Monday, December 10, 2018

The Black Panthers

Okay, I'm not talking about the movie "Black Panther," which I liked, this is The Black Panthers. They were a social organization designed to help the black communities in the 60s and that lasted until the mid-80s. In school, we're taught mostly about the disruptive part of the Black Panther Party, but not about all the good they stood for.
It's important now to remember that black communities are still being left behind. What the Black Panther were doing was providing meals, education, and health services to under served  communities. They were policing the police, making sure that cops in their neighborhoods couldn't randomly kill black people out on the streets. They were making their own communities better by standing up for equality and freedom and what was right.
Of course, for this they were demonized. Nobody wants to hear about the good you're doing if you're disrupting the status quo. Disinformation campaigns, arrests, and murders did their job in shutting it down. But you can't stop a movement forever.
Our world's grown smaller. Social media has joined us is a way never before possible. We can all see what's happening to our neighbors, and we can all stand up for what's right. It doesn't just have to be the Black Panthers by themselves. It doesn't just have to be Lemonade. This is about all of us, and if you don't see it, yet, you will. This boat is too small to pretend we're in it alone.

What You Don't Know About The Black Panthers | AJ+

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Octopus Overlords

Admittedly, I've been obsessed with cephalopods for awhile. What's not to like? They're pretty awesome. I'm a particular fan of the octopus. I love the way they can change colors and texture, the way they can figure out puzzles, and the way that eventually they're going to mount a ground attack and take over our planet. Ok, probably not that last part. However, I do think they're smarter than we give them credit for, and it makes me sad when I see people eating them, or on Chopped when I see some amateur chef butchering the poor thing to ribbons.
I'd love for some oceanic linguist to try to figure out how they communicate with one another, and to learn their language. We know that dolphins and whales communicate with one another, I'm pretty sure that cephalopods do, too. They just seem too smart to be out there on their own. Or, maybe I'd just like to think they are.
There's something truly alien about the octopus; something strangely other-worldly, and I'd like to learn how to talk to them before the evolve to breathe air. :)
The Octopus might never rise from the ocean to become our new rulers, but they're pretty neat anyway.
Watch the video if you don't believe me.


Monday, October 22, 2018

Earthships

This past week I went on a vacation with a few friends for another friend's birthday. We stayed at an Earthship. I don't know if you've ever heard of an Earthship before, but they've got to be the coolest thing in the world. Yes, there are problems with the design. Like everything that's self-sustaining, it requires some level of sacrifice. Did I say self-sustaining? Yes, yes I did. These homes are built to capture rain water as their primary water source and harvest solar and wind power as their sole source of energy. Because of the way it's designed, you can keep your home at a steady 70 degrees year round, no matter where you live. We were in Taos, where it was in the 70s during the day and 30s at night, but the main living quarters were comfortable all day.
Also, the front portion is a greenhouse, so you could grow a good portion of your own food. There's some proprietary technology involved, but most of the materials look pretty inexpensive. If you're willing to do most of the labor yourself, you could probably live off the grid in one of those things pretty cheaply.
Plus, with the way our grid system works for electricity and water, it might not be a bad idea to think of alternative ways to build homes. You sacrifice size and uniformity (these things can be a little funky, if you're not into it), for self-sufficiency and a green life-style. I'm up for it, but I don't think my HOA would let me do it. Might be time to think about moving to someplace a little less restrictive.

Check it out:

Where we stayed

More Earthships

About Me

I was born and reared in Austin, Texas, where I attended three elementary schools, three middle schools, one high school, and one university. I've backpacked through Europe, gone on an archeological dig in the Belizean rainforest, scuba dived through the Atlantic reefs, and skydived over San Marcos. And, while hang-gliding turned out not to be for me, I did give it a shot.