December 30, 2007
Global Warming and California
I don't think anyone knows exactly what's going to happen due to global warming, so the AP article on global warming's impact on California is more speculation than science. On the plus side, we can anticipate that global warming will extend our tanning season even longer. On the minus side, rising seas should inundate important and expensive parts of the state. Typically, we "joke" (in a macabre way) about inland areas of California becoming new beachfront property when the big earthquake hits and parts of coastal California drop into the sea (a la Superman I), but global warming could get us there first.
December 25, 2007
I love stuff like this. Feel like having a hamburger? Choose to eat a peanut butter & jelly sandwich instead, and you will save 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 280 gallons of water, and up to 50 square feet of land from deforestation or other destruction. As the PB&J Campaign website says, " You don't have to change your whole diet to change the world. Just start with lunch."
December 21, 2007
Sexual Misconduct Plagues Schools
In October, the AP ran its results of a comprehensive investigation of sexual predation by teachers. Obviously, if you take a population of individuals as large as teachers (3M public school teachers), some bad actors are unavoidable. Indeed, even if only 0.1% of public school teachers are sexual predators, that's still 3,000 predatory teachers. Even so, the AP story is deeply troubling due to all of the systemic issues that exacerbate the problem, ranging from the culture of silence to the phenomenon of punishing/blaming the victim. As a parent, this is horrifying. It's my job to protect my kids from these types of threats, but my tools to do so are limited--especially when dealing with teachers and their authority/in loco parentis powers. If anyone has thoughts about what I should be doing proactively, I'd welcome them.
December 20, 2007
California Name Equality Act of 2007
California has passed the Name Equality Act of 2007 (AB 102). Hooray! Among other things, this law allows either spouse to change their name upon marriage (or upon registration of a domestic partnership) simply by filling in a blank in the marriage license. See my previous commentary on this law and why it might have saved us $400. I believe this should moot the ACLU lawsuit against California for its discriminatory name change practices.
Meanwhile, the NYT ran an article about the increased complexity of name changes on marriage. The newest trend? Couples outsourcing their name change choice to others, including naming consultants, a survey of their friends and family (using online tools like SurveyMonkey, no less!) and the winner of an inter-family softball game.
December 06, 2007
Maybe It's an Emerging Chanukah Tradition?
Sounds like this marketing person didn't understand the target audience very well--you're not likely to stimulate new sales by advertising ham as "delicious for Chanukah."
December 05, 2007
Dina Having Trampoline Fun
Apologies for the implicit beaming-dad nature of this post, but I thought this short video perfectly captured Dina's personality.
December 03, 2007
Quiet Hotel Rooms
I am generally a pretty light sleeper, although since I've been a dad I often simply pass out from exhaustion when I'm traveling. When I stay in hotels, I am often frustrated by the poor soundproofing of hotel rooms. I find this particularly aggravating with high-end hotels, where the hotel clearly spend a lot of money to make the room seem elegant/upscale, only to have my experience degraded when I can hear my neighbors' TV or loud conversations. According to this recent NYT Times article, some hotels are now paying more attention to the soundproofing issues. I'm excited to see the results of this competitive endeavor!
December 02, 2007
NYT on San Francisco Vegetarian Restaurants
A couple of weeks ago, the NYT ran a lengthy article on vegetarian restaurants in San Francisco, spotlighting Greens, Millennium, Herbivore, Cha-Ya and Cafe Gratitude. I've never tried Cha-Ya, so I'll have to check it out. Of the others, Herbivore is my favorite. The food at Millennium is better, but at a premium price. On a cost-benefit basis, Herbivore is a better deal. I wouldn't go back to Greens on my dime (although the view is splendid), and Cafe Gratitude is farcical in its feel-good approach, plus I'm not a huge raw foods fan.
I thought it was amusing that the VegNews editor complained that she's bored of the vegetarian offerings in town. Even if the City lacks good South Indian restaurants like Udupi Palace, San Franciscans are blessed with their options!