Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dear Readers

I'm going on vacation. I'm going camping. I'm going into the woods. Sans computer. I'll be back in early July.

- GM

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dyson: Cleaning up the road

This car is gonna suck. And that's a good thing.

Dyson, the company with the spokesman with the heavy accent, says it's developing a solar-powered car.

The car will rely on the same type of electronic motors that make Dyson vacuums and hair dryers (they make hair dryers?) so awesome. Honda may help.

There's concern the sun won't shine enough in Britian to make the cars practical. Michigan looks bright enough.

I can see the ad campaign now: A clean car from a cleaning component company. Cool.

Will the car come in colors other than yellow? And what kind of sound system will it have?

"King of the Road" seems appropriate.

Or maybe, "I could have been a dreamer ..."

- Green Mullet

Dyson Plans Solar Powered Car : Gas 2.0

Dee Snider and Stephen Pearcy go R N R

Round and Round. Told you I would bring you coverage of the Ratt/Dee Snider/Jackyl concert. Completely unrelated to environmental issues ...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gas prices may kill rock 'n' roll

"You can't kill rock 'n' roll. It's here to stay ..."

Ozzy sang it way back when. He was talking about making good music against the odds. He must not have foreseen $4-a-gallon gas prices.

CNN, via AP,
reports that high petro prices are hurting indie bands, the up and comers. The classic rockers of the future are cutting back on tours, sharing vehicles.

This is bad news for the future of music. (I'm watching 'Nashville Star' right now, and everyone is off key. So much for mainstream, well-funded noise).

Is anyone taking up a collection? Live Aid for Live Bands?

What would have happened if bands like, let's say, Black Sabbath, had to stop touring due to gas prices?

No Paranoid. No Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. would be unemployed.

What about Motley Crue? There would be four more people in U.S. prisons.

Maybe there will be a run of new songs about high gas prices.

Gas prices thwart indie band tours -

Sell your (car's) soul

"C'mon and take a free ride ..."

Uh huh. I was looking for "free gas" on the Internet last night. Nothing on TV. Kids asleep. No more RSS feeds to read.

And I came across some Web sites offering money and/or free gas for making your vehicle into a roaming billboard.

Just when I thought it was all BS, comes a story on CNN about it.

"We're at a watershed time of how people go to work," said John Challenger, the chief executive officer of global outplacement company Challenger, Gray and Christmas. "Maybe the gas crisis will be the real trigger."

Which makes me wonder: How far would you go to get free gas? What company's logo would you be willing to "wrap" your car with to laugh at the gas man?

Me? Altoids. I love those things.

- GM.

$500 a month, free gas to drive a billboard -

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Thanks Saudi princes!

Can we kiss your ring? Or do whatever is proper over there? Seriously, I hate paying $4 for a gallon of gas.

CNN reports that Saudi Arabia (our oil friend, for now) has increased its daily production by 700,000 barrels.

I could use some of that. So gas will go to, what, $3.95 a gallon now?

Isn't it great being a slave to oil? Sam Bodman, our man in D.C., says supply hasn't kept pace with demand. President Bush says America's reliance on oil will continue "in the short run."

Have you heard the new Big Oil advertising blitz? We should be excited about the record profits they're raking in, because most mutual funds include substantial oil investments.

Got a 401K? You're Big Oil, too. Just don't drop by at our mansions.

- GM.

Saudi will increase oil output to cut prices -

Friday, June 20, 2008

Renewables to Power National Political Conventions

This is almost too easy.

Couldn't they just power the conventions with hot air?

It's good to see both major parties embrace green energy. Now all they need to do is embrace green energy policy, promoting wind, solar, biomass and a national renewable portfolio standard.

Apparently, Obama is better on the environment than McCain. Democrats usually are, but you can make a case that both are lacking.

Notice that the release doesn't say they'll be using less energy. No mention of those twirly bulbs or anything. Just offsetting their 3,000 megawatt-hours of energy use with green credits, I would say.

Three thousand megawatt hours. How much is that? Enough juice to power about 100 homes for a year.

Rage Against the Machine may crash the conventions, by the way.

- GM

Green Power Network: News: "Renewables to Power National Political Conventions"

George Lucas debuts sailboat

Not really.

But doesn't it look like an X-Wing Fighter?

Popular Science (which I love, and I subscribe to because my daughter sells subscriptions through her school) has a story about a sun-powered sailboat.

Hmm. I thought sailboats were wind-powered. Isn't that Earth-friendly enough? I guess the yachting class uses mean-old (usually diesel) engines to get their boats out into the open blue. Makes sense.

This boat is the alternative to that (hopefully not as lame as some alternative rock: Hello Radiohead).

The name of the boat is (in a deep voice) Volitan.

Volitan, master of the wind, miser of the gas, savior of the Rebel Force.

The sails capture the wind and the sun, and a computer switches over to two 200-horsepower electric motors when the breezes stop blowing.

I don't like Bob Dylan enough to reference his song here, sorry. Teen of the 80s.

- GM.

The Sun-Powered Sailboat | Popular Science

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Metallica goes corporate (again)

I can't believe this.

There's a company out there called Metallica Resources. What a cool name (based on old, pre Black album Metallica).

They don't do much that's environmental, per se. They're a Canadian gold and silver producer.

Hope Lars doesn't try to sue them. Remember Napster?

Anyway, there's a concert in my hometown this weekend. Dee Snider and Ratt and Jackyl (with a Y) are playing. I'll report on the environmental angles later. (Yeah right. Maybe they'll be recycling 32 oz. beer cups).

- GM

Shareholders of Metallica Resources, New Gold and Peak Gold Approve US$1.6 Billion Business Combination

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Governor sings "Runnin' on Empty"

Yes yes yes. This is right on my wavelength.

Mich. Guv. Jennifer Granholm rocks. She says the state should look at letting employees work alternative schedules in the era of $4-a-gallon gas.

Why not? Great idea. Saves gas. Lets people spend less time chained to a desk.

She proposes longer work days, shorter work weeks. I would take it one step further: Telecommuting.

There's no reason, in many cases, that people should have to drive to work, sit at a desk, keep a chair warm in a building that has to be heated, cooled, cleaned, insured, etc.

I have all I need at my fingertips, thanks to something called "The Internet." And something else called "The phone." If, during a day of telecommuting, I have to go somewhere, I can drive there.

Sure, it won't work for doctors and police officers, but for lots of people, it's a great idea. At least some days a week.

Why not?! Probably because employers don't trust us.

Trust me: Most people can get their daily job done in a lot shorter than an 8-hour work day. But they have to take 8 hours to do it, so they do.

Everybody's working for the weekend.

- GM.

Granholm: State can do more to cut commuting costs | | Detroit Free Press

Next: Gas from Wal-Mart

Or China, if you prefer.

The Chinese already make everything under the sun. Look around Wal-Mart.

Remember Loudness?
"Rock 'N' Roll Crazy Night!"
(Japanese, however)

The country (China) is now venturing into the controversial (in the U.S.) technology (if you can call it that) of turning good ol' coal into good ol' gasoline.

Vroom vroom. Get on your bad motor scooter and ride!

Some in Congress have pushed for similar initiatives in the U.S. We have plenty of coal. We're the Middle East of coal, fer God sakes.

Why not? How much worse is making liquid coal compared to burning pulverized coal for electricity?

Oh, much worse
. Damn.

ENN: China builds plant to turn coal into barrels of oil

Radar Gun, Radar Gun

Now they got ya.

A little Atlanta, Ga., suburb has enacted a $12 fuel surcharge on speeding tickets. That's to cover (doughnuts) the extra costs for pursuing speeders with $4-a-gallon gas.

It's supposed to rake in up $26,00 a year.

"I was hearing that Delta (Air Lines), pizza deliverers, florists were adding fuel charges to their services, and I thought, why not police departments?" the police chief says.

Hope no other cities read about this. Shhh.

Going slower, by the way, will up your gas mileage. Just don't turn up the Sammy too loud.

Speeders to pay extra for police fuel -

Do oil and water mix?

As Pantera would say, "Drag the waters some more!" (But I'm pretty sure they weren't talking about oil exploration).

Bush is. He's asking Congress today (Wednesday, June 18, '08) to lift the ban on offshore drilling. McCain has issued the same call. Can't imagine Obama (Gore) doing the same.

Pretty savvy idea, if you ask me. Sure, drilling would harm water, wildlife and wetlands, but gas is $4 a gallon. And crude oil prices are sky high. It's a popular time to be drilling anywhere and everywhere for oil.

Just recently, Michigan papers wrote about oil drilling in the state. No protestors in the stories.

At least a Bush spokesman says it will be "safe, environmentally friendly offshore oil drilling." Kinda like safe cigarettes.

The problem is, our economy and our way of life in America is built on oil and the internal combustion engine. We're screwed for the time being. Do you know how many things are made from crude oil? (Ever heard of plastic?)

Other countries want a standard of living like ours. They're demanding more oil. We can move to hybrids and alternative fuels and invoke higher mpg requirements, but that will take time.

What do we do in the meantime? Especially in states like Michigan where mass transit is like a train that runs on soda pop (mostly imaginary)?

Will offshore drilling reduce prices at the gas pump? How much are you willing to pay to keep gas down, environmentally and economically?

There's potential out there:

"The Interior Department offered a wide range of estimates of how much oil might be within reach of U.S. offshore drilling in a 2006 report. It estimated that the Outer Continental Shelf could hold 115.4 billion barrels. However, it also estimated that recoverable reserves off U.S. coasts in areas now banned from production probably hold only about 19 billion barrels."

Bush to ask Congress to clear way for offshore oil drilling -

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Crazy Brain

"Crazy, but that's how it goes ... "

Another day, another Ozzy reference.

Psychologists say commuting can drive you crazy, according to the L.A. Times.

They call it traffic anxiety. Too much time between bumpers can make you feel out of control and worthless:

"Some people say, 'Great, I can kick back and listen to some music,' " Nathan said, but others feel like life is passing them by.

I don't agree with this guy. If you can get some time alone to listen to music, that can be satisfying.

Pick up some 80s Hair Metal that you forgot about, or some album you've been meaning to (re)listen to.

I suggest any Motley Crue (with Vince, obviously). Can't wait to sit in traffic and listen to the new one.

It doesn't have to be old (even though 80s metal is superior to most all of today's music).

The Killers is a good choice for newer stuff. Iron Maiden is still around. Didn't like the new Judas Priest, though.

- GM

The Road to Recovery | Grist | News | 09 Jun 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dirtbags, unite!

This blogger has a really good point.

Don't be green just because it's trendy. Green living shouldn't be only for the elite (then why do hybrids cost so much?!).

Rock is the career path for a lot of dirtbags. They were poor and angry and loud. And they got things done. And they cleaned themselves up and brought in the green.

Damn, how prophetic.

And this is just funny.

Forget “Going Green” and Choose Your Own Brand of Sustainability : Brazen Careerist

Gore endorses Obama

Here come the politicians. Gore is endorsing Obama, now that Hillary has dropped out.

While I hope to see Gore in Obama's cabinet, I dread the wave of "I'm So Rock 'N' Roll" references to follow from the Obama and McCain campaigns. Chuck Berry also has given the nod to Barack.

Remember when Bill Clinton played the sax on Arsenio? That was like Angus doing a strip tease (not really).

Then there was (lame!) John Kerry on bass.

Gore is so cool for the awareness he's brought to global warming (pun intended), he doesn't even need an instrument. Just put a mike in his hand. He's the World's Rock Star (sorry Bono).
I almost forgive him for being married to Tipper.

Gore has done a lot of good outside the White House.

"Fight the good fight, every moment ..."

On one hand, I think he would be great as VP or Secretary of Energy.

On the other hand, I'd hate to see him have to bend and weave and compromise for political sake.

Gore to appear with Obama tonight at Detroit rally | | Detroit Free Press

Rockers to go unplugged?

They call it Dark Earth Hour.

No, it's not a really cool, really short Death Metal festival.

The Green Party O' Michigan (sounds Irish) is asking folks to unplug for one hour, from 9-10 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

How horrific. Rock 'N' Roll requires electricity.

Seriously, (still) I thought the first-annual Earth Hour last year was a crock. One hour without power. Ooooh. What a sacrifice!

What we need to do is concentrate, every day, on promoting energy efficiency and new technology and new power sources, like wind and solar (even nuclear, not a misprint) to meet our energy needs.

In the meantime, here's a recipe for a solar amplifier. Better than going acoustic, unless you're talking about the fine volumes of VH1's Metal Mania Stripped. Definitely worth checking out.

- GM

In the Naked City ...

"In the naked city (in the city) it's a race with the devil (naked city)"

That's from KISS. And you can kiss this: Naked people on bikes, pedaling for climate change.

Hell yeah. Depending on how environmentally friendly they look on bike seats, if you know what I mean.

" Duncan Blinkhorn, who helped co-ordinate (the event), said it had been a "massive success". "

Maybe some more Googling will be worth some Oggling. The website looks promising.

All the BBC pics are from the back.

BBC NEWS | UK | England | Sussex | Naked riders take to city streets

Get rid of ants, the natural way

Whatever way that is. Musically, I prefer Poison to natural products (like the Polyphonic Spree).

Picked up this entry from Yahoo! Green. Seems like I'm going to them a lot these days. What about a Google! Green (call me)?

In the Yahoo! entry, a person asks the best way to get rid of ants using natural products.
There are a couple of rude, but effective, answers: Step on them, get an anteater.

Once, I had the same problem and tried a natural ant product, scared that a poison-based one would hurt my little daughters. It seemed to work well.

I bought it
at ACO Hardware (which has a website as sloppy as a Vinnie Vincent guitar solo).

On a side note, it turns out insects are pretty heavy metal. Check out this Bird Nature thing from June 1900:

The peculiar sounds made by different insects, though usually known as insect music, are probably far from musical in the opinions of those who listen to it with dread. Many superstitious people have firm belief in dire warnings concerning certain calamities which "insect music" portends.

For instance we are told that the "deathwatch" is a popular name applied to certain beetles which bore into the walls and floors of old houses. They make a ticking sound by standing on their hind legs and knocking their heads against the wood quickly and forcibly. Many superstitions have been entertained respecting the noise produced by these insects, which is sometimes imagined to be a warning of death."

Rock on.

- GM

Do you know of a natural way to drive ants out of a home?

Ethanol is keeping gas prices down

$4-a-gallon gas hurts, but it would hurt even more without "evil ethanol."

Sure, corn-based ethanol is helping increase food prices, and giving farmers another market for their corn, but keeping old-fashioned gas prices down?

That's what folks at the Renewable Fuels Assoc. (and elsewhere) say.

"According to experts at Merrill Lynch and elsewhere, ethanol is helping to keep gasoline prices and oil prices 15-27% lower than they otherwise would be."


"According to recent analysis, the use of ethanol in America’s gasoline market is saving the average household up to $510 per year."

Which makes me wonder: Does the (used to be cooler) band Korn (with a K) endorse ethanol?

Sort of. They announced last year that they were touring green, with buses full o' biodiesel. They were standing in front of rows of corn at the time.

The band was supposed to come out with its own recipe for Korntastic fuel.

But a link to the Web site is dead. Kind of like nu metal.

- GM

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Aye aye aye

"All aboard!!!"

You'd be crazy not to take the train, say the folks at Yahoo! Green (exclamation point).

The search engine sages say there are nine benefits of riding the rails.

On the list: Reclining seats, plugs, legroom AND cheese danishes.

Nine unexpected benefits of trains : Yahoo! Green

Slate pans 'Planet Green'

Let's admit it. It's hip to be green these days. Back in the 1980s, they would have said it was "awesome" to be green. Kids probably don't even say "hip" anymore.

Slate, the really hip Internet mag, doesn't like Planet Green, the new 24-hour eco network from the (call me) folks at Discovery Network.

The Slate folks are pretty hard on PG. What's wrong with a round-the-clock enviro channel? Heck, they tapped super drummer Tommy Lee for a show. What more could you ask for? (Try not to think about Rockstar: Supernova, please).

Haven't watched it myself. But I'll take Slate's opinion with a grain of salt. They're owned by The Washington Post.

The dreadful Planet Green network. - By Troy Patterson - Slate Magazine

Saturday, June 14, 2008


What the Hell is this?

This is GreenMullet.COM. The first Rock N' Roll Environmental Blog from the Heart of the Great Lakes state.

Put up your right hand. That's what Michigan looks like.

Now fold down your two middle fingers. That's better.

Stay tuned for more, as soon as I fish out the notes from my truck.

- GM