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Ovation: Turning Down $2.5 Billion To Save Some Penguins.

Whenever we go to an aquarium that has a penguin exhibit, we tend to spend more time looking at the birds than at the fish. We always get a kick out of them because they each seem to have a unique personality. Plus, they’re just so darned cute!

The endangered Humboldt penguins can rest a bit easier this week know that the Chilean government has turned down a $2.5 billion mining project in favor of their conservation.

The original project proposal was for an iron mining initiative launched by the Andes Iron firm in the Coquimbo region. The region is dangerously close to the National Humboldt Penguin Reserve … a collection of islands that house and protect the Humboldt penguin, along with several other endangered species.

If Chilean representatives had accepted the proposal, the firm would have begun extracting millions of tons of metal from the earth, as well as building a seaport for the metal’s exportation.

Since conservationists warned that the projects could potentially harm the penguins, the Chilean government refused.

“The compensation measures were insufficient and could not guarantee the protection of species of concern. We are not against economic development or projects that are necessary for the country’s growth, but they must offer adequate solutions for the impact they will have.” – Environmental Minister Marcelo Mena told the Associated Press.

It would be interesting to know if the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency would have done the same. That’s an awful lot of money.

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Diatribe: Flushing Matters.

The toilets in my office building are motion-activated and designed to automatically flush when their sensors detect someone standing up after doing their business. They waste an incredible amount of water but they certainly keep the restrooms clean. Often a commode will flush as you approach it, again, when you stand, if you turn to adjust your clothes, etc. Sometimes they’ll flush four times.

I think it’s sad that this technology exists simply because people are too lazy, inconsiderate or straight-up gross to flush toilets when they’re finished using them.

Andrew David Jensen (pictured) should take notes.

Jensen was accused of burgling a southern California home last October. Last month, Jenson, 42, was arrested after police in Thousand Oaks, California, used DNA found in an unflushed toilet to identify him.

Detectives found some fecal matter in a toilet at the crime scene and had it tested for DNA. The sample was sent to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Forensic Services Bureau for processing before being submitted to the Combined DNA Information System to see if there was a match with a known suspect.

“Most people don’t assume or don’t know that DNA can be obtained by other things besides hair and saliva. We look for any type of evidence that might be left behind. Whether it’s a smoked cigarette or a can that may be left behind, we will analyze it.” – Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Detective Tim Lohman

Police got a DNA match on July 25 for Jensen, who they tracked down to his home in nearby Ventura where he was arrested three days later on suspicion of first-degree residential burglary, a felony, according to the Associated Press. His bail was set at $180,000.

The moral of this story appears to be DON’T FORGET TO FLUSH ON-THE-JOB or FLUSHING MATTERS.

Perhaps the toilet technology in my office building is ahead of its time.

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Ovation: Karma Tips.

I detest “butt flickers”. I was a smoker for many years and, during that time, I was as guilty as the next smoker when it came to tossing a cigarette butt out of the window of my car or smashing it underfoot on a sidewalk. Like most smokers, I didn’t give a second thought to the harm that I was doing to the environment.

The filters in most cigarettes (80% of all cigarettes have them) are made of cellulose acetate, a form of plastic that is very slow to degrade in the environment. A typical cigarette butt can take anywhere from eighteen months to ten years to decompose, depending on conditions.

While smoking rates are on the decline in some countries, cigarette smoking remains an addictive habit, and a hugely profitable business worldwide. The filthy obsession probably won’t come to an end any time soon.

Karma Tips are biodegradable filter tips that plant seeds instead of creating litter. Created by ex-advertising representatives Chetana and Ved Roy of Bengaluru, India, the company is trying to minimize the negative environmental effects of smoking.

These cigarette tips are the only filter tip that, when thrown away, re-grows into grass. The paper is 100% organic and contains a highly potent seed called Kikuyu Grass, an East African grass that thrives in parts of the Sahara. It’s one of the most drought-hardy plants known to man and can survive and thrive on ambient air moisture alone. Seeds have been embedded into the organic filter tip so, once finished smoking, the tip is simply thrown away and the weeds will then begin to sprout.

In addition to being better for the environment, the filters are healthier for the smoker because they are not exposed to the chemical-infused paper used by larger tobacco companies.

Certainly, smoking will never be “better for you” than not smoking. And butt flickers will continue to endanger us all every time they toss a burning cigarette into dry grass along a highway, but Karma Tips appear to be a step in the right direction.

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Diatribe: Trendy Shrimp Discounts Based On Bra Size.

While I’ve never really been a coupon clipper, I do enjoy a bargain and I’ve learned that there’s no shame in asking for a discount. Many businesses offer various discounts to their customers to encourage repeat business. Most, however, do so fairly and equally so as not to inadvertently exclude any customers or potential customers.

Fairness is clearly not a concern for management at Trendy Shrimp, a restaurant in China’s Zhejiang province where, this month, a controversial promotion offering discounts to women based on the size of their bra!

Located in a mall in the city of Hangzhou, Trendy Shrimp advertised the peculiar discount on a poster placed outside the restaurant last week. The poster says “The whole city is looking for BREASTS” and features an accompanying cartoon image of female characters with varying breast sizes and a table showing how much of a discount a woman would get based on her bra size.

Women who wear A-cup bras were offered a 5 percent discount, while G-cup wearers could get a 65 percent price cut!

According to the poster, women of all bra sizes would get some kind of discount at the eatery — though the percentage varied significantly. Women who wear A-cup bras would get a 5 percent discount, while G-cup wearers would get a 65 percent discount. (In China, discounts are expressed differently than in the U.S. The lower the number, the better the deal.)

Locals call the provocative price cuts “discriminatory” and “vulgar”. I completely agree! And I’ll add “sexist” and “gross”. While the poster was removed after just a few days, the restaurant’s general manager, defended the offer insisting that customers had responded positively to it.

“Once the promotion started, customer numbers rose by about twenty percent. Some of the girls we met were very proud … they had nothing to hide.” – Lan Shanggang, General Manager

What makes someone think this is ok? The whole concept gives me the creeps. What kind of pervert pays via shrimp discount to ogle a woman’s breasts?! And what will they think of next?!

On the other hand … “sixty-five percent off” is one heck of a discount if you can get it.

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Ovation: I Would’ve Cried At Brittany Yost’s Wedding.

I cry at weddings. All weddings. Every single ceremony that I’ve attended has resulted in tears. I’ve cried at the weddings of strangers. Heck, I cried when Temperance and Agent Booth got married on BONES! And I cried when I read about Brittany Yost’s recent ceremony.

Like many young girls, Brittany grew up dreaming of her wedding day and she wanted nothing more than for her grandfather, Reverend Ronald Adkins (also known as “PawPaw”) to officiate her vows. When he passed away last spring, her hopes were shattered.

But her family wouldn’t let PawPaw miss her special day. Using audio from her sister Summer’s wedding two years ago they were able to surprise Brittany on her big day.

As the Crab Orchard, West Virginian ceremony neared it’s close, the presiding pastor asked Brittany, 23, and her husband Jordan, 30, to bow their heads in prayer. That’s when PawPaw’s voice came through the speaker system.

“It took me by complete surprise. It was amazing. It was a moment I’ll cherish forever … even though this wasn’t how I originally wanted it, it was a blessing. It was so special for my whole family. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” – Brittany Yost

Yep … I cried when I heard this story. More than once. Such a beautiful bride … such a beautiful moment … such a beautiful memory.

Do YOU cry at weddings?

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Diatribe: Used Sponges Are Gross.

Many years ago, my family determined that using a “shammy” in the kitchen instead of a sponge or a dish rag was THE way to go. We discovered our first shammy at a flea market while we were on vacation. It was enormous … about 36”x36” … so we cut it into four smaller pieces and washed dishes like mad.

We quickly learned that used shammies have an odor all their own. Used shammies are gross.

Apparently, sponges are even worse. According to a recently published study from Scientific Reports, researchers have determined that sponges are the “biggest reservoirs of active bacteria” in your household, making them even more germy than a toilet.

The study went on to say that while sanitizing sponges by boiling or microwaving them does reduce the bacterial load, regularly sanitized sponges really don’t contain less bacteria than uncleaned ones.

It seems that resistant bacteria survive any sanitation process and quickly hide in the many niches and crevice’s on a sponge’s surface and quickly reach a similar abundance as before the treatment.

Used sponges are gross.

We don’t use shammies or sponges at our house. We use a brush. We replace it periodically and store it in the top rack of our dishwasher so that it gets cleaned every time we do dishes. It’s probably covered in its own special germs but it never smells so it’s easy to pretend that it’s clean.

If you use sponges, simply replace them once each week or, alternatively, use something non-porous like a silicone scrubber to do your dishes.

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Copyright © 2017 www.DiatribesAndOvations.com

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