Archive for February, 2009

Cars

 | February 26, 2009 9:03 PM

CarsIsaac loves the movie Cars.  When Dylan was young we introduced him to various animated movies but after awhile we thought it would be best for him to watch more educational and less violent things like Wiggles, Peep and the Big Wide World, Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob the Builder, Teletubbies, etc.  Dylan still remembers Nemo, The Incredibles, Toy Story 1 and 2 and Monsters Inc. but he never asked to watch them.  Isaac never saw any of them.

Recently though at a book fair Dylan bought a Disney Pixar book that had stories from Ratotouille, Nemo, Cars, Toy Story and Monsters Inc.  I could tell that Isaac was becoming more and more interested in Cars so when I noticed a friend had the DVD I asked to borrow it.

Since then not a day goes by when Isaac says “I want to watch Cars.”  Some days Isaac will watch it three times.  It is a good movie because it’s about friendship and not violent.  The dialogue is easy for the boys to understand and the boys love the racing scenes and Dylan likes singing “Life is a Highway.”

Now when the boys start watching the movie Isaac yells out “Dylan let’s race!”  Then the two of them run laps around the house pretending they are cars on a race track.  Sometimes they even make pit stops to get new tires and gas.  It’s a good way for them to get exercise.

Now when we are driving Isaac likes to ask “Are we going fast or slow?”  Apparently no one told him that his dad always drives slow.

Cars TricycleToday Ji Seon bought Isaac a Cars tricycle.  It was a little expensive but we knew he’d love it.  Plus he outgrew his Radio Flyer tricycle and Victoria needs something to ride.

Dylan accompanied Ji Seon to Toys R Us while Isaac and Victoria were napping.  Instead of asking for toys for himself Dylan was really excited about getting the tricycle for Isaac.

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Today I downloaded more free audiobooks from Audible.com as well as another one from Christianaudio.com.  I realized though I rarely listen to my iPod.  Fortunately there is a way to burn audiobooks to CD.  iTunes: How to Create CDs From Audible Content and How do I burn my Audible content in iTunes using a Mac computer?

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I went through this exercise earlier based on an article I read in the San Jose Mercury News but this article,  10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know, was even more detailed.

While going through it I started becoming annoyed that I had to do all this work to maintain some kind of privacy.  It seems almost fruitless but one has to try I guess.

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Aspirations

 | February 22, 2009 7:26 AM

Isaac said when he grows up he is going to be a doctor.  This is because he likes playing with the toy doctor kit.

Dylan says when he grows up he is going to build houses for people who can’t afford them.  He has always loved building things since he was a baby.

Victoria says she is going to just live off of us and never get married.  Just kidding, she can’t talk yet. :-)

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Meat and Global Warming

 | February 17, 2009 2:24 PM

packaged grass fed beefRecently I wrote about grass fed beef.  I ended up buying a split-quarter from Chileno Beef which is shown on the left all frozen and packaged.  The cost ended up being higher than I expected because the harvesting fee was higher and the amount of beef I ended up with was less.  The average cost per pound turned out to be $5.36 and that cost does not include driving three and a half hours in total to get the beef.  Below is the receipt from the butcher, Ibleto Meats, aka the Pasta King, whom we also bought some pesto from but were not too impressed.
grass fed beef receipt

The beef is good and it is nice to have a variety in the freezer.  But since the purchase I have read about how beef contributes to global warming, much more than pork and chicken.  And today I read that grass-fed beef is 50% worse in terms of amount of greenhouse gas emissions!

Tally the GHG emissions associated with all of those activities, Sonesson says, and you’ll find it’s the global-warming equivalent to spewing 19 kilograms of carbon dioxide for every kg of beef served. Swine are more environmentally friendly. It only takes about 4.25 kg of CO2 to produce and fry each kg of pork. At the other end of the spectrum are veggies. The climate costs associated with growing, marketing, peeling and boiling up a kg of potatoes, by contrast, is just 280 grams, Sonesson reported.

Many environmentalists have argued that finishing up the fattening of beef cattle on corn is worse for the environment than cattle that are raised solely on pasture grass. Pelletier says his team’s analysis finds that at least from a climate perspective, the opposite is true. “We do see significant differences in the GHG intensities [of grass vs grain finishing]. It’s roughly on the order of 50 percent higher in grass-finished systems.”

Currently, although beef accounts for only about 30 percent of the world’s meat consumption, it contributes 78 percent of meat’s GHG emissions. Pork, at 38 percent of consumption, contributes only 14 percent of meat’s GHGs. Another 32 percent of the meat consumed worldwide comes from chicken, but getting these birds from farm to fork contributes only 8 percent of meat’s global carbon footprint.

AAAS: CLIMATE-FRIENDLY DINING … MEATS

Now what do we do?  Beef emits too many greenhouse gases so I could switch to grass fed pork or chicken but those are harder to find.  Fish isn’t an easy choice either as the follow up article shows.

The difference in the warming potential largely traces to what the finned populations have been fed, Tyedmers explains. Scottish farmers feed their salmon the highest proportion of fish meal — almost 70 percent, on average. Those fishy diets account for 85 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions associated producing Scottish salmon, his team calculated. Elsewhere, fish farming operations tend to substitute plant-based meals and oil or meat byproducts for a share of that fish meal.

Not surprisingly, the higher the proportion of plant sources in a farmed fish’s diet, the lower the climate impacts associated with its rearing.

Data from another assessment, this one in wild fish, showed that fuel use associated with harvesting gear could greatly impact GHG emissions associated with salmon.  Purse seining contributed 180 kilograms of CO2 equivalent to the carbon footprint associated with a ton of salmon, gillnetting about 380 kg, and trolling a whopping 1,700 kg. So, do you know how your fish was caught?

AAAS: CLIMATE-FRIENDLY FISH

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I read an interesting short article today about social capital.

Sociologist Robert Putnam believes the following are indicators of social capital:

  • How many of your neighbor’s first names do you know?
  • How often do you attend parades or festivals?
  • Do you volunteer at your kid’s school? Or help out senior citizens?
  • Do you trust your local police?
  • Do you know who your U.S. senators are?
  • Do you attend religious services? Or go to the theater?
  • Do you sign petitions? Or attend neighborhood meetings?
  • Do you think the people running your community care about you?
  • Can you make a difference?
  • How often do you visit with friends or family?

Measuring Prosperity: What Is Social Capital? » My Money Blog

For me personally I would answer in the following way.

  • I know a few of my neighbor’s first names but not enough.
  • I have never attended parades or festivals but I am now reconsidering my ambivalence towards them.
  • I volunteer at an after school program at the local public elementary school but that is part of my church.  Since we home school I don’t feel compelled to volunteer at the school.  I don’t help out senior citizens but I have been thinking about how that could be something good that the whole family could do.
  • I trust my local police enough to call them in an emergency event but I don’t completely trust them.  That might be an immigrant thing.
  • I know my U.S.  senators and my local representative, Boxer, Feinstein, Eshoo.  However beyond their names I feel like I know verry little about them, especially Boxer.
  • I attend church regularly.  We don’t go to the theater though that would be nice to do once the kids are older.
  • At the farmer’s market they often have petitions so I do enjoy signing the ones I support.  I have not attended any neighborhood meetings but we are on a neighborhood email list.
  • I don’t know anything about the people running my neighborhood but I don’t believe that they necessarily care about me though sometimes my needs and theirs are common.
  • I think I can make a difference.  I am not sure if I have made much yet.
  • We visit with friends a lot which we really enjoy.  We don’t have family in the immediate area but my mom is here for two months. :-)
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Need an idea for a business?

 | February 15, 2009 7:23 AM

I haven’t gone through all 999 ideas but the idea of “Church issued credit card with automatic 10% for religious tithing” made me chuckle.

SAMBA Blog: Hamster Burial Kits & 998 Other Business Ideas.

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Sports Guy and MIT

 | February 13, 2009 7:17 AM

Apparently the Sports Guy hasn’t attended any MIT frat parties.  Not that he’s missing much.  Anyway I found this reference to MIT from his NBA trade value rankings, King James version article quite funny.

 If I’m Houston’s Daryl Morey during the All-Star break, I’m buying Patron shots for the Maloofs until 3 a.m. Sunday, then offering them T-Mac and a 2009 No. 1 for Martin and Kenny Thomas’ deal that expires in 2010. Then again, Daryl went to MIT — he probably couldn’t do three shots without passing out …

I also found Sport Guy’s assessment of Bargnani depressing because it’s probably accurate.

Andrea Bargnani: His ceiling? Memo Okur. Is this a good thing for the No. 1 overall pick of a 2007 draft that included LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy? Probably not.

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Nine-Year Old iPhone Developer

 | February 11, 2009 7:57 AM

My brother-in-law sent this to me and suggested I start getting Dylan to program.  I agree. :-)

Nine-year old Lim Ding Wen from Singapore, whose Doodle Kids [App Store] application has seen over 4,000 downloads since its release several weeks ago. The free application, designed for his sisters aged three and five, allows users to draw on the iPhone screen using random shapes and colors and then erase their creations by shaking the device. 

MacRumors iPhone Blog: Nine-Year Old iPhone Developer Releases Application

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