Quality questions create a quality life.
Successful people ask better questions,
and as a result, they get better answers.
I’m at Hershey Park today, so here’s just a quick something-something to keep you busy!
GreenAnswers is basically a wiki where members of the community answer green questions and post new ones of their own, racking up karma points for frequency and quality of their participation. Karma points can’t be traded in for cash, you just have good karma, I guess, which never hurt anybody.
I got really excited at first, my immediate question being “Is it better to buy my orange juice in recyclable plastic containers or non-recyclable wax-coated paper containers?” That question, sadly, does not appear to have been addressed. (Do you know the answer? It gets tricky when you factor in the amount of petroleum being used, etc.)
Other burning questions and answers are being posted all the time, like:
- Do animals sleep walk?
- How have oil prices been affected by the spill in the Gulf?
- How can we be sure stars are still forming when it takes so long from the light of those stars to reach our eyes?
- What is the most dangerous form of air pollution for human health?
- Do I need to do anything to my mason jars before I can in them?
- What percentage of the species in the world are found in our oceans?
- What is hydrofracking? (Not as interesting as the name implies.)
And, bonus!, GreenAnswers has partnered with Trees, Water & People to plant a tree in Central America every time someone joins the community. AND for every five questions they answer thereafter:
Since an average tree in a Central American rainforest has the capacity to offset approximately 1 ton of CO2 over its lifetime and an average person in North America emits between 10 – 20 tons of CO2 per year, planting just 20 trees can offset all of your greenhouse gas emissions for a year!
Fun, right? A huge time suck, because some of the questions are really interesting, and some you just want to see what people answered (“Is the earth an ecosystem?” “Why can’t we just ban hairspray? It’s not like we need it anyway.”)
I look forward to posting all my stumpers and seeing what I get back. Of course, the nature of the wiki is that it’s a peer community effort, not a panel of experts answering the questions, so I’ll still have to do some research to authenticate. But it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who wonders about the relative size of the wild dog to the gray wolf.
And even better to know that the time I’m wasting, when I should be doing things like dishes, is being spent usefully, planting trees in Central America.
And that’s no hydrofracking.
The more astute observer may be wondering why there is a photo of a penguin heading up this post. Well, I’ll tell ya. This has been bugging me all day.
That penguin is one of the many penguins at the Philadelphia Zoo. I call him Stanley. I call them ALL Stanley.
I go to the zoo once a month with the kids, and this is all I have seen the penguins do: stand around, looking cool and detached and vaguely bored.
So while many people who viewed this video of the very same penguins chasing a butterfly were filled with laughter and “awww”s, I felt vaguely affronted. All those hours spent coaxing them to look at the camera and calling them Stanley! And here they are being all cute and animated for some guy who probably doesn’t frequent the zoo more than, say, four times a year.
They better be pedaling unicycles and whistlin’ Dixie next time I’m there. I’m just sayin’. My feelings are way hurt.
Here they are, being all stinking cute. Enjoy your weekend!