Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

New Mexico Snow, for Carl Sagan

Uploaded by on Dec 20, 2011

It snowed hard yesterday and last night. This morning, I woke to a different planet. And I realized it's Dec 20, Winter Solstice, anniversary of the death of Dr. Carl Sagan. And I thought of the billions of snow flakes, in billions of configurations and I wondered: are there more flakes out here than stars in the sky? It's too big for me, so I just filmed my dogs, playing. Look for twinkle sparkles of floating ice crystals.


Science & Technology



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Friday, December 16, 2011

triage @ clinic today

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Well, I just walked in to the clinic at 12:30pm today. Big sign read, "no walk-ins today after noon."

I explained that I'm new in town and don't know procedures, that I sustained a significant head injury 2 days ago, am experiencing some considerable pain and really don't think it's wise for me to drive 150 miles, round trip, to Albuquerque, under the present conditions.

I was triaged in less than 10 minutes. I volunteered that I'd experienced no significant changes in already-poor vision, that, to the best of my knowledge, I hadn't been unconscious and that I cannot blame any particular dizziness or weakness on this particular injury, as I experience those periodically, all the time.

He asked a technical question about my vision. I replied, "I don't know what that means," halfway expecting that, even though it was in Latin, I just MIGHT know what he was asking. Indeed, he was asking if I have "lazy eye," which I've had my whole life and had difficulty controlling, when asked to look directly into a pin light. I avoid contrasts in light/dark, as my pupils don't adjust and it makes me temporarily blind. So, I was much more concerned with that than holding both eyes straight.

I suspect he asked because I so well presented my symptoms or, rather, lack of symptoms of concussion so well, and doctors, these days, are trained to SUSPECT consumers of such things as hypochondria, rather than RESPECT us as responsible for our own health care. Sigh. As soon as they have my mental "health" records, I'll lose ALL credibility, of course.

At any rate, when he didn't feel any separation of cartilage from bone at my nose and saw pressure, applied to my forehead between my brows didn't cause me to scream, but only to flinch and back away, he was satisfied I have not broken my skull or nose (but my right nostril is unobstructed now; it was not before; the cartilage HAS MOVED to the left!), he relaxed.

THe xray technician will, of all things, be in tomorrow, a Saturday, at noon, which is lunch time, and will take xrays of my head.

I was ushered out the back door of the clinic, not because they were ashamed of my presence, but because the entire front area was devoted to a holiday staff party.

There was, amazingly, no charge.

I feel a bit better today. I picked up _God is Not Great_ by Hitchens, which I'd ordered by Inter-Library Loan last week and which arrived yesterday, when he died. I'd received a phone message that it was in, but could not muster the energy to go to town, particularly since my hygiene had been neglected to the point where, I could swear I scraped mushrooms out from under my arms when I bathed today. I also picked up my new check books from the post office, registered my travel trailer with motor vehicles and found an INCREDIBLE sale on pork rinds at Alco, a tiny big box store in town. I had gone there, specifically FOR pork rinds, as I have an entire case of canned, refried beans to eat up (fifty cents a can: I bought them all!). The pork rinds were 1/4th their usual price, so I bought all of them. Yes, the dogs had a few.

I did not stay out long and was back in bed, in clean night gown, with clean body, as shortly as possible.

A FaceBook friend located a playlist of the entire audio version of Hitchens' book, so I've been listening to the 1st chapter, read by Hitchens, recording especially graceful passages, reading along in the book. This makes retention MUCH better: Hitchens has a distinctive and relaxed reading style and the visual words are great, in case he dives a bit too deep, or I go on some reverie, and need to pause the video and re-read a passage. It's not as taxing on the eyes, either, 'though I am wearing glasses and have a light on.

It's been a long time since I've bothered with an actual book. I find virtual libraries much easier to magnify and read. And I can't lose them. Or get them damaged.

My headache video seems to have been rather a "hit," as was my "ThankYouVeryMuch" video to the person who, out of the blue, and for no justifiable reason (based on my paltry samples on YouTube to date) volunteered to send me a webcam that's far superior to the one on my little netbook. In fact, one of my latest subscribers warned me to be cautious with this new web camera, s make it far trickier to record myself showering, as I've done in the pasince it willt: the focus is much more sharp.

So, we have plenty of stuff for burritos or pork rinds & dip, lots of water, lots of coffee & tea and even some evil Coca Cola (I am proud to announce that I've made 1 2-liter bottle each of regular and diet last over a week now; in the past, they'd have been lucky to survive 48hrs.)

I have aspirin. The house is warm and dry. Animals are cuddling. My head still hurts, but is manageable.

Hitchens really is an excellent writer.One YouTube comment said, sure, if you like a fancy, English accent and a lot of big words to confuse and bore people and mask the fact that atheism is foolishness.

We are a preposterous species! LOL

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Debtors' prisons

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Some creditors use harsh tactics to get debtors to pay up

(Flickr/EO, file)
With a slow economy, the number of debtors going to jail in Illinois is on the rise.
It's illegal in Illinois to throw a debtor in jail for not being able to pay, but some creditors are getting around that. A collection agency can file a lawsuit which might require a court appearance. If the debtor doesn't appear at the hearing, a warrant can be issued for their arrest.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said in some cases, the court notices aren't being served.
"We hear time and again from the legal aid lawyers who ultimately find out often about these people when they're in jail that people didn't even know there was a lawsuit against them, let alone a judgment had been entered," Madigan said.
People have been stopped for minor traffic violations, but then arrested and sent to jail after police found the warrant in their file. Legal aid attorneys have said this is more of an issue in rural parts of the state. Madigan said it often happens to people with little to no income, and they usually don't know their exemption rights as a debtor. The amount owed is usually a small amount. Money used to bail the debtor out of jail often goes directly to the creditor.
Kevin Kelly with the Illinois Creditors Bar Association said creditors don't want to send people to jail. He said members of his organization don't issue warrants unless it's an extreme situation.
"The whole idea is to make contact with the debtors and somehow structure an arrangement to hopefully repay the debt. We welcome them to contact us, to call us and talk about the situation," he said.
Kelly said most creditors are willing to make reasonable arrangements with people who are struggling to pay. But he said it's difficult when the vast majority of people don't respond to letters of demand.
"So we’ve got five notices that have already gone out either by personally serving them or that have gone out by mail, five separate notices. And we’ve received absolutely no response to any of them. I’m not certain what more we can do," Kelly said.
Madigan said more could be done to prevent debtors from needlessly being jailed. She said courts around the state need to be certain they have accurate information to serve legal notices. She also said her office is investigating creditors that could be abusing the law. Her office has sued six creditors since 2006.

Monday, December 12, 2011

TEDxWomen -- Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Uploaded by on Dec 11, 2011

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, actress, spokesperson and advocate. She talks about how the media shapes our perceptions about gender and about our potential, calling on women and men to challenge the media and its male-dominated discourse, while empowering women to take on leadership positions.

TEDxWomen was curated and produced by The Paley Center for Media. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.com

TEDxWomen -- Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Uploaded by on Dec 11, 2011

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a filmmaker, actress, spokesperson and advocate. She talks about how the media shapes our perceptions about gender and about our potential, calling on women and men to challenge the media and its male-dominated discourse, while empowering women to take on leadership positions.

TEDxWomen was curated and produced by The Paley Center for Media. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.com

Upscale Bay Area home made from salvaged car roofs & windows

Uploaded by on Dec 12, 2011

When architect Karl Wanaselja built his home in Berkeley, California the junkyard became his urban forest for materials.

For months he visited one of three local yards looking for car roofs and Dodge Caravan side windows. The windows became awnings and the roofs became siding for the top floor of his home.

Wanaselja designed the home with his partner (in business and life) Cate Leger. They liked the look of the old cars, but they also believe firmly that reusing trumps recycling.

They reused more than just cars to build their home. The lower half is sided in poplar bark, a waste product of the North Caroline furniture industry. Exterior wood is salvaged redwood and the fences and windowsills are on their second life.

Because they wanted to blend into the neighborhood as much as possible, Wanaselja and Leger played with perspective to create a home that looks small on the outside, but feels big on the inside.

The home is only 14 feet wide on the ends, and it pitches forward and pinches in at the ends so from the street the home looks small. And it is just 1,140 square feet- more than half the U.S. average- and only 700 square feet on the ground floor.

"It's kind of like Dr. Who's TARDIS. He's got this little phone booth, he goes in and then it's a giant space inside so it's kind of."

In this video, Wanaselja and Leger give us a tour of their home, their car part shed and their shipping container architecture studio in the backyard.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration

http://www.ted.com After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free.

I'm poor. I'm always told why I can't participate b/c of $. I just signed up for DuoLingo beta testing in Spanish. iMuchimas Gracias, Senor! What a great guy! I love how you think. Here's a big hug. Thank you.


With Duolingo you learn a language for free,
and simultaneously translate the Web.

Our private beta has started! Due to high demand, we are gradually inviting new users. If you haven’t done so, enter your email address to get early access

© 2011 Duolingo

Urban goats for organic raw milk in a San Francisco backyard

Uploaded by on Dec 5, 2011

Heidi Kooy lives in a fairly dense part of San Francisco- her row house touches her neighbors'- with just 1000 square feet of backyard, but she manages to squeeze in an organic garden, fruit trees, chickens and, most recently, a pair of goats.

When she began her experiment in urban farming, the goats were really an afterthought. "I was obsessed with having a chicken for awhile... and so I told my husband we were going to get chickens and he said 'Ew, chickens smell. I want a goat'."

Kooy did some research and found a San Francisco Health Department clause that allows for "two female goats for family purposes". Two years ago she bought two Nigerian dwarf goats and today, they provide anywhere from 1 to 3 quarts of milk per day for her family (drunk as raw milk and used to make cheese).

She loves her fresh goats' milk, but Kooy admits the price is steep. The goats themselves usually cost about $500-600 each. Then there are the vet bills and stud services (to keep them lactating). And then you need to milk them twice a day, every day.

Kooy's goats have also cost her money in damage to her yard and house. And besides the daily milkings, she takes them a mile away (often by car) to a nearby park to exercise.

"The amount of work that I put into this, it's much easier for me to go get some silly job and go over to the big name box store across the street from me. It's a much better deal for me to go over there and buy my cheese for $5, for a brick, rather than spending 2 days making cheese from my own goats milk that I had to milk the goats 4 times to get enough milk to produce it. It doesn't make any kind of sense on any level except that I now know what goes into it and i appreciate where my food comes from a lot more and I appreciate what farmers do."

In this video we visit Kooy at her Excelsior District home in time for her morning milking.

Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/urban-goats-for-organic-raw-milk-in-...

Monday, December 05, 2011

Open Source Ecology

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Global Village Construction Set - TED Talk from Open Source Ecology on Vimeo.
 Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that has been imagining and creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform. These DIY-fabricated industrial machines can be used to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing. It is a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies.
The GVCS in 2 Minutes

Uploaded by on Oct 23, 2010
A Hollywood movie producer 'Isaiah Saxon' who made the video "Wonderlust" for Björk.. is an OSE 'True Fan' and has made a 2minute explainer video of the 'GVCS' - Global Village Construction Set. He put five days work into it out of pure passion for the project! It really gets our GVCS message across in a short and very concise way:)
The purpose of the video is for entry into the "Buck Minster Fuller Challenge". But of course we will use it in all future presentations and marketing of this direction:)

Bill Maher's Christmas Message to the World

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 I detest Oprah for selling us out: the poor, the female, the incested, the abused, the non-white. Her betrayal of all of us breaks my heart.

Bill Maher’s Christmas Message: Oprah, Tell Your Audience “Stop Losing Your Sh*t Over Material Stuff”

Bill Maher, host of HBO‘s Real Time, and notorious religious nonbeliever, taped a harsh and hilarious “Christmas message” for his website that served as a damning critique of all Americans and of the one media figure most are too scared to attack: Oprah Winfrey. Calling Oprah’s “Favorite Things” episode “one of the most deeply disturbing things I’ve ever seen on television” was just the beginning of Maher’s memorably “cheerful” message.
Maher used Oprah’s audience as the prime example for his thesis that the real religion in America is greed and is “what at the core is so rotten about this country.” Many find Maher’s “humor” offensive, especially towards people of faith, but if you step back and view Maher as a social commentator, merely trying to improve society then maybe you too could appreciate Maher’s willingness to be politically incorrect and go after anyone and everyone to make a point. Maher concluded:
This is why everything in America gets sucked down a hole. Because what people really value is acquiring crap. Oprah’s show purports to be a lot about spirituality. If it was, then wouldn’t she tell her worshipping flock to sit down and stop losing your shit over material stuff. As for me, I don’t really know what spirituality means, but I know if you’re weeping over a sweater you don’t either. Merry Christmas everybody!
Watch the clip below from Bill Maher’s website:

Bill Maher on WhoSay

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Poor Kids' Work Ethics

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that futher mucker! Kids in the War Zone went can collecting, every day. And these vans, pulling trailers of merch, pick them up & drop them as much as 100 miles from home, in the weather, to sell junk outside gas stations for as many as 16 hrs a day! They work with uncles & dads, under the table, doing roofing, construction, etc. They run households, taking care of younger siblings, doing all household chores, shopping, taking siblings to doctors, school, etc., while single parents are working up to 3 jobs. They garden. They clean houses. They help Mom sew by the piece. They make arts & crafts to peddle to shops in Old Town. They work at the flea market. That bastard has NO IDEA how hard poor kids work! Harder than HE ever had to, that's for damn sure! No work ethic? BITE ME YOU FAT, WHITE PARASITE!

DES MOINES, Iowa - After saying recently that child labor laws are "truly stupid," Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Thursday told an Iowa audience that children in poor neighborhoods have "no habits of working" nor getting paid for their endeavors "unless it's illegal."
"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works," the former House speaker said at a campaign event at the Nationwide Insurance offices. "So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal."
Gingrich lately has been unspooling an urban policy, beginning with his comments at Harvard University last month when he discussed child labor laws. "It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods," Gingrich said then, "entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid."
Children in poor neighborhoods, he said, should be allowed to serve as janitors in their schools to earn money and develop a connection to the school.

Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment

Uploaded by on Nov 26, 2011
http://www.ted.com Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles -- researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. Call it distributed DIY. And the results? Delicious.

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Assange on mass surveillance: 'You are all screwed!'

Uploaded by on Dec 2, 2011

The whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has begun releasing sensational information on the multi billion dollar global spying industry. The database contains hundreds of documents shining a light on the methods being used by secret services all over the world. Here's the video of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaking to journalists and students at a press conference at City University London in central London on December 1, 2011. Along with a number of other guest speakers, Mr Assange spoke of the Wikileaks ongoing investigation of surveillance software companies and their alleged use by governments around the world.

RT on Twitter: http://twitter.com/RT_com
RT on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RTnews

You are reading http://viridianariverstone.blogspot.com/.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Bessie Smith (Poor Man's Blues, 1928) Jazz Legend

Uploaded by on Jun 4, 2009

Poor Man's Blues (1928)

Bessie Smith (Vocal)
Joe Williams (tb)
Bob Fuller (clarinet)
Ernest Elliott (as)
Porter Grainger (piano)