Friday, February 17, 2006

Eco-friendly Olympics

To following is today's Sierra Club Daily Ray of Hope, a daily e-mail blurb of good news regarding the Earth. To sign up for this daily ray of sunshine in an otherwise gloomy world, visit www.sierraclub.org.


The Olympic Games in Italy are expected to generate "just over 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide with the main sources of emissions coming from transport and the operation of the Olympic venues," according to the United Nations Environment Programme.


The good news is that the International Olympics Committee worked with the EU's Eco Management and Audit Scheme to employ ways to offset the CO2-producing activities including: a waste-materials plan that combines recycling with an efficient system of energy retrieval; an extensive sustainable transport plan for athletes and spectators; an eco-friendly Olympic Village built using pollution-free materials; and state-of-the-art soda machines at the event that use carbon dioxide as refrigerant instead of ozone-damaging substances.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"American Idol" vs. the Olympics?

It should not be terribly shocking that 55% of TV viewers would rather watch "American Idol," while 34% prefer the Olympics. (The remaining 11% of voters in today's AOL Sports poll don't like either one.) But I am surprised.

Perhaps my judgement is clouded by memories of having to get up and turn the dial to watch TV as a child, when "Star Search" and "Love Boat" ruled the airwaves and the Olympics and the Miss America pageant were huge events around which the week's schedule was planned.

I am surprised that the two shows are even in the same category, or, at the very least, that the modern-day version of "Star Search" was not put on hold for the Winter Games - as were all pro hockey games. (Smart and respectful of you, NHL. Thank you.)

But the poll shows that 72% of people find this year's Games less compelling than those in the past. Is this because of the serious overhyping going on thanks to 24/7 media coverage? Is the excitement of the competition overshadowed by the grand size of the build-up?

The rest of the poll findings are as follows:
55% said "American Idol" has more real-life drama
56% said the Olympic judges are the fairest
68% said the Olympic crashes are better
68% said "America Idol" is a better star-maker
55% said "American Idol" contestants have the brightest futures

Wow! I can't see "Star Search" ever beating out the Olympics in viewer ratings 20 years ago. But then, Ed McMahon is so much nicer (and, thus, less fun to watch) than Simon Cowell.

Which Movie Star Are You?

Ever wonder which movie star you are most like?

Well, a team of researchers got together and analyzed the personalities of movie stars. There's only 10 questions, so it doesn't take long. Answer each one with the choice that most describes you at this moment, and then add up the points that correspond with your answers.

Don't look ahead or you'll ruin the fun! And post a comment telling me which star you are!

1. Which describes your perfect date?
a) Candlelight Dinner for Two
b) Amusement Park
c) Rollerblading in the Park
d) Rock Concert
e) Have Dinner & See a Movie
f) Dinner at Home with a Loved One

2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll
b) Alternative
c) Soft Rock
d) Classical
e) Christian
f) Jazz

3. What is your favorite type of movie?
a) Comedy
b) Horror
c) Musical
d) Romance
e) Documentary
f) Mystery

4. Which of the following jobs would you choose if you were given only these choices?
a) Waiter/Waitress
b) Sports Player
c) Teacher
d) Policeman
e) Bartender
f) Business person

5. Which would you rather do if you had an hour to waste?
a) Work out
b) Make out
c) Watch TV
d) Listen to the radio
e) Sleep
f) Read

6. Of the following colors, which do you like best?
a) Yellow
b) White
c) Sky blue
d) Teal
e) Gold
f) Red

7. Which one of the following would you like to eat right now?
a) Ice cream
b) Pizza
c) Sushi
d) Pasta
e) Salad
f) Lobster Tail

8. Which is your favorite holiday?
a) Halloween
b) Christmas
c) New Year's
d) Valentine's Day
e) Thanksgiving
f) Fourth of July

9. If you could go to any of the following places, which would it be?
a) Reno
b) Spain
c) Las Vegas
d) Hawaii
e) Hollywood
f) British Columbia

10. Of the following, who would you rather spend time with?
a) Someone who is smart
b) Someone with good looks
c) Someone who is a party animal
d) Someone who has fun all the time
e) Someone who is very emotional
f) Someone who is fun to be with

Now total up your points on each question:
1. a-4 b-2 c-5 d-1 e-3 f-6
2. a-2 b-1 c-4 d-5 e-3 f-6
3. a-2 b-1 c-3 d-4 e-5 f-6
4. a-4 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-1 f-6
5. a-5 b-4 c-2 d-1 e-3 f-6
6. a-1 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-4 f-6
7. a-3 b-2 c-1 d-4 e-5 f-6
8. a-1 b-3 c-2 d-4 e-5 f-6
9. a-4 b-5 c-1 d-4 e-3 f-6
10. a-5 b-2 c-1 d-3 e-4 f-6

NOW, take your total and find out which Movie Star you are:

(10-17 points) You are MADONNA:
You are wild and crazy and you know it. You know how to have fun, but you may take it to extremes. You know what you are doing though, and are much in control of your own life. People don't always see things your way, but that doesn't mean that you should do away with your beliefs. Try to remember that your wild spirit can lead to hurting yourself and others.

(18-26 points) You are DORIS DAY:
You are fun, friendly, and popular! You are a real crowd pleaser. You have probably been out on the town your share of times, yet you come home with the values that your mother taught you. Marriage and children are very important to you, but only after you have fun. Don't let the people you please influence you to stray.

(27-34 points) You are DEBBIE REYNOLDS:
You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that no one takes the chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers, and you are worry-free.

(35-42 points) You are GRACE KELLY:
You are a lover. Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to enjoy yourself. You are serious about all commitments and are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday. Don't let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.

(43-50 points) You are KATHERINE HEPBURN:
You are smart, a real thinker. Every situation is approached with a plan. You are very healthy in mind and body. You don't take crap from anyone. You have only a couple of individuals that you consider "real friends!" You teach strong family values. Keep your feet planted in them, but don't overlook a bad situation when it does happen.

(51-60 points) You are ELIZABETH TAYLOR:
Everyone is in awe of you. You know what you want and how to get it. You have more friends than you know what to do with. Your word is your bond. Everyone knows when you say something it is money in the bank. You attract the opposite sex. Your intelligence overwhelms most. Your memory is the next thing to photographic. Everyone admires you because you are so considerate and lovable. You know how to enjoy life and treat people right.

Vintage art to wear and hang

Wolfgang's Vault is an online warehouse of tees that were actually created for and sold at rock concerts from the 1960s through today.

A quick scan of this Web site brings you back to your college days - or at least the halcyon days you wish you'd experienced.

If Cream or the Grateful Dead are your thing, or if you are more into U2 and Nirvana, you can find a shirt on this site. And they are way cool! Sure, they probably smell a little musty and are pretty creased from being boxed up for 30 years. But, hey! That's precisely what "vintage" means, and that's exactly what keeps you out of the "poser" category.

The site also sells tees and posters that are newly made but replicate the vintage artwork; it calls this category "retro." The posters range from rock shows and stand-up comedy nights to art exhibits and films.

When will you die?

I will die Dec. 30, 2072 and have about 2,110,074,120 seconds left to live.

If you, like me, are feeling a tad morbid and would like to know just how many seconds you have left to live it up, check the Death Clock.

You will answer the following questions, and a clock will pop up on your desktop to taunt you:
- Your age
- Your Body Mass Index (your height and weight ratio)
- The way you look at life (are you optimistic, pessimistic, sadistic or somewhere in between?)

As I watch the clock - my seconds dwindling to 2,110,073,000 - I consider getting away from the computer and living my life...