia Mouf from Cameroon; Pamela Girimbabazi who has survived genocide, poverty, and disease in her native Rwanda to compete in the games; and Zakia Nassar of the Palestinian Territories, who won a heat of the 50 freestyle despite not being allowed to train in a nearby Olympic pool in Israel and having to practice in a 12-meter pool in Bethlehem.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Re: Praying for Rain
My answer to Shepard's question: Yes, it would be wrong. The rain you'd be praying for could be put to much better use in drought-stricken nations of East Africa, where famine seems imminent. Praying for rain to disrupt Obama's speech is akin to a church using a box of donated toiletries to vandalize a rival church instead of giving them to a women's shelter or food bank.
But maybe this misstep by Focus on the Family presents an opportunity for Christians and others to take more seriously the plight of those who suffer from drought or a lack of clean water. Maybe this video is a reminder that we should pray for rain to bring relief to another part of the world.
And while I'm thinking about it, this is a great chance for me to lift up an organization called Dry Tears. Dry Tears fights dehydration in parts of the world where water is scarce by building wells. Five Atlanta-area teenagers started the organization after one learned that dehydration in some African nations was so severe that the children cried "dry tears." Learn more at Dry Tears.org.
Note: As of this writing, I have not donated anything to Dry Tears. So, as of this writing, I have not practiced what I am preaching.
I Like This Plan; I'm Excited to Be a Part of It
People tend to forget that in the early '70's Spitz was considered by many the greatest athlete in history . . . . Not only did he win seven golds in Munich, but they came against the backdrop of one of sports' darkest chapters, the Munich Massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists. The first Olympics in Germany since Hitler's 1936 Games was not mankind's finest hour; a fact not lost on Spitz, who is Jewish. He didn't get to stick around for the closing ceremonies; being whisked away by police due to fears that he would be a target.
Spitz's absence in Beijing is both sad and strange.
Monday, August 11, 2008
You can also watch the race at NBC.com if you have the proper plug-ins. (Unfortunately, NBC's videos are not embeddable; and NBC is quickly removing all video of the race from YouTube.)
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Regarding the Olympics
That said, here are a few thoughts on the actual competition:
- I noticed that Michael Phelps is one of the few elite swimmers who uses a flip turn in the transition from backstroke to breaststroke in the individual medley. It's the little things that make him so great.
- I'm not sure whether to be impressed or concerned by the number of world records that have been broken in swimming so far.
- Whenever I watch volleyball at an elite level, I wonder why it isn't more popular as a spectator sport either in the U.S. or elsewhere. It's fast-paced yet easy to follow; it has no shortage of spectacular plays and translates well on television. Yet the U.S. has no indoor professional league and the pro beach volleyball circuit doesn't even have a page on ESPN.com. Curious.
- The most exciting non-swimming event so far, in my opinion, was the men's cycling road race. Watching made me wish I'd paid more attention to this year's Tour de France.
Friday, August 08, 2008
Resha Kate Is Frightened . . .
(CNN) -- At well over 100 years old and showing no interest in sex for over four decades, Henry is on his way to becoming a dad.
Henry, the oldest tuatara to mate at Southland Museum, enjoys a cold shower in his home in New Zealand.
Henry is a tuatara, a rare lizard-like creature that descended from dinosaurs. The tuatara has been endangered since the 1890s, and it's only found on a handful of New Zealand's offshore islands.
Regarding the title of the CNN.com article, a tuatara is not a lizard.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
On Comparing Apples and Oranges
But I don't think the idiom works. Apples and oranges are easy to compare. Consider:
- Apples and oranges are both fruits.
- Apples and oranges are roughly the same size.
- Both apples and oranges grow on trees.
- Both fruits are common in children's snacks and lunches, often in wedge form.
- Both are common in fruit salads and in the types of salads only served at picnics and pitch-ins.
I could go on. The point is that apples and oranges are similar in form and function and that the idiom, as it is commonly used, makes no sense. A more apt expression would be, "like comparing apples and tomatoes." Apples and tomatoes look similar on the surface (same color and size) but are substantially different: Apples grow on trees, tomatoes on vines; one would never put applesauce on spaghetti; one would never dip a tomato in caramel and eat it on a stick.
As it were, I'm not the first (or even the fourteen thousand, eight hundred sixty-first) person to object to the apples and oranges analogy. Wikipedia has a summary.
Monday, August 04, 2008
Then Meyer asked if we could listen to our new song on the iPod. My initial response was, "It doesn't work like that, Meyer." Then it hit me: This isn't 1995. We totally can listen to our song on the iPod. And a couple hours later we did.
So here's our song. The kids decided to call it "Everybody Sing, Everybody Play Bass."
"Everybody Sing, Everybody Play Bass" (mp3)
Music: Josh Tinley
"Lyrics": Meyer and Resha Kate Tinley
Meyer Tinley: Vocals, rack tom*
Resha Kate Tinley: Vocals
Josh Tinley: Piano, bass
(Our Yamaha keyboard is responsible for the drums)
* "Rack tom" is probably the most accurate description for the drum that came with Meyer's First Act™ percussion set.