Research Obsession: Climate change

I challenge you to play the BBC’s online Climate Challenge game. picture-4.pngIt’s free, fun, and uses Flash, so you don’t have to download anything stupid.

picture-3.pngI learned more about the relative merits of various greenhouse gas reduction techniques by playing this game then I did from four weeks of reading every popular science article I could find on the topic.

picture-2.pngYou are the President of the EU. You have a few years to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions before the gulf stream stops churning and Europe floods and/or plunges into an ice age. Goodbye, Paris. You have a whole bunch of options, but only limited time and money. You also need to avoid plunging your economy into chaos, drought, famine, or poverty.

Go get ’em tiger! Oh, don’t forget to keep your approval rating high enough to stay in office, you tax-raising pinko, you.


Research Obsession

CF Bulb
I haven’t mentioned this before, but I have a rather librarianish habit. I get on research kicks, usually to no end except my own edification.

For a month or so, I’ll just get on some topic and won’t let it go. I’ll read books on the topic, surf it when I’m supposed to be doing something else, and bore you with conversation about it.

In the past, I’ve become a mini-expert (knowing just enough to be dangerous) on the following:

  • The Northern Cities Vowel Shift
  • Beekeeping
  • The use of scientific imagery in cosmetics advertising
  • US Copyright law
  • Yiddish and Zionism in the 1940s
  • Japanese cooking

After watching An Inconvenient Truth, I’ve been in a state of semi-panic. I’ve researched hybrid cars, veggie cars, rentable solar panels, household wind energy, and biofuel. I’ve swapped out our lightbulbs with compact fluorescents, covered our windows with plastic, and turned down the thermostat. We bartered webwork with our friend Lexie, who does home efficiency evaluations (hire her!). But we still have a long way to go.

Point being, I thought I might start share some of the stuff I dig up. I’ll title the posts Research Obsession so you can skip ’em if you don’t care about the Poetry of William B. Yeats or whatever it is I’m currently nuts about.

Some library stories

We were walking around on our lunch break yesterday and found a really big feather. Next to the feather was a squirrel. By using Occam’s Razor, we determined that we had found a squirrel feather, and spent the rest of lunch trying to convince the reference department.

I got an email yesterday from a nice person who was curious about what exactly “library research” involves. Well, you know that little webcam on top of your computer? It only LOOKS like it’s turned off. Mwah-ha-ha-ha! Ha! Heh! Heh. ahem.