average teen – 3,339 texts / month

An American study

… more than six texts per waking hour …

… 43% of teenagers now say texting is the #1 reason they get a cell phone.

… Teens are sending 8% more texts than they were this time last year …

… Voice usage has decreased by 14% …

Details via Mashable

d texting texter

PROPOSED Great Bear Rainforest PIPELINE

I’m all for developing the Oil Sands. But it sounds like this is not the best way to sell it to China.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

… International League of Conservation photographers in the Great Bear Rainforest.

… now threatened by a proposal from Enbridge to bring an oil pipeline from the Tar Sands and supertankers to BC’s wild coast. …

related – The Adventure BlogUpdate On Great Bear Rainforest Expedition

… and no religion, too.

Imagine there’s no country, It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for, And no religion too.

It’s depressing to see how much media attention Pastor Terry Jones has gotten. I condemn religious nitwits of all denominations and call for consumers to boycott media trying to cash in on this story.

Here’s a much more important story, a more important man:

… Last week, we celebrated the wedding of my daughter, Pallavi. A brilliant student, she had won scholarships to Oxford University and the London School of Economics. In London, she met Julio, a young man from Spain. The two decided to take up jobs in Beijing, China. Last week, they came over from Beijing to Delhi to get married. The wedding guests included 70 friends from North America, Europe and China.

That may sound totally global, but arguably my elder son Shekhar has gone further. He too won a scholarship to Oxford University, and then taught for a year at a school in Colombo. Next he went to Toronto, Canada, for higher studies. There he met a German girl, Franziska.

They both got jobs with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, USA. This meant that they constantly travelled on IMF business to disparate countries. Shekhar advised and went on missions to Sierra Leone, Seychelles, Kyrgyzstan and Laos. Franziska went to Rwanda, Tajikistan, and Russia. They interrupted these perambulations to get married in late 2003.

My younger son, Rustam, is only 15. Presumably he will study in Australia, marry a Nigerian girl, and settle in Peru.

Readers might think that my family was born and bred in a jet plane. The truth is more prosaic. Our ancestral home is Kargudi, a humble, obscure village in Tanjore district, Tamil Nadu. My earliest memories of it are as a house with no toilets, running water, or pukka road. …

read more – Times of India – My family and other globalisers

Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar is a research fellow at the Cato Institute with a special focus on India and Asia. His research interests include economic change in developing countries, human rights and civil strife, political economy, energy, trade and industry. He is a prolific columnist and TV commentator in India, well-known for a popular weekly column titled “Swaminomics” in the Times of India. …

On the one hand we have incredible globalization, a mixing of religions, cultures and ethnicities. On the other, a few backward isolationists: Mennonites in Canada who have religious objections to all photos (including driver’s licenses) due to the Second Commandment prohibition against Graven images, for example.

I truly hope Mr. Aiyar and his family are the future, not followers of Terry Jones.

Thanks Peter and Warren Long.


… We should respect the Mennonites freedom of religion. But they shouldn’t get driver’s licenses.

the science of horoscopes

Man has been studying the stars since the beginning.


No wonder we trust horoscopes:

… Researchers at the University of Wales interviewed 34,000 youngsters aged 13-15 last year and found that nearly as many of them believed in horoscopes as believe in God.

In America, over 125 million people say they believe in astrology and at least seven in ten check their horoscope regularly. …


My friend K checks hers every day and has even saves them for me when she found them particularly apt.

Horoscope Art

But horoscopes in newspapers began only in in August 1930 in the Sunday Express:

… just after the birth of Princess Margaret. Editor John Gordon wanted a story on her birth but with a new angle, so Cheiro (then the biggest name in astrology) was asked to do her horoscope. Cheiro was unavailable, so the job went to R H Naylor, one of his assistants. The result was “What the stars foretell for the new princess” (24 August 1930 page 11) …

It took off from there.

Idiots everywhere consult these things now. Yeesh, we deserve extinction.

why does Twitter persist?

It’s terrible.

Like Facebook with 5% of the feature set.

Yet every company, celebrity and website feels obliged to tweet. (Even me with my 3 blogs.)

Have you heard about the upcoming Facebook movie, The Social Network, based on the 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires?

If Hollywood can make an overly dramatic film about the early years of Facebook, why can’t we make an overly dramatic movie about Twitter? Or at least the trailer to that movie! …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The movie rights for Googled: The End of the World As We Know it (2009) have been acquired.

Google soon to be EVIL

Microsoft was EVIL.

Now Facebook and Apple are EVIL.

But not Google. Never Google. Their informal corporate motto is Don’t Be Evil.

The leading audiocast is This Week in Google. Their Aug. 11th edition was titled Carrier-Humping Net Neutrality Surrender Monkeys (based on Ryan Singel’s post on Wired)

Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do, feels betrayed. He fears Google is considering selling out users in order to profit along with phone carriers like Verizon.

Why should you care?

Your online life could soon be much, much worse and more expensive than today. Especially on mobile devices like smart phones.

Check Jeff’s post – Buzz Machine – Internet, schminternet

What can we do about this?

Well the Federal Communications Commission in the States could grow a pair, to start. They’re supposed to be protecting consumers. Unfortunately they seem to be gutless when it comes to confronting the lobbyists of Verizon and that ilk. Especially in an election year.

The world tends to follow whatever happens in the States.

Jeff feels that if the FCC is powerless, the users of the internet will have to rally round something like his proposed

Bill of Rights for Cyberspace:

I. We have a right to connect.
II. We have the right to speak.
III. We have the right to assemble.
IV. We have the right to act.
V. We have the right to control our data.
VI. We have the right to control our identity.
VII. What is public is a public good.
VIII. All bits are created equal.
IX. The internet shall be operated openly.

Google used to advocate for an open web. No more, it seems.

It may be time they fire Eric Schmidt, to start. And reaffirm the original mission of the company, the one that made people trust them in the first place.

related – Business Insider – One amusing difference between the new Evil Empire (Google) and the old one (Microsoft)

UPDATE: … As Google backpedals, the EFF weighed in with this much cited post – A Review of Verizon and Google’s Net Neutrality Proposal – Legislative Analysis by Cindy Cohn

things getting worse → Canadians

Statscan found that 18 per cent of adult Canadians, about 4.4 million people, were classified as obese in 2009, up from 15 per cent in 2003.

We’re still getting fatter.

With less leisure time to exercise.

* One in five Canadian adult feels “caught in a time crunch,” experiencing high levels of time pressure
* That number is on the rise: the proportion of those who said they were in a time crunch grew to 19.6 per cent in 2005 from 16.4 per cent in 1992
* The average proportion of our waking lives devoted to social and leisure activities dropped by 20 per cent between 1998 and 2005
* A much higher proportion of females than males reported time pressure in 2005 — 22.7 for women, 16 per cent for men
* More than one in four employed Canadians were responsible for the care of an elderly dependent, and one in five (16.8 per cent) had responsibility for both child care and elder care in 2009
* The proportion of Canadians worked non-standard hours (weekends, evenings, nights, rotating shifts jumped from 23 per cent in 1992 to 29 per cent in 2009 …

… for the first time in 2 centuries, Canadians can expect to die earlier (younger) than their parents. …

Update – This article, linked by Chopbox, seems to contradict the one above: Life expectancy in Canada nears 81

things getting worse – women

Don’t jump to conclusions.

Women aren’t getting worse.

Women are less happy nowadays in the West, 40 years after the rise of feminism, a new study claims.

Despite having more opportunities than ever before, they have a lower sense of well-being and life satisfaction, it found.

The study, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness, said the same was true for women of different ages and whether or not they were married or had children.

It said the results appeared surprising given that modern women had been liberated from their traditional 1950s role of housewife.

Instead, their earning power has soared, women are doing better than men in education and they are in control of decisions over whether to start a family.

The findings were released as Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Marks & Spencer, claimed that women ‘have never had it so good’. …

read more – Women are more unhappy despite 40 years of feminism, claims study

related – The narcissism of consumer society has left women unhappier than ever

things getting worse – phone service

I’ve added a new “category”, things getting worse.

When I was a kid, phone calls worked. Almost every time. Yet in 2010 we’ve dropped calls, no service, minimum 3yr mobile phone contracts (Canada). Monthly bills more expensive than expected.

Customers more unhappy than ever before.

Smart phones lure with wonderful apps. But make crappy phone calls.

And have you recently tried to call a company? They obviously don’t want your business.

Sure VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the future. But have you tried Skype? It’s very unreliable.

Fact is … phone service is getting worse.

I don’t have a phone right now, in protest. That has it’s downsides, too.