11 Mar 2007
It's time to run another mailbag since the last one was in December. The emails are really piling up. We are grateful for so many of you who write in so many wonderful and ponderous questions - it shows that there are people who care about this world and want to affect it for good. So here we go...
Why does anyone like watered-down juice?
I'll tell you Mark - it's because they're calling it flavored water, and people are sheep. If they called it watered-down juice, no one would even try it. I know some people like to water down their juice. It saves them money, and some juice is pretty concentrated to begin with. I'm okay with that, but if you have 95% water and 5% juice-like content, that's pretty much water, and that's the watered-down juice I'm talking about.
But I've asked kids and adults alike, and there are actually people out there who like the stuff. And some is fortified with vitamins and the like, so it's even kind of healthier than plain water. But to me it will never taste as good as plain water (unless a watered-down juice company would like to pay me to sponsor their product, or they would like to put up an advertisement on this site...).
Why are people moving to Arizona?
Disgruntled Arizona Resident
I think because it's warm. But by that logic, I should be buying real estate in Death Valley. Honestly, though, I think because the winters are nice, and the summers, even though hot, don't have much humidity... although 120 degrees is hot even if there isn't much humidity. Plus, you cannot possibly think that just because you moved there, no one else should be allowed. I ain't saying you're thinking that; I'm just giving a generalization to people who think that.
But I see a major problem with moving to Arizona and So-Cal... water. I've heard the Colorado River doesn't even run continuously to the ocean anymore. That sounds like a problem. And maybe people should stop running their sprinkler systems for two hours at noon each day, while the water runoff from their soaked lawns pours into the gutters. Water evaporates more at that hour and makes watering less efficient then.
Why would anyone want to live in the cold northeast, though?
The Latest Person to Move to Arizona
Well, parts of the northeast are really cold - Western NY, Maine... but Washington DC and Connecticut - their winters are overrated. Snow bad enough to close schools seems like it occurs about 3 times a winter. No big deal. Plus there are more jobs in the northeast, and a larger variety of them. But if you want to work in home construction, work for some sleazy marketing or sales firm, or be out of work, I highly suggest Arizona! (I refuse to look up what kinds of jobs are actually available down there, but I'm guessing retail is available to your heart's content and sales jobs that blandly ask for people who are "self-motivated" and want to "earn up to $150K per year".)
The world wants to know - what's your favorite TV show?
It's Lost. (I will now accept your money if you want to put up an advertising banner.) I borrowed season 1 and 2 from a friend, and have been watching season 3 online (sorry ABC, but your online video viewer isn't as good as NBC's... wait! Where are you going?! Come back here with your advertising dollars!). Season 1 was great, 2 seemed to stray a little bit, and season 3 is awesome. I just wish there wasn't a break between the first 6 episodes and the last 18. Bad move, and it seems to have affected the ratings. Of course, ABC is now airing Lost at 10 pm instead of 9, so that could be the cause of lower ratings.
What else do you watch?
I watch Day Break, which was cancelled by ABC. At least they've finally put 12 episodes online, which end the major story arc. At times I've enjoyed Day Break more than Lost, actually.
...and I watch Heroes (on NBC!), which is also available online. (Be warned, however. Heroes has a lot of gory violence.)
What do you think is the number one problem in the world today?
A Policy Maker
How do you quantify different areas' problems against each other? Clean water for everyone, vaccinations, security against terrorist leaders... there are lots of issues that need to be addressed. But I'd like to divide up the world's problems into two categories for now:
1) Problems that can't be taken care of by the people they affect (think: how can locals trying to survive a drought travel 1,000 miles to get food when they have no personal resources?)
2) Problems that can be taken care of by the people they affect
Category number two is often caused by people's own unwillingness to change, or their feeling of entitlement ("I'm owed something"). This feeling of entitlement can be hard to overcome - I've even caught myself thinking that I'm owed something. But people who are able need to take personal responsibility for their health, skills and abilities.
If I classify problems this way (which probably isn't the best way to do it), category number 2 is definitely the most annoying. Also annoying is when people think they know everything and have closed their minds off to new understanding. This is part of category two, I think.
Finally, to answer the question, I'd like to say that close-mindedness is the biggest problem the world faces, and that's the way it is. Anyone who wants to argue about this is just plain wrong.
What's your favorite color?
I cannot believe you have the audacity to ask such a trite question when there are bigger issues and concerns to address. And since we have a readership in the gazillions who are influenced by every word that proceeds forth from our keyboards, it would be irresponsible, yea, even bordering on the inconceivable, for me to debase myself to the order of magnitude below that level of reprehensibility from which your question springs...