Saturday, October 06, 2007

Open Thread

Just thought I'd put up a new thread before taking Daughter to choir practice.

Oh--in case anyone remembers that I had a picture of Daughter's cat Stevie in a Quaker-style hat with an empty talk balloon, and was wondering what words to put in the balloon. Here's what I ended up doing.

Do not speak unless you can improve the silence

Updated shared items here.

Haloscan comment thread

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's Kitten Time!

It's Friday night, time to relax with our friends at The Daily Kitten. Kittens are good for what ails you!

Haloscan Comment Thread

Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Evening with Al Gore and his Slide Show Presentation

by Linda*in*SFNM ~ 4th October 2007

As many of you know, last night was Rio Rancho's Al Gore Live Presentation with his slide show, "An Inconvenient Truth." Besides the important information about the Climate Crisis, our desire to show support for Mr. Gore to be our President was in full swing.

We arrived at the Santa Ana Star Center over an hour before the event was scheduled to start. Unfortunately the police said they were given orders no signs be on property. Given so many expected this to be "the place" to be, we had many other candidates, Presidential and Senate, present that were pushed to the sidelines as well. We stood on the sidewalk facing the entrance armed with buttons, fliers and displaying our banner. I don't know if Mr. Gore had a chance to see us, but the people sure did. It was great to hear-pretty much everyone wanting a Gore Presidency. Almost everyone we asked if they wanted a button was thrilled to put one on. Of course we weren't getting many walking by us, being we weren't in front of the door, so I sent Bruce with a bag of them to pass out in front of the entrance. He walked back within minutes that they were gone instantly 3 times.

The people were very excited about Gore for President. And the only one person who displayed skepticism that he would run and didn't want a button, came up to me after the presentation to say "I changed my mind, can I still have a button?" But people who were not even part of the "official Draft Gore" were still all on the same page and were doing their own individual part. It was so exciting. I had a couple with their daughter coming up with signs and petitions to join the Kyoto Treaty. And another couple inside painted R U N down their shirts. And yet another couple in front of us were too from Santa Fe and excited to hear there was a movement. And because the buttons we made have the website's address, on it, it is easy for them to officially get involved.

After arriving at our seats and realizing there was an opportunity to hit the folks up sitting in the front of the stage that Mr. Gore would be speaking on, I walked over to ask if anyone wanted buttons. If they weren't already wearing them (as we saw them on the chests everywhere we looked) more asked for them. Then the folks on the side that saw and heard I had buttons all started yelling out that they wanted some and I started getting "we need 5 over here." I had to excuse myself to return with them as I ran out. When I returned with more buttons, the people asked if they could shake my hand to thank me for my work, and one man yelled out "I love you."

Mr. Gore was absolutely incredible. He was so energetic, passionate, strong and funny. He opened up with some humor, before giving the facts. But he carefully alleviates the tension from the intense information he is sharing, with a slight break of humor every once in a while. The information and facts he shares, just rolls off effortlessly with intense passion being displayed when the news gets deep. The standing ovations he received when entering paled in comparison to when he finished his presentation. I don't think any of us wanted to sit down.

The information Mr. Gore shared in his presentation was updated with current information. So I must say how disturbing it was, after thinking I saw and heard the information before from the movie, to see and hear the latest news, including the fact that he highlighted information for our state. Most troubling was the fact that with everything happening, we are indeed running out of time. As he clearly stated, we are speeding up the warming at an alarming rate. We went from 100 years time to act, down to 50. Then after the long awaited study, it showed so much damage that we had as little as 34 years. Last month new information came out saying the rate is advancing so much with the melting of arctic ice, that we now had only 23 years before the tipping point. Well, after last weeks news that twice the size of England melted and then the size of Florida disappeared, Mr. Gore just received word the day prior that our tipping point may be as early as in 7 years. 7 years. I started to cry.

Mr. Gore said he believes we can solve this still, but we need to act with urgency and he is asking for citizenry activism. Get involved. Go online and find out what we can do to help. He also made clear that we must restore our democracy.

The evening ended when he was to take questions from the audience. At this point I figured if I got kicked out, it would have been worth it, so I took my banner, opened it up and dropped it hanging from our legs. I know it was seen, because Fran saw it sitting on the opposite side of the Center, and I noticed people in their seats pointing to the banner giving a "thumbs up." I can only hope a pause from Mr. Gore was him having a glimpse of it. Because, after all, it is time, Time for a COOL change with Mr. Gore.

The final questions of the evening were of a young girl and boy, ages 12 and 13. They both wanted to know if this would be solved, by whom and, "Do I and my children have a chance?" That pretty much said it all, what is on the mind of their generation. Then the little girl added "Good luck in winning the Nobel Peace Prize." Mr. Gore bowed his head with that and then responded that it is our responsibility to solve this for them and their children. And he hopes they will ask the question of how we managed to solve this. I do too.

Upon leaving from the very emotion filled presentation, I had the chance to find that little girl and give her a button. I hope that will help give some added hope that we will solve this crisis for her.

Thank you Al Gore.

Haloscan Comment Thread

Saint Francis

Today is the Feast of St. Francis.

What have you done lately for the birds and the other creatures of the Earth?

Why Francis is the Patron of Ecology

- listener

Haloscan Comment Link

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Howard Dean on Bush's SCHIP Veto

This morning, President Bush rejected health care for children. Now it's time for Democrats to reject President Bush.

If we can get 2/3 of Congress to stand up to President Bush, we can overturn his veto on the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- a program that provides health insurance for millions of kids.

We need your help to get those votes.

We've set up a simple tool that will allow you to write a letter and send it to your members of Congress instantly. Send your Senators and Representative a message telling them to stand up to George Bush:

George Bush made a cold political calculation this morning. He could have signed this bi-partisan bill into law, or he could have pandered to conservatives who didn't want to see the Children's Health Insurance Program get the funding it needs.

He decided to pander -- and millions of kids will suffer for it.

What makes this veto worse is that George Bush will spend billions of dollars in Iraq, some of it on contractors like Blackwater and Halliburton, while denying millions of children needed doctors' visits or medicine here at home.

On top of that, all of the Republican candidates for president support his veto.

Democrats are in the majority for a reason. Send a message to your Senators and Representative and let them know why that is:

This past week, Graeme Frost, a 12 year old from Baltimore, Maryland, delivered this week's Democratic Radio Address.

Graeme is a brave young man. Three years ago, his family was in a serious car accident. Graeme was in a coma for a week, suffered severe brain trauma, and had to re-learn how to eat and walk.

Graeme is alive today because of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. As he said last weekend:

"My parents work really hard and always make sure my sister and I have everything we need, but the hospital bills were huge. We got the help we needed because we had health insurance for us through the CHIP program.

"I don't know why President Bush wants to stop kids who really need help from getting CHIP. All I know is I have some really good doctors. They took great care of me when I was sick, and I'm glad I could see them because of the Children's Health Program."

Families like the Frosts need your help. You can hear Graeme talk about his experience and send a message to your Senators and Representative right here:

As a doctor, I've seen our country's health care crisis first-hand.

I've seen parents that have to wait for their kids to get dangerously sick before they could take them to a doctor. I've seen parents struggle over important medical care decisions because they didn't know how to pay for it. And I've seen parents left in poverty because they had no other choice.

But you don't have to be a doctor to understand the importance of health insurance for our nation's kids. Just ask any mother or father whose child has been sick, and they'll all tell you the same thing: that there's nothing more important to them than making sure their kids are healthy.

As governor of Vermont, 96% of the children in my state had health insurance. That's the sort of commitment our country needs -- and the sort of commitment President Bush doesn't have.

The American people elected a Democratic majority last fall to stand up to President Bush's misguided priorities. Remind your Senators and Representative just what the American people stand for.

Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.

Haloscan Comment Link

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just Hanging Out Together, Thinking Green

- Photo by listener

Lucy: Make the scene with green.

Snoopy: Hang loose with chartreuse!

And, in the immortal words of Kermit The Frog: It's not easy being green.

Haloscan comment thread

Monday, October 01, 2007

Open Thread

Talk amongst yourselves...

Haloscan comment thread

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Drowning in "sleep debt"

Originally posted at My Left Wing

Well, this is a timely subject for me to be covering with my introductory psychology students.

Each of us has a specific daily sleep requirement. The average sleep requirement for college students is well over eight hours, and the majority of students would fall within the range of this value plus or minus one hour. If this amount is not obtained, a sleep debt is created. All lost sleep accumulates progressively as a larger and larger sleep indebtedness. Furthermore, your sleep debt does not go away or spontaneously decrease. The only way to reduce your individual sleep debt is by obtaining extra sleep over and above your daily requirement.


So, here I am, up to my eyeballs in sleep debt. How am I supposed to get out of debt? By sleeping, one would presume. Except that I get into this ironic-sounding but very real state of "overtired" and I can't. But now, at least I have something new to worry about during those sleepless hours.

Like, if I can't get sleep on my own, and I have to pay off this sleep debt, what options do I have? Go to the sleep bank to take out a loan? Maybe my credit isn't good, and I'd be forced to go to a sleep loan shark. What do they do if you can't pay on time. Instead of breaking your legs, maybe they burn your mattress...

Sleep researcher William Dement--who wrote the article I excerpted above--has said that a large sleep debt "makes you stupid". At very least, as evidenced above, it is making my jokes stupid.

Jokes aside, though, this has been on my mind a lot lately. I think we hear these things about how much sleep we need, and how unhealthy it is to rack up a huge sleep debt, many of us are inclined to nod seriously, but then file that away with all the other "shoulds" that most of us ignore. And I wonder if there's something in the Western, "rugged individualist" mindset that tells us we're supposed to be able to "conquer the natural world", even when it comes to our own biological needs. I can't say exactly where, but I picked up an idea like that somewhere along the line. The idea that I should be able to "overcome" tiredness by sheer force of will. Or the idea that, if my schedule is packed and I can't fit everything in, sleep is an area where I can cut some corners.

I'm coming to realize that I can't, and that I need to listen to what my body is telling me.

Anyway, as I said in a comment that's attached to the My Left Wing essay, the upshot of all of this of all of this is that, when I take a realistic look at where I have to "cut corners", I realize that blogging is one area where I need to do that. Along with following political and news stories and getting outraged about them. Hopefully I can work some of that back into my life once I regain some "balance".

Haloscan comment thread

Talk Like a Quaker Day is October 24

Via jeanne_d_arc's Livejournal

In the same vein as International Talk Like a Pirate Day and National Quaker Week in the UK, I have decided to declare October (Tenth Month) 24 (which just so happens to be United Nations Day and William Penn's birthday) as International Talk Like a Quaker Day.

Participants can use such sentences as:
"Mind the Light!"
"Friend, I'm afraid I must elder thee for what thee said on First Day."
"Today is the 24th day of Tenth Month, 2007."
"Walk cheerfully all over the Earth."
"George, thy foreign policy is not in keeping with the Peace Testimony."

If you are thinking that most modern-day Quakers don't talk like that, just keep in mind that most modern-day pirates don't talk the way a celebrant of International Talk Like a Pirate Day would. Indeed, most pirates today sail the waters near Indonesia (and may not even speak English) or create bootleg software and illegal copies of movies (and therefore use techno jargon).

Please spread the word! If someone feels Led to create a website for the day, so much the better.
Okay, the blog isn't much to look at so far, but I can purty it up later. :) Maybe I can persuade Demetrius to create a graphic for it.

Haloscan comment thread