The CNN Political Ticker has published a comment by Nancy Kolger of Richmond, Indiana, in response to last night's CNN/YouTube Republican Political Debate: As a Senior Citizen I am really disappointed that not one question was asked about Health Care and rising Drug Costs for all the people. I can send you an email response […]
Until I watched the PBS Frontline documentary On Our Watch, I had only a very general awareness of what people meant when they talked about the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. It is sobering and sad to know that that even with all of the news and pseudo-news I follow and the "think globally" circles I travel in, it's still possible to not really know the details of a genocide that has gone on since 2003, killing over 200,000 people and forcing the relocation or outright flight of another 2.5 million people.
If you're more apt to learn and benefit from an hour-long video than you are from 240 Kilobytes of text on Wikipedia, then I commend On Our Watch to you as a great overview of the issue - you can watch it for free online. It covers the origins of the conflict, the horribly lacking role of the United Nations, and the oil interests, global economic interdependencies, and cover-your-ass politics that have allowed other international players, including the U.S., to stand idly by.
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Sustainability and energy efficiency edition: Question to the local Mayoral race candidates about energy policy - I submitted a question to Mayor Hutton and Rick Thalls via the Pal-Item's forum, asking "if elected/re-elected, what specific steps will you take to uphold the commitment the City has made to improve the environmental health of our communities, […]
Rest in peace, Rachel Burrell: friend, encourager, piano teacher, visionary, comfort to grieving children everywhere, and an amazing woman. Seven principles of community building: don't try to control the message, transparency is a must, participation is marketing, concept of audiences is outdated, build value, inspire with real information, manage distribution media to grow. A new […]
If you grew up in the 1980s, it was hard to miss the dark and brooding song "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins. I remember brooding to its tune myself at times, and of course the part where the drums come in was a pivotal moment for those who played along with our own […]
Having some time to relax also meant lots of time to catch up on reading I've been meaning to do for a while now (though there's plenty more). Here's a quick run-through with my comments: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. A great, compelling story that is so rich and enjoyable. Reminds […]
The tail end of the trip I just returned from took place in Nashville, TN and was charged with readings and viewings about the occupation of Iraq and the current political trends in Washington: I finished reading Nashville resident Al Gore's book The Assault on Reason and then later the same day, saw the new documentary film No End In Sight. The two tie together nicely, and so I have a review of them both here.
Confession: one of my great pleasures/sicknesses when distracted is playing the game of reframing or rewording song lyrics and titles to be more thematically accurate, pseudo-politically correct, and/or appropriate for use in a scientific research paper. For example: My Girl by The Temptations becomes: The One Who is My Significant Other, and Also Female I […]
Doug, Scott, Brandon and I were all sharing a room at Chicago's Drake hotel while on a weekend school field trip early on in high school. I was having a miserable time for various teen-agey angst reasons I won't go into, and I was tired of being cooped up in our room watching JFK (that is one long movie!). At the same time, I was quite fearful that our chaperones would make good on their threat to send us home early if we were caught even so much as peeking into the hallways after our prescribed curfew, so I remained stationary.
Doug, unfortunately, became the target of my antsy-ness. He had fallen asleep in one of the beds, and as 2 AM rolled around, I suggested to Brandon and Scott that we play a prank on the poor boy. All clocks were set to appear as 6:50 AM, the alarm clock was set for 10 minutes later (our prescribed time to start getting ready to go), the rest of us got into bed, the lights were turned off.
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I have a lot of memories of visiting zoos as a younger person. There was the time my Boy Scout troop had an overnight stay at the Cincinnati Zoo, where we had behind-the-scenes tours of the habitats and infrastructure that made up the place; I was amazed at the intricate facades created for zoo visitors. Another summer at the same zoo and I'm about to start drinking my red cream soda during a field trip lunch break, when a bird poops directly into it from a tree overhead. I remember feeling frustration and resentment that this creature had invaded my personal space so - now I laugh at the irony of that resentment, felt so strongly against one who was just answering the call of this artificial shrine to come observe animal life, poop and all. And most recently, standing with my nose and right hand pressed up against the glass at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, apologizing to the once-grand and beautiful Gorillas on display there for the noisy people, the cheesy layout of the captivity, the life stolen from them. "I'm so sorry," I mouthed. "Please forgive us."
I've had plenty of conversations about why most zoos maybe aren't such a good thing, about what they symbolize, what they mean about who we are as a people and a culture. But until I read Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos by Derrick Jensen and with photography by Karen Tweedy-Holmes, I hadn't really explored that symbolism and sense of concern in any depth. And to that end, the book is a thought-provoking and eye-opening treatment of the subject.
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