aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, July 30, 2006
It depends on what the meaning of “watch” is
This is true of me:
It seems that adults in households that have digital video recorders watch less TV than adults in the general population, according to a recent analysis by Mediamark Research, an audience-measurement firm.
That finding, which comes from in-home interviews conducted by Mediamark with 26,000 adults between March 2005 and May 2006, seems to conflict with the contentions of the major broadcast networks. Researchers for the networks told advertisers in November that people in households with a DVR watched 12 percent more hours of TV a day than those without. Those researchers had argued that that tendency counterbalanced the possibility that DVR users would skip past ads.
I wonder, do all adults actually watch less TV than we think? The most obvious difference of watching TV with a DVR is that you can always choose what you want to watch, so there’s rarely any “grazing.”
One way that plays out in my house is that I don’t have the TV turned on all day like I used to. I turn it on only when I’m actually going to watch it. So it used to be on a lot more, even though I wasn’t really watching.
LATER: PVRblog has more.
Don’t buy bottled water. Or “upscale ice.”
Scott Simon on Weekend Edition yesterday:
Upscale ice is headed to a menu near you. Cubes frozen from filtered or spring water.
Companies say that these designer cubes are more healthy and better tasting than ones made from tap water, which can have a stale freezer taste and are still susceptible to bacteria. Each American now drinks more than 26 gallons of bottled water a year. So why not buy a better ice?
Stuart Levitan(ph), CEO of Water Bank of America, told the Wall Street Journal, over time, if we do this right, I believe this will be a commodity.
Yes, maybe. But water is more than a commodity, it’s a necessity. One that is in short supply for many of the world’s poor. And projects like that one serve only to exacerbate the problem.
I’ve pointed again and again to Tom Stangage’s OpEd from one year ago, Bad to the Last Drop. After a taste test to demonstrate that hardly anyone can detect a difference between tap and bottled water, he points out that there are no health or nutritional benefits from drinking bottled water over tap water and “tap water is more stringently monitored and tightly regulated than bottled water.”
And bottled water is actually bad for the environment, “It is shipped at vast expense from one part of the world to another, is then kept refrigerated before sale, and causes huge numbers of plastic bottles to go into landfills.” He concludes:
More than 2.6 billion people, or more than 40 percent of the world’s population, lack basic sanitation, and more than one billion people lack reliable access to safe drinking water. The World Health Organization estimates that 80 percent of all illness in the world is due to water-borne diseases, and that at any given time, around half of the people in the developing world are suffering from diseases associated with inadequate water or sanitation, which kill around five million people a year.
Widespread illness also makes countries less productive, more dependent on outside aid, and less able to lift themselves out of poverty. One of the main reasons girls do not go to school in many parts of the developing world is that they have to spend so much time fetching water from distant wells.
Clean water could be provided to everyone on earth for an outlay of $1.7 billion a year beyond current spending on water projects, according to the International Water Management Institute. Improving sanitation, which is just as important, would cost a further $9.3 billion per year. This is less than a quarter of global annual spending on bottled water.
I have no objections to people drinking bottled water in the developing world; it is often the only safe supply. But it would surely be better if they had access to safe tap water instead. The logical response, for those of us in the developed world, is to stop spending money on bottled water and to give the money to water charities.
LATER: Dannon water with dinner makes me a hypocrite? The water here is not drinkable and so, yes, I know that if you live in an area (Miami!) with lousy water, there’s good reason. Still I see no good coming from the further commoditization of water.
At the beach
I’m just in from a walk on the beach with the dogs. Still no modem at home and working from a Dell, not a Mac, I’m back in action - though with only Shrook.com rather than my 30 day archive I feel like a fighter with one hand tied behind his back. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good to go and happy as can be to be here!