Archive for November, 2011

November 29, 2011

Back from Down Under with Something to Say

Ok so I haven’t been writing for about a good two weeks because I took a trip down under to see my one-and-only and his family. After a grueling 3 months apart (it wasn’t that bad… We’re used to it) he is back in Cali with me!! Anyway… Enough about useless info… Something more important happened to me:

I was looking through magazines to read on the plane ride back and came across the newest Time magazine with this cover:

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Even though I wanted to buy it because I knew it looked AMAZING, I also knew that my very own copy would be waiting for me at my parents’ house (because I have them sent there for my brother to read first… I’m a good sister like that) so I could wait til I got home.

Fast foward to a long, 14 hour plane ride home. I went to my parents’ house for a late thanksgiving dinner and immediately went for my pile of Time magazines waiting for me. I disappointedly only found this latest issue sitting on the dining room table:

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I interrogated my dad for a little, accusing him of carelessly throwing away my newest copy of my Times and settled with the fact that I’d just have to call and have them send me a new one.

UNTIL!!!!!!!!!!

My boyfriend, we shall call him Booey (his name is Paul but I found out in Australia that all his friends call him Booey… Why……. No idea) looked up the latest edition and found out that Time had published two different covers: one for America and ONE FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD!!!

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Why, you ask? No idea. Needless to say, I’m having one sent over to me now because I’m interested to see the difference. But it really makes you think about why Time would intentionally run two different covers. Then I realized (because sometimes I live in a bubble) that time always runs different covers. Some of them are understandable, I guess. But this one just hit me close to home. Why not ME!?! I want that!!

Anyway, something to think about

Now You Know

November 14, 2011

Good List to Live B[u]y

Found this amazing list made by Keri Smith on how to live more ethically sound

1. Use your purchasing power as a political statement. Shop locally, ethically and in moderation. Ask the question “What do I really need?”
While you cannot remove yourself entirely from mass culture, and for those who may not want to make their own clothing, (in some cases I still shop with Amazon when I cannot find it anywhere else), you can research companies and choose one whose ethics and practices are more mindful. Commit the time to seek out alternatives. We used a non-profit cell phone provider called Earth Tones for years, who were committed to political action in various forms and funded a variety of environmental projects. I use Etsy quite a bit for more homemade options and supplies.
2. Turn off the TV. (need I explain this one?) I will say that after I got rid of the television many years ago, my productivity soared and my imagination flourished. I read much more. I believe there is a correlation to my career beginning to do really well and my giving up TV. My brain became rewired and much less passive as a result. I still watch movies and the occasional series, but I get to choose where and how (no ads).
3. Make your own stuff as much as possible. I have begun making my own cleaning products with simple ingredients, and recently I purchased a great resource to help with all kinds of things that you can do yourself. I highly recommend the book Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World by Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen (I don’t need to add that I have no connection to the authors). Having looked at many books in this category I can safely say that if you are interested in homesteading or just getting off the consumer treadmill, this book will help you do it. I am soon going to try giving up the bottle (of shampoo that is), and give some of their alternatives a try. I’ll let you know how it goes. I already gave up hair color during my second pregnancy, choosing to let my grey hairs go loose and wild!
4. Use an Ad-Blocker program for the web. While this does little to actively stop the advertising, it does cut down on the visual overload and the adcreep we experience while surfing. I use Adblock Plus, which was created by a friend of mine. It is totally free and works like a charm. I’ve used it for years and love it.
5. Move your money.
6. Support media that is ethical and ad free. I have cut down on what sites I visit regularly, choosing ones that are ad-free over ones with ads. I do value when people write about products they like if they are things that I enjoy using (in my case wool, books, environmentally friendly clothing/toys, recipes), but now they must be ad free for me to trust them. In some cases this has been a really hard choice, as some were sites that I enjoyed (a few written by friends I love). But in almost ALL cases, as the ads increased on a site, so did the feeling that the writing began to serve the advertising.
7. Participate in Collaborative Consumption, interactions and economies that involve swapping, sharing, bartering, trading and renting.
8. Begin to perceive value in different ways, not just in terms of money. In the book The Good Life, authors Helen and Scott Nearing felt that having cut and stacked fire-wood that they acquired themselves, was better than money in the bank. It provided more for them physically and spiritually (in the work) and also in keeping them warm throughout the season. What about looking at your skills as being of incredible value in your life? Your ability to sew, cook, knit, grow, build, etc.?
9. Ride a bike or take public transit. Obvious I know, but I had to add it.
10. Use raw materials more, packaged products less. I suppose this goes under #1 and #3.
11. Buy used.
12. Repair your old things. I recently taught myself how to darn socks and sweaters. It is incredibly satisfying. I also learned to repair wool items using needle felting, it’s like magic.
13. Change your language. Name the object, not the brand (i.e. Kleenex v.s. tissue). Words are powerful. -from Kelsi
14. Choose independent businesses over chains. Use public spaces, museums, galleries, bookshops.
15. Pay with cash. When you use debit the bank gets a fee from the vendor. When you use cash the money goes to the owner of the shop.
16. Don’t buy bottled water (carry reusable bottles).
17. Become a minimalist. Cut down on your worldly possessions.

I would like to elaborate most importantly on the first rule. Assuming that you, as the reader, live in a capitalist society, your choice of purchase is crucial to what survives and what doesn’t in any industry. Use your purchasing power wisely. And boycott anything you don’t agree with. And TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW TO DO THE SAME!!!

Top on my Personal list: mostly anything made in China (unless it’s bought second hand).

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It would be nice to have Americans making the products that Americans use and keeping our jobs and money in our own country. This is also true for any other country affected by outsourcing.

Now You Know

November 10, 2011

To Put it Frankly

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Now You Know

November 10, 2011

Surfer thinks he’s Jesus

Ok the title is deceiving. He doesn’t really. But he’s practically walking on water here… Right?

Surfing has always been something that I enjoy doing, but scares the living daylights out of me! ( yea, I said that “scares the living daylights out of me” like an OGma)

I believe that people who surf the big waves are seriously cut from a different cloth. There is no way I would ever EVER surf a wave higher than three feet! Ok, Im a wuss.

ANYWAY, there is a point to this post, but someone had too much coffee again and tends to get tangential (yes, that’s a word) when she’s strung out on caffeine.

HERE IT IS! THE POINT!
Garrett McNamara (this guy)

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… broke the World’s Record for successfully surfing the biggest wave, 90 feet!!

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Full article here

Aaannnddd here he is in action.

Now You Know.

November 8, 2011

Happening Now

Estimated 3 million muslims voyaged to a valley located near the city of Mina, Saudi Arabia during a ritualistic pilgrimage, or hajj.
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This is no joke! So many people that, last year during the same voyage, close to 400 people died! Some cases due to the fact that bridges they stood on could not withstand their total weight.
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Full article here

I was going to write on how amazing this is with people coming together for a certain belief and compare these people to the everyday American and question our belief system here. Thankfully, the very famous and well-articulated Malcolm X not only attended a pilgrimage, but wrote an amazing explanation of his experience that pretty much blows anything I would have written out of the water.

“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white. America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem. You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought patterns previously held.”

Malcolm X

Now You Know.

November 6, 2011

Watch out Edison: Coca-Cola bottle lights

Think twice before you throw away that old Coke bottle. Just cut a hole in your roof, pour some water and chlorine in that old bottle and stick it in your roof for light! Right? It’s just that simple….

Or not really….

But when you’re forced to live most of your daytime indoors and without light like these people…
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…you might get a little creative with how to obtain cheap and efficient light in your house.

And that is just what Iliac Diaz did in his Isang Litrong Liwana campaign, or, “A Liter of Light” campaign in Manila in Southeast Asia.

Hmmm… Edison and Coca-Cola join forces? Anyone want to start a bet?!? I got 5 on it!

Now You Know

November 4, 2011

Something you should see

So this is a bit outdated, but was just brought to my attention by a good friend of mine who knew I would drop my jaw in wonderment at the sight and explanation of this phenomenon

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Full article here

Sum up: the floods in Pakistan forced the spiders living on the ground to take refuge in the trees until the water receded. Eventually, after the flood water remained for longer than predicted, the spiders created their own homes in the trees, creating this amazing sight!!

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Even more amazing is the spider web’s contribution to the low malaria cases during what could have been a disastrous time for any flooding city. Mosquitos that usually roam the still waters are now finding themselves caught in these giant web traps.

Yea, this is amazing. Who is doing this? I’ve always been a strong believer in the fact that the universe is a crazy and mysterious thing that I will never fully understand and this is just one more thing that strengthens that belief. Unbelievable. I am extremely thankful for simple, yet intricate designs of nature such as this one that keeps me hungry for more information each and every day.

Now You Know.

November 3, 2011

Go Get ’em Oakland!!

So the word “occupy” has been springing up in everyday conversation with friends, which means it is becoming “sticky,” as Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point would describe the new craze. And I say craze because, having written my senior thesis on protests in the US, I came to the conclusion that protests spreads just like any other fad or fashion trend out there. It only takes a few celebrities to back the trend until the masses follow suit. And with major protestors like Noam Chomsky and Cornel West involving themselves in this movement, it was only a matter of time until almost every major city in America (and some outside of America) involved themselves in this major “Occupy x city” movement.

Aside from protests and their trendy factor, I also learned the characteristics of the ideal type of protestor. That is, the people who have less to lose simply because they have lost everything already. Most of the time, these are the students because they usually have no image yet created in the community and have no house or family to take care of. In other protests, it is literally the people who have lost their homes and jobs and have nothing to lose anymore so have no choice but to fight.

Enter Oakland, California:

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Full Article here
Ranked this year as the most dangerous city in California, Oakland is quite surely ranked as the most dangerous in terms of protests in California as well.

I can contribute this conclusion to the fact that people in Oakland are far worse off than, say, people in Long Beach where the population is huge but not ENOUGH people want to risk their livelihood for a protest. Things are getting bad in Oakland because they have all their cards out on their table. This is their last “Hoorah” for change.

Now, I am not disregarding the crime rate in this city and its contribution to the size and impact of their protests there, but the crime rate and the poverty rate go hand-in-hand and this is a true sign of people who are completely fed up with where they see their economy going.

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My hat’s off to you, Oakland.

Now You Know

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