Wednesday, November 21, 2012

why new yorkers are emigrating to israel

anybody in the world who's a "jew" can go live in israel's occupied territories (formerly palestine). isn't that convenient?!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

you can leave the place, but you can't leave the love

Do you ever wonder the probability that you’d be exactly where you are right now, and I mean exactly, if your life had taken you in a different direction?

I was walking along the pathway at Kits Beach today, a blustery cool cloudy November afternoon. There weren’t many people around, leaving me free with my own thoughts. I realize it’s all stolen Musqueam land, but I truly love this city. I have very fond memories from the short time I lived here, when I was in my 20s.

Today I was remembering all the other times I’d walked or cycled along that very path, wondering why I ever left my little apartment at 3rd and Burrard. For three years I worked and played in that very neighbourhood. Sometimes I’d cycle over the bridge and loop around Stanley Park, or wander over to Granville Island. These were my old stomping grounds and it occurred to me that you can leave a place and time, but you just can’t leave the love.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

How I Survived Poison Oak/Ivy



update:  it's 2014 and the darned stuff resurfaces still, now and then, in patches in entirely different places than where i contracted it in 2012.  i'm guessing it's from my childhood experiences, when i used products that shoved the poison into my body.  i try to celebrate its release, though it is extremely frustrating to have to live through the horror of it again and again.  after speaking with someone who lived in california and encountered poison oak regularly, i tried his method which is somewhat counterintuitive, especially for those who've studied tcm, but actually did help a lot.  he recommended taking as hot a shower as you can handle ... it definitely burns, but in a hurts-so-good kind of way.  then finish with a cold shower.  the rash doesn't seem to heal any faster, the stuff seems to need at least 2 weeks to run its course, but the hot/cold shower definitely takes the itch away for long enough to get a couple of hours of sleep, or to function without wanting to crawl out of your skin.  

I’m not a health practitioner, I’m not offering this information as medical advice.  I've survived Poison Oak with natural healing methods, and my motive is to share what I've learned.

The best survival tactic is avoidance – the plant has three almond shaped leaflets that grow together, thus the old adage “leaves of three, let them be.” Both poison oak and poison ivy produce uroshiol, and even their bare branches or roots can trigger an allergic reaction.  If you’re not good at plant identification, or for extra protection, cover your legs and wear shoes or boots when hiking, use gloves when reaching into bushes or pulling roots.

It may take several hours for symptoms to appear, which means you might transfer the poison to other surfaces without realizing.  The plant resin, the uroshiol, remains active for up to a year.  If you realize you’ve had contact with the plant, don’t touch anything.  Wash with soap and water immediately.  If you transfer the plant resin to other surfaces, wash those immediately too, in hot water.  Animals are not affected by the uroshiol, so petting your dog and then scratching your face is another way the poison can be transferred.  The stuff that oozes out of the rash, is not contagious, just the original plant resin.

If you have access to a doctor, go get a diagnosis to be sure that’s what you’re dealing with.  I was diagnosed with “contact dermatitis.”  You can proceed with the allopathic course of action if you choose, typically they’ll prescribe steroid creams, cortisone, and antihistamines.  All this will mask the underlying issue and drive the poison into your body where it’ll be stored and might resurface months or years later.  Plus, you'll then be asking your body to eliminate the steroid or cortisone you've now added to it.  And if you check the side effects of the prescribed medications you’ll find “contact dermatitis” among them.  I just don’t get why it’s a good idea to take a product with a side effect that’s exactly the same as the condition I’m trying to treat.

A preferred course of action will lead you to a world of treatment alternatives.  Your recovery time may be a little bit longer than the allopathic route, but your body have a much better chance of clearing out the poison.  Alternative/complimentary healing is about supporting your own body’s immune mechanisms as it eliminates the poison.  It’s about have having faith in your own ability to heal, and providing your body with whatever it needs in order to take care of itself.  You’ll emerge with a stronger immune system and the knowledge that you’re clear of the poison.

If you want to heal naturally, prepare yourself psychologically for a healing routine that could take a week or two.  Cancel your appointments, get a leave from work.  Your sleep patterns will be disrupted because you're so busy trying not to think about how itchy you are.

Here’s what I found useful:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Protests end National Gallery's arms trade links

The National Gallery's long-standing sponsorship arrangement with weapons manufacturer Finmeccanica has ended, following a campaign by Campaign Against Arms Trade to 'Disarm the Gallery.' The arrangement has been terminated one year early and just weeks before the next protest event was planned. Read more.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Time-Lapse Video Of Pacific Northwest With 260,000 Photos

To create this stunning time-lapse video featuring landscapes from the Pacific Northwest, Oregon photographer John Eklund of The Art Of Time-Lapse weaved together about 260,000 photographs he had spent about a year capturing.  Read more here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

a journey to shearwater - august 12 2012

I’m feeling a sense of relief.

Relief that, off all sides of this ship, called the Queen of Chilliwack even though it sails nowhere near the land so named, all I see is pristine, untouched, magnificent, majestic, wilderness.  It’s possible that the human interference, the ugly clearcuts, exist just beyond these shores, that they haven’t yet destroyed all the wilderness that’s out of view, inching ever closer with their machines to expose tourists to what’s really going on, as has happened to so much of the rest of this province.  I’m hoping the wild splendour that I see is more than just a façade.  It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at such an entire landscape without thinking “that used to be so beautiful.”

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Awakening Of The Squares - Spain's 15 M Movement

This documentary examines the rise of the 15M movement, a year later from six people who lived in the Barcelona occupation of Catalonia Square. They meet again to discuss the beginning of the movement, what happened to the country this year and what role should the movement play in the future.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Face to Face with Dermod Travis of IntegrityBC

Improving our democracy is one of the most important thing we can do to improve our society. IntegrityBC is working in that field. IntegrityBC is a non-partisan non-profit organization dedicated to restoring a bond built on trust and confidence between citizens and their elected officials. It wants to end corporate and union funding of political parties and cap annual donations by individuals. IntegrityBC also wants to ensure that BC's Access to Information Act serves its intended purposes free of political interference ... to improve protection for whistleblowers who report government waste and corruption and to encourage public debate on electoral reform. © 2012 Lazarus Productions

Face to Face with Dermod Travis of IntegrityBC from ICTV Victoria on Vimeo.

Friday, July 20, 2012

David Johnston's End of Tour Report

David hitch-hiked across Canada to educate folks about the "Right to Sleep. There's information and background about the BC Supreme Court win here, and a rather extensive media report about David's travels (published in The Independent from Newfoundland & Labrador) here. This video is David's end of tour report, there are many videos from the journey at his "hatrackman" youtube account.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rock City Hall


To be fair, the City of Victoria has created some new subsidized and low-income housing in the past couple of years in their efforts to “end homelessness.” The crisis of poverty and homelessness grows exponentially, though, so until we overhaul everything and establish a society grounded in true equality, we’re going to continue to see the kinds of numbers that showed up last night at City Hall for free grub and a chance to address council. Organizers estimate at least 150 homeless and street associated people were fed outside city hall, at the BBQ City Hall: Turn up the Heat on Council event organized by ViPIRG (the Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group).

When I arrived, around 8:15, two young police officers had just arrested two of the individuals and were taking away a bicycle with a sleeping bag attached to it. I asked a friend what happened as was told they'd been "jacked up" by the police. I asked one of the police officers if they were short bicycles for their next police auction, and accused him of theft. Unfortunately I didn’t have a camera with me. We all helplessly watched as the man's bicycle was taken away, the two men already removed. Imagine you're having a picnic and the police arrive and take two of you away because they have labelled you as "trouble makers."



It’s this blatant disrespect for the law, for people less fortunate, this social profiling, that’s the precise reason so many showed up for the city council meeting. ViPIRG organizers have simple and clear demands: 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Victoria: Who Owns What?


Once upon a time, and for a very long time, there was no such thing as land ownership.  The earth, water, and sky was honoured, revered, and respected as the great sustainer of life. Then one day the white people arrived, with all their ideas about commerce and property rights and patriarchy, and they began to take control of the land and the people and all the creatures. 

Fast forward to May 2012, and an informal gathering at a little coffee shop in what’s now known as Victoria.  Councilor Shellie Gudgeon is living up to her election campaign promising to help strengthen communities.  She’s meeting with whoever shows up at the neighbourhood’s monthly coffee/tea meeting, listening to our concerns and sharing hers.

Since last week’s announcement that there is some intention, from elected officials, to sell off public land and naming rights, one of Shellie’s main concerns is about mapping what is public and what is private land in her electoral riding of Victoria.  She believes that, prior to rushing ahead with a significant waterfront land sale, the city ought to a) consult with the electorate who collectively own that land and b) prepare a cohesive vision of the waterfront for the future, taking into consideration all the vision planning that has been prepared in the past.

This makes sense.  Surprisingly, according to what Shellie has been able to discern, not only is there no coherent cohesive vision of what Victoria’s waterfront might look like for future generations, there doesn’t seem to be any consensus about which lands the city currently owns. Apparently city staff recently created such a map, at the request of Councilor Ben Isitt, but there’s no agreement about all the information presented on it. For example, the greenspace at the north east corner of the Bay Bridge (near Point Ellice) is either privately owned, or it’s city property, depending on who you speak with.

ethos - documentary with woody harrelson

new documentary film about palestine

click here for more information

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Medicine Hat, the Gas City



As I write this we're passing through Medicine Hat (the Gas City, as the sign says), on our way home from a nine day driving adventure from Victoria to Manitoba and back.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough on the camera draw to get a photo of the Hat's sign.

I wonder if residents wonder about the irony of a city named for healing, and destruction, at the same time.  I suppose they don’t think much about it, and if they do they probably argue that the gas economy is what keeps their community healthy and vibrant.  For now, I suppose.  But the word “medicine” implies, at least to me, something bigger than the mere economics of human activity.  And the word “gas” implies, to me, destruction of environment, pollution, and radical global climate change.  Yes, oil and gas exploration has improved our collective quality of life, providing heat and the ability to live comfortably, but it’s old technology and time, now, to consider alternatives. 

happy earth day