researching the effect of slacking at work

If you haven’t heard, I lost my job last week, as part of a corporate layoff due to economic reasons.  So while I’m pondering what kind of career I want, I came up with what would be perfect for me.  It would be a major career change, but I’m open to new ideas.

The government pays all kinds of groups to do research.  I could conduct a study on the impact of slacking at work.  There are a lot of studies already done on the effects of taking breaks at work (and they all say it’s a good thing), so slacking would somewhat fit that, in that it’s like a break, but it’s different.  And here’s where it’s best for me — since my job would be researching and the point of the research is how slacking affects it, I would be getting paid to not work.  How great is that?

So now I just have to figure out how to get this approved and sponsored.  I think it would be a very beneficial study, and I’m willing to make the necessary sacrifices to see it come to fruition.  This would help corporations realize the importance of a relaxed atmosphere / environment in the workplace.  And this would be a job that I’d enjoy working on.

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you’re no better than rocks

What would happen if “Mother Nature” had the same rights as humans?  There are some people trying to find out.  Van Jones, former “green job czar” of President Obama, is working with various obscure groups to give plants, trees, rocks, and such the same legal rights as humans.  Van Jones is also associated with a thinktank supported by George Soros, if that means anything to you.

Supposedly Bolivia has already given the rights of nature equal status with human rights in its legal system.  The President of Bolivia has often said “the central enemy of Mother Earth is capitalism.”  That sure makes this sound political…

Some constitutional amendments being pushed for are provisions that “Nature has a right to be completely restored”.  So does that mean any building can be torn down if nature was destroyed to build it?  Wouldn’t that include everything man-made?  If you take the concept far enough, the Earth was 100% nature before we built anything.

But even ignoring the worst-case scenario with that, it would mean that you could be sued for kicking a rock, or stepping on grass, or using firewood in your fireplace.  I know, it sounds silly.  But try to convince me there aren’t people stupid and greedy enough to do it…

Why can’t we all just get along?  I don’t have any beef with plants.  I’m even okay with eating less plants (except potatoes).

I wonder what vegetarians / vegans think about this legislation?  Some of them get mad at people eating animals, but what if people get mad at them eating plants?  This could get interesting…

Where is the common sense in all this?  Be responsible with the environment, but don’t give sticks and rocks the same rights as humans.  Is it really so difficult?  Sometimes I wonder what this world is coming to…

the EPA wants to tax dust

With this being a humor blog that specializes in randomness, you might not expect a story on regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  But we sometimes cover stupid news, partly because it can be random (in the creativity of the stupidity) and/or just funny.  This story isn’t laugh-out-loud (LOL) funny but stupid-funny (or stupid-stupid).

The EPA is considering a strict regulation with heavy fines on dust.  (Yeah, you read that right — dust, as in airborne dirt.)  According to this one website someone showed me, “Farmers could be fined for everyday activities like driving a tractor down a dirt road or tilling a field.”  Some areas have already suggested having “no till” days in response to this proposed standard.

Do I need to explain how stupid that is?  Apparently so…  To farm and raise crops, the ground must be tilled, and heavy machinery must be used to do all the planting, watering, and harvesting.  Dust is inevitable.  That’s just the practical aspect of it.   But we can get even more basic — humans are made of dirt.  It’s not like dirt is harmful to us.   You may not like getting dirty from dust, but it’s not as bad as living in a heavily-populated city full of pollution, breathing car exhaust fumes.  I’ve been in Los Angeles and New York City and Chicago, and the atmosphere in those places definitely isn’t as fresh and clean as Arkansas.  I’ve even lived on a farm.   Some dust in the air is not the problem!

Another problem with that is if there are “no till” days, then crops can ruin. When a crop is ready to be harvested, you have only a small window of time to get the best harvest, and farmers have a tough enough time making a profit as it is, without the EPA telling them they can’t drive their tractors on certain days.

One commenter on that website suggested that this move by the EPA could be to create more jobs for illegal immigrants.   If farmers can’t use their heavy machinery, they could use illegal aliens to do the manual labor.  Maybe that’s what that comment about retrofitting buses with diesel engines is about — to transport the millions of immigrants who will till the soil after tractors are made illegal.  That sounds like a conspiracy theory, but there are people scheming in politics…

I have to wonder if lawmakers don’t like farmers.   Not just because of that, but because of this other potential legislation — fining farmers for flatulence cows.   That sounds silly, but such a “cow tax” has been in consideration.  The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases emitted by belching and flatulence amounts to air pollution.  The American Farm Bureau Federation claims the EPA is proposing a required annual fee of $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head of beef cattle, and $20 per hog.   If this happens, it will probably get applied to more animals we consume (like chickens), and meat will become an imported item from other countries.   I’d rather that not become the standard.

I realize the government is hurting for money, but couldn’t they do something reasonable (i.e., not stupid and harmful)?  They could try the strategy of responsible spending — I don’t think they’ve attempted that one in many years…

caption contest, car covered with grass

These days there’s lots of talk about cars, because of Obama’s “cash for clunkers” program, and there’s also talk of being “green”, to help the environment.  So this week’s caption contest features a green car, though not in the way you might expect.

Now, I know, it’s just a picture of a car (albeit a funny car).  But remember, there are many ways to make this work.  You can write a caption as a news headline, or make (dare I say it?) puns about it, or write your own story that involves it.

car covered with grass

(To see the other caption contests, click on the “Say What?” category in the sidebar.)