Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sometimes not knowing is better

At least when you're talking about these. I am convinced we are seeing end times when slapping peanut butter on bread is too much work for us.

And I thought Bagelfuls, precooked eggs and Lunchables were bad.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Impatient for Spring

March 2, 2009 - Impatient for spring and inspired by Mother Earth News, I planted three kinds of lettuce (obtained at Seedy Saturday). Green oak, red deer tongue, and mystery lettuce (from the seed exchange).

March 21, 2009 - Off to a respectable start:

The first to germinate was the mystery lettuce, followed by the oak leaf. Red deer tongue still hasn't germinated. Bad seeds? Wrong germination temperature? Once the first round germinated, I sprinkled more seeds randomly.


They are such beautiful babies!

p.s. Can you imagine only having spring once every 30 years?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Canada's Banks: Accidentally not in Crisis Yet

From Rick Mercer

The National Post agrees:
Canadian banks – saved from stomping around as monoliths on a world stage backed by Canadian taxpayers -- are the least ugly in what can only be called a reverse beauty contest among banks.

You know how we used to laugh at the guy who keeps all his cash in a big old sock, or the woman who has all her savings under her mattress? Well, the risk-averse look pretty smart right about now. Phew! Thanks goodness the regulators saved the banks from themselves.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Post-Civ! A brief philosophical and political introduction to the concept of post-civilization is an interesting read.
Post-civilized thought is based on three simple premises:

1 – This civilization is, from its foundation, unsustainable. It probably cannot be salvaged, and, what’s more, it would be undesirable to do so.
2 – It is neither possible, nor desirable, to return to a pre-civilized state of being.
3 – It is therefore desirable to imagine and enact a post-civilized culture.

I certainly don't agree with the whole thing but I do like its spirit: "We are for an ecologically-focused green anarchism and we are for mutual aid, free association, and self-determination."

Download it here (small PDF file), or try Post-Civ!, a deeper exploration for more detail.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

'Tent cities' of homeless on the rise across the US

Homeless encampments dubbed "tent cities" are springing up across the US, partly in response to soaring numbers of home repossessions, the credit crunch and rising unemployment, according to a report.

Homelessness, car camps and tent cities are certainly not new, but they are growing rapidly.
In Reno, Nevada, the state with the nation's highest repossessions rate, a tent city recently sprung up on the city's outskirts and quickly filled up with about 150 people. Many, such as Sylvia Flynn, 51, who came from northern California, ended up homeless after losing their jobs and home.

Officials say they do not know how many homeless the city has. "But we do know that the soup kitchens are serving hundreds more meals a day and that we have more people who are homeless than we can remember," Jodi Royal-Goodwin, the city's redevelopment agency director, said.

In California, the upmarket city of Santa Barbara is housing homeless people who live in their cars in city car parks while Fresno, has several tent cities. Others have sprung up in Portland in Oregon, and Seattle, where homeless activists have set up mock tent cities at city hall to draw attention to the problem.

Meanwhile, new encampments have appeared, or existing ones grown, in San Diego, Chattanooga in Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio.<Story>

Some quick internet searching uncovered many others, in Dallas, Olympia, L.A., Athens, Georgia, Columbus. Others, like Tenessee and St. Petersburg have been shut down.

MSNBC has a photo essay on a large tent city in Sacramento, juxtaposing it with the Sacramento tent city of the Great Depression.

There are homes sitting empty, while people have no place to live. Excess supply coexisting with excess demand. The invisible hand has failed these people.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Great Depression Cooking with Clara

Celebrity cooking is HOT and, lately, so is the Great Depression.

93 year old Clara reminisces about the Depression while showcasing cheap, nourishing food. I love this online cooking show. Maybe it's because I'm a big fan of history, food, frugality, and stories.

Here she makes "Poorman's meal" which is potatoes with hotdogs (her grandkids love it, she says). Clara, peeling potatoes, explains she had to drop out of high school because she couldn't afford socks.

And here's episode 1 where she makes pasta with peas. Enjoy!

More episodes on the Youtube Channel