Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Power of Myth

I just started reading the book, The Power of Myth, by Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyers, and it's amazing!!! I've learned and really thought more from reading a few pages of this book than anything else I've read in a long, long time. There's something about what Campbell says that just rings of truth. Example:

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t that that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, to that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

In the first chapter, one of the things that they discuss is the importance of ritual (funerals, weddings, etc.). Ritual was something that I had come to deplore as mere theatre until I read just a page or two of this book, and now I think I'm starting to actually get it.

This book has been out a loooong time, so maybe you have read it as well. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Parenting is tough

Not that I know from personal experience, but stories like this one make you appreciate the HARD work that goes into loving, conscious parenting. It's more kitchen sink drama than tragedy, but take a read and send Linda some love.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Have you ever seen anything cuter????

And no, I don't want to hear about the idiot "animal rights activists" who have said the zoo should put this polar bear cub to sleep. I've never heard such drivel in my life.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bitter Irony

I was working out at the gym last night when I saw this interview by Ann Curry of NBC re. the genocide in Sudan. Did anyone else catch it?

Ann Curry: Mr. President, I have this map from the U.S. Department of State that shows more than a thousand villages in the Darfur region — more than a thousand burned.
And the question is, how can this be done by Arab militias without the support of the Sudanese government? This is shocking.

Omar al-Bashir: What do you think about the picture that Colin Powell presented before the national security that confirmed and illustrated the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? What do you think about it?

Curry: You're saying this is not true?

Al-Bashir: This picture is the same fabrication and the same picture as the ones Colin Powell presented about Iraq.

So here's Curry, one of the few Americans who gives a damn about Darfur (to her credit, she seemed genuinely and sincerely concerned about it), and this guy throws Iraq in her face. After all, America's trumped up charges about foreign governments before ... it now has no credibility.

Hope you're happy, Cheney.

True to form

As always, we are our own worst enemies. This time, it couldn't happen to a better person:

For as Barbara Amiel Black, in the company of her husband and stepdaughter, advanced into an elevator in the federal courthouse here in Chicago, she turned on two journalists, Stefani Langenegger of CBC Radio News and Joanna Walters of The Daily Express, and, clearly losing track of the script that she should be following in the many weeks ahead, snapped.

This is what she said: "You are all vermin."

The "you" in question would be the throng of media assigned to cover the fraud and racketeering trial of the downfallen media baron, Conrad Black. According to the two journalists in question, Amiel, just seconds before the doors closed, lashed out at a television producer with an even more ill-starred choice of words. Or rather, word.

This is what she said: "Slut."


The tragedy for Barbara Amiel is that her intemperate comments filled a waning news void. Prior to her outburst, a group of male Brit journalists had been engaged in a spirited discussion as to how best to describe Amiel's attire.

"Hacking jacket."

"Riding jacket."

"Hacket jacket."

And the shirt: burgundy or rust? The worst that any journalist could have dished on Amiel was that her chosen colours weren't all that becoming.

It matters not now.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Credit card holder beware

Okay, I confess that when I first saw the headline for this article in the Toronto Star, my first thought was, "Yes, more fees, but I usually pay my bill in time and in full." Boy, am I glad I read it anyway. Here's a quote to entice you to read the whole article:

Alan Pyle normally pays his credit card balance in full before the due date. But when he went on a business trip, he forgot to prepay his BMO Mosaik MasterCard bill.

He paid in full when he returned, six days after the due date. For two months afterward, he paid in full before the due date – but kept seeing interest charged on his new purchases.

"The explanation I received was that the bank continues to charge interest until two statements have been paid on time, not just one," he says ...

Suppose you make a partial or late payment in April. This means you will get an interest-free period on new purchases only in July – assuming you pay in full in both June and July.

With the old method, no interest would be charged on new purchases made in May, as long as you paid your balance by the June due date.

Companies using the old method include Canadian Tire, Citizens Bank, HSBC Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Laurentian Bank, National Bank, Scotiabank and TD Canada Trust.

Others using the new method include Amex Bank, Citibank, MBNA Canada and Wells Fargo Financial Corp.

You can find out which method your card issuer uses by checking the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's updated credit card comparisons at

Pyle has some cautionary advice for cardholders.

"If you have an unpaid balance for one month, take that credit card and put it in a drawer," he says. "Don't use it until you've had the chance to pay the next two statements on time. Use cash or another credit card. That way, you avoid interest charges on further purchases."

If you overpay and have a positive balance on your credit card for more than a year, you could get hit with an administration fee.

That's what happened to Janet Moore, who had a credit balance on her Sears MasterCard since December 2005. In January of this year, she found a $25 fee deducted from her $31.52 balance, bringing it down to $6.52.

WOW. This is unreal. I am going to watch my statements like a hawk from now on!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sooo cute!

Because in this blog, as in life, I alternate between rage and wonder, here's a link to some very cute baby photos (via Rude Cactus).

Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station

How cool is this picture of a Great Horned Owl at the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station? This is a place in Toronto, down by Lake Ontario, where dedicated volunteers track populations of migrating birds.

This is a great blog to visit during migration season.


Please, please, America - don't make John McCain your next president.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

First view from outside our cottage

First view from outside our cottage
Originally uploaded by combatwombat.

A gorgeous shot from my friend Abi. Don't you wish, as I do, that you were there???

Sunset Tree 3.6.2007

Sunset Tree 3.6.2007
Originally uploaded by 10thAvenue.

Backer's Lake in Fulton in Callaway County Missouri.


Originally uploaded by hk_traveller.

A moonlit night at Honolii

A moonlit night at Honolii
Originally uploaded by Rob Millenaar.



No, not mine, thank goodness! But this part of Linda's blog makes me laugh:

The other night I was holding Riley after we got him ready for bed and he was tired and cranky and really whiny and I was murmuring soothing mama things in his ear and his body softened and curled into mine and he burrowed in close and he smelled wild and sweet like clover and I could feel his face pressed against me and I was stroking his back and humming and the room was soft and dark and that’s when he bit the living shit out of my shoulder.

Parenthood! Every day is an adventure.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Fraud, fraud, fraud, fraud, FRAUD!!!

If you live in the Toronto area, you may have heard this story. Forgive me if this is the case.

It's a fact of life that there are assholes out there. And that there are also gullible, good people whose generosity is abused by said assholes. But I draw the line when these assholes get their ill-gotten money through a thin veil of respectability and don't even pay taxes:

The hairdresser scrapes together $600 of her own money each month to keep up the program [for the homeless] because the Prayer Palace – one of Canada's largest evangelical churches – stopped running it five years ago. Other charitable works, like a promised orphanage in Brazil, either dried up or never materialized.

Meanwhile, the three white pastors – Paul Melnichuk and his 40-year-old twin sons, Tim and Tom – lead lavish lives in contrast to the mainly working-class black families that make up the bulk of the church.

Between them, the pastors have amassed a real estate fortune worth about $12 million. Each owns a multi-million-dollar country estate north of Toronto (Tim's is worth as much as $5.5 million), they share a Florida vacation villa, and the pastors and their wives drive luxurious cars – among them a Porsche Cayenne SUV, a Lexus RX 330 SUV and a Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 convertible.

Congregants are largely unaware of the pastors' extravagant lifestyles.

"Wow," says Leslie Stewart, 63, who works in a paint factory six days a week and gives 10 per cent of his income to the church. "I never heard of anything like that. But if I release my tithe and they misuse it, they have to face God."

The Prayer Palace has a devoted congregation. Most worshippers believe in tithing, the practice of donating 10 per cent of one's income to the church, and each year they give a reported $3 million. "The people love (the Melnichuks)," Houghron says. "Pastor Paul ... loves the Lord. He does God's work."

In addition to personally funding the homeless program, Houghron – a staunch supporter of Pastor Paul – tithes and also gives him $100 to $200 cash for his birthday. "He's never given me gifts like that but he's given me spiritual gifts," says Houghron. "He encourages the work I do for the homeless."

The Prayer Palace offers several exuberant religious services each week. Conducting them, combined with the pastor's church-building efforts, qualifies the Prayer Palace as a charity under federal law, making the church exempt from taxes.

However, a continuing Star investigation into Canadian charities has found the church devotes little money to charitable work. In fact, the church's most recent financial statements show that only $9,443 was spent on "benevolent and charity" activities in 2005. The church's annual "missions" fluctuate between $500 and $36,704 in the past few years.

Disgusting. I think I'm going to write to my M.P. and M.P.P. about this one.

By the way, this article came out a week ago, and most parishoners seem to be supporting their pastor. Yeah, kind of like the way you stuck with that bad boyfriend because you'd already invested so much into the relationship that you couldn't bear to accept it wasn't working out;

Brushing off the media attention, Melnichuk told his cheering worshippers that tithes in the wake of the Star's investigative report have actually increased by 10 per cent.

After the story was published March 4, he said, "our board of directors said the pastor will be back and will make a statement."

After pausing to welcome the media yesterday, Melnichuk added: "The statement is this ... the board of directors met and discussed (Saturday), with about 400-500 key leaders of this church ... and a solicitor has been retained."

As well, Melnichuk said, a "strategic communications solutions" team has been engaged.

"Okay, that's it sweetie pie," he said, concluding his remarks with a smile.

Within moments, a woman in a burnished gold dress and head-dress ran to the stage and slapped a $50 bill onto Melnichuk's forehead.

The move was met with cheers and, following a request by a church volunteer, congregation members started throwing money at Melnichuk's feet.

"First the funds go the church," said the beaming pastor. "After that, if the folks want to bless me..."

The church volunteers, acting on Melnichuk's instructions, divided the growing pile of cash into three collection buckets; the pastor then instructed a young member who is training to be a preacher to dip in and take out "a handful of cash."

"I hope the media got a picture of me with a $50 bill stuck to my forehead," Melnichuk laughed.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Refresh your First Responder skills!

Hey there - back after a few days! Did you miss me??? :)

I just spent a great weekend re-learning CPR and First Aid. Have you refreshed/acquired your skills lately? If not, I would strongly urge you to attend a course, especially since the guidelines for CPR/First Aid have been simplified to make it easier than ever for you to administer. It's also an empowering skill - do you want to be one of those dorks who panics or freezes when someone is dying? Me neither! :)

And when I talk about the guidelines for CPR/First Aid, I'm not just talking about some Canadian regulations - these are international protocols! So if you're my reader in South Africa, Japan, the U.K., or God-only-knows-where, or one of my several readers in New York or Arizona (bless you for continually coming back, though I have no idea who you are!!!), you should ensure that your first responder skills are up-to-date too!

Did you know that people of all ages (adults, children, infants), now should receive the same ratio of compressions to breaths? (The guidelines used to vary.) Did you know that you can now administer an epipen to someone in anaphylactic shock? You might want to learn how to operate one of those puppies! Did you know that First Aiders can now use defibrillators on people experiencing cardiac arrest? You can now learn how to use these devices as well!

Get thee to a First Responder course!

We totally lucked out with our instructor - she was fantastic, informative, and engaging. If you happen to be in Toronto (or Sudbury), I can happily recommend this organization for training. But there are also the Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance, etc. Just go!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Crude Offerings

Okay, obviously I must have a juvenile sense of humour that finds particular amusement in toilet-related anecdotes, but this post just had me laughing out loud - several times - so I had to share. Enjoy!

Lyrics to think about

I was listening to Let Love Rule by Lenny Kravitz today at work:

Love is gentle as a rose
And love can conquer any war
Its time to take a stand
Brothers and sisters join hands

We got to let love rule
Let love rule
We got to let love rule
Let love rule


But we got to be strong
We cant do it alone

We got to let love rule
Let love rule
We got to let love rule
Let love rule
That's all. I just wanted to share these lyrics. You're welcome. :)

Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel

Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel
Originally uploaded by hk_traveller.

This photo of a Valentines Day display in Hong Kong is posted here for my dear friend Wendy.

There is a 95% chance that everyone else will consider it completely ridiculous. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Read with Me (if you like)

I actually have several books on the go at the moment, but here are two: The Best Year of Your Life by Debbie Ford and Mad Cowboy by Howard F. Lyman.

A visit with a nutritionist

My employer’s employee wellness program includes a limited number of sessions with a nutritionist, so after deciding to become vegetarian again, I got an appointment with this nutritionist. Check out her website – she’s not exactly a slouch!

Today was my first appointment, and it was very interesting. I’d had some “homework” e-mailed to me prior, which included logging my food intake for three days (I did it for four days, probably an indication that I still have a Type A personality - LOL). As an aside, I would really recommend doing this for yourself – you might be really surprised at what you’re eating and when, how hungry you really are (or aren’t) when you eat, etc. It’s even better when you have to show it to someone afterwards because (if you’re like me), you make better choices because you don’t want to be embarrassed when he/she reads about the junk you eat or how much you eat. But I digress …

Jean gave me a vegetarian food guide (produced by the Canadian government, but not nearly as glamourous-looking as the one that includes meats), reviewed my food logs and supplements, and generally commended me on my healthy choices (yay me!!!). But there are some areas for improvement, and I will work on those before I see her again next week.

Jean made two interesting comments today: 1) while she doesn’t consider herself a vegetarian, she did say that she NEVER cooks meat at home, and only eats meat when she’s eating away from home, as when she is visiting her parents – and she wrinkled her nose! (expressing distaste for the meat-eating, I’m sure, rather than for her parents!); 2) at a recent symposium she attended, the chair of the department of Organic Agriculture at the University of Guelph told the audience that if everyone in Canada decided to consume the minimum recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings every day, there would not be enough Canadian produce for them to do so! This latter point, I believe, is more about how we choose to use our agriculturally viable land for housing/retail and crops to feed animals for meat.

Anyway, it was a very valuable way to spend that hour of my day today, and I look forward to the follow-up visits as I fine-tune my diet for optimal health! :)

Drama addictions

So aside from the day my sister-in-law was in labour and gave birth to twins, last Thursday was probably the day my blog had its highest traffic volume. My conclusion: the Internet loves drama. I don't know who those people were who visited my blog last week, or how they found out so quickly that there was some kind of "story" to be found here:

Eclecta becomes an aunt to two adorable babies? Drama! Eclecta cowardly reveals her secret of vegetarianism? Will the family stage an intervention??? (key the organ music: duh duh duh DUH!)

I've given this about a millisecond of thought, and I can't feed your drama addiction. Like my brother (no fan of soap operas) once said, "I'd rather watch a soap opera than star in one." Wiser words were never spoken.

Then again, I do have this link to a video of Steve Irwin (a.k.a. the Crocodile Hunter) who has come back from the dead to observe an amazing natural phenomenon. How's that for drama? :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Best pizza EVER

So I have a variety of chopped vegetables ready to go in my fridge from the weekend, because I'm awesome! Tonight, in a variation of the Tantric Pizza I described here, I took a whole-wheat pita (the thin kind), slathered some pizza sauce on it, and heaped slices of red peppers, green peppers, onion, mushroom, zucchini, and broccoli on it. I lightly sprayed the whole thing with some non-stick cooking spray before I popped it into my new toaster oven for about twenty minutes. After the vegetables had sufficiently softened, I added some pineapple tidbits and some cheese, before baking it another 10 - 15 minutes. SOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!! I can't say that I miss meat at all.

The broccoli in particular was surprisingly tasty. It makes me wonder why I don't regularly eat roasted broccoli. Try it out if you don't believe me!

Funniest post EVER

You MUST check this out. I insist upon it!

Nature Geek Alert!

Oh, another cool buy recently? The Common Birds and Their Songs book and CD set by Lang Elliott and Marie Read. Amazing pictures in the book and sound quality on the CD. After I downloaded the MP3s to my iPod, I let my friend Nancy listen to the one for the Northern Flicker. That’s a Northern Flicker???” she said. “I’ve heard that sound lots of times and didn’t know what it was!!!!” “Me too!!!” I said, excited.

It’s actually really nice to listen to, especially this time of the year when you just can’t wait for spring! It’s also – um, entertaining? for the felines in your house! LOL

New on my iPod

Have you ever heard the song, “Run for Your Life” by Jarvis Church? (Jarvis Church, incidentally, is the pseudonym of Gerald Eaton, lead singer of The Philosopher Kings). It’s a great song, particularly because of the outstanding talent of his guest performer, Esthero.

You’ve never heard of Esthero? Me neither, until a couple of weeks ago, but I bought her CD, Wikked L’il Girls last week, and I’m really enjoying some of the songs, particularly “If Tha Mood” and “Junglebook”. I highly recommend checking them out. I love the way she blends a big band sound with hip-hop, and how she will go from rock to jazz to Beatles-inspired pieces. Eclectic! :)

P.S. - If you're tempted to spend more money on the disk rather than the download so you can get the lyrics, etc., don't bother. The CD doesn't come with much information and has no lyrics. It's cheaper to download.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I found this anedote in Rude Cactus very cute:

I might have mentioned this before, but my daughter is obsessed with salad dressing. But not any salad dressing. In order to meet with her approval, the salad dressing must be that of Mr. Paul Newman. She's learned to say Paul specifically so she may address the salad dressing. She often lavishes Paul with kisses. Last week, I mistakenly left the salad dressing out overnight. Since I'm weird about food and abide by directives such as refrigerate after opening, I threw the bottle away the next day. Last night, she demanded Paul. All I could give her was Ken. Ken was not acceptable and yielded a tragically sad face. Note to self: pick up Paul on the way home.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Double trouble

Linda at SundryMourning referred to this photo on Swistle. This picture of twins Elizabeth and Edward represents something Joe and Lisa have to look forward to (I guess) with Lorelai and Reece! LOL

Canadians for Kyoto

Unfortunately, I won't be able to make this rally as I have other commitments, but here's the info for Toronto (other cities' info is available here):

Toronto Rally for Kyoto
Sunday March 11, 2007
Nathan Phillips Square

John Bennett - Executive Director, Climate Action Network
Olivia Chow -Member of Parliament
Jose Etcheverry - Research and Policy Analyst, David Suzuki Foundation
Dave Martin - Climate and Energy Campaign Coordinator, Greenpeace
Maria Minna - Member of Parliament
Keith Stewart - Climate Change Campaign Manager, WWF-Canada
Cameron Stiff - Founding Member, Canadian Youth Climate Coalition
Chris Tindal - Green Party Candidate


Matthew Barber
Deborah Kimmett
Elvira Kurt
Brian MacMillan
Madagascar Slim
Lisa Merchant
Richard Underhill
Adam Warner
Dawn Whitwell
**Special Guest Performer**


Engaging speakers, live music, a marching band, the "Polar Bears", positive solutions, postcard mailouts to the Prime Minister, an information fair and much more climate action inspiration. Bring your drums and noisemakers, colourful signs and slogans. Show your support in your own way or attend one of our
group events

Vegetarian is the New Prius

The other day, I found this amazing blog post about vegetarianism and the environment (I want to quote the whole darned thing, it's so well-written and informative!). If you are completely unwilling to even just reduce your meat consumption, you might want to consider buying more locally produced meat raised by a small farm owner who doesn't feed his/her animals antibiotics, rendered animals, etc. Or just skip over this post. Like I said previously, I don't want to preach.

However, if you're interested in doing something to mitigate global warming and other environmental damage (not to mention your own health), or just plain curious, read on:

President Herbert Hoover promised "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." With warnings about global warming reaching feverish levels, many are having second thoughts about all those cars. It seems they should instead be worrying about the chickens.

Last month, the United Nations published a report on livestock and the environment with a stunning conclusion: "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." It turns out that raising animals for food is a primary cause of land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and not least of all, global warming.

... The U.N. report says almost a fifth of global warming emissions come from livestock (i.e., those chickens Hoover was talking about, plus pigs, cattle, and others)--that's more emissions than from all of the world's transportation combined.

For a decade now, the image of Leonardo DiCaprio cruising in his hybrid Toyota Prius has defined the gold standard for environmentalism. These gas-sipping vehicles became a veritable symbol of the consumers' power to strike a blow against global warming. Just think: a car that could cut your vehicle emissions in half - in a country responsible for 25% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions ... Toyota could not import the cars fast enough to meet demand.

Last year researchers at the University of Chicago took the Prius down a peg when they turned their attention to another gas guzzling consumer purchase. They noted that feeding animals for meat, dairy, and egg production requires growing some ten times as much crops as we'd need if we just ate pasta primavera, faux chicken nuggets, and other plant foods. On top of that, we have to transport the animals to slaughterhouses, slaughter them, refrigerate their carcasses, and distribute their flesh all across the country. Producing a calorie of meat protein means burning more than ten times as much fossil fuels--and spewing more than ten times as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide--as does a calorie of plant protein. The researchers found that, when it's all added up, the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by going vegetarian than by switching to a Prius.

According to the UN report, it gets even worse when we include the vast quantities of land needed to give us our steak and pork chops. Animal agriculture takes up an incredible 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the total land surface of the planet. As a result, farmed animals are probably the biggest cause of slashing and burning the world's forests. Today, 70% of former Amazon rainforest is used for pastureland, and feed crops cover much of the remainder. These forests serve as "sinks," absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, and burning these forests releases all the stored carbon dioxide, quantities that exceed by far the fossil fuel emission of animal agriculture.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the real kicker comes when looking at gases besides carbon dioxide--gases like methane and nitrous oxide, enormously effective greenhouse gases with 23 and 296 times the warming power of carbon dioxide, respectively. If carbon dioxide is responsible for about one-half of human-related greenhouse gas warming since the industrial revolution, methane and nitrous oxide are responsible for another one-third. These super-strong gases come primarily from farmed animals' digestive processes, and from their manure. In fact, while animal agriculture accounts for 9% of our carbon dioxide emissions, it emits 37% of our methane, and a whopping 65% of our nitrous oxide.

It's a little hard to take in when thinking of a small chick hatching from her fragile egg. How can an animal, so seemingly insignificant against the vastness of the earth, give off so much greenhouse gas as to change the global climate? The answer is in their sheer numbers. The United States alone slaughters more than 10 billion land animals every year, all to sustain a meat-ravenous culture that can barely conceive of a time not long ago when "a chicken in every pot" was considered a luxury. Land animals raised for food make up a staggering 20% of the entire land animal biomass of the earth. We are eating our planet to death.

What we're seeing is just the beginning, too. Meat consumption has increased five-fold in the past fifty years, and is expected to double again in the next fifty.

It sounds like a lot of bad news, but in fact it's quite the opposite. It means we have a powerful new weapon to use in addressing the most serious environmental crisis ever to face humanity. The Prius was an important step forward, but how often are people in the market for a new car? Now that we know a greener diet is even more effective than a greener car, we can make a difference at every single meal, simply by leaving the animals off of our plates. Who would have thought: what's good for our health is also good for the health of the planet!

Going veg provides more bang for your buck than driving a Prius. Plus, that bang comes a lot faster. The Prius cuts emissions of carbon dioxide, which spreads its warming effect slowly over a century. A big chunk of the problem with farmed animals, on the other hand, is methane, a gas which cycles out of the atmosphere in just a decade. That means less meat consumption quickly translates into a cooler planet.

Not just a cooler planet, also a cleaner one. Animal agriculture accounts for most of the water consumed in this country, emits two-thirds of the world's acid-rain-causing ammonia, and it the world's largest source of water pollution--killing entire river and marine ecosystems, destroying coral reefs, and of course, making people sick. Try to imagine the prodigious volumes of manure churned out by modern American farms: 5 million tons a day, more than a hundred times that of the human population, and far more than our land can possibly absorb. The acres and acres of cesspools stretching over much of our countryside, polluting the air and contaminating our water, make the Exxon Valdez oil spill look minor in comparison. All of which we can fix surprisingly easily, just by putting down our chicken wings and reaching for a veggie burger.

Doing so has never been easier. Recent years have seen an explosion of environmentally-friendly vegetarian foods. Even chains like Ruby Tuesday, Johnny Rockets, and Burger King offer delicious veggie burgers and supermarket refrigerators are lined with heart-healthy creamy soymilk and tasty veggie deli slices. Vegetarian foods have become staples at environmental gatherings, and garnered celebrity advocates like Bill Maher, Alec Baldwin, Paul McCartney, and of course Leonardo DiCaprio. Just as the Prius showed us that we each have in our hands the power to make a difference against a problem that endangers the future of humanity, going vegetarian gives us a new way to dramatically reduce our dangerous emissions that is even more effective, easier to do, more accessible to everyone and certainly goes better with french fries ...

Friday, March 02, 2007


Um, not exactly what I would call a relaxing vacation with Grandpa:

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his travelling companions aboard a tour bus fended off two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said.

The American, who is about 70 years old and retired from the military, put the 20-year-old in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the suspect and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose. The suspect, Warner Segura, was later declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation.

The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he was declared dead. The Red Cross also treated one of the tourists for an anxiety attack, Hernandez said Thursday.