And now for something completely different

Ross rails against the nanny state:

Writing in the overly-cheery, "just do as I say and all should be well" style of Dolores Umbridge explaining a new regulation from the Ministry of Magic, Brendan Koerner tries to persuade me to stop worrying and embrace "compact fluorescent light bulbs." (Not that I have any choice in the matter.) Why would you want to stick with "inefficient incandescent technology that has barely changed since the invention of the tungsten filament nearly a century ago," he wonders, when you can enjoy the hip and refreshing taste of New Coke - sorry, I mean, the chilly pulse of energy-efficient fluorescence? (It's the official light bulb of Tomorrowland, kids - and the Pruitt-Igoe housing project!)

You might be a little concerned about what to do when a CFL bulb breaks, but not to worry: "Just follow the EPA's easy cleanup guidelines." (Who doesn't want a lightbulb that comes with government-issued "cleanup guidelines"?) True, those guidelines suggest that you flee the room at first, and then use rubber gloves and two sealed plastics bags to clean up the broken bulb, but the good news is that "even a broken CFL bulb won't leak too much toxic metal." And while you might have trouble throwing the broken bulb away, since putting it in the trash is probably, er, illegal, there's hope on the horizon: "Look for several major retailers to set up recycling drop-off boxes this year, in order to goose their CFL sales." (Jonah Goldberg, call your office ... )

Oh, and "use common sense and don't place CFLs where they can be damaged by young children." You know, like in your living room.

Flourescent lights are the reason everyone looks hideous and sickly in dressing rooms. I have no desire to carry that feeling home. I'll cast my vote for any politician that stops regulating the hell out of every aspect of our life, and instead imposes a sane, transparent carbon tax to deal with whatever negative externalities present themselves.