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Archive for January 16th, 2008

Recycling Goes Too Far

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
By raincoaster

Pirates Don’t Change DiapersI find the relation of the architect to the client in America today wonderfully eccentric, bordering on the perverse. In the past, those who commissioned and paid for palazzi, cathedrals, opera houses, libraries, universities, museums, ministries, pillared terraces, and winged villas didn’t hesitate to turn them into visions of their own glory. Napoleon wanted to turn Paris into Rome under the Caesars, only with louder music and more marble. And it was done. His architects gave him the arc de Triomphe and the Madeleine.
Tom Wolfe, From Bauhaus to Our House

Now, we’re all for a healthy amount of recycling, redecorating, and re-purposing, and well aware of the (slightly muffled) ticking environmental time bomb that is disposable diapers. Indeed, we ourselves used nothing but cloth diapers when we were ourselves toilet training and later nannying and also when we were wrapping the horses’ legs for shipping to the hunt meet, for lo, we used to work for Greenpeace and are wise in the ways of reducing our trash loads and hate low-grade guilt.

But we are not sure A) why we routinely use the first-person plural, B) exactly how we feel about shopping at a Walmart that has been adorned with decorations made from the cast-off bits of disposable diapers.

From the Consumerist:

…the store features “decorative floor boards and moldings are made from the material leftover from making the leg holes in disposable diapers.”

Yes, really. We weren’t aware that producing “leg holes” resulted in a lot of waste, but we sure are happy to hear that it’s being put to good use. Here are some other features of a “green” Walmart:

  • The exposed concrete floor made of waste left over from coal operations
  • A new system for keeping refrigerated food cold that lowers the use of refrigerant by 90 percent and in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Motion-sensitive light-emitting diodes (LED) in refrigerator and freezer cases
  • Doors in the meat and dairy refrigerated sections instead of open refrigerator shelves
  • 200 skylights that allow electric lights to go down when the sun comes out.

But what do they do when the sun goes down on Architecture?

He Bravely Ran Away*

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
By Glinda


We are big on books here at the Glinda household, and we try to read with our son every chance we can get.

About seven months ago, the Munchkin was in an extremely all-encompassing pirate phase.  Everything had to be pirate, from his toys, to his movies, to his clothes. 

In an effort to tie into this, my husband went to the library and got an adapted version of “Treasure Island.” I didn’t know this until I saw him walking towards the Munchkin’s room at bedtime with the book in his hand.

“Don’t you think he’s a little young for that book?” I asked him.

“Aw, no way! It’s a classic! You can never go wrong with a classic!” was the reply.

I tried to dissuade him from starting the book, because even though it’s been a while since I last came into literary contact with the Black Spot, I felt that the overall tone of the book was too mature.  Even an adapted version.  But he insisted, and into the room he went to begin one of the best pirate books ever written, to be sure.

A couple of nights later, my husband and I were talking and he brought up the book.

“You were right” he said.  “I think the book just kind of went over his head a little.”  My husband leaned toward me, “And there was this part where one of the pirates was killed, and I didn’t know what to do.  I didn’t want to come right out and say it, it just seemed a little too much for a four year old to handle.”

“So what did you do?” I asked.  “Did you tell him that the pirate went  to sleep for a really long time or something?”

“No.” he responded.  “Worse. I had to make it up on the spot.”

“Well what else could you have said?”

“I told him the pirate ran away and was never seen again.”

Ahhh, don’t they say that parenthood is fraught with many teaching moments?

Well, my husband took his opportunity. He taught the Munchkin that apparently, being a coward is better than being dead.

*10 worthless points for the first person to guess the movie in which this line was uttered.  Er, sung, really.

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