Saturday, April 28, 2007

Elizabeth Kolbert & my Friends

I arrived at the lecture excited to hear an author speak about a book that I had actually read in time. The book in question, Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert, was not a light work of fiction, but a thoroughly researched presentation of studies across the planet stongly indicating human caused climate change--a grave topic. Yet as I located my seat saving poet friend in her bright neon cycling jacket, a little wave of excitement went through me like what you experience when meeting up with friends for a party, or a much anticipated film. Big Bill was there, Dan the Man, the great Earl of SB, I'm not one to George and many others. It was down right festive--especially because this cross section of friends all have concerns about global warming and do things like ride their bikes, buy bio diesel vehicles, grow vegetable gardens, host parties and write letters to congress.

By the end of the evening, the small group of 800 attendees probably felt little party in the atmosphere. When asked what we should do to stop global warming, Kolbert indicated it may already be too late, but to really address the issue, we could start by not just reducing our use of automobiles, but by ceasing driving altogether! Plus, we'd need to cut our energy consumption by 80 percent. She admittedly left this opinion out of the book, as she knew the alarmist sound of such statements would ensure sluggish sales. So basically, we're all scorpions on the back of that frog crossing the river--we want to change, but its just not in our nature to let go of our energy consumption patterns--and like that scorpion who stings the frog, leading to its own death, we too are on that path.

Boy I hope the next lecturer at UCSB has some fresh, optimistic ideas!

But of course, I actually am one to believe there is always hope. How else could I have had a child in this day and age?


Favorite Quote of The

My favorite quote this particular time period between blog entries is from George:

". . . Classy Fred Blassie, who seems to have been the Dick Cheney of wrestling--he even was rumored to have filed his incisors down to points (in Cheney's case, that makes it easier to eat puppies)."

No I already knew I didn't like Dick Cheney, but now that I've learned that he is also a puppy eater, my disdain has deepened!

I hope to have favorite quotes on a weekly basis, but of course, that would mean I have to actually make an entry every week, and perhaps even more often than that, so my blog isn't just about other's thoughts.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A week without the Internet

Moving to a new place can present its challenges, but technology dependency has raised the bar in challenge impact. For instance, our new home is located next to a large hill, and although this hill is beautifully covered in untamed vegetation that is relaxing to gaze upon from our back yard, we have terrible cell phone reception! So, since we're of the ilk that abandoned the land line in favor of having low doses of RF* beamed at our heads on a daily basis, I now miss most of my phone calls. In addition, we took our time transferring our cable internet connection from old abode to new--thus another level of technological isolation! How am I to know what my friends are doing, blogging, thinking, reading? I can't call, I can't e, I've lost any intuitive abilities, such as those ascribed to the aboriginals in Mutant Message (of course this happened long before cell phones and internet), and to top it all off, the LA times didn't get my change of address notification because I forgot and I couldn't get online, and . . .

It was really terrible. I had to read books, play with by baby more, unpack my boxes uninterrupted by my life as I know it, and life as it is filtered to me through media. Hmmm . . . perhaps I enjoyed this low tech experience.

*RF, Radio Frequency. Exposure limits are set by the FCC for cell phones, using a measurement called a Specific Absorption Rate, or SAR, which measure sthe rate of absoprtion of RF energy by the human body expressed in units of watts per kilogram. The safety limit for a human is 1.6 watts per kilogram. I wonder how many kilograms my baby weighs and what is his SAR of RF. Perhaps its a good thing our new home has poor reception.

Signing Off.