helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
I just found out that the Toyota Prius derives power from a battery that is recharged each time you step on the brake. Therefore it theoretically gets better mileage in the city than on the highway. I thought that was a nifty feature (assuming it really works and actually conserves fuel - I've never talked to anyone who owned one).

A new Prius is still about twice what I'm willing to spend on a car, though, even with the subsequent savings (I felt the same way about the various environmentally friendly roofs - $6K vs 40K kind of tears it for me, longterm savings or not). Also, I can foresee maintenance being ... steep. Perhaps a good used one would be reasonably priced (but the maintenance would be the same or worse).

Considering how long I kept Smurf, and considering that I like Lyra*, who is moderately efficient and cheaper to maintain than the various Toyoti, a Prius or equivalent probably will not happen for a long time. By that time I'll know the truth about them, which probably lies somewhere between the believers and the naysayers...

*No relation to Lyra Belacqua! The car was named before the movie existed, and I never read book.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
When a forest becomes paved, I wonder what it looks and feels like from the point of view of the faerie realm.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
The version of the new testament that I read long ago says that one and only one crime will never be forgiven: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

What the heck IS "blasphemy of the holy spirit", I wondered when I read it. Surely it's not some pickled old bum cursing god, country, and destiny.

I think I'm pretty sure I know what the answer is now. Control and domination of the Life Force, control of the Love that binds matter together, control of the planet's magnetic poles, grids, and heart, attempting to place the Earth's heart in a cage. Here are some good candidates:

Patenting and owning of genetic code;
Nuclear detonation (reversing of the strong force, which amounts to scattering love and consciousness);
Genetic engineering - creating life forms without love - amounts to rape and the creation of orcs;
Ownership of life forms, land, water, or air with intent to exploit;
Changing the planet's ice caps and weather patterns with intent to exploit;
Desecrating the earth's polar and equator regions with intent to exploit;
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
October 14 and 15 is the DC Green Festival for anyone who's interested in going. We'll be there, probably both days. Here's the link: http://www.greenfestivals.org/content/view/10/33/

Here's the schedule:

I think I might go to "Alisa Gravitz: The Solar Future: Making it Happen Now", because she's from around here (she spams me with local activist stuff all the time), so maybe she can tell me how to actually get my house hooked up to solar in an affordable fashion. I doubt it, because a lot of these people are consultants only and don't know anything about installation, prices, where to get it, etc. You know, the stuff that would actually make it happen for someone other than eccentric millionaires or commercial/government organizations.

At 3:00 pm on Sunday we of course will be at " Paul Stamets (90 minutes): Mycelium Running: Mushrooms Can Save the World", even if the end of the world happens first. In that case, it'll be us and Paul Stamets, perched on a little portion of the convention center, floating in space, with a copy of Mycelium Running. It'll be a little depressing, but at least we'll have gotten to see the guy. We gave away our 5th copy of that book this weekend. It's become a joke when I go to Borders North and order another copy. I've taken to seeking out the same Borders employee to order it each time, because she gets a kick out of it. This time (after the requisite laughter), she said, "I'll have to order a copy for myself. I'm getting curious..."
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
This past year I've been looking into the ways in which the structure of timekeeping affects the way people think (chronopsychology?). This was the subject of much discussion and would have been a workshop if I'd been able to synthesize the information, but nothing gelled as of last June. Today I ran across this (bought myself a copy):

Aside from being very pretty, it may be useful for experimenting with differing methods of timekeeping. If nothing else, it's a very pretty calendar.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Heh. Just finished putting away the last of last week's laundry this morning. I must have washed everything in the house - aside from camping laundry, the cats decided to use [livejournal.com profile] rialian's bed as a litterbox to express their displeasure at our absense. I guess that could be considered part of the camping laundry in a way.

This morning something out of the ordinary occurred. I was walking up and down my block doing the usual morning litter run - some of the people who use the bike path haven't been indoctrinated with our anti-litterbug mentality yet... So anyway, I was picking up garbage when I saw that someone had dumped a large bag of bottles and cans plus a good-sized pabst beer box. I tried to get them but I couldn't reach them without climbing down the creek bank. They had been tossed over the side of the creek bank, and if I left them there other people would get the idea and toss more junk on top of them. Dilemma. I figured I'd come back after work and use my ladder to get to them. Just then a man called me from a cross street a half a block away:

"Are you trying to make a difference?"

At first, having never heard those words before, I couldn't comprehend what he was saying. "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

"Are you trying to make a difference?"

I walked a little closer while still leaving enough distance to make a run for it if I had to.

"I'm sorry, still didn't hear you."

"Are you trying to make a difference?"

It took three times, but I finally got it.

"Yeah. People dumped trash along the bike path and I'm picking it up".

"Can I help you?"

"Um, yeah - someone dumped trash where I can't get it - can you climb down there and pick up that beer box and bag of trash?"

After looking along the bank for a bit, he spotted it and got it out, and put it in the nearby trashcan (yes, there is a trashcan, but a lot of people don't use it for some reason).

After I thanked him profusely, he said, "you're welcome", and walked back to the street he had been on, and continued walking toward wherever he'd been going in the first place. So he'd actually walked out of his way to do this.

My first reaction to him had been "keep enough distance to make a run for it." As he was walking away, I thought "I should offer a ride to wherever he's going" but then of course an immediate, "No, can't, stranger, danger, carjacking, murder, rape, no."

I feel somewhat like the native people who were unable to see the ships.
helen99: A windswept tree against a starlit sky (Default)
Received in email this morning (11th Annual Environmental summit of Maryland).

Read more... )

April 2010



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