Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Every day is Earth Day - "On Your Left"!

When I was in HS, ecology was scorned and Earth Day was a celebration for the new activist. We were only just being exposed to our impact on Mother Earth. Here's a little something from the "founder". We are still learning how our actions effect future generations. The result is that today its a movement - action, marketing, advertising ... the works. Green is the buzzword and beyond. Who says you can't change the world?

In honor of gently treading upon our rock in space, I favor riding a bike. "On Your Left" is a term of warning when passing another rider or someone walking along the path. No way for me to tell how many readers are local or how many climb onto a saddle. Just in case, here is a link to a survey for cyclists who use the streets in Spokane. We are currently updating the Master Bike Plan for the city. Does your city have a bicycle plan?

An organization based in SF is planning and designing for a Bicycle City in every state. Washington, DC is trying a SmartBike program. It's funded at least in part by a division of Clear Channel. At first glance, this program appears to be a great example of private and public enterprise coming together. Anything to move people from point A to point B with one less car is a giant step.

Ten Ideas for a better today and the 364 days leading up to Earth Day 2009 -

1 - climb on your bike
2 - count how many days in a month you can avoid turning on your car ignition
3 - plant a tree
4 - remember to carry your reusable cloth bag to the market
5 - find biodegradable shampoos and soaps - use them
6 - switch that darn incandescent light bulb
7 - reduce, reuse, and recycle metal, paper and plastic. support organizations who walk the talk.
8 - if you must print something - print on both sides of your printer paper
9 - use tap water - buy a filter if you must - its cheaper, cleaner, and you don't have to toss a bottle
10 - add your own by letting your imagination fly

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday's for Art

A few months back I began posting about aspects of Art on Fridays. You loyal readers will note a decided slowdown in this "regular" part of One Reader. Life happens :)

An aspect of Art that I've grown to love is it's intersection with Science and Technology. One of the best examples is Leonardo. The Italian Renaissance opened doors to the matrix that along with Art and Science included humanism, religion and self-awareness. To me, the finest example is Michelangelo's David.

Yesterday, I wandered onto a site created by The Baltimore Sun newspaper. The site is part of their effort to reach the elusive 18-34 yo members of US culture. While 34 is but a foggy memory, I really like what they are doing.

Here's the feature that caught my eye. But the real story is the student/designer/artist Rebecca Stern. Her work combines technology with her passion for art. Its worth a look at the projects to learn she and her colleagues are immersed in. A couple of my favorites are SensorSquid and DeclarativeLampProject. Both are open source exploring the links between creativity, community and imagination.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

About the future, hope, and yes we can

Last - and only - time I visited NYC was 1972. We visited a teacher in his classroom in the Bronx. The school - PS-something or other - was rundown, in need of paint, and appeared abandoned. Jaime, the teacher, was a friend of the guy, Bob, who took us on the trip. He reflected on how much he loved teaching but how difficult it was to focus and ultimately "teach" the kids within the environment.

I'm not naive enough to think this video is representative of every HS in NYC. Or in the US. These are obviously gifted children. The classroom size alone reflects a special group. Racism is not simply solved.

It is solved through one speech, one election, one YouTube video, one group of people, one conversation.

One at a time. One little instance at a time.