Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up - Part II

An illumiated letter image from Idle Speculations.

I don't think I should let la Prima see this death map from Buzz Feed. She's having trouble falling asleep at night because she's worried about natural disasters.

The Carnival of Green at Christian Environmentalist.

Uses for former big box retail stores - fill w/ recyclables?? From Treehugger.

From this week's horoscope by Rob Brezsny:

Happy Holy Daze, Pisces! My gift to you is advice about the coming year. First, read this quote from W.H. Auden's book The Dyer's Hand. "A daydream is a meal at which images are eaten. Some of us are gourmets, some gourmands, and a good many take their images precooked out of a can and swallow them down whole, absent-mindedly and with little relish." With this as your touchstone, I urge you to be a gourmet in your approach to daydreaming during 2009. It will be time for you to make your fantasy life into an art form instead of a chaotic, unconscious diversion. If you put more intention into your generation of mental images, you will find yourself better able to create what you really want.
"It's Gettin' Hot in Here!" fight global warming.

Five stories of former slaves via Monte Asbury's blog. Inspiring stories, though it is distressing that we are still fighting the scourge of slavery.

Remembering "Feed the World" at To Miss With Love. Snuffy talks about how there aren't many people of color in the video - not many women either.

An Advent calendar w/Modern gargoyles. Check out the Yuppie Gargoyle. There's even a Darth Vader grotesque!.

Solar tiles are currently available for residential buildings! From Treehugger.

A Sami woman from Finland. NY Public Library has uploaded tons of photos to Flickr.

According to the BBC Vampires no
longer scary
. I'm surprised, as a British news source, that the BBC never mentions their famous (luscious) vampire impersonator, David Bowie, from The Hunger.

Jay's photos of St James the Less clean up day
- a beautiful altar icon of Mary holding baby Jesus and a Lily.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Religious Images and Sex

Big News this week: Playboy Mexico's cover featured María Florencia Onori with a Mary-esque veil over her head, and little else. There has been an uproar over the symbolism. [Read about it here and here and here.] It's always interesting to me when religious imagery shows up in mainstream media. But this is sort of "the mother lode" [I do love a good pun.] I am sure that Playboy (tm) expected an outcry, but they must have also expected a boost in sales. Look, I am giving them some free publicity! [yikes]

But while people are upset about this, using sex to sell magazines is certainly not new - of course not for Playboy specifically - but nor is it new for artists portraying religious themes, especially scenes depicting religious ecstasy, to use sexual imagery. We humans really know a limited range of truly ecstatic feelings, and so, in order to depict what "ecstatics" experienced, I'm not sure we can blame the artist for using the closest available metaphor for the feeling - the orgasm.

UPDATE: I realize that Playboy does not intend this cover to be religious art. The cover is titillating. Mixing two ideas that "shouldn't be mixed" - Sex and Religion. Artists who create religious art, on the other hand, are working to express religious ideas, or retell stories, using images or sounds to describe holy ideas or events. They may be in it for the money, but in my view, there is a HUGE difference between the work of artists, and porno mags. /UPDATE

Bob has a great discussion of sexuality in art on his (fantastic!) blog "Art Blog by Bob." He does an excellent job with religious art, and his discussion of Bernini's St Theresa sculpture is superb. Go and check it out. St Theresa is receiving God's love, like an arrow from Cupid's bow. See more about St Theresa de Avila and her ideas about feeling God's love. Even more provocative in both Bob's and my opinion, is Bernini’s monument to Blessed Ludovica Albertoni (see below). Not only can you see the rapture on her face, but she's reclining in her (death)bed, ready for God's embrace.

I'm not saying Playboy is art, and I don't know what to say about lines being crossed when using sensual or sensuous themes when depicting religious scenes. The artist tries to use images to express ideas, and the images need to be accessible to the viewers to make sense. If the viewers (us) understand the emotion, or physical state being represented in a sensual way, maybe that makes the most sense. I don't want to vulgarize religious art. But I do think that religious art can be accessible in a number of ways.

Food for thought. What do you think?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up - Part I

Photo of San Lazaro celebrants in Cuba, from the BBC.

Here is a fascinating discussion of Richard Ciznik (I'd never heard of him before) who is an Evangelical preacher who might be a great addition to the Obama administration, according to Framing Science, where I found the piece. Very, very interesting comments about the future generation of Evangelical voters, and what it means for us on the left who are also Christian. According to Mike Clawson at Emerging Pensees, Ciznik may be picked up by another org sooner rather than later anyways. Wild. I never knew of the intrigue! Oh the Drahms!

The rock pools of Oz are detailed in a lengthy, in-depth discussion of the rock pools of Australia, as opposed to, say, Madeira on Pruned.

A good discussion of moral ambiguity (and finagling) at work. From BlogHer.

Mercury photo at BAB best photos of 2008.

Baby steps... baby steps - Blackwater out of Iraq!

As part of my very-occasional series on God in Advertising and the implications for Religious Art (see here and here) - Gawker delivers. Here's the ad campaign at Collegiate Church.

Why Bush Will Walk - at UnCensored
. This same thought came to me as I read all about the Middle Ages. I think it was Clovis I who reminded me of Bush II.

One "Carbon Neutral" day...?

I had a facial last night so I could talk with La Prima about her problems with some of her friends. "They're telling secrets." I forgot it starts this early!

Ask Obama to make Breastfeeding a priority. Posted on BlogHer

Aerophant's "a river remembered" post reminds me of my time playing in the stream with Ladybird. It was in her grandfather's pasture. We had the greatest adventures! and another little gem from Aerophant.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekly Blog Round Up

My friend Karen sent me this image of Pharaoh's daughter finding Moses, it's from the Fleischer Art Memorial, here in Philadelphia. It's done in the style of a Madonna, but is of an Old Testament subject.

Interesting. I'll have to go see it in person! Below is another view of Moses in the bull rushes from Idle Speculations for comparison.

Words of wisdom from our trusty Church Administrator about open sourcing one's life. A very good read.

5 suggestions for from boing boing.

Green gingerbread competition for the season.

A Pruned article about re-purposing canals. Is there something other than green-ways that we can do with these things? I think of the canal in my hometown. What memories!

Batgirl wants fair pay!

Chicago sit-in pays off for workers. Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for the workers in this country after all.

I'm still not gonna darken Walmart's door, but if Blogfish says they are helping to stop overfishing, I'll say, good job. On that.

A cute hippo! Love the hippos. Even if they are aggressive and hate humans.

Awesome images of "re-sampled space" from bldgblog.

This weekend will be our family's holiday baking weekend. Unfortunately my flu bug has prevented Lakshmi, Sam and Awesome Godson from coming over. He's still brand-new, and though I approve of sharing, I do not approve of giving the gift of flu to an infant. SO. We will be cooking with just the Grand Forêts present. Our cookie list this year is as follows:

Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mohinder Suresh

OK. So I am totally late to this party, but DAG!

I just started watching Heroes on Netflix, and since I am home sick, have been racing through the end of the first season. Mohinder Suresh is da bomb. [I guess, technically, a number of people think Peter Petrelli is da bomb, but, whatevs.]

I realize that this conversation must have been going on back a couple of years ago when Heroes was fresh.... but ..... [gulp] He. Is. So. Hot. By far the beautifullest man on TV.

Save the world, Mohinder!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Brief Weekly Round Up

Isn't this language map beautiful? Thanks to Book of Joe for the link.

I'm sad to know that Odetta died. I listened to Odetta for the first time with my friend Lenore, freshman year. I miss her. And I'll miss Odetta. What a great voice!

Megan Powell mentioned a Swedish Vampire Movie on her blog. Sounds good!

Here's a Google book about Vegetable gardening during WWI. Perhaps we should take note in these dire times. I think I found this link at Boing Boing, but I can't remember. My bad.

Pure Awesomeness from the Fug Report.

My new favorite movie is Slumdog Millionaire. You gotta see it!

As always, I love Idle Speculations for the BEAUTIFUL religious Art. I don't know how Terry does it, week after week. But wow! My favorite Religious Art blog out there. Now I want to visit this church (La chapelle de la Vierge, Cathédrale de Saint-Louis, Poitou-Charentes La Rochelle). Go to the blog to see more!

And, in closing, I'm sorry I missed this before Thanksgiving day, but how awesome is it to see WKRP again? I ask you. Thanks to BlogHer for the link to Hulu.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brief Round Up - Happy Thanksgiving!

An excellent image of my favorite female saint, Mary Magdalene, from Idle Speculations.

"I'm not One of Those Christians," one more reason you gotta love the Onion.

And in case you missed it, the spontaneous Obama love in West Philly the night of the election.

Josiah and I got to meet the Finnish Flyers last night, including Ossi Vaananen (he's so cute!). The Finnish Ambassador was there, AND the Flyers won! So cool!

Hallelujah! Obama might nix Daylight Savings Time!!! Wohoo!

Green house design via Huff Po

Linguistic diversity matters just as much as biodiversity.

A great idea! Solar panels on cemetery in Spain.

So, in the spirit of thanksgiving, I will say, thank you for reading, and visiting my blog. And thank you, God, for all the blessings of this life. I'll share my favorite (easy to remember!) table grace with you all:

God is Great
God is Good
Let us Thank God for our food, Amen.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up

Apparently, this is the correct video of Angie and Neil at the Flaming Lips' Halloween Parade of a 1,000 flaming skeletons. Look at the 17 seconds marker for Angie and Neil turning around to look. I guess there was awesome music coming from behind them.

Obama on food policy from Boing Boing.

Finnish landscape from Villipiha.

"One Nation, Under Cupcakes" good job Philly!

An overheard dream about Abe Lincoln from Heading East.

Michelle O. in the fab red dress from Huff Po.

Hipsters no more? because of Obama? A treatise on the hipster scene and why to not diss those who work(ed) for Obama, from Gawker. Original source here.

Rebooting computing from Kimberly Blessing. I'm so into usability. Could be interesting to go, but not sure I'm hands-on enough. My cuz is though.

Spooky Polish forest. I'd love to check out this part of the world, in nice weather. Thanks to Vrbovan Blog for the image.

Obama family's secret service names - love them! From Huff Po.

Bush snubbed. wow. it's sorta hard to watch, and realize how much the rest of the world disliked this guy.

And finally, the Dot Earth readers' "10 Earthly Ideas on a Budget" - suggestions for Obama to consider for a greener US. Excellent. I especially love # 10, the idea of a Victory Garden at the White House. Aparently, Eleanor Roosevelt planted one, back in the day.

Advent is Coming!

My good friend posted this Advent Conspiracy video to Facebook and I can't say enough good things about it. Think about it. Advent is my second favorite "season" in the church calendar, after Lent. This is such a great idea. I think we'll be making a Jesse Tree at home this year.

Conspire with me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

So Cute!

Have I ever mentioned how much I love hippos? Pygmy, regular, you name it! They are my favorite animals. Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.

Also, check out the cool under-water Hippo cam at the Toledo (OH) Zoo! Sometimes the link takes a while to work, or doesn't transmit. But be patient. The payoff is huge! ;)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans' Day

It's Veterans' Day here in the States. Armistice day elsewhere, or as I've come to think of it, "Poppy Day".

War is horrifying. I think we can all agree on that. Here's a great slide show of WWI. Which reminds me of the source of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy all over again.

I just finished A Thread of Grace, by Mary Doria Russell, about the horrors of another war - WWII and how regular people made a way through, and in some cases, did the right thing. It's about the Italian resistance and the Jews who fled to Italy from all over Europe looking for a safe place. I read it with my book club and we all loved it.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Google Analytics (tm) is an amazing thing.

On October 20th, 2008, a visitor to my blog found it by using the search term, "meek blessed blog radical".

There's a poem in there somewhere. Thank you, visitor. You are welcome to come back for another visit, any time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Weekly Round Up

My mind is still blown. Do I need a Safety Guide? Well, thanks anyways, Huffington Post.

See, world? "We're not Retarded" from 23/6.

What do I do with my spare time, now that I'm not campaigning for Obama, or nervously checking the polls??? Again, from 23/6.

This is what I did it for. So awesome that this sea CHANGE is up & running so quickly!
New York is instituting a plastic bag tax. It worked in Ireland!

And finally, who'd a thunk, but I can actually AGREE with David Brooks!?! Yikes! But he's just re-hashing my favorite pop-cultural/historical theory about inter-generational dynamics!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reaction to Obama's Win

So, I leaned out the window last night and listened to the cars honk, people scream and cheer! I whooped and hollered. And lacking a cowbell, beat a pan with a wooden spoon! The trolley went by blasting it's horn all the way down the street. It was awesome.

The photos shows what the West Philly Obama Canvassing office looked like last night. Woo Hoo! From the Huffington Post.

World reaction has been awesome too! I am so happy, and proud to be an American. And, plus, it's nice to have the world think we, as a people, are actually OK!

WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Pennsylvania came through!

Woo Hoo!

I've heard screaming and cow bells out my window. I was screaming for joy. And the trolley rolled by honking all the way! Yay Obama! We love you!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Day Survival Tools - GO VOTE!

One way to make it through Election night: watch the map -

PLUS - some info if you need it:

Election 2008 Voting Information

Today, November 4th, is Election Day! Remember to vote—not just for Barack Obama, but for Congressional, state, and local candidates as well.
Where and when do I vote?

Find your polling place, voting times, and other important information by checking out these sites and the hotline below. These resources are good, but not perfect. To be doubly sure, you can also contact your local elections office.

* Obama's VoteForChange site:
* League of Women Voters' site:
* Obama's voter hotline: 877-US4-OBAMA (877-874-6226)

What should I do before I go?

* After you've entered your address on either Vote For Change or Vote411, read the voting instructions and special rules for your state.
* Voting ID laws vary from state to state, but if you have ID, bring it.
* Check out all the voting myths and misinformation to look out for:

What if something goes wrong?

* Not on the voter list? Make sure you're at the right polling place, then demand a provisional ballot.
* If you're voting on an electronic machine with a paper record, verify that the record is accurate.
* Need legal help? Call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.
* Try to get video of the problem and submit it to

Want to do more?

* Text all of your friends: "Vote Obama today! Pass it on!"
* Volunteer at your local Obama office. Find an office here or here.

Now everybody go vote!!!

There's an article in the NYT about Angie's polling place - Prospect Heights. We're doing this, people.

And back here in Philly, last night, Jimmy Rollins was stumping for Obama-Biden, check it out:

And then from Gawker, we have a great election/fashion themed article, complete with video from the interview (click through). Pants up? There's HOPE! "Youth to Pull Up Pants for Obama!
Barack Obama did an interview with yesterday with Sway, MTV's official friendly ambassador from the land of hip hop. A viewer asked him about towns that try to pass laws banning baggy pants. First Obama said those laws are a "waste of time." But then he added, "brothers should pull up your pants!" Is Barack Obama a fashion icon, or your grumpy old dad—or is he both?!?! [UPDATE: Clip of the interview here]:

Haloween in Oklahoma

Angie and Neil are in there somewhere!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up

WAY TO GO PHILLIES!!!!! World Series Champs!

Water rights, and the Atlas of Hidden water, from bldgblog.

How to get through the next few days w/out losing my mind from 23/6.

Whoa. Sarah Palin's nightmare has already arrived under Bush, from Boing Boing.

And Emerging Pensees sums up my feelings about the stock market/mortgage dominance from the past few years:
I also especially liked Zachary Karabell's article about the end of the "ownership society", which reminds us that homeownership alone will not create a healthier society - we also have to make sure we're protecting workers. For instance, he says:

In the United States, the shift away from corporate pensions to 401(k) Individual Retirement Accounts plunged millions more into the equity markets and loosened the traditional connection between companies and workers, which was one element of that 1950s dream that conservatives such as Bush conveniently forgot. The ownership society of the 1950s was anchored by a labor movement that made sure that workers received something resembling their share—remember Truman's Fair Deal? The deal for the past eight years has been fair to merchants of capital, and then some, but to the tens of millions on the receiving rather than originating end of those mortgages, fairness has been in short supply.
"Incursions" into Syria. This isn't good. From the CSM. Is this the October Surprise?

BEAUTIFUL paintings of Native Americans, from Art Blog by Bob.

Sarah Palin's use of language painting a dangerous portrait of Obama that is just plain WRONG, from Boing Boing.

A GREAT New Yorker article about the differing views of pre-marital sex between "red staters and blue staters."

Gotta love David Sedaris on the "Undecideds," again, from the New Yorker.

This chaplain article, from the NYT, along with my recent experience with my grandmother in the nursing home, is increasing my interest in becoming a chaplain. I have more investigating to do.

Sam the Scab's comments on Obama's support of Israel, and SURPRISE, a Fox "News" reporter doing the right thing! from the Huffington Post.

Colin Powell busts a move. How did I miss this??

Thursday, October 30, 2008

YAY Phillies! FINALLY!

Way to go, Phillies! We love you. Josiah is going to the parade!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Video the Vote

Monday, October 27, 2008

Change, that's Wassup!

I canvassed and phone banked this weekend. Plan to do it next weekend too. Can you help me? If you want to join me, leave me a comment!

P.S. Here's the original ad video if you need a refresher.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up

Here are some beautiful photos of small African American churches - "cathedrals" in Chicago, by photographer Dave Jordano. Found on Pruned.

A NYT article in the travel section about staying in monasteries in Europe.

"Yes We Carve" Pumpkins for Obama on youtube.

And in the "big picture," a discussion of the visual impact over course of election of Obama posters & design.

"Let them eat cup cake(s)!" - Kirsten Dunst with a cupcake from the fabulous Sofia Coppola film, Marie Antoinette. I loved that she used 80's music to set many of the scenes. Somehow they worked perfectly. Photo from Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Maureen Dowd on Powell's endorsement of Obama, Muslims in America, and I can't believe I agree with her.

Greenspan recants. Great. What a jerk. This is just like McNamara book finally admitting the mistakes made in Vietnam.

Obama votive candle

A new (to me) goddess site.

A hilarious piece from Larry David about how tough to wait out election from HuffPo.

And as a counterpoint to Larry David, I leave you with a note from my guy, Rob Brezsny on how to get through this election:

Dear Readers,

Before the last U.S. presidential election in 2004, What Is Enlightenment? magazine posed the following query to five religious leaders: "Many people argue that the upcoming presidential election is the most important in our lifetime. Do you agree?"

Four of the respondents said, in effect, "Yes, because George Bush is bad for America and the world."

But the fifth religious leader, Zen Buddhist Jan Chozen Roshi, replied, "I don't know. Our existence is so short, it's like a dust mote in the eye of God. To say that the time in which my dust mote existed was the most important is a self-centered view."

Roshi's wisdom reminded me of an anecdote told by Henry Kissinger, an American politician who was Secretary of State in the 1970s. Kissinger once asked Chinese premier Zhou Enlai what he thought of the French Revolution, which had happened two centuries earlier. "Too soon to tell," Chou answered.

I always like to keep these ideas in mind, even in times of relative peace and calm. But I'm especially fond of focusing on the very big picture when divine chaos is whirling around -- like now. It helps keep me humble, and discourages me from any temptation I might have to believe I know the Whole Truth about anything, let alone about the mysterious long-term processes at work in the evolution of the human race.

There's another factor that makes me cautious about getting embroiled in partisan politics and the narrow-minded hostility that fuels it. One of my main goals in life is to love everyone with passionate intensity -- no exceptions. Not just the people I find beautiful and helpful and interesting and attractive. But also the people I don't like and the people who don't like me and the people I disagree with and the people who can't or won't do anything for me.

In order to become the gorgeous genius I aspire to be, in order to fulfill the unique destiny I came to Earth to embody, I have to hold EVERYONE in my heart with compassion and empathy. As I contemplate how every single part of creation is interconnected, I've got to be aware that the creatures I'm allergic to and inclined to feel alienated from are also part of the great web of life.

That's my spiritual goal; it's essential to awakening my best self and cultivating a connection to Spirit. It's also my selfish goal; it's critical to my physical and mental health. Hatred always sickens me. Love always invigorates me.

Icon of Christ Sophia, by Robert Lentz, from Trinity Stores

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Facebook & my "French Brother"

So, something happened on Facebook this week that has me re-living and re-thinking my time in Nantes. I found my "French brother" on Facebook - one of the siblings in the family I stayed with in France during my year in Nantes - and "friended" him. [As I told my neighbor, Ed, I only use my web-sleuthing/stalking powers for GOOD!]

Anyways, he accepted me as a friend. Then yesterday, I went to look for him, and my French sister, and another brother, who I really wanted to catch up with, and he had blocked me. And the sister, I think, has blocked me too. It makes me sad. I really liked her, and the brother I haven't been able to connect with, named after my favorite saint, I haven't been able to connect with. I miss him and think about him often. He was my age, still lived at home, gave me tips on how to deal with faculty and exams at the Université de Nantes and generally put up with non-stop harassment from his siblings.

As an American visitor, it was a strange family. They had an aristocratic family name, and lived in a huge apartment in the centre ville. They had a 3 foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary in the hallway, similar to the one above, but with a big "Sacred Heart" and a light shining on it at all times - I'll get back to this point in a moment. They are Monarchists, and know about a distant Bourbon relation of the Louis-Philippe who could come back and sit on the throne in France at a moment's notice. And Monsieur believes that slavery in America was a good thing for African-Americans because that's how they learned to read. "Would any of them move back to Africa now?" he would ask me.

I had talked to myself, in moments of panic before leaving home and starting on this adventure, through my anxieties by asking, "What's the worst that can happen?" I decided the worst thing would be to be placed with a family where there was sexual or physical abuse going on. "What's the second worst thing?" I continued with myself..... "to be stuck with an ultra-conservative family." Well, my worst fear did not come to fruition. My second-worst did.

But, I also learned a LOT from this family. I learned that the French don't handle the American way of emoting. They don't like "working through emotions" with crying and the desire for comforting in the form of hugs. Instead, they try to "build up character and emotional strength" through repeated pronouncements to "snap out of it!" I learned that there are still people who believe that getting a blessing from a priest, or getting demons cast out, can really make a sick person healthy again. [I had a cold that lasted for pretty much 3 months because I refused to stop smoking. Camel Lights, at that! If I had switched to a French brand I could have at least saved some money! Once I quit smoking, the cold went away. Imagine that!] I realized the fluidity of the French language. If you were a frequent visitor to Le Bar Marlowe, you could say, "On va Marlotier." Amazing, right!?

Most importantly, because I was surrounded by it, I came to appreciate Religious Art. I was raised in a "low church" family, and had attended a New England Episcopal church with minimal stained glass or other decoration. Walking past this statue every time I went to the bathroom, or to the kitchen for breakfast, made the presence of the Virgin Mary real in my life. Her image was there every single day. Of course, being in France, and traveling around Europe, also gave me an appreciation for religious art in situ. I mean, you just can't avoid Christian images there. Impossible. I am grateful for that immersion. And to live with people who believed in the power of these saints (they were not idol-worshipers, don't get me wrong) was eye-opening.

When I got back to college, I did my anthropology thesis on an Armenian Catholic church community. I chose it, in part, because of the icon of Mary that is over the altar of the church. It just felt right for me to be there - sort of like home.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekly Blog Round-Up

In case you live under a rock, or NOT in Philadelphia, the Phillies are going to the World Series! Yay Phils! We love you!

Here's an open letter to incoming President on US food policy by Michael Pollan (9 pages!). It's long, but so important!

Just watched Shanghai Noon again last night. I hope Owen Wilson is feeling better. He is such a great comedian. In a related vein, I also hope Heather Locklear feels better too. All in all, depression SUCKS.

More great religious art at Idle Speculations. Thanks, Terry!

Check out this rolling ball of fish - it's a new concept in fish farming and looks pretty cool too

How cool is your congregation?? You could win $5,000!

Sarah Palin's White House. Better with sound ON.

Finally - calling fear-mongering by its name!

Amazing - and creepy photo of McCain that has made the rounds.

A million photos of British Isles. Found on Boing Boing.

A v. moving post about what we are voting for - right on! - from Sirens Chronicles.

Joe.My.God linked to this NYT story, and commented that as a kid he wished he could have gone on the QE2. As a kid, I DID go on the it, and maybe it was because I was 6, and too young to appreciate it, but, the experience was lost on me. There really wasn't anything for kids to do. The funnest part for me and my sister was to press the steward/stewardess buzzers when my parents went out to dinner at night. By the time they got back, all the stews were hanging out in our room. Angie was freaked out by the porthole.

I love Aboriginal Art.

And have I mentioned how much I ALSO love, Rob Brezsny?? My horoscope this week:

In medieval Europe, more resources and human ingenuity were lavished upon cathedrals and churches than on any other buildings. In the last hundred years, the emphasis has been different, having switched to the towering structures that house institutions dedicated to commerce. By that measure, Money is a far more important God than God. During the next few weeks, Pisces, I invite you to buck the modern trend. As an experiment, see if you can devote at least one more percent of your energy and intelligence to matters of the spirit and soul than to the demands of the material realm. I suspect you'll find, ironically, that this will lead to an increase of your mastery over the material realm.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sally's weekly blog round-up

Now, right up front I want to say that I don't think of Obama as the Messiah, or anything. But I do feel that Obama's heart is in the right place. And I think Obama's idea of living Jesus' teachings is much more in line with my own.
I do feel that this image is politicizing Jesus' image, which has been going on since before the Crusades. But, it does make you think for a minute, right? Powerful? maybe. Provocative? I say yes.

Here's another discussion of the political sphere pandering to a non-existent "down-home" crowd, when the majority of Americans live in cities. Some good points made in the same vein as the bldgblog posts, below.

As remarked upon elsewhere, boing boing directed me to the Sad Guys on Trading Floors. Nice.

Flood insurance reform - not a sexy topic, but something that needs to happen in the age of sprawl, from American Rivers blog.

Slam dunk commentary from Tom Friedman - I still don't forgive him for agreeing w/Bush about going into Iraq. But with this piece he is inching back into my good graces. Maybe.

US Debt Clock runs out of digits. What more can I say?

Check out the awesome Goreme Cave Churches (may still be featured to the right on the Sacred Destinations widget)! I would REALLY love to go there one day.

The EPA discards input from the open comment period on it's climate strategy paper and wastes everybody's time, including the American Rivers org. Bastards.

At least Europe votes to ban dirty coal. From Bellona.

Mexican Obama vernacular on TextMex.

The Palins' Un-American activites, sponsored by Iran, in Salon.

The call for Urban candidates from bldgblog. This has been a theme at bldgblog all week. Now this is an idea I can get behind.

Bible as glossy mag: a Swedish advertising executive's project found on boing boing. Too bad I couldn't see more of the actual product to see how they represent the different texts!

Terry at Idle Speculation posted beautiful illuminated images WOW!

My horoscope this week from Rob Brezsny is right on target, as per usual:
In her poem "Pure," Kate Knapp Johnson speaks of "those who made me real to myself." I invite you, Pisces, to take an inventory of the people in your life who've made you real to yourself. That would be excellent homework for you to do during the phase of intensified intimacy you're now in -- a time when your allies are making even you even more real to yourself than you've ever been, as well as a time when you will be returning the favor to them.

This red and white church is another of the Goreme Cave Churches. Amazing, right?

Saturday Night's Flyers' Game

So, what should the Flyers fans do? Answer the poll (on the right) and tell me what you think!

This is making lots of news here in Philly, and pretty much everyone agrees it's a dicey proposition on the part of her campaign. We'll see. I mean, we are the "Home of the Boo-Birds!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Scary Thoughts

Just before I went to bed last night, Josiah said, "Just you watch, 2 weeks before the election Bush is going to attack Iran. And then everybody will flock to McCain. Obama's doing well in the polls, McCain's losing on the economy and they're getting desperate. Israel's already planned it. And Europe already knows, that's why they pulled all their troops out." Thanks, J. Really. I couldn't sleep at all last night worrying about it. Josiah does this a lot, but usually it's about personal finances.

But this time, while I AM also worried about our personal finances, I do worry that Bush will do something to ensure the Republicans stay in power. I don't trust him AT ALL. And then I read on Boing Boing that Congresspeople were told that martial law might have been imposed in the "bailout" wasn't passed. YIKES!

Or that terrorists/Bush are planning an "October Surprise" - JoeMyGod sees the evidence on Lincoln Tunnel. The sky today is the same beautiful blue it was on 9/11, which now always gives me pause.


P.S. Neighbor, Ed, an Islamic Law professor at an Ivy League university, says that my fears are unfounded, scary, and just part of a "politicized electorate's demonization of the other." He says this kind of thinking surfaces every few years (which a brief Google search confirms). He says both sides of this election are firmly committed to democracy. I said I had my doubts, but that it is nice to see idealism in someone who's ideas I generally value, though do not always agree with. It made me feel better to talk to him.