Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{March 29, 2008}  

The other day I Twittered “Why is no one emailing me when I’m desperately wanting a distraction from this work I’m doing?” Well, my friend Dan rose to the challenge, emailing me no fewer than FIVE distractions (thanks Dan!  I knew I could count on you)!  One of the said distractions was this article: “What Will Life Be Like in the Year 2008? (Nov, 1968),” through which I learned that the author, writing in 1968, was able to accurately predict:

  • laptops
  • web conferencing
  • touch screens
  • prefab houses
  • the US population (predicted: 350 million)
  • online shopping

But was a wee bit off the mark on predicting:

  • cars that travel 250 mph on cushions of air and are controlled by a “traffic computer,” a system that has eliminated all traffic accidents
  • rocket travel between continents
  • robots that do the housework
  • despite predicting that computers will control pretty much everything, the author felt that, in 2008:”Not every family has its private computer. Many families reserve time on a city or regional computer to serve their needs.”
  • work-life balance: “The average work day is about four hours”
  • vacations in undersea resorts or on satellites (yes, satellites)
  • “steak-like” meals made from seaweed
  • “Heart disease has virtually been eliminated by drugs and diet” – as cardiovascular disease is still the number 1 killer in North America, he really couldn’t be more wrong on this one
  • an “intelligence” pill given to “slow learners” and forgetful
  • and women’s rights:

The housewife simply determines in advance her menus for the week, then slips prepackaged meals into the freezer and lets the automatic food utility do the rest.

Apparently it did not occur to the author that women might have JOBS in 2008. I mean, what with the robots doing all the housework and all. Of course, since the men are only working 4 hours a day, I guess there just isn’t much work to be done.

{March 29, 2008}   Earth Hour

Today at 8 p.m. local time, turn off your lights.

The World Wildlife Fund is encouraging everyone to turn off their lights for one hour on March 29 at 8 p.m. local time as a statement about climate change. They call it Earth Hour and you can join up here to let them know you’ll be taking part. I’m totally down with it and will be turning off my lights. But I have two things I want to say about it.

1. This is just a start. This is one hour and having millions of people turn off their lights for an hour will have a measurable impact on energy usage. But it’s only one hour. We live 87601 hours every year on this planet, and Earth Hour is just one of those. When you join up with Earth Hour this year, make a commitment to make changes in those other 8759 hours. Drive less. Refuse paper cups and plastic shopping bags in favour of travel mugs and reusable tote bags. Wash your clothes in cold water using eco-friendly detergents2. We only have one planet and turning your lights out for 1 hour a year just isn’t going to be enough.

2. I have a bone to pick with BC Hydro on this whole Earth Hour thing. I noticed something they say in their radio ad promoting Earth Hour and I’ve just checked and it’s on their website too. Here’s a screen shot:

Notice anything off in the text? Take a closer look:

Unnecessary lights? Are you kidding me? The idea behind Earth Hour isn’t that you just turn off lights in rooms where you aren’t. It’s to turn off all your lights. You should always turn off unnecessary lights, every single hour of every single day! Turning off unnecessary lights is not making a statement! And they have this text on their website directly under the Earth Hour & WWF logos, making you really think this is representing the WWF‘s Earth Hour. That’s lame BC Hydro… big time lame!


OK, so turn off your lights at 8 p.m. today for one whole hour… I’m sure you can find something fun to do by candlelight during that time, no?   And make it the first of many many more eco-friendly hours, the whole year through!

1Or, in this case of leap years like this year, 8784 hours.
2Looking for ideas? Check out the blog Green is Sexy for daily tips on living a greener life.3
3Although I do take issue with their willingness to post giant pictures of spiders4
4This post is NSFA (not safe for arachnophobes).

et cetera