Friday, March 16, 2007

Deuce Gardens


Everyone,

As most of you already know, I'm starting a garden. We're calling it "Deuce Gardens", and if you don't know why, ask me sometime. We've got about a 22'x22' area, and should have plenty of vegetables for everyone who is willing to help out.

We will be working on fertilizing and fencing this weekend, probably on Sunday. If you're interested, post a reply so that I can know how many people will be helping.

thanks,

Sir Knabe
cell: 317-5007

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A Little Light Music


U.S., E.U. push phaseout of incandescent bulbs, U.K. gets serious about carbon

From the Daily Grist Wednesday, 14 Mar 2007:The world is seeing the energy-efficient light: a U.S. coalition including Philips Lighting and the Natural Resources Defense Council will push to phase out incandescent bulbs by 2016. And following the lead of Australia and California, European Union leaders have proposed ditching the bulbs even sooner, a plan that could reduce E.U. carbon emissions up to 25 million tons a year. E.U. President Angela Merkel, who uses energy-saving bulbs at home, offered her pitch: they're "not quite bright enough, so sometimes when I'm looking for something that's dropped on the carpet I have a bit of a problem." Uh ... moving on. Yesterday, the British government proposed first-of-its-kind legislation to reduce the nation's CO2 emissions 60 percent by 2050 with a series of five-year "carbon budgets." While some wish the target were more ambitious, Prime Minister Tony Blair declared the bill -- which could become law by early next year -- a "revolutionary step" that "sets an example to the rest of the world."


straight to the source: The New York Times, Matthew L. Wald, 14 Mar 2007




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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Movies on the Grass Fall 2007


Narrator: Weren't the streetcars making money?
Barney Larrick: Not after I got done chopping heads off, they weren't making money. Reduce service, make it less attractive to the customer, sell off property and holdings, take the money out, raise fares, suck the company dry, pull the company down. That's what we did.
-"Taken for a Ride (1996).
This documentary sounds very similar to "Who Killed the Electric Car", except its "who killed the American rail transit services" which used to be a growing, prosperous endeavor, then immediately taken away, forcing people to shift their ways of life. In the documentary there are people interviewed who were forced to make the change and talk about what there life was like during that time. I think it sounds great, has anyone seen it or heard of it? Anyways I was thinking it could be a great movie for Movies on the Grass this year. If enough people show interest in it and think it would be a good one please comment! Bonnie Lynn-Sherow said she is going to buy it at some point but if we were definitely going to use it she would MAKE SURE she buys it sooner than later. It is 52 minutes, black and white and was rated a 9.2/10 on IMDb by users....

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Something for certain...


Something for Certain~ j. neel

The drums played on
With the primordial bass
Echoing in the background.
The beat was different for some—
the seers, the lovers, the dreamers
And elaborate dances evolved
Emanating from the percussion,
Reverberating into spiraling arms
of resonant beauty.
And there was truth and light
Amongst the music and the masses.
The momentum spread in waves
Growing and touching others—
infinitely expanding,
Until they collapsed on themselves.
And the void was filled without form
But only a brilliant, blinding illumination.

And we knew something for certain….

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24th Water and the Future of Kansas Tomorrow!


The 24th Annual Water & the Future of Kansas Conference will be held tomorrow, March 15, 2007 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka, KS. The theme for this year's conference is: "From Dust Bowl to Mud Bowl: The Threat of Sedimentation to our Federal Reservoirs." Sedimentation of reservoirs is a hot topic in Kansas and throughout the nation, especially as the country contemplates safe, secure water supplies in a changing environment. Water quantity and quality issues are being addressed throughout the state and watershed restoration and protection efforts are part of these efforts. Professionals, researchers, educators and students working on water issues throughout the state will be in attendence, so don't miss this opporunity to learn more about Kansas' water issues and network with people working on the problems.



Tentative Program Topics

Plenary Sessions

* An Overview of the Current State, Sedimentation Rates, and Future Trends in Federal Reservoirs
Bill Renwick
Miami University of Ohio
Oxford, Ohio


* Major sources of Sediment: Landscapes, Streambanks, and Channels
Andrew Simon
USDA-ARS
Oxford, Mississippi


* Dollars and Sense: What are the Economics of Sediment Management to Sustain Federal Reservoirs?
Waite Osterkamp
USDI-USGS
Tuscon, Arizona


Issue Forums/Panel Discussions

Strategies for Water Resource Protection

* Agricultural Land Management and Water Resource Protection
* Stream Morphology and Water Resource Protection
* The Role of Small Dams in Water Resource Protection
* Strategies for Protecting Groundwater Resources

Concurrent Sessions

* Watershed Management to Protect Federal Reservoirs
* Sedimentation White Papers
* Ground Water Use and Quality
* Improving Quality through Service Learning
* Water Quality Issues

Lunch Speaker
Donnie Blanz

DONNIE BLANZ is an award winning singer/songwriter who has received critical acclaim for his own Western Americana music recordings. His original songs have also been recorded by country music artists Chris LeDoux and Ed Bruce.

In addition, Blanz is an inspirational-motivational speaker and entertainer, traveling the nation with his unique and tailor made programs for associations and corporations. As an actor he has appeared in numerous television commercials, films, and music videos.


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Problems With The Coblog!


I am purposefully forcing a conversation out in the open so that anyone and everyone will be more informed about what is going on with the Coblog.

I received an email from Gerry (SEA faculty adviser) about his concern for the publicity the Coblog is receiving and his subsequent request that I remove certain choice pictures being fed to the Coblog that depict SEAers drinking and dressing in costumes.

The following is my email response to him (which received no reply):

"There are several problems with this request.

1. Web 2.0 is based on the democratization of content creation online.
The Flickr photo tag we have set up is created from this principle.
The very brilliance of its nature is that anyone can upload content to
Flickr that will then be fed to the coblog. By restricting what can go
up and what can not, we are regressing back to traditional web format.

2. There are serious technical issues with removing said content.
Because it is open and free for anyone to tag a photo using Flickr, the
content is then not being controlled by any central source or
administrator (the very brilliance of Web 2.0). So, in order to get
rid of these choice photos, we would have to either a.) take down the
feed and not have photos on the coblog or b.) find the person who
uploaded those images and ask them to tag them something different.
Neither of these options seem feasible of recommendable from my
perspective.

3. The Coblog is intended to be a forum and tool for SEA members and
others interested in the club, the people in the club, and the content
the club is interested in. This means quite specifically that it is
NOT the face of the club. This is why we have the club website. The
website is the face of the club; that which is intended as and
functions to let the virtual world know who the club is, what its
purpose is, what its agenda is, and how to get involved. Having this
separation was done purposefully by the creators of both. One of the
main purposes behind the separation is to free us as club members from
having to overly concern ourselves with such issues as these. To
create a virtual community place for us, by us. A place in which we
are free to be ourselves and share with each other, not a place in
which we are worried about how we are representing ourselves to the
outside world (this in the end I believe is a better way to represent
ourselves anyway, as it liberates us). (Furthermore, I for one will not
be willing to participate in such a virtual community if I am
threatened with censorship. I feel it violates the very fabric of this
type of community.)

4. The choice photos in question are not incriminating. The photos of
the gun are from a Halloween party at Becky´s house in which
participants dressed in costumes (as is custom). One participant was
dressed as a cowboy and thus, had a toy gun as part of her costume.
The photos of drinking out of a gas can are specifically not
incriminating: A. it is not possible to tell What is being drunk out of
the gas can B. it is plausible that being an environmental group we
were making some sort of demonstration of our discontent towards the
use of oil C. Most Importantly: one of the things that occurs among
SEA members is drinking. Whether we want to admit it or not, it is a
part of the social aspects of the club members. Therefore, censoring
such material would be specifically misrepresenting us and what we do.

5. The coblog is currently not functioning in its ideal state. There
are really only three members actively using it (with probably three
more paying marginal attention). The fact that it is gaining any sort
of recognition from anyone is amazing. However, the reason it is
gaining attention is because of the structure, not the actual
functionality. Any analysis of what is going on would prove that the
attention it is receiving is for its potential, not for what it is.
This means that the content is inconsequential (at this point).
Furthermore, if the attention it receives from these outside sources is
because of its structure, it seems only logical that it would behoove
us to not restrict that structure and potential.

6. I do recognize the potential need for some sort of standards for
what can and cannot be put on the coblog. This will become especially
important if it is ever subject to spammers and ad-attacks. I created
the structure to handle most of this, but the inclusion of some
third-party services means we are subject to third-party policies. I
do not currently know how to handle some of these issues, specifically
this one with Flickr. Nonetheless, this request is exposing a possible
flaw with the coblog and web 2.0 principles in general. This is
something other services such as Wikipedia and Digg have had to
constantly and continuously deal with from their inception. Both of
these solve the problem with some sort of peer review. I think this
would be an incredible way to handle our problem here as well. I just
do not know how to or if it is possible to do that yet. Imagine that
cobloggers could rate or vote for photos. The most voted for photos
could then be the ones most prominent on the coblog. The main issue
with this idea is that it takes participation. Participation is the
number one problem with the coblog. In the end, none of this matters
if there is not more participation, because as demonstrated in #5., the
coblog is currently nothing but potential.

7. If this, in the end, is a more serious issue than it seems at first
glance, then I think the only course of action is to take the issue to
the club. The club can then make decisions about this specific issue,
but just as, if not more, importantly make decisions about the larger
issues of whether or not be associated with the coblog, what role it
should have if the club is to be associated with it, what role the club
website should have, who should have the responsibility of maintaining
and altering the coblog etc. (issues I have been and continue to push
for as I attempt to create something representing the needs and wants
of this group and for a new paradigm of internet possibilities)."



After receiving no reply from Gerry or any warning that this issue would be talked about at the meeting tonight, I missed the conversations had about this problem. From what little I did hear from Megan, it sounds like there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about how everything works.

I proceeded to send another email to Gerry after hearing about what happened in the meeting explaining my thoughts and feelings:

"I am upset to hear that you all decided to talk about the coblog at the
meeting without me present. I am also upset that you decided to go
behind my back and do this without responding to my email or giving any
warning that you would be going to the meeting and bringing this issue
up in strong fashion. From my perspective, this seems uncalled for.

I just got off the phone with Megan who gave me a general rundown of the
conversations. Due to the way that this has all been handled, I will
be forcing this all out in the open on the coblog including my email to
you in response. Unfortunately, it sounds like the critiques and
issues talked about all stem from a gross lack of understanding.

All this time, the coblog has been an experiment of mine. I have spent
countless hours working out technical issues, not to mention countless
hours dreaming about the possibilities. I was happy to associate it
with SEA, as I thought it would have a real place there. Due to the
sort of alienation that is occurring, I am starting to think otherwise.

I would like to restate that the only attention the coblog is receiving
is because of its structure and its potential. The content is
absolutely secondary and non-important. I am sorry that a negative
comment was made about a picture or two. However, you MUST understand
that this is not a publicity device. It is NOT for publicity.
Whatever publicity it receives is absolutely secondary. It is first
and foremost a tool for those who choose to participate (and a
potentially very powerful one at that... the reason it is receiving any
attention!). Right now, those are myself, Jeff Neel, and Hannah (with
yourself, Becky, Megan, and one or two more paying marginal attention).
It is a different approach to utilize the internet as a communication
device, the difference being that the cobloggers have the opportunity
to interact with each other face to face on a daily basis as well.
Connecting the real and virtual worlds...

In sum, Dr. Wesch will not be removing this from his presentation unless
he decides it is no longer cogent to his themes. If this means that I
must disassociate the coblog from SEA, I will be more than happy to do
so. Since its most important aspect is its structure and potential at
this point, the content, SEA being part of that, is inconsequential.

I really thought that SEA would be a welcome place to allow the freedom
necessary to operate a truly new tool of communication and
collaboration. It may still be. But unfortunately right now, the
misinformed masses appear to be hijacking that freedom and projecting
this medium onto old frameworks and old forms.

I do hope that if SEA likes this tool and likes the work that I have
done, it will engage in discourse with me, rather than alienating me.

The absolute comical aspect to all of this, and I repeat, is that no one
is using it!!!"


If anyone would like to engage me in any meaningful discussion about the coblog or this issue, I recommend using the coblog for precisely this! Maybe, just maybe, you will find it useful and might start to think that you like it! If the coblog is not the place, then I recommend that you (SEA) invites me to a meeting to discuss this.

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ecopsychology: eight principles


ECOPSYCHOLOGY: EIGHT PRINCIPLES
Theodore Roszak

In The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology, Theodore Roszak sought to formulate some general principles that might guide both environmentalists and therapists in their common project of defining a sane relationship to the world around us. The essay that follows has been adapted from the version that appears in the book.



As we approach the end of the twentieth century, there are scientists who believe we may be within sight of a Grand Unified Theory that will embrace all things, all forces, all time and matter. But will such a theory of everything, if we find it, do justice to the very act of seeking for that theory in the first place?Betty Roszak Will it explain how a supposedly once dead universe gave rise to this single, burning point of conscious curiosity called the human mind? Certainly no scientific theory we inherit from the past has yet found a place for scientists themselves, let alone for artists, visionaries, clowns, myth-makers -- for all those who have built this second nature we call "culture" on at least one planet in the cosmos. Only within the past generation, as we have grasped the historic and evolutionary character of the cosmos, have we begun to give the questing mind a significant status in scientific theory.
What unity ultimately requires is closure. The circle of theory must come round like the alchemical snake to bite its tail. What is must at last be known. Perhaps that is what underlies the eager unfolding of the natural hierarchy from the Big Bang to the human frontier: substance reaching out hungrily toward sentience. Wheeler That is the simple but mighty insight that the physicist John Wheeler sought to capture in this schematic image of a universe that makes a u-turn in time to study itself through the human eye.
Oddly, this unity of the knower and the known seems to have been better appreciated by pre-scientific humans who worked from myth, image, ritual. If ecopsychology has anything to add to the Socratic-Freudian project of self-knowledge, it is to remind us of what our ancestors took to be common knowledge: there is more to know about the self, or rather more self to know, than our personal history reveals. Making a personality, the task that Jung called "individuation," may be the adventure of a lifetime. But every person's lifetime is anchored within a greater, universal lifetime. Each of us shares the whole of life's time on Earth.Ford Salt remnants of ancient oceans flow through our veins, ashes of expired stars rekindle in our genetic chemistry. The oldest of the atoms, hydrogen whose primacy among the elements should have gained it a more poetically resonant name is a cosmic theme; mysteriously elaborated billions-fold, it has created from Nothing the Everything that includes us.
When we look out into the night sky, the stars we see in the chill, receding distance may seem crushingly vast in size and number. How many times have despairing philosophers and common cynics reminded us of how small we are in comparison to the great void of space? It is the great clich‚ of modern times that we are "lost in the stars," a minuscule planet wheeling around a minor star at the outer edge of a galaxy that is only one among billions. But in truth there is no principle in science that can logically judge value by size. Neither big nor small any longer have any limit or meaning in the universe. Wonders and amazements come in all sizes. Is the universe "too big" to provide human meaning? Not at all. It is, in fact, exactly the right size. Modern cosmology teaches us that the swelling emptiness that contains us is, Betty Roszakprecisely by virtue of its magnitude, the physical matrix that makes living intelligence possible. Only a universe of this size and this temperature and this age could have produced life anywhere. Those who once believed we were cradled in the hands of God were not so very wrong after all -- at least metaphorically speaking.
All this, the new place of life in the cosmos, belongs to the principles of ecopsychology, but not in any doctrinaire or purely clinical way. Psychotherapy is best played by ear. It is after all a matter of listening to the whole person, all that is submerged, unborn, in hiding: the infant, the shadow, the savage, the outcast. The list of principles we offer here is merely a guide, suggesting how deep that listening must go to hear the Self that speaks through the self.
1. The core of the mind is the ecological unconscious. For ecopsychology, repression of the ecological unconscious is the deepest root of collusive madness in industrial society. Open access to the ecological unconscious is the path to sanity.
2. The contents of the ecological unconscious represent, in some degree, at some level of mentality, the living record of cosmic evolution, tracing back to distant initial conditions in the history of time. Contemporary studies in the ordered complexity of nature tell us that life and mind emerge from this evolutionary tale as culminating natural systems within the unfolding sequence of physical, biological, mental, and cultural systems we know as "the universe." Ecopsychology draws upon these findings of the new cosmology, striving to make them real to experience.
3. Just as it has been the goal of previous therapies to recover the repressed contents of the unconscious, so the goal of ecopsychology is to awaken the inherent sense of environmental reciprocity that lies within the ecological unconscious. Other therapies seek to heal the alienation between person and person, person and family, person and society. Ecopsychology seeks to heal the more fundamental alienation between the recently created urban psyche and the age-old natural environment.
4. For ecopsychology as for other therapies, the crucial stage of development is the life of the child. The ecological unconscious is regenerated, as if it were a gift, in the newborn's enchanted sense of the world. Ecopsychology seeks to recover the child's innately animistic quality of experience in functionally "sane" adults. To do this, it turns to many sources, among them traditional healing techniques of primary people, nature mysticism as expressed in religion and art, the experience of wilderness, the insights of Deep Ecology. Thus, for example, Wordsworth's hymns to the child's love of nature are basic texts for developmental ecopsychology, a first step toward creating the ecological ego.
5. The ecological ego matures toward a sense of ethical responsibility to the planet that is as vividly experienced as our ethical responsibility to other people. It seeks to weave that responsibility into the fabric of social relations and political decisions.
6. Among the therapeutic projects most important to ecopsychology is the re-evaluation of certain compulsively "masculine" character traits that permeate our structures of political power and which drive us to dominate nature as if it were an alien and rightless realm. In this regard, ecopsychology draws significantly on the insights of ecofeminism with a view to demystifying the sexual stereotypes.
7. Whatever contributes to small scale social forms and personal empowerment nourishes the ecological ego. Whatever strives for large-scale domination and the suppression of personhood undermines the ecological ego. Ecopsychology therefore deeply questions the essential sanity of our gargantuan urban-industrial culture, whether capitalistic or collectivistic in its organization. But it does so without necessarily rejecting the technological genius of our species or some life-enhancing measure of the industrial power we have assembled. Ecopsychology is postindustrial not anti-industrial in its social orientation.
8. Ecopsychology holds that there is a synergistic interplay between planetary and personal well-being. The term "synergy" is chosen deliberately for its traditional theological connotation, which once taught that the human and divine are cooperatively linked in the quest for salvation. The contemporary ecological translation of the term might be: the needs of the planet are the needs of the person, the rights of the person are the rights of the planet.

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