Category: News


Summer 2011 = Racism and Sexism in the American Classroom at New Paltz.

This is the first book on the list: Still Failing at Fairness, by David Sadker and Karen Zittleman. The follow up to their 1995 edition Failing at Fairness , offers a look at gender in the American education system. Sadker and Zittleman have done quite a bit of research on their own, mostly field observation, but they’re also well versed in the science, writing, and history of the subject. I left feeling like an expert!

The key points?
* Contrary to popular belief, women are still overshadowed in classrooms.
*Minority boys fall even further behind women. Minority women do better than minority boys, but not as well as white women.
*Boys feel they’re targeted for behavior in school.
*Both boys and girls feel pressure to be perfect but in different ways: boys want to be white, rich, smart, athletic. Women want to be white, pretty, dateable, smart (but not too smart) and rich.
*Minority women fare better in self-confidence and self-respect than white women.
*Women trail men in SAT/ACT/GRE testing despite higher grades in school. This points to inequities in the test itself.
*Women are lagging in enrollment in Math and Science despite efforts to recruit.
*Women make about 75 cents on the dollar even with higher education.
*Single-sex classrooms have proved inconclusive in helping bridge the gap.

You can get a new copy on amazon for around $6. Happy reading!

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Bonnaroo 2011

Since we’re in the spirit of sharing things, here’s a pic summary of the glam-fabulous time that was Bonnaroo. I was a newb. I was beside myself with excitement. I had high, HIGH expectations. It did not disappoint. Couldn’t have gone with better folks: The gf, her bro and his gf. Chill, happy, drunken, sloppy times had by all.

Since I was delirious/euphoric with heat and musicgasm I regret to say I didn’t take a single picture. Instead, I scoured the internet for images that I thought may sum up the experience.

My Morning Jacket: Main Stage.

The Bonnaroo sculpture next to the cob house that I drooled over:

Bodies: No holds barred. Wanna sleep in the entrance/walkway/bathroom? Whatever.

The Acclaimed Ferris Wheel:

Bodies

Bonnaroo Main Stage HOT AND SUNNY x100000

Ratatat. So good. Sooo good.

Dude at Girl Talk. ❤

Girl Talk set.Crowd was unreal.

How do you describe something that defies gravity, words, sound? Suffice to say it’ll challenge everything you think you know about music, people, your own will (sooo hot). Legends like Loretta Lynn and Bootsy Collins (Bonnaroo was named after one of his songs) grace the same stages as The Black Keys and Gogol Bordello. I was lucky enough to catch Florence and the Machine, Robyn, My Morning Jacket (a fave of the festival), Beirut, Black Keys, Scissor Sisters, Wavves, Sleigh Bells, Bassnectar, !!!, Man Man, The Drums, Pretty Lights, Ratatat, Girl Talk and STS9.
Scissor Sisters stole the show for me. Each of them were on point as individuals and they were clearly thrilled to be at the Tenth Anniversary of the ever-growing event.
To the guy who gave me a cigarette at STS9, you are a good man. To the guy with the clear umbrella with LED lights that looked like a jelly fish, I’ma steal that.
Thanks, Bonnaroo. See you next year.

Soooooo

It’s been a looooong while. In my post-college haze, I forgot that I was supposed to be adding content to this little thing. As you can imagine, things in my life have changed and so in that spirit, I’m thinking the focus of this page shall shift as well.
“But, where have you been?” you stammer in shock.
Well, friend, after the great graduation 2008, I went to Burlington, Vermont for a hot second. That was fun.

Then I got a job offer to work at a very prestigious Culinary school in New York. That sparked my heart aflame and sent me on a two year tail-spin of a few new loves, and a few old ones. I’ve added rugby

which is one wicked sport that I’ll add more on later. I’ve added running, which is no easy feat for a 200lb lady such as myself. I’ve added some graduate work, which has highs and lows. And I’ve found someone who is way cooler than me and thinks I’m cool, so that might work out…
I also got a cat, after years of hateful speech about how they don’t have souls and they’re not fun or smart. I admit it. She’s probably smarter than I.

Long post short, I’m back and I’ll be working on changing the format/content/fun-ness of this page. Thanks for stoppin’ by.

pumpkin

Great article from Associated Content explaining What to Do with Your Carved Pumpkin Decoration!

croc-costume-lg

Wondering what to do for a costume? This great article from ezine is broken down by what color clothing you have to work with!
Also, check out coolest-homemade-costumes.com and inhabitat.com’s article on DIY Costumes.

Happy Halloween!

You’ve probably heard of this guy already here or here, but if not, Daniel Suelo deserves a shout-out. He’s lived 9 years in a cave in Utah, surviving on dumpster diving, foraging and occasionally hunting, and he blogs about it here.


Just in case this new starlet wasn’t cool enough, she took time off to “shovel goat manure” and other eco-tastic chores on a sustainable farm after shooting Juno. See full article here: USAToday.

Great article in the NYT about how environmentally friendly straw houses are, but then the twist: they’re great in an earthquake!

straw-bale-home-1

I have written before about straw building here, that time inspired by the New Orleans Common Ground Collective, who was using straw bale building as a cheap way to house returning Orleaneans.

Nothing inspires me more than this kind of thinking and utilization of resources!! 🙂

floor

Just in case you weren’t convinced that our synthetic surroundings were causing you cancer and countless other illnesses, here’s an article from treehugger stating the following disturbing findings:

TreeHugger has been reporting for years about the dangers of phthalates, the endocrine disruptor that is used to make vinyl flexible. We have noted previously that it might cause “phthalate syndrome”- smaller penises, and undescended or incompletely descended testicles- in humans…

But NOW:

Now a new study links it to autism. Scientific American says that the Swedish study was looking for something else, a relationship between phthalates and allergies, but found that “Infants or toddlers who lived in bedrooms with vinyl, or PVC, floors were twice as likely to have autism five years later, in 2005, than those with wood or linoleum flooring.”

A Yahoonews article explores the coming shift in attitudes about food from the White House.
barack-obama-loves-hot-sauce-1

Rick Bayless, the chef of that restaurant, Topolobampo, says Obama’s comfortable demeanor at the table — slumped contentedly in his chair, clearly there to enjoy himself — bodes well for the nation’s food policy. While former President George W. Bush rarely visited restaurants and didn’t often talk about what he ate, Obama dines out frequently and enjoys exploring different foods.

Obama, has expressed increased support for small farmers, and in interviews has been more open about his diet and values than Bush. I take this as a step in the right direction. There are so many movements springing up about local growing, personal gardening, and community gardens over the past five years that it’s becoming a force that’s hard to ignore. Hopefully this president will be a more positive role model and leader in this crucial matter.

The BBC reports today what may seem obvious to those of us thinking about our ever increasing population and decreasing space for viable food production: That in order to feed all of us, we have to start thinking outside the box…and fast.
Copied in full:

Food needs ‘fundamental rethink’
By Mark Kinver
Science and environment reporter, BBC News

Food crops, agriculture and biodiversity cannot be separated from one another

A sustainable global food system in the 21st Century needs to be built on a series of “new fundamentals”, according to a leading food expert.

Tim Lang warned that the current system, designed in the 1940s, was showing “structural failures”, such as “astronomic” environmental costs.

The new approach needed to address key fundamentals like biodiversity, energy, water and urbanisation, he added.

Professor Lang is a member of the UK government’s newly formed Food Council.

“Essentially, what we are dealing with at the moment is a food system that was laid down in the 1940s,” he told BBC News.

“It followed on from the dust bowl in the US, the collapse of food production in Europe and starvation in Asia.

“At the time, there was clear evidence showing that there was a mismatch between producers and the need of consumers.”

Professor Lang, from City University, London, added that during the post-war period, food scientists and policymakers also thought increasing production would reduce the cost of food, while improving people’s diets and public health.

We all know that waste is everywhere; it is immoral what is happening in the world of food
Raymond Blanc,
Chef and food campaigner

“But by the 1970s, evidence was beginning to emerge that the public health outcomes were not quite as expected,” he explained.

“Secondly, there were a whole new set of problems associated with the environment.”

Thirty years on and the world was now facing an even more complex situation, he added.

“The level of growth in food production per capita is dropping off, even dropping, and we have got huge problems ahead with an explosion in human population.”

Fussy eaters

Professor Lang lists a series of “new fundamentals”, which he outlined during a speech he made as the president-elect of charity Garden Organic, which will shape future food production, including:

* Oil and energy: “We have an entirely oil-based food economy, and yet oil is running out. The impact of that on agriculture is one of the drivers of the volatility in the world food commodity markets.”
* Water scarcity: “One of the key things that I have been pushing is to get the UK government to start auditing food by water,” Professor Lang said, adding that 50% of the UK’s vegetables are imported, many from water-stressed nations.
* Biodiversity: “Biodiversity must not just be protected, it must be replaced and enhanced; but that is going to require a very different way growing food and using the land.”
* Urbanisation: “Probably the most important thing within the social sphere. More people now live in towns than in the countryside. In which case, where do they get their food?”

Professor Lang said that in order to feed a projected nine billion people by 2050, policymakers and scientists face a fundamental challenge: how can food systems work with the planet and biodiversity, rather than raiding and pillaging it?

The UK’s Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, recently set up a Council of Food Policy Advisers in order to address the growing concern of food security and rising prices.

Farm working cutting kale (Getty Images)
The 21st Century is going to have to produce a new diet for people, more sustainably, and in a way that feeds more people more equitably using less land
Professor Tim Lang

Mr Benn, speaking at the council’s launch, warned: “Global food production will need to double just to meet demand.

“We have the knowledge and the technology to do this, as things stand, but the perfect storm of climate change, environmental degradation and water and oil scarcity, threatens our ability to succeed.”

Professor Lang, who is a member of the council, offered a suggestion: “We are going to have to get biodiversity into gardens and fields, and then eat it.

“We have to do this rather than saying that biodiversity is what is on the edge of the field or just outside my garden.”

Michelin-starred chef and long-time food campaigner Raymond Blanc agrees with Professor Lang, adding that there is a need for people, especially in the UK, to reconnect with their food.

He is heading a campaign called Dig for Your Dinner, which he hopes will help people reconnect with their food and how, where and when it is grown.

“Food culture is a whole series of steps,” he told BBC News.

“Whatever amount of space you have in your backyard, it is possible to create a fantastic little garden that will allow you to reconnect with the real value of gardening, which is knowing how to grow food.

“And once you know how to grow food, it would be very nice to be able to cook it. If you are growing food, then it only makes sense that you know how to cook it as well.

“And cooking food will introduce you to the basic knowledge of nutrition. So you can see how this can slowly reintroduce food back into our culture.”

Waste not…

Mr Blanc warned that food prices were likely to continue to rise in the future, which was likely to prompt more people to start growing their own food.

Norfolk black turkey (Getty Images)
Sustainable food helps protect rare breeds and varieties

Raymond Blanc on good food

He was also hopeful that the food sector would become less wasteful.

“We all know that waste is everywhere; it is immoral what is happening in the world of food.

“In Europe, 30% of the food grown did not appear on the shelves of the retailers because it was a funny shape or odd colour.

“At least the amendment to European rules means that we can now have some odd-shaped carrots on our shelves. This is fantastic news, but why was it not done before?”

He suggested that the problem was down to people choosing food based on sight alone, not smell and touch.

“The way that seeds are selected is about immunity to any known disease; they have also got to grow big and fast, and have a fantastic shelf life.

“Never mind taste, texture or nutrition, it is all about how it looks.

“The British consumer today has got to understand that when they make a choice, let’s say an apple – either Chinese, French or English one – they are making a political choice, a socio-economic choice, as well as an environmental one.

“They are making a statement about what sort of society and farming they are supporting.”

Growing appetite

The latest estimates from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that another 40 million people have been pushed into hunger in 2008 as a result of higher food prices.

This brings the overall number of undernourished people in the world to 963 million, compared to 923 million in 2007.

The FAO warned that the ongoing financial and economic crisis could tip even more people into hunger and poverty.

“World food prices have dropped since early 2008, but lower prices have not ended the food crisis in many poor countries,” said FAO assistant director-general Hafez Ghanem at the launch of the agency’s State of Food Insecurity in the World 2008 report.

“The structural problems of hunger, like the lack of access to land, credit and employment, combined with high food prices remain a dire reality,” he added.

Professor Lang outlined the challenges facing the global food supply system: “The 21st Century is going to have to produce a new diet for people, more sustainably, and in a way that feeds more people more equitably using less land.”