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Thanksgiving conversation 2012

Photos by Mum Jinx, who writes "A warm and happy Thanksgiving at Larry & Lynn's again this year. Here's the part of the pre-feast conversation that did not take place in the kitchen."
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Not sure if that photo is from Thanksgiving day or day before or after. Here's a photo from the same holiday from cousin C'Anna.

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Photo by cousin C'Anna. "Table is set and ready"
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Nice picture of my mum and I taken by cousin C'Anna:
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I like doing dishes after Thanksgiving dinner—because I'm so full it feels more comfortable to stand than to sit! :)
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(Photo by cousin C'Anna)

Posted on November 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM in friends & family, holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

dig out the games 2012

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Posted on November 20, 2012 at 02:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

H.C.'s Girls Brunch 2012

[I got my nails painted.]

 

Posted on November 18, 2012 at 11:00 AM in creativity, friends & family | Permalink | Comments (0)

the invasion of retail madness 2012

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Posted on November 15, 2012 at 04:03 PM in Discardia | Permalink | Comments (0)

Media I've enjoyed recently 2012

Technology:

(these words, forever) - The Memory Palace

The art of the eco-mindshift - Natalie Jeremijenko (2009) - TEDtalks

Single Device Captures Sun's Light and Heat - 60-Second Science

(high above lake michigan) - The Memory Palace

E-voting without fraud - David Bismark (2010) - TEDtalks

(the moon in the sun) - The Memory Palace

Eythor Bender demos human exoskeletons (2011) - TEDtalks

(a brief eulogy for a consumer electronics product)  - The Memory Palace

404, the story of a page not found - Renny Gleeson (2012) - TEDtalks

 

History & Politics:

(the messrs. craft) - The Memory Palace

Global power shifts - Joseph Nye (2010) - TEDtalks

(presidente walker) - The Memory Palace

(this ungainly fowl) - The Memory Palace

 

Health:

(you know you're sick) - The Memory Palace

 

Music:

Thomas Dolby: Never Never Land - The Moth Podcast

 

Clothing:

Eccentric Style - Put This On

 

Biology & Food:

Tagging tuna in the deep ocean - Barbara Block (2010) - TEDtalks

Salamanders Provide Room and Board to Algae - 60-Second Science

The roots of plant intelligence - Stefano Mancuso (2010) - TEDtalks

Sustainable seafood? Let's get smart - Barton Seaver (2010) - TEDtalks

A vision for sustainable restaurants - Arthur Potts Dawson (2010) - TEDtalks

 

Business:

What nonprofits can learn from Coca-Cola - Melinda French Gates (2010) - TEDtalks

Making global labor fair - Auret van Heerden (2010) - TEDtalks

A feminine response to Iceland's financial crash - Halla Tomasdottir (2010) - TEDtalks

 

Education:

Teaching kids real math with computers - Conrad Wolfram (2010) - TEDtalks

Lawrence Krauss: Students Need to Learn Effective Failure - 60-Second Science

 

Posted on November 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

The MetaGrrrl Slatecard for November 2012 2012

Here's my voting plan, ready to be put into action this afternoon or tomorrow morning:

President: Barack Obama
No president will ever be perfect, and there are things he's done with which I disagree, but they are far outnumbered by the things he's done which I like and which I think make our country and the world stronger, healthier, and smarter.

Voting for Obama over other liberal candidates is very important to me as I believe a strong show of support for rational, fact-based governance will help to continue moving future elections in the direction of better lives for all Americans. We don't go from 0 to 60 in one election, folks. Eyes on the prize and let's move the center back to the center.

U.S. Senator: Dianne Feinstein
Holding my nose here after her position on PIPA, but she's an important force for achieving actual results in the Senate.

U.S. Representative: Nancy Pelosi
No nose-holding here; Pelosi has been doing a good job.

State Senator: Mark Leno
Very pleased with his work.

State Assembly: Tom Ammiano
Ditto.

Board of Education: Garcia-Meza, Rodriguez, Norton, Haney.
Based on examination of their candidate statements and websites; good mix of administrative experience, realistic goals, and strong vision. Budget challenges favor those who have learned how to get their institutions through tough times, but good to bring in some fresh ideas too.

Community College Board: Leung, Berg, Ngo, Santos
Ditto.

BART Director: Tom Radulovich
Steady hand on the rudder; keep on keepin' on.

 

State Propositions:

30: YES!
Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding
This is the good, smart approach to maintaining our educational system and, thus, the future of the state.

31: NO
State Budget. State and Local Government
Adds needless bureaucracy and inflexibility to budgeting process and endangers environmental protections.

32: NO!
Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates
This is straight-up an effort to impede political participation by labor and other non-corporate voices.

33: NO
Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage
Follow the money here; insurance companies trying to use political process to create more ways to jack their pricing. Also, we voted against this in June 2010. Apparently we have to keep knocking them back in line.

34: YES!
Death Penalty
The death penalty should be repealed; it's not an effective deterrent, it's more expensive than life imprisonment, and it's morally wrong. Let's put that money to better use solving unsolved murders and rapes.

35: No?
Human Trafficking. Penalties
This seems like a fairly obvious Yes—I think human trafficking is bad—but people I respect find it shaky (and probably ineffective) as a legal matter. I'm leaning No at this point.

36: YES!
Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties
The 'strikes' right now are currently not required to be serious or violent crimes. This fixes the current problem of putting someone in prison for life for something as small as stealing.

37: NO
Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling
While I do believe that it's important to understand where your food comes from, there are too many things wrong with this proposition. It adds a huge burden on producers and grocers to obtain written statements about the origin of every ingredient or product they use or sell. Many basic foods are already GMO—for instance 85-95% of the corn and soybeans grown in the U.S.—which would create a labeling cascade into any product containing some of these ingredients. Worst of all, enforcement is expected largely to occur through consumer lawsuits.
Even without all that weight on the No side of the scale, there is the further question of whether GMO foods actually represent a danger: "there is little if any evidence that changing a plant's or animal's genes through bioengineering, rather than through selective breeding, is dangerous to the people who consume it. In fact, some foods have been engineered specifically to remove allergens from the original version."*

38: NO
Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs
This is the bad state budget proposal, put on the ballot to interfere with Prop 30. Vote Yes on 30, No on 38.

39: YES
Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding
This closes a tax loophole and brings much needed revenue into a vital area for California's future (and continued good business environment). Has the potential to also create jobs in the state.

40: YES
Redistricting. State Senate Districts
A yes vote keeps what we currently have (created by the commission we voted in in 2008) instead of indulging in more gerrymandering.

 

San Francisco Measures:

A: YES
City College Parcel Tax
I am a big fan of community colleges as a means of helping maintain opportunity for all citizens. Though it sounds like City College could be better managed, I don't think taking away funding is the right way to achieve those improvements.

B: YES
Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond
Great parks and playgrounds transform neighborhoods. Spending money on them pays itself back and more in revitalization of communities and individuals. This also includes needed seismic safety improvements, which will help avoid costs (and perhaps lost lives) in a disaster.

C: YES
Housing Trust Fund
Cities need a diverse range of housing; this makes affordable housing an ongoing priority.

D: YES
Consolidating Odd-Year Municipal Elections
Let's save costs, save everyone's time, and increase turnout by bringing all these elections together.

E: YES
Gross Receipts Tax
Let's not penalize job creation, let's fund from those who can best afford it.

F: NO!
Water and Environment Plan
My smart friend Jennifer Granick said it well: "$8M for a study that is step one is draining Hetch Hetchy, the marvelous source of our pristine drinking water, brought to the City by gravity, without need for (polluting) electricity or filtration." (See the rest of her slate card here.)

G: no vote
Policy Opposing Corporate Personhood
Jennifer had a good answer here: "The same theories that give us corporate personhood give us First Amendment rights for unions and NGOs. When you figure out how to parse that under our law, I’ll read your ballot measure. Until then, you are wasting trees."

 

District 5 member of Board of Supervisors:
This election has gotten really ugly with infusions of money from non-local interests and just plain foul anti-local-candidate mailers. This is a position which should be supporting the interests of my neighborhood, so I am deeply suspicious of this influx of outside money.
First choice: Hope Johnson (real local energy, not someone trying to leapfrog to a higher position)
Second choice: Christina Olague (doing a fine job right now)
Third choice: Thea Selby (seems also be truly locally focused)

 

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Want more background? Check out Kid Beyond's great notes on his slate (scroll down).

Posted on November 5, 2012 at 02:02 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Case Study of Republicans vs. Democrats on FEMA 2012

"The lesson here is simple. At a deep ideological level, Republicans believe that federal bureaucracies are inherently inept, so when Republicans occupy the White House they have no interest in making the federal bureaucracy work. And it doesn't. Democrats, by contrast, take government services seriously and appoint people whose job is to make sure the federal bureaucracy does work. And it does."

- Kevin Drum in Mother Jones

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 02:28 PM in politics & philosophy, preparedness, the big room with the blue ceiling | Permalink | Comments (0)

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