Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How DVD-by-Mail is Helping the Environment


AskPablo has done the math on the environmental impact of sending one billion DVDs throught the mail:

So the total emissions from sending one billion DVDs to its customers is 320 tons (3,200,000 tkm x 100 g/tkm). Keeping in mind that those DVDs are also returned to the same facility we need to double that result to 640 tons of CO2 emissions. If Netflix wanted to offset this amount, which I hope they will, they could do it for around $4500 with DriveNeutral or $8448 with Native Energy.


Source: How DVD-by-Mail is Helping the Environment
Originally published on Tue, 27 Feb 2007 18:18:01 GMT by mikek


There were two things not taken into account in his the calculations by AskPablo, or at least two points not in the original post.

1) The assumption was that most people are within 1 shipping day of a NetFlix center. That maybe true, however at least half of my movies no longer come from my nearest shipping center. Still a lot better environmentally than even the 3 DVDs/trip number listed in the original post, but the numbers above should be bumped up to account for that. Also there is an assumption that every time you went to a video store you actually got movies and did not walk away empty handed.

2) Exactly how big of a store would you need to store the 60,000+ videos that NetFlix has? I have no idea how many titles my local Blockbuster has, but I would say 10,000 would be at the very high end. Probably more like 5,000, and maybe even less sense the games are taking over more and more of the "favorites" (AKA old movies) section of the store. From my experience, few people rent videos multiple times - it is either once or the DVD is purchased. Even when people re-rent a DVD, it is many times because there is nothing else in of interest (see the end of #1). With dwindling demand for older titles the stores and either a) shrink in size or b) carry more of what the customers will use, minimizing fruitless trips (again, see point #1).


I don't see video stores going away any time soon, but this makes a good point.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Moon the RIAA

<a href="Bum Rush The Charts"><img border="0" src="http://www.financialaidpodcast.com/brtcbadge.gif"/></a>


Tired of $20 CDs that have maybe 2 good songs on them? Remember when it at least seemed like the audience was thought about when music was produced instead of playing to the lowest common denominator? Think American Idol is a cancer on humanity?


It's time to stick it to the man! Bum Rush The Charts is an attempt to get an indie-band to the top of the iTunes best selling chart. The group selected, Black Lab, has been dropped twice by big labels. Please follow the Bum Rush links to read more about it. They are even setting up an affiliate link to help fund a scholarship.


We can show that music does not have to be distributed by "the man" to become popular. Maybe then artists will think twice before signing with a big label.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Brain Overload


Tell me, please, when exactly it is OK to park here?

Complicated street signs

This is perhaps the most complicated set of parking rules I have seen. I am glad that a) I do not have a car, and b) I do not live anywhere near these street signs!

Source: Brain Overload
Originally published on Fri, 23 Feb 2007 17:30:00 GMT by micahel

My eyes! My eyes! I thought international tax law could be complicated. My advice: Don't bother parking unless you enjoy paying tickets.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Contaminated Peanut Butter


It looks like I'll never be eating Peanut butter again, but it's not b/c of Salmonella:

"While rodents and birds commonly get into peanut storage bins, germs are killed when raw peanuts are roasted. When making peanut butter, the nuts are again heated — above the salmonella-killing temperature of 165 degrees — as they are ground into a paste and mixed with other ingredients before being squirted into jars and quickly sealed."

I know, I know, this is probably mild in comparison to other gross stuff that happens, but once you *know* about it, it's hard to get it out of your mind.  So much so that I'm

Source: Contaminated Peanut Butter
Originally published on Fri, 16 Feb 2007 01:52:31 GMT by William

I can fully understand his point of view, however given the FDA's guidelines for chocolate that I found knowing that rats get into the peanuts before they are roasted is child's play. I know it is even worse for things like hot dogs. Having read The Omnivore's Dilemma I can say this is small potatoes.