Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pigs At The Trough: Obesity Nation

Here's an interesting and dramatic graphic (click on each year to show the increase) indicating how people in the Empire have increased their girth (and let's not forget their resource "footprint") in the last 20 years or so. Especially topical today, since recent findings show that obesity continues to reign supreme in the fattest nation on the planet (click on this article to find out how your state ranks in obesity...). There are just so many things one could say on this subject: the crappy industrial food system and it's never-ending quest to put more bad food into customers bodies, the lazy and sedentary population of retards that constitute the public, the ridiculous emphasis on motor vehicles and endless easy motoring that this society is determined to preserve at all costs, and so on, but really, why? The subject of obesity is not really a brain-teaser by any means: the solutions are well-known and obvious, but the nation's culture precludes meaningful change. Cynically,


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Rapidly Accelerating Global Heating Melts Antarctic: World Shrugs

From the "News That Just Keeps Getting Worse and Worse" Department (which, in itself, is quite a large department, encompassing as it does the Iraq "war," global heating, species and habitat destruction, healthcare, and US politics in general), comes this now familiar piece which in essence conveys that glacial melting due to global heating (oh wait, that's just an invention of Al Gore's to bedevil the Fox News crowd in the US, not an actual phenomenon, or maybe it does exist, but it's a natural occurrence, which shouldn't concern us, because 1. it's not our fault, and 2. we can't do anything about it anyway) is proceeding much much faster than our best scientific minds can project it. Just another day in Cheap Energy Wonderland, though, because nothing is happening to stop it. (To be fair, what really needs to happen is not going to happen for quite some time, most surely not until it is way too late; Chaos is speaking, of course, of a massive dieoff, but let's not talk about such depressing stuff, shall we?)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Taking A Stroll Through A Dumbed-Down Nation

Ever wonder why so much stupidity exists here in the Empire? This somewhat long, but nicely entertaining article ("Greetings From Idiot America") should more than suffice. Money quote:
"The rise of Idiot America is essentially a war on expertise. It's not so much antimodernism or the distrust of intellectual elites that Richard Hofstadter deftly teased out of the national DNA forty years ago. Both of those things are part of it. However, the rise of Idiot America today represents--for profit mainly, but also, and more cynically, for political advantage and in the pursuit of power--the breakdown of a consensus that the pursuit of knowledge is a good. It also represents the ascendancy of the notion that the people whom we should trust the least are the people who best know what they're talking about. In the new media age, everybody is a historian, or a preacher, or a scientist, or a sage. And if everyone is an expert, then nobody is, and the worst thing you can be in a society where everybody is an expert is, well, an actual expert."
Read the rest of it; like a bracing slap of Aqua-Velva, it will shock and refresh you at the same time.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Annual Population Roundup

Since one of the "topics" here at the Edge is demographics (read: overpopulation), Chaos would be remiss if the annual Population Reference Bureau's 2007 report went unremarked. Since overpopulation is the root of most of humanity's problems, now and most especially in the future, one should become familiar with the mainstream demographers' and their predictions. Chaos is well aware that most readers will not have the time to peruse the entire report, but the executive summary(warning: pdf file) should give most at least a passing familiarity with world population growth.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another "What Can I Do" Post

This obviously comes from the "stay put" and "bloom where you're planted" school of thought, so Chaos cannot recommend the solutions presented without a thorough geographic review, but as a public service to worried readers (and those who might actually be residing in desirable locales, as unlikely as that might seem), here' s an even hundred suggestions to get one started. More of this action may be found in the links in the article, so never let it be said that reading the Edge is an exercise in hopelessness...

US Comptroller Compares Empire to Rome

No, you just can't make this up...David Walker, US Comptroller General, likens the nation to the Roman Empire (and we all know what happened there, don't we? readers of The Bibliography will actually know why as well...). As far as Chaos knows, this is sorta, well, unprecedented in the history of the nation. Someone oughta pay attention to that, or maybe not. Chaos has seen "wakeup calls" go out with increasing regularity over the past couple of years or so, and not one of them has produced any more than that vile Internet acronym, BAU (business as usual), so it might be unrealistic to assume anything more than that.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Where Do You Stand? A Political/Social Test

Take the detailed (6 pages) test at this thoughtful website to determine where, exactly, you fall on the political/social stuff, and interesting to figure out which famous characters your attitudes most resemble (Chaos' were the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, who would've thought?).

Revenge of the Bicyclists: Critical Mass Hits the Road

This article (registration required) is for anyone who's ever taken their lives in their own hands and ridden a bicycle in today's vicious traffic, encountering the "motor vehicle first" attitudes of one's fellow citizens. Critical Mass, a monthly ride which originated some years ago in (where else?) San Francisco, from whence it spread to 300 or so other cities. Of course, the original is the still, apparently, the biggest and most radical, and herein lies the value of the article: the differing perspective of those who don't believe that bicycles should have to yield to cars. Happy riding, readers.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why Is The US So Backward?

Here is a nice discussion on why the Empire has no coherent energy policy, especially when compared to most other Western nations. (Hint: the citizenry is stupid, politics are corrupt and favor existing big players, and the nation is just too big and unwieldy to accomplish anything like a united response). Not hopeful for those who plan to live out their years as residents of this slowly collapsing Empire...

Most Entertaining Animal Video Ever

This one here speaks for itself. Do watch the entire thing, since there's a "twist" at the end. Enjoy.

Impeachment Issue

Not that Chaos believes that these are any more than examples of hopeful liberal masturbation, but nonetheless, reading them can give one a sense that the "meme" of impeachment of the ridiculous puppet George W. Bush and his evil puppetmaster, Richard Cheney, has reached a critical mass. The first is a transcript of interviewer Bill Moyers and two rather credentialed commentators on why impeachment of these rulers is completely necessary and vital to those who will succeed them. If you've never looked into the issue before, some of the implications are mildly interesting. The second is a riff by one of Chaos' recent favorites, David Michael Green. You have to hand it to the man; he makes impeachment seem like a walk in the park, which it most assuredly would not be, and once again, Chaos has to note that these examples are simply not going to happen. As thought experiments, however, they're excellent.