Although it’s important to stay informed on the situation in Japan as the country continues to reel from last week’s catastrophic earthquake and subsequent tsunami, many of you may need a breather from the onslaught of harrowing, heart-wrenching and nightmare-inducing images of destruction and despair. It’s a lot to absorb.


On the much lighter side, below is a clip from a recent episode of "The Colbert Report" in which Chuck Noblet Stephen Colbert lampoons one of my favorite topics: energy-efficient light bulbs (aka those dratted, long-lasting "pigtail" light bulbs) and the “watt riot” set off by the impending phase-out of inefficient incandescents.

As you may be aware, many Republicans, most notably possible crazy person/non-IKEA shopper Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN.) and dim BULB Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo), are outraged by the fact that starting in 2012, incandescent bulbs will be banished from store shelves. Both have introduced bills that aim to repeal energy-efficiency standards established in 2007 and keep "traditional" light bulbs in circulation. 

And then there's Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.), he of the non-working toilet. At a hearing last week, he lashed out at Kathleen Hogan, the deputy assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, saying: "I find it really appalling and hypocritical that there should be some self-examination from the administration on the idea that you favor a woman’s right to an abortion, but you don’t favor a woman or a man’s right to choose what kind of light bulb, what kind of dishwasher, what kind of washing machine.” Ick.

Anyways, sit back, fire up that Easy Bake Oven, and enjoy.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Colbert takes on 'Socket Huggers'
Watch Stephen Colbert, tongue firmly planted in cheek, get all worked up over energy-efficient standard light bulb standards and the 'end of all light bulb-base