Thursday, August 23, 2007

Part Street-Magic, Part Con-Artist

I saw this a few weeks ago on Wise Bread, and wanted to share it. Remember "These are not the 'droids you're looking for" from ol' Ben Kenobi in Star Wars? Well, Derren Brown is the real deal. I'm not sure what to make of it, but it's interesting. Either way, a hustle this good would have to be showcased in NYC.

The link below contains another video, though I'm not completely convinced. BTW, I finished the first paragraph before finishing the second video -- I guess he's seen Star Wars once or twice as well!

Wise Bread: Mind control guru can pay with blank sheets of paper.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

HP delivers on ink cartridge recycling made easy

I've had an ink-jet printer for years, and had the highest ambitions to recycle the empty cartridges. Staples once had a "free ream of paper for an empty cartridge" promotion at one point, which I meant to capitalize on. I never did of course. I've become such a paper nazi over the past few years, that the 88-brightness copy machine paper would have caused more unused clutter in the house anyway. I'm sure there's an empty set of CMYK sitting somewhere in my house with a dust layer an inch thick.

I bought a new printer a few months ago, and this weekend had to replace the ink. Lo and behold, attached to the new cartridges were folded up envelopes asking me to send back my empties!

Step 1. Cut a hole Place 1 or 2 empty HP inkjet cartridges in this envelopes without additional packaging or notes.
Step 2. Carefully seal envelope (no licking, just sticking -ed.)
Step 3. Mail postage paid envelope back to HP.

Sure, there's no reward, but it takes about 3 seconds longer than putting it right in the trash. And then the the warm fuzzy which lasts a lifetime (or at least as long as it takes to print a full sheet photo at max resolution).

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Teacher Appreciation Day at Staples

Hey teachers! Your day for free stuff is approaching. Come early and score some free swag!

link: Staples Teacher Appreciation Day

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

All Hail Nalgene! Death to Nalgene!

My last post on bottled water received a number of comments, and with great information. Here are some of the highlights, and a couple of new articles.

Time to Pack In the Polycarbonates
Well, this was a downer for me. Essentially it says that Nalgene bottles, water cooler bottles, and plastic food containers are leaking "a chemical that mimics the hormone estrogen, known as Bisphenol-A (BPA)". From the article:

Effects on men from genderbenders include enlarged breasts and reduced sperm counts. In women, earlier puberty and possible link to breast cancer.


Pregnant women who consume a chemical found in everyday plastic products such as food containers and water bottles could be putting their unborn children at risk of developing cancer and other diseases when they reach adulthood.

Exposure within the womb to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in the production of plastics, caused changes linked with diseases such as obesity, cancer and diabetes...

I have to file this under "everything will give you cancer". Environment = 1, Columbia = -1.

Josh Dorfman, the Lazy Environmentalist

I.M. Bitter sent me this video. If you don't know about the lazy environmentalist, watch a bit of this video. His basic idea is "change my effects, not habits". One example was the new hybrid Camry. Some people just don't want to buy a Prius for any number of reasons. If the number one selling car in America came with a hybrid option, you can change your effects on the environment with no change to your habits (ie. you're buying the car you would have bought anyway.) Bitter mentions Sigg bottles as an alternative to Nalgene (or commercially bottled water) which are mentioned in the video.

Molto Mario Bans Bottled Water
Kitty sends this:
Speaking of, have you heard about Mario Batali's restaurant (among others) banning bottled water? The thought is to save energy on delivering the water, save on recycling, etc. etc. [...] An excoworker's father worked as a New York water tester. Apparently if you filter it, it is more than fine.

I hope more restaurants do the same until it becomes natural. I'm surprised the water people aren't coming back with a backlash...but I guess the water people are less mobilized, have less money and are less evil than the gas and car people.

I mentioned that I heard San Francisco was banning bottled water. I knew I had the finer details missing, so here's some updated info on that.
[Newsweek: link]
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the use of city funds to purchase single-serving plastic water bottles.

Every day there's a new water scare. Forget drinking the water, just trying to keep my head above it is challenging enough.