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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Free Goodie Release 1/20/09 - Inaugural Edition

Hello all,

In honor of the inauguration, we’re putting up all new articles this week as what we modestly call our “Advice to Obama Collection”. Start your reading with Jim Kunstler and his Clusterfuck Nation entry “Does Mr. O Know?” An open letter from the author to Obama on the basics of the coming oil peak, and what the ramifications will be for America.

Move next to “A Radical Plan for Funding the New Deal”, by Ellen Brown, who tells us about the upside of nationalizing banks and having the US government take back the right to control the US money supply, as specified in the Constitution. Who controls it now? Read up!

And if you’re wondering what happens if we don’t take Ms. Brown’s radical suggestion, take a taste of F. William Engdahl’s subtly-named article “Federal Reserve Sets Stage for Weimar-Style Inflation”. A good many economists think it’s absurd to worry about inflation when deflation is the looming catastrophe du jour, but it just may be that the unexpected is around the corner.

We’ve also brought back “Farmer In Chief”, the New York Times article by Michael Pollan, and another open letter to Obama. Why this one? Because, when you think about it, what’s more important than food? (Hint: ask people who don’t have enough.)

Finally, skate your way through “A Green Agenda for Obama's First 100 Days”, which is a sampling of suggestions from many different experts. But if you want the Overshoot-based viewpoint we favor here at the Frog, you’ll have to read on down to Paul and Anne Ehrlich, who are always on the mark. All 5 articles await your perusal at

And when you’re done, make up your own mind about the number one priority for Barack, and cruise on over to to put in your suggestion, or raise up the profile of someone who’s there ahead of you.

Our Essential Book o’ the Week, Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle”, is tied in to the week’s FrogBlog Entry, “Planet Diesel” – check it out right below this entry or go click-lovers can go to Remember that each book has links to AbeBooks and Alibris, both great online sources for used books, as well as links to Amazon for those who want to buy new. See for yourself at!

As for our Essential Movie – it’s another short freebie – The Big Ask. We dare you not to have your heart touched by this one, and it’s got laughs too! It’s playing right now at

And as soon as you’re done, go to this link ( and get involved, because 2009 is the turning point, for better or worse. If the “men in suits” responsible for negotiating the Kyoto Protocol don’t come to an agreement this December on how to extend the process, then the carbon trading market in Europe will collapse and all their efforts will be for naught. This is why George W and Stephen Harper (with some help from the fallen John Howard in Australia) have been delaying the Kyoto process for 8 long years. Will you do nothing and let them succeed? Or will you click the link?

Our new Funny Web Short is called “Uncle Jay Wraps Up 2008” – loads of laughs, and you’ll end up feeling grateful that, whatever looms in 2009, at least we’re rid of 2008! Bring it on! Check it out at!

Lastly, we’ve got two Essential Links for the teen demographic this week, so you may have to forward this email on to the ones you know. For those in Canada, we’ve got the Youth Action Zone, and for those in the US, we’ve got The N network’s excellent “Guide To Green”. Click now at!

And – as always – be a Friend o’ the Frog and forward this link to at least one person who doesn’t know about HTBAF yet. Our stealth campaign to invade the minds of the innocent depends on you!


Jon & all his friends at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Planet Diesel

For several years, the worry about nanotechnology has been the Grey Goo scenario: some nanobot escapes the lab and, like the brooms in the Sorcerer's Apprentice, multiplies geometrically as it carries out its assigned task of turning X into Y, eventually transforming all life on Earth to grey goo before hitting its own self-destruct button.

Technology is the solution!

But the more immediate threat may come from "synthetic biologists" who are genetically engineering microbes that do things like eat sugar cane juice -- carbohydrates -- and secrete diesel. Two equally bad scenarios are a) that we use up the world's farmland creating microbe food to produce more diesel, and b) we create plentiful supplies of diesel that we then burn and destroy ourselves with global warming. But a third scenario, it seems to me, is that a single self-replicating microbe finds its way out into the environment and starts turning you, me and Fido into diesel, conveniently creating a refuelling stop for traveling aliens, but ending life as we know it.

10% discount for Vogons with our Frequent Hyperspace card!

This scientific frontier is being overseen by the new US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, but pushed by Craig Venter, who's busy making money out of mapping the human genome. Venter's quote at the end of the article above: “It’s infinitely scalable. We think the future will be very bright.” If that doesn't send a cold chill up your spine, it's time to re-read "Cat's Cradle" - Ice 9 was infinitely scalable too.

We're all Bokononists on this bus.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Old Year!

Due to budget cutbacks, 2009 won't actually be a new year, but will be a re-play of 1819. The role of 2010 will be played by 1933. Tricorn hats optional next year, then casual attire (with elbow patches) for the rest of the decade.

Unemployed, in debt and living in a rented shoebox. But ponytails are back!