Monday, March 23, 2009

News that's new

At least to me.

Reading a newspaper was my treat of the day. As always, it's the columnists who make the paper for me. The Vancouver Sun's Miro Cernetic referred to this time we're in as the "Great Recession" although really what's so great about it remains to be seen. One of those oxymorons, I guess. But at least the term feels official, now that I've seen it in print.

The rest of the paper seemed full of happier news, the best being that Oslo, Norway has figured out how to fuel its transit system on recycled sewage. As of next year, buses there will run on methane from the treatment plant at Bekkelaget. There's a renewable source if ever there was one!

There were also several different pieces that all worked their way to the same conclusion: it's time that we decriminalize drugs. Just think, if Vancouver could manage this before 2010, there might be a whole lot less violence on the city's streets. There might even be some lasting reason for tourists to visit beyond two weeks' worth of games that no one seems able to get tickets for.

But of most interest to me is the 100 yuan challenge, started up by workers in Shanghai and Beijing. The idea is to try living on 100 yuan (about $18Cdn) a week. Over 100,000 people are participating so far. Of the results I've seen, the best ways of saving money seem to be by avoiding Western fast food outlets. Sounds like a good idea, whether you're trying to save money or not.

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