Matt\’s Cuppa

My take on tea, technology, and our environment

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

The Story Of Stuff Is A Must See Wake-Up Call

Posted by telecommatt on December 6, 2007

Thanks to Andy McCaskey‘s excellent Slashdot Review podcast, yesterday I ran across one of the best short film documentaries that I have ever seen. It’s called The Story of Stuff. It’s about twenty minutes long, and it will change the way that you look at every modern manufacturing marvel that you’ve ever owned.

In the film, Leonard walks us through the life cycle of the “stuff” that we buy. Sounds boring? Nope! There’s enough cynicism thrown in to keep people age twelve and up amused for the full twenty minutes. And it’s all done in cartoon, so that takes care of anyone under under twelve and any healthy adult male.

You can view the film directly from the website. If you’d rather know what you’re getting yourself into first, you can view a two minute YouTube preview here.

The “cycle” is something we’ve seen before in business or economics classes:

Extraction – Production – Distribution – Consumption – Disposal.

The difference is that Leonard focuses on what happens between each phase, because they don’t just fit neatly together like they do in the text books. For example, between the production and distribution phases, there’s a whole lot of industrial and manufacturing waste that has to be put someplace.

She also looks at the context in which all this takes place. And that is often the scarier picture. The film highlights dependencies that occur between people and the “stuff” cycle. Our whole economy is dependent on the idea of planned obsolescence, and we’ve managed to drag most of the world in with us. If they won’t ride in our wagon, we make them push.

A lot of the film is stuff that we already know. It’s simply draws our attention to the wider context. Contrary to what people steering our economy would like us to think, none of this happens in a vacuum. We live in a world of finite resources and we’re burning through those resources at an irresponsible rate. So next time you buy a radio, think about who really paid for it.

If that last line didn’t make sense, what the film.

I sincerely thank Annie Leonard and everyone else who helped put together the film and the website. It’s not a comfortable message, but it’s one that we all need to hear.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Environment, Our World, Politics | Leave a Comment »

If We Can Train for War, then We Can Train for Peace

Posted by telecommatt on October 14, 2007

Now here’s a nobel idea…<pun intended> – Peace

If a similar amount of time, energy and money (or even more!) were spent on training teachers, parents, managers, and leaders in peaceful conflict resolution, nonviolent mediation, and peacemaking initiatives, we would begin to see a real difference in the world.

Theresa M.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Roll Your Own Bobbleheads With JibJab’s “Starring You”

Posted by telecommatt on August 10, 2007

A bit of Friday fun. This was just too good to pass up. For all it’s silliness, I can foresee using this to create social, political, and environmental statements that people actually pay attention to. Imagine bringing into a classroom a skit with about saving electricity starring their teacher  as a bobblehead!

JibJab’s ‘Starring You!’ is the greatest office time-waster in history

from by Caroline McCarthyTrust me–I know procrastination. But this one really takes the cake.

JibJab, as you
probably know already, made a name for itself by creating corny (yet
socially relevant) musical skits that superimposed the heads of
politicians and celebrities onto cartoon bodies. Now that
user-generated content is nothing new, it almost seems overdue that
JibJab would introduce a “make your own” feature. But now, at long
last, here it is: “JibJab Starring You!”

The concept, at least according to the creators, is to JibJab
yourself by uploading a photo, easily crop it with the Flash-based
tools to make a bobblehead-like image, and then revel at the absurdity
of watching yourself dance the Charleston.

But don’t let that fool you. The real purpose of “Starring You!” is
to dig up photos of your boss and put them into any number of the dorky
dance videos. As a bonus, most of them require two dancers, so you can
use the likenesses of multiple co-workers–or choose from a small
library of celebrity heads that range from Donald Trump to Barack Obama.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Geekstuff, Green, Humor, Politics, Random Things | Leave a Comment »

A New Kind of Presidential Debate

Posted by telecommatt on July 24, 2007

Is it that time already?? Start dusting off your vote!

Debates to Connect Candidates and Voters Online – New York Times

The first of a new kind of presidential debate is scheduled for tonight, one in which members of the general public pose questions to the candidates via homemade video.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

MattsCuppa Link Roundup for 6-11-2007

Posted by telecommatt on June 11, 2007

More backlogged links! I’m especially excited about Remember the Milk being available offline. Most everyone knows I’m an RTM addict, and I am still convinced it’s the most flexible way to manage your GTD-life. Now, I can “remember the milk” from my PC online, from my laptop in line, and my mobile handset where ever. Sweet!

Firefox Extensions For Bloggers has a useful post today with 17 Firefox Extensions That Make Blogging Easy – broken down into Collecting, Writing and Images.

I hate lists like this – I end up spending half my day having to
install and test great new tools which are supposed to make me more
productive but in the short term which are wonderful distractions!

PS: The Split Browser
extension is going to be VERY useful. I quite often wish I didn’t
have to flip back and forth from one tab to another while writing a
post or newsletter in one tab and researching what I’m writing i
another. This is great – why didn’t anyone tell me!

What else don’t I know about?!? What are your favorite Firefox extensions?



any camera phone you can quickly and easily send photos where everyone
can view them. Don’t just tell your friends about it, burstcast

Web As Desktop: Remember the Milk gets Gears


The popular online todo list Remember the Milk has paired up with the spanking new Google Gears to offer a seamless online/offline experience for RTM.

the Milk’s Google Gears integration is really impressive, offering the
entire RTM experience in offline mode—meaning that you can view
your todo lists, add tasks, edit tasks, search your tasks, create Smart
Lists, along with anything else you like to do with RTM. As far as I’ve
seen, RTM is the first popular non-Google app (and the second app
outside of Google Reader) to offer offline access and synchronization
with Google Gears, and it’s done a helluva job. Looking forward to
seeing more of this.

The Week in Sustainable Mobility (6/3/07)

Editor’s Note: Check out Minnesota in the eco news! We don’t often make headlines here. Must be that Minnesota Nice thing…

A Final Batch of Productivity Tips

During my mini-hiatus after the birth of my son a few more productivity tips did come through for the Ultimate Guide to Productivity.

seem to have stopped at this point so maybe the Ultimate Guide to
Productivity group writing project meme has played out its course.
That’s totally fine. I’ve listed the remaining submissions

You can still submit a post if you’d like – just tell us your best productivity tips!

the meantime I’ll start the huge task of reviewing all the posts
again and preparing the much-promised e-book. I can’t give a
deadline at this stage, and as soon as I get a handle on the work
I’ll call for help from others. But here goes nothing!

  1. Tag, I’m It! by Christina Haas
  2. Number 1 productivity tip by Shannon
  3. Productivity: Snooze It or Lose It by Connie Reece
  4. Automation: My Ultimate Guide to Productivity by Alaeddin
  5. Meme Week: My Secret to Productivity by Mark Goodyear
  6. Cutting Out the Bull: Information Overload and Productivity by David Bohl
  7. Fear – The Ultimate Productivity Blocker by Shaboom
  8. Ultimate Guide to Productivity: A Tip the Worx by In The Worx

If I’m not mistaken, this brings our total number of submissions to 137!

be posting the full list shortly so there’s a single page to
access all of the great productivity tips. And again, you can keep
sending them in if you’ve got them…


Upload and play your iTunes library and all your digital music online.
Easy download to your iPod or PC. Safely share music and playlists.
URL: Lala.


An online instructional cooking site that walks you step-by-step through each recipe with video tutorials. URL: Rouxbe.


A browser-based online mind mapping application. URL: Mind42.

Make your site mobile friendly

A nice introduction into the world of the mobile web. Personally it
felt it played down the challenges in places but it still gave some
nice advice.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Blogging, CSS, Energy, Environment, GTD, LinkRoundup, Mobile, Music, Politics, Software, web-based services, Webdev, Websites | 3 Comments »

Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/14/2007

Posted by telecommatt on April 14, 2007

In a Filmdom Premiere, a Foe for Gore – New York Times  Annotated

    In a Filmdom Premiere, a Foe for Gore

      Vermont roots for U.S. climate rallies – Climate Change –  Annotated

        MONTPELIER, Vt. – A group of Middlebury College students looking to draw attention to global warming have sparked a national day of action beyond their wildest expectations: 1,350 actions planned Saturday across all 50 states.

          Estimate, Invoice and Time Tracking Software for your business : Cashboard  Annotated

            Estimates, Invoices and Time Tracking done right.

              Posted in Finance, Green, Politics, web-based services | Leave a Comment »

              Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/13/2007

              Posted by telecommatt on April 13, 2007

                Freelance Writers – Expore the Freelance Writing Jobs at LifeTips

                • Become a Guru, post tips or publish a book. Get paid.
                   – post by telecommatt

                Helium – Where Knowledge Rules

                • Get paid for your writing if you get rated high enough.
                   – post by telecommatt

                Associated Content Frequently Asked Questions

                • pays $3-$20 for freelance writing.
                   – post by telecommatt

                SplashCast: Channel Yourself Across the Web  Annotated

                  About SplashCast

                    The Principles of Beautiful Web Design [Design Principles]

                      SQL – Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

               – Free Computer Books, Tutorials & Lecture Notes


                            Best Places to Get Free Books – The Ultimate Guide | Friedbeef’s Tech


                              • This seems like a really cool and potentially useful app! It’s basically a web bot that allows you to store, add, and edit random bits of information via their website or via sms. For example, you have what they call a GAD that lists your coworkers’ birthdays by the month. You SMS MyGads “May birthdays” and it sends you back the GAD that lists your coworkers who have May birthdays. This has some serious GTD potential too!
                                 – post by telecommatt

                              Children bear brunt of climate warming: report – Yahoo! News  Annotated

                              • This is a chilling thing to think about, that our children, who look to us as their protectors, will suffer the most from climate change. And it’s too late. There is nothing we can do to take this thing we’ve helped create away from them. Yes, we can stop what is happening from getting worse, but we can’t stop what is already in motion.
                                 – post by telecommatt
                              LONDON (Reuters) – Children will increasingly bear the
                              brunt of global warming, a report said on Friday, while another
                              said the climate would continue to heat up in coming decades
                              regardless of efforts to curb emissions of carbon gases.

                                UK policy body wants health warnings on flights – Yahoo! News  Annotated

                                  LONDON (Reuters) – Advertisements for flights, or holidays
                                  that include flying, should carry a tobacco-style health
                                  warning to remind people of the global warming crisis, a
                                  leading British think-tank said on Thursday.

                                    Posted in Betas (as in not-the-fish), Ebooks, Free/Open Source, Freelancing, Green, Our World, Podcasts/Podcasting, Politics, web-based services, Webdev | 1 Comment »

                                    Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 04/04/2007

                                    Posted by telecommatt on April 4, 2007

                                    Skyfarming – Turning Skyscrapers Into Crop Farms — New York Magazine  Annotated

                                    • This is so incredibly SWEET!
                                       – post by telecommatt


                                    A Columbia professor believes that converting skyscrapers into crop farms could help reduce global warming and make New York cleaner. It’s a vision straight out of Futurama—but here’s how it might work.

                                      BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iranians release British sailors  Annotated

                                      Iranians release British sailors

                                      Iranian footage of seized crew

                                      Iranian media said the British crew ‘shouted for joy’ at the news

                                      Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf are free to leave.

                                        Posted in Green, Politics, Technology | Leave a Comment »

                                        UFO science key to halting climate change: former Canadian defense minister – Yahoo! News

                                        Posted by telecommatt on March 1, 2007

                                        UFO science key to halting climate change: former Canadian defense minister – Yahoo! News

                                        OTTAWA (AFP) – A former Canadian defense minister is demanding governments worldwide disclose and use secret alien technologies obtained in alleged UFO crashes to stem climate change, a local paper said Wednesday.

                                        “I would like to see what (alien) technology there might be that could eliminate the burning of fossil fuels within a generation … that could be a way to save our planet,” Paul Hellyer, 83, told the Ottawa Citizen.

                                        All I’m going to is wowowowowow!!!!

                                        Posted in Environment, Politics, WTF?! | Leave a Comment »

                                        Matt’s Daily Diigo Post 02/28/2007

                                        Posted by telecommatt on February 28, 2007


                                        • Very intriguing site. Free lectures and presentations on a variety of subjects, mostly medical or educational. The technology behind it is interesting too. Webinar in a Box, basically. Looked this up because I’ll be behind the camera for one of these tomorrow. More on Matt’s Adventures in Video later! – post by telecommatt

                                        OpenCongress – S.4

                                        Say goodbye to Microsoft. Now.

                                        • because the Ubuntu installer didn’t work on my machine… – post by telecommatt

                                        Clean like a maid! » Curbly | DIY Design Community « Keywords: cleaning, tips

                                        • Maybe some of you don’t need to read this, but I sure do! – post by telecommatt

                                        Rands In Repose: A Glimpse and a Hook

                                        • Good article. Sound advice. Check out for online resume service. I think I blogged about that earlier, but if not, check it out. – post by telecommatt

                                        Posted in Jobs, Lifehacks, Politics, Websites | Leave a Comment »