This sounds like the liberal medias doing – NFL – Saban declines offer from Bush – Monday July 31, 2006 1:26PM

“It was really a tough decision,” Saban said. “I feel like my first responsibility is our team. That in no way disrespects the importance of the opportunity I would have loved to have had to spend dinner with the President.”

Apparently getting the Dolphins ready for the season takes up every minute of his time.  I suspect that this is either exaggeration on the part of an AP reporter trying to drum up some controversy, or Saban is a Democrat and thinks his fame means we care about his snub of the President.  Oh, wait, I just wrote about it, I guess I do care.

Is the big house in the suburbs really worth it?

Commuting Is a Drag (on the Economy): Money & Happiness – Yahoo! Finance

. . . classic studies of lottery winners and paralyzed accident victims found only small differences in life satisfaction between these groups and control subjects. But certain experiences — living near a noisy highway, for example — become more aggravating over time, something scientists call “sensitization.” Commuting falls into this category.

A friend at work recently bought a big house pretty far away from where we work.  We don’t really have the option of telecommuting, so he drives an hour and a half or so each way (on a normal day.  Bad days can be much worse).  Is he happier that way?  I don’t know. But it’s interesting to think about what really brings us satisfaction.  I don’t think a big house in the suburbs would bring me much satisfaction.  I mean, I don’t have kids now, so I don’t need a yard for them to play in, or good schools, or anything like that, so it gives me some more freedom to choose where I live.  But I live with my fiancee in a two bedroom condo, about 1100 square feet, in a safe but uninteresting community that’s just a bus ride from the Metro.  Would we like a bigger kitchen and some more storage space?  Sure.  Do I need two more bedrooms and a den?  No, not really. I don’t mean to bash those who live far from work.  Although I do give my friend a hard time about it sometimes.  People have different priorities, and one of mine is a short commute.  I had a two hour or more round trip commute for about a year, and I hated it.  My commute is maybe 25 minutes now, and that includes dropping the fiancee at the Metro.  And I’d still telecommute if I had the opportunity.

American Airlines update

Just opened my email box this morning to an email from American Airlines!  After all, it’s only been a week, why wouldn’t they have emailed me by now?

But it was just spam about their AAdvantage program.  Alas.  They had better get back to me soon.  My mouse moves ever closer to the “Click here to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau” button.

And why doesnt the Prius get 72 MPG?

Go Blue! Volkswagen’s Diesel-Sipping Polo Gets 72 mpg – Jalopnik

I don’t know.  But I know I want my next car to run on biodiesel and need refueling once ever 4-6 weeks.  It’s too bad the Polo has gotten away from the 1989 GTI “17 year old guys think this is cool” look and moved towards the “17 year old girls think this is cute” look.  Maybe if I get one in black and put flames on the side . . .

An intelligent statement from a politician

Techdirt: House Rushes Through Bill To Make The Web More Dangerous For Kids

I know, it’s amazing.

Rep. John Dingell’s statement is worth repeating: “So now we are on the floor with a piece of legislation poorly thought out, with an abundance of surprises, which carries with it that curious smell of partisanship and panic, but which is not going to address the problems. This is a piece of legislation which is going to be notorious for its ineffectiveness and, of course, for its political benefits to some of the members hereabout.”

Well said.  He was speaking of the “Deleting Online Predators Act”, which doesn’t actually seem to delete any predators (Isn’t it nice that they use delete, because that’s an internet word!  They’re so clever and hip!), but actually blocks a lot of websites at any school that takes federal money.  Because that makes kids safer.

Unless you take away internet access completely, it is possible that online predators will get at kids.  You see, the internet is a dynamic, ever-changing thing.  This may seem obvious to many of you.  To to 410 of the 425 members of the House who voted for this bill, it apparently isn’t.  Blocking things on the internet will never work.  There will always be something new you have to block, and the people trying to beat the blocks are at least as good as those trying to block them.  As Techdirt says, why don’t we try educating people on the potential dangers?  Oh, right, that costs money.  Stupid bills like this just allow politicians to pretend they care about children.

Never, ever go out in the sun – Sun kills 60,000 a year, WHO says – Jul 26, 2006

“The application of sunscreens should not be used to prolong sun exposure but rather to protect the skin when exposure is unavoidable,” the report advises.

When the World Health Organization tells me to only go outside when absolutely necessary, I stop paying attention.  Sure, we should do more to protect the ozone layer.  But staying inside with the A/C blasting isn’t really the way to go.

I’m too lazy to look up numbers, but I imagine that 60,000 people a year makes the sun about as dangerous as a pair of toenail clippers.  How many people are there in the world?  Four billion?  What percentage of four billion is 60,000?  Well, I’ll tell you.  It’s 0.0015%.  You’re more likely to be struck by lightning while being mauled by a bear and holding a winning lottery ticket.  Actually, I made that up.  But seriously.  More people die from heart disease because they stayed inside worrying about skin cancer than die from actually getting skin cancer.  I made that up, too, but I guarantee it’s true or your money back.

Does this void my warranty?

Treehugger: Convert Your Car To Run On Ethanol With New Kit

I love the idea of this.  $500-700 and, with a flip of a switch, I can choose to fill my car with gasonline or ethanol.  I’m not sure I’d risk this on my car (It’s not even a year old) without doing some research, but it’s a great step forward.  Why be forced to buy a poor quality GM product just to use ethanol?  Now, I’m still waiting for the Back to the Future banana peel and stale beer fuel, but I guess I can wait a few more years.  Now all we need is an alternative to ethanol that’s a little more sustainable than growing corn.

I am unauthorized

I got this yesterday, but just got around to reading it.

Thank you for contacting us. We consider feedback from our customers to be very important. We are currently experiencing higher than normal email communications from our customers and our response to you may be delayed. We’ll reply as soon as possible and we appreciate your patience in the meantime.

That’s not the best part. This is:

This email message and its contents are copyrighted and are proprietary products of American Airlines, Inc. Any unauthorized use, reproduction, or transfer of this message or its contents, in any medium, is strictly prohibited.

The email message is copyrighted. Um, okay. I guess this is an unauthorized reproduction. What are they going to do, steal 16 hours of my bachelor party? Oh, wait . . .

I also like how they attach a name to the autoreply, as if some CSR actually read my submission and responded personally. How touching.