Are Manners Offensive?

Every Sunday I enjoy looking at the new secrets from the PostSecret blog. Today I saw this secret that annoyed me quite a bit.

I know a lot of women, especially those around the 30 year age range, like to say, “Don’t call me Ma’am, it makes me feel old.” What they fail to recognize, is that Ma’am is short for Madam and is the female equivalent of Sir. I can’t possibly imagine a grown man feeling offended when being called Sir. The person behind the counter was being polite and, in my opinion, there just isn’t enough of that these days, especially with young people.

It also sparked the memory of Barbara Boxer, Senator from California, who so embarrassingly requested to be called Senator instead of Ma’am by a General in the United States Military. Not only does she need a lesson in manners, but also in humility.

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.