Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12 minimalist ways to reduce your carbon footprint

Minimalism is a great way to step more lightly upon this earth. Consuming less is more important than buying green -- though I'd encourage you to do both.

So let's get straight to the tips:

1. Eat less. Wrote about this recently. Less food consumed means less resources used up and pollution used to create the food and get it to you.

2. Eat less meat. Worldwide, beef production contributes more to climate change than the entire transportation sector. Pork and chicken are also big contributors to pollution and carbon emissions, compared to plants.

3. Eat locally. Transporting food from where it's grown or raised to where it's processed and packaged, to your supermarket, has a high environmental cost. Eating locally not only greatly reduces that transportation cost but it supports local farmers instead of corporations. Look for local foods, in season, at farmer's markets near you, or at your supermarket or local health food store, or get involved with a CSA.

4. Drive less. Work from home or telecommute as much as possible. Combine errands to make fewer trips. Move to a place near work and all the things you need. Walk or bike more, or use public transit. It takes time to reduce your driving, but if you're conscious about it, you can make changes a little at a time. Also, you'll get healthier by walking or biking instead of driving.

5. Travel less. Airplane flights are a huge contributor to climate change. Travel less by doing teleconferences, taking vacations close to home, and rethinking your travel needs. I've traveled a couple times in the last couple of years, but before that it had been about 7 years without a flight.

6. Buy less. Buying a lot of things is wasteful. Each item requires a lot of resources and contributes hugely to climate change (see the True Cost of Stuff). So cut back on how much you buy. See if you can borrow an item, check out a book from a library, make what you have last longer, find innovative ways to repurpose what you already have or make an item yourself, or just do without. Many times you'll realize an item wasn't a necessary purchase and you don't miss it in your life.

7. Buy used. This avoids buying a new item and all the resources that go into creating and transporting it. It extends the life of something already bought. Look in thrift shops, consignment shops, used bookstores, eBay and Freecycle. Often you'll find some really cool used stuff.

8. Have a smaller home. Obviously not a change you're going to make this week, but something you can think about for the long term. A smaller home takes fewer resources to create, and requires less power, water, heat, and thus fewer emissions. If you get rid of a lot of your stuff, and rethink your needs, you'll realize you need less space.

9. Use less power. Even without a smaller home, there are tons of ways to reduce power. Cool and heat your home less. Turn off lights, unplug appliances, hang dry clothes more often.

10. Use less water. Don't take long showers - get wet, turn off water, soap up, turn on water and rinse. Don't water your lawn, and wash your car less (or get rid of the car). Wash clothes less (wear them longer). Conserve water when you wash your hands or dishes.

11. Go paperless. Many offices and even homes use tons of paper, but most of it is unnecessary. Don't print stuff out if you can read it on the computer. File things digitally rather than in folders. Get bills and other documents sent electronically or online rather than via mail. Stop catalogs from being mailed to you. Read newspapers and magazines online rather than buying them. Stop sending faxes for goodness sake.

12. Go vegan. Not a completely necessary step, but one I recommend. Vegan food, contrary to what most people think, can be delicious and satisfying, and it's often healthier (less saturated fats, fewer calories, for example). Most especially, eating no meat or dairy or eggs means withdrawal from industries that are horrible for the environment, and horribly cruel to animals.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Buonanotte had a serious accident and is hospitalized with multiple injuries

The car was misled this morning on route 65, near Arribeños, and struck a tree. His three friends died instantly. They were returning from a disco dance in the area. The footballer was referred to a clinic in Venado Tuerto with fractures of the humerus and clavicle, and a pulmonary contusion.

Diego Buonanotte starred in a serious accident that killed three young men who accompanied him. The incident occurred this morning about 6:45, when the footballer and his friends were returning from a disco in the town of Arribeños. Apparently, the Dwarf lost control of the Peugeot 307 from his father, went off the road 65, about 15 km of Clementina, Santa Fe, and crashed into a tree. The impact was fatal. And as reported, Gerardo Suñé, Alexis Emanuel Melo Fulcheri and died soon after, with the wheel, the only survivor, derived the Sanatorium San Martin de Venado Tuerto.

The first official data provided Diego's Rove, Fire Chief of Clementina, who confirmed to Clarí there was only one car involved in the accident. And he told also that Buonanotte few friends in another vehicle coming up quickly to try to help and found the tragic scene. It also clarified that the Dwarf "was aware" but anyway that was referred to as Eye Deer had multiple wounds.

While initial reports said that the health status of the player for River was serious, since the Sanatorium San Martin de Venado Tuerto provided some comfort to the query Clarí and told that "came with multiple injuries, but he was lucid .

Minutes later, Eduardo Allegrini, director of the medical center, cleared doubts in a note explaining that Buonanotte TN "has fractured right humerus, right clavicle and a bruised right lung. He clarified that while "is out of danger," said she remains in intensive therapist "under observation".

Allegrini said no Buonanotte spoke about what had happened and, for that reason can not determine whether the Dwarf is aware that his other three friends died. The only testimony reflecting those of the player told Guillermo Fernandez, a volunteer firefighter in the town of Arribeños who said: "Diego told us he lost control of the car."

Friday, December 25, 2009

After confirming that he will fight for the presidency in 2011, Duhalde plays with a possible names for Cabinet

Just hours after confirming at least the media, their intention to fight for the presidency as candidate of the PJ in 2011, Eduardo Duhalde risked names of potential partners in a potential cabinet.

The list included Roberto Lavagna, Jorge Remes Lenicov, Graciela Camano and Alfredo Atanasof, all ministers in his government between January 2002 and May 2003.

In addition, returned to butt against Nétor Kirchner and reinforced the idea that "works" for the former president can not return to politics in the province of Buenos Aires.
On the other hand, avoided confrontation with Carlos Reutemann, who had crossed with harshly by the speculation over who would run, but the senator also sought to differentiate Santa Fe.

By name.

For a report broadcast by Radio 2 de Rosario, Duhalde was asked about who could join his group of associates when it reaches the Casa Rosada.

He mentioned his two ministers of finance, remittances and Lavagna, who said, are writing a book about his government, Camano, whom he described as "an extraordinary minister of labor" and Atanasof, who was secretary of Homeland Security management and his cabinet chief.

Kirchner's attack came in a further attempt to differentiate from Reutemann Duhalde. "The Santa Fe situation is different, but I'm where are the headquarters of Kirchner and I need to start working and organizing for the emergence of new leaders in the province of Buenos Aires.'m Going to work for Kirchner never again be leader, at least in my province, "launched.

In addition, we predicted the Santa Cruz heavy loss of support in the coming months. "He will not accompany virtually no significant leader. It generates a lot of resentment among governors and mayors," he said. "When Kirhcner go there will be pictures of him or guilds or anywhere. Only the mother should have her picture, complete with irony

Rally Dakar 2010: It is the "Village", in the Rural

Vehicles are already in Argentina. In the coming hours, the pilots begin to arrive and the rest of the Argentine teams (which are inside), Latin America and the United States. And everything will be ready for the opening of the "Village Dakar", which again will be held on the campus of La Rural, Palermo.

Again, the site will allow locals and tourists to make contact with the huge caravan that makes up the Dakar Rally, with its huge logistics and support vehicles, plus all the racing machines: cars, motorcycles, ATVs and trucks. There he performed the technical verifications and other formalities to be met by participants before the race organization.

There will be a food court, booths of the participating brands as sponsors of the rally, other commercial-type (open air or within pavilions), a demonstration track with all-terrain vehicles called "Petit Dakar", a space designed for children.

The days and hours are:

- Administrative and technical checks:
Dec. 29: 10 to 21
December 30: 10 to 21
December 31: 11 to 19 hours

- Village Dakar
Dec. 29: 10 to 21
December 30: 10 to 21
December 31: 11 to 19 hours
January 1: 11 to 17 hours

- Podium pole / presentation of vehicles:
January 1: 15 to 21 hours (see map)

Price of entry to La Rural: $ 10 (12 to 65 years)

After the "Village", the Dakar caravan will depart for Buenos Aires city of Columbus, north of the province, which will begin on January 2 speed, with the stretch Columbus Cordova. The return to Buenos Aires (also at La Rural) will be on January 17 for the awards.

Ginobili is going to be a father of two boys

This was confirmed by him in Facebook. "I have to start thinking about names," he said.

Emanuel Ginobili closes a bitter year in sports for the injuries he suffered but very fruitful at the personal level. It will be first-time father, twice. Is that his wife, Marianela, is pregnant with twins. And if that were not enough, prior to Christmas Eve, the bahiense confirmed what most wanted to hear: there will be a father of two boys.

"The melli are little boys. You have to start thinking about names," wrote Manu in Facebook.

The delivery scheduled for June, will be in the U.S., as already explained bahiense. "At that time I'll be playing the playoffs, and if not we could not travel so far with eight months' pregnant.

The struggle to reach the All-Star Game

The NBA released partial results of the voting for the All-Star Game. And Emanuel Ginobili and Luis Scola are among the most chosen by the fans.

Scola is seventh among forwards and wing pivots the Western Conference, with 295,691 votes, behind Carmelo Anthony (1,204,234), Dirk Nowitzki (668,243), Pau Gasol (565,414), Tim Duncan (564,728), Kevin Durant ( 406,581) and Trevor Ariza (355,529).

Meanwhile, Ginobili figure bases and eleventh among the escorts of the same conference. The sum bahiense 171,624 votes in a category that Kobe Bryant is leading comfortably, with 1,380,383 voters.

Balloting will continue until 18 January and the meeting will be held on 14 February in the Dallas Cowboy stadium in the NFL, with capacity for 80 thousand spectators.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A great place in history: Banfield, champion for the first time

Despite falling to Boca Juniors in the Bombonera, by 2 to 0, the whole South was enshrined in the Apertura championship, thanks to the success of San Lorenzo on Newell's, in Rosario, Palermo made the many xeneizes and scored again after new date

Julio Cesar Falcioni not fought back tears. In the final minutes was given to tears. From Rosario came the long-awaited news: the defeat of Newell's already been accomplished. Banfield, even when losing, was crowned champion. It exploded in a scream the bench. Mingled in an embrace the fans who came to the Bombonera. Smith looked at the bench and raised his arms. Diego Abal, the arbitrator held that the two minutes until they were useless. And all were delivered to the festivities.

The team led by Julio Cesar Falcioni won the title thanks to Newell's, the one who had chances to snatch it, fell in their stadium against San Lorenzo on the same result.

By this time, just interested to squad, the coaching staff and fans of Banfield the fact that his team has played perhaps the weakest match of the tournament, because that does not stop celebrating the first title of the story.

It will remain in anecdote and statistics that Martin Palermo scored both goals in the Bombonera, the first was a penalty, the first 7 minutes of time, which broke a losing streak of 750 minutes without turning, and that the second was at 14 'the second half, when connecting a defensive rebound.

The start of the match at the Bombonera was intense, with both teams looking for the win from the start, but after 15 minutes of the first stage, everything fell into a well with football.

At Banfield was nervous and absent noticed, and perhaps was pressured to be involved stroking the first title in club history for albiverde. For your benefit, Newell's defeat against San Lorenzo was enough to devote champion.

Oblivious to what was happening with his team on the pitch, the festival was unleashed at the Bombonera in Florencio Sola Hector Baldassi decreed when the match between Rosario and the Cyclone.

Blond Mutant Ninja Turtles

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pili, the transplanted girl thanked the support he received during his hospitalization

Pilar Chavez, the 19-year liver transplant twice in five days and was in national emergency, is progressing well. After being transplanted, and to be hospitalized for several days, "Pili" spoke to the news channel and told TN that is improving day by day, thanked everyone who was with her and called for an awareness of the importance of donating organs.

The girl, with a smile, was: "Hello everyone, I Pili, I am still recovering, look at my bruises, but so good. Many thanks to everyone who gave me the stamina and prayed for me. Many thanks and continue praying organ donation.

Pilar had to be transplanted twice in five days, a complication she suffered when she performed the first transplant. Today the young are very well: his new liver is functioning perfectly, and out of intensive care and has a good mood (watch video). With the improvement of Pilar, his family, little by little, he is telling all the ruckus that erupted when the first transplant did not work and had to enter national emergency to receive an organ. "We told him that was in the papers, on TV, in all media, and she gives a bit of shame," his dad told Clarin, Germain.

Now Pilar is in an area where the Italian Hospital transplant patients. You can watch TV, and began to eat. "Very tolerant all the food they give at the hospital told her father. The truth is that we see it very good at heart, and doctors tell us it's very good that his liver and kidneys develops also correctly" .

When she could give medical discharge, the father felt that it will not happen before at least 20 days. "Yes, hopefully for the holidays can be home, but the important thing now is that she is fine. Before we who thanked the donor. Now she's the one thanks.

Pilar was born with glycogenesis, an illness that forced her to inject glucose throughout his life. Two years ago was recorded in INCUCAI waiting list for a transplant. The body arrived, but Pilar had a complication and had to be retransplanted, something that rarely happens.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Photo from Atlantis

Space Shuttle Atlantis looked out over Earth in this image photographed by a NASA crew member Tuesday. The shuttle arrived at the International Space Station Wednesday for a weeklong stay, and the astronauts quickly unloaded a huge platform full of spare parts. (Associated Press/NASA)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The usury of credit cards in Argentina

The Central Bank issued a report with different charges and fees that banks charge for credit cards. Is advised not to "get used to make only the minimum payment, because the interest grows exponentially.

The interest rate charged by banks for financing the balance of the credit cards after making the minimum payment in September averaged 36.5 percent annually, according to the latest survey of the Regime of Central Bank Transparency. However, each entity charged different rates according to the rating assigned to each customer. Thus, the average minimum system stood at 33.1 percent, while the maximum values averaged 39.8 percent. Outside of that average, there are cases of banks reached an exorbitant finance 85.2 per cent annually. Meanwhile, the maintenance costs of the cards range between 6.26 and 9.61 pesos per month. The monetary authority report urges consumers to internalize the levels of interest rates, but also on charges associated with the use and validity of plastic on the outside. The minimum income of 753 pesos were required for local use cards, but we found a high concentration of banks that require up to a thousand.

Banks take advantage of the slight recovery in consumption after a freeze that caused the international crisis to begin an aggressive policy of attracting users who accept their credit cards. The offer includes a wide variety of benefits such as customer retention tool. This ranges from the accumulation of miles on airlines, the amount of points to obtain prizes or discounts and special offers at shops or shows up additional cards at no charge.

But beyond all these advantages, the fees and costs that apply some properties are far from being a "gift". The maintenance of plastics and the financing of balance-which arises from the difference between what you owe and the minimum payment allowed, usually too high. The Central relieves the main items making up that cost and makes available on its website to allow consumers to make a comparison between different products. These include life insurance on balances funded, administrative costs for making and sending the summary, annual renewal costs of plastic and commissions charged for withdrawing cash.

Despite anchoring the lines that offers Central banks to have liquidity, taxes destined for the consumer finance remain historically high, while reluctant to lend long term. In fact, the level of liquidity of the institutions is at its highest. The latest central bank report said that in September the unpaid balance of the financing amounted to summary annual average 36.5 percent. On these values must be added the rate of VAT. However, on a tour of the attached schedule, the report can be seen a wide variety of financial costs, ranging from zero to 85.2 percent.

"Being a credit product, a card has a limit of financing and purchasing, which depends on the credit policy of each entity and the rating assigned to each customer," recalls the report of transparency. In the monthly statement detailing the minimum payment, ie the amount to be canceled to avoid the application of punitive interests. The board of the Fund Kadicard Cooperativa La Plata is the capital of which shows the maximum compensatory higher rate (85.2 percent annually). The same agency, meanwhile, zero-rate financing for consumers with good qualification (minimum fee). The Argencard (Banco Columbia) is the highest rate charged to customers with best rating: 55 percent.

Other variables to consider are the fees charged for exceeding the purchase limit (usually determined according to income level), the cost of additional cards and hiring requirements of the card (income level and maximum age). In this regard, the organizations ask an average minimum income of 753 pesos, while the major amount of deposits banks requested a salary of 2500. In the latter group are located on Credicoop and Santander Rio.

Life insurance on balances funded in September stood at an average of 0.3 percent. You can find issuers of credit cards that charge up to 9.9 per cent annually. Regarding administrative costs, averaged 7.30 pesos. For the minimum values reported, the average was of 6.26 dollars and the maximum amount of 9.61 pesos. In some cases reaches 48 pesos, being the most common major entities between 8.50 and $ 12.50. As average annual renewal costs of 39.09 dollars, but reach 360 pesos.

The Italcred stands at a cost of renewal of its plastics of 282 pesos. No significant differences when comparing the values for consumption in the country with the outside. The report of the Central advises "Do not get used to make only the minimum payment. "If allowed to accumulate in your account balance increased, this will involve greater interests in the future," added the text.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"The fight against anti-Semitism is a commitment of state policy"

The president said Israel before his pair of "deep conviction" against "anti-Semitism and any manifestations of racism and xenophobia". Peres urged "not to forget" the attacks on the Israeli Embassy and AMIA, and recommended paying attention to the Iranian nuclear plan.

"It's a state policy commitment of our country," emphasized the President offering a joint press conference at Government House.

CFK said that the Argentine government is "militant of all causes having to do with the rejection deep, visceral conviction all manifestations of antisemitism and xenophobia."

In this regard, it found that all anti-Semitic, Holocaust deniers and all the tragedies suffered by humanity "fundamentally come from sectors that have a high degree of intolerance to another, who thinks differently," a factor "key, not only the Holocaust, but of all the tragedies that humankind has lived "

Cristina stressed that the position of Argentina "is of profound respect for each country to direct the destiny of their policies, not only in South America but around the world."

"Argentina will not allow anyone else to choose his friends nor friends in Argentina told to choose one. We strongly believe in self determination of each society as expressed through their elected officials," said Arroyo, when asked about Argentina's position on the government of Venezuela.

Cristina said that "peace is needed in the Middle East" and raised to be "recognized" both the State of Palestine as "the right of Israel to live securely within their borders."

"We believe and are strong supporters of that exists and is recognized by the State of Palestine so that Palestinians can live democratically there, and Israel's right to live without being attacked within its limits," he argued.

Cristina said that "peace in Middle East peace is a necessary and a fundamental issue to help achieve a safer world."

For his part, Peres said that in his meeting with his Argentina agreed to the "beginning of a new relationship in a new world."

"Do not talk about past relationships, but extend to the start of a new relationship in a new world," Peres said, noting that Argentina "is a cultural center of this great continent" and stressed the "historical and shared values" between the two nations .

"We must not forget the destruction of civilian buildings in Buenos Aires: the building of the AMIA bombing and the embassy, which had as victims and non-Jewish Jews," said Peres. In this context, he said that "it is important to develop nuclear weapons by Iran"

In addition, the Israeli president said he invited President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner to "participate in a conference on human rights" and said he has "shared values" with the president.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Celebration in Buenos Aires for the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Was held at the Avenida de Mayo 200 pieces of domino toppled painted by artists and students

The city of Buenos Aires today celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with a series of artistic events, as was done last Monday in front of the historic Brandenburg Gate.

Past 1630, were demolished 200 pieces of dominoes, 2.5 meters high, 1 meter wide and 40 inches deep. The pieces were built in styrofoam and covered with a canvas, over the past week were painted by artists and school students in Buenos Aires.

Simultaneous sang tenor Dario Volonte and later the audience enjoyed the spectacle in which tango was programmed and traditional German music.

The event, organized by the Ministry of Culture of Buenos Aires city government and the German Embassy, also served to celebrate the 15 years of brotherhood between Buenos Aires and Berlin under the slogan "Culture brings down walls."

The representation of dominoes used to "celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall, but also to become aware of the walls that remain down. It is a vision and why children chose to paint the pieces," said Minister Culture of Buenos Aires, Hernan Lombardi.

The domino effect is the Buenos Aires version of the show held in Berlin last week that, in this case took place outside the headquarters of the city cultural portfolio, at Avenida de Mayo 575.

Maradona is in Switzerland to testify to the FIFA

The coach made his rebuttal by outbursts against the press after the match against Uruguay, Argentina won the night qualifying.

After the friendly match with Spain, Diego Maradona was scheduled to fly to Zurich (Switzerland) to discharge to FIFA for his outburst against the press ( "now that the continued nursing, the you have inside," "the suck" and other rude phrases) after the game in which the selected classification managed to South Africa 2010 against Uruguay in Montevideo.

The coach has already sent a disclaimer letter in which he said had a "violent emotion". However, the tone and words were repeated just finished the game, after going through the locker room and on arrival in Buenos Aires, where since he noticed the bus was making gestures to journalists who were waiting for the delegation in Ezeiza.

Maradona will be accompanied by counsel for the AFA (Luis Steps) and Julio Grondona (son). At the press conference given by friendly, would not talk about it and just simply said that "tell you what I have to say when I have to testify."

Since it opened to the disciplinary-two days after the event in Uruguay to this time there was speculation various kinds of sanctions. Now it says it could be a minimum of five games, the access to the stadium ban and a fine of at least 13,000 euros.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Strength of Compassion

Conflict is an unavoidable part of our lives because our beliefs and modes of being often contrast powerfully with those of our loved ones, acquaintances, and associates. Yet for all the grief disagreements can cause, we can learn much from them. The manner in which we handle ourselves when confronted with anger or argument demonstrates our overall level of patience and the quality of our energetic states. To resolve conflict, no matter how exasperating the disagreement at hand, we should approach our adversary with an open heart laden with compassion. Judgments and blame must be cast aside and replaced with mutual respect. Conflict is frequently motivated by unspoken needs that are masked by confrontational attitudes or aggressive behavior. When we come at conflict with love and acceptance in our hearts, we empower ourselves to discover a means to attaining collective resolution.

The key to finding the wisdom concealed in conflict is to ask yourself why you clash with a particular person or situation. Your inner self or the universe may be trying to point you to a specific life lesson, so try to keep your ears and eyes open. Once you have explored the internal and external roots of your disagreement, make a conscious effort to release any anger or resentment you feel. As you do so, the energy between you and your adversary with change perceptibly, even if they are still operating from a more limited energy state. Consider that each of you likely has compelling reasons for thinking and feeling as you do, and accept that you have no power to change your adversary’s mind. This can help you approach your disagreement rationally, with a steady voice and a willingness to compromise.

If you listen thoughtfully and with an empathetic ear during conflict, you can transform clashes into opportunities to compromise. Examine your thoughts and feelings carefully. You may discover stubbornness within yourself that is causing resistance or that you are unwittingly feeding yourself negative messages about your adversary. As your part in disagreements becomes gradually more clear, each new conflict becomes another chance to further hone your empathy, compassion, and tolerance.

Source: DailyOM

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

LOLrio Kart

The LOLrioKart is a shopping cart pimped out with a motor and wheels that's rigged to go up to 45MPH. I'm quite sure there's life-changing brilliance coming from the great minds at MIT. This, on the other hand, is just showing off. I'd like to see someone try and stop this thing with a banana peel.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Defining Your Direction

Many people are committed to professions and personal endeavors they never consciously planned to pursue. They attribute the shape of their lives to circumstance, taking on roles they feel are tolerable. Each of us, however, has been blessed with a purpose. Your life’s work is the assemblage of activities that allows you to express your intelligence and creativity, live in accordance with your values, and experience the profound joy of simply being yourself. Unlike traditional work, which may demand more of you than you are willing to give, life’s work demands nothing but your intent and passion for that work. Yet no one is born with an understanding of the scope of their purpose. If you have drifted through life, you may feel directionless. Striving to discover your life’s work can help you realize your true potential and live a more authentic, driven life.

To make this discovery, you must consider your interests in the present and the passions that moved you in the past. You may have felt attracted to a certain discipline or profession throughout your young life only to have steered away from your aspirations upon reaching adulthood. Or you may be harboring an interest as of yet unexplored. Consider what calls to you and then narrow it down. If you want to work with your hands, ask yourself what work will allow you to do so. You may be able to refine your life’s work within the context of your current occupations. If you want to change the world, consider whether your skills and talents lend themselves to philanthropic work. Taking stock of your strengths, passions, beliefs, and values can help you refine your search for purpose if you don’t know where to begin. Additionally, in your daily meditation, ask the universe to clarify your life’s work by providing signs and be sure to pay attention.

Since life’s journey is one of evolution, you may need to redefine your direction on multiple occasions throughout your lifetime. For instance, being an amazing parent can be your life’s work strongly for 18 years, then perhaps you have different work to do. Your life’s work may not be something you are recognized or financially compensated for, such as parenting, a beloved hobby, or a variety of other activities typically deemed inconsequential. Your love for a pursuit, however, gives it meaning. You’ll know you have discovered your life’s work when you wake eager to face each day and you feel good about not only what you do but also who you are.

Bottom up 101: how to empty your inbox fast by learning from Google

Why does it take less time to find something on the web than on your hard drive?

It’s because the internet has no order, but we’d like to think we do. Guess again: using an orderly approach to storing and retrieving is similar to paying full price for airline tickets: it made sense twenty year ago but is a costly decision today.

Here’s how to file and find things in the next decade.

Bottom Up vs Top Down

Storage and retrieval ultimately fits into two methods: top down and bottom up. A top down approach is to come up with categories, and perhaps sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories…and then to place each item in exactly one place. For instance, my residency might be classified as United States:Maryland:Prince George’s County:College Park. From a legal perspective that’s the only place you’d find me today. This is how file cabinets and hard drives have been setup forever.

However, in a bottom up system, one places all items into just one bucket—that means all residents aren’t classified into countries, they just get adjectives (or tags). They have their name and their adjectives, some of which might conflict. For instance, I could be a resident of both DC and Maryland in a bottom up system, of both the United States and Spain.

In the physical world it would be impossible to find anything if it were all lined up next to one another, but with fast servers and intelligent algorithms, you can search for “Jared Goralnick” without having to narrow your search to any geographic criteria. This is helpful, because I identify first with DC, second with Baltimore, and not really at all with College Park. So if you met me you might have trouble looking me up in and old-fashioned (top-down) phonebook—you might never look in the College Park edition.

There are numerous reasons why bottom up storage and retrieval are better than top down approaches when it comes to digital information:

  • When filing something, there’s only one place to put it. Tags are optional. No choice means a heck of a lot less time filing
  • When retrieving something, it’s better to use a (very fast) search tool…rather than guessing the right folder to look in first
  • If an items relates to two projects, or is from an old friend but relates to business, etc…there are times when it’s tough to know where to file…or to retrieve it. In a bottom up system, you just archive it in one place and search for it later. End of story
  • With tagging, one can tie one item to many categories. So something can be tied to two projects without one having to copy it into both folders

Applying Bottom Up Approaches to Email

Not everything in the world of technology is ready for a flat, bottom-up architecture. But email is, at least if you use Gmail, Outlook 2007, or Postbox. I presume Mail is the same (feel free to verify in the comments). The fewer folders you have, the faster your filing and retrieval will be.

That is because these modern email clients/web email sites have full text search, the same technology that allows sites like Google to searching the web so quickly. With Outlook you can even search within the body of the attachments that are attached to your emails. And it’s all instant.

That being said, you may still want to have folders for broad categories, but if you do, I’d suggest that you ensure that you can see all the folders on the screen at the same time. That means that if you have more than a dozen you’d probably better rethink things. Try to have fewer than five.

You may be thinking that having fewer folders feels less organized. But in reality there’s less to deal with: fewer places to go, fewer places to look, and less time spent filing or retrieving.

Applying Bottom Up Approaches to the Rest of Your Technology

Data is becoming more bottom-up friendly every year. The search features in Windows have been pretty good since Vista, and get some helpful improvements in Windows 7. Same goes for Mac’s Finder—it gets faster in Snow Leopard.

For a long time you’ve probably paid attention to metadata (which is a fancy word for the tagging taking place inside a file) for your music collection—your artist, title, track, album, and other data have been associated with your music files. That trend is going to be carried through to everything over the next ten years.

So I’d suggest that you think seriously about it the next time you do some reorganization on your computer. We have more files than ever before (even if they’re online). So labeling and tagging will be more relevant. With photos, this is especially true. But all documents deserve better labels, not better folders.

As we’re surrounded by more and more data, bottom up filing and sophisticated searching will be the only approach for us. We need to start shifting our mindset and getting ready for it.

You can start now, with email.

Source: Technotheory

Monday, June 08, 2009

iPhone Rumor Round-up: Cheap iPhone, Shutter Button, the Return of Steve?

I wish it was Tuesday already. Because then the Apple WWDC Keynote would be over, and we'd know exactly how true the swirling iPhone rumors are. Today's crop consolidates what we've heard before, and adds a little sprinkling of Steve-ness.

Cheap iPhone

We heard the rumor before, but now the Financial Times has sources that say, "Apple plans to introduce a cheaper version of its popular iPhone as soon as Monday, in a move that could dramatically increase the company's share of the market for Web-surfing devices."

Different guesses are being made around the Web as to what price it will be pegged at--assuming it's real--but here's mine: $99, and 4GB of memory aboard. That's the magic price point. Any less, and you risk losing some of the iPhone's high-end cachet, any more and it's too close to the iPhone's current $199 price.

Leaked Pics: Camera Shutter Button?

iPhone Camera

More detailed images have surfaced than the ones we saw the other day, and there's a lot of consistency here: The black bezel and the bottom-mounted headphone socket being the two most prominent features.

But the new pics also hint at one more very interesting feature, a side-mounted button that's perfectly placed to act as a camera shutter release. If this turns out to be true, it's a brilliant move. The new iPhone's supposed to have a better 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera, and one of the main criticisms leveled against the old app was its tricky touch-screen shutter. Adding a physical button that is perfectly placed when the phone's held in landscape position would position the iPhone as even more of a multi-purpose device.

There's a mystery in the images too: A slot at the top of the phone's face. That tallies with earlier leaks from an iPhone parts manufacturer. But in the photo the existing speaker-grille slot is there too--is there some repurposing going on? Will the front-facing camera peep through one of these holes? Is it a boost to the iPhone's quiet loudspeaker mode? Is it just some Photoshop trickery?

iPhone Video

It Will Be Called iPhone Video

Leaked pics from what's reported as a pre-release tweak to AT&T's support Web site show a listing for "iPhone Video" among the devices in a drop-down menu. It's a tenuous, tenuous rumor, and it's pretty easy to fake such an image.

But, to be honest, it wouldn't surprise me at all. What else would Apple call it? iPhone is such an iconic name, and the 3G appendix was a logical extension. It can't be called the iPhone 3, since that's just too confusing. The company has shied away from naff-sounding names like Ultra in its other products, preferring to re-brand instead. Take the case of iBooks becoming MacBooks. And with many a rumor pointing to the souped-up camera, video-editing capabilities, and a front-facing Webcam, iPhone Video's looks like a good choice.

Mossberg's "Leaks"

Tech guru Walt Mossberg reviewed the Palm Pre the other day, and in it he made mention of the existing and future iPhones. The internets then went wild with speculation that Walt had inadvertently given away some information about the new device. Specifically, the phrases "I'd note that the new iPhone to be unveiled next week will have lots of added features," and "new iPhone hardware coming, likely available within a month."

Let's think about this: Walt is highly connected, may have a pre-release version to test, and almost certainly has excellent Apple contacts. But, like yourself, he also reads the Web, and picks up on the rumor vibe the same way. I doubt that he accidentally gave anything serious away, and all the things he said do tally with known rumors. Still, we hope Apple's not putting the screws on you, Uncle Mossy!

Steve Jobs at WWDC?

This is a persistent one: It's long been speculated that Steve would return from his medical leave of absence in time to present new devices next week. But Apple's denied it repeatedly, Phil Schiller is slated as keynote presenter, and any pre-WWDC planning would've eaten into Steve's recuperation in a bad way.

But there's a suggestion he'll return very soon--before the end of the month, in fact, which is only just over two weeks away. Apple marketing execs are apparently trying to match Steve's return to a "big" product launch press event, it's also said.

Put that together with what we already know, and you have to wonder: Will Jobs pop up at the end of the WWDC week--normally an anticlimactic time, press-wise--and surprise everyone with some dramatic news?

One more thing, indeed.

Vía: Fast Company

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Protesters rally for Million Marijuana March

Pro-marijuana activists gathered this afternoon in downtown Vancouver to enjoy some ganja and protest Canada's drug laws, which prohibit smoking the green stuff.

The group hopes to draw the attention of new Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff when it marches to the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre at 2 p.m. where the Liberal Party of Canada is meeting.

"I hope Michael Ignatieff pays attention to the polls," said event organizer Jacob Hunter, a pro-cannabis activist.

Hunter was referring to a recent Angus Reid poll that said 65 per cent of British Columbians support legalizing the Maui wowie to curb violence related to the drug trade.

Hunter said he expected about 2,000 people at the Vancouver Art Gallery and "a subdued amount of fun" as police monitor the gathering.

By noon about 300 pro pot citizens began gathering at the gallery, sitting on its steps exhaling plumes of marijuana smoke.

There were a number of signs being held that endorsed legalizing marijuana to curb gang violence.

Dave Douglas held a sign reading 'Tax Pot.'

"Why not make some money off it just like alcohol and tobacco. Funds can go to health care," Douglas said.

In support of marijuana were Green Party members handing out 'End Drug Prohibition' leaflets.

Giving the rally some colour was 'Herb' a larger-than -life marijuana leaf mascot.

"I'm out of the closet," Herb said while blasting his lungs with a joint.

The march is part of a worldwide event dubbed The Global Marijuana March. In Toronto tens of thousands of people have participated in recent years.

While Mexico passed a law this week allowing Mexicans to be in possession of small amounts of the herb, in Canada it is still illegal to be in possession of any amount of reefer.

"It's amazing this law still exists," Hunter said.

Also, "we're asking the Liberals to not support Bill C-15," Hunter said.

Bill C-15 is a new set of proposed laws governing criminal activity drafted by Stephen Harper's Conservative government. It would give people minimum sentences for trafficking weed.

Hunter said it could mean anyone caught growing just one dope plant could go to jail for at least six months.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Friday, April 10, 2009

6 Natural Tips for Deep Sleep

Would you like to sleep like a baby without taking drugs? Americans spend upwards of 3 billion dollars a year on sleep medications, but to avoid the side effects, there are a number of natural remedies you can try first. Read on to learn some of the ways to get a good quality night's sleep.

1. Relaxing Rituals to Rest Easy
In Chinese Medicine, nighttime is yin time—or, simply, when the body takes care of itself instead of your desires. Proper sleep is required for your body to repair itself and regenerate. To reach deep, restful sleep, your spirit and heart must be calm. Excessive worry, anxiety, and depression can all disturb the spirit and activate the mind—making it near impossible to fall asleep and stay asleep. Rituals to sooth your spirit and induce a sleep response before bed include soaking your feet in Epson salts for 15 minutes, writing all of your thoughts in a journal to get them out of your head, and practicing relaxation before bed, like the Stress Release meditation below.

2. When Food Disturbs Sleep
When you eat late, you wake up tired. Your body will be busy digesting your dinner while you are trying to sleep, so you won't feel rested in the morning. Do not eat anything for at least three hours before bedtime. Also, cut back on eating bacon, cheese, chocolate, ham, potatoes, tomatoes, and sausage, especially before bed. These foods contain tyramine, which inhibits neurochemicals like norepinephrine and can cause insomnia. And, of course if you have sleep problems, caffeine should be cut out.

Eat for sleep! Try eating more grains at dinner; carbohydrates tend to make people sleepy. Another snooze snack is a warm cup of milk; because milk is rich in the amino acid tryptophan, it can sometimes aid in deep sleep. Mix in natural vanilla flavoring for a soothing snack. Or if you prefer, eat 1 cup of natural yogurt an hour before bedtime.

3. A Peaceful Place for Sleep
Your sleeping environment makes a huge difference to the quality of your sleep. Do everything you can to create a quiet and cozy atmosphere. Ideally, your bedroom should be located in the quietest area of your home. Keep the décor minimal. Lighting should be dim and any music that is played should be soothing. Research has found that lavender, vanilla, and green apple are among the best scents to help lower anxiety and induce sleep, making these smells a good choice for a scented candle or heated essential oil. Try to limit your pets to outside of the bedroom because their movements will keep with your body from fully relaxing into deep R. E. M. sleep. As much as possible, your bedroom should be only for sleep.

4. Exercise Enables Sleep
People with regular exercise routines often sleep better and have fewer incidents of insomnia than those don't get regular physical activity. Exercise promotes sleep and improves sleep quality by altering brain chemistry. Exercising moderately for 20 to 30 minutes three times a day, combined with meditation or tai chi in the evening, will not only help you fall and stay asleep, but will also increase the amount of time you spend in R.E.M. sleep. In fact, for some people, exercise alone is enough to overcome sleep problems. Exercise in the morning or afternoon, but do not exercise for at least two hours before bed.

5. Herbs to Sleep Tight
A calming tea before bedtime can ensure a good night's sleep. Drink valerian or passionflower (or passiflora) tea before bedtime every night for one month. Simply steep 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dried herbs in one cup of hot water and drink just before bed. Or look for one with the traditional Chinese herbs zizyphus or jujube seed, bamboo shavings, and oyster shell, which soothe the mind and spirit.

You might also try Calm-Fort/Sleep formula with useful herbs like lily bulbs, polygala and turmeric that help manage stress and calm the spirit while relieving restlessness and insomnia.

6. A Sleep-Friendly Meditation
I had one patient with insomnia who also felt anxious and even a little depressed. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapies, I decided to teach her a stress release meditation that she could do before bedtime to help with her anxiety. I am happy to report that she is now sleeping like a baby.

Try this Stress Release meditation, which works for the majority of my patients who have sleeping problems:

Sit comfortably or lie down on your back. Slow your respiration to deep, abdominal breathing. Utter the word "calm" in your mind with every exhalation. Focus on relaxing each area of your body in sequence, from the top of your head to your toes. Starting with the top of your head, inhale and then exhale while visualizing your scalp muscles relaxing. Say "calm" in your mind. Repeat this with each body part as you move down through all body parts, front, back, and sides, in succession: your face, throat, chest, arms, stomach, abdomen, thighs, knees, legs, ankles, until finally you reach your feet. When you've relaxed your feet, visualize all the tension in your body leaving through your toes as dark smoke. Practice this for at least 15 minutes before bedtime.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Enjoyment Of The Imagination

A craving for fun can come upon you suddenly today, inspiring you to gather your friends and family about you for an afternoon or evening of entertainment. You may feel driven to articulate your originality by inventing playful new pastimes, thinking up fresh jokes, or imbuing the games you so loved in childhood with a grown-up twist. The beneficiaries of your creative interpretation of amusement may at first respond hesitantly to your suggestions but will likely soon find themselves caught up in the fun. If you plumb the depths of your imagination today, you will discover that you can think of many original ways to show your loved ones a good time.

Fun can be defined in many ways, which means that each of us is free to choose to take part in activities that we personally deem enjoyable. Many people subscribe to a narrow definition of entertainment蓉sually one that comes with a high cost in terms of money and time. Fun by its very nature is personal, however, because it is a product of our own creation. We are free to create entirely new ways of enjoying ourselves and share our creations with the people we care about. Our individual notions of fun will often be free as well as easy to incorporate into our daily lives without neglecting other elements of existence, as we can easily entertain our loved ones in mere moments with invented games and made-up jokes. Your originality and creativity will provide you with all you need to spread good cheer among your family and friends today.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The 5 Percent Trick: Finding Passion and Purpose in Life

This is a guest post from Albert of UrbanMonk.Net.

Have you ever sat down and thought, “What is my purpose in life? What is my passion? Where do I go from here?”

These are some of the most common questions we have all struggled with. And I am not in a position to answer it – all I can offer in this article is an opinion, slightly different from the typical response.

Are Your Goals Yours?

This statement is everywhere, and yet it is ignored so often that it bears repeating: Your purpose is your own. No one can cramp themselves into another person’s definition of happiness and success and, well, expect to be happy and successful.

The difficulties arise at this point, because of our natural reactions: “Of course I am pursuing my own passion!” But are we?

Where do our ideas of success come from? Our parents, or the media, perhaps. Maybe society in general. Be rich; be handsome; be beautiful; be famous. Are these really your goals? Where did they really come from? Can you be absolutely sure that these things will make you happy? I’m not saying yes or no, I’m just asking. It is possible that these things truly do make you happy.

The Internal Goal

But why do I mention happiness and success in the same breath? The true goal behind what we pursue is often internal – and most of the time, this internal goal is simply to be happy. If you don’t believe me, try something simple: Look at a current external goal you have, and then begin to trace it down.

For example: You want a new job. Ask yourself why. Perhaps a higher salary, or to get away from a nasty employer? What then? An easier work environment or more free time. What then? What will you have? And simply repeat this process until you can’t get any more answers. Almost always, you will find that what you are left with is an internal goal.

One of my favorite stories – you might have heard it before. There was a big city businessman who once went on holiday to a faraway beach. One day he walked past a local fisherman who was lazing around, with his fishing rod in the water, enjoying the sun and a beer.

The city man’s mind went to work immediately. The fishing spot was a gold mine, and a serious fishing business would thrive in the area. “Why are you so stupid?” he asked the fisherman. “Get some boats, hire some extra hands, and in a few years you will turn your little shop into a million-dollar business!”

The local man asked him. “And what would you do once you have a million dollars?”

The city man stared back blankly. “Why, I would have so much free time I could sit around in the sun all day and drink beer!”

Again, this idea might seem so basic that it doesn’t need repeating. And yet it is resisted by many people as a knee-jerk reaction. I remember a speaker at a seminar once, who simply stated that one can be happy even if they are financially poor. That statement was met with a lot of sarcastic comments from the audience. And yet is it really so hard to believe?

A basic level of material resources are needed, yes. But beyond that, it really makes no difference. So why do we resist it or even feel the urge to attack such a statement? What does it challenge inside us? If one honestly tries to answer these questions, the answers can be revealing.

Turning Our Goals Around

And then what? Once we see our internal goals, try one thing. Turn the goals around – achieve the internal goals first. And if, after that, you still want the external goal, you’ll find it that much easier.

Do any of these sound familiar? Once I have money, I’ll be independent. Once I find a lover, I will have higher self-esteem. Once my spouse quits drinking so much, I will be happy.

Does the opposite not seem more logical? Develop your self-esteem first, and potential lovers will find you more attractive. Grow your independence and you will find it easier to make money. And perhaps if you are happier, your mate will not see the need to drink as much.

This road becomes easier to tread when we realize that internal goals are always achievable if we put in the time and effort. External goals can be subject to limitations that cannot be overcome, no matter how hard we try. It would be almost impossible for a sickly fifty year old to become a professional boxer, for instance. But if the man’s true, internal, goal was to build confidence, it does not matter how frail or old he is – it is always possible.

For those who don’t have an external purpose in mind, try seeking out an internal goal. Look to become happier, for instance, and as you begin to take steps, you might find that an external goal begins to reveal itself.

The Impermanency of Purpose

This becomes more important when we realize outer purposes are ultimately impermanent. Our external purpose changes to reflect our inner. Purposes are not permanent. Nothing is. Stop looking for something to do for the rest of your life – it might be possible to find something that lasts forever; but most likely it will simply change in accordance with your internal state and needs.

When I was younger, I put all my energies and time into the sport of boxing, even sacrificing work and study opportunities for my obsession. Boxing was a strange choice for me, because I didn’t have much talent, and I was the quiet, introverted type. But when I think back to it now, it made complete sense – it was to fulfill an intense inner need. I had to become stronger, more confident. I needed a safe outlet for my anger and frustration. When I achieved those goals, my obsession with boxing just dropped away on its own.

Deeply realizing that goals are impermanent will also contribute to our inner peace. Here is one to stimulate thought – if you are seeking fulfillment through your external purpose, what happens when it comes to an end? It is certainly admirable to aim to be the best parent you can be, for example, but what will happen when one day your children become old enough to leave the house? When that happens, one can cling to the purpose, resist, and suffer. Or one can simply let it go, and continue in peace.

The Need for Action

Naturally, there is a time for planning and thinking, but there is also a time for action. Many people who are seeking or rethinking their life purpose stay stuck in the introspection. Maybe they do this to avoid taking risks, for fear of leaving their comfort zone, to avoid disapproval, or any other fear. And in doing so, they remain stuck in a rut.

Sometimes, the best way to find a purpose in life is to go out there and take action, even if we don’t know what we are doing!

My favorite tool at this stage is the 5% statement, created by Nathaniel Branden, who is widely considered to be the father of the self-esteem movement. It works by allowing you to take steps in small increments. Trying to change completely overnight, as some might suggest, often creates fear, uncertainty, and resistance.

A 5% statement is split into 2 halves. Examples would be:

If I were to be 5% more responsible today, I would ___________.
If I were to be 5% less lazy today, I would ___________.

The first part of the statement doesn’t have to change. But every morning when we wake up, we think of something that fills in blank, and then do it! As you can see, 5% is small and harmless enough to let us overcome our fears and procrastination. Being flexible enough to do different things everyday in pursuit of the same goal also keeps us from boredom and routine. Even better, it encourages us to think of new ideas to try (although we can simply do the same activity 5% more each time).

You can use this for anything you plan to do – begin a new exercise routine, reduce procrastination, improve your workflow, or even your personal relationships. And if 5% seems too little, don’t worry – it builds up rather beautifully.

Once momentum begins, sometimes the difficulty comes in stopping!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why the Hate on Internet Explorer 6?

A Great article of Chris Fullman

Over the past 2 days, the internet has been abuzz over Google’s long-rumored internet browser coming to light. Called Google Chrome (Beta!), the browser aims to significantly speed up browsing sessions and web applications using multiple threads (think of these as individual messengers instead of one very overwhelmed, underpaid messenger).

Of course, such talk immediately drew comments from developers and internet enthusiasts alike: the (second) web browser war is in full swing. Like the first war in the 90’s between Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, comparisons were being brought back into blog posts and Twitter/FriendFeed.

As I’ve noticed in the discussion, developers’ hate for one particular browser was obvious: Internet Explorer 6; and as I’ve noted in the past, very publicly I might add, I’m not a fan of such criticism.

Let’s face the facts: When Internet Explorer 6 was first launched, Windows XP was just getting ready to go on sale. The September 11 attacks hadn’t taken place yet and the world was vastly different. Microsoft was riding high off of polishing their lead in the browser (cold) war, and sadly decided to take a backseat in development for a bit. At the time, Internet Explorer was among Netscape and Opera, as well as the (then publicly perceived bloatware) Mozilla Suite. Simply
put, there weren’t many alternate options.

When Firefox came around, the first public beta hit the internet some 3 years later. Those 3 years, development-wise, is a very long time, giving any team ample time to check off items on a list of improvements, new features and competitive options Internet Explorer hadn’t introduced or resolved yet. When Firefox was fully launched, it had a large community of developers
behind it, and a grassroots marketing push to get it to be the de facto replacement for the aging Internet Explorer platform. Toe-to-toe, Firefox 1.0 was a very different internet browser than Internet Explorer, even if both were released at the same time.

I, as a developer, understand the frustrations most of us face when we have to continually support Internet Explorer 6. I, along with the rest of us, can’t wait until Internet Explorer 8 is released and being pushed out to the masses via pre-installation and update services. But
there is still something about Internet Explorer that allowed the internet to reach critical mass with the general population. Internet Explorer 6, as flawed as it is, gave much more flexibility to
developers and users alike, to experience new functionality and allowed a
number of groundbreaking web applications to reach a larger audience.

While I fully support the efforts like “Save the Developers” and the campaign to replace Internet Explorer 6 with IE 7 or even Firefox, I can’t hold Internet Explorer 6 on the same pedestal as Firefox 1.0. I certainly understand and appreciate the differences in features, standards support and overall community support between the two.

And while I wish things were different, I can’t hold the developers of Internet Explorer 6 at fault either. After all, most employees can only do what they’re told, especially when they have other goals and projects in the pipeline.

Internet Explorer 6 was even listed by PC World as being among the “25 Worst Tech Products of All Time.” Hindsight is a terrible scale to measure by, and in this case, hindsight unfortunately takes the spotlight in criticism against an internet browser.

So I ask again: looking at the facts, knowing that Internet Explorer 6 is now 7 years old and is somehow continually being compared to even modern-day browsers, why should Internet Explorer 6 get as much hate from the community as it does?

Budget Transparency To Come With Massive Political Price?

As was the case with many things the Bush administration touched, the federal budget was gamed in such a way to make the deficit problems look smaller than they actually were. But now Obama and his team are set to change that.

Only problem? The deficit is going to get a lot bigger.

How much?

Try $2.7 trillion.

From NY Times:

WASHINGTON — For his first annual budget next week, President Obama has banned four accounting gimmicks that President George W. Bush used to make deficit projections look smaller. The price of more honest bookkeeping: A budget that is $2.7 trillion deeper in the red over the next decade than it would otherwise appear, according to administration officials.

The new accounting involves spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Medicare reimbursements to physicians and the cost of disaster responses.

But the biggest adjustment will deal with revenues from the alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system enacted in 1969 to prevent the wealthy from using tax shelters to avoid paying any income tax.

No doubt there will be an initial backlash, but I’m hoping that folks will appreciate the increased transparency and realize once and for all how devastating the deception out of the Bush administration really was.

Here’s more…

Mr. Obama’s banishment of the gimmicks, which have been widely criticized, is in keeping with his promise to run a more transparent government.

Fiscal sleight of hand has long been a staple of federal budgets, giving rise to phrases like “rosy scenario” and “magic asterisks.”

The $2.7 trillion in additional deficit spending, Mr. Orszag said, is “a huge amount of money that would just be kind of a magic asterisk in previous budgets.”

“The president prefers to tell the truth,” he said, “rather than make the numbers look better by pretending.”

I think we just saw Orszag call Bush a liar.

Well deserved. Especially since Obama has to dig us out of an additional $2.7 trillion hole that wasn’t accounted for.