Home for the Holidays

Hi Folks:

Perry Como famously sang, “There’s no place like home for the holidays!” A similar message is expressed in other seasonal songs, like Chris Rea’s “Driving Home for Christmas” and Jim Brickman’s “Coming Home for Christmas”. The video below, however, is perhaps closer in mood to the Charles Brown classic, “Please Come Home for Christmas.”

We won’t profess to know much about the complexities of the current war in Columbia and how it affects people as disparate as the army, the guerrillas, the coca farmers and other ordinary citizens… but at least one group is working to open lines of communication, to go beyond prejudices and fears and to get people on both sides to see each other as fellow humans. It’s a start, and getting people to meet, to talk with one another, is an important step in an overall goal of peace. That is something we can all celebrate.

Hugs,
M&M

Being Green: Turning Back the Clock

Hi Folks:

Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.  Before I get to that, however, I wanted to add in the following link: How to say “peace” in 100 languages.  Always a good idea…

Much of the cosmetics industry seems to revolve around the idea of being able to turn back the aging process a few years… I’m getting a little grayer around the muzzle myself (I’m the wolf part of wolfnowl.com) but I’m rather proud of those white hairs – and not just because it makes me look like Santa Claus.  However, that’s not what this blog post is about.

My mind often works in a ‘ping-pong’ fashion (some might call it ‘cascade failure’  instead 😉 ) and while I was fishing around for an idea for this week’s ‘green’ post I found myself thinking about the webinar with Dr. Jennifer Languell I watched last week.  One of the things she mentioned was our (over)reliance on technology such as air conditioning systems when we could choose instead to incorporate passive systems that require no energy generation.  That got me thinking about an episode I’d seen on television once about a house that had incorporated waterways and gardens within the main floor of the house; one that essentially required intensive airflow modification to keep the temperature and humidity in check.  It was an engineering marvel that worked very well… as long as the electricity to run the system wasn’t lost.  That got me thinking about different technologies, including methods used by ancient cultures, that don’t rely on such elaborate mechanical systems.  Many people tend to see ancient and especially aboriginal cultures as being ‘primitive’, but in many cases their technology and their Ways of being equalled or surpassed our own.  For example, the Hopi people of the American southwest have been growing corn in a desert for millenia. Continue Reading →

Being Green – Sustainable Prisons

Hi Folks:

I usually start these with, “Friday once again and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.”

This post started out the same way… I had one idea for a topic, then completely changed my mind and went off in a different direction, started doing research on that, wrote two other blog posts, celebrated (with Marcia) our 195th Monthaversary of being a couple, followed by our 18th Anniversary (216th Monthaversary) of the day we met, and it’s now Monday and I’m back to my original topic!  This coming Saturday is our 100th Monthaversary of being married, but I should have this week’s ‘Being Green’ post done before then!  😉

Before I get to that, however, last week’s post was on solar power and I wanted to take a second to add in this link: Concentrated Solar Power Tower In Seville, Spain: The Future Of Electricity? I also wanted to point you toward a brilliant TED talk by Michael Pawlyn on biomimicry, titled “Using nature’s genius in architecture“.  Well worth your time.

Okay, this week’s post is on ‘Sustainable Prisons’.  I have friend who has a Master’s degree in Criminology and as such she’s entitled to use fancy words like ‘recividism‘, and qualified to talk about the penal system in Canada and the US vs. the penal system in Sweden for example.  I also had a friend (now deceased) who was a psychologist at a prison for the criminally insane.  I have no such qualifications, but I have read Edward O. Wilson’s book called ‘Biophilia‘, and was touched by the movies ‘Greenfingers‘ and ‘The Bird Man of Alcatraz‘.  Essentially ‘biophilia’ translates as ‘love of the earth’, and that’s something that affects all of us.  There’s an interesting article called, ‘Biophilia, Selling the Love of Nature‘ that speaks to this, and I did a previous ‘Being Green‘ post on a similar same topic. Continue Reading →

Being Green – Celebrating Abundance

Hi Folks:

Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.  I usually decide on a weekly topic based on something I pick up during the week past, and for this week’s post I had a few ideas… all of which evaporated when I received a note from a fellow forum user this morning (thanks, D.!)  He pointed me to a Youtube video of William McDonough giving the opening keynote address for “Global Forum 2009: Business as an Agent of World Benefit“.  The video is a little over an hour and I haven’t listened to it all yet, but I will.  I really like the reference near the beginning of the talk to the green roof on the Ford plant instead of asphalt (‘ass fault’, as two words denoting blame).  I’ve been a fan of William McDonough and his work for a number of years now, both in the work of his architectural firm and from his founding partnership with MBDC, the people behind the ‘Cradle to Cradle’ certification.  In his opening for the TED talk he did in 2005 he lamented how a ‘rubber duck’ sold in the state of California needs to carry what amounts to a biohazard label.  There’s just no reason for that. Continue Reading →

Being Green – Playing Games With Sustainability

Hi Folks:

Friday once again, and time for this week’s ‘Being Green‘ post.  Before I get to that, however, I want to add a couple of things.  First, in last Friday’s ‘Being Green’ post I talked about taking the ‘long view‘ on making sustainable choices.  This past week I came across one person’s critical view of waterless urinals, here: Flush with environmental enthusiasm.  Second, Tim Fausch (publishing director with BNP Media) wrote a blog post this past week titled, ‘Moving On…It’s Time to Share Your Story‘.  In his post he mentioned how he’s getting tired of hearing only negative news on the ‘net, TV, radio, etc. and invites everyone to share postive stories instead.  You can add your story here: Moving On: Thriving in Tough Times.  BTW, if you’re looking for more good news, the following are a few good places to start:

Okay… this week’s topic is about playing games, and I must admit that I’m old enough to remember a time before computer games.  Yes, really.  Actually, somewhere in a box I still have the slide rule I used to use in a world before pocket calculators, and if you don’t know what a slide rule actually is, well, you’re not alone.  Continue Reading →

He Says, She Says…

Greetings, Dear Reader!

Thanks so much for stopping by!!

If you’ve read these posts before, you’ll know that every Sunday Marcia and Mike pick a common topic and write about it individually.  Neither reads the other’s posts until both are finished.  The title for this week’s talk, ‘The Elephant in the Room‘, comes from a post written by journalist Robert Scoble during his time at the 2010 TED Conference in Long Beach, CA.  You can read his article here: The elephants in the room at TED.  The ‘elephant’ in this case is money.  Those having taken a vow of poverty aside, money is often among the most challenging of ideas held by many if not most people.   It doesn’t matter if you are a street person, a corporate executive or a subsistence farmer, or whether the currency is dollars, pounds, rubles, kroner, baht, pesos, rand or yen.  Both Marcia and Mike have been included in this, at least at times.

The title of this week’s post came from Robert Scoble, but the inspiration for this week’s post came from our wise and wondrous friend, Samantha Standish and a series of blog posts she has written recently on her ‘I Am Pollyana‘ blog.  Our thanks to her and to the many, many people who have been and continue to be our guides, our teachers and our friends.

Hugs,
M&M

Follow these links to read what He Says/She Says: Marcia’s View / Mike’s View.