Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Livin in a pc world

In case you needed reminding we live in an ultra sensitive politically correct world. Everything is under scrutiny. Seemingly innocous things are suddenly under review and are being forced to change.
The latest tradition to go down in flames under the 'politically correct' banner are the patches New York City firefighters wear on their uniforms. Each station and sometimes even groups within a station had patches that would show their unique brand on the neighborhood and traditions that they protect.
You can read all the details HERE.
I will admit there were a few in here that seemed pretty close to the edge of acceptability (The Happy Hookers of Engine 279) but I'm not sure it was the right time to make a change to a fire department that is still nursing fresh wounds from 9/11. However, they are changing and it will be interesting to see what some of these departments will choose to represent them for the next hundred years. I'm especially interested in hearing what Engine 75 in the Bronx, the "Animal House", chooses to change to.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Review: Together (subtitled)

A co-worker of mine lent me one of his Netflix DVD's recently. I ripped it and have been watching it during some boring moments at work. It's called TOGETHER and I really enjoyed it. It is a foreign film in Chinese with English subtitles. I highly recommend it. Very well done and very enjoyable. A good family film. Your kids will enjoy it as well if they can keep up with the subtitles.

A young violin prodigy travels from a small village to the big city (Beijing) to find a teacher and mentor to help him develop his incredible talent. Challenges are faced and new friends are found along the way. It is heartwarming and devoid of the complex action and emotional manipulation found in so many Hollywood movies currently. If you are surfing Netflix looking for something to watch you should definitely check this out. This almost makes me want to subscribe to Netflix so I can have the chance to see gems like this more regularly.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Kid Power!

I saw this on my local news the other night and it was too good to not pass along!
While on an LDS service mission to Africa Ben and Julie Markham watched the local tribal children playing on the village water pump. They thought about all the energy these children were exerting and how they do so in a non-stop manner. That gave birth to the idea BYU mechanical engineering students are working on now. Adding electrical generators to common playground equipment. The idea is that while the children play on merry go rounds and swings and teeter totters they can be generating electricity to power their schoolhouse.
This provoked one of those 'duh' moments in me where I thought to myself, "Why hasn't this been thought of before?" The engineering students are creating the systems so that the children can generate electricity under normal playing conditions and won't have to 'work harder' to create the power. The generated electricity is stored in common car batteries and is usable by the school to power lights and any other electrical system that may be present.