Monthly Archives: February 2009

Case Against Cruelty

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Animal victims of abuse cannot speak for themselves—so concerned citizens and our legal system must speak up for them. That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has created National Justice for Animals Week—an annual event that will be dedicated to raising public awareness nationwide about how to report animal abuse—and how to work within your community to create stronger laws and assure tough enforcement.

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Quote of the Day

The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth. -Henry Beston

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1%

I am blessed. I have lived on a ship, a sailboat, in a flat in London, with a family in Spain, in one of the world’s greatest cities. I’ve had amazing roommates, have wonderful friends, an incredible family. I have seen the wonders of Angkor Wat, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge. I’ve camped in the Galapagos, Antarctica, Acadia. I’ve found peace in the villages of Totsukawa and Koyasan, Japan, at the Farm in the Poconos, Conquest Road in Delaware. I have played in the ocean with sea lions, minke whales, reef sharks, sea turtles. I’ve para-sailed in the Bahamas, flown on puddle jumpers in Belize, and zipped through canopies in Costa Rica. I’ve surfed in Puerto Rico, kayaked in Panama, rowed in the Mekong Delta, taken boat taxis in Honduras, a ferry to Uruguay. I’ve experienced the trains in India. I’ve seen tea plantations, coffee farming, cranberry harvesting. I’ve jumped off cliffs in Hawaii, swam in caves in Mexico, hiked through the jungles of Malaysia. I’ve gotten lost in Morocco. I listened to Castro speak in Cuba. I’ve met Archbishop Desmond Tutu, have followed the Dalai Lama, have been hugged by Amma. I helped build a house in South Africa. I’ve spent time with those less fortunate throughout the world. I get to shoot for amazing nonprofits.

My life is full of goodness, and I am so grateful.

I don’t think you have to change your whole life to lead a full one. I think you have to let go of the idea that things bring you happiness. I’m human. I have a weak spot for earrings and tapestries. I like things. I just don’t have a lot of them. I save my money for charities, for trips, for things I get to take with me. I dream of having a round home, a hut, a tree house. In the meantime, I get to see the world, share it, live it, and be absolutely in love with it.

Spend a weekend staying home with a bottle of wine, some board games, a movie. Make your own breakfast, lunch, dinner. Borrow books from the library, from friends. Take a walk in the woods, swim in the creek, play in the park. There are so many ways to save your money for undertakings more worthwhile than the local pub on Friday nights. Than expensive dinner dates. Than chai lattes. I think it’s okay to pay true value. I think my food should be local, should be grown with love, should be free to roam, and I pay for that. I think every living being should have basic animal and human rights. I always try to be aware of what effect I am having on Mother Earth. I don’t know when exactly humans decided food should be cheap and year round. I don’t know exactly how we were convinced that big business works for the people. I don’t know why humans are inherently selfish. I just know that each person can do their part in leading better lives for the world and themselves, filled with more joy, more art, more music, more appreciation. More quality. Less fast food, less waste, less stuff. What’s in your closet?

Spend a week in Central America, a long weekend on an island, a night camping in the woods. Volunteer at your local school. Get involved in life. It doesn’t cost as much as you think. You’ll see there’s so more out there that you can take advantage of. And you will join the 1% with that privilege.

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Exotic (and Unappealing) Delicacies

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Insects are quite popular munchies throughout the world. I always encourage following the locals and eating what they eat. Try everything. These are snacks I just can’t stomach. Along with a couple other exotic foods from Asia and everywhere else. Bon appétit!

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Opposite to the North

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Where beauty coincides with grace, where desert meets the ocean, where few go and many strive to return. To explore, camp, and climb, to watch icebergs roll, see penguins molt, to marry, to acquire a true appreciation for wellies, to ride in zodiacs, feel the swells of the drake passage, to be humbled, to be silenced, to watch seals sleep, whales breach, to witness nature grow and yet stay still, to find a piece of perfection. Antarctica is the most beautiful place on Earth.

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Quote of the Day

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else. -Emily Dickinson

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SuDoku Squared

Meet KenKen, Your New Time Waster

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There was a time, though it’s hard to recall, before SuDoku took over the world. Now, you may have a new game to play. Enter KenKen, a new game that has gained enough ground that is now featured in The New York Times, right next to the venerable crossword.

Invented by Japanese math teacher Tetsuya Miyamoto, the puzzle requires you to fill in numbers that do not repeat in a line or column, just like SuDoku, but numbers within each box must also perform a specific mathematical function (an example: the box labeled 10x needs to contain two numbers that, when multiplied, equal 10. I’m no genius, but I’m guessing you’ll want a 5 and a 2 in there. The numbers in this one go from 1 to 6, because it is 6 by 6. Get it?). Miyamoto believes in what he calls “the art of teaching without teaching;” he gives his students trial and error puzzles and activities and allows them to learn for themselves. KenKen sprang out of this philosophy. I’ve never really gotten the whole SuDoku thing, but on trying this one briefly this morning, it seems like I could spend an afternoon procrastinating with this. You can use the one attached to this post, it’s the medium difficulty inaugural Times puzzle.

GOOD / Blog / Published: February 9, 2009

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