31 July 2007

There is a girl

CNN.com has posted this map which details the rate of obesity growth in our nation's states. It's so sad to see this and to see that in the Southeast in particular has states which claim greater than 25% of its population is obese.

In entertainment, it's been speculated that former SNL heartthrob Jimmy Fallon will replace Conan O'Brien as host of the Late Late Show in 2009 after O'Brien is slotted to replace Jay Leno.

This seems weird to me and I'm not really a Fallon fan, but then again, everyone thought it was weird and quirky to have O'Brien there back in the day and as we all know, that has turned out well. Here's to hoping.

A personal secret: I still listen to and enjoy Dave Matthews Band.

19 July 2007

So Alone

A very depressing article on MSNBC states that if American obesity rates continue to climb the way they have over the past decade that 75% of all Americans will be overweight by the year 2015; 41% of who would be obese.

This is extremely sad to me. Not only looking at this and seeing the people who do not take their health/weight seriously, but also as an American this is horrifying because it is an indication of the state of our nation and our citizens' habits and health. Not to mention that if this statistic proves true that the US Health care system will be spending an absurd amount of money to help this 75% with health issues that will be involved.

Of course I understand that there are many people - American's included - that have genetic weight, metabolism or diet issues, but to have an estimated 225 million people overweight or obese is completely and utterly asinine.

Let's just say that American people need to get it together.

18 July 2007

Don't Say a Word

According to This BBC Report scientists connected with Boston University have found an underground lake nearly the size of lake Erie in the Darfur region in Africa. Several sources have cited the major reason behind the long-lasting conflict in the region as a lack of natural resources - namely water.

Many agree that the ability to use this lake as a source for over 100 wells and a connection to irrigate farms and communities will offer a great chance to ease - and possibly end - the conflict as well as offer a better sustainability to refugee camps throughout the area.

This is the kind of news I like to hear. Scientists working for the betterment of the global community. And the scientists have committed to continue using satellite images of the area and others around the world to help pinpoint certain resources and environments that will be beneficial to different countries and regions.

16 July 2007

Slow down!

This weekend saw an extremely detrimental earthquake in Japan which severed roads and caused a seemingly catastrophic leak in a nuclear reactor. Along with this news the city of Krikuk, Iraq saw the deadliest bombings in the city since the start of the war. Nearly 80 people were killed in a series of bombings.

In a positive light, the IAEA has confirmed that North Korea has closed one of its major nuclear reactors; a true sign of progress with a previously defiant leader.

For their 5 November 2007 performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennesse, the Smashing Pumpkins sold out of tickets for the event in a matter of minutes. It's of no consequence, however, as I will be in Scotland for my wedding. Not a bad trade, if you ask me (were you asking?).

In my current reading I am halfway through Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. It's pretty amazing and has really helped me find perspective on what I truly need to get by in life. This is highly recommended.

09 July 2007

Some people were just not cut out for the road

Last night I had the true pleasure of watching Everything is Illuminated. It's beautifully shot, well acted and personally inspiring. I still get leery of watching Elijah Woods in movies, because I'm afraid that I will not see anyone other than Frodo Baggins, but he is a great actor and you completely forget about Elijah and get into his character.

There's not much to say or tell, but this is an amazing movie that I thoroughly enjoyed and I think it's worth a near two hours to view it.

Sing you to sleep

I am on the heels of finishing Bill Bryson's wonderful book A Walk in the Woods. This is what Bryson refers to as "Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail." And that is exactly what it is...a wonderful rediscovering of a large part of our country that a majority of our nation knows nothing about.

Not only is Bryson a hilarious storyteller, but his educational heart is so refreshing to read. He tells the story from the start of the trail to the finish and all of the trial and hilarity that falls in between, but he teaches the reader about the history of each section of the trail, offers botanical insight into our nation's trees and plant life and a deeper understanding of the towns and regions that they encounter along the way.

It's been an extremely quick and easy read and has made me appreciate the simplest of American lives and has made me really want to make efforts to simplify things in my own life. It's also spurred me to really want to follow a teenage dream of hiking the AT.

I think my next read will follow the same theme of the outdoors and will likely be Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild.

I'm truly excited about reading some good non-fiction about the outdoors.

06 July 2007

Mi Fa Me

I highly encourage you to check out this site: The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi

Al Gore. A man on a mission. An Ambassador? A voice? A vigilante for environmental health and stability? Personally, I'm not so sure.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all about being green. I've started recycling more. I even take frequent trips to the recycling center to drop off items that won't be accepted by curbside pickup. I don't run the AC in my car (as a ploy to save gas) and I even turn the water off when brushing my teeth. I try to encourage others to do the same. I love this earth and I would hate to see bad things happen to it, but the way I feel about Al Gore's approach to "being green" is another thing.

He is basically blasting, speaking down about or utterly criticizing anyone and everyone who is in his path of global (un)warming domination.

I rarely see him make encouraging statements on what "we" can do as a collective whole. The only thing I've seen lately is how the "Live Earth" concerts are going to save us all by bringing awareness to the world. I'm sorry, but a live performance by Shakira is not going to help change the world. Call me negative, pessimistic, or just plain mean, but let's get real here.

Al Gore has turned into one of those people that hands you cheaply made flyers on the street corner and demands "you'll destroy the earth if you don't change." The only difference is, Al Gore is a former Vice President.

Now, let's get practical. What can we do besides gripe that we're (read: I'm) annoyed with Gore. Well, go to Treehugger. There you'll find practical solutions you can apply to your life, products you can buy and people and organizations you can support in the fight for a greener globe.

02 July 2007

I'll fall all over the place

If you pick up the newest copy of Spin magazine you will find a tasty little treat inside. It's a tribute record that Myspace and Helio (cell phones?) put out in conjunction with Spin and it pays homage to the wonderful Smashing Pumpkins.

I was certainly a little leery (as were many Pumpkins purists) of not only the idea of a Pumpkins tribute, but after seeing the list of performers who would be covering songs I became a little more than nervous about how these songs would come out. I was, however, pleasantly surprised when I heard the disc.

With the exception of Panic! at the Disco's (poor) rendition of "Tonight, Tonight" every song was not only appropriately fitting to the individual band's or artists' style, but was really good (or at least I think so). Even the skinny-jeaned, emo rockers, The Academy Is... version of "Mayonnaise" is pretty darned ok. It is still a little weird to hear the feedback in that song sound anything different than the way Corgan made it sound on "Siamese Dream."

I was extremely fascinated by Young Love's cover of "1979" which brings a jazzy piano style and vocal croon to one of my personal favorite Pumpkins' songs.

When all is said and done, I think the tribute came out pretty good despite one poor cover and Myspace being a part of it. I've enjoyed listening.

In international news, it's good to see more people being taken into custody in the UK surrounding the London terror plot and the car bombing at Glasgow International Airport on Saturday.

It's a crazy time to be the new British PM.