OK, so the whole post-a-week thing hasn’t quite gone according to plan. (Or, the whole post-a-week thing has gone exactly according to plan, except for three missing weeks.) I’m sure I’ll post something later on that’s a bit fuller, but here are some random things for now:

My Mom lent me her (library) copy of Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. My sister has already read the book, so I probably will also—I’m not sure how I feel about doing so. I was appalled by the excerpt of the book that ran in the Wall Street Journal. Even though it was purportedly not an actual excerpt but more of a piecing-together of entirely disparate parts of the book, the little I’ve heard since hasn’t really reassured me. And the excerpt stirred up some uncomfortable emotional memories. We’ll see.

If you work in a building that is going to “go green” by installing waterless urinals, I’d strongly urge you to get the powers-that-be to reconsider or else make sure that they’ve thought about and planned for the possible consequences. I came across an article in Wired magazine about waterless urinals and the problems that can arise with them. The problems described in the second half of the article have all happened at my university. Whatever money has been saved through reduced water use has been spent in plumber calls and replacing pipes. In the building I work in, we’ve had to replace the pipes from the urinals twice in two years—once replacing cast iron with PVC and the second time replacing the PVC with PVC rated to handle chemical waste. Since the university won’t be snaking out the urinal on a monthly basis, I’m betting the new PVC won’t last more than two years before it gets blocked.We also had to replace the under-floor in a second-floor restroom because it deteriorated due to the leaks from the corroding pipe. Waterless urinals are a bad idea.

Women, don’t feel left out. Waterless toilets don’t exist in modern buildings, but you too can “go green” by installing dual-flush toilets. Don’t do this! The problem with these, according to the plumbers who replaced the urinal pipes in our building, is that they get blocked much more easily than traditional, single-flush toilets. Why? To put it delicately, the #1 (low-water) flush is mistakenly used instead of the #2 (normal) flush. This results in non-liquid wastes getting stuck in the toilet’s trap.

On a better note, I really enjoyed this thought-provoking blog post from America magazine about Lady Gaga. Put simply, although she is not preaching an explicit Christian message, does she in fact proclaim the message of unconditional love and acceptance better than the Church does (if the Church can be said to do so at all)? The two greatest commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Does Lady Gaga help and call people to live these out better than the Church does so? I’d say yes. (Important note: while the blog post is great, almost all of the comments to it are shit.)

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