January 26, 2008

Lets do the Mambo Shuffle

I woke up today with the sole goal of going to do a 9-mile run with the running group I have been running with as of late. The plan was to head from a common meeting local, run downtown to the starting line of the Mardi Gras Mambo 10k, run with the competitors for 3 miles and loop in. My friend Brennan was running the whole race and I told him I would help pace him through the first three miles or so. Well I ended up running the whole thing with him, pacing him to a 3rd place finish in the 20-24 age group at around 39 minutes for the 10 (6:18 pace for you per mile fans). I felt really good, Brennan was a little stiff but it was a cool moist morning, so perfect for running. Field was fairly stacked for "The Rouge" as the winning time came in at around 31 minutes or so (sub 5-5:00 minute pace),pretty impressive and not a bad way to make $500.

Oh yea...Maria (the Hot Russian) Sharapova won the woman's Australian Open. :-)

January 25, 2008

Cooking up a good ole Friday

Work is still chugging along and today was no different. Pinnacle of the day was when I went to go ask a gentleman a question that should have taken all but 5 minutes ended up turning into a two hour trip into three different offices. Made the day go really fast and the best part...payday!

On a good note to end the week there is a group called Envirofit International that is researching and building alternative cooking stoves for impoverished nations. Half of the worlds populations still cooks with traditional solid fuels (charcoal, wood, coal) with usually an open pit. These pits are usually within the dwelling causing the air inside the dwelling to be highly polluted and horrible for the health of those that live within that dwelling. Women are at high risk for health problems as they are the ones tending the cooking and chores within the dwelling.
The group hopes to provide a new more efficient and healthy stove in which to cook on. I give the group so much credit for doing case studies with these women to see what they would prefer to use, down to the color of the stove. I hope that this has a huge impact on the health and the lives of these people. More grassroots improvements like these can seem small but make huge strides!

January 24, 2008

Hg in that there Tuna

Mercury is one of those elements on the periodic table that is just plain cool, baring all those negative side effects of course. Mecury's chemical (or periodic) symbol is Hg which is derived from hydrargyrua which is a Latinized form of the Greek word `Υδραργυρος (hydrargyros). It is a compound word meaning "water" and "silver" after the elements liquid metallic appearance.

In a recent study performed by the New York Times found that sushi from 20 tested restaurants and markets contained dangerous amounts of Mercury in the Tuna. The highest concentrations of mercury were found to be in Bluefin Tuna as it is prized for size and taste. What you could call a circle of self-fulfilment is this: The more individuals that become wealthier, the more of that population will consume goods, driving the use of more energy, releasing more mercury into the environment, which compounds up the food chain into tuna, which is purchased by these wealthier individuals. Nearly all mercury in the environment is a direct result of our industrialization processes. It just seems that the more we degrade our land, air, and seas, the more that the foods derived from these degrade us. Pass the chopsticks please.....

January 23, 2008

Refining Walmart

Earlier I posted how Venezuela and Dominica were coming to terms on the building of a purposed oil refinery on the "Nature Island of Dominica" in an earlier post. There has been a lot of opposition and you can read up on some of it from some local Dominican blogs (check out my links.). today Forbes quoted a minister on Dominica as saying that even though there is opposition to the refinery plans are still in progress to move forward. I really do not like this. The purposed "jobs" that this refinery would bring in is a joke. As other have stated it will most likely be state of the art (automated) and need little work force to run it. And since it will most likely be built by the Venezuelans, I suspect it will be run by them as well. Also, Dominica will have to, get this now, PURCHASE the oil from Venezuela to refine the oil FOR Venezuela. Makes perfect economic sense. Plus, if its anything like the new Cricket stadium on Dominica (see Here) then the refinery will not be built by Dominicans (whom the jobs should go to) but by workers brought in by Venezuela. Hopefully that will not happen. What a disappointment on the Skerrit Administration.

In other news Walmart is still working to green up its act. Read about it here. Cheers

January 22, 2008

Heath Whole Food Ledger

Today saw the death of a valiant cowboy, one who had "10 things he hated about you" and loved a good "jousting match". He was a patriot for the film world and a "joker" in the face of challenges. Heath, you will be missed! Heath Ledger, 1979-2008.

Good news on the environmental front today, Whole Foods has decided to ban plastic bags in all of its outlets by Earth Day 2008 (April 22nd). One of the test runs in San Fransisco said that the use of paper bags only rose 10% compared to normal usage, which hopefully means that more consumers were switching to reusable bags. On the Plastic Fish link here, the author has a pet peeve though of so called "Eco-shoppers" who use their recycled bags. When they go to buy produce, each piece of veggies and fruit are in their own plastic sack. Kind of defeats the purpose right? Hey, we have to start somewhere, though I agree with the author. If you can start by getting used to using a large reusable bag, migrate up when you bag your produce. Its hard to imagine a supermarket with out plastic. I was in the supermarket tonight and when you stop and look, literally everything is plastic. How much oil/landfill space could we save if we reduce our packaging by say 1/3 or 1/2! Something to ponder. How ever did our ancestors survive without plastic? Maybe we should take a lesson? Cheers!

January 21, 2008

Marathons and Martin Luther King Jr.

The 2008 Standard Chartered Dubai marathon was last Friday and it featured the top marathoner in the world, Haile Gebrselassi. Geb (as he is affectionately known) was trying to break his world record in the marathon and become the first person to run a sub 2:04 marathon. For those of you keeping score at home, that's slightly faster than a 4:45 mile repeated 26 times. I know I have probably not run 26 1-mile repeats in my life that average out to 4:45, let alone in one race. The speed at which all top marathoners run at is simply staggering.

In several articles though, Geb may skip the Beijing Olympics due to the pollution and heat. The heat part I don't buy, but he does have a breathing problem which has flared in the past in big races (see London '06). It would be a shame to not have the worlds best marathoner compete on the worlds stage. The Americans are sending a decent delegation Ryan Hall leading the way and with a bit of a chip on their shoulders, a friend up in the sky...Peace be with you Ryan!

Today is MLK day and on my run today I had a little bit of a thought to the man for which most mark on their calendar as a day off. I am one of those till I was noticing the bickering going on between Obama and Clinton, Jena, LA having protests, and the constant barrage from the media of White voter this, Black politics that. We as a nation have come a long since the death of Martin Luther King, but when are we, as a nation, going to finally rid ourselves of labels. Why does the media continually justify the need to label everything with color? Why are our "supposed" best candidates for the president of this country are bowing down to the pressure to turn this into a race/sex smearfest? Grow up! If you want my vote, drop the color/sex issues and convince me that you are the best person for the job.

From many conversations with friends from Grad school who have come from Kenya and Ghana, in their opinion racism in the US is a joke. The stories I heard are much to gruesome to repeat on here and in now way I am not belittling the struggles that the people of this country have, are, and will face. The atrocities are equal in many regards, except the time frame. In all honesty though we have it pretty good here, just ask a person about the violence in Sudan, Kenya, or the Congo...they go where is that??? So lets grow up, drop the race card and start helping others see that all people deserve to be treated equal, no matter what the color of their skin. Ok...I'm done....hope you all had a great weekend :-)

January 20, 2008

Snapshot Sundays

Its been cold and rainy this weekend and I was excited when the rain broke and the sun finally came out. Time to grab the camera and go snap so photos! I decided to try some late evening shooting, just to play around with the low light. Had fun. Here are a few, more can be found here.