Remembering Whitney

I’ve been a pop music fan as long as I can remember. When I was 7 my dad took me to Sam Goody where I picked out two of my first CDs. The first was the soundtrack to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and the second was the soundtrack to The Bodyguard. I didn’t particularly love the film at that age, but boy did I love Whitney Houston. Her powerful, soulful vocals got me hooked on sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs music. Her version of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You is iconic, legendary, and has become a litmus test for every diva singer to participate in a television singing competition. (Remember the Taiwanese kid?)

When I was in third grade, my teacher Miss Leitzen created an end of the year slideshow set to touching background music like Dionne Warwick’s That’s What Friends Are For and Whitney’s The Greatest Love Of All. Even now, that song makes me tear up, remembering all the potential we knew we had. Whitney Houston’s voice was powerfully distinct, incomparable to many for several decades. With a surprisingly short discography list, she’s the most awarded female artist of all time and the 4th best-selling female artist in the United States. And although the end of her life and career was turbulent, she left us with some of the greatest pop songs ever recorded that I’ll be singing for the rest of my life.

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Energy Saving

I just read that the European Union is attempting to phase out the traditional incandescent lightbulb, in favor of energy saving CFL and halogen bulbs. They are mandating that factories discontinue production of incandescent bulbs so that only energy saving bulbs will be available by 2012.

One new complaint is that migraine sufferers and epileptics experience increased symptoms under CFL and halogen lighting. And of course there are concerns about the mercury content and proper disposal of the bulbs.

I’ve been skeptical about switching to CFL and definitely prefer the light from incandescent bulbs. I also find it problematic that the EU feels it necessary and right to control the type of bulbs its citizens use.

I am curious to read more about this and see how this unfolds.

Another interesting article I read spoke about the rare earth metals (their words) that hybrid cars require. The supply on our planet is limited and the article says that China is the world’s dominant rare earths producer. People are pushing for the reopening of a rare earths mine in California. Hmm… So in order for the cars to work, we need to take an energy source from the earth, which is of limited supply and will surely drive up prices in the near future. We may become dependent on another country’s supply unless we tap into our own resources here in the United States. Sounds kind of familiar. Just saying.