Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Sea Around Us

I had heard the name Rachel Carson used before, but I had never taken the time to understand who she was. When I started reading "Courage for the Earth", the essays that were in the book helped me to realize what it was that Rachel Carson stood for and how her legacy remains today.

When I first opened "The Sea Around Us" I was afraid that it would be like any other required reading for a class and I would not enjoy it, but I was mistaken. The way that Rachel Carson wrote about the environment with such passion helped me to really enjoy every page.

I especially loved reading the chapters about the ocean and how it works. My family and I spend the summers at the beach, there is no other place in the world I would rather be. Reading about the ocean with both the beauty and the strength that Carson writes of it with captured my attention. I've always known what the ocean has meant to me, but reading about what it means for our planet and all of our lives was so interesting to me.

As a math major, I had never thought about all of these environmental problems in our world today, and didn't think that there was much that I could do to fix them. After reading more about things that I love and learning more about how I can help out, I know that I will try to spread the knowledge that I have acquired from Rachel Carson with others.

Learning from the Alternative Fall Break

I was unable to attend the alternative fall break trip that the other half of my class went on. I was not surprised when they came back to hear stories about fun experiences and new friendships that were made. Classmates were willing to tell all about their adventures and what they had learned. Hearing about all of the different environments that the students had seen helped me get into this green initiative myself more.

I enjoyed learning about environmental problems from my classmates who were able to see some of these conditions firsthand. While I was not there to experience it, hearing these stories made it a lot more real for myself. When I was able to hear some of Rachel Carson's works applied to things that were being seen my other students, it made it a lot more easy for me to understand what we were working for.

Going Green

I've always heard people talk about "going green" and how it is so important to protect our environment, but I've never understood all of that until now. After reading Rachel Carson's thoughts in "The Sea Around Us", it is now clear to me how much of the world around us is changing and the effect that it is having on us. Realizing this made me more interested in taking action to help build awareness in this environmental cause.

They always say that taking action can begin in your own backyard, but it is always so difficult to find where to begin. I was very happy to be able to take part in researching new ways in which Shippensburg University can help in the cause of "going green." With plans being made for new residence halls, this was the perfect opportunity for the University to help out in this environmental cause. It was also the perfect opportunity for some of my classmates and I to help out in this cause by do some researching that the University could use to help their decisions.

We were able to look at many different aspects of the new residence halls in order to create a proposal of how these new residence halls could be designed. We even looked at things that students could be doing now to help out. We sent out surveys of what students were looking for in their residence halls and took them all into account, while still keeping this "going green" idea in our heads. It worked out quite nicely and everyone came up with some really good ideas! I'm really looking forward to presenting our ideas to the University to see what they think!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Through the Lens

Before the trip even began, I shared the same apprehension as a few of my peers about what we would be doing, where we would be going, and how serious our professors were about bringing shoes we would throw out from the muck.  Yet at the same time, I knew this was going to be a unique experience, and I brought my camera along as a second set of eyes to record the adventure. There were a few close calls in the marshes and kayaking where it almost seemed like a bad idea to bring technology, but in the end no harm was done.  Since the adventure has been fairly well documented by others, I won't reiterate the details, but rather the changes I observed through the footage I viewed afterwards.

We began our quest to Wallops Island as a group of strangers.  Most of us had friends or classmates we knew going, but as a group, we were new faces to each other.  Some were excited to go, others curious about what lay ahead, and some, like myself, who were questioning whether this was truly a better alternative to sleeping in and earning some cash. After all, it was the first true break since the year began, and we wouldn't see another rest from our studies until Thanksgiving! Yet nobody backed out, and we all loaded the vans.

As we traveled to the Baltimore Aquarium and then down to Wallops Island for the night, people gradually got into the attitude of the trip and began to enjoy themselves. We arrived rather late, so the only glimpse we got of the Marine Science Consortium was what the flickering parking lot light would reveal to us before we rested.

Saturday was an experience everyone had to enjoy, myself included.  That morning the group I was with set up a Rachel Carson display board to answer questions about her life and legacy. We also had the opportunity to take a hay ride, where we came across a hog-nosed snake. Harmless in nature, for those who don't know, this snake when frightened will flip over on its back. If it is still scared, it will vomit (having a rather strong aversion to snakes, I could sympathize). Later that afternoon we were greeted with fair weather as my group kayaked and got the chance to catch fish with a net. We caught a shrimp. Yes, one shrimp.

Sunday is when everything changed. We were up early, and the looks on our faces were not exactly blissful when we one-by-one remembered this beautiful morning included a laborious trudge through waist-deep mud. Once we arrived and started our hunt for trash, that feeling was intensified by the fact that there was little to be found in the shallow regions by the parking lot.  Deeper we journeyed, slowly submerging ourselves in something we could only categorize as 'natural,' and the plants rose higher and higher the closer to water we came (I am not a tall man by any means, and at one point I remember disappearing from view and wondering if I'd be found).

Then... the nets.

Resting on a sandy bank was a mountain of the stuff, used in clam beds further offshore. Glancing back at the murky depths from whence we had come, it was sprawling out on both sides, seemingly endless.  As if a light switch had been flipped, people sprang into action.  Hands soared out to grab any netting they could reach, and there was plenty to reach, indeed.  The larger the pile of nets got, the less tedious it seemed to be, and in fact people were having fun, laughing, and in some cases intentionally mucking themselves or each other while gathering the garbage.  There we were, covered in marshland hauling loads of netting and other garbage larger than ourselves, out of a landscape none of us prior to the start of the year could have expected to be in. 

Our friends back home were sleeping in their beds while we dove through the dirt trying to find the next piece of garbage, and suddenly we became the lucky ones. Joking and laughing in an environment with its own identity; a raw exposure to life in its most natural state. We respected the marsh, and we removed that which others left behind, and enjoyed it in a way I could not imagine before entering.  We live in a rural area rich in nature, yet there we interacted with the earth in a way I could only compare to that feeling when one is finger painting and no longer cares about getting their hands dirty.

I felt good about making a positive impact by cleaning the marsh that day. But the marsh had its impact on me as well. People travel from home to car to class or work and back again, moving from one box to another, and maybe we forget sometimes that it's places like the marsh that we come from, that we are family to. Even now, while I write this blog, I am drinking the water that man did not create, that has traveled farther than any one person could in their life,  just to end up in my glass. And it will continue to travel long after I am gone, forever binding man to the sea. Rachel Carson knew. And now we know. 

The rest of the trip (to the oyster vessels and the farm in Pennsylvania) solidified that connection. The apprehensive faces seen in the beginning were changed. Expressions of respect, comfort, smiles, and even guilt for previously disregarding something so directly intrinsic to our existence took their place. Most of all, it was fun. We got muddy as promised, found more trash than we thought possible, and came back as friends. We bonded with one other and the earth in a way no classroom could mimic. Some, before the trip, were looking for an excuse not to go; now we are all looking for an excuse to go back.

Monday, November 26, 2007


Looking back on our trip to Wallops Island I could honestly say I was not looking forward to going on the trip. Our trip was over fall break at Shippensburg University. Over break I was planing on working a little, and most of all relaxing. The trip had very little of that, but it realy wasn't in a bad way. We left Friday afternoon for Wallops Island Marine Science Consortium Research Center. Along the way we took a detour to Baltimore's inner harbor where we took a tour of the Baltimore Aquarium. This was the first time I had ever been to the aquarium. The stop was to help us "connect" with nature before we got to the research center. It was fascinating. The exhibits were amazing and any type of animals species you could think of. The only down fall was the time we had at the aquarium, because of budget constraints.
Once we arrived at Wallops Island the work began. We had numerous activities and service projects that we did through out the next four days. Monday morning we kayaked in the Chesapeake Bay and explored the beach. In the afternoon we volunteered at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and clean a 140 year old lighthouse in preparation for its anniversary the next day.
On Sunday we went to Tom's Cove located at the end of Chincoteague Island. We all got ankle deep in mud for two hours and clean a marsh that serves a a buffer zone for the ocean and the mainland. During the clean up we found hundreds of oyster netting that broke away from privately owned oyster beds and washed ashore. The netting as a serious impact on the animals that life in that marsh area, and it was amazing how much netting we cleaned up.
On Monday morning we went to Smith Island and explored the culture and they way they people on the island live which is unique from any other society that i have seen in the modern United States. I have posted and elaborated earlier on this day in a previous post.
On our return trip home we wanted to bring what we learned and are experience full circle. We Stopped at a farm in St. Thomas PA where we were given a tour of the farm and a lecture on best management practices.

A relaxing breeze sweeps
Across the calm flat surface
of the sea
reflected deep azure,
the waves start to roll and tumble
in the sea
crash, crash, crash
waves smash on high rocky cliffs
beside the sea
the sky darkens
huge, fluffy grey candyfloss gathers
above the sea
wind roars, thunder cracks
water crashes down like waterfall
sat the sea
schools of small fish panic, fear grips
they're being tossed around
through the sea
and eternity passes, clouds part
the sun shines down, heavens rays
onto the sea
tranquility is restored
gulls squawk happily
near the sea
Rhythmic pattern of tides
a vast expanse of blue water, remember
the sea.

This is a poem was written by a friend of mine. It reminds me of the circle of life with in nature. As always there is the calm of life, then there is the destruction of nature. Its wild, free, and untamable. Nature takes its course and come full circle again to a calm and beautiful setting.

Beach Research Day

On Saturday October 6th, 2007 7 am came early. For the first time in as long as I can remember i have not been up that early on a Saturday. That morning I woke up know I was going to go kayaking. I have never been kayaking before in my life and I wasn't looking forward to it. My classmates ans I left the Marine and Science Consortium Research Center on Wallops Island on a journey to the unknown. We traveled by shuttle vans to a park and boat ramp located on Assateague Point. We left Assateague Point and kayaked down the Chesapeake Bay, approximately two miles to a beach on Chincoteague Island. At the beach we pulled our boats ashore and began to explore the beach. We were at the beach for about two hours, and walked around searching for and wildlife that we could. On this exploration we found several species of wildlife. Some people dug in the sand for crabs and other attempted to catch fish in the ocean with nets. Along the way we collected various types of species of animals and kept them to run research on. On of the most fascinating things I ever saw was a Bald Eagle that perched its self on a branch right in front of us. I never seen a Bald Eagle before in the wild, let alone 35 yards away. The Bald Eagle sat perfectly perched on the tree branch. Several of the other students took pictures of it, and i was lucky enough to look at it through binoculars. Once we were done looking and taking pictures of the Bald Eagle it flew away. I thought it was so interesting that the eagle sat on the branch for the entire time that we wanted to look at it, and as soon as we were done if flew away...... It capped of a great morning and it was one of the most amazing experiences I ever witnessed with nature.


Change you can your hair color, not your skin;
Change you can your smile and grin: not your eyes;
Change you can your sex partners, not your kin;
Change you can your sinful life: Be soul-wise!

Change you can your friends and foes, not parents;
Change you can your teacher/guide, not your brain;
Change you can your exam-marks, not talents;
Change you can your habits bad and be sane.

Change you can the environment, not the sun;
Change you can the landscape old, not the soil;
Change you can your temperament and not run;
Change you can your heart and mind: you must toil.

Change you can your ambitions but be brave;
Change you can your life-styles much but behave!

This poem is written by John Celes. Its shows that change, is an important part of our lives. We always change the way we look, the clothes we wear, our hairstyles, and even partners. We change our environment and our landscape while barley noticing it. We need to change our lifestyles and ambitions in life, especially towards our environment. This trip, as well as Rachel Carson, changed me to see a new and unique perspective of our environment. Both showed me that preservation is key of future endeavors for generations to come. It’s wonderful to see how much our environment has to offer. I believe it’s our responsibility to take care of our environment and preserve it for our kids as well as theirs. We should not be greedy and take our environment for all of its resources. If we continue to remove these resources from time to time while not replacing it, than civilization as we know it will no longer exist. My mother once told me, “Always leave a home just the way you entered it.” The earth is our home. We all need to leave this world just the way we found it, if not better. It doesn’t take much time and it really does make a difference. You too, can change.

The Legacy of R. Carson

First of all, this post is primarily in response to an article in Washington Monthly which was brought to my attention by my professor in Environmental Sociology class (to read the article click on the title of this post; tell me in your comment if this does not work and I will put up a comment with the link included). Generally, this article tells about how attempts to recognize the life and accomplishments of Rachel Carson were met with attacks from both media and the government. I have read the article for the second time today and, again, sit stunned at the reaction of what the article calls the "detractors."

I simply cannot fathom how someone could be so cruel toward a woman who was so nice. What I mean is that she comes across as a nice person, regardless of her professional life. The only solution that I have come to is that this situation must have something to do with money. It is hard for me to imagine that all these "detractors" have some personal grudge against Rachel. It seems more likely a preemptive strike made in response to a perceived threat against their sources of revenue. I cannot think of any other reason, although I wish I could because I hate to think that anyone would sink to such a level for the sake of money.

A concept that has been going around is that if we work to preserve nature we will lose revenue. Even if this concept held water, and reality does not support it, it is still a ridiculous reason for attacking Rachel Carson. Many feel that if Carson had not written her books then the American environmental movement would never have formed and we would not have to deal with all the regulations that have come about because of it. This is like saying that Jesus Christ is to blame for all the terrible things humanity has done in the name of Christianity, or maybe that Martin Luther King is responsible for all the inconvenience whites have had to put up with as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. We miss the point entirely when we do this, and no one's situations, neither the "detractors" or the supporters of Rachel Carson, can be improved in this way.

Rachel Carson had some great ideas, she wrote beautifully, and brought to the attention of millions the impact humans were having on the environment, but her time is past now. I think that both sides of this argument must move on if we are ever to find some answers and peace. I do not mean that we cannot show appreciation for Rachel Carson, I do that myself, but I do not think she should be raised above humanity as some sort of visionary or prophet. On the other hand, she most certainly did not have a malicious streak either; she did not sit at home just thinking up new ways and new lies she could tell to further wreak destruction against and inconvenience American businesses and lifestyles. Rachel Carson was simply a woman, a human like the rest of us. The only difference between her and us was that she, first, was concerned about the environment and, second, had the courage to talk about her ideas and feelings in a public setting.

As far as I can tell, the most she ever asked of us was that we might take a moment and think about how our lifestyles might be effecting the environment. If we can do this seriously and earnestly, and still feel no remorse for our actions, then Rachel would have had nothing further to say to us. After all, it is only because of the guilt we feel over our actions that Carson's ideas can have any impact on us. Ironically, it is those of us who feel the most guilt and responsibility for our actions that end up empathizing the most with Carson's words.

Unlike some countries, it is not a crime to think for yourself in the United States, and yet sometimes it seems like the people in this country perform this action the least out of all the people in the world. Some people in this nation are specifically paid to confuse the rest of the American public. It occurs to me that this may have been the actual purpose behind Carson's actions - to get the American public to start thinking. If the environment were destroyed, Rachel would have been sad, probably devastated, but I do not think she would have called it the end of the world. When people stop thinking, though, we lose our autonomy; I believe we would be losing the most important part of ourselves. So, sorry for the long post, but I guess my point is to tell you all to get out there and start thinking, for yourselves that is, and never stop questioning the truth of what you hear and see from media, from the people around you, and even from yourselves.

Smith Island

One of the most interesting and appealing events on the trip was our visit to Smith Island. Smith Island is a small island made up of about 250 or so people. The island was inhabited hundreds of years ago because of the thriving fishing industry. Smith Island is a 45 minute boat trip from the main land. There is no other access there other than by boat. As a sociology major i was interested in the social interactions and functions of their everyday lives. There are only a few cars on the island. Some do not have license plates on them and would never pass any state inspection laws that we have on the mainland. Their is no police on the island. Crime is low, and mostly consists of theft and drug use. The church is the authority and if any one commits a non serious crime they are locked in the church basement. Most of the roads are dirt, and there is a lot of garbage scattered around the island. All mail and groceries are brought over by boat daily. And the children got to school up until 7-8th grade, and take about to the mainland for high school. It is sad to see that the town is run down and the population is decreasing. The population decrease is because of the declining water quality. The majority of people that live on the island make their living off the sea, and the bay. And because of the poor water quality the aquatic animal live is rapidly decreasing and the people living on the island can no longer support themselves or their families and are forced to move to the mainland.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Farm

There has been a great deal of discussion thus far on the blog relating to our trip down to Wallops Island and the research/good times we had on that leg of the journey; however, I think the Myers Dairy Farm in St. Thomas has unfortunately been overlooked, and I say unfortunately because it is what truly brought what we experienced on the trip full circle for myself.

All of the experiences discussed in other threads are vitally important to the notion of conservation and what we as individuals can do in playing our part. The destruction of the Chesapeake Bay, the disease ridden oysters, and the filthy marsh are but examples of the numerous and varying problems that each of us can personally make an effort toward remedying. And personally, I think a big step in the process can be done from our own backyards. The Myers Farm is a prime example of a small family doing their part to save the world. The best management practices which they employ go an awfully long way to preserving the Bay, toward promoting the health of the oysters, and perhaps even reducing the litter and other pollution found in Tom's Cove.

And when one thinkgs about it, it is truly amazing that the actions in little St. Thomas, Pennsylvania affect such an extraordinary amount of individua'ls lives. The buffer zones which the Myers family has erected around the stream that runs through their farm will eliminate an exorbitant amount of pollution from runoff that may have tainted the Bay. The no-till farming practices used by the Myers will preserve their farmland for generations to come and perhaps provide nurishment for individuals living throughout the country. The list of best management practices employed by the Myers family goes on and on, and we should all be grateful for their contributions toward conservation and also to some degree preservation.

And finally, the Myers family themselves are wonderful people. They graciously opened up their farm to a group of semi-interested young adults (at that point I think everyone was ready to get back to Shippensburg) and were willing to take the time out of their busy schedules to give us a tour and explain the effects of their best management practices. It is from their generosity that I was truly able to accomplish the goal of this trip and connect the dots from a place far, far away to my own home. I think the Myers farm is a part of the trip we all unfortunately overlook, but nonetheless I am sure we all realize the impact and importance of that leg of our journey.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blue and Green

Deal Island The Colloquium following our time on the Alternative Fall Break was tonight. I was highly impressed by all of the presentations from fellow Ship students. I find it interesting that everyone brought back different perspectives and applications from the same experience. Everybody was able to synthesize information and apply findings to their own interests and specialities. You know that a cause is special and important when so many people can be positively affected in so many different ways!

CrabI myself am an English major and thought it would be impossible to find anything on Wallops Island that I could bring back that related to my major. I was wrong! I was personally inspired by activities that we participated in on the Fall Break. In addition, I am also inspired by the legacy that Rachel Carson has left us. I would like to leave you with the poem that I wrote about her life and our call to action.

Blue and Green: A Tribute to Rachel Carson

She walks with the glow of tree-filtered sun in her eyes
Dancing black shapes in the windy breeze
Printing dark colors on those irises that would
See the world and long to keep it blue and green.

She wrote words of report, elevated into poetry
The world she saw made her believe.
Science intrigued her, beauty inspired.

Her treacherous truths lingered in public eyes.
Whispered words they were; to not be deceived.
Pesticides kill and nature recedes.

Silent Springs ruptures silent dreams
When earth coddles degradation.
Man is echoing, echoing, echoing in his trail,
And only Rachel hears reverberations.

The sea wraps her silky fingers around our plantetal bodies. Affectation. An all consuming tide. The sea washes her silent words over our cold hearts and sustains our landly trysts. She pushes and pulls and makes us whole, but we never say thanks.

Waters flow in Rachel’s eyes, blurring that gaze
That saw blackness pooling on our belov├ęd oceans
Polluting the beauty and truth we once knew.
One good conscience crying for generations forward

Rachel spoke for the currents.
For the earth.
For us.
Of the sea and all around us.
Mustn’t we say thanks?

Earth reflecting in her gentle eyes
Closed before nature was redeemed.

Wallops Island Organisms

I spent the summer at The Marine Science Consortium at Wallops Island taking summer classes for Shippensburg University in the marine sciences. While down there, I kept a photographic log of the organisms I collected. Here are a couple...
(Click on picture for larger view!!!)

Common Name: Mantis Shrimp
Scientific Name: Squilla empusa
Location: Shallows off of Tom's Cove
Description: This shrimp is not in fact a shrimp at all. It is a crustacean of the class Malacostraca. They are typically found in the shallows of the central to southern intercostal areas. They are light purple with iridescent colors around the entire body. They have very unique bi-lobed eyes that move independently on one another, which look amazingly iridescent in light.
This fascinating organism is most well known for the blinding speed of its mantis-like front claws (shown tucked under its body to the left). The claws have a whipping speed of 10 meters per second!!! This is enough to slice a fish in half, lacerate a human hand, and break double pained aquarium glass.
These organisms typically burrow in muddy substrate, and are mostly nocturnal, which makes them very difficult to find. They prey on crabs, fish, and other mantis shrimp. They can grow up to 10 inches in length. Mantis shrimp at this size are often harvested for consumption and are considered a delicacy.
(Click on picture for larger view!!!)
Common Name: Striped Burrfish
Scientific Name:Chilomycterus schoepfi
Location: Shallows off Tom's Cove
Description: This spiky organism is another incredible organism found in Tom's Cove. This fish resembles a puffer fish, however it is not. They have spikes covering most of their body that are always erect, unlike their close cousin the porcupine fish. They have the ability to inflate with water giving them an excellent defense against predators.
They move in a very unique fashion, using their pectoral fins for locomotion, and their tail as a ruder. This is unlike most fish that ungulate their entire body for locomotion. This strategy gives them very accurate side and backwards mobility without traveling forward. In the wild they use their powerful beak-like jaws to eat small fish, barnacles, snails, crabs, and clams.
They are found in coastal waters along the entire United States eastern seaboard, but are more abundant in the southern reaches. They are commonly encountered by SCUBA divers and are a favorite for the salt water aquarium hobbyist.

***Keep posted for more amazing organisms to be posted soon...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Getting Down and Dirty...but in a good way

I think the title basically says what the rest of the fall break at Wallops Island was like. Not that I don't like that, but still, not what you expect from a fall break. In the same Saturday afternoon, we relaxed by kayaking from Chincoteague Island to Assateague Island to collect some specimen samples like hermit crabs, blue crabs, and other little critters. I've never gone kayaking before, but I really enjoyed skimming across the water...a bit different that canoeing. Oh, I also enjoyed seeing two rather soaked profs trying to run through the water and falling almost simulateously *poof poof*, only to become even more wet, haha.

On Sunday, we made our way back to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and we saw an absolutely beautiful lighthouse. We were even lucky enough to be there during the Assateague Lighthouse Recognition Day where there was a large group of people and the Marines celebrating 140 years of it standing proudly, overlooking the bay. Let me tell you...the view from the top was just breathtaking. I learned that as the years have passed, the lighthouse has been becoming more and more inland because of the shifting sands and land. It was a picture perfect moment for me because I have always, always, always, wanted to go into a lighthouse. On the clear, sunny morning at the top of the lighthouse, I had a feeling the rest of the day would just be peachy.

Well, it was less peachy and more squishy, smelly, muddy, and sandy. In fact, the exact antithesis of what a peachy would smell and look like. But.....don't get me wrong! I actually really really liked what we did. As a large group armed with nothing but yellow latex gloves, plastic bags, and our oldest pairs of shoes on, we marched into the marshes next to the refuge and the beach and set out to clean it as much as possible. At first, it wasn't too mushy and smooshy, but there was quite a bit of garbage out there which was really sad. The road alongside the beach was a bit aways from where we ventured out, and yet - somehow - we still found tattered shoes, baby mattress, cans, and a whole lot of other stuff that shouldn't be found out there. Not only that, we found a ton...a ton! ...of netting for neighboring clam beds that weren't collected from the farmers and were just left to wash up and into the marsh.

The netting was so bad and so thick, it was impossible to remove some of the netting because the plants began to grow through and around it. Removing the netting meant ripping up a large amount of vegetation and none of us could bring ourselves to do that! Some of the netting was buried so deep in big pools of mud that some people (like Dr. Cornelius) had to practically swim in the mud in order to haul large bundles of the thin netting and metal wire out of the muck. Arrrrggghhh!!! How can the farmers be so lazy? The farmers are supposed to be responsible and collect their nettings? The waters next to the protected marshes where the clams are harvested are the farmers' own private property, so don't they realize they are ruining their own property?

This should be an example of how we must take responsiblity of what we do to the environment. Isn't it a shame that the farmers are taking from the environment, but definitely not doing anything to give back? Even if they think it isn't hurting them, it's hurting something else! The next time you throw that soda can out the car window or toss the wrapper and plastic containers from Sheetz Made-To-Order, you may think, "Pft...why should it matter to me?", please think again. It's tempting because I've felt like throwing stuff out the window, but then I think that it isn't going to take me any more energy to throw it into a trash can or recycle bin.