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Caution: if you opened this post thinking that it would be a profound address to the world leader of the small island country of Nauru, which has been plagued in the past decade by a faltering economy based on depleted phosphate mining, a brief stint as an international tax haven, an offshore detention center for the government of Australia, and accusations of corrupt politics:

You are about to be sorely disappointed.

Nauru Awareness Day!  Nauru is a tiny island all alone in the  middle of the Pacific.  Today let them know they're not completely forgotten by sending the President a friendly postcard at Office of the President, c/o Ministry of Works, Yaren Nauru.

"Day 31: Nauru Awareness Day! Nauru is a tiny island all alone in the middle of the Pacific. Today let them know they're not completely forgotten by sending the President a friendly postcard at Office of the President, c/o Ministry of Works, Yaren Nauru."

Yep, another daily task from This Book Will Change Your Life.  Nauru is a tiny island nation near Australia with a population of about 13,000, which sadly means that ASUC President Roxanne Winston yields power over roughly twice as many people as President Marcus Stephen of Nauru.  I couldn’t try roast Nauru pig today as my book recommended, but I did send President Stephen this friendly card purchased especially for the occasion at Avant Carde on Bancroft:

avant carde card

and wrote him a note:

I was not being facetious.  The guy is a gold medal-winning weightlifter.

With that last paragraph, I was not, in fact, being facetious:

President Stephen of Nauru (right) discusses lifting up President Ma of Taiwan and spinning him around WWF-style during a ceremonial inspection of the troops.

President Stephen of Nauru (right) ponders lifting President Ma of Taiwan up over his head and spinning him around WWF-style during a ceremonial inspection of the troops.

Too bad ASUC President Roxanne Winston never won any weightlifting championships.

In the spirit of Nauru Awareness Day, familiarize yourself with basic Nauru facts and scope out Nauru’s tourism bureau website to acquaint yourself with accomodation options.  This information will come in handy should you choose to visit Nauru yourself, as the larger of the two hotels on the island boasts a swimming pool and air conditioning.  Or glance over President Stephen’s international medal record and bemoan the complete lack of pictures of Nauru’s specialty roast pig on Google Image Search.

Apparently this is 2007 news, but it’s news to me and to a lot of people I’ve talked to: the Australian government has decided to ban all incandescent lightbulbs in the country by 2010 to encourage the use of alternatives like CFLs.

Those had better be fluorescent lights, Sydney.

Those had better be fluorescent lights, Sydney.

CFLs are more expensive than incandescent lightbulbs, but they use about 1/5 of the energy (less energy is wasted as heat) and they last longer, so your energy bill can be lower in the long run.  In fact, my physics professor last year mentioned that when he was suprised when he traveled to Morocco, a relatively poor country that you’d think could not afford the high initial cost of CFLs.  In fact, it turns out that everyone in Morocco uses CFLs because they can’t afford the high sustained cost of running incandescent bulbs.

Nowadays, CFLs come in all shapes, and they dont cast a harsh light like old fluorescents did.

Nowadays, CFLs come in all shapes, and they don't cast a harsh light like old fluorescents did.

One common concern about CFLs is that they contain trace amounts of mercury.  I’ve heard that CFLs don’t have enough mercury to pose a danger to the consumer (unless you’re a total moron and run over to a broken bulb, inhaling deeply), but I suppose that disposing of them properly could be a concern.

Do you think that Australia’s move to ban incandescent lightbulbs is an example of a government taking positive steps to address the environment, or a decision best left up to individuals?