Poem: Conclusion

things begin with anticipation
and ever growing expectation
then meet the stark realization
of being me

the problem isn’t you
you never were to blame
all that ever was wrong
is caught inside the frame
of being me

things implode in great frustration
and ever building aggravation
only to be stuck in evasions
of being me

the problem is so clear
the solution simple
there remains no sense
in the continuation
of being me.

The End.

About these ads

Hand-crafted One-of-a-Kind Jewelry

A friend of mine has just launched a Tictail online store for her hand-made one-of-a-kind jewelry and I helping promote her efforts. Please go take a look – and pass on the link to anyone that you think might be interested in her creations!

She writes:

Okay, beautiful people of facebook. It’s that time of year – I need support. If you were thinking of sprucing up your jewelry closet, now is the time. Do you have a special event to go to? Perhaps you have a date coming up. Or you have a job and want to look prettier than your co-workers. Or there is a girl you’re trying to impress. (you could always win a girl’s heart with lovely jewelry.) Or you know someone who needs your support as she tries to get her little teeny weeny business off the ground. (Me! ) Whatever the case, I would really appreciate your help. And that’s that. Happy Thursday to all!
http://www.honeywalt.com

http://honeywalt.com/

 


Orange Cranberry Drop Cookies

2/3 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice
1/3 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans
2-1/2 cups dried cranberries coarsely chopped
OPTIONAL: Add some orange zest to give tangy orange flavor.

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.
Stir in milk, orange juice and egg.
Mix in dry ingredients until well blended
Stir in nuts and cranberries.
If the cookie dough seems too dry add a couple of teaspoons of water – this may vary depending on the moisture in the “dried cranberries.”

Drop dough by tablespoons about 2″ apart on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to wire cooling racks to cool completely.


Chernobyl Years Later

Pripyat - Ukraine

Pripyat - Ukraine (Photo credit: nertog - Walk With Me)

On April 26, 1986 a nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Ukraine. There was an explosion  and the graphite moderator was exposed to the air. The moderator caught fire and large amounts of radioactive materials were released into the atmosphere.

Thousands of people were relocated because of the radiation – and entire towns and cities were abandoned. The city of  Pripyat was built to house the Chernobyl workers and their families. I was randomly browsing when I came across a website dedicated to the city – and to the virtual community of the residents in exile. Their homes forbidden to them.

Prypiat School

Prypiat School (Photo credit: Blacklili)

http://pripyat.com/en is the site. There are galleries of the town in the past and as it is now. There is a strange beauty to the abandoned buildings and empty streets.

http://pripyat.com/en/monitor displays the current radiation levels in areas around Chernobyl – and compares to some other major urban centres. Pripyat has more than double the normal levels of radiation.

Chernobyl radiation map from CIA handbook, svg...

Chernobyl radiation map from CIA handbook, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is rather fascinating is  the fact that one can actually book a tour of the area: http://stayinkiev.com/en/Chernobyl-Tour . There are some incredible photos in this site – not my kind of tour with those levels of radiation.

Prypiat

Prypiat (Photo credit: Blacklili)


Earth Hour – Such a Waste

Yesterday (March 31st 2012) millions of people around the world pretended to reduce their energy usage by turning off the lights and living in darkness for one hour. All in an effort to feel good about the wasteful consumer focused lifestyle they live the other 8759 hours of the year. Oh and also as a token effort to increase awareness of global warming.

The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then, more than 120 countries have participated in this cathartic display for the  purging of our eco-sins.

Now I know I run the risk of being  jumped by the truly green few that read these pages so I will do this disclaimer: I went to university to study environmental issues and environmental policy. My honors thesis was on Energy use, and Sustainable Energy Sources. I am a card carrying Green Party member. I just find eco-tokenism to be an hinderance to real change.

The noble ideal behind Earth Hour is that by consciously living in a more more eco-friendly way – even if only for those 60 minutes – it may change the way we live the other 8759 hours.

If you did participate by turning off all those things you didn’t really need during that hour – how much could it hurt to only turn things on when you actually need them!

If you think Earth Hour actually saves energy or reduces carbon emissions, well I have bad news for you. The power grid is designed to meet peak projected demands. Electricity is constantly being created and fed into the grid in the expectation that it MAY be needed. Power generation plants do not turn on/off based on current consumption. In fact in Ontario, Canada the local power system had to dump electricity during an unexpected warm-spell in January – by paying others to take it!

If you want to reduce overall energy generation (and our total carbon footprint) then you need to reduce your energy use all the time.  This changes the peak energy expectation – and then our energy generation stations will reduce their output based on averaging.

Earth Hour does start the conversation and is an opportunity for us all to look at our lifestyles and make real changes.

Below are some suggestions from WWF Canada on how to make a real change:

  • Leave the car at home. Consider walking instead of driving. You’ll get more exercise and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Eat local. Your food will be fresher and will save harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Fly less. Enjoy a local vacation close to your home.
  • Be energy efficient. Opt for home appliance with a high energy efficiency. It’s better for the planet and will help you save money.
  • Use Green Power. Research if there are green energy providers in your area thatb provide your home with power generated from renewable energy sources.
  • Get a Home Energy Audit. It will show you how your home uses energy and where you can make improvements. It could result in hundreds of dollars in energy savings each year.
  • Hang Dry your clothes. Instead of using your energy-guzzling dryer, hang your clothes outside or in your laundry room.
  • Unplug unused appliances and electronics. Electrical devices draw energy even when they’re not switched on.

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