Creature of habit

To be a creature of habit as I am is to check for the chapstick in your Left pocket where it always is and should be, to not find it there, and to then proceed up and down stairs, in and out of various rooms, checking the left pocket of every other pair of pants worn in any sort of recent history, almost venturing into stored-away summer shorts, BEFORE checking the Right pocket of the currently worn pair of pants, where you then find the chapstick, out of place and clearly transported by some supernatural force, and begin laughing at your own reliable stubbornness.

Links for the Week - December 16, 2007

  1. The Story of Stuff - "From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns."
  2. The Official Blog of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, and the New York Times article that introduced me to it. I wonder how much comment spam *he* gets?
  3. Local geek Charlie Peck is still Intel's "fastest geek" - or, how to win $30,000 with just a screwdriver.
  4. Taking Charge of Your Fertility - the companion website to the book by the same name.
  5. Local Food Cooperative Management System Software - open source software to connect local food producers with local food consumers. It's one piece in creating a more self-reliant local economy.

Former EDC chief announces self-published book on economic development

This is interesting: former Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County President Don Holbrook, who was fired from the organization a few years ago in an unfortunate controversy, has released a self-published book about economic development tips and strategies. Titled "The Little Black Book of Economic Development," Holbrook says the book has information about the skills and resources needed to "create world class local economies that are both sustainable and transformational in nature." You can read an excerpt online. In his press release, Holbrook quotes reviews from economic and social strategists such as Rebecca Ryan (who visited Richmond in February 2006), and Richard Florida, author of the much celebrated book The Rise of the Creative Class.

Hmmm, I wonder if he "shared" about his experiences in Richmond in the book - perhaps for his sake and ours, let's hope not.

The Golden Compass Movie: The Wrong Direction

In September, I suggested that the new movie The Golden Compass might be worth a see based on the adventureful book by Philip Pullman, which I'd just finished. I would now like to retract that recommendation, and replace it with a new one: avoid The Golden Compass movie at all costs.

It was poorly written, poorly directed, poorly acted, and poorly edited. The dialogue was fluffy and cheesy and delivered with little authenticity. The cutting of the scenes almost made you wonder if they'd randomized their order and lost a bunch of footage along the way. The story barely made any sense to me and I just finished the book a few months ago - I pity anyone who came in off the street wondering what it was about, even with the artificial backstory narrative at the beginning. The action scenes were boring and confusing. And so on.

The one redeeming quality was the computer-generated graphics work that brought the characters` "daemons" - animal manifestations of one's soul that travel alongside - to life. It was integrated very smoothly into the action and some of the detail and nuance was excellent.

But that was not enough to save this sinking ship - The Golden Compass is an unfortunate mangling of a perfectly good story, and a total bomb of a movie.

Going Local: Building a Self-Reliant Richmond, Indiana

011_15.JPGAs I mentioned when I came back from the energy conference in October, I was going to give a talk in November called "Going Local: Building a Self-Reliant Richmond, Indiana". I had agreed to speak earlier in the year and didn't really know what I was going to talk about beyond the expectation that it would fit into the "sustainability" theme of the series of talks in which I was participating and have some focus on peak oil and related topics.

It turned into one of my most intense speaking experiences to date.
Continue reading "Going Local: Building a Self-Reliant Richmond, Indiana"

Links for the Week - December 2, 2007

  1. Are you brave enough to say no to a high-stress holiday? "The problem with Christmas is not the batteries. The problem isn't even really the stuff. The problem with Christmas is that no one much likes it anymore."
  2. Richmond News Review podcast episode #23: Debate bid followup, buying local, media coverage gaps from last weekend.
  3. And don't forget to submit your suggestions for the upcoming podcast segment, What news stories did Richmond media miss in 2007?.
  4. Energy Efficiency Jobs at Google: Get paid to save the world (or at least to develop technology that prologngs its life a bit). "Business as usual will not deliver low-cost, clean energy fast enough to avoid potentially catastrophic climate change...We need creative and motivated entrepreneurs and technologists with expertise in a broad range of areas."
  5. What We Call The Media: a satirical and irerrverant look at the state of mainstream broadcast media

The 2007 Wayne County Alternative Gift Fair

Wayne County 2007 Alt. Gift FairThe 2007 Wayne County Alternative Gift Fair, held at the new Reid Hospital today, has just concluded. It was a great opportunity to get gifts for family and friends in the form of donations to local non-profit organizations, and at least for me, a great alternative to a day at the mall buying stuff. I was volunteering as a roaming greeter/explainer/helper, primarily tasked with walking folks through the order forms we used, but it was also a great chance to catch up with faces I haven't seen around town in a while. Lots of laughter, great music, kids running around having fun, and a real spirit of giving in the air - what a great idea! You can learn more about Alternative Gift Fairs in general, or check out my small set of photos from the fair.

If you missed it, you can also check out the Annual Holiday Bazaar happening next Saturday at the Clear Creek Food Cooperative, where you'll be able to buy crafts, jewelry, pottery and other homemade items from area artisans. See you there!