Tuesday, June 20, 2006

It's a world indoor record

Thirty books on my reading list. This is unprecedented. I think when I hit twenty, I'm going to start adding books again, i.e., it will stay at twenty for a long time.

I just finished The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club, a quickie (har) that I bought a few years ago in the Coop, which is Harvard's bookstore. How ironic that I bought such a book at Harvard. It was during the Bridget Jones craze. The author, Laurie Notaro, is a humor columnist from Arizona; the book is a collection of her columns detailing various escapades and adventures as a single twenty-something. I would have related to her much more back when I bought the book (right after Matthew, just before Mark), but it was still laugh-out-loud funny in places.

I also finished The Tipping Point, which was actually really interesting. His theory about how ideas circulate among people made perfect sense to me. There are certain people who play roles in how information is passed around. You know those people who know EVERYONE, who always hear everything first? That's one kind. There was a lot of theory about the nature versus nurture debate, and how the context of what we hear completely changes how we process the information. Even without the theory, it was just interesting to read about Gladwell's many examples--he explains various psychology studies and cases of a business or an idea that "took off." Everything from Sesame Street to bestselling novels.

We drove down to Clarksville this weekend, hung out with Meredith, and saw An Inconvenient Truth. Yes, the Al Gore movie. =) It was actually pretty gripping, I thought. It's hard to deny what this man is saying; he has so much evidence. It's like it's out of a science fiction novel: the world will end if we don't do something. It won't end (not right away), but Gore claims that in another ten years, if things go as they have been going in terms of global warming, the earth's climate will reach a tipping point (see how things in my life mysteriously match up? creepy!) and we will no longer be able to reverse the damage. What's so unreal about it is that it's actually not too late. If the human race can unite to solve this problem, amazing things could happen. Although every person can take steps to help solve the problem of emissions, Gore's thesis plainly implied that a legislative solution was the main solution. I certainly don't blame him for being a little bitter. It's interesting and completely useless to wonder how things would be different if Gore had been elected.

Anyways, the documentary really got to me. I checked out climatecrisis.net. I ordered the book from Amazon (and also a book of photographs called Earth from Above--because I obviously need more books). Especially helpful on the web site is the list of things ordinary people can do to cut emissions, which is longer than I thought it would be. Refreshingly, I already do many of those things, like turn everything off and unplug it when I'm not using it, but I found some new ideas. The nice thing is, curbing emissions will also cut electricity costs, which is helpful for the motivation. I did decide to do one thing new that's going to be pretty hard for me--taking short, colder showers. One major vice of mine has always been taking long, luxuriously hot showers...usually until the hot water runs out or someone starts yelling at me. My only defense is that I don't take this for granted. It will be a challenge. But who knows...I might be saving the world. Heating water takes a lot of energy.

Anyways, as Malcolm Gladwell would say, I dearly hope the idea of conserving energy and curbing emissions will reach a tipping point before our home does. I do highly recommend the movie, even though it's depressing and downright chilling in places.

P.S. My mom gave me four more books to borrow. Why does this always happen to me?
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