Blinded by the light…….

My first experience with compact fluorescent light bulbs was very disappointing. After flickering on and off for a few seconds the light it did manage to produce was poor. I’m a strong believer in taking as many steps as possible to minimize my carbon footprint, but I refuse to be an environmental martyr. It seems ridiculous to support an inferior product which in all likelihood will frustrate the consumer and end up clogging our crowded landfills. A few weeks ago I gave the bulbs another shot. This time the lights switched on immediately. The light was similar to the output from an incandescent bulb though some what softer. Now I can’t tell the difference between the old bulbs still in use and the new compact fluorescent bulbs. According to The Environment Defense Global Warning Website, if every household replaced just three 60-watt incandescent bulbs with better bulbs, it would be equivalent to taking 3.5 million cars off the road. Here is a link to a guide on how to purchase a compact fluorescent bulb that you can be proud of. How to pick a better bulb.

How to be creative…….

Hugh Macleod has written a great piece on how to be creative. I love his no nonsense, practical approach. He has two points that especially resonate with my view of the world. First, everyone has the potential to be creative. Basically, if you are human then your natural inclination is to create. We are thinking and doing creatures. Evolution did not favor our species because we can run fast or camouflage our bodies from predators. On the flip side, just because everyone has this talent doesn’t mean things are going to be easy. Creativity doesn’t independently express itself like some weird parasite tucked away in our brains. It takes effort. And chances are if you are trying something new, you are going to get stuck and have to deal with a healthy dose of frustration. Do you have the back bone to deal with this? Can you stick it out until the dark cloud clears and things start to make sense again? There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. -Unknown

Have a lousy day…….

According to How to Be a Grouch by Oscar the Grouch, there are many things to help put you in a grouchy place. Some of his suggestions include: birthdays, coat hangers, and people who think they are funny but aren’t. He also devotes a whole section on how to get a bad night’s sleep. After all nothing is better to start out a lousy day than to be tired and grumpy. For me the best way to get a sleepless night is to watch video of the Greenland Glacier rapidly sloughing into the Atlantic. As a public service to all grouches, here are links to help you have a crappy day. BBC News: Greenland ice-melt ‘speeding-up’ CBS News: Global Warning Here is my choice for track two of the playlist: Radiohead with Just from The Bends

Winning hearts and minds…….

I thought it would be fun to create a musical thread that follows the topical ebb and flow of shiftingheat. It would be the viral element reinforcing ideas and provide an audio snap shot of a cluttered mind. After all, we need something to get this party started. The idea would be to link songs to posts as deemed appropriate. My first choice is the TalkingHeads: Life During Wartime An anthem for an army of one.

The next 10 years…….

"If men were able to be convinced that art is precise advance knowledge of how to cope with the psychic and social consequences of the next technology, would they all become artists?" –Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media I’ve been thinking about our sped-up polarized world. We are awash in trivia. Celebrities are more real to us than members of our own families. News is dumbed down and sexed up. Television serves up crumbs that are crammed between fast food and automobile commercials. Each message is a drop one by one collecting together. First a rivulet forms then a tiny stream. The river gains a voice. The ocean commands authority. It whispers," Just let go. We have it all taken care of. Haven’t we created a perfect world?" But the world crumbles anyway. Some small newspaper goes looking for a fight and part of the world ends up in flames. The heat seems to be melting both ends of the earth but we wouldn’t know it because truth is now a negotiable commodity. What to do? I think the future is too important to leave up to the experts. It’s time to take Marshall’s advice and make some noise of our own.