Tweet of the Day: @stevendrozd

Kind of a Tweet of the Day and Video Fridays installment all in one.

Stephen Drozd is one of the musical geniuses behind one of my favorite bands, The Flaming Lips, and I got a total kick out of this tiny clip, from the camera angle to the lighting, and most especially the revelation that the Lips are working on a cover of an Emerson, Lake & Palmer classic.!/stevendrozd/status/129945344355217408

It might be kinda quiet here at Fish & Bicycle for the next few days, as the family and I are moving to new digs here in Bellingham.

Hopefully, I’ll have new stuff up by Monday, so in the meantime, make yourself at home, kick off your shoes, pour yourself a mug of beer or a glass of wine, and browse around the vast Fish & Bicycle archives.


Tweet of the Day: #OccupyOakland!/quinnnorton/status/129435817272811520

Bellingham’s Coal Train Blues plays on NPR

It’s been a while since I wrote about the battle over coal taking place right here in Bellingham — Post 1 from March, Post 2 from June. But with an election coming soon, which includes a face off between proponents and opponents of a coal terminal that would ship 48 million tons of coal per year, coal that would reach the terminal by going right through the middle of a town that is known nationally as a model of sustainability, it’s about time that I bring up the topic again.

That NPR also happens to be running a story today on the Bellingham Coalmaggedon, really leaves me no choice, actually. I can’t not mention it!

As I wrote in June, Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike has taken a courageous, unequivocal stand against the coal terminal, so you know he’s got my vote for his re-election, and here he is, nailing it on the head in the NPR piece:

“There are some folks advocating for it because, like a lot of communities, we really could use good jobs,” Pike says. “But we’ve also built a reputation over the past few decades as a place that values sustainability. And there are few things that are as anti-sustainability as coal is.”

On another note, I’m really glad that NPR included this tibit (my emphasis added in bold):

Pike is pitted against labor unions, which welcome the construction jobs and the few hundred high-paying jobs that would eventually result at the terminal. Proponents also include Peabody Energy, which would mine the coal for export; Warren Buffett, who owns the railway that would carry the coal; and SSA Marine, which runs ports around the world and wants to build this one.

Warren Buffett earned the respect and gratitude of millions of poor, working class, and middle class Americans this year when he publicly demanded that the U.S. government raise his taxes, along with taxes on the rest of The 1%,

And while I don’t want to detract too much from Buffett’s stance on taxes and his significant track record of philanthropy, most notably his 2006 gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest charitable donation in history, it’s impossible for me to let him off the hook for his role in the expansion of coal mining and exportation.

No, we have to draw the line in the sand on this coal business, just as it is in the interest of the country and the planet for us to oppose the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

Never was the saying more appropriate: Think Globally, Act Locally!

Glove Love

I was done with work for the day, had a class to go to from 6:30 to 9pm, WAY across town, I was on my bicycle, I noticed it was cold, realized it would be a lot colder at 9pm for my long ride home, I’d recently lost my cycling gloves, and so I stopped at my favorite bike shop, Kulshan Cycles, and I bought the cheapest hand wear they had:

Oh, I was kind of aware of the Life Is Good-inspired graphics when I bought them, but I didn’t fully grasp, pun intended, the message until my 13-year old son took his first look at the gloves a week later, and the immediate thing he saw was what finger the “Have a Good Day” message was on, and that on the finger tip pads on the other side there was a frown on that same finger, whereas there are smiles on the other three.

THAT is clever design! At once in your face and subtle.

Kudos to Pryme for their creativity and efforts to spread some good will.

Tweet of the Day: #OccupyAlphabet

I think about this ALL the time when I’m playing Scrabble.!/printmag/status/128943215171747841

Stuff We Need: Solar Blimps

Call ’em blimps. Call ’em zeppelins. Call ’em dirigibles (if you can pronounce it). Call ’em airships.

Whatever, if they are are solar and zero emissions and can carry cargo, we need ’em!

Carbon emissions from cargo planes, ships, trains, and trucks is significant.

That a solar blimp can look really cool — always a plus for me — is yummy icing on the cake, but the fact that, according to Inhabitat, the makers of the SolarShip plan to demonstrate their vessels soon, in 2012 and 2013, is really exciting.

[SolarShip]…has taken the steps to bring its vision of a green shipping future to life, recently completing the initial test flights for its solar helium plane. The prototype blends the concepts of blimp and airplane by placing a blimp lined with solar panels over an airplane cockpit and landing gear, and using solar power to propel the plane into the air. SolarShip plans to build three sizes of this ship: the small Caracal, the mid-size Chui, and the 30-tonne cargo hauler Nanuq.

Now, sadly, these things won’t be replacing cargo ships and trains anytime soon. The largest of the three, after all, the 30-ton Nanuq, can only carry the equivalent of one 20-foot shipping container.

But it’s a step in the right direction, and in the meantime we get some great CGI eye candy to watch.

Autumn Continued

Tweet of the Day: @arstechnica

This is a relief:!/arstechnica/status/127462977904443392

Much Ado About Shakespeare

Full disclosure: I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a concentration in Shakespeare, a fact intended, not as conceit, but rather quite the opposite, to perhaps explain the obvious, that what you are about to read is decidedly NOT the product of a master’s or doctoral degree.

I just happen to love Shakespeare, purely as a consumer and appreciator of drama, comedy, poetry and theater.

Now, there’s this new movie coming out, Anonymous, and it has fixed a spotlight on a debate that has been raging since the middle of the 19th century, as to whether or not a man named William Shakespeare from Stratford-upon-Avon actually wrote the legendary plays and poems attributed to him.

The film is based on the Oxfordian Theory, which holds that the actual author of the Shakespeare canon was Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford. It’s a pretty audacious claim, strenuously refuted as having no basis in any actual evidence.

So, I poked around, read arguments for and against, watched an enjoyable if too brief debate between two scholars with opposing opinions, watched a video by the director of Anonymous, Roland Emmerich, who lists his 10 Reasons Why Shakespeare Was A Fraud

…and then I watched this:

…and I knew instantly that I had to see it.

Sure it’s sensationalist. But, it seems to me that that is exactly what Emmerich unapologetically intended it to be. His 10 Reasons video starts off with titles and voiceover that state, “The director who brought you Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, and 2012, now brings you…Shakespeare!”

Then there’s a quick cut to a cartoon of a Shakespeare monument, with birds chirping, and lute music, and it’s pretty obvious that Emmerich is coming right out and admitting that it’s a bit odd that someone known for making blockbuster action adventure movies, drenched in special effects, would be making an historical drama period piece.

Sure it’s sensationalist, but it also looks like great, great fun!

The scholars will go on debating this for eternity, or until long-lost and conclusive evidence is discovered that definitively proves one side or the other, whichever comes first. In that context, claims that Emmerich & Co. are dangerously trying to re-write history ring hallow to me.

On the contrary, the very controversy contributes to the making of a great story loaded with juicy dramatic potential.

With all it’s royal court intrigue, swapping of identities, and violent consequences at every turn…

…why, it’s downright Shakespearean!

U.S. Economic Inequality in a Nutshell

It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

It doesn’t take a degree in economics to see the problem here.

Two astounding tidbits from the 2010 payroll taxes data just released by Social Security Administration.

Via The Atlantic:

  1. Half of all workers made less than $26,364, the median wage in 2010.
  2. The number of millionaires increased by about 20 percent.