I got the idea from Big Brian over at his Walt Disney World postcard site. I love the early postcards showing us what might have been...
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I ran across this editorial and was a little stunned.
The basic argument is that you are still consuming less gas driving a Prius, but there are still some thoughts about the damage to the environment and that no one is really sure how long the battery will last.
The nickel for the battery, for instance, is mined in Sudbury, Ontario, and smelted at nearby Nickel Centre, just north of the province's massive Georgian Bay. Toyota buys about 1,000 tons of nickel from the facility each year, ships the nickel to Wales for refining, then to China, where it's manufactured into nickel foam, and then onto Toyota's battery plant in Japan.
That alone creates a globe-trotting trail of carbon emissions that ought to seriously concern everyone involved in the fight against global warming. All told, the start-to-finish journey travels more than 10,000 miles - mostly by container ship, but also by diesel locomotive.
I wonder how much energy and resources are used with a normal vehicle. What about harmful effects on the environment?There are many other scary facts in the editorial. Acid rain and the study that showed Hummers are more economical.
So, now what do I buy?
Saturday, April 14, 2007
I read this interesting post over at The Disney Blog. John Frost talks about a nonprofit company going after Disney to clean up some of the chemicals they use. Granted, this is worthwhile, but John talks about the fact that a lot of nonprofits pick a cause and go after a large company simply to get their name in the news.
I like John's comments in the third paragraph:
If the Center's investigation is accurate (and the letter from Disney seem to indicate it is) then there is room for improvement on Disney's part. I'd love to see some sort of pressure put on the providers of these 'toxic' cleaners to offer green alternatives. I'd rather see CHEJ praising Disney for its work so far and going to the government hand in hand asking for better regulations to eliminate toxic cleaners.
Even though Disney can stand up for themselves, it is nice to see someone point the issue in the more appropriate direction.
You can read about Disney's Environmentality on their corporate website.
If you have ever stayed in a Disney Hotel, you probably have seen the little placard that Disney puts out with Jiminy Cricket on it. It mentions that you can reuse your linens instead of having mousekeeping wash them every day. Also, several books I have in my collection talk about how Disney reclaims water and uses it throughout WDW for landscaping.
Friday, April 13, 2007
My first run-in with Kurt Vonnegut was after starting a job in high school as the library page at my local public library. It wasn't through shelving, but through a required reading list. Not mine--but one that I saw in a magazine or book. Actually, it would have been while I was in college and still working part-time at the library.
So, I took home Slaughterhouse-Five. I remember devouring it. And passing it on to my brother Andy. Over the next year we read most everything he had published. I remember hot days working as a clean-up crew with Andy for my dad's construction site. Digging ditches, sweeping, scraping and picking up trash. Discussing Vonnegut's work kept us going. I remember talking about Ice 9 while we were digging one day. And how it related to the Joe Satriani song.
So, I will go back and read some of his works again. I haven't talked to Kurt in a long time. I'm not sure which was the last book that I had read, but I think Slaughterhouse-Five will be the next one.
I have seen this quote on many blogs:
If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:
THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
--Vonnegut's Blues For America 07 January, 2006 Sunday Herald
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
I just finished watching the new Halo 3 multi-player beta video. Wow.
Very exciting. They talked about three new things for the beta: the bubble shield, trip mine and save film.
All three of these will revolutionize the game play. When Halo 2 was released, the dual wielding changed the game play. Players that relied on the melee attack or grenades suddenly found themselves outgunned--literally.
We were given a sneak peek at the bubble shield in the H3 teaser released several months ago. Master Chief throws something into the ground and a geodesic dome appears over him. Apparently, there was a missile being fired at him. It hits the shield and destroys the 'hog. Does this replace the over-shield?
The trip mine clearly shows us a new way to think about Halo. Assuming you can plant it and leave it for later. But check out the video and see what happens with the warthog.
Finally--Save Film. I am not sure if this is in game or saved for later. But it is a re-play of sorts where you can change the angle and the speed of the clip. Bungie said that it can be used for taunting or reviewing your own game play. I wonder if full games can be stored for later viewing. Can you imagine being able to post it on YouTube?
Seeing this clip really excited me. We have Crackdown with the Halo 3 Beta invite and we (me and Connery) are psyched about playing it. Of course, I might need to invite a few friends over to have a little four player madness. But we'll need to have someone bring an extra controller. We only have three.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
You can read about my first day at Walt Disney World here.
We continue our story with the Disney-MGM Studios. Specifically Star Tours. Besides the Haunted Mansion, this was the ride I was most excited about. Back in the day (1994), the Early/Extra Magic Hour was called Surprise Morning. They rotated the parks on a specific schedule and people really did not take advantage of them. Ah, those were the days. Anyway, Sunday was the Surprise Morning for the Disney-MGM Studios.
We arrived at the Studios a little after 8:00am. If I remember correctly, the park was scheduled to be open at 9:00am. For some reason, I remember the song Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows playing on the rental car that morning. But I could be wrong; it may have been another day we were there. Needless to say, that song reminds me of that time. Warmth. I remember that it was very warm in the mornings in Orlando.
There was no one in the park that morning. To the right and above, you can see my first view of the Star Tours attraction. I vividly remember the kid and his parents walking in front of us. The kid with the baseball hat and blue backpack. And yes, I am wearing a dark blue t-shirt. It was hot (the weather--not me). We followed the kid and his family through the line and rode the attraction. What can I say? It was great. We visited Endor and in the traditional Disney storytelling fashion--something went wrong! When we left the ride the Star Wars fanfare was playing (you know, the music they play over the credits) and it was really exciting. Then we walked into the coolest thing in the world: a Star Wars gift shop!
I know, you're laughing, right? Well, you have to remember that back in 1994, there was not a lot of Star Wars merchandise. Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn had just been published in 1991. Before that, the last Star Wars books, merchandise or toys had been released in the middle 1980's. Needless to say, Teresa let me gawk for a moment and then we went to the front of the building to ride it again.
And again. I think we stopped after the fourth ride to meander and shop. At least I did. This is another one of those moments that I remember. Picking out the books, toys and paraphernalia--trying to decide what to get Stacy, Andy and Matthew. And what I wanted. I picked out a book for myself by Stephen Sansweet called Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible. I consider it one of the first books of my collection. When we finally had finished, we had spent over $400.00. Whew! Talk about spending too much! But it was Star Wars.
I do remember that the cast member gave us a lot of attitude about shipping the items back to our hotel room. Which was really weird. We just spent a lot of money...and we were at Disney! Actually, she was the least friendly cast member we ran across during that first trip. I believe that we ended up riding it at least one more time before Teresa told me we had to do something else. I don't remember anything else about the day. I know we rode other things, like the Great Movie Ride and Muppet Vision 3D, but I can't recall exactly.
I have been able to take Connery on Star Tours in 2004 and 2007. It is one of his favorite rides and we tend to ride it two or three times while we are at Walt Disney World. Next time, Sumner should be big enough to ride it. We can only hope! On the left is Connery with a clone trooper at one of the Star Wars Weekends in 2004. The picture on the left is Connery waiting in line for Star Tours in 2006. Two cast members told him that he had on a cool shirt. He loved it.