On Skeleton


Hold it, just hold on a fucking second. The last several Olympics, summer and winter, have carried a certain sporting elitist criticism on various new sports added to the games. Sports like snowboarding and BMX have been derided by various idiots as not being true sports, presumably because the sports' elite athletes utter words like "stoked" -- or the more vehement "totally stoked" -- to explain the inner workings of the sport. Frontside. Backside. Fakie. McTwist. Apparently these are unacceptable bastardizations of the English language, but somehow Slachow is perfectly acceptable conversation if you are listening to Scott Hamilton. Well, this shit all annoyed me but I pawned it off as old school stupidity and narrow mindedness -- until tonight,…

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Adaptations (aka: Happy Birthday, Evolution!)


Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection", and I for one am feeling a little celebratory. The importance of Darwin's work cannot be understated. Last year, I took a couple of semesters worth of biology classes, and natural selection could be seen at work throughout those two very entertaining semesters, chapter after chapter, after chapter. Evolution's important shit, man! That Darwin concluded what he did before modern genetics science existed, is a testament to his genius. That evolution can be called into question as "just a theory" by noted scholars such as George W. Bush, and that this stance is perceived as acceptable to any rationally…

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Mad and Madder


Maureen Dowd's Op-ed piece in the Times yesterday was just great. As many Americans continue to struggle, Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, banks that took government bailout money after throwing the entire world into crisis, have said they will dish out $30 billion in bonuses -- up 60 percent from last year. The saying used to be, whatever happens, the lawyers win. Now, it's whatever happens, the bankers win. This kind of stuff just pisses me off, and it's the kind of stuff that needs to be constantly brought to the surface because, well, because it does. And I was invigorated with a fresh dose of skepticism and hatred for these people, thanks to Ms. Dowd. Dare I say,…

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Your (sic) so Gay! (or, Baseball Fan Intelligence as Expressed in Facebook Status Messages)


I knew this would be a fun World Series, with two teams I like in there, and a good matchup to boot. With a large percentage of my Facebook friends hailing from the Philadelphia area, I detected a certain bias toward the Lesser League's team in the growing wave of "go team!" status messages over the last few days, and that's to be expected. After all, trash talking is how we as fans can participate in the game. Unfortunately, many of the sentiments expressed in the many Facebok status messages I saw last night ranged from infantile to eerily homophobic. Apparently, a favorite pastime is to call an opposing player a homosexual. For example, this zinger floated across my laptop…

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Cause and Effect


Ever since Brenda & I moved to Boulder there has been one glaring omission from our daily lives, and that is settling down to read a good local newspaper. Back in Jersey, the Star Ledger was an excellent paper that originated from the local county where we last lived in that state. We got great reporting and writing, on everything from the international to the very local. The sports page was phenomenal. Molly Ivins' column was printed regularly, and we had almost no use for the New York Times and its holier-than-thou masthead font (and pricing). Here in Boulder, we have the Daily Camera. Now, being a Boulder newspaper, the Camera boasts some interesting and fun features that definitely pander…

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Green Signatures in the News (Again)


Well, my silly little piece on "green" email signatures is in the news again, this time in the L.A. Times. When I wrote that, it was cathartic because I was so frustrated by a particular co-worker and his sanctimonious ways, and his mindless insistence that we all preach to our clients this message that I felt went without saying. Who knew it would become the single most popular post on my website and the source for two newspaper articles on green email signatures (and a television interview that as far as I know landed on the cutting room floor)? Of course the fact that I work in sustainable design and live in left-leaning Boulder Colorado made my frowny post…

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Green Signature Drafts


Working for a sustainable design consultant, as I do, I am continually exposed to exciting and interesting individuals with progressive views and ideas. The climate change crisis is real, and I'm excited to be helping in some small way to affect architectural design in a positive and sustainable way. But the sustainable message is bubbling over into my colleagues' email signatures, as evidenced by a recent email, which carried the following message after the author's signoff: "please consider the environment before printing this message." What a great idea, to follow every email message with a smug, self-satisfied, holier-than-thou little dig at your own client, I thought! That's not condescending at all! So this evening I sat down to draft my…

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Uh, Al? Helloooooo...


The other day I signed and emailed a message to Congress calling for action to solve the climate change issues facing the planet, and sent it to Al Gore as part of his presentation in Washington. Yesterday, I got this thank you email: Dear Rob, Thank you! By 10:00 AM yesterday, as I took my seat in the hearing room, an incredible 519,414 people had signed our message to Congress demanding immediate action to solve the climate crisis. All of those boxes chock full of your messages, sitting right next to me as I testified, were a fantastic show of support and one that is already having an impact as our Representatives and Senators begin to debate solutions…

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