Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Earth Hour - The Big Picture
Click on image to see more.
If you click on the images, you'll see the lights go down in each city....not off...down....and we all feel better about our "carbon footprint" and "climate change", while we text each other commending each other on participating.
(From A Welsh View)
Monday, March 30, 2009
I Can Read is a PostSecret kind of Tumblr blog that is less labour intensive (for those who wish to post a thought or confession without using the post office).
While we're talking about this sort of thing, I can't get over how Frank over at PostSecret found a way to cash in on a blog idea.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and Edith Bouvier Beale (Little Edie)
Read the Wiki articles on these two eccentric recluses who were aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill.
While over at Aloha Nico I noticed that she posted about the movie Grey Gardens starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange(?)...whatever.
It sent me looking for the original Grey Gardens documentary about these two Blanche DuBois-like women living in a falling down house in the Hamptons.
I couldn't find part one....but, here it starts with part 2:
The house has since been restored. Big Edie dying of a pneumonia in 1977, and Little Edie found dead in her apartment in 2002. She had been dead about five days from a presumed heart attack.
What really stood out for me was how they both continued to show their breeding in the way that they spoke, and Little Edie dressing up "10 times a day" in different outfits from her modeling days...all while the house was falling down around their ears.
Bizarre in the way that European films can be...but, this was real.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I scan the story while standing, my coffee forgotten. Trudy Steuernagel, a faculty member in political science at Kent State, has been murdered and her 18-year-old son, Sky, has been arrested and charged with the crime, though he is profoundly disabled and can neither speak nor understand. Sky, who likes cartoons and chicken nuggets, apparently lost control and beat his mother into a coma. He was sitting in jail when she died.
This happens to be two days after my older son's 21st birthday, which we marked behind two sets of locked steel doors. I'm exhausted and hopeless and vaguely hung over because Andrew, who has autism, also has evolved from sweet, dreamy boy to something like a golem: bitter, rampaging, full of rage. It happened no matter how fiercely I loved him or how many therapies I employed.
More of Ann Bauer's experiences with her son's Autism:
Psych meds drove my son crazy.
The Body Electric.
God talked to me today
The evolution of Ann's thinking, and beliefs about her son's Autism seems to fit any range of feelings around the uncontrollable while dealing, and coping with the medical conditions of loved ones.
She blames her ex-husband's new wife for steering thinking in a different direction. Blames herself. Blames Doctors, Psychiatrists, drugs. Feels guilt, and grief. Pines for her son's childhood days...all the feelings connected to loving someone who is incurable. Who cannot be fixed...while mere humans struggle to find a way to help.
I was recently speaking to a young man who candidly spoke about his mother's schizophrenia.
"Sometimes when people tell me about their minor little problems, I want to tell them to shut the fuck up...try struggling to get your violent, naked mother off the front lawn into a hospital...Sometimes I just wish I had someone else's life"
I told him to never wish that.
People live all kinds of lives that they don't share the details of because they want to be viewed as "normal".
I told him that I appreciated him speaking openly about his mother...that one day, if enough people talked about all the things that are dealt with in families...there would be less stigma.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are being sued by their former housekeeper, who claims Vanessa was incredibly abusive -- even demanding that she put her hand in a bag of dog feces to retrieve a tag from her blouse ... so Vanessa could deduct the cost of the blouse from the maid's salary!
We could have told Maria that Vanessa Bryant was going to be the crabbiest boss in the world because she married Kobe Bryant for his money while he’s off banging everything in the tri-state area. She has to let her frustrations out on someone. But at least, now, that someone is going to get paid.
Seriously I need to know what you think:
A US woman handcuffed herself to her estranged husband while he slept and changed the locks on his bedroom door in a bid to reconcile.
Helen Sun, 37 of Connecticut, told officers she wanted to make sure her husband, Robert Drawbaugh, couldn’t get up and leave while she talked with him.
Clearly not willing to talk, Mr Drawbaugh was eventually able to pin Ms Sun down and call 911 on his mobile phone, where he could be heard screaming for help and saying that Ms Sun was biting him.
Listen to the audio here.
It isn't just women who are victims.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Kensington Market - 1963
Back when I first came to Canada, Kensington Market was known as the "Jewish Market".
Every Saturday, my mother would take me down there so that she could shop.
I would play on a playground on Augusta Avenue until she was done.
At the end of Baldwin was a Yugoslavian Store. When she was done shopping, she would buy Cik Magazine and Ilustrana Politika...I would get some honey cookies or some candies that were similar to the ones I used to get at icko's (EEch-ko's was a candy maker in Petrovo Selo who brought his knowledge to the owner of The Sweet Gallery in west end Toronto...so I'm told), and then we would go home.
Kensington is nothing like it used to be when I was a kid, or even later.
When I was in my early twenties, after we were done clubbing... We would stop by the Jewish Bakery on Baldwin (that is not there anymore) and pick up some fresh kifle, right out of the oven at 4am...even though they weren't officially open, they would still sell you something in the summer.
The front door would be open to relieve some of the heat, I suppose.
There are ways of doing things that are no longer possible.
This...is one of them.
BELGRADE (AFP) – Air-raid sirens wailed Tuesday as Serbia marked the 10th anniversary of NATO's bombing campaign against Serbia.
Solemn ceremonies were held at Belgrade monuments to children and journalists killed in the NATO sorties as the sirens were sounded across the ex-Yugoslav republic for 60 seconds from midday
oh, yes...and fuck off Holbrooke...
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
In 2001 I met a burn survivor who allowed me to photograph her. She told me that she wanted to be photographed so that people could stare at her without feeling embarrassed. It was such an extraordinary experience that a few months later I flew to a burn conference and set up a makeshift studio in a hotel room, and asked people to let me know if they would like their portraits made. I was astonished at how many people did. What I learned from this extraordinary experience was that every burn survivor has a tale of courage to tell, and that the burns have their own eerie beauty. I also learned that after a few hours it becomes very difficult to see the burns anymore. When I returned and developed the photographs, I had to keep asking my wife "does this person look burned to you?", because they all looked quite normal to me. My only regret is that I didn't continue with this project longer than I did, but life intervened.
Found at Half Wit
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
There's an ad for a "Cash for Gold" place in Toronto on the radio that talks about those "heirloom pieces from Grandma" that are "not your taste", and bringing them on down to their establishment for cash.
My question is: If it's an heirloom, would you "cash it in" just because it isn't your taste?
Why I'm Alone by Lea Lane
I'm alone because life doesn't always wind up the way you expect it to, and it wound up this way for me, and I roll with it.
Truth be told:
If something were ever to happen. I don't think I'd look for love again.
Nothing could compete with what I've been lucky enough to have.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
"Try interviewing girls at Hunter, Stuyvesant, or the Bronx High School of Science and see how they feel about Chris Borwn/Rihanna -- I'm sure you'll get completely different answers. Poverty and education has everything to do with how young women see domestic violence. It's not a "teenage" issue, it's a class issue.
— J. Smith, Fla."
From the comments on this article.
Poverty and education has everything to do with how all people see everything.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
While watching some stupid morning show today, the discussion was around keeping your medicine cabinet neat because people snoop while they're using your bathroom.
I've never gone into someone's medicine cabinet.
I've looked in bathroom cupboards but only when the toilet paper ran out...
...am I the only one who doesn't care what you have in your bathroom?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
While I'm not a fan of the big wedding thing...I'm a big fan of the love and proposal/how we got together stories.
The New York Times Vows Video section is interesting to me...even though it's a bit name, education, and profession droppy...and a little less diverse than I'd like it.
(Click on image to see some video vows)
Monday, March 16, 2009
Immature jackasses will UNITE, and high five this idiot.
(I hope she wasn't stupid enough to let him take nude pictures of her....)
......oh, and how's this for freedom?
Were they suspects, or wanted?
Sunday, March 15, 2009
America from the Great Depression to World War II:
Color Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1939-1945
Commuters, who have just come off the train, waiting for the bus to go home, Lowell, Mass. (January 1941)
Kitchen utensils hanging below a spice rack with mint, caraway, thyme, and sage jars.
Japanese-American camp, war emergency evacuation,[Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, Calif.](1942 or 1943)
Women workers employed as wipers in the roundhouse having lunch in their rest room, C. & N.W. R.R., Clinton, Iowa (1943 April)
"Backstage" at the "girlie" show at the Vermont state fair, Rutland (1941 Sept)
Dr. Schreiber of San Augustine giving a typhoid innoculation at a rural school, San Augustine County, Texas (1943 April)
Couples at square dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma [1939 or 1940]
Click here for the index and more fascinating historical photos from The Library of Congress.
I confess that I don't get most anti-establishment activists.
To be honest, when I read the "column" all I could think about was how self-righteously contrary he sounds. As though he enjoys the "funny look" that comes across any Admin persons face with whom he refuses to comply.
I don't know why you'd have to get the number at birth in the States, but I know that a SIN number in Canada proves that you exist in the working world, and you don't get one until you need to...at least I didn't.
“It’s her choice,” I said, turning my head to my newborn.
“Social Security is voluntary. It’s a contract. She’s not old enough to understand it or make an informed decision. So, we believe it’s a decision that should be left to her. She can always sign up when she’s older, and knows what she’s getting into.”
...and that's true.
I'll never understand why Administrative peons are so invested in the whacked out decisions of the general public.
So that’s it. My daughter is not a number. It will be her choice to enter the system if she wants. If she chooses, she can be self-employed and never pay income tax. She can keep the fruits of her labors for herself, or she can sign up for the social trough when and if she thinks it is appropriate. She will be educated on what it entails and how it works. She may have to learn to drive without a driver’s license. She may have to learn to save for health expenses. She may have a more difficult life than many people, but she will have an opportunity of freedom that most people in
never receive. I can’t make her take it. I can’t make her embrace the difficult life of freedom in America . But I can give her the chance. America
Is there such a thing as being self-employed and not paying taxes?
Learning to drive without a permit or license on the road with the rest of us?
The ones with insurance?
The last two lines kill me.
I thought I'd die.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Illuminating Reuse: 15 Recycled Lights and Lamps
"Plastic water bottles are like a plague upon the earth. They litter highways, meadows and bodies of water – and since people aren’t likely to give them up any time soon, some intrepid designers have taken to finding creative new ways to reuse them. This chandelier by Stuart Haygarth is both beautiful and functional, taking hundreds of plastic bottles out of the waste stream."
Monday, March 09, 2009
A man dubbed 'the Swiss gigolo' was sentenced to six years in jail today for defrauding Germany's richest woman of more than £6million and attempting to blackmail her for tens of millions more.
Helg Sgarbi admitted threatening to release secretly recorded videotapes of trysts with BMW heiress Susanne Klatten, 46, unless the married woman gave him millions of pounds to keep quiet.
He's not even all that.
Is that all you get for over 12 million bucks?
Wow...this economy has really tanked.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Kikinda (kee-keen-da) is the name of a selo (village) close to where I was born.
I always loved the name of it because it reminded me of something far away.
There is something about certain names that I like the sound of.
Kikinda is one of those.
Here are some pictures of Kikinda
I watched this episode of W5 last night on The Dominion Christian Centre in Hamilton, Ontario last night.
You can watch it too, if you follow the link and click on the video links on the upper right.
It once again solidifies my belief that extreme sects take advantage of people who are on the edge of mental health.
It makes sense to me that someone who is mentally fragile would seek extreme religious sects because the "church" can dictate how they should be living, and thinking. Therefore a person can lift their hands from taking responsibility for their own lives.
Believing in God can help block anxiety and minimize stress, according to new University of Toronto research that shows distinct brain differences between believers and non-believers.
In two studies led by Assistant Psychology Professor Michael Inzlicht, participants performed a Stroop task - a well-known test of cognitive control - while hooked up to electrodes that measured their brain activity.
Compared to non-believers, the religious participants showed significantly less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a portion of the brain that helps modify behavior by signaling when attention and control are needed, usually as a result of some anxiety-producing event like making a mistake. The stronger their religious zeal and the more they believed in God, the less their ACC fired in response to their own errors, and the fewer errors they made.
Now, while it's enticing to have less stress about your mistakes...the problem with that is that without the stress, there are more mistakes to be made...that's where the con comes in.
You can get your sheep to do all kinds of things that are damaging to society and mankind...I dunno...war comes to mind...
Opiate of the masses, indeed.
Don't get me wrong.
I believe in a higher power...I just don't believe that some con taking money from people on the premise of 'spreading God's word' is something that is good, or needed.
Faith is free.
Being a zombie in the name of religion is not.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
HONG KONG (AP) - Cathay Pacific has apologized for embarrassing a customer whose anguish after missing her flight was captured on video by an airline employee and posted on the Internet.
It just goes to show you that you need to behave yourself while out in public, or risk being ridiculed as behaving like an out of control jackass on YouTube.
...and people are making a big deal about ccv on city streets?
Who needs them when there's a YouTube and cellphones with video capability?
(article found at Funkaoshi)
“There are some parents who probably don’t have a realistic expectation of how invested their parents should be in the grandchildren,” said Dr. Gail Saltz, a Manhattan psychiatrist. “But because this generation’s children are the center of their universe, it’s hard not to take the grandparents’ ‘why should I be bothered?’ attitude personally.”
I think that it's great when a grandparent is very involved with their grandchildren...but, I also think that an adult child shouldn't expect their parents to be "hands on" in their family.
After all, if you choose to have three children a year apart, why should your mother have to come in and save the day for you?
"In these parlous economic times, attitudes like that can have far greater consequences than hurt feelings. If a grandparent cannot or will not baby-sit for a working parent, day care or a nanny may be the only option, and may also be a financial hardship."
Last time I checked, people are supposed to make decisions based on what they are able to afford and realistically manage in their own lives.
If you have a parent who is willing to stay home with your children for free after their retirement, consider yourself lucky indeed.
Those post war grandmas are gone forever.
In some cultures, families live together...three generations in one home.
That's not what we're talking about here.
I wonder if these families who are complaining that their parents won't help raise their kids would take care of their parents at home when they're too old to manage independently?
Like some cultures traditionally do.
I'm thinking that if they're having trouble as young parents managing, they won't be very able with an ill, and aging parent.
It's an interesting topic.
I think probably what's irritating to me is the expectation that as a woman, you are never allowed to retire from care-giving without people thinking that you're a selfish bitch for wanting a life of your own.
Grandpa gets to play golf, but Grandma has to babysit grandchildren like it's a full time job...sounds like fair and endless fun retirement times, no?
I would think that by the age of 65, you might have earned some relaxation time.