bookworm51485

Anyone else find this sad?

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To be honest, I can see why there's a difference. While I'm sure she did many things to aid her father's cause, as well as following in his foot steps, King's daughter was essentially living in his shadow. Indeed, the only reason she was mentioned on the new at all was because she was King's daughter. Otherwise what makes her any different then all the rest of the aging civil rights activists who are growing old and dying? Her essential claim to fame is her parentage.

Now, Anna Nicole Smith on the other hand, was a more recent pop icon, one who sought to blur the line between Betty Page and Marylin Monroe. While I don't think she was worth as much attention as was paid, (On a side note I also disagreed with the court's ruling, but that's another matter.) she was much more relevant to the common period. She had made herself out of herself, and was responsible for her own fame.

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To be honest, I can see why there's a difference. While I'm sure she did many things to aid her father's cause, as well as following in his foot steps, King's daughter was essentially living in his shadow. Indeed, the only reason she was mentioned on the new at all was because she was King's daughter. Otherwise what makes her any different then all the rest of the aging civil rights activists who are growing old and dying? Her essential claim to fame is her parentage.

Now, Anna Nicole Smith on the other hand, was a more recent pop icon, one who sought to blur the line between Betty Page and Marylin Monroe. While I don't think she was worth as much attention as was paid, (On a side note I also disagreed with the court's ruling, but that's another matter.) she was much more relevant to the common period. She had made herself out of herself, and was responsible for her own fame.

To quote an article on her death:

"She was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society," the King family said in a statement.

Yolanda King, who lived in California, was an actress, ran a production company and appeared in numerous films, including "Ghosts of Mississippi." She played Rosa Parks in the 1978 miniseries "King."

She wasn't just his daughter. While that might have helped her in her jump into fame, Anna Nicole's claim to fame was pretty much the fact that she married a guy who was 50+ years older than her and she went after his money. And she went from there basically being a huge embarrassment to herself.

Personally, I find it sad.

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"She was an actress, author, producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her motivational and inspirational contributions to society," the King family said in a statement.
*Emphasis mine.

Without looking it up, can you name any book she has written, movie/play she has acted in, or any production she has put on? If you can, more credit to you, but I can't. When was the last time she made a headline in any major news program or periodical? She carried on her father's work, yes; but so did many others. She wrote, but then so do many other people, and on the same topics. Are any of her works considered definitive? She acted, but did she ever headline? There are more second rate actors running around out there then can be named by single living individual, and their numbers grow daily. What makes her special, other then her last name and parentage?

Anna Nicole Smith though went out and made her own name. First she was the pretty little Texan lass who stole Hugh Heffner's heart and managed to become Playmate of the Year, which brings its own sort of fame. She then proceeded to live a high partying life, which included marrying a man twice her age. In the process she lost the stunning figure that had made her famous, and then went out to reclaim it. In pursuit of that she ended up becoming a spokeswoman for TrimSpa, turning herself into a household name again. Her son then died tragically, followed soon by her own self, leading to many messy legal debates.

My point is that to the modern society, Anna Nicole Smith was much more relevant, both as celebrity and an individual. She claimed her spot in the limelight on her own. Now, I am not trying to say that she deserved as much attention as she got after she passed away. Far from it. The day she died, the day of her funeral, and when the decision was made over Danielynn would have been more then enough coverage as far as I am concerned. Nor am I trying to detract from the accomplishments of Yolanda King. She led an accomplished and successful life, something we all hope to leave as a legacy.

However, if the point of the thread is to point out that the media has a tendency to overlook more important stories in favor of oversensationalized celebradramas, then perhaps this would be a better example:

Not For the Faint Of Heart

Don Imus commanded the front pages for a couple weeks because he called a girls basketball team nappy headed hoes. Where was the media outrage over this atrocity?

Anna Nicole Smith got two months coverage. Yolanda king got anywhere from thrity seconds to a couple of minutes.

Where was this man's eulogy?

There are many tragedies in this world. Sadly the media picks and chooses which ones they think will earn ratings rather then the ones that need to be spoken of. Lamenting this fact is pointless. The memories of these people would be better served through defending their beliefs as well as striving to protect what they stood for rather then complaining about their lack of screen time.

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My point is that to the modern society, Anna Nicole Smith was much more relevant, both as celebrity and an individual.

My point wasn't aimed at the media, but at the fact that, yes unfortunately Anna Nicole is what people care more about. And I find that to be so sad.

It's no wonder that Americans don't get much respect for their intelligence from the rest of the world.

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Guest Yhitzak

As much as I hate to say it, this situation has very little to do with American stupidity. The whole world watched as Anna Nicole's posthumous story was aired night after night. Why? Because she was an icon and person that people everywhere could be fascinated with. You didn't have to be particularly intelligent or come from a particular background to find Anna Nicole fascinating. Yolanda King was a very specific icon; she did -indeed- live in her father's shadow and follow in his footsteps. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s was a very American-specific situation, even if it received world-wide attention. That time has passed. The time for people like Anna Nicole is forever; the time for people like Yolanda King is limited to the scope of their ability and interest.

Please understand that I am in no way trying to say that Anna Nicole is/was a more important social icon than Yolanda King. I am, however, saying that the role these two icons play(ed) in society is/was vastly different from each other. Pop icons are far more universal characters than political ones, even if Ms. King was an actress and a writer in addition to being an activist. Anna Nicole never made a political stand, which is part of the reason so many people are still so fascinated with her. In other words, politics are frightening and mindlessness is totally comfortable.

If the sadness you are referencing here is directed toward the human race... I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that's the way life is. If you don't like it, change it. Become an activist, yourself. If you're wondering why people care more about Anna Nicole versus Yolanda King, foeofthelance said it *all*, and quite accurately, as well. If your point is just to lament it... why bother?

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Well, there's more to it than that.

Anna Nicole Smith was hyped no end in part because she wasn't threatening as an icon. She was the darling of the tabloids because of her outlandish behavior (getting stoned while pregnant, for example.) She craved the spotlight and everyone seemed willing to give it to her.

Yolanda King, on the other hand, wasn't really known for doing things like that. (Probably due to her father being a reverend.) King worked for equality between African-Americans and whites - a very noble cause. What causes did Anna Nicole Smith support?

The true underlying problem is this: Americans are being stuffed with placebos to cover up the real problems, none of which have simple solutions. Pollution, overpopulation of the planet, running out of oil, Iraq and much more are getting shoved to the back in the American mind because our leaders don't want to tackle these problems. They want us to feel good while they do their evil. dry.gif

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The true underlying problem is this: Americans are being stuffed with placebos to cover up the real problems, none of which have simple solutions. Pollution, overpopulation of the planet, running out of oil, Iraq and much more are getting shoved to the back in the American mind because our leaders don't want to tackle these problems.

Out of curiosity Quamp, how would you solve those problems? Realistically, using proven technologies. People aren't being stuffed with placebos to cover these things up. Most people are quite aware of them. The problem is that as we are now we have no solutions for them. Pollution? On a personal scale most people try to do what they can. Some don't, but they are in the minority. Globally? The closest thing that has been offered has been the Kyoto Protocols, which were flawed. All they would have accomplished was further economic problems for the United States, while allowing the bulk of offending nations, most third world countries like China and Mexico, to get off scot free in the name of 'economic devolopment.'

Over population? Well, it isn't that the planet is over populated, the population we have just isn't equally distributed. Unfortunately the only real way to fix this is to either mass deport large portions of China's population to other continents, or to allow China to wage a bloody war of conquest against her neighbors, which would both lower the population somewhat in the short term, as well as provide China land to support her growing population, which would most likely face another upswing in numbers after such a war. Think about the baby-boomer generation and where it came from.

Running out of oil? Yes and no. There is still plenty of oil running around, we just can't get to some of it. Either it's in protected areas, which requires long and costly legal battles with environmental protection groups, or it is in hard to devolop areas, like the middle of Siberia. It will eventually run out, but we still don't have anything to replace it. Despite the billions of dollars poured into research, we are only a few tiny steps closer to devoloping an efficient fuel cell design.

Iraq I won't touch, as it has basically become a political issue in which either you side with it or against it, much like abortion has become.

People aren't ignoring these things. There is just no new news coming out about them. Sure, we could have a nightly report on the number of estimated barrels left in the ground, but what purpose would that serve? There could be weekly reports on the damage pollution causes. Unfortunately those who would choose to act on them already do, while those who don't refuse to do so because it would either inconvenience them or they see nothing to be gained by it. Overpopulation? Well, unless we do something really apocalyptic, the human race is just going to continue to expand, and there's nothing to stop it short of nuclear holocaust. None of this is news though. That's why it doesn't get covered as often.

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Guest Yhitzak

Yo, quamp, your commentary on the Anna Nicole thing was right-on. You said what I was thinking in a much more coherent way. Thanks.

But foeofthelance.... you scare me a little. The topics you touched on -pollution, population, oil- are all topics that are discussed with no small measure of propaganda, and it strikes me that you've been infected with said propaganda. I get the impression that you're trying to write off these ills as a simple matter of course, instead of a conscientious bad-decision on part of humanity, which it is. This attitude is what is perpetuating the problems created by pollution, population, and oil consumption. Pollution isn't reserved to throwing garbage into landfills or filling up your gas-guzzling SUV; even if every individual person took major steps to curb his/her consumption, not much would change. Why? Because there's still too many corporate and commercial entities that are not responsible and are not held to the same standards of responsibility as individuals are. Overpopulation isn't reserved to China, or even to *just* third-world countries; every couple that produces more than two children is adding to the world's population problem. Population problems have little to do with dispersal of area and everything to do with dispersal of resources. The reason people are saying there's an overpopulation problem is because there is an increasing lack of said resources the world over. We just don't see it as much because we live in the first world. Fossil fuels are disappearing because we're using them, but it is definitely true that we are not in the same crisis that the media and government forces would have us believe we are in. People are not only ignoring these things, they are making excuses and taking themselves out of the larger picture. Though no one -it seems- likes to admit or acknowledge this, we are *all* in this *together*. Every action we take affects another person, even if only indirectly. Personal responsibility is at the core of these problems, and as long as we have such individuals standing up and saying, "I'm not part of the problem," or, "It's hopeless, anyway!" there really will be no improvements.

I have a suggestion for how to tackle these problems: let's talk about it. Let's disagree and agree and argue and challenge each other to break out of the boxes we've constructed for ourselves. I'm willing to give it a go. How about the rest of ya'll?

Let's start with something simple: our fascination with people like Anna Nicole Smith versus our disinterest in people such as Yolanda King.

Yolanda King's biggest claim to fame is, was, and forever will be that she was the daughter of one of if not *the* most famous American civil-rights leaders. She brought the notions of equality, inequality, and adjustment to the forefront of people's minds. She brought negative ideas, scary ideals, and a compromise to the front of people's minds. Who wants to face ugliness, regardless of the situation or place or time? And why would we want to face a person like this when we could face someone who is essentially harmless to our views of ourselves? Yolanda King and all people who work for a cause bring to our minds our dissatisfaction with ourselves and the injustices we commit on a regular basis. Anna Nicole and people like her remind us that we're not as fucked up as the alternative, thus making us feel better about our otherwise fucked-up lives. It's a plastic fascination, and as we all know, plastic lasts much longer than paper, even if paper is a natural resource.

Why not just admit that we -as a human population- don't have the capacity to grasp ideas such as righteousness, integrity, and honor? Because who wants to admit to a weakness, regardless of its nature? Personal responsibility certainly isn't a new idea, but what with so many other people in this world to shift blame to, what need is there for it?

I hate to sound preachy or redundant, but this one thing keeps coming back to my mind: change and the world changes with you. Honestly, it sounds like a rather lovely idea, in my opinion. Why not try it? What is there to lose?

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I have a suggestion for how to tackle these problems: let's talk about it. Let's disagree and agree and argue and challenge each other to break out of the boxes we've constructed for ourselves. I'm willing to give it a go. How about the rest of ya'll?

I don't have an issue with that suggestion, Yhitzak, but before this conversation goes any further, I want to remind everyone to play nice. So far, you've all been doing well, but I know this topic could go south quite easily, and I don't want to have to get bitchy. no.gif

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Agreed, there aren't really any solutions for these problems at the moment. However, that doesn't mean that they can't be developed. Covering up the problems will only mean that they will hit us even harder when their inevitable conclusions occur. We need to talk about them, encourage people to develop solutions, and debate things.

When we exhault the Anna Nicole Smiths of the world, we encourage others to follow in her drug and alcohol-soaked footsteps. We encourage others to value appearance over substance and believe image is everything.

That's very dangerous, IMO.

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I have never seen Nanaea bitchy.

The media is a fickle thing, and not worth our attention. Fed lies from half-truths, when something true is actually told, I stand still and listen, (for it is a rare thing) and trust me, I've heard and read and seen and been told many many stories. Even some on AFF can be derived from truth if you read between the lines.

And yes, the state of the world is overwhelming in its sadness.

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Actually Yhitzak, I agree with most of your points. What I was trying to point out is that there has been little of actual news in any of those areas, which is why they don't get as much coverage. Yes, the oil is running out, but that has been said many, many times already. People don't need to know about it, because they are already aware of it. There hasn't been any change in that situation though. No one has created a solution to the problem, nor has the rate at which it is being consumed drastically changed. We're still sucking it up at the same rate we always do. This isn't news, so the media ignores it. Agreed again that overpopulation isn't limited to China. I simply cited China as an example, because with some where close to a sixth of the world's population living there it is easily the most readily identified case. I do disagree that anyone with more then two children is adding to overpopulation though. The numbers I have seen indicate that we could probably sustain a few more billions on this planet. The only problem is that we haven't gotten around to properly devoloping the resources available to us. As for pollution, we pretty much said the same thing. Those of us who are willing to do something do, while those who don't refuse to unless forced.

But again, none of that is news. I've been hearing all of this since I was in elementary school and they were telling us the difference between the red recycling bin and the blue one. The media ignores these things because they've been done to death. We might get maybe a two minute report once a month about some new study on fossil fuels, but all it does is change the numbers slightly. I am in no way suggesting we ignore these problems, and I do believe that we should be supporting those who are looking for reasonable solutions as much as we can. But demanding constant reports when there is nothing to say is like the admiral who demands reports every five minutes. You keep hearing the same thing, but nothing is getting done on the ship.

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Guest Big Samurai

It's the way of the world. People tend to have fame disproportionate to their actual accomplishments. When international aid workers die in hot zones, do we even get to hear their names ... ?

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Guest Yhitzak

Heh. I guess this raises the question of what is relevant news? What determines the relevance of news? Shit, if new developments were crucial to the interest level of certain topics, Anna Nicole would've been out of the news after a week.

Not that I'm looking to argue with you, foeofthelance. In fact, I quite see and agree with your point about new news, which I apparently missed the first time around. I guess what I mean to say is that there are certain topics (not the least of which being drugged-out sluts) that hold public interest regardless of the amount of new information being released.

Another thought just occured to me about new news regarding things like consumption of fuel and population (examples, but I mean *real* news): if none of the news is new, doesn't that mean that we're still dealing with the same problems we've always had? And, if that's the case, doesn't it also mean that we haven't addressed the problems at all? So maybe it's worn out and old, but does that mean it's no longer relevant? I guess repetition doesn't *always* work...

I don't know. I clearly don't have any solutions, it's just... the world drives me crazy, and I can't help but feel like everyone else is being driven crazy, as well. It's like we all have this insistence upon maintaining our ideas and ideals of life and the world -how it *should* be- to the point that we've forgotten what it actually *is*. And when something does come along to shatter our images, we stick our heads in the sand and pretend that it's not happening. Or we make excuses, blame someone else or some other entity. Most problems are too big for one person or even a group of people to solve, but that doesn't mean that the world's ills are unsolveable; all it means is that a solution requires active participation by all people on all fronts. It also requires honesty. How many people in this world are willing to acknowledge their own weaknesses, let alone work to improve upon them? It's so much easier to claim that the devil made you do it. And I suppose it's also easy to forget that social changes don't happen overnight or all at once; they take years to form and implement.

If nothing else, I at least feel a little bit better that I'm not alone in my frustration.

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As much as I hate to say it, this situation has very little to do with American stupidity. The whole world watched as Anna Nicole's posthumous story was aired night after night.

I can vouch for that. The English were all over this story. I hadn't even heard that Ms. King died at all until I came here.

I find this a very sad commentary on people in general. sad.gif

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Another thought just occured to me about new news regarding things like consumption of fuel and population (examples, but I mean *real* news): if none of the news is new, doesn't that mean that we're still dealing with the same problems we've always had? And, if that's the case, doesn't it also mean that we haven't addressed the problems at all? So maybe it's worn out and old, but does that mean it's no longer relevant? I guess repetition doesn't *always* work...

I think part of the problem is that we as people fear massive change. I'm going to use the example of oil for my purposes, so bear with me. The problem is that we are running out of oil. So what have we done? Well, we've tried to reduce usage as much as possible, and we have a few brains tinkering with fuel cell technology. But why did we end up having problems with oil in the first place? Because we haven't tried to get away from fossil fuels since the 1800s. We were burning coal for the better part of two centuries, up until we realized just how bad it was. So what did we do? We turned to coal's cousins, natural gas and oil. Now that we're finding they're running out, we're beginning to fret. We might, just might, get something from the new kid on the block, hydrogen fuel cells, but instead of focusing on that we're more concerned with extending the amount of time we have with oil. Its like ignoring a newborn infant to spend time with a dying great grandmother. Its extremely sentimental, but doesn't accomplish anything and costs the future.

But what major changes could we accomplish? Wind and solar power aren't quite ready to deliver us to Coruscant, and quite probably never will. So we need something else, something just as good. Well, why not go nuclear? Its clean, as the only by product is nuclear material, that once treated could be used again to fuel the reactors. (Sadly the act of re-enriching it is sort of expensive. IRC the only country that does so is France, and that is because of government subsidies.) Even if you don't recycle it you could bury it, so long as you are careful about it. If we can drill to the bottom of the ocean for oil surely we can dig underneath a few mountains to ensure we're below the water table when we dump waste. The real reason? Switching over would be both time and financially expensive. Its not that hard to switch from light sweet crude to dark crude when compared to constructing and supplying the new fleet of reactors it would take to supply todays power needs. Not to mention the fact that a large section of the work force would either be permanantely disbanded, or at the least removed for large stretches of time so that they could be retrained.

I think we are addressing these problems, but unfortunately we are adressing them with tiny, hesitant baby steps instead of leaping towards the future. I'm not saying we shouldn't be paying attention to new things, but I do think we need to start considering alternatives, not replacements.

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Guest Yhitzak

foeofthelance

we need to start considering alternatives, not replacements.

Yes! This is it! This is the idea!

I do, however, have to politely disagree with you about 'baby steps,' and for one reason alone (and something you even pointed out): humans clearly can't deal with massive changes. Baby steps are going to have to be taken, because we're not ready and we're not capable of dealing with massive changes. In anything, but especially oil. Your example was really right on the money. Eventually, petrol products will have to be wholly replaced with an alternative, but that really has to be implemented early on for it to take root later. The alternative has to be offered while the main staple is still in use so that people can get used to living with it, and this goes for most major issues (not the least of which being population, energy resources, and pollution).

What this whole thing about resources really comes back to is money. If it were about alternative energies, we'd already have the hydrogen cells that have been discussed since some time in the early 80s. Sadly, it's about generating as much money from one source as is possible before said source dries up. Such is the case with oil.

Something you said really bothered me, though, foe, and I want to address it but point out that I'm not looking to attack you in any way. Regarding nuclear power, to call it clean is like... a total fallacy. Nuclear waste is (as the name would suggest) highly volatile; no amount of re-enriching or burying is really going to eliminate it. Ever. Equal amounts of nuclear and non-nuclear waste do not generate equal amounts of radiation.

By the way, what does IRC mean? Clearly I'm not savvy.

And for whatever it's worth, I'm totally loving this discussion. Thanks for throwing out some real ideas, folks. It's refreshing as hell!

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I do, however, have to politely disagree with you about 'baby steps,' and for one reason alone (and something you even pointed out): humans clearly can't deal with massive changes. Baby steps are going to have to be taken, because we're not ready and we're not capable of dealing with massive changes.

Honestly, I think taking baby steps is almost as bad as going for massive change. I think it makes us too timid to take the occasional mid range leap when we need to, because we've gotten used to shying away from anything that isn't easily handed to us.

Again, I'm going to use nuclear energy as source, though this time I'm going back to history. The Manhatten Project, the mass set of experiments that ended up creating Fat Man and Little Boy, was revolutionary in concept. They weren't just trying to get old chemicals to react in new and more explosive ways, they were literally exploring territory that had been previously left to theorists and SF writers. They didn't let the fact that they were dealing in mostly total unknowns daunt them though. They just took in one step at a time, and whenever one of them had a harebrained idea that just might accomplish something, they would look it over and then test it, even if it turned out to be a dud. Granted, they were a bit pressed for time, what with fighting WWII and all that, so they might have been more willing to take risks, but they had the right idea. If they had taken baby steps the problem would have been resolved one way or another with out their input. If we treat problems such as global warming by taking baby step measures to deal with it, then it is going to be over and done with leaving us to face a brave new world and we won't know what happened.

On the subject of nuclear waste, it is clean, at least in comparison to burning fossil fuels. Outside of the technologies that are still too far off (fuel cells, wind and solar power) the only thing cleaner then nuclear power are hydroelectric plants. Unfortunately we only have so many rivers that can be dammed up to provide it. Granted, left out nuclear waste can be just as damaging as the waste created by fossil fuels. Nuclear waste, however, is much easier to dispose of. First it gets sealed in multilayer drums, consisting of feet of concrete, steel, and lead. They then get shipped off to a place such as Yucata, where it gets buried deep under the mountain and the below the water table. There it gets sealed away in even more concrete, and then left alone for X thousands of years. (Knowing America, I am sure that there are companies who own the rights to eventual stable materials.) There it remains isolated from the environment. And let's face it, the bottom of a mountain isn't exactly prime real estate. The media likes to tell stories about crooked companies dropping toxic waste into the ocean to dispose of it cheaply, but anyone trying to deal with radioactive material would be soon found out by their sudden cases of male pattern baldness and skin cancer.

Fossil fuels on the other hand, produce nasty chemical compounds which directly affect the atmosphere that you and I breathe. The power plants that put out these chemicals are required to filter them out, but only a portion. The rest is released to damage the ozone, cause acid rain, etc. So in comparison, nuclear waste is cleaner, if only because it easier to deal with then the by products of burning fossil fuels.

(It really should be IIRC, which stands for If I Recall Correctly, but I'm smug bastard who has no need to doubt his memory, so I leave out the first I. Actually, I'm just lazy. tongue.gif )

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Guest Agaib

Umm you guys do realize that hydrogen is not a source of energy right? Theres not nearly enough naturally occurring hydrogen for us to "mine" it. The only use hydrogen has is for storing energy. This is because it takes energy to artificially produce it, and the energy needed to produce it is more than the energy stored.

Some people have proposed use of hydrogen fuel cells so that we can store excess electrical power for when our energy producing plants are a maximum efficiency, to make sure nothing is wasted, but hydrogen is not a replacement for fossil fuels.

Anyway, Foeofthelance you said that baby steps were almost as bad as massive change. This doesn't sound like great justification for massive change...

Also, when it comes to the importance of a story. Purely from a "will it affect me" standpoint. None of these stories really matter much. Anna Nicole, crazy rapists, Don Imus. If the only thing that the media reported was what was "important." Then the news would be about politics and current laws being passed/rejected and the state of foreign affairs such as genocides, wars, and other major socio political events.

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