Celebrating Uncertainty

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“What happened here is worth sharing because it shows all of the gains happened in incremental baby step ways. They weren’t magnificent, you didn’t all of a sudden say, here’s a hundred thousand acre park. It wasn’t like that. It was all incremental.”
Gary Giacomini, Marin County Supervisor 1972-1996
In Rebels with a Cause

A few weeks ago we went to see a movie called “Rebels with a Cause.” It is a documentary about the people behind the open space and National and State parks in Marin County, CA. Hundreds of thousands of acres were kept out of the hands of developers by a small group of people who had a goal in mind and stayed focused on achieving it. It was a very uplifting story.

Fast forward to this evening. MoveOn was sponsoring viewings of the new documentary “Gasland 2“. It is the sequel to the Academy Award nominated documentary Gasland, which sheds light on the danger of hydraulic refracturing (fracking) as a way of getting natural gas out of the ground.

Unfortunately, this was not an uplifting movie. As Josh Fox says at the beginning of the movie – “In sequels, the empire always strikes back” – this was that story. The “empire” was in the form of corporations, the media and local, state and federal governments. Read more ›

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Vegan Cooking

We have been eating plant-based for over a month now. Wanted to share some of what we’ve been enjoying. Cooking without oil has been really easy and the recipes have been delicious.

This soup was really easy to make. Saute the leeks and mushrooms for a few minutes, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer. This was a great tasting soup that really filled us up. I’ve discovered how to roast Brussels Sprouts without oil also.

Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato, Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato, Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

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Where is the Dickens of our time?

Photo Feb 17, 7 52 48 PM

“The present splendid brotherhood of fiction-writers in England, whose graphic and eloquent pages have issued to the world more political and social truths than have been uttered by all the professional politicians, publicists and moralists put together” – Karl Marx

Where are the novelists like Dickens, Twain, Upton Sinclair or Steinbeck today? Where is the writer who can expose the horrors of today – climate change, corporate greed or the widening gap between rich and poor – the way Harriet Beecher Stowe did with slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

Or would novels like that, if they did get published today, get lost in the cacophony of 24 hour TV, movies, internet, apps and texting?

I don’t know, but I wish someone would try.

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Going Vegan or I Want to Be Like Bill

Bill Clinton at the DNC 2012

I remember watching Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC last year and thinking – wow, he looks great. The vitality he had, the sparkle in the eye and that great Southern charm.

Recently, I discovered the diet that he credits with keeping him so healthy. My wife and I watched a film called Forks Over Knives. It is about the way of eating two doctors – one a clinician and one a researcher – found as a way to prevent and reverse heart disease. The movie features other doctors and their patients who are living healthier lives by eating healthier. Read more ›

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Lithia Park – Ashland, Oregon

In the fall of 2011 I visited Ashland, OR to see my mom and sister. I discovered this beautiful park and spent a couple of hours there one fall afternoon.

Here are some of my favorites.

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Never Stop Learning


Stewart Brand

You say, “Why should I learn these difficult technical skills when it’s all just gonna change? Let me know when it’s settled down.” Problem is, by the time you catch on that it’s *never* gonna settle down, you’re five years behind, with no real way to catch up, and you feel like a one-person Soviet Union. — Stewart Brand, on the WELL, about 1991

I found this quote on Kevin Kally’s Technium site. I love this. It reminds me why I’ve been a lifelong learner. Why I try new things – playing with responsive design CMS templates or taking a MOOC on data visualization.  Read more ›

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People Powered Moment

Keystone XL Pipeline Protest

It’s not often that I listen to Democracy Now! and come away not feeling depressed. However, today’s show featured three stories highlighting the difference people can make against big media, big oil and conservative politicians.

The first story was about the internet backlash against SOPA and PIPA. It included a discussion between Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales and the  Copyright Alliance’s Sandra Aistars.

It has been incredible seeing all of the Congresspersons change their minds on these bills so quickly. Yesterday we saw the power that the people have to use the internet – and their voices – to change things.

The segment also included  a snippet of a TED talk by NYU Professor Clay Shirky on Why SOPA is a bad idea. Read more ›

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