Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The New Penny Doesn't Make Sense

coin costs
The US Mint unveiled some pretty spiffy looking prototypes for next years new one cents pieces celebrating the life of Abraham Lincoln.penny
The only problem with the new coins is that, being shiny and all, they will start to renew interest in pennies, and some people might collect a few of them. No harm there, really, except it costs you and I money.
To produce a penny last year cost 1.67 cents, so every penny saved in a drawer somewhere is costing the US government, (i.e., you and me), 0.67 cents.
Now the new quarters with pictures of different states adorning them was pure genius. Many people bought the little blue books and started collecting all fifty of them. This is great for our country since it only costs 9.78 cents to make a quarter, we make 15.22 cents on each quarter taken out of circulation. (It's kinda like a tiny savings bond each time someone throws a quarter into the back of a drawer).
Unfortunately, with the penny, encouraging collecting just doesn't make sense.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Plastics - the Lead Wine Bowls of our Times

In ancient Rome the citizens enjoyed hot, spiced wine mixed in lead bowls. During preparation, the hot acidic wine would leach the toxic lead from the bowl and into the drink. No one paid the practice a second thought. With so much lead in their bodies, it's no wonder some of the emperors went crazy (see Mad Hatter).
My hunch is that plastics are the lead wine bowls of our time. Reports like this and this are coming out regularly suggesting damage from bisphenol A (BPA), an ingredient in some plastics.
The most damaging evidence so far is that people with the highest BPA levels were three times more likely to have heart disease.
Perhaps our descents will look back centuries from now and wonder in amazement, "They used plastics for drinking hot liquids?"

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I loved this new rap video by some scientists at the Large Hadron Collider. Perhaps this is the future of all science textbooks?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Beauty of Sarah Palin's Underrated Experience


I hear a lot of concern in the blogoshere about how Sarah Palin does not have the experience for being Vice President. Well, she has a little discussed experience which is critical for the job and being ignored by the mainstream media - she was runner-up in the Miss Alaska Beauty Pageant! For an entire year she was a heartbeat away from the top spot. She had to be ready for that 3am phone call that the official Miss Alaska was somehow been disgraced (read: internet photos) and could no longer fulfill the pageant duties. Sarah had to be on top of her game and be ready for the press conference the next morning. Sarah is ready for the same type of challenge.
I get tired of all this Sarah bashing. Leave Sarah Alone.