Category Archives: PSA

Carbonfund/Terrapass redux

So for some reason my posts about Terrapass [website] and Carbonfund [website] got some unexpected attention. People from both organizations wrote in to clarify points in my post. To recap, and highlight the differences between the two:

  • Terrapass and Carbonfund have the same goal: to offset people’s carbon emission by spending money on processes that will reduce the amount of carbon emitted by industry.
  • The way the two organizations spend their money is different, leading to a difference in price (Terrapass is a little more expensive). Here’s the breakdown:
  • Carbonfund is non-profit, while Terrapass is for-profit (explanation)
  • Carbonfund has a more flexible set of payment options (you can count in your home energy use as well as vehicle energy use, for instance), but Terrapass has a friendlier interface that makes it easier to figure out how much you ought to offset.

First I heard from Eric Carlson, from Carbonfund. He let me know that the two organizations do essentially the same things, but in different proportions. He also pointed out the price difference, and the fact that Carbonfund is non-profit. Then I heard from Tom Arnold, from Terrapass, who clarified that the reason Terrapass is more expensive is because of a heavier emphasis on wind energy. I am very appreciative of both representatives for taking the time to comment here.

Conclusion: if you want to offset your carbon emissions in the most cost-efficient way possible, you are probably better off with Carbonfund. If you want to pay attention to where each tonne goes, compare the use ratios of the two organizations, and Terrapass might be more to your liking (if you like the heavier emphasis on wind power, for example). If you can’t decide, I’d suggest a hybrid option: pay Terrapass for your car, and Carbonfund for your home.

Quick Meal Ideas

I am all about simple, easy-to-make meals that taste godly. A lot of the meals I make when I’m by myself involve rice with some stuff mixed in, in a bowl. This is severely yummy. For example, here’s what I made tonight:


  • 1/2 cup of rice (or 1 cup if you’re a pig like me)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped large
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup mushrooms
  • Sambal Oelek or other hot stuff, to taste. Or not, if you’re not into capsaicin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • olive oil
  • soya sauce

Here’s the way I make rice. It always works out perfectly for me, but different people try different ways. I have tried this with a variety of different kinds of rice. If you have a tendency to make crunchy or soggy rice, give this a shot:

  1. Put the rice in a smallish pot with 1.5 times as much water as rice, and put in the tumeric. Put the pot on the stove, at full temperature.
  2. Keep a close eye on the rice. The second it starts boiling you want to put it on a low flame, stir it up, and cover it. If you have a gas stove you’re laughing, but if you have an electric stove that takes a while to cool down I suggest you swap burners and put the other burner on low.
  3. It takes about 20 minutes for the rice to cook. This varies depending on what sort of rice you’re making and where you are in the world (no shit). Thing is, it’s important to not open the lid up too often. If you do, steam escapes, and your rice winds up crunchy. Once the pot stops steaming so much (after about 15 minutes) sneak a peek by lifting the lid up just a bit on one side.
  4. The way you will know the rice is ready is that you will not see any water in the pot. You should be able to tip the pot to a 90-degree angle, hold it for a few seconds, and no water will accumulate.

While the rice is cooking, chop up the garlic, onions and mushrooms. They all should be chumked about the same size — large for garlic, small for onions, and just about normal for mushrooms.

Fry up the onions and garlic in some olive oil, over a hot flame (or element). Add some soya sauce and stir until the onions are starting to get transparent. Then throw in the mushrooms and stir it all up well. Scoop a big ol’ spoonful of your hot stuff in and stir it all up. Then cover it and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.

Once the rice is done simply dump the mushroom mix into it, mix it all up, and serve it in a bowl or on a plate. Alternately, you can put the rice on a plate and put the mushroom stuff on top, but I like mixing it all up.

And there it is. Hot and delicious, filling and proteiny, and the ingredients probably cost you about $2 or something. Enjoy!

Brazil Stands up to Murkan Pharma: a short play

Enter ABBOTT, an American pharmaceutical company, talking on a cellular phone

And so I said, “If God didn’t want me to take advantage of quadriplegics He would have given them legs to walk to my competitors.” Anyway, I’ve gotta go. I’m meeting with Bolivia or something.


Hello, ABBOTT. Do you have those AIDS drugs we discussed?
Sure, we got plenty of Keletra, right here.
Good. Now, how about the price. Did you drop it like we agreed?
Sure thing! We dropped it down from $1.60 to $1.17 per unit, just like you asked.
No, we wanted you to drop it down to $0.48.
But that’s just stupid. There’s no way we can get it that low. We’d go bankrupt.

BRAZIL arches an eyebrow

Okay, well, we wouldn’t go bankrupt. But do you know how much it costs to develop this stuff? Hundreds of millions of dollars. American dollars, not pesos.
Keletra made you 897 million dollars in sales last year.
Yeah, but we’ve got overheads and stuff.
We’ve projected over two hundred thousand people needing these drugs in 2008. We’re talking about giving you 175 million dollars per year. You can afford to drop your prices.
You can’t cheap out on me like this. You’ve got two hundred thousand Bolivians who need our product. You are putting your desire to cut healthcare spending ahead of patients’ needs for new and better treatments.
Well, I’m not going to beg. I’ll just hire some chemists and make my own.
You can’t do that! Keletra’s patented. I’ll fucking sue you into the ground.
Really? What’s the patent number?
We’ve got US patent 5,846,987, and US patent 5,886,036, and…
No, what’s your Brazilian patent number?
That’s right, bitch.
But that’s not fair! I’m a Murkan, dammit!
Yeah, I’ve dealt with your kind before. You have ten days to drop your price to 48 cents or we’re going to make our own generic Keletra. Now get off my property.

Poor Potty Planning

Urinals are stupid.

I mean, yeah, they’re great for the peeer on the run. Unzip, fish around, pee, shake, stuff back in, zip up and you’re done. But there’s a big problem with urinals: splashback. I’ve heard of a magical urinal somewhere in Germany (I think) which is so deep that splashback is avoided. On the other end of the spectrum are these ones:

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How to Get a Gun if You’re an Ex-Con

  1. Walk into a sporting goods store in Arkansas
  2. Ask for a gun
  3. Fill out the forms for your background check
  4. Wait three days
  5. Go back to the sporting goods store.
    • If your application came back (declined because you’re an ex-con) pick a different sporting goods store and go to step 1.
    • If your application hasn’t come back yet, you get your gun!

Don’t believe me? Here‘s my source.

Link via Fark


You know that thing when you pack yourself a lunch for (work|school) and you think you’re pretty fucking smart because it means you won’t have to pay for food at the mall or whatever? And then you forget, and go buy yourself a meal at the mall anyway, while your lovingly created home-made tupperwared fare sits in the fridge?

Well, I never do that. No siree bob. Never. Nuh uh.

In unrelated news, I’m an idiot.