Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Hilarity

This has got to be the best Halloween candy I've ever seen--I guess you can keep the candy teeth for when your real teeth fall out from an overload of sugar, huh?

What an insane holiday...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Measure of the Nation?

This morning, while listening to NPR on my walk, I listened to this excerpt of a speech that Robert Kennedy made in 1968, months before his death by assassination.  I have been thinking about it off and on all day, so I thought I would share it here.

Robert Kennedy, in his remarks  at the University of Kansas, March 18, 1968:

"I have seen the people of the black ghetto, listening to ever greater promises of equality and of justice, as they sit in the same decaying schools and huddled in the same filthy rooms - without heat - warding off the cold and warding off the rats.
If we believe that we, as Americans, are bound together by a common concern for each other, then an urgent national priority is upon us.  We must begin to end the disgrace of this other America.
And this is one of the great tasks of leadership for us, as individuals and citizens this year.  But even if we act to erase material poverty, there is another greater task, it is to confront the poverty of satisfaction - purpose and dignity - that afflicts us all.  Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things.  Our Gross National Product, now, is over $800 billion dollars a year, but that Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.  It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them.  It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.  It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities.  It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.  Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.  It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.  And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."

(accessed at:

I don't know much about Bobby Kennedy, but this made me wish I knew more.  This excerpt inspires me... and it overwhelms me by reminding me how desperately we, in this nation, need to re-orient our values in order to solve our dire social and economic problems.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lost Opportunity

He tried to explain that he meant them no harm, that he only wanted to study their ways and learn from them, to help them if he could.  "I come in peace," he explained, with his limited ability to master these human languages.

The townspeople would have none of it. They were wary of any outsider, and this one spoke strangely and looked different.  It came in a freaking space ship, for god's sake.  No way were they going to trust him.  The police put him into custody, the town council deliberated, bringing in local judges.  People waited in crowds outside town hall, determined that this stranger would not sully their town, not endanger their poor impressionable children with what were, no doubt, his barbaric and ungodly ways.

Later that day--ironically, on a beautiful afternoon--the crowd took over and killed the creature.  Put its head on a stick and paraded it throughout town.

And so the human race lost its chance to learn from a culture that could have helped them solve global warming, end wars, and find solutions to dwindling water and food supplies.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Into the Woods

We just came back from Maine.  We were afraid that it was going to rain all weekend, but instead it was crisp and (mostly) clear New England Fall weather.  Perfect.

Yesterday, we celebrated fall with a walk in the woods.  It was invigorating, beautiful, and relaxing.  Just what we all needed.

What do you do to celebrate fall?