Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Cleopatra's Tomb?

There are some interesting predictions in archeology over at Discovery News.

A team of 12 archeologists and 70 excavators is working at the site of a temple, the Taposiris Magna, 28 miles west of Alexandria. So far, they have found a 400ft tunnel beneath the temple containing clues that the queen and her lover, the Roman general Mark Antony, may lie beneath.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I've got a poem in the new issue of Anti-.

Thanks Steve.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama's Poetry

I'm not going to try analyzing this, but I can say it is better than I thought it would be!


Under water grottos, caverns
Filled with apes
That eat figs.
Stepping on the figs
That the apes
Eat, they crunch.
The apes howl, bare
Their fangs, dance,
Tumble in the
Rushing water,
Musty, wet pelts
Glistening in the blue.

Check out another one here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

national geographic wallpaper

Adam Walsh

It was announced today that Adam Walsh's killer was a man named Otis Toole who died in prison years ago. I am the same age as Adam Walsh if he were alive today. His abduction and murder changed much about life in America. It changed the structure of how law enforcement reacts to missing people which is a great thing, but it also has caused a fear that I don't think we will ever get over. I know if I had a child I could never let him or her out of my sight. We do not trust anyone. I was afraid of all adults except for my parents. I don't think we will ever get that trust back. Stranger Danger! may keep children safer, but what is it doing to our psyches?

Gotta get a Snuggie!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Daily Routines

Here's an interesting blog called Daily Routines that shows "how writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days."

I liked how Joseph Campbell organized his days while he wasn't "working" for five years.

So during the years of the Depression I had arranged a schedule for myself. When you don’t have a job or anyone to tell you what to do, you’ve got to fix one for yourself. I divided the day into four four-hour periods, of which I would be reading in three of the four-hour periods, and free one of them.

By getting up at eight o’clock in the morning, by nine I could sit down to read. That meant I used the first hour to prepare my own breakfast and take care of the house and put things together in whatever shack I happened to be living in at the time. Then three hours of that first four-hour period went to reading.

Then came an hour break for lunch and another three-hour unit. And then comes the optional next section. It should normally be three hours of reading and then an hour out for dinner and then three hours free and an hour getting to bed so I’m in bed by twelve.

On the other hand, if I were invited out for cocktails or something like that, then I would put the work hour in the evening and the play hour in the afternoon.

It worked very well. I would get nine hours of sheer reading done a day. And this went on for five years straight.

This is how you learn! I ask my students to read short, easy essays and most don't want to. A graphic novel, a video, a hyperlinked blog, they all facilitate learning, but for the most part they can't hold a candle to a deeply layered poem or piece of prose.


Here's an interesting excerpt from an article/open letter to President Elect Obama in the NY Times.

After cars, the food system uses more fossil fuel than any other sector of the economy — 19 percent. And while the experts disagree about the exact amount, the way we feed ourselves contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than anything else we do — as much as 37 percent, according to one study. Whenever farmers clear land for crops and till the soil, large quantities of carbon are released into the air. But the 20th-century industrialization of agriculture has increased the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by the food system by an order of magnitude; chemical fertilizers (made from natural gas), pesticides (made from petroleum), farm machinery, modern food processing and packaging and transportation have together transformed a system that in 1940 produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil-fuel energy it used into one that now takes 10 calories of fossil-fuel energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food. Put another way, when we eat from the industrial-food system, we are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases. This state of affairs appears all the more absurd when you recall that every calorie we eat is ultimately the product of photosynthesis — a process based on making food energy from sunshine. There is hope and possibility in that simple fact.

The whole article here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

This Makes Me Sick

When America exports our culture it is fast food and advertising. This is our food? This is who we are?

Smart Drivers or Poor Drivers?

Fewer cars, smaller cars and slower drivers are probably the cause of a decrease in driving fatalities this year. Of course this would also mean we have less emissions from vehicles and a slow down in the amount of goods bought means less emissions from those goods being shipped all across kingdom come and lo and behold the horrible economy is a good thing for the environment! Now how do we make these two things meet up? How can we let people keep their homes and jobs and not expand carbon emissions and overall environmental degradation? This of course is a question people have been asking for a long time and I have no answer for it.

Capitalism lends itself to cash over consequences at every turn. The idea that "green" technologies can even these things out is probably our best chance, but I see so much greenwashing that it is hard for me to believe that capitalism won't skew the balance so far to the cash side that the consequences will continue to be dramatic and devastating.