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OpenMarket: April 2007

  • How To Go Green For A Gazillion Bucks

    April 24, 2007
    The May issue of Vogue arrived on my doorstep this week, filled with all the usual high fashion photos and news. But this issue also featured a section on how the trendy set can "go green." It seems that "the private-jet set are not just cutting carbs, they're cutting their carbon footprints." What that means, judging from the Vogue write-up, is that one can buy things like the Country Comforts-brand "repurposed" down pillows for $63 a pop, an $843 Marni tote, a $960 Hermes wallet-size pouch, a $275 painted tote, and-- my favorite--a $331 brown (cotton?) tank top from Bergdorf Goodman. And how could I forget the $1,425 leather grocery bag by Boudicca? The list goes on. Now, I'm not quibbling with columnist E.J. Dionne's column today arguing that charitable deeds by the...
  • From the Mouths of Babes: A Poetic Approach to Recycling

    April 24, 2007

    Yesterday's "How Did You Celebrate Earth Day?" post generated an unexpected response from Nishant Magar of the American Chemical Society. Apparently our friends at ACS spent Earth Day celebrating the poetic and artisitc talents of school children. That's right - this year chemists celebrated Earth Day with a "Kindergarten-12th Grade Illustrated Haiku Contest" with the theme "Recycling - Chemistry Can!"

  • In Defense of the Bundle

    April 24, 2007
    Has everyone been taking French lessons without me? That's the feeling I get when I see the increasing chatter about "a la carte" for everything. Of course, these demands don't come from consumers. Rather, consumer advocates, who hate bundling -- the art of packaging several goods or services. Why? Because they claim bundles give us less choice. Surely some bundling does result in lost choice, but the choices left to us are usually more affordable, better quality, or both. McDonalds is a perfect example. By standardizing, you're faced with a big menu with numbers. "I'll have a number six, please." Turns out that number six meal is a whole heck of a lot cheaper, since the menu encourages similar orders and marginal costs decline. The numbers have also stopped the guy ahead of me from stammering through the menu trying to what size drink he wants. Pick a number buddy, this is...
  • Could this be the end

    April 24, 2007
  • Toilet Humor

    April 24, 2007
    Sheryl Crow is now claiming that her toilet paper idea was a joke.The reaction to it should tell her something about the environmental movement.  People thought it was a serious suggestion because they are used to hearing equally ludicrous things coming from environmentalists.  Even The Daily Show took her at face value last night.  Until green environmentalists square the circle of modern life with their concerns about it and their proposed statist solutions, they're going to face exactly the same problem.  Her joke has almost certainly harmed the statist green cause, for which I am grateful to her. It also says something about how America views its celebrities.  But that's a discussion for another place.
  • Fred Talks Global Warming and Sheryl Crow with Tucker Carlson

    April 24, 2007

    Binary Data
  • The Latest from Chavezuela

    April 23, 2007
    It's hard to believe this is even a question. The comments vary in opinion and quality, but one Venezuelan poster is worth quoting:
    The readers, Hugo Chavez and the BBC should notice that 99% of the comments from Venezuelan people are against Chavez. If foreigners want to praise him, they should come and live here for a year, and lets see and see 'Chavez's great government' for themselves. Ana Lopez, Caracas, Venezuela
    Meanwhile, according to The New York Post, Venezuelan actress Maria Conchita Alonso recently blasted Hugo Chavez's "anti-democratic practices and terrorist-encouraging rhetoric." (Thanks to Thomas D. Walls III...
  • Re: How Did You Celebrate Earth Day?

    April 23, 2007
    I spent the day reading. I did drive my car, though -- and it's not a hybrid.
  • Union Decline - It's not just in America anymore

    April 23, 2007
    The decline of organized labor in America's private sector is a well-known story, but less known to Americans is how much the rest of the Anglosphere shares this trend. As the UK's New Economist blog notes:
    In Canada, union membership levels increased by 62,000 in 2006, while union density fell from 30.0% in 2005 to 29.7% in 2006. "Those in the public sector ...were four times as likely as their private-sector counterparts to belong to a union (71.0% versus 17.5%)", writes StatsCanada. In the United States, the BLS reported in January that 12.0% percent of US employed wage and salary workers were union members in 2006, down...
  • Google glacier going, going, gone

    April 23, 2007
    For what I only surmise was the observance of Earth Day, Google had a figure of its logo as a melting glacier (which still appeared atop search results today).


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