Global warming horror

I imagined what it would be like in 2020, by when the full effect of global warming would have hit the world. I think this is something we can expect to see in the newspapers. This is me, Doofus Maximus, reporting. For comic relief only.

Hawaii sinks. Completely.

21st February 2020
The New New York City

By correspondent Dewfus Maksimus

The world stood and stared in shock watching the last coconut tree of Hawaii go down under sea level. In a series of events across the world that involved the sinking of several islands, Hawaii, the 50th state, the “archipelago of booze”, was the 14th victim. Tens of thousands had gathered on the coast of Fornia (formerly known as California). The president expressed deep regret at this because Hawaii gave good revenue from tourism, especially from drunk college kids during spring break. In a twitter press conference held soon after, he posted the following from his cell phone – “The last time I visited Hawaii during the presidential campaign, I had seen at least eight coconut trees. I even bought a souvenir. It is sad that one can no longer sip a coconut in the sunny beaches, let alone run in slow motion.

A lot of land from the United States has succumbed to the wrath of water. Only a couple of years ago, the state of California was renamed to Fornia because most of the west coast was underwater and California had become a thin strip. The thin shape of the state could no longer contain the whole word “California” in maps and atlases. The governer, having a liking towards small names renamed it Fornia, because the ‘Cali’ part was underwater.

According to several polls and surveys conducted over the internet, ‘water‘ is now voted the #1 public enemy. People were interviewed about what corrective measure they should have taken in the 1990-2010 to prevent global warming. Indi Nayal, a citizen of DUK (Deniably United Kingdom), said “We never took global warming seriously back in the days. It was mentioned occasionally on TV but I was always under the impression that it’s not going to happen while I am going to be alive. I guess we were in denial. In denial. In-de-ni-al. Hey, that IS my name!

Another gentleman we interviewed was Italian, named Pizzacau Zes Obesiti – and he was upset on two levels. First, the long-legged-Italy (see map) lost its shoe because of the rising water levels. (Co)Incidentally, most of the soccer players were from that part of the country. Second, the country was so full of painters that the water around Italy has  a mixture of colors now.

India too lost the Andaman & Nicobar islands in 2018 followed by Lakshwadeep in 2019. However, they are not upset. The focus of the country is driven towards another issue – how to retain the water in the soil. Most of the government funding is going towards building 88 giant airtight containers that would fit all the 88 states. When the government was asked the significance of such boxes, they replied that “Food stays nice and fresh that way, because the moisture is retained. So why not scale it up a little bit? Each of these boxes will snugly cover each of the 88 states and poof, all the water stays in.” But they are having trouble with Pakistan yet again, because Pakistan wants more of Kashmir than India is willing to share. The size of the air tight container meant for Kashmir is yet to be decided after peace talks between both nations.

The bottom line is, the end is near, everyone. Global warming is very real.

Global warming is so real

So global warming is very real. Season changes are unseasonal. Winter is overstaying its welcome in several parts of the world, and other places are seeing summer temperatures soaring above 40 C in March itself. Weather patterns have changed so  much that even the common man has started observing it. For example, the number of savage storms and hurricanes across the world in the last three years alone have shattered both homes and records. The world is indeed realizing that global warming is indeed happening, but all the action is limited to saying that we need to do something about it. Well, THEN DO IT! Walk to the store, don’t drive. It’s not that hot, you will do fine without the air conditioning. Switch off all the lit advertisement billboards. No one needs to see them flashing! It’s too cold inside the house? Don’t touch that thermostat – just wear another layer. Cut less trees, use recycled wood. The list of things that can be done by the common man is endless. The Kyoto Protocol is good protocol!

I want to go to Hawaii before it sinks. Please. 🙁

Photo courtesy of that polar bear

Losing perspective

Why on earth is this NEWS?
How necessary. President bumps his head. So had Bush, apparently, towards the start of his presidency.
Turns out there is a video too.

Possible headlines that are repercussions of this event:
  1. President Obama bumps his head, sends America to war again
  2. President Obama bumps his head, helicopter dented
  3. President Obama bumps his head, needs to comb hair all over again
  4. President Obama bumps his head, secret service arrests helicopter
  5. President Obama bumps his head, president bumps head not
  6. President Obama bumps his head, so did Bush; similar presidencies forecasted
How is this relevant to anything at all? I know he is living the life of a goldfish in a fishbowl, completely in the eyes of the country. But bumping his head? Come on! It could be a part of The Daily Show or Late Night or even Saturday Night Live – but not CNN main news! Next we would know about when his dog poops and whether the secret service cleans up after the first dog.
It’s not even a slow news day, thanks to the bailout and stimulus plans being on everyone’s minds…

The "fat" tax

New York governor David Patterson wants to introduce an obesity tax. No, he does not want to tax people who are fat or overweight. He proposes to levy a higher tax on sugared beverages like soda. More accurately, on non-diet sugared drinks that have 70% or less fruit juice content. Revenue earned from these taxes will fund more obesity and health research. While the article expresses the governor’s points of view solely, he does make a few interesting points. First, when taxes were increased on cigarettes, it did drop in sales and there has been a considerable decrease in lung cancer occurrences. Secondly, if we take into account a study that showed additional 12-ounce soft drink daily consumption increases the risk of a child becoming obese by 60 percent (and the same for adults as well).
States such as New Jersey and California have already implemented steps on sodas and sweet foods. If I am not wrong, then NJ bans the use of sodas and sweets in schools for kids to eat. Increasing the taxes on such items, I feel, can indeed curb people from buying them as much. While this proposal is primarily driven towards childhood obesity, it will, to a certain extent have a positive effect in reducing adult obesity as well!
The world is vastly adopting a sedentary lifestyle. Though the life expectancy has increased tremendously over the decades, that is misleading as a sign of healthiness – because advances in medicine have caused the increase. People in olden days used to die of sickness and that was medicine has eradicated. Today, the story is different. While people have started living longer, they have stopped living healthily long back. Unfortunately it’s a lifestyle choice that leads to this, and all the government can really do is make people realize what they are doing wrong.

Number crunching

This is the current cost of the Iraq war:
Iraq War Cost

I knew it was big, but I did not know it was this big. As of when I saw this ticker, the number was $612 billion. These are the other numbers I calculated:
Considering it started in 2003 and now it is the end of 2008, that is 6 years.
Yearly expenditure: $102 billion
Monthly expenditure: $8.5 billion
Daily expenditure: $280 million

Now let us look at the daily expenditure. We have (had?) a bailout plan costing $700 billion. The auto giants require a $14 billion bailout. Considering daily cost of the Iraq war, it turns out that it would take US just 50 days to equal the cost of the auto bailout.

Also, did you notice that the cost of the Iraq war is almost equal to the cost of the economic bailout of $700 billion?

Nice going, George.

Bush has good reflexes

So this happened earlier today… when US President Bush made an unannounced visit to Iraq, and a reporter threw shoes at him calling him a dog. While Bush ducked well in both shots, I feel a little bad for him.

Video Courtesy: CNN

It COULD NOT have been done in any other way

I was following election day in the US on CNN. All day. Little did I know that CNN will pull of a Star Wars. Remember the way they used to communicate in that movie?

Yeah, so I was thinking, CNN “beamed in” their correspondents and interviewees, for the first time ever on TV (see video). While it is a brilliant technological marvel, what was the point in spending so much infrastructure in doing something that could have been done by:
a. Cutting the scene reporting in the far-away location
b. Showing the reporting on a large screen TV
c. Telephone!
May be it was all about the ratings. But then, hands down, you’ve got to admit it is pretty cool – to see how far technology has reached from the time cell phones used to half the size of briefcases. It’s also a good idea to see this being used in other aspects probably unimaginable right now. Hologram-conferencing is going to be a terrific idea when it comes to education in less privileged areas.
I am interested to see what The Daily Show has to say about this!

Ann Louise Nixon Cooper and Barack Obama

Ann Louise Nixon Cooper, 106

It’s a pity that Barack Obama’s grandmother did not live to see him become the first black president of the United States. But someone else did. Ann Louise Nixon Cooper. Does it ring a bell? President-elect Obama mentioned her several times during his speech yesterday in Chicago – “Yes we can.”

Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old, and is from Atlanta. On November 4th, she left her home early, just so she could vote for Barack Obama. She has seen the history of US from 1902 – World War I, World War II, the cold war, Vietnam… and now she also saw America have its first ever black president.
I ain’t got time to die“, she said to CNN.
She comes from a time when she was barred from voting on two counts – being a woman, and being black. She has seen America, and the world too, through thick and thin – and as Obama puts it, “she knows how America can change“.
Here is where Obama talks about her in his speech:

[…] This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing — Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?[…]

Colin Powell wept at Obama’s victory. So did Rev. Jesse Jackson. I watched the elections for most of the evening yesterday – and more than experiencing the sheer joy of seeing Obama win the election, I was in awe because his persona inspires me to do something worthwhile… and to be a better person.
Update: Thanks to Nina for this video link! The 106 year old voter reacts to how she was an integral part of Obama’s victory speech.

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