Olympia just held its 20th annual Procession of the Species parade, which is a uniquely DIY local community based noncommercial arts event that celebrates all life and creatures.
“I just want everyone to know that my decision not to serve a second term as Energy Secretary has absolutely nothing to do with the allegations made in this week’s edition of the Onion. While I’m not going to confirm or deny the charges specifically, I will say that clean, renewable solar power is a growing source of U.S. jobs and is becoming more and more affordable, so it’s no surprise that lots of Americans are falling in love with solar.”
Beautiful Asheville, North Carolina is famous for many things, including its bountiful array of diverse foraged edibles and medicinal plants; our region is now taking eating wild one step further by opening the first entirely wild crafting public market in the US. The upcoming weekly market will include vendors selling edible and medicinal mushrooms, plants.
Last week was the twentieth anniversary of Critical Mass, a spontaneous group bike ride that happens on the last Friday of each month. The popular Critical Mass rides began right here in San Francisco, and have already spread to hundreds of different cities across the globe. Now millions of people participate in these fun free events worldwide, temporarily turning our urban streets and thoroughfares into an endless sea of bikes.
Yesterday the sunny streets of San Francisco were swarming with thousands of happy residents during another regular Sunday Streets event. Rivers of happy families filled the car-free avenues, listening to live music, biking, dancing, playing football, skateboarding, walking dogs, socializing with their neighbors, and just soaking up the beautiful spring day.
I am looking out my frozen window, watching flurries of wet flakes continuing to fall, as Western Washington becomes completely engulfed in thick blankets of snow. Nearly everything is closed, as local residents marvel at the white winter wonderland. It does, however, feel a bit like being permanently trapped inside of a tiny frosty snow globe.
Today is the fourth day of the Kwanzaa season, when we all join to celebrate the principle of Ujamaa, focusing on the important economic benefits garnered from working together. The principle highlighted on today’s holiday encourages people to seize the means of production and create our own new innovative community based business models.
This gripping iconic photo was taken two days ago by seattlepi.com photographer Joshua Trujillo at an OccupySeattle protest at Westlake Park. The image is of an 84 year old woman who has just been pepper sprayed by the police only moments before. Her eyes are red and swollen, seared with dripping chemicals and painful tears.
Last Monday we visited the growing encampment of protesters at Occupy Portland in the city’s downtown center. The site had several hundred full time residents, and had already implemented many systems to clean and maintain the small village, as well as to feed, organize and help educate its residents. I was really impressed with the infrastructure that had been developed, and by how well various groups of people were working together.
Margaret Leisha Kilgallen was an amazing artist, as well as a kind, earnest and sincere human being; she was also a friend of mine. We met in San Francisco in 1990, when we were both in our early twenties, and used to print together at a letterpress studio in Berkeley. Back then we were full of hope, passion and optimistic ideals. While we spent hours working, painstakingly hand-setting tiny metal type, we would discuss new ideas, music, art or our plans for the future. Margaret eventually became a very well known painter, but always remained honest and true to her genuine self. She continued to inspire me, as well as many other people, with her generosity, empathy and steadfast idealistic belief that positive change was possible.
This wrenching image is of a young boy who works in one of India’s many coal mines near Ladrymbai, in the Jaintia Hills district in northeast India. In the Los Angeles Times Mark Magnier reported grim and disturbing details about the horrific child labor situation in the country’s coal mines:
“The young miners descend on rickety ladders made of branches into the makeshift coal mines dotting the Jaintia Hills in northeast India, scrambling sideways into ‘rat hole’ shafts so small that even kneeling becomes impossible. Lying horizontally, they hack away with picks and their bare hands: Human labor here is far cheaper than machines.”
In the U.S. packaging for tobacco products will now be required to carry realistic disease warnings on them. The Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration are working together in an attempt to lower the number of people who are dying every year from tobacco use; currently the annual death toll in the United States is nearly a half million. Nearly 20% of the nation’s population, or 46 million people, continue to smoke. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg explained…
Recently I have been reading very disturbing research about how Diet Coke can possibly cause cancer and kill you. The artificial sweetener that is used in most diet beverages, aspartame, once ingested, becomes a lethal poison called methyl alcohol. Small quantities of this noxious substance can lead to blindness and death; even the most miniscule amounts of this aspartame toxin are strongly linked to cancer.