Green Jobs Are Real [via Nina Reznick]

Last week, Germany’s economic development agency announced similarly big news: There are now more than 100,000 workers employed in the German solar PV industry alone.  Why is that so significant? The U.S. figures take into account solar jobs in PV, solar hot water and concentrating solar power; Germany is only factoring in solar PV.

And as a reader over at Clean Technica observed: “The US has about 312 million people while Germany has 82 million, about 25% as many people…. That makes the German solar industry more than four times as large an employer than US steel based on country size.”

A couple words of caution: These figures are comparing solar manufacturing, sales and installation to steel production alone. If one were to factor in products made from steel, the industry would be up around 160,000 workers.

With that said, the solar industry is just getting started here in America. Solar is a high-growth industry with the potential to create millions more jobs in a diverse range of sectors; while still an extraordinarily important industry, steel is not.

Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, explains the significance:
Whether it is construction contractors, plumbers, electricians, assembly-line workers or even lawyers and accountants, solar is creating new opportunities at a time when so many Americans are looking for some good news on the job front. In just three short years, the solar industry has grown from a small start-up to an industry that now employs more Americans than U.S. steel production.
Yet, even with such a big milestone for the U.S. economy, political leaders like Louisiana Representative John Fleming are questioning the “so-called green jobs that we’re yet to see produced.”

The bigger question for Mr. Fleming and other doubters is: Which curve do you want to place your bets on?     Read More

I Want One of These [via Laurie Dressman]

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

There's nothing like a giant drivable banana to light up everyone you meet.

It's the creation of Steve Braithewaite of Cooperstown, Pa., who recently peeled through Flint, Mich., the Flint Journal reports.

"I had no idea how much I was going to enjoy people laughing and smiling at me," Braithwaite was quoted as saying after parked.

The banana cruiser started life as a Ford F-150 pickup truck and was transformed with the help of steel, foam and fiberglass. He says he was inspired by the fruit basket he spied one day.

"I just had a crazy desire to do something ridiculous," he tells reporter Khalil AlHajal.


Since the cost of
prescription drugs is so outrageous, I thought everyone should know about this. It pays to shop around! This helps to solve the mystery as to why they can afford to put a Walgreen's on every corner. On Monday night, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit , did a story ongeneric drug prices gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. So often we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves. For example if you had to buy aprescription drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills.

The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you think you are saving $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!

At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs.

I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own experience I had to use the drug Compazine which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients.

I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at Costco for $28.08.

I would like to mention, that although Costco is a 'membership' type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in. I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.

Sharon L. Davis

Budget Analyst

U.S. Department of Commerce
Room 6839

Office Ph:
Office Fax:

Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must cost a lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet. We did a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension a significant percentage of drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients made in other countries. In our independent investigation of how much profit drug companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs sold in America .

Celebrex:100 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60
Percent markup: 21,712%

Claritin:10 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71
Percent markup: 30,306%

Keflex:250 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88
Percent markup: 8,372%

Lipitor:20 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80
Percent markup: 4,696%

Norvasc:10 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14
Percent markup: 134,493%
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Paxil:20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60
Percent markup: 2,898%

Prevacid:30 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01
Percent markup: 34,136%

Prilosec: 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
Cost of general active ingredients $0.52
Percent markup: 69,417%

Prozac:20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11
Percent markup: 224,973%

Tenormin:50 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13
Percent markup: 80,362%
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Vasotec:10 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20
Percent markup: 51,185%

Xanax:1 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024
Percent markup: 569,958%

Zestril:20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89
Cost of general active ingredients $3.20
Percent markup: 2,809%

Zithromax:600 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78
Percent markup: 7,892%

Zocor:40 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63
Percent markup: 4,059%

Zoloft:50 mg
Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active ingredients: $1..75
Percent markup: 11,821%

A Memorable Event [via Steven Kates]

Dr. Epstein was a renowned physician who earned his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees in his home town and then left for Manhattan , where he quickly rose to the top of his field.

Soon he was invited to deliver a significant paper, at a conference, coincidentally held in his home town. He walked on stage and placed his papers on the lectern, but they slid of f onto the floor. As he bent over to retrieve them, at precisely the wrong instant, he inadvertently farted. The microphone amplified his mistake resoundingly through the room and reverberated it down the hall! He was quite embarrassed but somehow regained his composure just enough to deliver his paper. He ignored the resounding applause and raced out the stage door, never to be seen in his home town again.

Decades later, when his elderly mother was ill, he returned to visit her. He reserved a hotel room under the name of Levy and arrived under cover of darkness.The desk clerk asked him, "Is this your first visit to our city, Mr. Levy?"

Dr. Epstein replied, "Well, young man, no, it isn't. I grew up here and received my education here, but then I moved away."

Why haven't you visited?" asked the desk clerk.

Actually, I did visit once, many years ago, but an embarrassing thing happened and since then I've been too ashamed to return."

The clerk consoled him. "Sir, while I don't have your life experience, one thing I have learned is that often what seems embarrassing to me isn't even remembered by others. I bet that's true of your incident too."

Dr. Epstein replied, "Son, I doubt that's the case with my incident."

"Was it a long time ago?"

"Yes, many years."

The clerk asked, "Was it before or after the Epstein Fart?"

Watch the official teaser trailer for the post-apocalyptic western DRY!

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Yoga Gives Back - August Newsletter

SUCCESS STORY: Nishtha, West Bengal, India
Thanks to your support, YGB's direct funding project "Sister Aid" is providing funds for 56 impoverished mothers, children and orphans, supporting their education and economic independence.
alternate textYGB's new PR card selected a photo of women in Tripuranagar Village, our direct fund recipients
YGB's direct funding program "Sister Aid" continues to sponsor 22 mothers in Tripuranagar, West Bengal, through their micro credit programs. YGB also funds their 22 daughters so they can receive a full education and private tutoring for the whole year.
Here is the update report from NISHTHA's director Mina Das:
  • Out of 22 women supported, all are continuing their livelihood initiatives and 17 women have started earning profits.
  • All women except one have been able to not only earn a living, but have also begun to pay back their loan.
  • All 22 supported daughters of this women's group are continuing their education in formal school education. Personal tutoring is also offered to everyone.
Story of Anjali Naskar
Anjali Naskar lives in Tripuranagar village of Shikharbali - I GP. She lives with her husband and two daughters. Her husband works in a fishery but the work is only available during the rainy season and the rest of the time he farms a small piece of land they have, but the income was not enough to ensure proper education of the daughters. Being illiterate, Anjali and her husband were unable to school them at home.
When we initially shared with Anjali the idea of the women's micro credit collaboration group, she was hesitant. After we briefed her about the benefits of being a part of group, she agreed and now is a Treasurer!

Anjali had experience with the envelope-making business but didn't have enough money to continue. After receiving a loan, and with the support of the group, Anjali grew confident. She is steadily growing her business and her daughters are now going to school regularly, as well as receiving much needed personal tutoring to help with their studies.

YGB is also supporting NISHTHA artisan group's handmade crafts sales at our events, raising over $1500 so far!!

Watch the YGB video series, "Sister Aid " to meet our fund recipients on YGB’s YouTube Channel!!!

Yoga Gives Back is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

Questions, comments, want to get involved?

Shortest College Essay [via Mary Calhoun]

A college class was told they had to write a short story in as few words as possible.

The instructions were:The short story had to contain the following three things

1. Religion

2. Sexuality

3. Mystery

Below is the only A+ in the entire class.

Good God, I'm pregnant; I wonder who did it.