Friday, October 28, 2005

Is it just me...

Or is "new and improved" just code for "unneccesarily more difficult"? I've been trying to post pictures all morning, but the new Picasa2 software update is insanely, almost belligerently useless. If I try to post pictures through Hello, which is a Picasa program, I get an error message and the pictures won't load. If I do it through Picasa's "BlogThis!" feature, the pictures post but the links are broken. So, what is the fucking point of the software update? I mean, was it so difficult before? I was perfectly fine with what I had been doing for almost a year now.

I've come to the conclusion that software updates are only there so people who don't work very hard can justify holding on to their jobs past the point of all reason. The new America Online update is intrusive and pointless, too. God forbid anything should just be easy to do. All I know is, half of what I do on this blog involves posting pictures, and if I can't post pictures anymore, I just don't see the point of blogging. Where else can I get a free blog that isn't as shitty as My Space?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Happy Birthday, Becca!


Just don't spend the whole night "partying" with Kate Hudson. Like always. I know what you two are doing... and I'm very jealous. Posted by Picasa

How's That World Hunger Thing Going?

Did you know that microorganisms such as algae, fungi, and bacteria can live on materials that are unsuitable for food and, if the conditions are right, grow and produce edible nutrients? And that this process is far more rapid than, say, plant growth? Why aren't we experimenting with this? Imagine adding micronutrients to flour and fortifying it into bread. Do you know what that could, conceivably, produce? Bread with protein. Bread with the same nutrients as vitamins. Cheap and easy, like Americans like all of their stuff to be.

Now, if this is possible, why aren't we cultivating it and giving it to poor people in Africa? Seems more useful than pennies a day.

Just a thought.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Just Can't Wait to Get on the Road Again

Here are a couple of things I believe to be true: first, that your government doesn't care about your well-being and your comfort as much as it cares about your obedience and unquestioning subservience. Second, that the American people allow themselves to be herded because it's easier than taking the responsibility that's supposed to come with freedom. If neither of these things were true, the majority of people wouldn't allow the government (and the rich companies who are the government's masters) to get away with most of the shit they get away with. Isn't there something in the Constitution about how the people have the final authority in America?

Well, in America, it's really the Saudis that have all of the authority, because they pay Darth Dubya's empire to run the place. They dangle cheap gasoline in front of him, then pull it away like Lucy Van Pelt with a big, black football when he comes running towards it. They can set whatever prices they want for it, and we'll just pay it, because our country is stupid enough to believe that oil is the only real fuel choice we have. And, like most things, the country is wrong.

Let's switch tracks for a few moments (trust me, both will converge at the end). Farm Aid. I don't know, I never much saw the point of Farm Aid. We know how to grow food, the farmers aren't the gatekeepers of secret knowledge anymore, so who cares if they can't afford a few extra workers. They have machines for everything now, right? I was, as happens, being willfully ignorant of the whole situation. Our economy was, at one point, based on agriculture, and even today, food's the one thing people will agree is more important than gas and their precious cable television. Agriculture is incredibly important, and we're fucking it up by pumping chickens full of chemicals that are actually harmful to humans and feeding cows remnants of other cows and creating a disease that, if it continues to its final stupidity, will decimate the meat supply and force us onto vegitarian diets. And then, naturally, we'll find a way to screw that up, too.

Willie Nelson explains that farms are an important producer of resources, and of course he's right (I mean, he's Willie Nelson). And they no longer receive the same economic parity (not just money for labor but also tax breaks and economic welfare) as other resource producers--that is, companies that make iron and steel, that mine precious ores or natural gases, that sell oil and gas, or even, say, Nike. I don't know, America: do you think shoes are more important than food, or what? My guess is probably not. And I'm from Illinois. I live in DeKalb County, which has some of the best (if not the best) soil for growing in the world; six straight feet of topsoil, baby. We grow the world's corn, and this summer, the crop was essentially ruined by this summer's heatwave. I don't know, maybe if the American bread basket was still the American bread basket, it would seem like companies wouldn't have an excuse for raising food prices this winter (and they will, just watch).

So, how do we save the farms? How do we stop the government from paying some farms not to grow anything? How to we put this important resource back to work? Well, here's where farming, oil, and Willie Nelson all come together to make one (rather astute, if I do say so myself) point. It's called biodiesel. Go to Wikipedia to read all about it. It is, at its simplest, a product that makes gasoline out of vegetable oil. I know that gas companies and the government like to pretend that this is something that will exist far, far off in the future, but that's a lie. In fact, it was created by a German scientist, Rudolf Diesel, in 1893: the original Diesel engine ran on peanut oil.

Willie Nelson, that great man, drives a car (and a tour bus) that runs on biodiesel fuel that is primarily made out of vegetable oil and soy. Well, as long as we keep the ground fertile, we probably aren't going to run out of soy. You do realize that our current fossil fuels will run out eventually, right? It doesn't renew, you can't grow it, you can't really synthesize it well. When it's gone, it's completely gone, and that's an unmistakeable fact. Soy, however, can be grown in bulk, stored in bulk, and transesterified to make gasoline. And the best part of all of this is that we can grow it and make it ourselves, in America, with no Saudi or Iraqi gas needed, and we can finally start ignoring the Middle East and Israel the way we should be.

How do we get the farms back? Give them the economic parity they deserve, subsidize them, open more and give them more land, and start them growing our fuel supply. Everyone wins, except for the oil cronies (like, you know, Halliburton and George W. Bush) and the Arabs, and without our money, it just makes it that much harder for the House of Saud to subsidize the terrorists they claim to know nothing about. Although it's awfully convenient for 9/11 (an act committed by "pilots" from Saudi Arabia) to have nearly created an oil crisis that Saudi Arabia has benefited from. I'm just saying, is all.

Hell, have Willie Nelson explain it to America; everyone loves Willie Nelson. Advertise the new biodiesel-powered Hondas and Chevys and whatnot on TV with the song "On the Road Again." Supposedly, biodiesel is more expensive than fossil fuel, but it won't be if everyone starts using it. Hell, it's safer, it's more efficient, and it reduces the money available to terrorists. What is so wrong with this plan? We grow our own gas, we pay for our own gas, the government still makes the money, and the oil companies can try and get in on it and get rich off of something that actually benefits America for once.

I don't know, it just seems obvious to me.