Saturday, 28 March 2009

Earth Hour Observed (2009)

Just like last year, we observed Earth Hour again, this time on Saturday night (28 March, 2009). We switched off all lights and shut down the computers, then took an hour-long walk from 2030 to 2130.

Again, like last year, we noticed that many houses along the streets we saw did not turn off their lights, so it wasn't a total success.

My question remains - how much does this really do for the environment? At what point does tokenism translate to tangible impact?

Monday, 9 March 2009

Stratfor CEO George Friedman Seems Eerily Prescient

I've been reading a most fascinating book, "The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century" by George Friedman, the CEO of Stratfor (which stands for Strategic Forecasting).

Among other predictions that Friedman makes based on geopolitical considerations is a rather dramatic one about war between the United States and a Japanese-Turkish alliance in about 2050. According to him, the war will begin with a Japanese Pearl Harbour-style attack on US Battlestar satellites. The attack will be launched from Japan's lunar base, Friedman adds.

Today, I read this news item in the papers. Japan plans to sends a robot explorer to the moon by 2020, and a human astronaut by 2030.

It's 2009, and Japan has seemingly begun its baby steps towards war with the US. It was an eerie feeling to read today's newspaper, knowing what I know of Friedman's prediction.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

How Can We Trust Science?

I'm all for the rationalist approach to life. I would like to have science rule my actions and my thinking. But in practice, science often leaves me feeling cheated.

Last year, a glass of red wine a day was good for me. It was rich in antioxidants, which helped to fight cancer.

This year, even two small glasses of red wine a day can cause ... cancer.

Thinking scientifically therefore, the act of pouring wine into smaller glasses seems to be what introduces carcinogens into the system.

Come back, religion and superstition, all is forgiven!