Monday, January 28, 2013

United States Popular Vote

One thing I try to avoid every talking about is politics - especially US Politics. But recently there has been a lot of media attention on the electoral college and certain states attempting to pass laws that would change how electoral votes are allocated. See: here here here here here here. What you read in the news is never the full story and I feel compelled to let as many people know that there is another story that should be getting media attention but is not.

The crux of the story is that after the republican party lost the presidency to the democratic party again in the last election, states with republican controlled legislatures decided to change the way electoral votes in their state were allocated to favor their party.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A History of Food Trucks

Let's first start with the advent of food trucks. Food trucks have been around much longer than anyone cares to admit. The concept of food trucks did not originate with the dawn of hipsters, nor did they first appear 50 years ago in the form of ice cream trucks. Food trucks have even been around much longer than the first food wagons seen in New York City. In fact, food trucks originated in the United States shortly after the Civil War! The food truck can be traced back to the original chuckwagons created in 1866 that provided much-needed support to ranchers and loggers on their long journeys.

Food trucks have become popular in recent years, but where did they originate from?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Shaving for Less: Not That Hard

Short-short version: Dorco = Dollar Shave Club for a lot less.

Lately, there have been a lot of people telling me I should switch to dollar shave club to save money on razors. When I thought about this proposal, it didn't overwhelm me. I have been using the same disposable razors for about 10 years. Whenever I start to run low, I wait for a good deal online or at my local store and I stock up. I never thought too hard about how much each razor was costing until now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

All about Ripening Bananas A.K.A. Do bananas have souls?

I've long heard that putting fruit like bananas in a paper bag will ripen them faster - something to do with the gases given off speeds up the ripening process and the bag somehow traps these gases. But with every produce expert online there still doesn't seem to be any measure of how much faster the ripening occurs so I decided to do some experiments of my own. I called these experiments "Do bananas have souls?" after the famous "scientific" study on human souls by Duncan MacDougall.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Amy Winehouse and the Forever 27 Club

Now, I'm not a avid fan of Amy Winehouse myself but her death yesterday (23 July 2011) has given me reasons to pause. For one, I'm also 27 this year. Two, there is something about the age of 27 that claims the life of of musicians.

For those unfamiliar with the Forever 27 Club:
Between 1969 and 1971, four famous artists died at the age of 27, Brian Jones of the rolling stones (3 July 1969), Jimi Hendrix (18 September 1970), Janis Joplin (4 October 1970), and Jim Morrison of The Doors (3 July, 1971). The coincidence of their deaths lead to the creation of the Forever 27 Club. Years later, Kurt Cobain killed himself and joined the club also (5 April, 1994). One thing all these member have in common is rock & roll and drugs. With the exception of Morrison, all the members were known heavy drug users. Some speculate that even Morrison was under the influence of drugs during his death - no autopsy was preformed in his case but some conflicting reports suggest he was using at the time of death.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cloning a Trachea

In the news there is a story about a man from Eritrea going to school in Iceland recovering from surgery in Sweden where a surgeon born in Italy recently gave him a new trachea grown in a bioreactor from the United States composed of synthetic scaffold designed in the United Kingdom and the man's own stem cells! The world is certainly getting smaller and the smaller it gets the more specialists like surgeon Paolo Macchiarini and others can collaborate to make stories like this possible. I'm posting this because it's a relevant update to a blog entry I made recently on Cloning.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Water Conservation in the Home

The story of water in Brazil is a tale of contrasts. On one side, Brazil holds 12% of the world’s fresh surface waters, is home to the largest natural rainforest and second longest river in the world, the Amazon. The Amazon discharges an average 200 million liters of water per second, one fifth of the entire global river output (learn more). On the other side, 25% of Brazil's population lives in the state of São Paulo where less than 2% of that water is found. Sadly, not everyone in living in Brazil can afford clean water supply and sanitation. The good news is that the Brazilian government has been making a lot of progress on this issue.
I recently came across a very interesting TV ad that aired in Brazil advocating water conservation (shown below). This commercial put out by SOS Mata Atlantica urges viewers to pee in the shower. To most people, this might seem like a crazy idea just to save a little extra water but, as the ad points out one flush can use up to 12 liters of drinking water (4380 liters per year). As pointed out above, certain parts of Brazil could benefit greatly from this kind of conservation.