jillithian: (Grumpy)
I am disappointed by Reader's Digest.

Growing up, I had an affinity for it as something to aspire to be smart enough to read all the way through - not just the jokes and after-story snippets.

Tim brought home a copy of the April digest from work a week or so ago with the front cover talking about living green. I read through it the other night and have been disappointed ever since.

At the bottom of the page, they had a list of 5 Things Not to Sweat.

Maybe it's my current immersion in academia that makes me require references and citations for anything stated as fact, but #1 (Turning off your car's air conditioner) and #5 (Going organic) of that list pissed me off. There are comments that just are hearsay with nothing to back them up. Vague comments just come off as incorrect and misleading.

Reader's Digest says:
Yes, the AC does affect fuel efficiency. But Consumer Reports figures it amounts to only one mile per gallon, and edmunds.com says you could end up burning more if you open the windows and increase air resistance.


Bankrate.com (in this article after speaking with, AND CITING, people from Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, Consumer Reports' auto-test department, and GasBuddy.com) says:
So to achieve maximum fuel efficiency, motorists should avoid using the air conditioner at speeds below 40 mph and travel with their windows down.
...
Drive at speeds over 55 mph with windows down and you'll decrease fuel economy by up to 20 percent or greater.
...
It's all in your speed.

You don't get that impression from the snippet Reader's Digest published, do you?

Reader's Digest says:
Since organic farms often yield less per acre than factory farms, organic food requires more land, leaving less room for forests that absorb carbon dioxide and wilderness areas that promote biodiversity.


The LA Times reported (full article also reprinted here):
The study, published in today's issue of Science, reported that organic farming methods used 50% less energy, 97% less pesticide and as much as 51% less fertilizer than conventional methods.

After two decades of cultivation, the soil in the study's test plots was still rich in nutrients, resistant to erosion and readily water absorbent. Overall, organic crop yields averaged about 20% less than conventionally farmed crops, although the differences covered a wide range. Potato yields, for example, were 58% to 66% of those produced by conventional means. The production of wheat reached 90% of a conventional harvest.

...

To measure the benefits and drawbacks of each system, the researchers set up 96 small plots on a site near Basel, Switzerland where they grew wheat and potatoes on a seven-year crop rotation cycle.

After three cycles, Fliessbach said that the advantages conferred by the organic system could be divided into "below ground benefits" and "above ground benefits."

Below-ground benefits included a rich diversity of microorganisms, which in turn led to better soil structure, more efficient plant growth and superior water absorbency. Higher counts of beneficial insects such as earthworms contributed to soil fertility and reduced fertilizer requirements by half.

Above ground, organic farming proved resistant to the classical scourges of farming crops : drought and erosion. It also eliminated the problems of pesticide and nitrogen fertilizer pollution.
...

In April 2001, Washington State's Reganold published a six-year study in the magazine Nature, concluding that organic apple farming was not only better for the soil and the environment than its conventional counterpart but had comparable yields, higher profits and greater energy efficiency.

Again, with the over generalization, Reader's Digest fails to confer the truth and instead just perpetuates hearsay.
jillithian: (Grumpy)
So, I found my first white hair today. That was a pleasant way to start the morning.

I'm stuck in a rut with the "idonwannas". Idonwanna work on this one support call anymore today because the guy I'd have to ask for the third time on this same issue has been acting a bit touchy towards me lately (hmm, I wonder why when I have to ask him so many questions on the same stuff all the time.....) and it is really becoming a pain in my ass. I don't like leaving things uncompleted but there is no way to make this work correctly. geh

I also am feeling a little (read: a lot) stressed about my workload for the semester and also planning things for the culminating project. I want checklists and format requirements and there aren't any. And I just want to bang my head on the desk. Idonwanna ask questions. I want all of my answers easily findable in detailed checklists on the internet. Is that too much to ask?

And I'm fucking pissed at Microsoft. WTF with the new Office 2007 and it's stupid new extensions that aren't immediately usable in any older version of Office?! And Open Office hasn't yet released the version that's due this month that can open that shit. Of course the university had to install Office 2007 on all of its computers and of course its default is to save it in the unusable format so that I have to dick around on the internet trying to find some stupid program that will allow me to even VIEW the fucking things when I could be getting my fucking homework done. So last night, instead of analyzing Steinway Piano's production processes and measures of quality compared to other companies today for my Operations Management group project that's due on Thursday, I was busy searching and downloading for stupid extension adapting programs (finding none), then looking for view programs so that I'd at least be able to see what I would then need to recreate manually. I ended up giving up at 9pm and emailed my group members to let them know I'd just work on it today. I'm sorry if I don't have $400 to drop on an over-bloated suite of programs just to be able to do the same things that it's 10-yr old versions can do just as well, if not better.

Fuck. I just want to kick shit but I feel too fucking useless and impotent to get anything done. I feel like I'm wading through chest-deep mud and it's such a fucking effort to move even a little and then I see how much further I have to go and I don't feel like I've gotten anywhere.
jillithian: (That kind of day)
OK. So I had Netflix back in 2000 - 2002 because the $10 a month was cheaper than cable and I was a poor college student.

This month we decided to finally fire it back up again.

Of course, the week after we start, this happens.

We've gotten a total of 2 DVDs so far and then an email saying they have shipping problems.

WTF?
jillithian: (Toe Jam)
I'm so excited!!! I just can't hide it! I know - I know - I know - I know - I know I want YOU. I want YOU.



Except for I got you!

Reason why I hate UPS: I had the above shoe order from Fluevog slated to arrive on Friday of last week. They sent it from San Francisco via UPS. I had an order from A Greater Gift (this really neat online store/catalog that sells fair trade items made to help reduce poverty in countries over the world) also due to arrive last Friday. They sent it from Connecticut via FedEx. FedEx drops it at my front door early Friday morning. Woo Hoo! UPS calls my cell phone twice with weird voice mail messages, gives me a vague delivery window (between 8am and 7pm, which is ever so convenient for those of us who work!), and then leaves a sticker on my door saying I can't just sign for it and gives me their inconvenient 30 minute window at the end of the day that I can pick it up.

Blarg to UPS. I understand they work really well for other things, but for the person who works normal M-F work hours away from the home, they are utterly irritating.

Anyhoo, I was lucky in that my conference call this morning lasted longer than normal, so I left for home for lunch today 17 minutes later than usual. I was also lucky in that the dog is really becoming obstinate about not going in her crate when I leave. Combine that with my last minute scavenging of the cupboards for an afternoon snack, and I step out the front door to see the UPS truck two houses down from me. The lady stops at my sidewalk, lets me sign her electronic thingie, and hands me my NEW SHOES. *clapclapclapclapclap* I haven't had a chance to try them on yet. I'm very excited, if you hadn't already noticed. They are on clearance, though, so the only sizes they had near my own (7.5) were the 6 and 8. So I ordered an 8. I haven't had a chance to try them. I will be so VERY UPSET if they don't fit, but I think they will be fine. If they work, I think I can then relegate my old Skechers that I bought in Boston a few years back to be my permanent lawn mowing shoes.

Interesting side note: Miss Jody Mae was visiting this weekend and spied my stupid love note from UPS and quickly got excited. "Did you buy those boots?!?!" Alas, no. I cannot really allow myself a $500 purchase at the moment - even with the stimulus check - for boots I don't really have the balls to wear very often. My car just hit 100,000 miles last month on my way back from Dallas, and has slowly been picking things to cost me money. I cannot afford another car until possibly next summer (or, I'll at least have a better down payment by then), so I will have to use the stimulus money to get my car in better shape.

tangent

Feb. 18th, 2008 11:22 am
jillithian: (Grumpy)
I am very disturbed by the media and their use of posting videos and pictures of large people sans head/face. It leads me to believe that some media big cheese said "Go out there and just take pictures of fat people" and I doubt that the people in the images are ever informed that their picture was taken. Can you imagine just turning on the news and suddenly there's your butt or stomach or torso up there on tv along with a report on obesity? That would be horrifying. It reeks of old school objectification and discrimination (Lookit the darkies!). I don't see how so many people find it ok. And chopping off the head of the person is not doing anything to save their privacy. If anything, it makes it more objectifying and de-humanizing. Those fat bodies don't have faces. They aren't people. They don't have feelings. They are just fat bodies for you to look at, jeer at, and judge.

It just makes me mad and grumpy.

I got into a heated argument with an ex-boyfriend once about whether or not large people should pay more for an airplane seat - much like the carry-on baggage requirements. He thought there should be a seat that large people sit in to see if they will fit or need to pay for an extra ticket. I would be horrified. I understand that airplanes are cramped as it is and sitting next to a large person can make it even more cramped, but forcing a human being to be measured and fitted like baggage in front of the public is just horrible. He was claiming that it should be like luggage - you pay more for your luggage to fly if it is oversized or overweight. And I agree that the option should be available for a larger person to purchase the second seat at a discounted price if their size doesn't permit them to sit comfortably in a standard sized seat, but the airlines are in the people transport business - not the baggage transport business. If they treat large persons more and more like baggage (as if they don't treat everyone like sardines anyway), they will lose customers - and not just large bodied customers.

That's all I got. I'm not sure if any of it made sense, but it was something to take my mind off the fact that Kiko is sick...

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