Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Wednesday 1 August 2007

I admit that on occasion I've bought bottled water, for example on long road-trips. But I've also found it amusing that Evian backwards spells...well, you can figure it out. The Economist this week explains why, exactly, buying bottled water shows consumers are daft:

The success of bottled water is in many ways one of capitalism’s greatest mysteries. Studies show consistently that tap water is purer than many bottled waters—not including those that contain only tap water, which by some estimates is 40% of the total by volume. The health benefits that are claimed for some bottled waters are unproven, at best. By volume, bottled water often costs 1,000 times the price of tap water. Indeed, even with oil prices sky high, a litre of bottled water can cost more than a litre of petrol. And on top of that, there are the environmental costs of transporting bottled water and of manufacturing and disposing of the bottles.

Yet sales of bottled water have been booming. In 2006 Americans spent nearly $11 billion buying 31.2 billion liters of the stuff, an increase in volume of 9.5% on a year earlier. The average American drank 104.5 L of bottled water last year, up from 63.2 L in 2000.

All of which shows the problems of the average IQ being 100.

Wednesday 1 August 2007 12:28:46 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Kitchen Sink | Politics | Weather#
Tuesday 31 July 2007

What?, he's thinking, I'm being good:

Tuesday 31 July 2007 09:08:32 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Thursday 26 July 2007

(Via Bruce Schneier.) I'm really not sure what to make of this, or what, actually, they're selling:

Thursday 26 July 2007 13:51:59 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Security#

I recently started introducing Parker to some new foods that the dog walkers recommended, and what do you know? Parker cleans his bowl of every last kibble. There seems to be a side-effect, however: he's put on more than a kilo since his last weighing on July 4th, up to 26 kg. Back to a strict feeding schedule, dude. Sorry.

Thursday 26 July 2007 10:43:20 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Wednesday 25 July 2007

A coyote hanging out at Francis Cardinal George's mansion got away from Chicago Animal Control on Monday. Repeatedly:

The wild animal played hide-and-seek with police officers and later the Animal Care and Control team for more than five hours. The last three hours were spent chasing the coyote back and forth from baseball fields at Lake Shore Drive and LaSalle Street to the yard of Cardinal Francis George's residence at North Avenue and State Street.

The coyote seems to have sought sanctuary recently on the mansion's grounds. The nuns at the residence said they were not bothered by the coyote, which they say gets rid of the rabbits that ravage their garden.

Yes, they get rid of rabbits, which have surged in Chicago since West Nile started killing all the crows a few years ago. (Crows eat rabbit kits as hors d'oeuvres.) So why bother the coyote?

"It doesn't make sense," bystander Mahlon Canete said after the coyote whipped past him. "They're chasing him with a van. That was embarrassing."

...

Shortly after the officers abandoned their hunt Monday, the coyote made its way to the middle of the cardinal's yard and lay down for the first time in hours.

Wednesday 25 July 2007 08:26:16 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Chicago#
Monday 23 July 2007

Paws for a moment.

Also, I devoured Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend. I don't think I'm giving anything away when I tell you...

Monday 23 July 2007 09:00:45 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Thursday 19 July 2007

These things are cool. For about $1,000 each, the Shelter Box Trust (Shelter Box USA here) provides shelter to people in disaster areas. They've distributed over 32,000 boxes to half a million people since 2001, including to Indonesia in December 2004 and New Orleans in August 2005.

Thursday 19 July 2007 15:42:44 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | World#

Neither rain, nor snow, nor dead of night, can keep Parker from playing with a tennis ball:

Thursday 19 July 2007 08:06:58 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Daily#
Tuesday 17 July 2007

..."none of the above." So says the latest AP/Ipsos poll (PDF; via Talking Points Memo):

In a new AP/Ipsos Poll, 25% of Republican respondents say they are either undecided or would prefer someone other than the current field — more than the vote share of any actual candidates listed in the poll. Compare this to the Democratic side, where only 13% of respondents are undecided or prefer none of the above. In the horse-race numbers, Rudy Giuliani leads the GOP side with 21%, followed by Fred Thompson at 19%, John McCain at 15%, and Mitt Romney at 11%. Among Dems: Hillary Clinton 36%, Barack Obama 20%, Al Gore 15%, and John Edwards 11%.

The poll also shows the "right direction/wrong track" numbers at 26% and 69%, respectively. Fortunately, at maximum, only 553 days and two hours remain in the worst presidency ever.

Tuesday 17 July 2007 10:11:52 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | US#
Monday 16 July 2007

Via security guru Bruce Schneier, an actual, real-world Trojan Horse that gets in...well, almost everywhere.

Monday 16 July 2007 13:25:34 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Jokes | Security#

I'll be participating once more in the Les Turner ALS Foundation's annual Walk4Life, this year on September 8th. You can make donations to my mom's team through CharityWeb.

Here's the text of my mom's letter...

Monday 16 July 2007 10:08:29 CDT (UTC-05:00)  | Comments [0] | Chicago | Kitchen Sink#
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David Braverman and Parker
David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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