Exploring the Moon, Discovering Earth
July 17, 2009: Forty years ago, Apollo astronauts set out on a daring adventure to explore the Moon. We ended up discovering our own planet, as the image of the big Blue Marble became synonymous with the environmental movement. This image challenged us to look at our selves without borders and geo-political concepts. We were undeniably on a unique planet and we were all alone.
So it is interesting to think about the amount of debris we have left on the Moon since we first visited 40 years ago. Here is a list and a beautiful and helpful map of all moon landings:



food farm

January 5, 2009

Bansky, an artist who focuses on social commentary with visual puns like a good poke in the eye, recently created a farmyard for fast food. Where else would those little chicken nuggets get there start?

Chickens have been on my mind lately, having spent a few weeks with 2 of them this summer. They have a lot of personality and according to some tests, score higher than monkeys. But the reality of how they are treated is very different. The 2006 film “Our Daily Bread” showed how tomatoes were handled with more care than live baby chicks. Just on their way to nuggethood, that’s all.

Red State/Blue State

August 31, 2008

The Pop Vs Soda Map

Is there some hidden message in our ideas about Red state/Blue state politics that the media analysts are missing? Whether you ask for “soda” or “pop” to quench your thirst tells a lot about your regional linguistics, according to an article published last year in the “Isthmus” a Madison, Wisconsin weekly newspaper. Written by a linguistics and philology PHD from University of Madison- Wisconsin, Luanne von Schneidemesser, who is also an editor for the Dictionary of American Regional English, the study reveals the complicated relationships involved in quenching your thirst.

pop: dominates the Northwest, Great Plains and Midwest. The world ‘pop’ was introduced by Robert Southey, the British Poet Laureate (1774-1843), to whom we also owe the word ‘autobiography’, among others. In 1812, he wrote: A new manufactory of a nectar, between soda-water and ginger-beer, and called pop, because ‘pop goes the cork’ when it is drawn. Even though it was introduced by a Poet Laureate, the term ‘pop’ is considered unsophisticated by some, because it is onomatopaeic.

soda: prevalent in the Northeast, greater Miami, the area in Missouri and Illinois surrounding St Louis and parts of northern California. ‘Soda’ derives from ‘soda-water’ (also called club soda, carbonated or sparkling water or seltzer). It’s produced by dissolving carbon dioxide gas in plain water, a procedure developed by Joseph Priestly in the latter half of the 18th century.

I remember that in Boston, working as a bartender in the 80’s, I had to be careful when people ordered a “tonic”, a term used generically for any bubbley drink, not to be confused with my favorite bubbley- champagne thank you! And here in Los Angeles, we order a soda, because pop is so obviously a fashion reference and not a soft drink!

And here is a sobering thought: Americans drink, on average 43 gallons of soft drinks every year! And here is a related “scary thought“, thanks to artist Chris Jordan’s, “Can Suerat”.

Thanks to Strange maps for this post info- that is why it is on my blogroll!

FRED is Dead

June 5, 2007

Fred is Dead or How the Huge Hog was a Wild Lie
I was very grateful to Rhonda Blissitt, the hog farmer who came forward with the truth about the “monster pig” hunted in Alabama. I had found the story upsetting and even more so when I went online and saw the web site promoting the gun used and making the eleven year old out as remarkable in some way. I had thought to write a letter in response to the taxidermist’s claim that the Bible said animals are here for us to do with as we please. This is not really the accurate concept behind that quote. If people insist on checking the Bible on this matter why don’t they read Jehovah’s response to Job? Jehovah goes on for a few pages in the Bible and makes it pretty clear that he created the world for his own purposes and we humans are not to step out of bounds with his creation.
But then Rhonda Blissitt came forward with the truth about the hogzilla. His name was Fred. Fred, the domesticated breeding hog had been sold 4 days before to a farmer who uses his land as a “game” hunting preserve. Poor Fred had gotten too big for breeding or eating. Fred had not been fed for 4 days at the time of his death. Rhonda Blissitt said he liked to gnash his tusks and bark like a dog, which must have been a fearsome sight, but hardly life threatening.
But Fred’s story reveals there was a great deal of unnecessary cruelty involved. Fred was shot, wounded, then hunted down over three hours and 16 shots (!) before dying. Shot with the small, pistol-sized rifle the chubby little boy is cradling with such pride. It is an obviously cruel and unnecessary way to dispatch an animal. Yet the “hogzilla” hunting web sites are admiring of the facts regarding the small gun. It gives one pause as to what hunters think their sport is all about. It certainly isn’t survival.
And it gets worse. Hunting domestic pigs is legal. Hogs become listed as “feral” once they are released in the wild. That is an interesting catch 22 and possibly the explanation behind all the so-called hogzilla” the knuckle-heads go on about on their web sites. It is pretty “pathetic” that these hunts are canned game. Fred was as “game” as spam in the can.
If hunters want a real survival fantasy, they should take up rock climbing.

“Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and spreads his wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high?

The matter we make is equal to the energy……..of cleaning up the mess. If matter on earth is unchanging, can’t we think of better ways to put these molecules to work.