Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pearly whites and corrosive elements

As a man who loves a good floss and teeth brushing, and also one that enjoys the occasional can of soda, I was taken aback when a coworker looked at me condescendingly at lunch the other day while I was sipping on a free can of pepsi and asked me, "Don't you know how bad that is for your teeth?"

She continued, "Haven't you heard that if you leave a tooth in a cup of soda overnight it will dissolve by the next morning?"

I had never heard of this ridiculous claim and steadfastly refused to accept it as reality, however a few other people had also heard it and believed it to be the honest-to-god truth. One co-worker claimed that leaving a dirty penny in pepsi/coke overnight could completely clean and shine a previously dirty penny. I know how much sugar soda, candy and other shit contains and realize that it isn't the best thing for your dental and physical health, but didn't think they had the ability to destroy body parts as if they were sulfuric acid.

So I went to the interweb and tried to get to the bottom of this. I present you with the results of a thorough scientific study on this topic that gets to the heart of the matter.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Amerocentrism and CHINA in big block letters

One thing that caught my eye while watching the ass-whomping that Team USA just laid on China in men's basketball was the writing on the uniforms. Why is it that the name of the country and player were written in English? Since the games are being held in Beijing, why isn't everything written in Mandarin? Is this done just because NBC has the rights to broadcast the games and somehow has a say in how things should look there?

Viewing NBC's coverage of the Olympic games and not noticing the slanted coverage toward American athletes and American dominated events is like reading Jolly Miserable's blog and finding something interesting, it just can't happen.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lost in Iraq

I, not unlike many Americans, am not very knowledgeable about what is going on in Iraq. I try to follow the news coming out of there as much as I can but still don't understand a lot of the facts and opinions that surround this situation. From what I can tell, as unpopular as "the surge" was, it was successful in curbing violence in an extremely hostile and turbulent region of the world.

I know next to nothing about military strategy, dealing with an insurgency or rebuilding a country (and an economy) after a war. Obama has been for establishing a timetable for withdrawal of troops but has amended his position somewhat in light of the current state of affairs. Our invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq has been an extremely controversial and heated issue for a bevy of reasons (the cost of American lives, financial burden of the war on the U.S., disruption of Iraqi sovereignty, rising oil prices, being lied to about the reason for invading, etc...)

Tonight I came across this article that further confused me about Iraq and our country's role there. Apparently, Iraq is swimming in money from rising oil profits and racking up a huge surplus while the U.S. government has been adding to is already sizable deficit. While we are pouring money into the reconstruction of Iraq, they are gathering interest on their growing lump of cash. I would like to assume that our government is proceeding in the most rational and responsible manner possible given the circumstances, but when I read articles like this one I start to have my doubts. Really, who is in charge here? It just doesn't seem like a tight ship is being run over there. I realize that the situation on the ground isn't as simplified and generalized as the American public would like to see it, but I am underwhelmed by the sense that things are being handled in the best manner possible over yonder.

When are we going to decide if we really want to be propping up and holding Iraq's hand for the next 50 years? My main problem with coming to terms with Iraq is that I don't see a coherent plan in place that dictates our actions going forward. I am aware of the instability and tensions that exist there, but how are we ever going to move forward (and out!) if we don't have a clear (and shared) vision for the Iraq of the future and our relationship with them. Are we going to continue on this dangerous imperialistic foreign policy path or are we going to settle in to the role of a responsible world superpower?