How about home medical testing for the common ailment?

Makes all the sense in the world…check this out…

A $200 Prescription For Amoxycillin —

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Mail Order Catalogues and what I’d do with them if I were in Charge

Outlaw them!  If someone doesn’t have access to a computer, to Email, or to the internet, they probably shouldn’t be marketed to anyway.  On any given day I can arrive at home to find at least 3 to 5 catalogues each with 50+ pages.  I know you can request that they not be sent to you, but those requests hold up about as well as the “no call rule.”

I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of wasted energy goes into a) designing, b) printing, c) mailing, d) delivering said catalogues.  Oh wait, I don’t have to imagine it…someone else already figured it out.  According to the Environmental Defense Fund, more than 53 million trees and 38 trillion BTUs of energy are need make the 3.6 million tons of paper consumed by catalogues each year (enough to power 1.2 million households per year.)  This process emits 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide equal to annual emissions of 2 million cars — significantly contributing to global warming.  More that 53 billion gallons of wastewater is discharged to create the catalog paper — enough to fill 81,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.  This doesn’t even take into account the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by the US Post Office from delivering these useless pieces of paper.

Marketing proponents out there will of course claim they are a necessary evil…yeah yeah yeah.  An inefficient use of resources will ultimately amount to nothing more than that.  There are more effective and efficient ways of getting the word out and until organizations are forced to vigorously pursue those alternatives, we’ll be lugging these catalogues to the curb for recycling pick up (assuming we recycle) from now until eternity.

(and we don’t prupport  to be environmentalists, per se)

What if _______ ran the world?

Nextel launched a new ad campaign during the 2009 Superbowl whereby the audience is asked to consider what the world would be like if members of certain trades (e.g. Firemen, Roadies, Film Crews, Delivery Men) were in charge of our world.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the commercials.  They are stark reminders that we have a tendency to over-engineer so much of what we do in this world.  As a frequent flyer, the most compelling to me is the Roadies in charge of getting a passenger airline out of the gate and in the air.  Their no-nonsense approach, while not necessarily the most comforting from a safety perspective, is refreshing to anyone who has had to sit through the excruciating experience of loading an unloading an aircraft.  Aren’t we, as consumers, past the experiential aspects of flying?  Unless I’m sitting in business class on a trans-oceanic flight, I don’t need nor do I want all the pomp and circumstance.  Just get this bird buttoned up and on its way!  I don’t even mind security anymore – it’s just everything else.  Even Southwest, the god father of no-nonsense flying, has succumbed to over-complication.  Have you experienced the boarding process lately on Southwest?  It’s hard enough to figure out where the hell you’re supposed to be standing in line before you even get on the plane.  If I were in charge of air travel in the US:

  1. One carry-on no larger than a computer bag would be allowed; all other bags must be checked.
  2. Food and beverages would be sold at the gate prior to boarding; the whole drink cart thing is so dated.
  3. Every seat would have an entertainment center in it; for the annual cost of one flight attendant per flight, I bet the airlines could afford to do this.  Give me some headphones, a movie or TV show, some music, etc. and I’m good for at least a couple of hours.
  4. Each and every jetway should link up to the front and back of every jet so that passengers could load and unload from both ends.  Seriously, waiting in a cramped aisle while Aunt Mable struggles with getting that army issue duffel bag is just too freakin’ much. 
  5. I’d offer discounts of 1% for every 10 minutes passengers had to sit on an airplane away from the gate and on the runway.  An implicit part of any contract with an airline (i.e. ticket) is that not only will you get me there, but you’ll do so in one piece and on time. 

And there is so much more.  This is one I hope we’ll get some comments on – something tells me we’d all be better off if someone else was in charge of the airlines…

If I Were In Charge of the World by Judith Viorst

If I Were In Charge of the World by Judith Viorst

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So what would you do?

Who’s really in charge around here?  Most people think they are, many think they should be, most of us probably shouldn’t be.  One thing is for sure – we all have ideas and most of us like to think about what we’d do if we were in charge.  There are a number of sites/blogs out there – some really good ones too (see our links & RSS Feeds) – that are dedicated to serious ideas.  Snasparilla is devoted to the more fleeting ideas – the ones that are almost cathartic, the ones that make us feel better just for having them.  They often start with “if I were in charge” or “if I ruled the world” or “if I were king/queen for the day” and usually end with a rant.  Many are pithy, many are creative, many invoke a laugh, and some of them might actually work…or make sense.   So Snasparilla is designed to capture, consolidate, exchange, and share those things which would result from our being in charge…even if those things are impractical (or illegal).  It’s just fun to say it out loud…now if only someone would listen!