Archive for July, 2008

Whew! Now this is real and well said.

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Speaking out about Choice.

Sonya Renee.
Not much else I can add to this.

silly, tasteless, slightly gross, waste of time

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

But it made me laugh and that’s important.
Zombies reciting Haiku. A stupid premise well done, my opinion.

I watched it thinking my sister might like it, so you’ll have to let me know if you do, OK?

solar eclipse

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

This Friday there is a solar eclipse that will peak at 7:09 AM EDT, but will not be visible from Michigan.
For more info and to watch it live from China, this web site seems to be loaded with everything you could possibly want to know.

hollywood comes to Ann Arbor

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

My neighborhood is all transformed and inconvenienced by a movie being made at the corners of Liberty and First. My normal bike/walk/drive route is closed round the clock – to everyone. Until tomorrow. Gary and I had pizza Saturday on part of the set (the pizza place on the corner has been redone for the film but was open then). Today I saw a car crash (or partly saw) that seemed to end at the pizza place – noteable.

Lots of police, other security, making the crowd hush, keeping people away, standing around mostly and sometimes being absorbed in the scene. This isn’t New York or Southern California – I suppose we don’t know the proper watching-a-movie-be-made Etiquette. But being quiet and willing to only be were you are allowed to be seems to be the gist of it.

Car crashes and explosions and that sort of stuff is pretty much my second least favorite part of any movie – the other being violence – any sort of violence. It makes me feel physically really bad. I get upset with commercials that are too violent even.

But car crashes just seem overdone and off topic, no matter how well done. So here is my corner of Ann Arbor being used for just that. Oh well. I suppose renting the movie will still be worthwhile. Only I’m such a movie non-participant that I can’t remember the name fo the movie, or any of teh major stars who are in it. Something about a young male virgin who doesn’t get along with his father?

Anyway, it is sort of fun and fantasy and curious. And damned inconvenient.

More Evidence of Bush Admin. Insanity

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Declining driving equals declining in gas tax revenues equals less money for federal contributions to raod projects. As the New York Times reports, the proposed solution is to take money earmarked for mass transit and use that for highways.

An excellent example of a complete failure to comprehend the full picture. We have just over 90 days before the relief of electing an alternative to this administration’s lunatics. It just goes on and on in the meantime.

Help From Unexpected Places

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I wrote a previous post about my brother’s health, and used it as an example of our really crazy health care system. He just added a comment, that he is getting the drug from Roche as part of their compassionate care system, which many drug companies have. They give the drugs at no cost to people who qualify and need the assistance.

They, Roche, has been unexpectedly kind and helpful, and have even personally contacted him. Yep – never trust absolutes, be careful of generalizations, and use your words to better describe situations that are complex. Health care is all of that, we need to point out the failings and marvel at the minor miracles. They exist. It is a system composed of heartless policies and terrible priorities. And also lovely, loving, caring people who are doing the best they can.

And also some really cool interventions and ways to save people’s lives. It is never simple, and it is important to talk about both the microcosm and macrocosm that is the whole of the system. Just as health isn’t obvious or simple (it is more than the absence of disease!) neither are the solutions and the needed revolutions. I’m glad to me in the middle of the conversation.

audio illusion

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Play the video once, then replay. The tone will give the illusion that it is still going “up” the scale.

If you stop it midway to repeat, it doesn’t work. You can read more about the effect on line, and there are more illusions on the yahoo links page.

plastic and “beauty aids”

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Plastic in the oceans is growing environmental concern. It is everywhere. There is a Slate article outlining the issues, small plastic beads in exfoliating creams that are to small to be filtered at sewage plants and that are then transfered to rivers and eventually oceans.

I use a facial scrub, it contains seaweed. No plastic.

Green Yahoo lists the blatant offenders and what to watch for –

* Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub
* Clean & Clear’s line of scrubs
* Dove Gentle Exfoliating Foaming Facial Cleanser
* Neutrogena’s line of scrubs
* Noxzema’s line of scrubs
* Olay’s line of scrubs
* Phisoderm Nurturing Facial Polish

Look for “polyethylene” in the label’s ingredient list. You can double-check on a site like, where it’s often easier to read the full ingredient list. You might also question terms like “microbeads” or “microcrystals” that aren’t explained.

Is this the biggest source of plastic pollution or most important ingredient to avoid? No. But it is just one more poorly thought out manufactured thing with multiple negative impacts for no good reason. Use of fossil fuels, possible carcinogenic links, and that it never ever goes away. Those products should be daylighted and left on the shelves so that they will quickly be withdrawn and seen as the ultimate failures that they are.

When we change our priorities so that new things are actually needed, helpful, have positive environmental impacts, use renewable and sustainable components, are durable but not forever enduring in the environment, and buying the newest is no longer a goal — then we’ll have a reasonable economy and a change in lifestyle that will truly “trickle down”.

Now let me get to work getting rid of some more stuff.

Eight Reasons not to Talk to the Police

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I’m willing to chat on the street corner (especially about the dog I’m walking), admit I was speeding (twice in my life — both times no ticket). But it is an enjoyable two videos of a lawyer and a police officer both in agreement.
The idea that there are so many laws that you can’t know if you’re breaking the law. Turns out holding a short lobster is a crime. The videos are long, but interesting.

just for the pleasure of it

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Another video of something that has no apparent purpose, although it does demonstrate gears and motion. It is just lovely and demonstrates skill in carving and creating. But will he make another one now that this is complete? No.

I wish I could see it in person.