A resident of South Central L.A. decided to combat obesity by planting a garden instead of grass. This guy is not just a gardener. He’s a brilliant entrepreneur and an inspiration. Somebody introduce him to Michelle Obama, quick…
A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA
Ron Finley | TED | Mar 13
________________________________________________________________________________ Artist and designer Ron Finley couldn’t help but notice what was going on in his backyard. “South Central Los Angeles,” he quips, “home of the drive-thru and the drive-by.” And it’s the drive-thru fast-food stands that contribute more to the area’s poor health and high mortality rate, with one in two kids contracting a curable disease like Type 2 diabetes.
Finley’s vision for a healthy, accessible “food forest” started with the curbside veggie garden he planted in the strip of dirt in front of his own house. When the city tried to shut it down, Finley’s fight gave voice to a larger movement that provides nourishment, empowerment, education — and healthy, hopeful futures — one urban garden at a time.
For those of you over 40, this is how books used to be produced. They called it “craftsmanship”. The goal was quality, not profit. Esthetic value, not mass-market expediency. You could take one of these things and put it on your shelf (called a “bookcase) where you and your guests could admire and read it any time you wanted. You could loan it freely or even give it away as a Christmas present. Maybe someday, when we reach a new level of technology, we will rediscover the wonder of these simple documents so lovingly made and beautifully designed…
John Carrera | Quercus Press | 2011
________________________________________________________________________________ John Carrera is Proprietor of Quercus Press: Letterpress and Bindery in Waltham, MA.
Of all the verbiage on the internet today (and there is a ton of it) one article by Gene Robinson of the Washington Post stands out as the quintessential statement of Barack Obama’s second innauguration. Four years ago today I stood a a couple of hundred yards away as Obama took the oath and the cannons boomed (scared me a lot). On that day it was like watching the Civil War come to an end. Almost two million people stood with me in the freezing air and watched the earth move. Today I watched it on TV. The earth didn’t move today. It just rolled on as it always does and Barack Obama was President again. Nice speech. Good poem. Four years ago I watched and cheered as George Bush flew into history as one of America’s worst presidents. Today I watched Barack Obama take his second oath as one of the best. Bush stayed home…
The Black President No Longer
Eugene Robinson | Washington Post | 20 Jan 13
President Barack Hussein Obama’s second inauguration was every bit as historic as his first — not because it said so much about the nation’s long, bitter, unfinished struggle with issues of race, as was the case four years ago, but because it said so little about the subject.
Reflect for a moment: A black man stood on the Capitol steps and took the oath of office as president of the United States. For the second time. Meaning that not only did voters elect him once — which could be a fluke, a blip, an aberration, a cosmic accident — but then turned around and did it again.
Today’s history lesson deals with the hot potato of church/state separation. Ever since Jimmy Carter proclaimed his being ‘born again’ this subject has infected our political discourse to the extent that today anyone running for political office much first prove they are god’s personal emissary with the morals of a monk. Of course your monks are not as holy as my monks. Contrary to popular mythology it was not always thus. The notion of keeping the affairs of government separate from those of the almighty really took root in the 17th century in Rhode Island under the stern leadership of Roger Williams. The early colonists had lots of good ideas back then. This was one of them…
God, Government and Roger Williams’ Big Idea
Banished from Massachusetts, the Puritan minister originated a principle that remains contentious to this day—separation of church and state
John M. Barry | Smithsonian Magazine | Jan 12
Even the most bitter opponents of Roger Williams recognized in him that combination of charm, confidence and intensity a later age would call charisma. They did not regard such traits as assets, however, for those traits only made the preacher more dangerous in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. With someone like him, they could not compromise.
For his part, Williams was not about to compromise, either, despite his benevolent intelligence and Christian charity. The error, he believed, was not his, and when convinced he was right he backed away from no one.
After he was cast into the wilderness, Roger Williams argued that religion and government must be divided. Illustration: Edward Kinsella III
I have posted Louis before but this clip from Conan Obrian’s show is worthy of another hit. This guy is so on target and so funny he deserves a tax break…
Everythings Amazing & Nobodys Happy
Louis CK | YouTube | Feb 09
____________________________________________________________________________ Louis Szekely, known professionally as Louis C.K., is a stand-up comedian, television and film writer, actor, producer, and director. He is the star of the FX comedy series Louie, which he also writes, directs, and edits.
I have no idea if this video is staged or not. If it’s authentic or not. If this guy is just a great actor or not. What you see is what you get. But if his story is true then I must say this country is in much worse shape then I thought. First listen to the ravings of Bachmann and Boehner. Then listen to this gentleman. What in the world is going on folks? It’s like this country is on autopilot straight into the mountain. Hello out there. Wake up Amerika…
No, this not an internet hoax. It actually occurred in Savannah, Georgia. Fortunately we can all rest at ease tonight because law enforcement in Savannah will stomp on your butt if you dare to sell lemonade illegally in the streets of Savannah. What a relief! Welcome to Amerika.
Americans became the richest people on earth not because we were endowed with inherently superior national traits nor because we are God’s chosen people, nor because we have an elegant and compact Constitution and a noble sounding Declaration of Independence. We became rich because we were exceptionally lucky. However that luck may be running out. The following charts (after the break) show how America ranks today in ten benchmark categories of social standing. It’s not a pretty picture…
Last year, composer Eric Whitacre led a virtual choir of singers from around the world. In this TED Talk he discusses the creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube, and unveils the first 2 minutes of his new work, “Sleep,” with a video choir of 2,052. The full piece premieres today, April 7, on YouTube!.
Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong
_______________________________________________________________________________ Eric Whitacre began his music career singing in his college choir, with no previous musical experience. By 21, he had completed his first concert work, Go, Lovely Rose, and soon advanced to Juilliard where he studied under Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano. Today, his 44 published concert pieces have sold over a million copies, he has conducted choral music in some of the most esteemed halls in the world and his music has been featured on dozens of commercial recordings. His album Cloudburst and Other Choral Works earned him a Grammy nomination in 2007.
Most recently, Whitacre has been noticed for his cutting-edge work, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, a musical that combines electronica with choral and operatic traditions. The musical has earned him the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award, received 10 nominations at the 2007 Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, and performed to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall in 2010.