Monday, April 26, 2010

Are You Ready For...Boobquake?

One of my new favourite people; Jen McCreight. And isn't that a great t-shirt?

Well, its Monday morning, and no reports of an earthquake yet. But if Islamic cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi is right, we should finally experience the Big One here on the coast.
 Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi apparently said,  “Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes.”And Jen McCreight decided to put that to the test. So today, thousands of women plan to dress "immodestly" in order to see if they can actually cause an earthquake.
This is exactly why authoritarian regimes like churches and dictatorships fear laughter--there's really no defence against it.

Who Said Things Were Crap?

Not the wealthy of the U.K., that's for sure. According to The Guardian, the wealthiest 1000 of them managed a 30% increase last year. To quote the article:

There may have been a recession, but the combined fortunes of the richest people in Britain still managed to rise by nearly 30% last year, the biggest increase for more than two decades, according to annual ratings published today.
The Sunday Times Rich List suggests that the combined wealth of Britain's 1,000 richest people rose by more than £77bn to £333.5bn, with the number of billionaires up from 43 to 53. That still leaves the list relatively poorer than at its peak in 2008, when the combined total was nearly £413bn and there were said to be 75 billionaires. But it still means that the richest 1,000 people are more than three times richer than when Labour came to power in 1997, when their combined wealth was less than £100bn.

Yeah, three hundred percent increase in combined wealth in 13 years. In Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore points out that in the U.S. the top 1% now own more than the bottom 95%. Madness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


The Guardian has put up a series of photos of new ocean life, including microbes, zooplankton, larvae and burrowers. The pictures are, typically, both fascinating and gorgeous.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Instructional Video

You know, we could all use an "Uncle Andy" in our lives. No beating around the bush, just information, communicated directly and clearly. And check out the kid's grin at the end of the clip.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Books Read: March

Again, not a great month. Marion Nestle's Food Politics took way longer than I thought, and I still hadn't finished it by the end of the month. Jon Stewart was very funny, Slow Death By Rubber Duck was unfunny and made me very angry (I highly recommend it to everyone). Food Rules is a fast and light read--shouldn't take more than a half hour. The Butcher and the Vegetarian was a great unexpected find; a revealing look into meat culture from an outsider's perspective. And A Taste of Charlevoix just made my mouth water. A book on Canadian terroir.

Naked Pictures of Famous People / Jon Stewart / New York, New York : HarperCollins, ©1998

Slow death by rubber duck : how the toxic chemistry of everyday life affects our health / Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie with Sarah Dopp / Toronto, Ontario : A.A. Knopf Canada, ©2009

Food rules : an eater's manual / Michael Pollan / New York : Penguin Books, c2009

The butcher and the vegetarian : one woman's romp through a world of men, meat, and moral crisis / Tara Austen Weaver / Emmaus, Pa. : Rodale, c2010

A taste of Charlevoix / photography by George Fischer and Pascal Arseneau ; preface by Elizabeth Baird / Halifax, NS : Nimbus Pub., c2009

Business Insider--The Wealth Slideshow

The Business Insider offers up a reality check on Amerikan wealth; who's getting some and who isn't. And it's pretty clear that the top 1% are getting most all of it. Why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Death From Above

In war, mistakes are made. But it seems the US military is making  more than you would think. Wikileaks has decrypted and released a video of two Apache helicopters spotting a crowd, recognizing numerous weapons, and getting permission to open fire. The problem is, almost nothing reported by the pilots is true.

According to The Guardian website:

A secret video showing US air crew falsely claiming to have encountered a firefight in Baghdad and then laughing at the dead after launching an air strike that killed a dozen people, including two Iraqis working for Reuters news agency, was revealed by Wikileaks today.
The footage of the July 2007 attack was made public in a move that will further anger the Pentagon, which has drawn up a report identifying the whistleblower website as a threat to national security. The US defence department was embarrassed when that confidential report appeared on the Wikileaks site last month alongside a slew of military documents.
The release of the video from Baghdad also comes shortly after the US military admitted that its special forces attempted to cover up the killings of three Afghan women in a raid in February by digging the bullets out of their bodies.
The newly released video of the Baghdad attacks was recorded on one of two Apache helicopters hunting for insurgents on 12 July 2007. Among the dead were a 22-year-old Reuters photographer, Namir Noor-Eldeen, and his driver, Saeed Chmagh, 40. The Pentagon blocked an attempt by Reuters to obtain the video through a freedom of information request. Wikileaks director Julian Assange said his organisation had to break through encryption by the military to view it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lighten Up

Upside Down--what a lovely little song and video. Nothing heavy, nothing dreary, just some light jazzy pop. Good times.....

Thanks to Danica LeBlanc for finding this one.