Naughty newspaper, naughty!

First it was the 'Combined Opposition', now the daily paper is being labelled by PLP supporters as 'North Korea style'...

Some things never change, when it comes to perceptions of news media in Bermuda.


Webbing from back in the day

Dear lord. I went to the Way Back Machine website on a whim because I wanted to see what crazy silliness I put up when I thought I knew how to design a website.

Again,... dear... lord. And no, I'm not going to share with you the original URL from my 'DAG on the Web' days of '99. Only long-time followers of my exploits (of whom I imagine have all forgotten the URL anyway) would be able to guess at it, at best. But try out a site like Pepsi or McDonald's to see their not-so-sharp beginnings on the Web.

But because I'm not a complete arse about the 'early days', I'll show you some screenshots.

Yes, that's an animated gif at bottom-right. Made with GIF Construction Set. Totally hip. Note too the frames. Good news is that I provided a non-frames version of the site. This was back when I thought many people still used Lynx browsers or something.

My circa 2001 site had a splash page complete with Java applet. Can't recall what it was supposed to do, though.

In 2002, I think I started pseudo-blogging. For some reason I still thought white-on-black was bleeding-edge stuff. To the left, I think was one of those web counters in vogue during that time. Thank the Lord that trend died off.

My last page before migrating to BeachLime, extremely minimal at this point. Yes, I rode that weird collage graphic on the right-side the entire time.

But think about this: before even these variations were around, I had a typical faux 90s-cool site, white text on black background, colored 'divider lines', and yes, the dreaded Under Construction logo. This one...

At least it was relatively small. Completely high-tech.


The grocery bag suggestions

Several years ago I was in a London supermarket, and at checkout I was more than a bit surprised that the store didn't automatically supply bags to carry your purchases out, rather you had a chance to purchase x-amount of plastic bags after which you could then fill them with your purchases and leave the store.
On reflection now, of course, I imagine it was just something that people got used to after it was implemented, and I imagine that the same situation will happen here if Greenrock's proposals to implement a charge-per-plastic bag at local grocery stores comes to fruition.
One of the major issues that many have with this proposal is that it seems a bit misplaced; while many people do indeed use the plastic (and paper, to some extent) bags only a single time, to several others, those bags see reuse. Many a Bermudian has used a paper bag as a text book cover when growing up, for example. Plastic bags can get used in lieu of garbage bags, serve as a form of carrying anything from laundry to food when out and about. I've even seen bags used by people in kite construction.
There's also the argument that the focus is too narrow/wrong in scope. Why attach a cost to a plastic bag and not, say, promote purchases/giveaways of cloth/canvas bags? Or, why not push for a reintroduction of a bottle bill? Lord knows there wouldn't be *any* Heineken or Elephant bottles scattered in the bushes or ditches around here if people knew they could cash them in.
Here's a so-far-undiscussed knock on effect, there are more than a few people, usually school children but sometimes seniors as well, who take on bag-packing duties at grocery stores. They bag your groceries and it's usually customary to offer them a small tip for their service (I think between $1 to $5 or more, depending on volume and how well they groceries are packed). Putting a charge on bags could lead to more people choosing to bag their groceries themselves instead; bag-packers could become in shorter demand. I could be wrong here, but I wouldn't be surprised.
What I expect, despite the current Environment Minister giving his support to the venture, is that public sentiment will discourage Greenrock and the supermarkets from implementing this policy. Bermuda is still in a recession, people are still struggling to make ends meet, and to the public they're seeing it as a literal nickel-and-diming of them. After all, as of this date the online petition has fewer than 400 'signatures', hardly enough to be seen as a significant portion of this country's population.
Interestingly enough, the two print news media have offered support, both the Gazette and the Bermuda Sun have so far contributed positive endorsements for the campaign. That alone, should give the campaign enough legs to keep the issue prominent for a few months, so who knows. Greenrock has some opportunities, perhaps, to sway public opinion in their favour before it's too late. I'd suggest teaming up with one of the major advertisers/promotors on the island (CellOne? Digicel? Lindo's?), have some giveaways (so yes, they'll need to raise some funds) involving reuseable bags, including stations on the grocery store sites themselves. Get people to buy-in, figuratively and possibly literally too.


Space colonies - probably not just yet

Found this bit speculating about colonization of other planets pretty fascinating. Of course it's all purely academic at this time since we can't even get along on Earth without someone wanting to destroy someone else, but nevertheless, one can imagine.