Archive | September 2011

Week’s links

Venice Family Clinic is the charity of the week at Icanhascheezburger.   I work in close connection with them and they are an amazing and much needed resource on the Westside of Los Angeles.                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                9/22/11 was the 50th birthday of the Peace Corps.  I am an RPCV, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer.  Returned , not former or retired, because of the continuing third goal of the Peace Corps mission.  These are the 3 goals:
  1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
The countries I served in are Uzbekistan and Ukraine, so you may see things about them here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Another RPCV, Peter Hessler, was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant this week.  He wrote a very thoughtful response to Representative Mike Coffman, who unthoughtfully proposed ending the Peace Corps program in China.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   “Pharmacist Don Colcord Sustains Nucla, Colorado” , by the above mentioned Peter Hessler, is a very good profile of a small town druggist and of the town itself.  One of the town’s citizens describes small town life rather well: “Maybe I can describe it this way,” he says. “I like to play chess. I moved to a small town, and nobody played chess there, but one guy challenged me to checkers. I always thought it was kind of a simple game, but I accepted. And he beat me nine or ten games in a row. That’s sort of like living in a small town. It’s a simpler game, but it’s played to a higher level.”
Here’s a link to a few other works by Hessler.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Finally, a brilliant example for doing right simply because it is the right thing to do–something the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles did not consider this week.  “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” Stanislav Jerzy Lec, writer and badass, born 6 March 1909 in what is now Lviv, Ukraine.

Week’s music links

Band of Horses perform Infinite Arms on Conan on 9/07/11.  It’s not a new song, but doesn’t get old.  Don’t look at their teeth.

The Antlers perform I Don’t Want Love from new album Burst Apart on Jimmy Fallon 9/06/11. Falsettos are in.

Dawes on VH1’s You Oughta Know.  When My Time Comes.  I just love these guys.  This song is from their first album, “North Hills”.  Their second, “Nothing is Wrong” was recently released.  They are on a good path.

Los Angeles band Saint Motel perform Puzzle Pieces on Guitar Center Sessions.

Irvine’s Young the Giant perform My Body on the 2011 MTV Music Awards.

New music; I like it so far.  Another Irvine band. Strange Birds: Bread Crumbs EP.

Fleet Foxes at Pitchfork Music Festival.  Performance and Interview.  Awesome as always.

The Vaccines perform Norgaard on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, August 2011 

James Vincent McMorrow live at Time Out New York

And this is an entertaining cover.  Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy performs the Black Eyed Peas masterpiece “I Gotta Feeling” at Time Out Chicago 

Week’s links

Three short videos that may make you want to eat, learn, move.

This is a shame.

We invented cool.

I like this a lot, because of this: 

Empowering girls is key: 

And this is too cute:  A reminder not to let love pass you by.

It was filmed September 7th, 2001. 

For Labor Day,

some recent words in support of our dedicated and hardworking teachers.

From Washington Post

From  The New York Times

From Huffington Post

From Matt Damon and Matt Damon

Grin, because Misery Bear is surely having a more miserable work day than any other bear. 

And, just because I love him, he used to be a teacher, and this is a workin’ song.  Amos Lee:

Reading: short story

A General in the Library by Italo Calvino

On the power of books, education, and information

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” —Ray Bradbury

Week’s links

I have friends in the Foreign Service. This is for them: Our Brave Ambassador to Damascus Puts Congress to Shame

Photographs and a speech from a photojournalist who lost his legs in Afghanistan.  Joao Silva: ‘This is What I Do. This Is All That I Know.’ 

David Letterman and the World Food Programme’s Bettina Luescher discuss famine in the Horn of Africa and how you can help.  Text AID to 27722.

Willie Nelson covers Coldplay for a Chipotle ad advocating for sustainable farming.

And, RIP David Honeyboy Edwards “Last of the Great Mississippi Delta Bluesmen” 6/28/1915–8/29/2011  

one patch of earth

When I get impatient with my dog for spending a while sniffing at one patch of earth, I slow down and wonder: what is it, one patch of earth?  What would it take to explore, to understand, one patch of earth?  A lifetime.  That is all we have and that is all we are, one patch of earth.  Is it enough?  That is the question of our lives.

Two things

on writing, from Hemingway:

“From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?”

“You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or rather you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. If it is all the same to you I would rather not expound on that.”

Paris Review: The Art of Fiction No. 21, Ernest Hemingway   Interviewed by George Plimpton

Meeting Eyes

Meeting eyes.  A good place to start.

Don’t Laugh at Me, written by Steven Seskin and Allen Shamblin, performed by Peter Yarrow and Agnes Risley School 4th graders