Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stop Buying Bottled Water

Here are my reasons:
Tap water is held to a standard of cleanliness much higher than is bottled water.
Tap water is comically cheaper than bottled water.

Let me explain.

The cleanliness of bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA's regulation consists of one sentence: Bottled water suppliers must use an approved source.

"What is an approved source?" might you ask.
[An approved source is] a source of water...that has been inspected and the water sampled, analyzed, and found to be of a safe and sanitary quality according to applicable laws and regulations of state and local government agencies having jurisdiction.
That's all well and good, but it leaves most of the decisions on how much effort goes in to the sanitation of the water up to the people whom have the most to gain by spending the least amount of money. So, bottled water companies make the most profit when they spend least money on sanitation.

Tap water, on the other hand, is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act by the Environmental Protection Agency, which is far more stringent when it comes to regulating the cleanliness of water than is the FDA. It would take hours and days to explain the extent of the regulations involved in the purification and filtration of tap water, so I won't. Go here for more info:

Now, as for the financial side of this conversation:
1000 gallons of tap water in Fairfax County, VA costs $1.85.
1000 gallons of the cheapest bottled water you can find (Giant's Acadia brand) costs $1,280.00
1000 gallons of fancy bottled water (Fiji) costs $8,960.00

So if we divide the cost of the bottled water, by the cost of the tap water, we'll find out how many gallons of tap water we could buy with as much money as we spend on bottled.

$1,280/$1.85=691,892 gallons
$8,960/$1.85=4,843,243 gallons

4.8 million gallons of water. Do you know how many swimming pools you could fill with 4.8 million gallons of water?


7.3 Olympic sized swimming pools is a lot of water.

Think about it the next time you grab a bottle out of the fridge instead of a glass out of the cabinet.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Beware! Scammers lurk on AutoTrader

I was looking at Volkswagen Golfs online, when I came across a posting on AutoTrader for a 2007 for about $9,000 or $10,000 under invoice. I emailed the guy thinking the deal was too good to be true. Alas, it was. the schmuck emails me back with a poorly worded response that day saying that he was donating all the money from the sale to "a children foundation." Needless to say, my interest was piqued. After toying with him for a while, I sent him this message critiquing his scam style.
Here's a few things you did wrong:
1. Your description of the car isn't even accurate. (the picture shows 4 doors, your description says 2 doors)
2. Pick a car that exists. (there's no such thing as a 2007 Volkswagen Golf. There are Rabbits, GTI's & R32's.)
3. Don't tell the people right off the bat that you're not going to be able to meet with them. Who said I wanted to meet you? That's just a stupid thing to say in a first email.
4. Don't speak presumptively. (Most people that contact you about buying your car aren't going to buy your car. Everyone who's ever tried to sell a car knows that. Your assumptive tone makes people uneasy.)
5. Don't tell people that they have to pay you through eBay when they contact you through AutoTrader. (that's just plain stupid)
6. When someone asks to which charity you are donating, give them the answer right away. Don't make them ask again. It makes it seem like you don't know what you're talking about.
7. Provide a link to the charity so the person can take a look around. Don't make them go look for it.
8. Don't sign your emails as Frank when your email address is
9. Laugh when I tell you a joke. Ben Affleck? Really? You thought I was serious about you meeting Ben Affleck?

Overall score: 0 out of 10 You fail.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Top 5 Bands You've Never Heard Of

5. Uhhh...that one band that has the chick singer...
4. Umm...that band with the keyboards
3. you know...that band...they don't have a lead singer
2. Oh...uh...the Fleece...or the Fleas...or something like that
1. ₤өвøŧ (rhymes with robot)

₤өвøŧ plays what music historians will someday call "Missile Silo Rock."

With driving dance beats and uncomfortably loud bass lines, ₤өвøŧ is sure to take over the mainstream music scene like Alexander took over Nova Scotia.

Put them in your FaceSpace profiles now, so when the posers come out of the woodwork in 2009, that profile you haven't updated since July 8, 2008 will prove that you're far more in tune with the underground music scene than they'll ever be.

₤өвøŧ...coming to your ears August 20, 2008.