I confess…I’ve been watching the TV reality show “Survivor” from the get-go. There have been some shameful returning contestants and questionable editing, but one thing remains solid: getting voted off the island (though it’s not always an island, and, OK, sometimes they’ve jury-rigged the rules to bring someone back).
Herewith, we present four ideas or practices that almost everyone would agree need to be voted off the island.
1. Daylight Saving Time. Doesn’t save time or money (probably never did) and simply adds to the total aggravation in the world. “While most of North America and Europe observe DST, all those nations don’t change clocks at the same time, creating further discrepancies” (See National Geographic 2013), not to mention wreaking havoc with various religions’ prayer times (See also Washington Post “5 Myths”) and international conference calls.(update below*)
2. “Natural” label on foods. There is no legal, medical or biological definition of “natural”—and obviously there are numerous items — lead, arsenic, ricin, polonium, cyanide (which occurs naturally in the stones of apricots), and of course the pleasant-sounding “dog button plant” seed, aka, strychnine. (And don’t get me started on forcing GMO labels.)
Expiration/”Use by”/”Enjoy by” dating on foods. Serves no purpose, has nothing to do with health or safety, no consistent standards from state to state, methods of determining are often arbitrary… and results in massive waste of food, not to mention the water, land and transport needed to produce food which in many cases is perfectly healthy but illegal to even give away to charities, homeless and food banks.
In short, printed food dates are not federally regulated and do not refer to food safety.
For example: Grade A milk sold in Montana must be labeled with a “sell-by” date 12 days after pasteurization, and retail sellers must remove that milk from their shelves upon expiration of the 12-day “sell-by” date. Compare this with other states, such as my home state of Pennsylvania that requires 17 days from pasteurization, California which requires a processor-decided date when product would normally (but not required to be) removed from the shelf, and Texas which has no requirements at all. (See Montana)
What is probably needed is a national standard so that your housemate (I’m not naming any names here) doesn’t simply toss your still-quite-useable milk carton without so much as a sniff test, leaving me, er, one, with dry Cheerios for breakfast.
Non-Metric (traditional) measurement: The International System of Units (ISU, i.e., metric system) has been adopted as the official system of weights and measures by all nations in the world except for Myanmar (Burma), Liberia and the United States (World Factbook). Pretty fancy company there, eh? And the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has identified the U.S. as the only industrialized country where the metric system is not the predominant system of units.Isn’t it time the U.S. joined the rest of the world?
Two-year election run-ups – Canada: 11 weeks; Mexico: 3 months (with 60-day “pre-campaign” period); U.K: 139 days. Meanwhile, in the U.S. it’s about two years, with Ted Cruz most recently announcing his candidacy 596 days before Election Day.
iTunes updates – enough already. Every time Apple updates its iTunes interface I have to completely re-learn all the tabs and controls I had mastered.
The phrase “politically incorrect.” It’s almost always used with a snarky sneering tone, suggesting that we shouldn’t have to do things just because they’re “the right thing to do.” I know, I know, there are further implications and subtleties, but I can’t think of any usage situation where the phrase actually adds anything of value to a conversation. Imagine someone saying “I know it’s politically incorrect to suggest that ________ aren’t as smart as Whites…” or “I know it’s politically incorrect to call someone a __________.” I say: say or don’t say it but don’t try to excuse your rudeness or insensitivity with a pre-emptive non-apology.