Monday, December 17, 2012

We Humans, I Mean

This is not
rocket
science:
This is about
how much longer
we will entertain
a primal fear:
Kill or be killed!
Obsolescent
vicious behaviors
reveal
a deeper conflict
within us, we humans I mean:
to be
or not
to be?
That
is the question
at the
heart of our
collective
decisions,
we humans, I mean.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today's Poem: On Food Pictures

Photo by FranLa
O food pictures
taken in super high definition close up
early morning sun casting a breakfasty light on the plate
fresh new day of hope and possibility
and garnishes
of grated something savory,
fatty, salt to the sweet, sweet to the salt
making results of fine recipes appear much more distinctly than they ever could
to last far longer than they ever, ever, ever would.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Democracy is Not a Business

A democracy can't be run like a business because a business is a dictatorship. Businesses are at the mercy of their presidents and CEO's. If they're humane, good. If they're not, well, that's why employees unionize. Banding together makes a louder voice to insist on respect for civil rights. A democracy is not a business and people are not products or pawns.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Potato Poem


The staff of life for my ancestors who had to escape the famine
imposed by their would-be masters who forced the choice
to stay home and die or go elsewhere,
potatoes are in a mesh bag in the lower cabinet
a cool dark dry place, protected.
I will too easily forget them if I don’t eat them soon.

I was handed down a hunger for the flavor and sustenance
the sense of a comfort and safety that warms the body
lifts and evens mood
nourishment with butter, salt
and the character of music and hearty laughter
I was handed down a hunger
for love and kindness that makes life fulfilling.

So here’s to the Irish
and a background to be thankful for
and here’s to the success of the migration
and wishes for good health and happiness 
to friends and loved ones now from every walk and way.

And if I do forget the potatoes in the cabinet
As it is with the deepening of love they will grow roots, not rot;
As it is with the watchful and wise they will grow eyes, not moldy spots.

Unless I leave them there just too darn long.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Of the People, By the People, For the People: doing our homework

Someone complained that there was too much political stuff on facebook lately. Someone responded, "'tis the season!" I've been thinking about that: It is the season. 

This is part where we adults do our homework, a little soul searching and research, make sure we're comfortable with our decisions and their ramifications. Read. Get mad. Read, get reassurance. Have discussions that make social bridges and choose your best approach to solving the world's problems. Get ready to vote, and vote with your best presence of mind and benefit of experience - represent yourself as you select your representatives! Tis the season, right now!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We're All In This Together

Private funding is fleeting because private interests are personal at heart - and limited to a subjective funding source (i.e., those considered important by "the rich guy in town" and/or his board who rely on him for whatever perqs come with their service). That's why projects that affect all of us, such as fire and police departments, garbage collection, road infrastructure, equitable healthcare, call for civic collaboration (also known as tax payer support) - we are all responsible to each other!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Permanence Lost


There was a
beautiful idea
a
perfect notion of
the confluence of all good
and everything
peaceful being con-
nected.  A sigh, warm, smooth, inspired,
inner dawn;
urge to action
but my cellphone
jingled a text had come.
I had to write
"ha ha"
(I don't say "LOL").

Now:
What was I about
to

do?

Monday, August 13, 2012

What "Back on Track" means to RXR

Romney and Ryan were on  60 Minutes last night.  They kept saying they wanted to "Get America back on track," but wouldn't explain what that meant or how they'd do it.  Then this image popped into my head so I drew it.


Monday, July 23, 2012

NASA and How to Make Your Own Space Vid

NASA lets you download video to make your own compositions. Just another nice thing about the fact that NASA is a public agency.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Monday, July 02, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Now is Good

For the sake of simple conveyance of this idea, let's accept reincarnation as reality: Sometimes I wish I could be in touch with who I was in past lives and how I lived because if I lived before today, no matter how well I did or how much influence I had, I could not have had more comforts and conveniences than I do in this life. Even if I was royalty, I would have had to wear dirty clothes most of the time. No washing machines! Even if I lived in the pristine woods I would have had to weather storms. And the food? Butter unrefrigerated? Don't get me started.

Whether I was nothing or someone or an ant or a creature from another dimension I can't imagine right now, I am thankful for the comforts I have in this life. This comfort has a flipside, which is the fact that we've been damaging the environment and, like royalty our comfort relies on standing on the backs of those who do the dirty work. So there's a little guilt with the appreciation. To move forward, I have to look for the positive, and it's there: I am alive at a time when humanity has indulged so much in all of the above that the experience of conscience is something we can share; thanks to the internet, the good guys can collude. And with that, I conclude.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ethers

Stay with it - they are not tiny missiles, but maybe the sense of vulnerability, when the animated elements first appear, is intentional.

Relax and watch in high resolution, big screen. This has a happy ending.

Passing Through from Olafur Haraldsson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bryan May


I was going to say here's ten minutes of music to play in the background as you write or create, but it's really worth watching.  He knows how to engage with his audience.   He is present with the crowd, the night, and himself.

Friday, June 08, 2012

See "Each Moment is the Universe"

This is a beautiful story of subtle profound redemption. It is a favorite for a life-time. Watch it in hi-def on the full screen.

Each Moment is the Universe from bruce thierry on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Transit of Venus: An Homage

And this is my homage to the transit of Venus today:

Here Comes the Sun


(I'm Your) Venus

Monday, June 04, 2012

Flash and the Grand Canyon

I love this joke. The setup (first video below) is about 20 minutes before the almost incidental punchline at the end of the episode (second video below). It's better to just see the whole show, but I made this because I love this joke.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Therein Lies the Theremin

Now here's something I never thought I'd see...


But why are they inside Russian dolls?  It's because the inventor, Leon Theremin, was Russian. I wonder what they did with the tiny and tinier dolls.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ode to Tuesday


I wake to you with neither hope nor sorrow,
Before my eyes to the clock, I know your name.    
It’s not Monday! At last it is tomorrow!
A day has passed since my least favorite came.
Tuesday, you have a light refreshing presence,
A newness ‘specially salient around nine;
Something about the way the sun is innocent
The quality of light has evanescence,
I secretly wish that you were only mine.
You tell me all the things that Monday meant.

Motivated by the star.me mission of the day, 05/25/12

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Soda Pop, Naturally

Photo is from linked blog.
A delightful friend I haven't met, Cherish, is learning to make soda pop. Who knew the drink has its origins as a naturally produced drink?

"Not Dabbling in Normal" knew so I'm linking to their blog of natural soda pop recipes. 

Mix your ingredients, add yeast, wait a few days for it to get fizzy, pour it over ice. Natural carbonation results from the early stages of fermentation; you simply halt the process before the concoction becomes an acoholic beverage. I believe I'll start with the ginger-ale.  This may be the treat of summer 2012: Here's the blog of recipes.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

How to Match Up Socks by Ojeano

Matching up socks takes time and can be a little tedious. Try this technique - so simple it'll blow your socks.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Concerted Effort Necessary for Forward Motion


On separate seas
port
and
starboard:
one sails to azure seas and white sand beaches
the other
is going
to Alaska
for
some of those big crabs.

The sail,
the motor
the fore
the aft
the keel
the cleat
the winch
and the Pacific garbage patch the size of Texas
ponder the weight
of
their existences in the dire straits.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thursday, April 05, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: Bonus Round, 44 -fin-

40 days of posts that make life better - the bonus round - 44 (It's Holy Thursday, this is the last of the series).

Everybody was once a baby. No matter how old we get, we're all still a bunch of babies, new, impressionable, and even cute.

Source is Dreamworld Australia.  Here's their facebook page.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: Bonus Round, 42

40 days of posts that make life better - the bonus round - 42:

We can see the whole world at the same time now. This has many positive ramifications, such as...

How to feed the world ? from Denis van Waerebeke on Vimeo.

Monday, April 02, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: Bonus Round, 41

I've been doing the "40 days of posts that make life better" posts to go along, in my not particularly religious way, with the period of Lent. Yet, I was done yesterday, and Easter's still a week off... so I looked it up. 

Turns out I could have been taking Sundays off! (They are known as Sundays in Lent but are not considered part of it because every Sunday is a "little Easter"). Lent ends on Holy Thursday or Easter Sunday (depending on interpretation). 

So, let's go on to the bonus round - 41: The poets have been right: just because we couldn't see magical worlds, didn't mean they weren't there:

Watch "The Secret Life of Plankton" (embedding not allowed by site.)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

How to Fold a Fitted Sheet

Weekends, laundry, and the same old challenge: how to fold those darn fitted sheets! Well, here's a new technique and it works great! Enjoy the rest this very special Sunday!

40 Days / Make Life Better, 40

40 days of posts that make life better, 40: Science, even a basic understanding of it, can be a lifesaver: Read about the dangers of DiHydrogen Monoxide - before it's too late!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 39

40 days of posts that make life better, 39: The bad news: brownies don't really make you feel better. The good news: nutritious foods do!  Read:  5 Foods to Eat When You're Depressed by Paula Spencer Scott.

Friday, March 30, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 38

40 days of posts that make life better, 38: 
Forever we've quietly raised little bullies so they could be the boss someday. Mean bosses suck, so we started fighting for our civil rights. Now we're bringin' it home, cause that's where it starts!  Read: Behind Every Harassed Child, A Lot of Clueless Adults, Movie Review "Bully" by Lee Hirsch, NY Times.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 37

40 days of posts that make life better, 37: 


No matter what method of telling, every story starts with a person who can bring together ideas we want connected. Plus, this is a way cool technology:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 36

40 days of posts that make life better, 36: Just because you have to say "no," doesn't mean it has to make for an unpleasant scene:

Monday, March 26, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 34

40 days of posts that make life better, 34: There is music in the air! Sister Rosetta will tell you where!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 33

40 days of posts that make life better, 33 
(I know I'm echoing a theme here, but it's poetic licence, since I'm talking about cycles): 
We have singular and group conscience to rely on. We have the luxury of self reflection, and the gift of responsibility:

40 Days / Make Life Better, 32

40 days of posts that make life better, 32 


Though we are prone to inertia, changing our trajectory puts new "automatic pilots" into place.  Read: Changing Your Life 'Inertia' Takes Courage by Dr. Jim Taylor

Saturday, March 24, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 31

40 days of posts that make life better, 31: "...decent and thoughtful people around the world want nothing more than to live their lives in peace."  A Plea for Peace: Why Social Media Matters by Marlo Thomas

Thursday, March 22, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 30

40 days of posts that make life better, 30: 


When we face the truth about what's ugly inside of us, we have the chance to grow out of it.  To wit: White People: You Will Never Look Suspicious Like Trayvon Martin by Michael Skolnik

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 29



(Be sure to click on "the scale of the universe" and play with it. And read the article - especially about who made the interactive "scale of the universe").

40 Days/ Make Life Better, 28

40 days of posts that make life better, 28: You can get a team of people to carry a letter across the country for under 45 cents, or send a package for under five bucks. US Post Office

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

40 Days / make life better: 26

40 days of posts that make life better, 26 (I'm a day behind, this one's for yesterday): "The quality of mercy is not strain'd,/ It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven/ Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:/ It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."- William Shakespeare

This is a video of a young man who cares for a humming bird saved from attack:

http://www.wimp.com/babyhummingbird/ see video on wimp.com 

(youtube versions cut off after a minute and a half - it's a 3 minute video).

Saturday, March 17, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 25

40 days of posts that make life better, 25: Sometimes the answers are obvious: For example, a little poor kid got made fun of because he always had dogs following him around... okay... See Cesar Millan's "It Gets Better" project video

Friday, March 16, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 24

40 days of posts that make life better, 24: 


A musical instrument once used as a screaming, whining drone of intimidation over the dale by oncoming armies has been allowed retirement into its higher purpose: to make music! (and this kid made one at home!)



Thursday, March 15, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 23


40 days of posts that make life better, 23:

...keeping in mind that everybody grieves differently. I heard this song today and had to look it up. When Astor Piazzolla's father died, he made this inspiration for feeling:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 22


40 days of posts that make life better, 22: We can read! (and we can download books for free, too).

Project Gutenberg makes downloadable texts from material in the public domain: http://www.gutenberg.org/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 20

40 days of posts that make life better, 20:

April 15th is still over a month away. Black Books: Bernard avoids doing his taxes (embedding was disabled).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 19


40 days of posts that make life better, 19: 
Today we paid back the hour we borrowed from last fall. Now we're even-Steven... uh... or wait - does next fall now owe us an hour?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

40 days / make life better: 18

40 days of posts that make life better, 18: 


Curiosity keeps driving us to expand our horizons; we wonder about the majesty of the night sky.



Friday, March 09, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 17

40 days of posts that make life better, 17:  Language allows us access to the inner workings of others' minds, as much as they have the skill and desire to express their thoughts, even if our frames of reference are quite different. And, with the written word, we can re-read til we get it.

Read: "Letters of Note": Helen Keller writes of her visit to the top of the Empire State Building.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better: 16

40 days of posts that make life better, 16:  ‎The luxury that we have is that our minds are always free to wander and make unexpected yet perfectly reasonable connections:



Tuesday, March 06, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better 14

40 Days of posts that make life better, 14: The ability to allow ourselves to discover within the courage to change the things we can.


The following is how this story appeared on facebook:


MAKE THE CONNECTION. "And suddenly, I looked at the bull. He had this innocence that all animals have in their eyes, and he looked at me with this pleading. It was like a cry for justice, deep down inside of me. I describe it as being like a prayer - because if one confesses, it is hoped, that one is forgiven. I felt like the worst shit on earth." This photo shows the collapse of Torrero Alvaro Munera, as he realized in the middle of the his last fight... the injustice to the animal. From that day forward he became an opponent of bullfights.


After doing some research (having my sister in law give me a translation of the video below), we discover the photo is a little misleading (we'll call it poetic licence).  Munera was injured in a bullfight and that is what brought his revelation.  But the point still remains that he realized what he was doing was hurtful and therefore wrong, and he is now an advocate against cruelty to animals.  


Here is his statement in Spanish:

Monday, March 05, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 13


Dalai Lama
40 days of posts that make life better, 13:

People who devote themselves, to any degree, to helping guide humanity toward kindness, and for extra credit, people who serve as beacons:

"In today’s materialistic world there is a risk of people becoming slaves to money, as though they were simply cogs in a huge money-making machine. This does nothing for human dignity, freedom, and genuine well-being. Wealth should serve humanity, and not the other way around."
-His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

Official website of the Dalai Lama
Dalai Lama on Facebook

Sunday, March 04, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 12

40 days of posts that make life better, 12: The pleasure of enjoying a good story with kindred spirits.



40 Days / Make Life Better, 11

40 days of posts that make life better, 11: Knowing you have slightly more to draw upon than others might think.


Friday, March 02, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, 10

40 days of posts that make life better, 10: The ability to change without losing sight of who you are:
 

Thursday, March 01, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, Nine

40 days of posts that make life better, nine: having a lie down to look at the sky.
Cartoon by Michael Leunig

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, Four

40 Days of posts that make life better, four: to know the joy of friendship with a species other than your own.

Friday, February 24, 2012

N Word Always Unacceptable: Why? Here's Why

For the young who don't understand why I keep saying the N word lies in a realm beyond any petty insult, or punch in the arm to go with a "puh-leez!" and should not be used, have a read of Mr. Douglass' letter:

"I remember the chain, the gag, the bloody whip, the deathlike gloom overshadowing the broken spirit of the fettered bondman, the appalling liability of his being torn away from wife and children, and sold like a beast in the market..."

Read the entire letter:    http://networkedblogs.com/umWXs?a=share

40 Days / Make Life Better, Three

40 days of posts that make life better: three: Read a voice that's effortlessly funny. Read: The BlueGreen PowerPlant.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

40 Days / Make Life Better, Two

40 days of posts that make life better, two: Taking one's time to wander as you may be led: (Thanks Ingrid!)

Snow Circles from Beauregard, Steamboat Aerials on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 Days of Posts that Make Life Better: One

Fat Tuesday, eat all the goodies. Ash Wednesday, start Lent. I'm not religious, but why not look to this time so significant to so many to add to the mass of conscious reflection? So begins: 40 days of posts that make life better. One:



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Noble in the China Shop

In order to succeed in non violent conflict resolution, you have to be willing to eschew the little thrill that comes from winning skirmishes.  To redirect hostility so that no one gets injured is the compassionate thing to do, keeping in mind the principle that the bull in the china shop gets hurt, too.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Choose Your Battles

Robert Burns had to put up with the simple minded arrogant critics, as do all writers.  But this one went to far, so Burns went a little farther.  I love this letter.

Burns' Writing Samples:

A Red Red Rose 
O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!
and of course:

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus.-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c. 


More at: http://www.robertburns.org/works/