Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Any "No Fridge!" Folks Near New York?


My old, old post here, on "No Refrigerator- for 30 Years" - (38, now...) continues to be one that gets very high attention, every day.

Today it's the BBC that's interested; and looking for a little help from you:

Chloe Hadjimatheou has left a new comment on your post "No Refrigerator- for 30 years...":

Hi there,
I am a BBC journalist working on a radio documentary about how fridges change people's lives around the world. We are in New York this week and looking to meet someone who has chosen to live without a fridge. Can you help? Please contact me either via FB (chloehadj@hotmail.com) or else via email chloe.hadjimatheou@bbc.co.uk or phone +447974105829.
Many thanks!!
Chloe

It would be a good thing for the BBC to get a little of the other side of the story!  If you are, or know someone who might be- able to meet up with Chloe and team- please do.

And share this on your other communications outlets; we should be able to find someone somewhere.

Chloe- 2 things to keep in mind on this subject; which the refrigerator manufacturers won't point out:

100 years ago- no one had one.  If it weren't possible to do without- your grandparents wouldn't have had any children, and no one alive today would - be alive today.  Sure, there may have been a few more cases of food poisoning- but those cases were mostly due to poverty and ignorance; just as they are still.  And;

100 years ago- the global obesity epidemic was not yet happening.  If you check - you will find that obesity tends to follow the advent of refrigerators...

Seriously.  You could do hard statistics on that point, with info on the internet.  I don't think it's been done.  Yet.

And, Chloe- if you don't wind up with anyone in the New York area who works out; you're more than welcome to just pop over to Minnesota.  :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

No category for this one.


There's an abundance of human drama in the world right now; no shortage for us human watchers.

But the one that struck me, so much I wanted to share it with you; is this one, from the BBC.

Man In Africa Kills Crocodile That Killed His Wife.

Seriously; read the story.  The crocodile was huge; a proven threat to the village- and the man armed only with his humanity.

Good?  Bad?  Mostly good, I think; but most of all - very, very, human.

This is who we are, and there are plenty of upsides, and downsides.  I was stunned to find such a primal story - making it all the way to the effete (really) pages of the BBC.  Apparently this is still salable to modern urbanites.   Sure, we consume this kind of thing constantly in our video games and movies; but in reality?  Freaky.

I confess I find this man admirable.  At arm's length.

We're a tough species; when we have to be.  Just something to keep in mind.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Help- The Herald Angels "Sing"...

My particular little corner of Purgatory has been enhanced this year; resulting in even less brain function available for positive uses.

Smidgen- now to my horror 9 years old - has become an enthusiastic singer.  This is much my doing, since I have worked for multiple years to teach her "how".  She was not a "natural".  That doesn't bother me; many "non-natural" singers can and do learn, and sing beautifully.

I, unfortunately was a natural.  One of those sometimes despised individuals who learn new long melodies almost instantly; and correctly.  And my sense of pitch, inherited from my mother; was such that our very meticulous high school band director - would have the oboe give the A to tune the band- and use my ear to indicate flat/sharp - for the entire band.  Thank god I never thought that was anything to be snooty about; I'd have been killed quickly.  Just physics and dumb genetic chance.

Smidgen, to my very great joy as a parent, has reached the point where she enjoys her music.  And she loves learning new songs.  She now sings- constantly.  And only semi-conciously; yesterday was "Silent Night".  All day.  Erupting repeatedly in inattentive moments; being suppressed, then re-erupting.  Even the periodic "Look, kid!  Go outside and sing to the dogs and cats for the next half hour, ok?", once performed; does not result in any decrease in the internal pressures driving the eruptions.

Many of you know what comes next; there are multiple aspects of "music" that she has not mastered- or even noticed, yet.  Her internal sense of relative pitch is ok; but what ever key you are singing in, when she joins in she will bring her own key with her.  She'll stay in a key, once found; but her sense of melody is unique, in my experience.  She learns melodies ( like phrases and variations in Silent Night) - not sequentially, but by gestalt.  She knows, truly, the entire gestalt of the entire Silent Night.  When she sings; she reproduces the gestalt accurately - and completely at random.

The outcome for the onlooker is jarring.  It works ok if she's singing the same song (in the same key this time) with 2-3 other people, then you're likely at the end to hear "My, Smidgen; you sing harmony beautifully!  However did you learn?" which will result in a baffled, and growling, Smidgen.

Oh, the sanity!

Happy Everything; Anyway.

:-)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Ah, the news.


Wanna talk about the news?   You're crazy.  Ick.  Wow.  I don't think I'm imagining it- my impression is that the news, in particular the "Big News" has gotten just astonishingly horrifyingly worse in the past few months.  Not one thing after another; but 10 things, after another, all life-threatening for the planet and/or our species, and/or any remaining shreds of what we used to call "civilization".

So; I want to share this with you; I'd encourage you to go to YouTube, see it full screen, and maybe turn your screen brightness up a bit, as this clip is a little dim (it's supposed to be dusk in the movie, for one thing.)  I've sworn that one day - I'm going to DO this.  On a crowded street.  The time is ripe.



I think- it would be good to start a movement of THOUSANDS of people DOING this - around the world.  The world is revolting yes?  This would fit right in.

And it is by far the most cogent comment on the world and news I know of.  And Steve Martin had it nailed in 1987.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ebola- keep your fingers crossed.

Thank goodness- the worst did not happen in the USA.  Or a lot of other places.

But as this sound and really pretty hopeful article keeps repeating- now is not the time to relax.  Rather it's the time try to get ahead of the virus.

Ebola cases are currently stabilizing in Guinea and Liberia; but accelerating (after a drop) in Sierra Leone.  "The exact causes of the lull are unclear." The perpetual frustration of epidemiologists; pathogens can surge, and recede- without any obvious reasons.  In this case one factor may be burial customs- the people in the epidemic areas have actually changed the practices, because of education on the risks.  People apparently can be taught.  That's hopeful, all on its own.

The long range risks are still there, alas.  With thousands still sick, and thousands of survivors sent home but possibly still infectious via semen or breast milk, the virus still has the largest chance it has ever had to get out of Africa- and into India; China; Europe...

So; fingers crossed.  Yes, we could actually get lucky.  But- I'd rather not rely on luck, when a virus is involved.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Listen to the Silence, too.


As part of our "how to understand the world" theme here; I'll point out that what the media is not saying is very often as significant as what they are.

I've been searching the web since last night; and cannot find any official news about the state of Dr. Craig Spencer, being treated for Ebola at Bellevue Hospital in NYC, that is more recent than 2 days ago.  And only one other blogger who has also noticed.  Not a peep from CNN or anyone else.

That's scaring me a bit.  The entire world seems to be assuming that of course, he'll recover; since he's being treated in the USA, etc, etc.  He did receive a blood transfusion from an Ebola survivor; several days back; and that was about the end of the updates; that he was "tolerating" the transfusion well.

This is a young man who deserves to get well, and to be appreciated for his warm humanity.  If he made any mistakes, it was the grave sin of believing what he was told by his superiors.  "This is safe." they said.

I fear the social consequences too; if he does not recover- dies- the impact on our fear and chaos levels will be very large; and very little of that would be beneficial.

Listen for when the crickets quit.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Yes! No! Maybe....Not!


So; who to believe?  About which?

I think I wouldn't worry about it, since between Governors declaring public health emergency quarantines, but not enforcing them, and nurses deciding to ignore Governors, and judges deciding their job is to judge science, not law....  you're not getting any of the choices in here, anyhow.

Crazy, yes?  This is some of the damage caused by fear-panic in plagues.
Current results; the State Troopers in Maine are no longer sure if they should obey the Governor's orders; or wait for court clarification.  Citizens - have no idea who to listen to.

There is a saying in all the armies I can check on; so old it defies attribution; "Order, counter-order, disorder."  Chaos is just around the corner; when people do not know who to follow or who to trust.

The business world has a similar Law: "Even a bad decision is better than no decision."  A little more subtle, but proven true repeatedly.  Make a bad decision?  You may find that out quickly, and change direction.  No decision?  The Universe will decide for you, and you probably won't like it.

So who's in charge here?

Yep, I don't know either.