Monday, April 28, 2008

Cruz de la Pasion de Cristo

I saw this on Mexico Cooks and had to share. It's just the kind of symbolism that excites me.

The cruz de la pasión de Cristo is made entirely of symbols of the Crucifixion. In the photo above (click on it to enlarge it), you can see:

* the dove at the top of the cross, which represents peace and the Holy Spirit
* pliers, used to remove the nails from Christ's hands and feet after his death
* the moon, representing the darkness that fell as Christ died
* the sun, representing the passage of the day and its events
* the rooster, which crowed after Peter denied Christ for the third time
* the crown, representing divine light
* the ladder, used to lower Christ's body from the cross
* the butterfly, representing both Eve and the hope of the Resurrection
* the snake, symbol of evil and seduction
* the heart, symbol of Christ's love, pity, and virtue
* the spear used to pierce Christ's body
* palm fronds, remembering Palm Sunday
* the scales of justice, representing the Last Judgment
In other pictorial splendor, we have the work of Daniel Dociu, as seen on bldgblog. Wow. Mind-blowingly amazing art. Right? Brings the plight of our oceans and rivers into pretty clear focus. Speaking of which, last week, American Rivers, launched their America's Most Endangered Rivers campaign. You can send an e-card and enter to win an ipod. Or other fabulous prizes. Doesn't this image on the right just hit home though? You can see more of this Daniel Dociu's fabulous work at bldgblog.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

PA Primary Let Down

Hasta Noviembre, Guapo. I am pretty bummed that Obama didn't take Pennsylvania. Here I am in my fantasy land that I thought he would carry the whole state. That's how it felt in Philly. There were thousands of signs all over my neighborhood. Even the kids were fired up!

Well, I guess we'll have November..... right?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Arrrgh - Allergies!

Either everyone around me is sick, or we're all having huge reactions to allergies. Either way, it sucks.

I have finally caved in and got on board with the Neti pot. Scoff all you want. I did. But now I feel a tad better. Something had to give!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Movie Round-Up

Josiah and I watched The Professionals. It was good. Not the best Western I've ever seen, but really good. I recognized Jack Palance way before Josiah did. And Woody Strode! He was also in The Last Voyage!

Angie and I love The Last Voyage. It used to come on (it seemed like) every rainy Saturday afternoon of our childhood. We would see the ship with the huge smokestacks at the beginning and settle in for an hour and a half of water and "acetylene tank" discussions. What a great flick. The don't make 'em like that anymore!

The Professionals also includes the fantastic Burt "From Here to Eternity" Lancaster, who was in one of my other favorite movies: Local Hero. It's a nice, quiet Bill Forsyth movie about Scotland and oil exploration, and the stars. Beautiful.

Enjoy the day, all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Life Paths

I guess today I'm thinking about paths...

It started w/the bldgblog post about ancient roads. I used to love looking for and finding Roman Roads when my family lived in Britain. We would be out driving and my dad the Classics professor would point them out. That and the square field divisions on the Welsh hillsides. Those Romans sure were organized. Brutal, and organized.

And then the "free range kids" idea has been bumping around for a little while now. But I guess the New York Sun columnist decided to start a blog based on all the response she's received on her piece. I say she's definitely on to something!

And finally, leesee at Hasta Los Gatos Quieren Zapatos was blown away by "Meeting David Wilson" - and she wasn't alone. It sounds like this show is similar to the PBS documentary on African American genealogy called, African American Lives (Parts 1 and 2). I caught Part 1 last year, and missed Part 2 when it was on in February. I'm hoping it comes out on Netflix soon!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Inspiring Torch Story

I just read this inspiring Olympic Torch story at and had to share. Have a great weekend, all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mmmmm Butterscotch Krimpets!

Check it out! Barack Obama likes Butterscotch Krimpets too!!!

It's funny, those Cupcake gals up in NYC call them cupcakes. Close....

Afghan Women

I put the women's health donation widget on my blog after reading the blog post on BlogHer about Afghan women and the substandard health care they receive. I had first read about this issue in A Thousand Splendid Suns. The harrowing description of one of the characters' deliveries was truly horrifying. Anything we can do to help these women, families and the Afghan society is worthwhile.

I wasn't the world's biggest fan of the book. I thought it was written for me, and not really in the "true voice" of an Afghan woman. I wished there was a real Afghan woman who could tell her own tale and achieve the acclaim and broad appeal that Khaled Hosseini, a man who has lived in the US for the past 20 or so years, has attained. But I guess, through his work, people like me know the plight of the Afghans.

Speaking of Afghanistan, I have read, and agree, that the image of the young Afghan woman from the cover of National Geographic (back in 1983) MUST have been the inspiration for Robert Lentz' icon of Mary Magdalene. They are visually too similar to be a coincidence. And the photograph stays with you... through the years... just like the icon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pow! Bam! Holy Epiphanies, Batman!

As you can probably tell, I dig Aquaman. Posting about him yesterday made the revelation of comic book heroes' religions even more relevant.

I don't know why I never thought of this before, but thanks to Terry at Idle Speculations for blogging about comic book religions. I really had no idea. But, right, why wouldn't our comic book heroes and heroines have religious affiliations?! They're just like us but moreso.....

So, of course I checked out who is Episcopalian, or Anglican... and here's a partial list:

Invisible Woman
Jean Grey
Saturn Girl
Warren Worthington III

Seems like the Marvel Universe tends more toward the "main line" churches than DC, but there's plenty of representation to go around. Or maybe it's just that Marvel mentions the religion of their characters. When I checked out the FAQ,I realized that the blogger knows a lot about the world's religions, and has done lots of research on this topic.

And my questions about the "main line" affiliations got answered there too:
Are Nearly All Major Superheroes Episcopalian?
From: "At DC Comics, Diversity Is No Laughing Matter", published on website, 1 November 2001

"The original creators of comics, 60 or 70 years ago, were almost all Jewish and Italian kids from various parts of New York," notes DC Comics Executive Vice President and Publisher Paul Levitz. "And the characters they created were pseudo-whitebread Episcopalian. It was almost de rigueur back then to paint people in this idealized American image."

Stan Lee and the Religion Taboo
From: Radford, Bill, "Holy Superhero! Comic books increasingly making reference to faith", published in Colorado Springs Gazette, 6 May 2006:

In the foreword to The Gospel According to Superheroes, a book examining superheroes and religion, legendary comic-book writer and editor Stan Lee says he always scrupulously avoided any mention of specific religions in his stories. "I thought of myself as an 'equal opportunity writer,'" he says.

...When comic books first appeared in the late '30s, "America was supposed to be a melting pot," [Douglas] Rushkoff says. "That was our cultural metaphor. Religion and ethnicity were supposed to be subordinate to our role as Americans. I think now we're much more in a multicultural phase where people are trying to discover their roots."
It's interesting. I've never really considered comix as a form of religious art, perhaps more often mini-morality plays, but the heroes' spirituality or morality definitely comes through in the books. I guess since they're constantly battling evil, they need to draw on something to get through their days.

Food for thought.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Green News

So, here's a brief round-up of Green News. Or at least, news to me!

I'm definitely going to plant some fiddlehead ferns this year so I can eat them next year. My garden an always use more ferns!

Apparently, "Virgin Atlantic thinks it can green commercial aviation with biofuels:"

When a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 took off for a 40-minute flight from London to Amsterdam Feb. 24, it represented an aviation breakthrough. For the first time a commercial airliner took aloft on other than fossil fuels. One of the plane's four engines was fired on a 20 percent biojet fuel blend. The aim of the test flight was to explore how a biofuel performs in high altitude cold temperatures...

The next test aims to validate sustainability. When the Air New Zealand test takes place, it will be with a second generation feedstock. Of the possibilities, two are worth noting: algae and jatropha. Both grow on non-agricultural land. Algae can employ saline water, and jatropha grows in dry conditions on degraded lands, in fact helping accumulate carbon in the soil. There are solid indications that biojet from jatropha or algae could provide massive amounts of fuel, and at costs lower than petroleum-based jet fuel.

Boeing's own presentation on alternative fuels shows that land use issues are part of the sustainable biojet program's DNA. "If the world airline fleet used 100% biojet fuel from soybeans, it would require 322 billion litres," the presentation says. At 560 liters of oil per hectare that would require 5,750 million square kilometers, about the size of Europe. But algae could produce up to 94,000 liters per acre, shrinking land requirements to 35,000 square kilometers, about a Belgium's worth of land.
From: BoingBoing. Great news, right!?

Know I find out that it's not just Aquaman who can talk to the whales! Yes, thanks to the Massachusetts Bay buoy network. It's a system of listening buoys that hear highly endangered right whales and tell big ships when to slow down. It's a real-time "whale zone" sign, designed to work like school crossing signs that get people to slow down when kids are bursting out of schools. I found this out on Blogfish.

And then this article, also from BoingBoing, about a new documentary about the world's water crisis. I'll have to check it out!

I've just watched Irena Salina's incredible, infuriating documentary FLOW: For Love of Water, a film about the often-invisible and underreported global water crisis. Ranging from widespread US contamination to the tragedy of developing nations who are forced by the World Bank to sell their water companies like Vivendi, Suez and Thames, who get sweetheart deals to offer substandard, overpriced monopoly water service, at terrible cost to human life.

Global water profiteering is at the center of a global healthcare crisis that kills more people than AIDS or malaria. The film shows the grim reality of water in Asia, Africa, South and Central America, and the USA. The mortality is awful, and not just from bad water or no water -- also from police forces in states like Bolivia who go to war against people whose water supply has been sold to foreign multinationals who are reaping windfall profits while they die.

In the US and Europe, the bottled water industry pulls in billions to sell products that are more contaminated and toxic than what comes out of the tap. The result is a gigantic mountain of empty plastic bottles that toxify the environment -- and three times more money spent on bottled water than it would take to solve the world's real water crisis. The companies like Nestle that pump out our aquifers use private investigators to harass people who sign petitions to stop them from pumping.

But it's not all doom and gloom -- low-cost, sustainable purification technologies like ultraviolet water-health run by village cooperatives can make dramatic development differences for the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world, who are able to maintain their own systems without foreign involvement. Local activists all over the world and fighting back and winning public, non-profit ownership of their waterworks.

The companies that control our water control our lives. Without us even noticing it, we've handed the planet's destiny to a few companies with a plan to line their pockets by holding our survival hostage.

Flow is seeking signatures for a petition to the UN: "Article 31: Everyone has the right to clean and accessible water, adequate for the health and well-being of the individual and family, and no one shall be deprived of such access or quality of water due to individual economic circumstance."

FLOW is on the festival circuit -- if you get the chance, see this film.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Creepy news from BlogHer about abortion stop word on USG funded article database. It's not surprising or unexpected that Bush's administration would try to block the free flow of information. But it is chilling news. Next time you see a librarian, thank them for their service on the information front lines. It's too bad it's come to this, but there it is. They're fighting the good fight for us day and day out. Thank you!

And more on the ignorance front, our friends and allies are uneasy about it too! Read on at Justin Webb's blog on the BBC.

I won't exactly call Numerology ignorance, but check it out on Zooillogix:
Well, according to, "If ten is the number which marks the perfection of Divine order, then eleven is an addition to it, subversive of and undoing that order. If twelve is the number which marks the perfection of Divine government, then eleven falls short of it. So that whether we regard it as being 10 + 1, or 12 - 1, it is the number which marks, disorder, disorganization, imperfection, and disintegration." We hope to live up to the prophecy.
AND the BBC! Apparently numerology's not just for séances anymore! It's just reminds me of "This is Spinal Tap" with the whole "It goes up to 11!" thing.

Friday, April 4, 2008

BSG Addiction - What the Frak?

Well, we started watching Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica last night. Boy is it grim. AWESOME, but grim. Things are not going well on New Caprica, let me tell you.

And then Salon has a whole recap in preparation for the start of Season 4 tonight. We always get stuck in this timing thing between the release of the dvd and the start of the new season. But that's ok for Josiah & me. We'll just be behind. We have been all the way along!

It's hard to imagine that season 4 is it. But, it's been an incredible show. And the equal-opportunity eye candy is always MUCH appreciated.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today It's All About the Water

I always dig my horoscope when written by Rob Brezsny - check it out:
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20):
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson told The Washington Post the following fun facts: "There are more molecules of water in a cup of water than cups of water in all the world's oceans. This means that some molecules in every cup of water you drink passed through the kidneys of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Abe Lincoln, or any other historical person of your choosing." Your assignment this week, Pisces, is to choose three heroes you'd most like to be influenced and inspired by. Every time you drink water, be conscious of the fact that some of it was once inside the bodies of those exceptional people. Say a prayer that their mojo will become available to you.
This lovely gem was preceded by notes about famous people who have eschewed extra money:
Multimillionaire pop star George Michael has decided to give away his music for free, posting it on the Internet for anyone to download. "I've been very well remunerated for my talents over the years," he told BBC, "so I really don't need the public's money."
So unlike our filthy Fossil Fools! Maybe I'll catch some of THIS George's mojo.... [have I mentioned before that I {heart} George? Take That, Sam!]

But anyway, it got me to thinking about water. And where it comes and goes... And then this article was out there on Blogfish: That there's a chance that some rivers and streams can handle nitrogen run-off and rebound. At least, it's POSSIBLE. They can clean themselves up.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Green Round Up - no April Fools

It's all about the environment for me today. And that's no April Fools. Lots of stuff out there on the interwebs to round up:

First, WE launched its website and campaign yesterday, and so, that's something to check out. I take issue w/the baby-boomer-focused-ness of their video, but that's my hang-up, and doesn't stop me supporting the cause. Let's hope they can get some momentum going with this climate crisis thing.

The NYT tells us on its dotearth blog that solar power really is the future. For real. Like this is news?? But whatever, it's good that this idea is getting some play in mainstream media. I mean, I think I remember President Carter talking about the benefits of solar power, back in the day. But YES, let's move FORWARD with solar. Totes!

In honor of April Fools Day, It's Getting Hot in Here announced the Fossil Fool of the Year award.

Apparently, if you shock plants, they will produce chemicals. A practice that could bring us lots of power or medicinal advances. Interesting!

Interfaith Power and Light reminds the Christians in the room why it's not an option to be an environmentalist, especially at Easter. We can't wait. The time is now. From Sirens Chronicles:
Of course, the epitome of revolutionary consciousness was Jesus Christ. Now, there's a guy who stirred a nation (actually nation after nation) to action. He woke up minds, got people asking questions, shook up the status quo. He did this not by force, but by personality. Very, very scary concept to those who despise inspection and crave hierarchy.
And, finally, the Quote of The Week from Framing Science:
From E.O. Wilson's appearance last year on PBS Bill Moyers talking about the common moral obligation among atheists and evangelicals to take collective action on the environment:
Let us-- in the service of a transcendent moral obligation and concern put aside our differences for the time being and not fuss with each other over evolution. In other words where it all came from. Let us agree looking at the evidence that is disappearing. And let us, dare I use the word, gather at the river.

Come together on common ground where we can exercise the extraordinary power we have jointly. And I argue and few people disagreed with me that science and religion are the two most powerful social forces in the world. Having them at odds at each other all the way up to the highest levels of government and-- the popular media all the time is not productive.

Have a great day out there!

Top 5 Spiritual Movies Meme

I just found this meme-ette at BlogHer, which I figured I'd do, and all, I thought I'd share the love! So, here goes: the top 5 movies that have inspired me spiritually, enjoy:

Top 5 movies that inspired you spiritually?

The Last Temptation of Christ - I saw this movie when I was in a pretty non-Christian phase of my life. As in, I didn't call myself a Christian. I was v. upset about the whole "Jesus' death conquers Death" idea and thought that Christians were using an elaborate theology to evade the realness of death. That (they) were focusing solely on the afterlife ("heaven") instead of trying to make life better here on Earth. So, to watch (even!) Jesus struggle, the way that humans do, daily, with temptation, and understanding the "Higher Power's" plan, made sense to me. The story goes that Jesus is BOTH human and divine, and is tempted, sorely tempted, by the devil. That comes across, loud and clear. As does Jesus' compassion for the sick and the poor. The film made me realize that Christianity could be something I could get behind and maybe actually believe in.
Mists of Avalon - I had read the book in high school and liked it. But in the film, the last scene where Morgaine sees the statue of Mary in the convent sealed the deal for me. As with the next film, resilience is a v. human trait that I admire above pretty much all others.
Latcho Drom - Again, resilience. People, including the gypsies, it turns out, survive through all sorts of things, and sometimes, come through the other side with grace and art that surpasses all expectations. The music in this film stays with me, and I listen to it a lot. The similarities of styles. The emotion of the songs is amazing.
Elizabeth - I hate to admit it, but I didn't know much about this period of British history until I saw this movie. I know, I know. But it was through this that I got sucked in. I saw this and realized that the old Book of Common Prayer is actually based on something! It may not have actually achieved all it set out to (which was a mammoth undertaking - trying to unite Catholics and Protestants in England through prayer in the midst of a blood-thirsty civil war!) but it was a start. And it's still with us today. Who knows, it may actually get us through our current Anglican problems. And watching Elizabeth work through it all, watching her manipulate (a loaded word, I realize) the idea of the Virgin Queen, was fascinating.
The Miracle Maker - I just saw this movie recently, and it's a "children's movie" but it's really good. It tells the life of Jesus in such a compelling way - even though it uses PUPPETS! The scenes of Jesus' life use the words, pretty much verbatim, from the Gospels. And it sticks with you. Somehow I keep thinking about this film and remembering details that I have missed from the stories before.... so, I'm including it in my top 5.

How about you?