Sunday papers

August, I think, will have to be Song Title Month. Maybe. It seems to  be working out like that so far. And then I can post music videos from the sixties and seventies at will. (There is a very young Joe Jackson at the end of this post.)

Before I get to the newspapers, I want to thank Herschelian for commenting on the cat people post. She pointed out that all ginger cats are Tom(s). Be this as it may, in this day and age and with our constitution being so progressive and all, it does not mean that they cannot be sluts, and frankly, I think it just makes the heartbreak worse for the Persian doll-face. But I am always happy to learn more about cats. I also want to say that the daughters of a very dear friend go to Herschel and they are just lovely girls – really the kind of kids you should stay away from during your child-bearing years, just in case you are deluded into thinking that all children turn out so well, and become convinced to have some of your own.

The best thing about today’s Sunday Times was of course the picture of Roger de Sa taking off his shirt, whistle in hand, on page 4 of the sports section. Honestly, I might still cut it out and stick it on the wall at my desk right next to the picture of the palm trees on the beach with the caption “you could be here”. I feel a bit like a fourteen-year old with a hot crush when I look at it. In a very insane moment this morning it occurred to me that I am a registered student at Wits and could very easily go and hang around the soccer training sessions, and pretend that I am writing a story or something. In fact, that may not necessarily be a lie…. But of course I won’t. Instead I will act like an adult and just stick the picture on the wall. If I had a metal pencil box I would stick it on the lid and cover it with neat strips of sellotape or Con-tact for longevity.

I never read the sports section, but had to cast an eye on the story about the rugby yesterday and, as I turned the page, I lucked out. I know absolutely nothing about soccer but I think that that is no reason not to, well, appreciate its coaches. Twenty-ten is around the corner, and I think it will be patriotic to, well, get more intimately acquainted with the game.

Hmm. No. Really. (Drifted off there for a second.)

But moving along. The other thing that I thought worth spending some time on with on was the story of a campaign called “Lying in Advertising” waged by a company called Tappening. According to them, advertisers of bottled water lie (Intake of breath… “No!”) and so will they in order to spread the word on the environmental damage caused by plastic bottles. Last year, the article claims, “plastic bottles generated more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.” I have often wondered what these figures mean. Is 2.5 million tons of CO2, like, a lot? I found some comparative figures on a website called Time for change. Each of the following activities add 1kg of CO2 to your personal carbon footprint:

1. Travelling by public transportation (train or bus) a distance of 10 to 12 km. This is clearly not a South African website, and I suspect that one can double that figure if you travel by mini-bus taxi.

2. Driving a distance of 6 km in your car (assuming 7.3 litres petrol per 100 km).

3. Flying by plane a distance of 2.2 km. (So, a one-way trip to Cape Town adds about 850kg of CO2 to your personal carbon footprint – those 2.5 million tons, worldwide, in a whole year, do not seem so much all of a sudden. There are two thoughts here: one, would that be the carbon footprint of every person in the plane, or is that calculated on like, a minimum number of people including the captain, the co-pilot, and, let’s say, twenty passengers? Does your footprint increase if you travel by airbus rather than by light fixed-wing aircraft? And so on. And two: Capetonians could of course just stay in Cape Town, giving them yet another reason to be unbearably smug.)

4. Operating your computer for 32 hours (60 Watt consumption assumed) – this is a little alarming for me. Let’s say that is roughly four days’ usage. In a year, I could add about 80kg of CO2 (give and take a couple of days off here and there) to the atmosphere just through working, and of course, writing the blog.

5. Producing five plastic bags or two plastic bottles.

6. Producing (absolutely amazing) 1/3 of an American cheeseburger. The production of a cheeseburger emits 3.1 kg of CO2.

The fact that I only eat one commercial hamburger roughly every three years must compensate for not being in a position to work fewer hours a day or sacrifice my CO2-generating weblog. My measly 80kgs are the equivalent of only about 26 hamburgers, which translates into a burger every two weeks, so maybe I don’t have to feel too bad. I think the sums speak in my favour.

I have given up drinking bottled water in restaurants. When the situation demands (usually) that I absolutely have to have something that comes in a bottle, a good red is both socially acceptable and environmentally friendly, as it comes, of course, in glass, which is 100% re-usable.

Newspapers are, of course, the other things that easily recycled, and I think I should immediately go and recycle that picture of Roger to a good spot close to my desk. More and more I think that reducing your carbon footprint may be its own reward.

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One thought on “Sunday papers

  1. Hardspear 4 August 2009 / 11:22

    I’ve found Patricia de Lille’s call for action to stop sky-high cellphone costs on p12 of the Review section of the Sunday Times particularly heart-warming. That woman has a neck of tackling issues that matter.

    ps. I am not a cat fanatic either and although I have nothing against cats, I am terribly allergic. I really like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Cats however – the lyrics of which are based on TS Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. My favourites are The Rumtumtugger, Macavity and the Gumby Cat. Oh yes and of course The Marvelous Magical Mr. Mistoffeles.

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