90 Self Immolated Tibetans due to policy “made in China.”

The International Campaign for Tibet –> http://www.savetibet.org/

While the “free” world (Orwellian overtones notwithstanding) goes about its seasonal consumption binge to purchase many goods stamped with “made in China” the indigenous people of Tibet have been setting themselves on fire in protest.  Participants in the Occupy movement have nothing on Tibetans when it comes to legitimate grievances ranging from rampant cultural genocide to environmental destruction. There is no way to “spin” what has happened in Tibet during November 2012. There’s no double talk that puts things to rights.  Native American children may have to relinquish their statistical standing as the group with the highest suicide rate in the world to the Tibetans determined to be “heard” by resorting to suicide by fire.  I don’t write the preceding sentence without serious concern for the harsh realities faced by both groups.

The Holy Days/Holidays taken on a certain smoke tinged hue.

28 Self Immolations in one month.  —>> more at Students for a Free Tibet  https://www.studentsforafreetibet.org/about-tibet/self-immolations

namaste

Is Your Publisher ‘Unbound’–or all tied up in Gordian Knots? Or Should that be – Nots? As in, “Hell no, I don’t want to read that! Why did you waste a tree printing it?”

Ever wish book publishers paid some real attention to what really interests your reading brainpan? Hmm? Care to put your dollars and scents, yes that’s a deliberate misplay on words. Cents is so predictable. Let’s play with sense a little more. After all they’re very important to your nose, your taste buds and your memory–scents are.  Got that? Okay, now let’s get back to Unbound–as in being unfettered, untied, unchained, unhindered–and free to move about at will. Would you like to pick the books you’d like to have published? You can at Unbound. Seriously. You might have to forgo some of that instant gratification that characterizes much of modern culture but eventually you can get what you want–as long as some other folks want it too.

Case in point:

Author Paul Kingsnorth is pitching The Wake on UnboundThe Wake is a historical novel about resistance fighters after the Battle of Hastings in 1066.  What the novel needs are pledges, supporters, interested potential readers willing to pay for the digital, hardback, or collector’s edition of the novel. There are other perks offered for greater levels of support for Kingsnorth’s novel–such as Dark Mountain’s anthology.  The book has garnered 70% of the pledges necessary for publishing via UnboundUnbound is a bit like Kickstarter for publishing. Sort of. Agents are still part of the publishing mix. View that tidbit as you will.

Read an excerpt from The Wake here –>> http://unbound.co.uk/books/the-wake/

 

Visit Unbound’s home –>> http://unbound.co.uk/  Yes, you can buy books already published here too. See if what the authors are serving agrees with your reading taste.

 

Kingsnorth chatting about The Wake:

 

PS. Some bait to get you to take a gander at all Unbound offers.

A freebie from Unbound for which the clock is ticking now. Click the cover art to get there asap! midnight-Deadline November 30, 2012 at midnight –their midnight I suspect.

 

Sign in/up at Unbound, it’s absolutely free, to get a digital copy of Evil Machines FREE. Be quick–this offer ends at midnight on Nov. 30, 2012.

 

Two Headed Cow and an auction–only at KKFI–radio like you’ve never heard it before. They guarantee it.

Hey, whose up for some Two Headed Cow? That’s music not milk, folks. FYI, KKFI streams online at www.kkfi.org so you can listen to everything from Democracy Now! to JAZZ while surfing the cyberspace seas. If you’re a fan of jazz, blues, indie, folk, Latino, chamber –as in chamber music not chamber-pot, yes, that’s right, KKFI plays chamber music–rockabilly, Native Spirit, alternative news, Sprouts, L.A. Theatre Works, Bioneers, and just about anything else that it’s possible to shake a musical — or grass-roots–stick at, then there’s plenty to discover at 90.1 FM KKFI Community Radio Like You’ve Never Heard It Before. Yes, I’m willing to bet that this radio is not the usual airwaves ear fare. There’s no corporate influence yanking KKFI’s 100,000 watts and online streaming.  This is radio that people support with their pennies, dimes and dollars. It’s not a fluke.  It’s 20 something years young and still growing. If you’re already wired for sound then what’s stopping you from engaging? But to get the Live Two Headed Cow and The John McKenna party gig I think you need to haul azz to Kansas City today. Enjoy.

Bidding on the KKFI Holiday Online Internet Auction begins Friday, November 30th. Think of it!  No crowds, no driving, no nasty weather, no checkout lines…PLUS you get great unique gifts at bargain prices (the bidding starts 1/3 of the retail value). 
This will be the BIGGEST and BEST KKFI Holiday Auction! This year, we have over 300 gifts to bid on, including…

  • Auto Service: Winterize your car
  • Auto servicing, including five oil changes, tire rotation and more
  • Introductory Airplane Flying Lessons
  • Full body massage
  • CD Extravaganza (over 100 CDs by local and national blues, rock, folk, jazz, reggae artists…many autographed)
  • Books (autographed by Amy Goodman, Chuck Haddix, more)
  • Restaurant Gift Certificates
  • Home cooked Mexican meal for six
  • Music lessons (blues harp lessons by Levee Town’s Jimmie Meade, more)
  • Home made baked goods for your holiday party
  • Eight hours handyman work
  • Live theater tickets (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, Unicorn Theatre, Coterie Theater, 
  • Knucklehead Concert Tickets, Folly Theater Concert Tickets, Gem Theater Concert Tickets 

You can also show your support by donating goods and/or services to the KKFI Holiday Auction.  For example, maybe there are treasures in your basement or attic that you no longer need; or you can offer to bake a cake or pie; or offer your skills as a painter to paint a room or do a pedicure.    

 

If you are interested in donating goods or services to the holiday online auction, contact Bill Clause, KKFI Special Events Coordinator, (816) 994-7869 or email BillC@kkfi.org.

 

KKFI Holiday Party Features Barbecue, Liquid Refreshments, and Live Music by The John McKenna Band and Two Headed Cow
Two Headed Cow It’s the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is over and before long, it’s Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice and, oh yeah, Chrsitmas.  TIME TO PARTY!
KKFI’s holiday party begins at 6pm at KKFI Studios. 39th & Main, KCMO, with barbecue and drinks,  followed by LIVE music featuring Two Headed Cow and The John McKenna Band. 
Holiday shopping Alert:
New CDs for Sale!
What do the bands Two Headed Cow and The John McKenna Band have in common? In addition to playing great music, both bands have new CDs for sale.
Tickets: $5 Door (barbecue, drinks and CDs extra)
KKFI 90.1 FM Community Radio | 3901 Main St. | Suite 203 | Kansas City | MO | 64111

More Poop on Plastic. Like we need more? Are we plastic people?

Plastic Planet for your viewing dis-pleasure. Thanks to Pan AfricanMarkets for posting this video on the tubes of you.

Ready for some sublime scenery and some serious information about our plastic addiction? Oh, for your informed viewing–some images may be distressing. So might the information provided.  Consider that plastic pollution could be a new form of population control–yes, I mean the human population.

What can I say? I have no love for plastics. Yet it’s tough to get away from them. We’re surrounded by this material in our current modern world.  It’s in so many things and it’s everywhere: oceans, forests, deserts–and in the air. Probably in space too. Imagine a plastic garbage dump floating up there among the stars between us and the moon. What a sight.

Have you considered giving the children in your world some dirt, sticks, stones and water to play with instead of plastic toys?

If the production of plastic is soooo safe then why do the companies that create it not want to have the process filmed?

Anyone out there ever spent time in chemistry lab in college? Remember the smells? Ever play with plastic polymers and other fun things? Ever get an awful headache while there?  Ever wonder why?

I think we’re going to need a lot more than Stephen Glassman’s bamboo billboards to clean up our habitat.  Anyone have ideas on how to deal with the problem of plastic? Could we all go cold turkey to deal with plastic? What can we do with all the plastic we’ve already got? If you’ve got info on this issue, please post it–or links to it. Thank you.

The Artist at Exit o’ Riverblog features art and images from the Falls of the Ohio River. The Artist creates art from objects found along the riverbanks–and he has inventories of all sorts of plastic items he’s found there over the years. Al has quite a way with styrofoam, words, and photography. Visit his Riverblog for another view of the plastic–and human trash–issue.  http://artistatexit0.wordpress.com/

Imagine a world with LESS plastic. What materials have been and could be used to replace plastics? There was life before plastic. There was commerce before plastic. There were “containers” for storing food and water before plastic.  We can live without creating more plastic–if we make a choice to do so.

Who Wants Clean “Urban Air”? US! All of US! Glassman’s bamboo billboard can pave the high ways.

Imagine it, an artist leading the way to a sustainable, healthy habitat for urban dwellers everywhere. Where are all the yappers about “change we can breathe in”? Hmm? Where? Never mind them.  This sort of creating is not part of the political playbook for gaining and keeping power.  Gee, what if it was? What if we all demanded clean air around the globe? No exceptions–everywhere. And what if we refused to let politicians play their games as usual? Imagine a better world for ALL living things–not just us humans.  Now. Today. It’s possible.  Just ask Stephen Glassman and his team. Clearly they think it’s possible and doable. If we really want it.

This is not a joke, folks. Stephen Glassman really has the plans for cleaning the air of Los Angeles using BAMBOO! Living, breathing bamboo plant billboards.  Ah the interconnectedness of all things–houseplants for cleaning indoor air and dealing with sick building syndrome, the urban farming revolution gaining ground, greening of urban rooftops and balconies–and now I find that an artist, sculptor Stephen Glassman, wants to  build bamboo air cleaners along LA highways. There’s something in the air. I’m telling you, folks. If Glassman had just a tiny portion of the money spent on the latest round of political bs poured into the last election everyone’s urban air would be CLEAN. Or at least on its way to being much safer for all living things.

Learn more at Urban Air  http://www.urbanair.is/

We can all do our part to share this dream–because we all have the tools right at our fingertips. Yes, I’m talking about that keyboard under your fingertips.  If nothing else please “share” globally. Our future depends on us. Let’s give the artist a shot at improving our reality. Hmm. Why not?

Find Urban Air – Los Angeles on Kickstarter  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1045021696/urban-air-los-angeles

Whose got bamboo plants already?

 

 

“The play’s the thing….” Or is it the barn? — Some players come from barns, hence, The Barn Players. Six plays for $10. Hay not included.

Click to visit.

 

Looking for some very affordable quality entertainment? Well, The Barn Players just might have something that will satisfy your drama quest this December at the their festival.  What would you do with ten minutes of stage time to play at will? Hmm? Any playwrights out there itching for a Shakey Will Spearing? Hmm?

Children of the Jaguar–Where: Point Reyes, CA. When: Nov. 29, What: Village Battles Big Oil

Visit Amazon Watch  –>>http://amazonwatch.org/news>

There are days when I really appreciate the news feed on Facebook and this is one of them. Today several things of interest to moi were connected in a moment on Facebook–Point Reyes, California, the best documentary film–Children of the Jaguar, and the incredible fight of this village against a huge corporation run by people with absolutely no morals, scruples or conscience. So if you’re lucky enough to live within driving distance of Point Reyes, this might be your destination on Nov. 29.  It would be mine.  If you’re ready, willing and able to view this National Geographic film festival documentary best of winner–please report back to moi with your thoughts. Gracias.

Check out National Geographic’s all roads film project–grants available– http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/all-roads/film/

Lice, Tigers, Worms and Microbes! O My! Rob Dunn’s utterly delightful tome, The Wild Life of Our Bodies, reveals some strange and wonderful interconnections that you can’t wash away no matter how many soapy showers you employ.

 

Click cover to visit Dunn

“Utterly delightful” — yes, I mean that with all sincerity. Admittedly the delight will depend on your sense of humor. If we’re on the same laugh track then all will be in tune. If not, then, ah well, you might not laugh but you still will learn from this highly accessible science writing. Unless you’re in the ranks or trenches –or the trees–with the likes of Rob Dunn, then I assure you there are things to learn in his The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today.  Okay none of that “oooo yucky parasites” business. Time to put the fear of all the unseen creepy crawlers aside and learn about the garden of our bodies and who’s living in it. This is not an exhaustive inventory of all the strange critters lurking in human stomachs and intestines. That’s not what Dunn is about in this book about very important interconnectedness of all living things. Yes, that’s what this book does–it explores our forgotten interconnections with other living creatures and the natural world at large. Sufferers of Crohn’s disease should read with care–in other words, be careful with whatever ideas you get about worms from Dunn’s book.  If you’re into sustainable living and green cities then read Dunn’s text provides a serious foundation for the argument of urban farming on multiple levels. If you’re a “doctor” then it’s time to find out what’s been going with the work of the research scientists Dunn, a scientist with a penchant for ants, connects with all the glee of someone who has a vision of the bigger picture of life from the ant world on up.  If you’re ill–or healthy–here are some serious ideas to consider as to why.

Got skin care on your mind? Rethinking your hair–everywhere? Consider what fur is for.  Remember that supposedly useless appendix? Turns out it’s not so useless at all. Who says “milk does a body good”? I think it’s all the folks who mass produce that white stuff that is passed off as milk. It’s not. It’s something else entirely in my opinion. Is The Jungle Book one of your favorite stories? If so, I think you’ll enjoy The Wild Life of Our Bodies even more. Yes, it does have a tiger story in it–a real one about man/woman eating tigers. Ever wonder about the connection between our sight and our biology? Why do we behave as we do? Some tantalizing ideas are planted in Dunn’s mind garden–and they’re well worth watering.

Are you simply looking for some very good science writing with comic relief? Apparently Rob Dunn has a sense of humor and is not afraid of sharing it in his writing.  This is a very cool thing because it makes Dunn’s writing so very engaging rather than stiflingly pedantic. This is truly an accessible book about very serious science. Do not be afraid of it! Dunn is not out to clobber readers with a massive ego. He’s trying to sow some seriously potential seeds for hope for our future survival as a species. Part VII of his book, “The Future of Human Nature” focuses on “The Reluctant Revolutionary of Hope”  — Dickson Despommier. If you read no other part of this book except the last 26 pages–well then let it be these 26 pages.

If you care to read more than twenty-six pages other delicious tidbits await to tantalize your tongue (oh yes, you will learn a few things about tongues and taste buds too):  the story of Tim White’s discovery of Ardi; Debra Wade’s struggle to deal with Crohn’s; why the “bubble boy” died; Reynier’s long, long-term research in Paris to create a germ free world; an appendectomy performed in a submarine –complete with spoons and fingernail clippers; why we’ve done the weird thing of breeding beautiful roses without scent (a choice which baffles me to no end); a great deal about human fear of snakes–and quite a variety of other things–including the ways of leaf cutter ants.

If I were writing reviews for employment, and therefore funds, I’d give Rob Dunn’s The Wild Life of Our Bodies a full five-star rating (as in five out of five possible stars). I don’t currently write for monetary rewards. So there’s no cash incentive for me to praise Dunn’s personable writing, vision, and thinking. But praise I do.  Having read enough deadly dry scientific texts in another life I can appreciate what Rob Dunn offers–science ideas presented in a manner that entices one to explore further rather to retreat after being bludgeoned by a massive ego swimming in incomprehensible jargon.  Go forth and discover The Wild Life of Our Bodies–read, learn, and share widely. Please! How our future as a species unfolds may well depend on such seeds.

“The secret that runs throughout this book, the one I hope to have shown more than I have discussed, is that our bodies and our lives only make sense in the context of other species. Only by looking at other lives do we really understand our own.” Rob Dunn

 

Salute Bryce Courtenay — read his The Power of One

Turning on the computer this morning made this Black Friday actually a day of mourning in the world of readers and writers with the news of Bryce Courtenay’s demise due to stomach cancer. Not going to bother relating all the chatter on the various news threads regarding Courtenay’s passing. But I will say this:  The Power of One is a damn fine book.  If you’re looking for a great read for a young person–whom you don’t mind repeatedly reading derogatory words about certain chickens–then throw The Power of One at them and see if they can catch it.  In my opinion, keep in mind the “my,” this is a great reading gift 365 days year round for any reader–or boxing fan.  This is a story of guts, spirit and power.  Enough said. Salute the late Bryce Courtenay by reading his books.  If you’re already a Courtenay fan please feel free to share your thoughts about any of his books.

 Clicking the book cover will take you to a Wikipedia page about Bryce Courtenay.

 

dancers dance

boxers box

singers sing

writers write

It’s some sort of “gratitude” day so here’s a hand for Warren Zevon.

Okay it’s the day for giving thanks. Hmm, lots of people in America have been doing their best to get home for a gobble gobble dinner of some sort. And the transportation industry loves them for riding all the planes, trains and automobiles.  Hmm. Why the big push to get somewhere in order to get stuffed? Just a quick glance at Wikipedia’s entry for Thanksgiving can raise a lot of questions about what’s going in many modern minds regarding this pig-out day. Yeah, it doesn’t have much to do with Pilgrims and Indians unless the Earth’s Harvest route is taken. Here it’s the precursor to a big fat mindless day of shopping when many businesses hope to finally push their investments into the “black”–as in profit margin column. No big surprise it is it in our contemporary world where MONEY is the big kahuna.  Now celebrating the bounty of all Earth offers for food makes sense to me.  The rest does not.  Frankly many Americans eat so well year round that obesity is a major health issue. But there are many people who go hungry in America. Why? The inequities in our economic system and our values provide some answers.

Thanks for all the music.

Darkside time.

Now for something entirely different–the delightful, and unfortunately very late (as in dearly departed)– Warren Zevon:

Which dead musician do you give thanks for making music?

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