Of a Certain Age

Hello Dear Ones!

This week, 1 of our 3 grandsons had a special birthday. Being too far away to connect with him in person due to the coronavirus restrictions, we were still able to reach out to him by cell phone. Though it was his Dad’s phone, he was allowed to answer it and talk one-on-one with us. It was a delightful treat! We chatted for about 45 minutes. He’s becoming quite the conversationalist!

To answer your unspoken question, Asher just turned 11. He’s officially a ‘tweenager.

How does Asher’s age tie in with today’s topic? That’s a simple story. His Grandy (that’s me!) loves all double digit years. So, of course, I had to tell him about it.

When I was 11, it was the best year ever! Life was glorious: fun, lots of friends, good grades, built a tree fort… Then when I turned 22… 33… 44… I didn’t go into details, in order to spare him. However I got him doing some math by asking him if he noticed a pattern. He didn’t, so I explained that now that he’s turned 11, every 11 years will be another double digit year! That’s when he did the addition and went through those special numbers all the way up to 99. But, smart young man that he is, he realized that the next magical number was 111! Triple digits! Again a question from Grandy, “… and from there?” We figured it out together. Add 111 to each number and you get: 222… 333… 444… And we laughed together when I revealed that I didn’t plan on being around quite that long!

Back to this topic. Asher is now of a certain age. His brother will be a teenager next month. Mike & I also have a grandson who is a toddler, and a soon-to-be first granddaughter due early in July. Each one of them are of a certain category of age. Our sons are both considered middle aged.

And their Grandy? Well, I’m of a certain age as well. A senior. Older than 65, not as old as 99. (Actually closer to the smaller of the 2 numbers, blessings be. Still lots of life in this ol’ gal!)

There. That’s my post today. You may have noticed, there are no major ‘aha’ moments in this share. What I am wanting to convey is the purely wondrous aspects of life in its simplest expression. Generations connecting… love shared… pandemic be damned! (Please pardon my language.) And through it all I am so very grateful to technology! Isn’t life grand?!

Are you, Dear Reader, of ‘a certain age’? Any aspects of this post that inspired you? Please drop a comment below, or send me a tweet:
@tomarciamae
I’d love to know!

In Light & Laughter,

Marcia

The Digital Divide

Hi Folks:

It’s been a while since I wrote a long, rambling blog post, so it’s probably time for another one. If you don’t have time to read it all you may wish to skip directly to the P.S. at the bottom… 🙂

This post was inspired by two posts that I came across on the same day, and as thoughts are wont to do (at least for me), once planted they began to send out roots in various directions and attracted others, and so on, and so on… The first post I read is titled, “Restaurant Watches Old Footage Of Customers And Uncovers A Shocking Truth“. Essentially the restaurant was looking for ways to circumvent or overcome customer complaints of ‘slow service’. What they discovered (as hinted by the title) was a surprise to everyone. The second post (at least in the order I encountered them) is titled, “The Digital Divide“. I took the liberty of borrowing their title for this post; it fits well. This second post is about Waldorf schools, and a question that plagues not just them but educators all over – should we keep our children from technology? That question is the essence of this post. Continue Reading →

Being Green: Body and Mind – The Olympics and TED

Hi Folks:

Well, another week has flown by!  The Vancouver 2010 Olympics begin today, and there’s been a lot of effort put into making this Olympics the ‘greenest’ one ever.  There are, of course, two opposing views on their efforts.  On one side, Daily Planet has created an extensive chronicle of the science and technology that has gone into the preparations for this event, and a part of their efforts include eight segments highlighting different ways in which this Olympics are ‘going for green‘.  The official Vancouver Olympics website also has a section of their site devoted to explaining their sustainability efforts.  Even the Olympic medals are made partially from metals recycled from electronic waste.  On the other side of the table, a recent article by Dr. David Suzuki serves to highlight the (many?) ways in which the 2010 Olympics has fallen  short, and the ways in which future games might be improved. As an example, one new structure at Whistler is a chalet designed to PassivHaus standards.  A PassivHaus consumes 90% less energy than one built to standard building code.  I think that’s wonderful, and ideas like this need to be incorporated into every new building.  At the same time, the building was created in a factory in Austria and then shipped around the world to BC where it was erected, so that process itself may negate the environmental benefits of having such a tight structure.  I can’t say for sure.  Can we do more?  Need we do more?  For my part I say yes, certainly, on both counts.  At the same time, I believe we advance ourselves further with compliments than criticisms, so I offer my congratulations to all involved with the Vancouver 2010 Olympics for their efforts in sustainability, and I trust that future events will greatly exceed the efforts made here.

Now the Olympics is primarily about the body.  Yes, there’s technology and development and mental acuity and more, but overall the Olympics is about physical excellence.  There’s another ‘Olympics’ of sorts that’s also going on right now, a little farther south, in Long Beach, CA – the 2010 TED ConferenceTED is an acronym for ‘Technology – Entertainment – Design’ and in some respects TED is a mental olympics.  But while the Olympics proper is about competition, striving to be the best, TED is about cooperation, perhaps coopetiton.  Some of the most important minds in the world gather every year at TED.  There’s also ‘William’.  He’s 11, and the youngest TED attendee to date.  At TED you’ll find doctors, engineers, business leaders, and also people like William Kamkwamba.  A native of Malawi, at 14 William had to leave school to support his family.  He went to the closest library and found a book on wind energy, and using some wonderful adaptive engineering he built a wind generator for his parent’s home.  Basically he built a wooden tower, formed blades out of melted PVC pipe, and connected these blades to the pedal arm of a bicycle.  When the wind turned the propeller blades, the rotating crank would ‘pedal’ the bicycle, spinning the rear wheel and generating electricity using a small generator designed to operate a bicycle headlight.  He generated enough power to provide for four lights in his parent’s home, and so he went beyond that, adding in a circuit breaker and four light switches.

To say a lot has been written about TED – some good, some less than flattering – would be a vast understatement.  There’s such a broad scope of topics covered at the main conference every year, and increasingly in independent ‘TEDx’ conferences (300 so far), that any attempt to cover them all would fall short.  But since these weekly posts are about green building and sustainability, I thought I’d highlight just a few to get you started.  Hundreds more can be seen and/or downloaded from the TED website.

Rachel Armstrong presented an idea to use ‘protocells’ to create building structures that sequester CO2 from the atmosphere or from water, creating carbonate ‘reefs’ that build and repair themselves.

Juan Enriquez talked about the tremendous advances in agriculture caused by shifting our thinking from using ‘force’ to grow food to using biology, and how this concept is our way forward to a sustainable energy future.

Norman Foster discussed how architects can design buildings that are “green, beautiful and basically pollution-free.”

Willie Smits spoke about recreating a clear-cut tropical rainforest in Borneo, providing habitat for local orangutans and providing food, homes, and a sustainable wage for communities of local people.

The winner of the 2010 TED Prize, Jamie Oliver outlined a plan on how to make children (and their parents, and everyone) food aware.  Malnutrition and obesity are linked if we’re eating foods that our bodies can’t effectively utilize.  How does this relate to green building and/or sustainability?  Americans invest $150 billion a year on healthcare issues related to preventable disease arising from obesity and food disorders.  As things are, this will only increase.  The production, transportation, marketing and distribution of ‘unhealthy food’ has costs that are staggering, and not just in an economic sense.  I’ve mentioned this before, and while I can’t remember the name of the original author, the ‘triple bottom line’ for businesses today involve environmental sensitivity, corporate sustainability and profit.  What the speaker said was to consider this as a three-legged stool.  He went on to say that what’s important to remember is not that if you remove one of the legs the stool will fall over.  What’s important to remember is that it doesn’t matter which one of the legs you remove, the stool still falls over.

Okay, the links this week are:

Okay, that’s it for now.  Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to leave us a comment to say hi!

Mike.

P.S.
Something a little different – a touch screen you don’t need to touch.  Gesture Cube: No need to touch – just give it a wave!