All posts by robotchampion

Don’t reuse floss – it’s gross

I have something terribly gross for you. Something so detestable you certainly won’t think of it like reusing a toothbrush. A bathroom act that asks you to wash and reuse. This despicable act is to reuse your floss.

Floss is different from a toothbrush or comb because it goes in your mouth. It is now infected with disease and should be immediately be thrown out. Do not even think of rinsing it off and using again. Definitely do not be place it next to the toothbrush that you will rinse off and use again.

Remember, the Earth has infinite resources and we should not worry about little things like floss. There is enough landfill space for billions of strings. We have enough room for the daily floss of 8 billion people and the 2.9 trillion pieces they could use each year.

So the next time you floss avoid reusing it. Make sure to throw it away and buy more at the store. It’s cheap and you can always grab some money off your money tree.

 

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How many baths could I get from a rainstorm?

From the USGS Water Science School:

Let’s say your house sits on a one-half acre lot. And let’s say you get a storm that drops 1 inch of rain. You’ve just received 13,577 gallons of water on your yard. A big bath holds about 40 gallons of water, so if you could save that inch of water you could take a daily bath for 339 days!

 

A great reason to get a rain barrel and collect all that water. Place it underneath your gutters and you’ll have an endless supply of water for your garden. Be a water warrior!

 

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The joy of bodysurfing & doing it dangerously in Tahiti

It’s not everyday that ESPN covers bodysurfing, here is Keith Malloy:

When I was a kid, my friends and I would go down to the beach and kind of camp all day. When you’re a kid the experience of being at the beach is just as good as actually surfing. We would leave our boards on the beach, go out and just get slammed, pull into the barrel and look at each other. You know, just that typical grom stuff.

 

The joy of bodysurfing and I love it, but then they took it to another level on the dangerous waves of Tahiti. View the behind-the-scenes photos of their trip from the movie Come Hell or High Water.

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Peter Jackson releases an iPhone, iPad app for The Hobbit

Peter Jackson’s behind-the-scenes extras are legendary and this new iPhone, iPad app for The Hobbit should be fun:

View animated character portraits, travel through an interactive map of Middle-earth, watch Peter Jackson’s production videos, and explore the stunning narrative imagery of “The Scroll” artwork to immerse yourself in the world of Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, deadly Wargs, giant Spiders and fearsome Dragons.

 
I’m excited to get my geek on! Here is the link to download - http://bit.ly/HobbitMoviesApp

 

 

The ‘dirty’ middle class

I propose a new way to think about the Great Recession in America. Instead of the middle class is dying, how about the dirty middle class is dying. The way of life where overconsumption and gas guzzling is more American than recycling or biking. If our energy supply can be both dirty and clean, why not our lifestyles?

Consider the average family spends 20% of their budget on transportation. That’s 10 weeks/year just to pay for car and gas. But what about the big gas guzzlers, the kind that cost $80 to fill-up. No one wants to pay $100 for gas but that is where we are headed. And yet there are plenty of them on the street. As those gas prices tick up I think they will slowly disappear and be replaced by bikes and EV’s.

Food is another area in slow decline. You might’ve heard that 69% of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s a lot of extra money spent on food, especially when times are tight. A new report shows our consumption of candy and processed foods has doubled in the last 30 years. What if a family were to save money by committing to healthy portion sizes, cutting out processed foods, and putting that savings towards college.

Last, think about the basic rule of disposable goods. They only work once and you have to buy more every week. Not only is this horrible for the environment but it costs a lot of money. Families could go broke following the jingles in commercials. And those who are pushing hard on – reduce, reuse, recycle – are again finding themselves with extra money to spend on family vacations.

After all, isn’t that what being in the middle class is about, family vacations? Being able to work, have fun, and save a little money for college or retirement. I thought so, but somehow that dream became owning an SUV, overeating, and buying something to throw out. But take solace in knowing that this dirty way of life is moving towards extinction. To be replaced by green families who ride bikes and have vegetable gardens.

It gives new meaning to the saying, there goes the neighborhood.

 

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Join 600,000 global volunteers – Coastal Cleanup Day, Sep 15, 2012

For 25 years volunteers have gathered together for Coastal Cleanup Day. The annual event takes place this year on the morning of September 15, 2012.

To volunteer in California visit the California Coastal Commission. For anywhere else visit International Coastal Cleanup.

You can also take a pledge to keep our waters trash free, and follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

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Biomimicry at the zoo – San Diego Zoo creates a Centre for Bioinspiration

Science look to nature for innovation, via BBC News:

San Diego Zoo in California has opened a Centre for Bioinspiration, which aims to take ideas from nature to see if they can be applied to solve human issues.

The concept is known as biomimicry.

 

Examples of biomimicry, from Xconomy:

Mirasol display technology…generates colors…by mimicking the interference of reflected light by microscopic scales on the iridescent surface of the morpho butterfly’s wings.

—San Diego’s Biomatrica has developed DNA and RNA preservation technology based on anhydrobiosis, a dehydration process that occurs in nature with brine shrimp and other organisms.

 

Fascinating stuff. More examples can be found at San Diego Zoo’s – Biomimicry in Action.

 

// Image - Biomimicry in Action

Become a water warrior – 9 recommendations for water conservation

It’s hard to commit to using less water because it involves everything fine and delicate: cleaning our bodies, our food, and our clothes. We have a level of comfort with cleanliness and nobody wants to be smelly. The United States is particularly obsessed with this (“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”). We use nearly as much water as China and they have four times the population.

And water conservation is a worthwhile cause, from the EPA:

In the last five years, nearly every region of the country has experienced water shortages. At least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013, even under non-drought conditions.

We are in a drought.

Keep that in mind with these water conservation tips. Approach them with caution, do a little at a time, and find your comfort level. At times you may go too far and that is okay. Often I go too long without showering and am reminded, it’s time.

Water use in the home covers four areas: kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and outdoors. Which I break down into two categories – turn-off the running water and change your habits. The first is such a common sense idea, but we frequently keep the water running without doing anything. When you brush your teeth for 2 minutes and use the running water for 5 seconds. Or, when you pause in the shower to lather and ignore the gushing stream behind you.

I daresay these are easy changes:

  • Brushing teeth – brush, floss, and don’t turn on the water until you rinse your toothbrush and mouth. Use a cup to save even more water.
  • Cleaning dishes – Use running water after you scrubbed your dishes. A moist sponge can get you 90% clean. Make sure to place other dishes to collect the run-off.
  • Washing hands – turn off the water while you soap your hands.
  • Lathering in the shower – turn off the water for a few minutes while you lather, turn on to rinse off.

I know these are simple and common sense, but they are also habits. Repeated practice can save bucketfuls of water. Remember, the average American uses 100 gallons of water/day!

The second recommendation is for the water warriors. These require true determination, involving a substantial change:

  • Shorter showers – Five minutes is the goal, but four minutes will make you a legend.
  • Wash your clothes half as much – many clothing items, like jeans, can go weeks without washing.
  • No more dishwasher – some say that a full dishwasher is more efficient than hand washing, but the average dishwasher uses 4-10 gallons of water. Can you use less?
  • Watering the lawn – water less and less until you notice the grass slightly brown. That is the ideal amount to use.
  • Recycle gray water – Keep a pitcher next to the sink for recycling gray water. This is water free of soap and chemicals but containing food bits and such. Give it to your plants because they don’t mind a little dirt.

I have tested these recommendations and found them very livable. It took a few weeks to learn each habit, but now I’m proud of my water use. I think I’m becoming a water warrior!

Maybe I’m ready for the big challenges.

 

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