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world wide wdenesdays :: cleaning up our room

i've been pleasantly surprised since i started world wide wednesdays that it's become one of the most popular features on the blog. i'm surprised chiefly because most of the posts are long and involved and deal with pretty complex and heady issues [or at least try to deal with them] and it makes me happy to think that there are enough people who are willing to slog through a long piece to get some more information about the place where we live.

of course, i'm not surprised that people are interested in the topics, because earth is a fascinating place. our crazy, troubled, unique history is filled with stories that even the most creative writers would struggle to imagine. i really believe that most of us want to understand why situations are the way that they are and that our minds really aren't satisfied by the limited vision we are given of the world around us because we know, instinctively, that there is more going on than we're being told.

unfortunately, part of figuring out what's going on in in the world today forces us to take into account how we've damaged our home. and we've damaged it a lot. every area of the planet is now showing signs of that damage, and yet we're still forced to waste time debating whether or not climate change even exists. it's a sad state of affairs that's made worse by the public presentation of the issue, which most often frames the debate as having two equal sides. i defer to the brilliant john oliver on this subject:



today is [has been] the forty-fifth annual earth day, a time when we take a moment to think about our planet and its future and how we will shape that future, or simply to take the google quiz to find out what animal we are. i am a mantis shrimp. [thanks to marie for calling my attention to the oatmeal piece!] earth day has become a kind of sombre occasion, one that confronts us with the results of our collective laziness, greed, stubbornness and procrastination. it's depressing, but we've made the mess and now we have to clean it up. my interest today is in closing earth day with a little reminder of why we want to do the work to clean it up.

for starters, i found this graphic [original source here] of some things about earth that are pretty damn amazing already. [please don't quit your job to extract gold from seawater. i've done the math, it doesn't work.]

you'll probably want to zoom in
and here are some photos taken from the earth porn web site to remind us all of just how amazing this place can be and how beautiful it is when we have cleaned up. [thanks to dom, who originally suggested i follow those guys on social media.]










this is the only place in the universe that has cats and owls and elephants and sharks and pythons and capybaras and ladybugs and penguins and, yes, mighty mantis shrimp. but more importantly, it's the only place that has us. it's our home and as much as we like to daydream about what life might be like on other planets, we know that there really is no place like home and that it's where we belong. so we should actively seek out ways in which we can lower our own impact on the environment, we should give power to those who commit to acting in the interests of the planet [we're coming for you, stephen harper] and we should do these things not just because they're "good for us", but because the awesome diversity and beauty of the world enriches our lives and makes us happier people. [or if that isn't motivation enough, behave responsibly or i'll come and strike you with my murderous appendages.]

so happy earth day to all, from more like space, and hopefully many more of them.

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as long as you're here, why not read more?

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: the dangers of diagnosing

when you take a look at any reputable online source of information about mental health, it comes with a warning that anything you read on the site should not be considered a substitute for evaluation by a medical professional. so why are so many people jumping on the bandwagon to diagnose donald trump?

it's not uncommon for people to make glib judgments about the mental health of others, because we think that we understand what disorders entail. when i was working in offices, i noticed a lot of this: an immature and garrulous employee being labeled and partially excused because others were certain he had adhd, or a moody and indecisive boss dismissed as bipolar. [as you can imagine, that one struck me as particularly ignorant and, since i was the audience, ironic.] but in the case of trump, even professionals are weighing in on the subject. no fewer than twenty-seven psychiatrists have collaborated on a book called the dangerous case of donald trump. up to now, it's been unde…

making faces :: a winter tale

so this is it. we've reached the final season in our colour year. so far we've looked at spring, with its heart of citrus yellow, summer and its symphony of cool blues and autumn with its spicy bronzes and golds. and i'm still not sure i've found a good place to rest my face. i've chosen seasonal winners in each category, but are they really me?

it's a bit of a rhetorical question, of course, because i already had an inkling that my precocious childhood self might have been onto something when she declared herself a "winter". not that she knew what she was talking about, of course, but sometimes even fools say the right thing without meaning to. even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. [unless you're in europe and use a twenty-four hour clock, which actually makes a lot more sense.]

as with all the other seasons, winter is divided into three parts, the true winter at the centre, flanked by neighbours who carry a hint of the adjacent …