Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Read Something - Late May 2011 Recap: Social Media Vending Machines, Batshit Crazy Drivers, Test Tube Burgers and more.

When I read something interesting in a magazine, I like to underline and rip the page out. Here's a couple of recent rip outs that I thought a few people might find interesting with links to the actual articles if available with headlines of my own.

Pepsi Social Vending Machine Sets New Low in Hyper-connectivity Social Marketing Stupidity (from InformationWeek)

Are you ready to tweet your friend a Pepsi? Can you wait for much a pain-in-the-ass it will be? And will they thank you for the empty calories and the teeth-rot? Do not tweet me any sodas. But you can now follow me at my new twitter account @airosah. I finally caved. I'm not sure why.

Test Tube Burgers To Save the World (in like 20 years or so... maybe)
(from New Yorker - subscription required)

Dutch scientist Willem can Eelen was a POW in WWII who has envisioned creating meat in a lab for over 50 years but only in the last decade or so has technology caught up to his dreams. Michael Specter's interesting article covers about the small, minute baby steps in this process that could be more important to saving this planet than getting off the fossil fuels.

As documented heavily in many books such as in Jonathan Safran Foer's excellent and highly-informative memoir/polemic "Eating Animals", consumption of animal products is a leading factor in the destruction of the Earth's environment. There are always horror stories and lots of figures but here's one that continually shocks me, "...the world consumes two hundred and eighty-five million tons of meat every year-ninety pounds per person."

Ninety pounds per person or 1/4 pound per day. Basically, every person on this person eats the average 13 year old annually. And demand is rising. Seriously, this is going to be our downfall. I'm not saying anyone has to stop eating but maybe Lent should be year round or something.

Nature's Gatorade (from Bloomberg Businessweek)

This article just feeds into my own interests. I play a lot of sports and have recently the last few years been shying away from the Gatorades and Powerades that I drank growing up. I still drink them but not as much as I used to. One drink that has entered my hydration rotation is coconut water.

The quick piece talks about how this natural elixir is starting to crack the huge $7 sports drink industry as a real alternative to the mainstays including the loss of Garnett as a Gatorade endorser. According to the article, he chose with his concious to promote a healthier drink at a signifigant pay cut from his Gatorade deal. While I don't endorse buying an overpriced Zico or Vita Coca since they are ridiculously overpriced, peek into the Asian or Hispanic sections at your local market and you will find a more affordable option like Goya's Coconut Water. It's a beautiful, warm day outside, might just enjoy one myself.

Here's a good question from "What's Your Problem," The Atlantic's readers question section.

This is a question I've always had. Does the brain fill up? The question is a bit more silly and has added a new word to my vocabulary, "earworm." Earworm is a term for those annoying songs and jungles that get stuck in your head. See: FreeCreditReport.com Pirate Guy, Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," and many, many, many more.

Sometimes it seems there are more bad songs and jingles stuck in my head than anything else and companies and artists pay good money for that kind of exposure. The answer for getting rid of a annoying jingle is embrace it and don't let it annoy you. If it annoy you according to a study, it sticks longer.

Venezuelan Drivers Have a License to Drive... and Drink (from The Week & Digital Journal)

"Venezuela is very car-friendly, and even gasoline is
practically free. Traffic rules are hardly ever enforced, but Venezuela
has suspended a bus driver’s license for a year, which makes this the
first case of a suspended license

Ramon Parra, 41, was stopped by
police for driving at a very excessive speed in a large passenger bus.
The bus was also missing one of its rear wheels.

According to Reuters,
there were more passengers on the bus than permitted by the law, and
one of the bus’s wheels was wedged in an aisle inside the bus

Luis Fernandez, the national police chief, said that this was the very
first time that they were suspending a driver’s license for 12
consecutive months

According to the Telegraph,
drunk drivers being tested is virtually unknown, and all types of
vehicles weave in and out of lanes, even travelling up to 100 miles an

According to Autoguide,
in 2008 is when the law to suspend licenses was enacted, but this is
the first time the law has been actually used. In Venezuela, the maximum
suspension allowed by law is five years, and that is only for killing
another person."
Remind me while I'm not visiting Venezuela to not drive on the roads at all. Do they even have roads? I know they have oil.

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