31.12.08

Happy New Reading!


A list of the top childrens books of 2008 from Time and NYT...also a link to a new favorite of mine by Adam Rex called "Psst!"

Time's Top Children Books of 2008.

Best Illustrated books of 2008.

Happy New Year!
Eat lots of pasta for good luck in the new year.

21.12.08

Who throws a shoe?



Photo-art-blog in response to the Bush shoe party. I don't think throwing shoes gets anything done, but its probably great therapy.

Thank You For Throwing Your Shoe.

19.12.08

Mad Love



I few of my very good friends and favorite couples are engaged. It seems like all at once, so this is a little shout out to all of them. Best wishes for cake and love and adventures together into the sunset...xoxo.

In ancient Athens, as in contemporary America, true democracy was always an ideal, never a fact.



Review of the Onassis Cultural Center's "Worshiping Women: Ritual and Reality in Classical Athens"

14.12.08

Will you go out with me?


Remember 7th grade... tights, lipgloss, the new Green Day album playing in the background as you did whatever it was you were doing to make yourself look fabulous? Well, I guess kids aren't doing it anymore, or they are, but they aren't dressing up first. Interesting article on dating...I'm assuimng all of this has to do with internetal relations i.e. face face and space space, but it is sort of sad that no one is up for the akward silences at the Frisko Freeze anymore.

The Demise of Dating read.

9.12.08

Stocking options...

#1 click, click, zoom...


I have the G7, but the new model looks snazzy too. I've never been happier with a piece of equipment. Its proved to be user friendly in every way. Highly recommend this if you are looking for a new hobby. Just be warned that you will find yourself spending hours photographing things such as sliced fruit and raindrops. ooohh aaaww.

#2 Give a little bit, give a little bit of your love to me...



I've said it before, but this npo is fantastic. Besides, you already have everything you really want anyway, right? Give some chickens or an ox to a family in need. Your heart will smile. Heifer International is the place to go.

#3 Green tea anyone?



Yes please...along with these other sites, GreenToys Inc. makes eco-friendly goods for tiny children. Here are a few others...Fat Brain Toys, Think Button
and Great Green Baby., although you could also just grab a recycled cardboard box and let the kids play in it, since everyone knows they make the best forts anyway.

#4 Panda love...



I'm not big on green consumption in general, since its still consumption, but at a friend's baby shower I happened to accidentally feel up a bamboo jumper she was given and I thought my fingers had touched a piece of heaven cake. It is the softest material, and so good for the planet, so buy away.

Sprig and kickypants both carry nice things.

Okay, and for #5...la te da la te da la te da.


Death Cab For Cutie's Narrow Stairs.
Lucinda William's Little Honey.
Jazmine Sullivan's Fearless.
Traveling Wilburys' Traveling Wilburys.
Radiohead's In Rainbows.
Spoons' ga ga ga ga ga ga ga ga ga ga.
Rilo Kiley's Under The Blacklight.

xoxo

8.12.08

time and again




When I was little I would steal my parent's national geographic magazine as soon as it hit the kitchen table. My brother and I would take it downstairs and sit on the couch and flip through the pages as fast as we could.

Now that things are a bit more instant, some of the magic that the magazine brought to our house has been replaced with the bombarding internet imagery and constant uploading from everyone with a camera. But, this image reminded me of flipping a page and being in love with a photo.

The "Your shot" pages are pretty fun too.

4.12.08

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas Tree!




Its that time of year again. There is nothing more magical than lighting up the tree for the first time. Little trees being strapped snuggly onto car roofs and strung with lights and fancy ribbon. So, whats the best thing for these trees? Read this article from NYT to find out. Want more? Go to treehugger and find it.

Fa la la la la.. la la la laaa.

3.12.08

nice photos


I'm interested in the aura idea. Of course I am.

www.vanderoer.com

2.12.08

heartbreak

This interview with Charlie Rose and Mumbai eyewitnesses recounts some of the bravery and heroism that came out of such a horrible act. It makes me want to cry. The sense of love people have for absolute strangers, its confusing. There will always be heros found in the most unsuspecting places. My thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected by this tragic event.

a little tale

I went into the woods in my sleep. It was early morning, almost 4am and I could hear the birds whispering to each other in the trees. I didn't remember to put any shoes on when I left my bed, so I was very quiet on the path. I crept up a Madrone tree. Climbed to the top. It was too dark to see the branches and I fell back to the ground. Both of my legs had turned into shapes I couldn't make out. They shuffled and slid beneath me. I felt surrounded by the dark. It was penetrable, but thick.

Later I found myself sleeping again in a narrow space between two stumps. Moss had grown over my arms and I was fixed to this place. I tried to pull the moss off. I grappled giant stretches of it, but every time I pulled away at it, more would take its place. It smelled like a ship in the night. I began to worry that I might miss breakfast.

The birds woke up and ate away the moss. They started to sing the breakfast song. I was hungry. They gave me some eggs which I put in my pocket.

The light began. The woods looked like woods instead of the thick dark space. I crawled. There was a sound like the breathing of a snake. It leaked through the branches and nearer. When I turned around there was a beast. It was extremely old and had the body of a white whale. It croaked as if it were made of wood. It had the feet of a pacaderm. It spoke in the hissy snake voice and pushed against my knees. It told me to give it the eggs so I did. I put them in the dirt by its snout and I waited to see what would happen.

It ate them very slowly.

I was sort of disappointed. It shook its whale fur coat and made a circle before it lay down on my path. It breathed with great huffs of its back.

I left it with the egg shells.

In the morning I woke up to find out I was still very hungry. I made a strawberry toast sandwich. We were out of eggs.

1.12.08

29.11.08

bee business


When I was in Greece this summer, I tasted the best honey I have ever had. It was so delicious. My favorite thing is to dip apples in honey. Mmm. I liked this article on international honey tasting. Here you go.

10.11.08

Pomegranate Time


Yesssssss! Its officially pomegranate season and here is a recipe I am going to make tonight. It is a simple chicken and rice dish from Iran that celebrates pomegranates and delicious winter food. Here is the recipe...I found it on an elementary school's recipe submission page.




Khoreshteh Fesenj√£n
Chicken with Rice & Pomegranate
(from Persia)
submitted by Manoushan

INGREDIENTS

Chicken
500 grams of chicken breast

Rice
1 cup Basmati rice
1 cup water
pinch of salt

Sauce
1 cup of almonds
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tab olive oil
1/2 cup of water
200 ml concentrated pomegranate juice
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
METHOD

Chicken
Place chicken pieces in casserole dish.
Place dish in a preheated 180° C oven for 20 minutes.

Rice
Place rice and water in saucepan.
Add salt and bring to boil.
Reduce temperature and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

Sauce
Heat oil in pan.
Add finely chopped onion and spices and cook until onion is soft.
Add coarsely chopped almonds and cook for 2 - 3 minutes while stirring.
Add pomegranate juice and brown sugar and stir.
Add water and bring to boil.
Reduce temperature and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Add sauce to chicken and cook in oven for another 30 minutes, then pour onto rice and your meal is complete.

I'm going to add pomegranate seeds instead of just the juice, but other than that it sounds lovely.



Pomegranates are so pretty, I love cooking with them. There are lots of health benefits too, but I just read that Vitamin C doesn't help to prevent or cure colds, which is either ridiculous or true, but just goes to show that you can't beleive an any one health benefit too much! Eat Pomegranates though, they are delicious!

rad with a capital R

falling sand game.

have fun.

9.11.08

Nice NYT article with Lin

Artist Maya Lin talks about relationships between past works, ways of working, environmentalism etc. Interesting.

Wave Field at the Storm King Art Center

creature feature


Looky Look!


This slideshow of new creatures found off the coast of places like Lizard Island in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Japan is absolutely beautiful! My favorite is the cuttlefish, very cool. So, lets all hope we keep our waters clean so we can keep finding all of these crazy treasures.

8.11.08

Ingrid Michaelson - Be OK



perfect toe tapping

Baby You can Drive My Car




Read this article about green RV's. If I could live in a green RV and travel around the country each summer I would be pretty happy. The Verdier Volkswagon is the best, since its most like a regular van with a few key amenities. (GPS controlled solar panles).

You can also read this blog by the Live Lightly people. Looks like an awesome adventure, what a cool lifestyle.

5.11.08

Venice Biennale of Architecture


"Ishigami’s greenhouses are not equipped with air control systems and are not sealed off from the outside by a strong barrier, so they do not create a perfect artificial environment. The weakness of the barrier results in an ambiguous mixing of elements from the internal and external environment. With the help of botanist Hideaki Ohba, Ishigami aims at presenting a variety of plant life that creates a slight disturbance in the landscape of the park. At first glance, the resulting landscape seems to be ordinary, but we believe this is an extremely progressive approach to the natural environment." Taro Igarashi

So rad... get more photos and info at We Make Money Not Art. or Japan Foundation

Roooar!






One of my favorite authors, Mr. Michael Crichton, past away last night. I can't imagine anything better than Jurassic Park and I will always be grateful for such an imaginative writer. Rooar! Although Crichton was a skeptic of climate change, he offered exciting and entertaining answers to some of science's most pondered topics. He might not have been right on global warming, but he was right in viewing science as something that is ever changing and malleable, a way of seeing the world as a solution to our problems. He thought that science would both aid and challenge our species and he wrote truthfully about his fears and fantasies.

Here's to an author who will be dearly missed.

Seattlites Celebrate



Thousands of people rushed the streets of downtown Seattle last night after news of Obama's election victory. I stood in line for two hours waiting to punch a hole or push a button, but despite having registered two months ago I was not on the list. They let me fill out a sympathetic ballot. They said it would count and then handed me a little card with a number I could call in three weeks to see if indeed it did count. It didn’t matter. There was almost a quiet understanding at the polls yesterday that this was going to happen, although lets face it, that’s not too surprising in Seattle. I have to say that McCain's concession speech was very touching and insightful. He is a smart man. I think we will see McCain as an important figure in the future, and someone who will very likely contribute to Obama's accomplishments as president. Of course, Obama's speech was historical, moving and presidential. That a black President elect stood in front of the United States last night and received respect, authority and praise was due and deserved. And fun to watch. I wonder if this is the most historical moment I will be a part of like my parents remembering the Berlin wall tumbling down or my grandparents on D-day. Obama brings hope to many people, he will bring challenges too, and I hope Americans are ready and willing to stand beside him. I know that this country has been through a lot in the last eight years, 9/11 brought us all much closer together and also divided us. The war in Iraq has touched us all. I sometimes think people forget that we are in fact supposed to be united states. We like to dwell in our own microcosms and coddle our prejudices, but we are certainly more alike than not. I hope that the elation and excitement of Obama's victory does not fade with time. I mean, I hope all those people who were so eager to proclaim change actually want to take part in it. I believe that the most important thing about this election, is not how we fix the economy, how to bring home the troops, how to begin to deal with our relations in the middle east or how to save the environment, I think we already know how to do those things, but what this election did was push us to act. It led us to a starting point. We don’t have any good excuses now not to act. It also gave the world a reason to believe in democracy, to see it first hand and that is pretty cool. Switching things up will be good for everyone I think. I can’t wait to see the puppy.

2.11.08

really... still undecided


So, I mean, I guess its okay to be indecisive...for things like purchasing cereal, picking out socks or radio stations, but really, you still don't have a candidate? Come on people, think about your options! This is a pretty interesting article.

starbucks, still pretty cool


So, finally someone is sticking up for Starbuck's good practice. I love Starbucks, its delicious. I like it because its good coffee and I know what I'm getting. Yes, they are marketing geniuses too, but really, the coffee is lovely. They are also giving away free coffee on election day, I know, I know, another marketing scheme, but hey, if they can suck one more youth out of the house to vote, more power to them. Fair trade is good for everyone. Read this article on Grist.

oooh went the wind

greenbelts unite...kapow!

30.10.08

Its Halloween Again...


I love halloween, there's something about dressing up and running around at night that never grows old. I'm going to dress as a Catrinas from Dia de los Muertos. In Mexico, Dia de los Muertos is a celebration of the dead that takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November, right after American Halloween. It is such a beautiful tradition, literally, everyone brings colorful flowers to the graves of loved ones and celebrates the lives of those no longer living. I wish we had such respect for life. Its also a giant party, with fancy sugar skulls, music and friends. This is a cool video.

25.10.08



I just think you should watch this and think about what a brilliant song this is. Everything about it makes me want to dance and love.

23.10.08

gimme gimme, or give give


Send a few chickens to someone, its fun. Every once in a while I like to buy chicks and geese for people I don't know in other parts of the world who don't have quite enough to eat. It makes my whole day. Try it, you will like it.

Heifer International.

20.10.08

smag


This simple recipe for pumpkin bread is delicious...I added some vanilla, because I usually do.

I highly recommend it.

lady in white


Its almost Halloween, and for anyone out there looking to scare the bejesus out of some kids, or yourself, here are a few classics you may have overlooked. I was easily freaked out as a child, so I don't imagine these movies are all that scary, but they have a special place in my heart.

Lady in White Frank LaLoggia, 1988
Camp Sleepaway Robert Hiltzik, 1983
April Fool's Day Fred Walton, 1986
Cats Eye Lewis Teague, 1985
The Gate Tibor Takacs, 1987

protest

You don’t love her, she loves you.
In this situation I recommend not continuing on,
but lighting a match alone in the dark
and putting it out with your tongue.

Sip from your own hands this time.
Place here to form a skintight saucer.
Remember her face in a mirror,
rearview landscapes in the morning.

17.10.08


Biology, nature and evolution turned on their head... an interview with cool guy David Altmejd by The Art Newspaper.

The Art Newspaper: Your two huge giants (The Holes) fill the ground floor of Tate Liverpool. You’ve also shown a particular fondness for making werewolves. What draws you to these fairytale subjects?

David Altmejd: I always try to choose the most potentially symbolically interesting reference, but it’s very intuitive. I didn’t have any specific reasons to choose the werewolf, it just felt much more interesting than the human body or any other creature. It had more symbolic potential, it could open doors and start conversations.

Very good business idea


Zippety Zippers.

13.10.08

this is fun


HUE TEST

this is a good thing to do to waste time. I taught color and design and got a 7. I guess thats okay, my favorite colors are green and purple, and those are the hues I couldn't tell apart. hmmm. thanks nichole!

When you are done, your eyes will be tired, so have some rainbow jello and relax.

7.10.08

sweet



It's raining and I can hear the drops on the bricks outside my window, but the best part is that I know my moss garden is loving it.

noble or savage?


The era of the hunter-gatherer was not the social and environmental Eden that some suggest read all about it

1.10.08



A nice idea.

A guy at MIT thought out a plan to use the tree's energy and insulation to help construct a house. I wonder if you would have major squirrel riots in your kitchen.

Architects design a living home.

23.9.08

Balancing Nature



This is awesome. Please read the full article if you have time.

21.9.08

string people


"Physicists often use the term elegant to describe a solution to a problem that is as powerful as it is simple. It's a solution which cuts to the heart of an important problem with such clarity that it almost leaves no doubt that the solution is either right or at least on the right track. And string theory is just that kind of solution. It provides the first way of putting quantum mechanics and general relativity together -- that is, merging the laws of the small and the laws of the large -- and it does it in such a sleek manner that it is quite breathtaking. And the term elegant really describes that kind of solution." Brian Green

To read more click here.

His new picture book, Icarus is wonderful.

20.9.08


'The Brethren of the Stone: On Vain the Net is Spread in Sight of the Bird’ 2006. Watercolor and ink on paper, Jen Liu

and


‘The Brethren of the Stone: Hear All, See All, Say Nowt, Tak’all, Keep All, Gie Not, And If Tha Ever Does Owt For Nowt Do It For Thysen’ 2006. Watercolor and ink on paper, Jen Liu

My favorite new things to see. Her stuff is up at the Henry in Seattle in a group show, The Violet Hour, in which she also has a pretty good video.

more goods here.

11.9.08

Red Fish, Green Fish, Blue Fish too


Here is a link to tell you which fish you can eat, should eat and probably want to avoid. It is pathetic that we cannot eat any fish we chose. We are not very wise fisherman. However, this should help. My favorite fish is Halibut and Alaskan Salmon, or Trout, but only Trout if I catch it myself and its cooked while I'm camping. Oh my gosh I miss Montana so much thinking about bon fires and trout.

It turns out that Halibut and Salmon are great choices, while trout is up in the air because the EPA list only has (farmed) trout on the okay list. I'm going to venture a guess and say wild trout are good too.

10.9.08

lets lets!


Votalicious...mmm taste the democracy.

26.6.08

Ode to Prince William Sound


Does anyone else remember the baby seals? I was 6 years old. It took 19 years to come to this.

22.5.08

going to Greece!




This owlet is an asian barred owl, which lives in Greece. I might see one. I might also get a real gyro. I am so happy!

mmmm delicious!


Roasted Kale with Sea Salt

* 4 cups firmly-packed kale
* 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp. good-quality sea salt, such as Maldon or Cyprus Flake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and trim the kale: Peel off the tough stems by folding the kale leaves in half like a book and stripping the stems off. Toss with extra virgin olive oil. Roast for five minutes. Turn kale over. Roast another 7 to 10 minutes until kale turns brown and becomes paper thin and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

Some Good Advice

It is customary to start by congratulating the graduating seniors. And you deserve it, no doubt about it. You've spent four years of intense reading, writing and thinking. But, speaking as a father who couldn't get his own son to finish college, I really want to congratulate the parents. How'd you do it?

It was very kind of you to invite me here. And it is especially generous of the graduates to believe that I might have something useful to say to you about your future. As I just suggested, my record as a motivator of youth is spotty at best.

A very long time has passed since my own graduation.

It was long enough ago that men wore hats. Long enough ago that the Los Angeles Lakers were called the Detroit Gems.

The point is, there are plenty of ways in which I am very far away from your experience.

So, I am going to talk about some very basic things — ideas you will be comfortable with, notwithstanding your being the product, today, of experiences, teachings and observations quite different from those which had shaped my world view when I sat where you are some 60 years ago.

My premise is that there may be value to you in hearing what an 82-year-old man has to say about the ingredients that cause him to look back at that life with satisfaction.

My strongest basis for confidence in presuming to lecture to you here today arises from my knowing that my few thoughts for you are not going to fall far from your existing belief system — I expect I may, at best, make explicit or give reinforcement to what you already hold as your values.

Let me open by suggesting that among worthy goals is what you might call personal indulgence. There is nothing wrong with learning how to hit a golf ball straight -- nothing wrong with learning to appreciate beautiful paintings or plant a garden.

By far the most rewarding part of my life is — and always has been — that top item on my list: raising a family. And if there's one thing about your future I feel comfortable in predicting, it is that you either do or will feel the same way. I want you to know, by the way, that I mean family in the broadest sense — whether by blood, adoption, or bonds of affection.

Let me suggest that you be as deliberate as you can be about the job of raising your family. Being deliberate helps translate your fundamental human decency into your behavior as a parent.

It is intriguing to me that, as a culture, we so seldom look for or accept any guidance in how to be a parent. You need a Ph.D. to teach 20-year-olds for a few hours a week. Based on current priorities in our society, you don't need anything at all to teach an infant for 168 hours a week. But which does more good if you're skilled? And which does more harm if you're not? I'm not saying you should get a certificate in parenting, but you should think very carefully about what kind of parent you want to be and how to get there.

I had the good fortune to marry a woman who grew up in a family that enjoyed a number of annual traditions. One was an assumption that everyone would be together for Sunday dinner. Another was new pajamas for all hanging on the tree on Christmas morning.

We adopted many of these regimens and added a couple of our own.

I mention this as an example of being deliberate in organizing a family life and because I am certain that those traditions had the central role in creating a sense continuity and permanence for our kids growing up in a world full of change and uncertainty.

The next of my paramount pleasures is having a long list of very good friends. This list includes people I met in grade school.

I belong to a bridge club that was started in 1952. I look forward with pleasure to our meetings. It is in part the pleasure of shared memories. But it is also the comfort of sharing of experiences and views with people whose ideas you have come to know and appreciate.

If you come to cherish friends as I do you will discover that, as with family, there is a requirement of deliberateness to make it work. You do need to mail that note or make the phone call to keep friendship alive.

Now I venture out onto softer ground.

I am very comfortable extolling the rewards that flow from conscientious, well-informed parenting and urging you to make that part of your life. I am very comfortable underscoring the pleasures derived from making the effort to have and to maintain close friendships.

The obvious next question is, what about a public life. Is this something I would want to promote?

Private life has many rewards. But my life would have been much the poorer if I had not experienced the times when I felt like I belonged to something larger.

My favorite axiom is: "We are all in this together."

You know it's a good axiom because there are so many ways to express it. "We’re all in the same boat" is one. Benjamin Franklin said, "We must all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately."

The fundamental idea here is interdependence. We simply cannot succeed without the contribution of others.

What are the implications of that idea? The biggest one is basic citizenship. Citizenship means that we are obligated to believe that every person matters just as much as every other person.

Further implications: Citizens must not prosper at the expense of another person. Citizens should aspire to do what they can to counteract the disadvantages that random chance imposes on others.

I suggest that this principle for society at large is alive and working in our world. Let me cite the most prominent example there is of the role of good citizenship in working fundamental improvement.

When I graduated from college, our society condoned the killing of African-Americans. My senior year, a man was beaten to death in Mississippi because, his murderers explained, he was "hogging the road" with his horse-and-buggy, and they couldn’t pass in their car. They were never punished.

But now, we might just be ready to elect an African-American president of the United States. I never imagined I'd see that.

One of the great historical themes of my lifetime — America's march toward racial justice — has demonstrated the vast potential of citizenship.

You can't explain the civil-rights movement in terms of heroic public service alone. You can give credit but not sole credit to the handful of public figures whose names we all know. Martin Luther King is a hero of mine, but for every Martin Luther King there were thousands of courageous Southerners, citizens whose names we don't know, who sat in at lunch counters. Thousands who registered to vote, boycotted buses, and enrolled in schools where they weren't wanted. Thousands who marched into mobs of men armed with billy clubs.

And there were millions of white citizens who said they would no longer sanction racism. Most of them didn't storm any barricades, but they did the small, necessary things. They told their politicians that the issue mattered. They donated money to the cause. They made sure their children learned about civil rights in school.

What I am getting at is what I believe to be the real substance of democracy: something called public will. It's an abstract concept, public will. You can't touch it, or take a photograph of it or buy it at the store.

But when important things happen, it's because the public had the will to make them happen. And when nothing happens, it's because the public isn't willing. Public will is the reason why the civil-rights movement happened in the 1960s, but not in the 1940s, when I was your age.

That's what public will does, but what is public will?

It is the sum total of every person's individual, deliberate acts of citizenship. You join a club. You read a newspaper. You sign a petition. You write a letter. You vote. You make a contribution. You have a friendly argument. If those clubs and newspapers and petitions and letters and votes and contributions and arguments predominantly point in the same direction, that's public will.

Public will is when the right thing to do becomes consensus and people generally start expressing the convictions they share in everything they do.
Want to compare storage products?

So, I don't care if you carry a banner or if you stand near the back. You can yell into a megaphone if you like, or you can listen carefully if that's more your style. You don't need a soap box to be a good citizen. You just need to be part of the public will to make life on this planet a little bit better.

And if I know you at all, I know that you want to be part of it. I also know that you're ready to be, because I know what you've learned here at Whitman.

But let me carry this sense I have about the wisdom that "we are all in this together" a bit further.

I would argue that we are extending the consensus that has led to the dramatic results flowing from the success of the civil-rights movement.

I would advance the belief that we are, at least here in this country and other developed countries, seeing a growing acceptance of the idea that we have an obligation to counteract the fundamental disadvantages that so burden a large part of mankind.

One significant piece of this movement is the growing sentiment for taking steps which provide for all children the ability to begin school prepared to take advantage of that schooling — the Early Learning movement. If the public will develops to succeed in this effort, the impact will be stupendous.

And lest you underestimate the measure of my optimism, let me go on to mention what I see as the global dimensions of the good citizenship I describe.

In the last few years, as I have traveled around on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, I have seen the stirrings of a movement for global equality. I see it in all the attention the foundation is getting. I see it in something like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, a brand-new invention that is spending billions of dollars to save millions of lives. More than anything, I see it when I talk to people and hear what they're concerned about.

And I have begun to perceive that this movement for global equality might just be your civil-rights movement.


How can a world of plenty have a billion hungry people? How can a million infants die of a disease, diarrhea, for which the treatment is Gatorade?

That could be the world-historical problem that you solve through billions of ordinary acts of citizenship.

Dr. King spent his life preaching about this world you are on the verge of creating. He was a preacher because he knew that people needed to keep striving to bring that world into being. He knew that the future he imagined was not ineluctable. It would have to be the product of human effort, your human effort.

"Through our scientific and technological genius," King said, "we have made of this world a neighborhood. And yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools."

There is that axiom again.

Let me note here that many people make the case that global poverty is an economic issue or a national security issue. If we have to make that argument to generate the public will required to fight this inequity, we should do it. But to me this is not primarily an economic issue or a national-security issue; this is a humanitarian issue. People are dying and we can save them — that ought to be enough.

People suffering in poverty are human beings. They are not national-security assets. They are not markets for our exports. They are not allies in the war against terrorism.

They are human beings who have infinite worth in their own right without any reference to us. They have mothers who love them, children who need them and friends who cherish them, and we simply ought to help them.

When I was young there was no Internet. No cable news. I turned my attention to the things I knew, and so did all the people around me. There was zero public interest to think of equality on a worldwide scale.

You are different. You will have to work hard not to learn about the wide world. And when you are aware of people suffering, you will act on their behalf. Privileged people aren't selfish with their privilege. You will display the ethical commitment to make of this world a brotherhood.

So, on your graduation day, let me exhort you to go fishing. Get a massage. Read a novel. I exhort you to find a way to pay the rent. I exhort you to find love. I exhort you to be a learned parent and to wring all the joy you can out of the people you surround yourself with — your friends.

But I leave aside any exhortation to go out and change the world. Because you will change it. Not because I say so, but because you are who you are now -- graduates of Whitman College, possessed of all of the qualities this fine institution has taught you.

Good luck and thank you.

Gates Sr. Address to Whitman 2008 Grads

1.5.08

Mossy goodness saves water!



a carpet of green, uniformly lush and velvety under a canopy of shade trees. Moss.