ecards, from the folks who brought you The Onion (marketing slogan: “when you care enough to press ‘send'”); thanks to Ross Mayfield for the link
Bye, Sweet Dog: Astonishing, heart-wrenching description of animal emotions by Melissa Holbrook Pierson, author of The Place You Love is Gone. Also take a look at her newest post, on landscape and memory. Brilliant writing.
Why We Don’t Collaborate and Learn From Each Other: A long and clever rant by William on the separate solitudes we live in that, unbridged and disconnected, prevent us everywhere from achieving what is, if we only realized, in our common interest.
Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture: Dave Smith is excerpting from a book that exposes the big lies about Industrial Agriculture. “World hunger is not created by lack of food but by poverty and landlessness, which deny people access to food. Industrial agriculture actually increases hunger by raising the cost of farming, by forcing tens of millions of farmers off the land, and by growing primarily high-profit export and luxury crops.” Kinda takes the edge off Michelle Obama’s encouraging garden project.
Stop Ploughing!: A Devon (UK) farmer learns that the modern heresy of not ploughing and not using oil-based chemicals (permaculture) is the only way to create a sustainable farm. This is a long video (49 minutes) but worth the time. Thanks to Tree for the link.
First Life Meets Second Life: Cheryl talks about Second Life, and how she came to it, in a radio broadcast on Australia’s ABC Radio National.
Just for Fun
XKCD, Comics for Geeks (thanks to Karen H for the link)
Robin Williams, at a recent performance in the UK in front of royalty, talks about Obama and Bush (thanks to neighbour John for the link).
Thoughts for the Week:
From Viv McWaters, on giving others context for what we care about, and what we propose, by briefly telling others our personal story, our ‘big enough name‘:
Today Andrew Rixon introduced me to a model of time. The essence of it was this: The past gives you roots; the present gives you energy; and the future gives you wings… Instead of trying to encapsulate all of that in a single vision statement wouldn’t it be more productive to share with each other what grounds us, what energises us and what gives us wings – individually and collectively?
From George Eliot, on how our past haunts us, holds us back (thanks to Beth T for the link):
With memory set smarting like a reopened wound, a man’s past is not simply a dead history, an outworn preparation of the present: it is not a repented error shaken loose from the life: it is a still quivering part of himself, bringing shudders and bitter flavors and the tinglings of a merited shame.
From Oscar Wilde, on (thanks to Eve11 for the link):
A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.
From Rick Steves, travel writer, in an interview with Salon.com:
A headline today said, “Americans lose 18 percent of their wealth.” Well, no, it wasn’t real wealth, it was a bubble. You’re down 18 percent? You’re not. It shouldn’t have been up there in the first place. So get over it. Shut up. Go to work, produce stuff that has value. I really think the days are gone, I hope, when people can rearrange the furniture and get rich on it. You’ve got to produce something.
From Karl Paulnack, welcoming address to freshman students at Boston Conservatory of Music (thanks to Beth P for the link):
If we were a medical school, and you were here as a med student practicing appendectomies, you’d take your work very seriously because you would imagine that some night at 2:00 AM someone is going to waltz into your emergency room and you’re going to have to save their life. Well, my friends, someday at 8:00 PM someone is going to walk into your concert hall and bring you a mind that is confused, a heart that is overwhelmed, a soul that is weary. Whether they go out whole again will depend partly on how well you do your craft.
You’re not here to become an entertainer, and you don’t have to sell yourself. The truth is you don’t have anything to sell; being a musician isn’t about dispensing a product, like selling used Chevies. I’m not an entertainer; I’m a lot closer to a paramedic, a firefighter, a rescue worker. You’re here to become a sort of therapist for the human soul, a spiritual version of a chiropractor, physical therapist, someone who works with our insides to see if they get things to line up, to see if we can come into harmony with ourselves and be healthy and happy and well.
Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, I expect you not only to master music; I expect you to save the planet. If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don’t expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that’s what we do. As in the concentration camp and the evening of 9/11, the artists are the ones who might be able to help us with our internal, invisible lives.