Saturday, December 02, 2006

Join the Christmas Resistance Movement!

"You know holiday shopping is offensive and wasteful. You know Christmas "wish lists" and "gift exchanges" degrade the concept of giving. You know Christmas marketing is a scam, benefiting manufacturers, stores, and huge corporations, while driving individuals into debt. You know this annual consumer frenzy wreaks havoc on the environment, filling landfills with useless packaging and discarded gifts.

Yet, every year, you cave in and go shopping. The relentless onslaught of advertising exerts constant pressure. So do the unified bleatings of herds of shoppers, who call you "Scrooge" if you fail to enthusiastically join their ritual orgy of consumption. Friends and family needle you with gift requests, store windows beckon with shiny colorful packages, the same "classic" holiday jingles are piped constantly through every speaker in town.

How can you resist?

Join the Christmas Resistance Movement!

The growing CHRISTMAS RESISTANCE MOVEMENT is joined in solidarity against the Shopping Season. For every 100 automatons who call you "Scrooge," there's a sparkly-eyed CHRISTMAS RESISTOR who supports YOU in NOT BUYING INTO THE HOLIDAY HYSTERIA.

Together, we boycott Christmas Shopping, Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, and every variety of Christmas Crap. We refuse to support the Holiday Industry. We show our love for friends and family by giving our time and care, not by purchasing consumer goods. We maintain the integrity of giving by giving spontaneously and from our hearts, rather than during a specified season.

You are not alone. Together, we can RESIST CHRISTMAS!"

The Revolution Will Be Solarized

''Solar power has been the Next Big Thing for decades now, yet it remains a niche player in the energy world. The problem of intermittency is unsolved, up-front capital costs remain high, and surging demand for polysilicon, a key component of solar panels, has recently outstripped supply, stifling production.

So when someone claims that within decades solar photovoltaic technology will come to dominate the world's energy portfolio -- with or without subsidies, with or without rising fossil-fuel prices, with or without new environmental legislation -- one could be forgiven a degree of skepticism.

But Travis Bradford is no hippie idealist. The author of Solar Revolution: The Economic Transformation of the Global Energy Industry spent the early years of his career in corporate acquisitions and private equity funds -- not fields that reward irrational exuberance. His book is based on research and analyses done at his Massachusetts think tank, the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, working from what he claims are conservative assumptions about market and capital trends.

Those trends, he says, are inexorable: Just as revolutions have transformed the information and communication sectors, solar power will break the hold of sclerotic, centralized power companies.''

Read more on the AlterNet.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hawking: Man must leave planet Earth

From the Telegraph: ""The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet," he said. "Sooner or later, disasters such as an asteroid collision or nuclear war could wipe us all out. But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe.

"There isn't anywhere like the Earth in the solar system, so we would have to go to another star.

"If we used chemical fuel rockets like the Apollo mission to the moon, the journey to the nearest star would take 50,000 years. This is obviously far too long to be practical, so science fiction has developed the idea of warp drive, which takes you instantly to your destination. Unfortunately, this would violate the scientific law which says that nothing can travel faster than light.

"However, we can still within the law, by using matter/antimatter annihilation, and reach speeds just below the speed of light. With that, it would be possible to reach the next star in about six years, though it wouldn't seem so long for those on board."

The science fiction series Star Trek has used matter/antimatter annihilation as an explanation for the warp drive. But, in reality, he said that scientists believe that the flash of radiation produced when matter and antimatter are brought together and destroy one another could in fact one day be used to drive craft to close to the speed of light.

Prof Hawking today said that his own ambition was to take part in a more conventional form of space travel. "I am not afraid of death but I'm in no hurry to die. My next goal is to go into space," said Hawking."