Friday, December 31, 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity

I came across this a little late, but I thought it was so hysterical that I decided to post it anyway.Even if it's not Christmas, it's worth watching.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The Bloody Eclipse of the Moon

Tonight just after midnight Pacific time a total lunar eclipse occurs on the Winter Solstice (December 21.) What this means for Earth's inhabitants is a focused showering of light from the Sun with added blessings bursting forth from the Sun's reflected light coming to us via the full moon/blue moon eclipse.

The Moon was dipped in the deep coppery hues caused by atmospheric refraction. When the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow completely, the refracted sunlight is still able to reach the Moon and light it a little. This light passes through the deep layers of the Earth’s atmosphere, which filters the blue end of the spectrum more, and so the remaining light is deep brown, red, orange or yellow. "They" say it's one of the signs in Revelation, but we seem to be nearly submersed in "signs" from Revelation. Hmmm.

Something interesting to note about this particular Winter Solstice and all the extra high vibrational activating energy available to us is this. When you add up the numbers of the month day and year, 12-21-2010 is actually a 9 in sacred numerology. (12=3, 21=3, 2010=3/3+3+3=9) 9 came into the universe as energizing endings and beginnings, exhales and inhales.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Global War on Drugs

International Drug Policy: Animated Report 2009

In a way, given the facts of the global meltdown that seems to be going on in many areas: finance, war, religion, nutrition, etc. ad nauseum, this one seems almost insignificant. But it's earning billions of dollars each year for the players. So much money wasted by those who need it for other things, including medical treatment and so much of our nations' wealth filtered into the secret bank accounts of the greedy relative few.. How much money can you spend before you die? Is it true that whoever dies with the most toys wins? What ever happened to "you can't take it with you," and "It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven?"


Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Southern Thanksgiving

The Secret to Perfect Collards

I have always been a big city girl, and when my brother and I were growing up in Coconut Grove (a suburb--now--of Miami) my mother was back in school after running a successful and exclusive high-fashion clothing store for many years. Her alteration department had eight women working in it full time; Cuban women, and boy could they sew. And lined all the seams and hems with lace...the whole nine yards.

And my mother was the best. She could design, cut a pattern and whip up a little something with bound button-holes in the twinkling of an eye. In order to take a job teaching mens' tailoring at the high-rise technical school in Downtown Miami, she had to get a Master's in Home Ec. I guess that's what they called it, anyway. In her case they waived almost all of the course requirements due to her vast experience.

My mother was also one of those people who was also an excellent public speaker, and on one particular occasion she was giving a presentation at a seminar of some sort having to with her classes or degree, and brought the house down by sharing with the audience the easiest way to wash spinach, which in those days was invariably covered with mud if not worse.

She told them to remove the leaves from the bundle and rinse then spin them for a few minutes in the washing machine. After howling with laughter, a lot of people didn't believe her until they had tried it, but I have washed spinach that way my whole life. No muss, no fuss. Proceed directly to stem-removal.

A few years ago I made a move to the Very-Deep South. I had many cultural shocks in store. Stories, maybe for another day.

This Thanksgiving, my daughter was here visiting from Boston, and she and I were invited to a neighbor's for dinner. After discussing it, we decided to call and tell her to choose whatever dish she least wanted to fix, and we would make it. She confessed to a craving for collards, but just really didn't think she would have the time to mess with them. 

Me and my big mouth. I had very little idea what a collard looked like, much less how they are prepared or what they are supposed to taste like. To me they had always been something nasty that came in a little side-dish in Southern restaurants that could be made semi-palatable by drowning them in Pepper Sauce--another term many of you non-Southerners might not be familiar with. I demurred, she insisted I could cook anything. Guess who won? 

The next day, after reading the instructions on a soul-food recipe site, I set out to acquire the requisite five bunches of collards, ham hocks, and the stuff (I'm still not sure what it was, and not sure I wanted to know) that the gentleman in the meat department assured me I had to include for the "soul" to be fully present. I cleverly slid them (it?) under a package of something else when he wasn't looking. I thought of the lunch lady in Beauty Shop.

Now five bunches of collards is somewhat more that a bushel, I think, so my daughter and I decided to use the old tried-and-true family method of washing spinach. There was just one little problem. We couldn't get the washing machine to stop. While I was tearing my hair out and we were both envisioning days of scooping collard mush out of the washer, followed by an almost certainly expensive visit from a repairman, we finally manage to halt the beast after spinning out the water, and took a cautious peek. Oh yeah, about what I had envisioned.

We started scooping. A faint ray of hope began to break through the despair. The collards had turned themselves into 2-3 inch pieces, and the thrashing had removed the stems. Ye gods and little fishes. I had gone my Who's Who of Commerce and Industry mother one better. Washing, drying and de-stemming all in one easy 10 minute step. The only thing we had to do, was pick the huge chunks of stem out of each handful.

Which I cooked, according to recipe, minus that one little bit of "soul," and everybody raved about them. Were they being polite or did they taste like they were supposed to? I haven't got a clue. I won't believe I know what a collard is supposed to taste like until I've had some prepared by an acknowledged Southern born and raised collard expert.

Each photo is a link back to the blog or website where it was found.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Garfield on the Oil Crisis

A lot of folks can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in our country. 
Well, there's a very simple answer. Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low.

The reason for that is purely geographical. ~~~ Our OIL is located in: ~~~ ALASKA ~~~ California ~~~ Coastal Florida ~~~ Coastal Louisiana ~~~ North Dakota ~~~ Wyoming ~~~ Colorado ~~~ Kansas ~~~ Oklahoma ~~~ Pennsylvania And Texas ~~~

Our dipsticks are located in DC Any Questions? NO? Didn't think So.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ridiculous Issue To Argue Over!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Famous Economic Hitman at Omega

The Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, New York, is an amazing place. You can get away from the world there. It's totally isolated, with very little contact with the outside world. Oh, of course you can take your cell phone and stay on it constantly and defeat the whole purpose of the experience, but most people don't. They may take them, but usage is allowed only in a few areas, so things tend to stay pretty mellow.Even to use a computer, you have to trek to the cafe. And it can be a trek, as the campus is large and hilly.

All the food is locally grown and vegetarian. And it's absolutely delicious. Meat-eaters don't feel deprived. They even have their own, totally unpolluted water supply. Also wonderful.  It's beautiful, and peaceful, and the wild animals have been so unharmed by humans for so long that you almost have to shove them out of the way. There are lots of birds, rabbits, woodchucks, and groundhogs.

There's always something going on. You can go there to take a class in an unbelievably wide variety of subjects, ranging from alternative things of every type you can imagine from medicine to music, but also things that relate to politics and global affairs. Everything is aimed toward making the world a better place for everyone.

There is a Wellness Center, and your can go to Omega without taking any classes at all, just for a relaxation getaway, like the most wonderful spa retreat, and be pampered and massaged have life coaching, see a psychic, or just lie in a hammock by the lake. There are always activities that everyone can go to, whether they are taking classes or not: yoga, dance, lectures on a wide variety of subjects, music, and a wonderful library. It's a wonderful joyful experience.

When you're taking a class, the facilities on the wooded campus are so widely separated that you feel as though what you're doing is the only thing going on. No noise from anything else, but at mealtimes, in the dining hall, you realize how many other people are there. To give you an idea of the variety of what's available, when I went last summer to take an energy medicine course, John Perkins, famous author of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, was also there giving a class. Here is an interview with John:


Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Love the Idea of Tiny Houses

I am really taken with the idea of a tiny house. Particularly if I could combine it with the practice of building houses on barges that is so popular in Seattle. I'm going to have to do some research to see what I would have to do to combine the two. I live now, and have lived before in areas that have/had massive river systems with amazing views,

I really think that I would like to do it. I have actually been thinking about it for years. To serendipitously land on the page of a tiny house builder was really an amazing thing. And on the same day that I serendipitously, accidentally landed on the B&B page. It has really made a difference in the way I view my possible futures; a problem that had been driving me crazy for years.

My friends are scattered all over. My only offspring lives in sublets all over the world. My parents and former husband are deceased. It's both a blessing and a curse to have so much freedom. I don't, any longer have anyplace I have to live, but on the other hand that makes the variety of choices almost overwhelming. This could be the answer. I will have to do some research to put it all together. But here is another "Tiny House" video:


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Women of the Storm

I've just been reading a letter from "Women of the Storm," an organization formed around the time of Hurricane Katrina. It was just a "thank-you note" for signing a petition,but it made me think of the devastation that is happening there, both in the ocean and on the shore. I thought of the tiny fishing  towns that were completely destroyed in Hurricane Camille, when I lived there almost 40 years ago, and that were again ravaged by Hurricane Katrina

They have now been damaged in a far more permanent way by us. Human beings, people. Thousands of lives were lost in Hurricane Camille and in Katrina when the tiny towns were no longer just fishing villages but tourist destination, but nature is more merciful. Nature does no permanent damage to the earth, and allows us a chance to rebuild.

We're not so kind. We we destroy something, we do it right.We make it last. The small tows will be gone again now, because there will be no way to make a living. Fishing and tourism have been canceled for the foreseeable future. Not as many people died. In fact I'm not sure anybody died. But millions of animals in the sea and on the shore have died and many millions more will before it's over, and given the fact that 30% of our seafood comes from that area, it isn't just the sealife that will  suffer. We will too. Enormously greater shortages and higher prices of some of the foods that are so much better for us than red meat. Oh well, I guess if we feel a craving for sea food we can just get a fish sandwich at McDonald's.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


This is another one that really chaps my ass. I could go on forever or be really brief. I haven't got the time to waste. My best friend, when I lived in California was had been in a lesbian marriage (of varying legality) for twenty-five years. All through high school and college I had boy "friends" who were trapped in the closet. I served, on many occasions as a "beard."

In the small town where I went to graduate school the entire gay population shopped in the store I had in the mall, because they felt safe and embraced because we were "gay friendly'" They were all still in the closet at that time, poor babies, including a state senator.

We have way more important thing to worry about. Gay, straight, pink, blue, polka-dotted. Who give a hairy rats ass.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Get Over It

When I was young, I worked for the Federal Poverty Program in a number of different jobs, cities, and towns, including a mill town in Appalachia, that had not only a Monsanto plant, but a St, Regis paper mill as well. It was so nasty that black chunks actually fell out of the air, the local streams bubbled and turned very strange colors, and people actually got "black lung," like coal miners.

I found, not just there, but everywhere else I worked for the FPP, that there was absolutely no difference between the African American and  Caucasians (about 50/50 population-wise) who lived there. Except for the very strange difference that the black people had better table manners.

I became, quite literally "color-blind," in that, if I had any reason to, I actually had to stop and think whether someone, a fellow worker, a client, a student, or whatever the case might have been, was black or white. I had to picture their face in my mind, and figure it out.

I had some pretty fierce conversations about the perceived differences with my upper middle class white friends. I broke up with my boyfriend (a surgeon) after an angry and tearful argument, over his assertion that Caucasians  are naturally smarter than African or African-American people. He actually said something along the lines of their brains being smaller or something (surgeon, remember--had to have had some anatomy lessons.) Sound a little like the Aryan philosophy? It did to me. I walked home from his house in the middle of the night that night--or would have if a local policeman had not stopped and given me a ride. (Things were way different back then.) Last I saw of him except for the occasional accidental meeting in the OR.

I discovered that poverty, lack of education, and poor diet are Equal Opportunity Providers: of low IQ, demoralization, debilitation and debasement. There was absolutely no discernible difference except the one I mentioned above.

I reasoned with my friends that I had seen, in museums in Europe, carefully illustrated travel journals' from as far back as the Middle Ages, that depicted African cities with carefully laid out street plans, four or more story buildings, and the like. I saw poetry, art work to rival any I've ever seen in beauty, and writings on mathematics and astronomy. It didn't matter. I might as well have been talking to brick walls.

Unlike some of the New World ancient cultures, the African cities were primarily built out of wood, and returned very quickly to jungles. And sorry everybody who didn't already know it; the African narions were doing a brisk trade in slavery while my ancestors (I don't know what yours were up to) were still running around naked and painting themselves blue with woad.

It's time to get over it everybody. If you're an American and reading this, you're almost certainly better off than you would have been if your ancestors had stayed wherever they came here from, by whatever means.If  you're of African descent, and someone offered you a free plane ticket, would you move to "back" to Africa? If you're of Serbian descent and offered the sane deal would you take it?

I didn't think so.


Goddamn Google ( &Microsoft as an Afterthought)

I cannot believe that Google just ate an entire post that I wrote. And quite a long one. I guess that will teach me, yet again--I just can't seem to learn--not to trust Google for any degree of reliability in their ever more frenzied attempt to dominate the internet, now that they actually have the drop on Microsoft, who (which--amazing how we tend to anthropomorphize these monstrous corporate entities) totally overlooked what was happening on the net in their pursuit of other unsavory things.

A word of caution, they are about to release their catch-up Windows Live Platform. I donloaded the Beta the minute it became awailable and it immediately took over my computer, offered to upload my whole life to their little database in the sky via my calendar and contacts program, and within minutes I received a message from facebook that Microsoft had hacked my account. (Exact terminology.)

 Be Ware, my children, be very, very ware. I suspect that Windows Users (fair to say the bulk of the world's computer users?) will simply have this shoved or snuck down their throats as some kind of "upgrade." So, protect yourself against it, because even though I, of course immediately changed the necessary passwords, etc. and removed every last vestige that I could find, from my computer, every time I turn on my Calendar/contacts program I have to answer "no" to a dialogue box (that I can't get rid of) I don't want my entire life and all my daily activities not only posted on the Internet but scrutinized by Microsoft--not that I don't imagine they're doing that anyway.

Wake Up and DO Something With Your Life


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tiny Houses

I have always been interested in handmade houses, "boat" houses--I really wanted to live on a boat house, because I lived in a city that was largely rivers. I am a passionate gardener and wanted to have my garden on a separate barge tethered to my house. I think maybe I might talk to this guy about building me one...


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This little cartoon was originally posted, I believe on the Consumer's Union Website, and may perhaps be archived somewhere, but it's pretty obscure. It's pretty funny. I wish I could find it to keep myself, rather than just having an "embeddable" version.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Gratitude, or a Quick Thanks

For most of my adult life I have wondered why, in our society anyway, there were so many expressions and gestures for anger, contempt, rage, and other negative emotions and messages, but not a single one that I had ever heard of or experienced for gratitude, simple or otherwise. Not so much as a way, other than a wave, to thank someone for letting you into traffic on the freeway.

A quick internet search made it apparent that I'm not the only one who has noticed this lack. Apparently the masons have signs for many the things, but, one problem there. The whole idea is that they are (supposed) to be secret. I mean, come on guys, you really think no one has leaked the mystic goodies in all these years?

But that, of course, pretty much defeats the purpose, even if they're only "supposed" to be secret not many people know what they are, or remember if they've seen them. I'm already forgetting, but my memory is not great.

Apparently a very popular campaign is to use the sign language gesture of gratitude to thank military personnel. I think this is wonderful. They're over there fighting and dying in a war that shouldn't be happening in the first place. In my book, that certainly deserves a little gratitude. Not a great thing that it's killing off the best specimens of the males of the species. I don't think that's what the whole fighting for supremacy thing, was about, biologically speaking, back when the winner was generally left alive to mate with the chosen female. But that's getting off on a whole different subject.

I have included, here, a video of the sign for gratitude. I think a lot more people deserve it than just the military. It's still not a lot of use in traffic though. Where I used to live the disc jockeys used to actively encourage road rage, rather than the reverse, which in my opinion should not  be allowed by the FCC. We still need something that might be a little more visible, but this one is certainly a lot better than the nothing more than the thumbs up that was all we had before.Well, maybe not better, but with a bit different meaning. Thanks from the heart rather than just a quick thumbs up.

Hey! that would be a little more visible in traffic!

Oh! That!

I always wondered what it was called. 
Well, here it is folks. 

 A gesture to use is traffic, compliments of Anonymous:




Monday, May 24, 2010

The Femivore Mystique

The Femivore MystiqueBy skirtSteph, Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 2 comments:
There was an article in the NY Times over the weekend about how the new trend for stay-at-home moms is to become a locavore, a farmer of sorts, a chicken raiser. Pretty fascinating. They're calling it Femivorism.
Definition of Femivorism: "Women feeding their families clean, flavorful food; reducing their carbon footprints; producing sustainably instead of consuming rampantly."
I can't tell if Peggy Orenstein is making fun of these women, saying that they're trying to find more meaning and purpose in their stay-at-home lives by creating vegetable gardens, becoming educated about where their food comes from, making their own household items or what? It's like that show Colonial House or a return to Little House on the Prairie. How interesting that we're starting to revert to the more chore-ful ways of our foremothers. It seems, to these women, technology and innovations in food production are not all we thought they were cracked up to be.
I couldn't help wondering though, Is this just another way for women to compete with each other? Like a "my garden patch is better than yours" showdown in the carpool lane? Or will we begin to overhear, "What are you feeding your kid? Grocery-store food? Well, I have gone off the grid. I made the bread in their lunches and slaughtered the chicken in their chicken nuggets."
Femivores are women who are trying to make their home "self-sustaining, the center of labor and livelihood for both sexes." These women are canning peaches, growing kale, making soap, etc. I think it's wonderful, but worry that it could become a way for women to separate themselves. We already have the stay-at-home mom vs. working mom divide. Will this be a stay-at-home farmer mom vs. stay-at-home regular mom chasm that women can't cross? Read More...


Friday, May 21, 2010

Beautiful Art from the Hands of a Friend

When I first saw these pieces on YouTube, I assumed that they were computer generated. I didn't know, until my friend who goes by the professional name IEOIE told me that he actually contructs the elements using a compass and protractor and various building materials, only then adding computer elements.
His works are now for sale. His website is:, and many of his works are available for viewing on YouTube.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The One-Eyed Monkey

  The medium IS the Message! Marshall McLuhan


Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Long-Term Effects of Short-Term Emotions

by Dan Ariely

The heat of the moment is a powerful, dangerous thing. We all know this. If we’re happy, we may be overly generous. Maybe we leave a big tip, or buy a boat. If we’re irritated, we may snap. Maybe we rifle off that nasty e-mail to the boss, or punch someone. And for that fleeting second, we feel great. But the regret—and the consequences of that decision—may last years, a whole career, or even a lifetime.

At least the regret will serve us well, right? Lesson learned—maybe.

Maybe not. My friend Eduardo Andrade and I wondered if emotions could influence how people make decisions even after the heat or anxiety or exhilaration wears off. We suspected they could. As research going back to Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory suggests, the problem with emotional decisions is that our actions loom larger than the conditions under which the decisions were made. When we confront a situation, our mind looks for a precedent among past actions without regard to whether a decision was made in emotional or unemotional circumstances. Which means we end up repeating our mistakes, even after we’ve cooled off

I said that Eduardo and I wondered if past emotions influence future actions, but, really, we worried about it. If we were right, and recklessly poor emotional decisions guide later “rational” moments, well, then, we’re not terribly sophisticated decision makers, are we?

To test the idea, we needed to observe some emotional decisions. So we annoyed some people, by showing them a five-minute clip from the movie Life as a House, in which an arrogant boss fires an architect who proceeds to smash the firm’s models. We made other subjects happy, by showing them—what else?—a clip from the TV show Friends. (Eduardo’s previous research had established the emotional effects of these clips).

Right after that, we had them play a classic economics game known as the ultimatum game, in which a “sender” (in this case, Eduardo and I) has $20 and offers a “receiver” (the movie watcher) a portion of the money. Some offers are fair (an even split) and some are unfair (you get $5, we get $15). The receiver can either accept or reject the offer. If he rejects it, both sides get nothing.

Traditional economics predicts that people—as rational beings—will accept any offer of money rather than reject an offer and get zero. But behavioral economics shows that people often prefer to lose money in order to punish a person making an unfair offer.

Ah, human nature: want to find out more about the results of this study?


Monday, April 19, 2010

A TED Talk--of Hope--From Malawi

This Morning the first thing I saw when I turned on my computer was this talk by a young man from Malawi. Those, not all--but some--disenfrancised by the Europeans' spread across the globe in the form of the East India Tea company, the Spanish and Portuguese desire to acquire the wealth of the new worlds discovered to the west, the peoples in once-prosperous lands thrown off of their traditional lands for the sake of European monoculture, whether it be mahogany, or sugar, or rubber, are starting to claim back the land, a little at a time and to grow the food to support themselves instead of rummaging through the garbage heaps of the rich and building hovels out of discarded packing materials, drinking contaminated water that has been filtered through sewage.

Twenty-seven years ago, a friend with the exact same birthday as mine, wrote a book called A Diet For a Small Planet, the premise of which was that the earth so bountiful that no one need go hungry. Seven years ago, along with her daughter, she wrote another, called Hope's Edge. She and her daughter traveled all over the world finding the pockets of determined poor, building gardens in vacant lots, in waste fields, saying: Even now, as bad as things are we still have a chance. How many times have we been given this chance and not taken it? Another Down the Rabbit Hole question. Will we make it this time or is the Earth getting ready to shake us off, once more, like a dog shaking off fleas? Are we about to get busted back to caveman again?


Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Real Cost of Search Engines

Search Engines's Dirty Secret06 April 2010 by James Clarage

For similar stories, visit the Comment and Analysis and Energy and Fuels Topic Guides

HOW much does a web search cost? You don't pay up front, but there are costs nevertheless, and they are not just measured in dollars.

The term search "engine" is apt. Searches are powered by millions of computers packed into warehouses, all wired together to function as a single system. Like any system, it obeys the laws of thermodynamics, and therefore wastes energy.

The first law says it takes energy to do work, even if that work is only to move electrons across silicon wafers. The second law says that no engine is perfect, meaning some of the input gets lost as heat. This is the entropy, or disorder, arising from your search.

A successful results page brings clarity and order to your corner of the universe, but down in the server farms things get messy. Thermal motion of silicon atoms agitates air molecules behind the CPU racks, heating them up. More energy must be fed in to power the computer fans and air-conditioning units needed to remove this heat from the warehouses.

Whatever you search for, it boils down to the same cycle: move atoms, then cool atoms. Both these steps consume energy. How much? Let's run through some numbers, using the leading search engine as our guide. There's lots more. Read it here.

One Man's Volunteer Effort To Plant Trees
in San Francisco

As a volunteer, Charlie Starbuck has helped to plant trees by the thousands on the streets of San Francisco, a city long on charm but short on leafy green trees. For almost 30 years, Charlie Starbuck has volunteered to plant trees all over San Francisco, one street at a time, as a member of the nonprofit group Friends of the Urban Forest.( Van Slambrouck, Contributor, April 5, 2010 San Francisco)
Charlie Starbuck has them in just about every part of this city. Walk a block or two in virtually any neighborhood, from the concrete canyons of the financial district to the windblown avenues of the Outer Sunset and Mr. Starbuck's fingerprints are there. It might be a Brisbane box, a bronze loquat, a primrose, or a purple leaf plum. Whatever the species of tree, chances are excellent that Starbuck helped plant it. Not as in ordered the tree or arranged for the planting. But as in actually put his fingers in the dirt and planted it.

A soft-spoken gentleman fond of berets, Starbuck has volunteered for a citywide tree-planting program since 1981, nearly without interruption. That's almost 30 years of weekly plantings, without pay, come rain or shine. "For Charlie to be that consistent..." says Doug Wildman, program director of San Francisco's Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF), his voice trailing off as he searches for the right superlative. "Well, he's our rock." FUF ( is the nonprofit group for which Starbuck has volunteered all these years.One man's volunteer effort to plant trees in San Francisco As a volunteer, Charlie Starbuck has helped to plant trees by the thousands on the streets of San Francisco, a city long on charm but short on leafy green trees. For almost 30 years, Charlie Starbuck has volunteered to plant trees all over San Francisco, one street at a time, as a member of the nonprofit group Friends of the Urban Forest.

Unfortunately, Charlie is fighting a losing battle. Not only are we losing our forest canopy to the rapid sprawl of outlying subdivisions, we're losing out urban trees as well. And each tree lost can contribute enomously to the utility bills of urban householders and to their health-care bills as well. To read a story about this see :

Would you like to be part of the solution? In addition to Friends of the Urban Forest (above) you can also visit the following website:
be the change:


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Eggs for Breakfast Reduces Calorie Consumption

A new study demonstrates that eating protein-rich eggs for breakfast reduces hunger and decreases calorie consumption at lunch and throughout the day. The study, published in the February issue of Nutrition Research, found that men who consumed an egg-based breakfast ate significantly fewer calories when offered an unlimited lunch buffet compared to when they ate a carbohydrate-rich bagel breakfast of equal calories.

This study supports previous research which revealed that eating eggs for breakfast as part of a reduced-calorie diet helped overweight dieters lose 65 percent more weight and feel more energetic than dieters who ate a bagel breakfast of equal calories and volume.Now, as ever, the moneyed class gets the most press, their proclivities and habits making headlines while the rest of humanity surges ever-onward hungrily and anonymously.

This rule is particularly true with women, in whose ranks the voices of the poor drown particularly silently. Rich women, on the other hand, have always seemed to be of particular interest to almost everybody.

In this instance, the press is working itself into a lather over the news, reported by Peggy Orenstein in the New York Times Magazine, that a few stay-at-home moms in Berkeley are raising chickens in their back yards. "Femivores," she calls them, as if women growing food for their families is a phenomenon that needs a new name. (I won't even mention my misgiving about the grammar.)

The blogosphere, in response to this prompt, busies itself with reading the scratches in the dirt: What does it all mean?Now, as ever, the moneyed class gets the most press, their proclivities and habits making headlines while the rest of humanity surges ever-onward hungrily and anonymously. This rule is particularly true with women, in whose ranks the voices of the poor drown particularly silently. Rich women, on the other hand, have always seemed to be of particular interest to almost everybody.

In this instance, the press is working itself into a lather over the news, reported by Peggy Orenstein in the New York Times Magazine, that a few stay-at-home moms in Berkeley are raising chickens in their back yards. "Femivores," she calls them, as if women growing food for their families is a phenomenon that needs a new name. (I won't even mention my misgiving about the grammar.)
The blogosphere, in response to this prompt, busies itself with reading the scratches in the dirt: What does it all mean? Read More...


Oh My....Don't attack the Dalai Lama!

A group of researchers has linked a huge, China-based cyber espionage ring to the theft of thousands of documents — including classified information, visa applications, and personal identities — from “politically sensitive targets” around the world.

The command-and-control infrastructure of this so-called Shadow Network used platforms such as Twitter, Google Groups, Blogspot, Baidu Blogs, and Yahoo Mail to maintain persistent control of infected computers.

They also used Tor, a system designed to grant online anonymity to political protesters, crime victims, journalists and others. The network then attacked targets ranging from the offices of the Dalai Lama to the United Nations as well as Indian and Pakistani government officials. Not all of the attacked organizations can be positively identified, but researchers are confident that India was the primary target.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Bees see color 3X as Fast as We Do

Bees see color at about triple the speed that humans do, a new study finds.

The findings are the first to measure bumblebee color vision speed and show how it compares with that of monochromatic vision, or the "black-and-white" vision used to track motion.

Since speedy vision takes up quite a bit of energy, the results suggest seeing quickly in color must be rather valuable for bees.

"Color vision doesn't have to be so fast — if you want to track something moving accurately you need fast processing to track its changing position, but objects don't change color rapidly, that tends to be a permanent feature," said study author Peter Skorupski, a researcher at Queen Mary, University of London, in England. "[The results] suggest to us that color vision must be pretty important in the life of a bumblebee."

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Functional Street Art

Recently, I've started noticing these bilingual, and potentially quite helpful, wheat-pastings around Los Angeles. I finally had to stop and take some pictures last night:

Placed on utility boxes like this along the sides of main roads used by bikes and cars, these signs show how much energy the biking share-the-road movements are gaining. Clearly, this isn't quite the same as having a bike lane, but I'd love to think these posters could be the guerrilla way to start people thinking about making a space for cyclists, even if it isn't yet painted on the road.

I'm not sure who's behind these, but I've gotta say, these are probably my newest favorite act of productive civil disobedience (and I do keep a list: these guys are on it and so is this guy) and an exciting example of street art as functional civic intervention.
Well done, whoever you are.
These pictures were taken along Figueroa Boulevard near Highland Park, Los Angeles


A Little Art Project

We began trying to answer this question a few years ago about the exact elevator described above. It's now vacant, the curved walls utilized as a rock climbing facility, a stones throw from Omaha's city center, and is passed daily by 76,000 cars on the adjacent freeway. And here's what we've come up with: invite artists all over the nation to design 20'x80' panels to hang on 16 of the silos that interpret the interconnectedness of land use, agriculture, and food and then celebrate the opening of the massive pieces of art with an enormous dinner table and meal at the base of the elevator. All the food for the meal will be provided by small scale local farmers. All the art panels will be sponsored by food/agriculture corporations, and ALL will enjoy an epic celebration in the shadow of the iconic relic.


Friday, April 2, 2010


I cannot believe this jerk had me so sucked in. He actually made me believe, stringing me along for two days that I was going to pay for his program by advertising it for him, and I imagine I would have, if it even works.

But after day two, of one time-wasting screwup after another (and we all know time is money, don't we boys and girls) this absolute S%$T tells me he has bad news and his program (I had already bought one the night before, after a free trial, that cost more than his) is going to cost me up front as well.

After buying Photoshop, Illustrator NetObjects Fusion and the like for years (and upgrades every year) his program would have been the merest nothing. But my guess is that anybody who has to resort to tactics like that to sell something is selling NOTHING.

More power to him. I'm sure he sucks in people every day and makes lots of lovely money. But for what I charge an hour, and the amount of time I wasted on him, he can go P%&S up a rope. Go ahead check him out for yourself. It's worth the laugh.


Gotta Love Him!


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

KarmaTube: BE the Change!

(by Bobby McFadden. Click to watch the video)

The Video is pretty funny. Not the original one.

Here is a little song I wrote, You might want to sing it note for note.
Don't worry be happy.

In every life we have some trouble. When you worry you make it double.
Don't worry, be happy......

Ain't got no place to lay your head. Somebody came and took your bed.
Don't worry, be happy.

The land lord say your rent is late. He may have to litigate .
Don't worry, be happy.

Lood at me I am happy. Don't worry, be happy.
Here I give you my phone number. When you worry call me.
I make you happy. Don't worry, be happy.

Don't worry, be happy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Books I'm Currently Reading

Dru's currently-reading


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Aged Advertisers

I'm really amused by the TED Podcast below, because I've been around as long as he has and seen all the changes he talked about. From ad designers who could actually draw to the minimalization brought about by the cranking out of "graphic artists" who had learned how to use a computer but didn't know the first thing about design. And now I guess we are perhaps coming around again full circle. Too soon to tell.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Loathed Microsoft

Apparently there are no Typefaces (um, excuse me, Fonts) that come with an accented d. But in my title I definitely mean Loath-ed with the accent on the last syllable. I just tried to use my task manager (which has itself  become less useful over the years only to find--YEE GADS! It opens a window with no tabs, no way to minimize or close it, and it stays always on top.

Thank you Microsoft, for making my life, once again, just a little bit more difficult. After a while, I suppose I'll be stone crazy and they'll cart me off jibbering to the looney bin.


Monday, March 22, 2010

The Sassy Curmudgeon: Weekend Mailbag

The Sassy Curmudgeon: Weekend Mailbag

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cyclist's Flower Power Spreads the Love

Potholes are worse this year thanks to the freezing weather, but one man has taken an unusal approach by planting primroses. Pete Dungey has been tirelessly ridding Oxford of its potholes by filling potholes with primroses.

Photograph: Pete Dungey
I read once that the best way to tackle a muddy path full of puddles when on a mountain bike was to take a leap of faith and plough straight through the middle of them, but is not a technique to be employed in rush hour when faced with what looks like a puddle but which is, in fact, a water-filled pothole. Fixing a blown out front tyre with nail varnish and a plaster is a story for another day
The pothole situation has worsened dramatically this winter when water which had seeped into cracks in the road then froze, opening them up. There's been a substantial spike in reports but councils are taking notice and acting upon it, filling them in. The problem is they can't get everywhere to find them in the first place. About30-40% of the holes that are reported are dealt with.

But one man has had enough. And he's using flowers to prove it. Forget stuffing them down the barrels of guns, Pete Dungey has been tirelessly ridding Oxford of its potholes by filling them up with primroses. "It began as part of a project called 'subvert the familiar'," says the graphic design student. "I wanted to do something that would grab attention but also raise awareness of an issue, and so the project was born. I have been planting the gardens for about a fortnight now and see it as an ongoing thing."

"Potholes are a big problem that could be eradicated quite simply. Hopefully it's something that grabs attention and raises awareness although I wouldn't call myself a renegade cyclist." Pete currently works alone but he's hoping other people will follow his example. If you do, he's asking you to take a snap and email it to him via his website.

As a mountain biker I'm all in favour of practising my swerving skills before work, zig-zagging between pot holes. Roger, however, has some more useful advice for urban cyclists: "Firstly, try not to go through any puddles. But more importantly – and certainly more importantly than usual – don't hug the kerb, because that's where most of them are."

Talking about the Self


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lifebox -- Thinking Outside the Box!

We all share the common desire to leave the Earth a better place for our children, and for future generations. The problems of pollution and environmental degradation can sometimes seem so vast that it's hard to know where to start. What can we do?

We can show our children that we care about their future, and the future of their children’s children, by actively participating in clever and innovative solutions to re-green the Planet.

The Life Box™ is one solution. It was invented by Paul Stamets, mycologist, author and founder of Fungi Perfecti®, LLC. The Life Box™ suite of products builds upon the synergy of fungi and plants by infusing spores and seeds together inside of packaging materials that can be planted.

How Does The Life Box™ Work? We have done the hard work—all you need to do is to follow our simple instructions. We have several versions of the Life Box™ in development. Our first version uses trees, and is aptly called the Tree Life Box™.

You can get started by simply tearing up the panel, planting in soil, and watering. For a more detailed planting guide you can consult the Growing Instructions included with your box—and also available online—where we provide tips to help your Life Box™ flourish.

The Tree Life Box™: Creating Forests for Future Generations: Seeds sprouting on cardboard with mycorrhizal fungi

The Tree Life Box™ panel is made of recycled paper fiber. In this fiber, we have inserted a wide variety of tree seeds, up to a hundred, dusted with mycorrhizal fungal spores. The mycorrhizal fungi protect and nurture the young seedlings. For millions of years, plants and beneficial fungi have joined together in a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship.

The fungi "sprout" or germinate to form an attachment with root cells and extend into the soil with a network of fine cobweb of cells called mycelium. The mycelium mothers the seed nursery by providing nutrients and water, thus protecting the growing trees from disease, drought, and famine.

So…..when you plant your trees outside in their permanent home, send us an email with the address—or better yet, the GPS coordinates—of your planted Life Box™. We will collect this data and eventually post the locations on a map of the United States. In the future, we hope to create an interactive Web site so customers can share their experiences. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Exploring Vibrational Medicine

Exploring Vibrational Medicine Exploring Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A really interesting book, with some pretty amazing stuff in it. I have been reading a number of books and watching movies, PodCasts and so forth on the "new model" of medicine (and otther things) based more on the Einsteinian theory of reality rather than the old "physical" cut, hack, and give Pharmaceutical medications--Neutonian model which was based on what the physical eye could observe. Advanced for it's time. But a new time has come.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, March 12, 2010