Month: March 2014

Pictures of the Garbage Floating in the North Pacific


Historically, over the past several decades there have been discussions, regulations, movements, etc. regarding environmental issues such as plastic in landfills, garbage barges, non-biodegradable components like Styrofoam, a discussion that has started coming up recently involves an issue that has been going on for years. You’ve probably heard of the “Texas-size” pile of garbage of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean.

 

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My guess is the massive amounts of false alarms involving the plight of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 – where so-called credible leads turned out to be nothing more than the normal garbage and oil slicks eventually shed light on this unspoken secret.

While there are large particles and small particles, it is not simply made up of plastic bags and empty bottles, but billions of pieces of non-biodegradable material that is mostly of a polymorphic origin. Unless you are up close and floating in it, it is basically invisible from most satellite photos other than the slight hue variances. Truth is – you can navigate through it, but if you add up the mass area of the garbage including what lies at the bottom and in the middle at various depths, it would actually be way larger than Texas.

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And there’s more than one in the Pacific. Oh, and every other ocean has one as well:

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My Daughter’s SmartPhone Saga


Some have said that I should not be giving my daughters smartphones at such an early age. The truth is with this generation, if you give them devices that text, they will text you. That’s what they do. When you are often hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from your kids – you’ll gladly take those texts (Unlimited text plans and insurance are a given, obviously.) It is also a great opportunity for me to see where they are in terms of responsibility. So, yes, both my daughters now have smartphones including my youngest who turns 10 this year. 

 

I got it for her a week and a half ago. Just over a week after she got it, it suddenly was “stolen” as reported to me by her mother. It has “disappeared” from her backpack at school. I receive all of this news while on the elliptical at the gym. My first thought was “I better exit and get to a computer immediately to use the phone locator feature as well as shutting down the service.” My second thought was to finish my workout first. Conflicted, I decided to do a little experiment:

I sent a text to my daughter’s phone: “I know what you did.”

 

A few seconds later, I sent another one: “I know who you are.”

 

Then I waited. Then sent this. “I know where you live. The police are coming to get you!”

 

Then, all of a sudden, my phone rang. It was my daughter’s phone.

 

A very perturbed lady on the other end said “Who am I speaking with?”

 

I told her that she was speaking with me – gave my name – and informed her that she was in possession of my daughter’s stolen phone.

 

She replied like a mother who finally realized what was going on. “Ah! so that explains everything!”

 

Long story short, I gave her my ex-wife’s number and the exchange took place in the principal’s office this morning. Phone is returned. I am interested to see how much my text’s had to do with it. LOL!

 

BTW – This is the second phone theft incident that has involved direct confrontation this year. 

You used the Wrong B-Word, Cheryl


Well you may have heard by now that there is a movement (complete with star-studded Internet Video and all) to “ban” the word bossy. Hmmmm. Really? OK, there are several things about this that make me cringe. First reaction is that it reminded me of one of those bad ideas reminiscent of a forced collaborative project by a bunch of low performers desperate to gain visibility within their organization – or something to come out of one of the “Celebrity Apprentice” challenges. Nonetheless, it is all over the Innerwebs:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/14/living/ban-bossy-anna-chavez/index.html

http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrities-join-sheryl-sandberg-a-campaign-to-ban-the-word-bossy

I get the feeling “bossy” was not the word they originally wanted to ban (or at least I hope.) I wasn’t aware that the term “bossy” was always meant to be derogatory. Of course, I’m a guy so I will accept that ignorance. However, as the father of two daughters, I would much prefer my girls to be “bossy” or even “bitchy” for that matter, if that is what it takes for them to earn respect in spite of their achievements. What I don’t want is to call further attention to this trait as being always negative because as someone who works in corporate America who has had female managers, I can tell you that I would much rather work for the “bossy” boss or even “bitchy,” or “cold” boss then the “hippie” manager or the one who “mothers” her staff and pretends we are all her children.

It’s not the word “bossy” that is bad. It is the attitude and context behind it. When I have actually heard this style of critique of a female, the word “bossy” is followed by the word “bitch.” The latter being the derogatory phrase. We love to work small to big. We always want to go for the low hanging fruit. That is what makes most of us mediocre. We don’t want to solve real problems so we create pointless campaigns. We do have bigger problems to solve. We even have more important issues to address with our daughters. How about helping our daughters by encouraging STEM education and interests beyond reality TV and “escape-my-parents-by-baby-makin?” How about we educate women to stop being mean to each other? How about we teach the pretty and popular girls not to be so cruel to the plain, frumpy, mousy, and chubby girls they will one day be working for – and perhaps – learn a few lessons from them (focusing on education and career.) How about teaching them that if they insist on going through that bad-boy phase, at least use birth control so you won’t be trapped with him for the next several decades.

So with all of that being said:

1.) Banning a word does nothing to address or change the negative feelings and attitudes behind it.

2.) If you are going to ban a word, at least ban the right word.

3.) Do we actually think that the word “bossy” is on par with other words for which we have understood unwritten rules removing them from the mainstream lexicon? (i.e. the N-word or the F-word, or now the R-word.)

Of course, as I am finishing this up, we have several other articles that are also ridculing this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/ban-bossy-really_b_4960868.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-sonya-rhodes/dont-ban-bossy-be-bossy_b_4958624.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/opinion/drexler-sandberg-bossy/index.html

http://nypost.com/2014/03/14/ban-bossy-no-be-bossy/

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-sheryl-sandberg-beyonce-ban-bossy-campaign-20140312,0,6194333.story?track=rss#axzz2vxu7sZXo

The more I think about it, the more I believe this was a grand idea by Cheryl Sandberg to follow up her successful book. But isn’t she attacking the very trait that propelled her to massive success. If she’s trying to change the culture from within, she should have stuck with her original idea (I believe) which is to ban the word “bitch” instead of listen to her HR people who warned her it might be too harsh.

Who said there are no 3rd Acts?


People reinvent themselves all of the time. Sometimes, bad events or bad deeds cause people to change – often by necessity. It can be the catalyst of forced change that can lead people to better things. Maybe not more moral, but often more successful.

I love cracked.com. They talk about this in a couple of articles:

http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_819_21-beloved-famous-people-everyone-forgets-did-awful-things/

http://www.cracked.com/article/96_7-beloved-celebrities-awful-shit-you-forgot-they-did/