Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Top Pink Floyd Tributes Coming to the Philadelphia Area

So it is not really what you would call concert season, but usually you find some pretty good concerts when you aren't really looking. I came across a few great concerts and shows coming to the Philadelphia area by some of the top Pink Floyd tribute groups. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Australian Pink Floyd @ The Tower Theater - Upper Darby, PA - 10/23/09 at 8:00 PM

    • I have seen these guys featured on PBS several times on during their charity drives and initially I thought it was Pink Floyd themselves.

    • Tickets are already becoming sold out for the good sections, so you better act fast!

  • The Machine performs Pink Floyd featuring The Floyd Laser Show @ Sovereign Performing Arts Center - Reading, PA - 10/9/09 at 8:00 PM

    • Ok, so Pink Floyd doesn't play together anymore, but hey, there are some great tributes out there providing the next best thing!

    • Back by Popular Demand, THE MACHINE - MASSIVE LIGHT LASER SHOW returns to Reading, PA for ONE NIGHT ONLY in 2009 on Friday October 9th, 2009. From Lightwave International - laser provider for the last 2 Roger Waters tours.

There are a bunch of other great upcoming shows in the Philadelphia area that I came across that are coming up over at WMGK.com.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My 20 Year Old Honda is Not a Clunker

Apparently, even after the readjustments made by the EPA for fuel consumption, my 20 year old Honda Prelude does not qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program. I believe that there are probably even better emission standards in late model vehicles that burn more fuel per gallon, but I am not a scientist.

Perhaps there should have been some other factors brought into play here, but whatever. I am kind of proud that my car has been efficient beyond the governments standards even 20 years ago when it comes to fuel mileage. I have worked it out a few times, and it averages 24-27 mpg regular driving to my calculations to this day. That is even a little above the EPA's number, so I am even happier. I got this gem for $3000 in 1998 with about 33,000 miles on it.

It now has 160,000+ miles on it, and is still getting me to point B. I am actually thinking of restoring it at this point as it is actually close to being an antique car at this point. I don't know if they count cars made in Japan, but in 5 years, my car will be eligible. I am not sure if I can get it restored to that level, but I will definitely be fixing a few things and throwing a new coat of paint on her. Hopefully I can get another 100,000+ miles out of her.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Go Green with a Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Over the years, it has become an increasing problem to find clean and refreshing drinking water in many areas of the country. Whether it be from contamination in the local water tables, to extra chemicals being added to public water systems, good clean drinking water is becoming hard to come by. Unless you have a good filtration system setup in your house, or buy your water at the store, you could be filling your body with chemicals.

Recent studies have shown that even some of the plastics being used in water bottles, and other containers are not of food grade plastic because they are made of recycled materials. These plastics can contain dangerous chemicals that can lead to cancer and other diseases. The main carcinogen in this increasing problem is a chemical known as Bisphenol-A, or more commonly referred to as BPA. If the container you are currently using for any food or drink purposes in your house has the #7 on the bottom of it, throw it out! This particular mix of plastics is most known to have BPA in them. In fact, Nalgene changed the composition of one of their plastic water bottle lines due to complaints and pressure by customers that they could contain BPA.

In any case, a metal water bottle of some sort would be a safer alternative to hold your beverages. Some metal water bottles are actually just mediocre in terms of their claim to be a green alternative to plastic bottles. Sigg water bottles are made of aluminum. Sounds good right? Well, they are actually coated with some sort of resin on the inside to prevent corrosion and staining. They claim this proprietary resin has been rigorously tested for BPA, but it has been approved by the FDA, so I guess it is fairly safe. Safe to drink out of maybe, but what about that resin when you are trying to recycle this container? Where does that go in the recycling process? I don't feel that the Sigg water bottle is a very eco-friendly alternative to plastic water bottles, although they may be a safer alternative.

Stainless steel water bottles seem to be the safest bet when choosing a portable beverage container. Stainless steel does not stain obviously, I mean it is part of the given name. Another great quality of a stainless steel water bottle is that it does not corrode from water or other drinkable liquids, so no need for any lining. It looks like I will be choosing a stainless steel bottle, as it really seems like the best alternative to plastic bottles. Stainless steel bottles are fully recyclable, so they are eco-friendly. Not only that, but you really don't need to buy another bottle for your beverages ever again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gripping Picture of the Uprising in Iran

Iranian Woman Holding Flag with Fist in the Air

So I have been keeping up with this situation quite a bit, and I have to say that this picture has by far left the most impression on me of what is going on in Iran. The picture reminds me of the man standing in front of the tanks at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Riots in Tehran, Iran

So I was looking at Reuters last night, and it seems that the Iran elections were rigged, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has won the election against the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, according to Iran national media. The Iranian people have taken to the streets in large numbers and have started resisting against the current regime.

The topic interested me, so I decided to check out the news sources I usually look for. Since not much has been covered on the mainstream media in depth on any news channels and many big news sites, I decided to try social media sites and started to be able to piece together my own story. Here is the scoop according to many sites I have read from around the web in the last few hours.

An announcement was made on national television in Iran that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won the recent Presidential election, retaining his position.

The attendance of the election was said to be the biggest ever recorded, at least by Christiane Amanpour from CNN. Aside from Amanpour's 2 minute piece on just a hint of what was going on, there was not much, if any, breaking news coverage about the rioting that had started at about 4AM Iran time from any major US news outlet on my TV anyway. There was an MSNBC clip that I caught on their website, that I wasn't sure if it was broadcast on TV or not. It looks like it might have been, but I didn't see anything on their channel when I looked. Mostly, US news outlets were covering things that would be better suited for The Inquirer. These topics are not generally considered news to intellectuals. Overall, this is a disturbing revelation about our news outlets.

Just mintues before the announcement, many forms of communications throughout Iran were disrupted.

Cell phone communications were blocked, or disrupted in many areas, including SMS and texting.
Land line phone communications were also disrupted in many areas.

Iran blocks many news outlets and the big social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and eventually Twitter.

Twitter was by far the best source of information about what was going on, as it seemed to slip passed Iran's efforts to censor news about what was going on. In fact, a peaceful protest solution was broadcast across Twitter and 10's of thousands of Iranians headed to their rooftops to chant together in union against the government.

Then Twitter was silenced when the Iran government blocked it as well. At that point, there was even a time where the #iranelection trending topic disappeared from Twitter's trending topics, which was even more disturbing. That trending topic returned later on, but had alot of buzz itself during the peak of the madness.

Here are some great sources for pictures and videos that I found of the protesting and resistance around Tehran. Updating when I find more!
Tehran protests against election results - an emerging second revolution?
Protest againt fake elections TEHRAN IRAN 13 June 2009 17:45 PM
Protesting against huge cheating in presidential election in iran 6
Dargiri 23 Khordad, Valiasr st., Eskan Complex
BBC Reports Live from Tehran
Iranian Election Riots 2009 Raw Video
Police invasion on people, Tehran, vanak Sq. 13th June 2009
Protests in Tehran after rigged election
Iran election. Riot in tehran streets after election day - 13/06/09
Protests in Tehran after election - Riot police caught by crowd
Esfehan after iranian election. Riot police running away
14/06/09 - Riot after iranian election - Police run away from crowd
Tehran BusExplosion 23Khordad Tazahorat
23 khordad Shishe Mashin tehran
Iranian Riots - Burning bus in Tehran part 2 (June 14th)
Iranian Police Brutality - Beating the people (June 14th)
Cam 2009 06 14 20 11 08
Dafi Fools - Tehran Burning

Iranian Named Videos - Sorry I can't translate :(
شیراز 24 خرداد
حمله به دانشگاه شیراز با گاز اشکاور
محاصره دانشگاه شیراز توسط یگان ویژه
حمله به دانشگاه شیراز با گاز اشکاور

Iran Streets After Elections

*Update - I have removed Twitter usernames for the safety of the people sending information. There have been several tweets I have read that are warning that Iranian government agents are trying to stop the tweets in any way possible. I would rather not contribute to that, as I am trying to help.

I will keep this post updated with more links and information when I can. I will tweet about further updates.