1. Presidio North Shore field trip postponed
2. Pacifica Land Trust fundraiser TONIGHT, 6 pm
3. Come learn about Muir's March and get 10% off all Sports Basement purchases
4. Join South San Francisco Weed Warriors Fri 27, Saturday 28
5. Premier wildflower area stewards in NYTimes blog
6. Lawsuit filed to stop Legislature's attempted run around law
7. Animal abuse at our state fair/hunting bears with dogs
8. Help fund SaveTheFrogs in Belize
9. Starry necklace in eastern sky/sensational footage of Saturn and Jupiter from NASA
10. Despite legislative victories, NRA is under pressure
11. For a healthier country, overhaul farm subsidies
12. The mind of time is hard to read - John O'Donohue
13. Plant milkweed to conserve monarch butterflies
14. Northcoast congressional district candidate questionnaire on environmental issues
15. Instructions: Give up the world; give up self
16. There is sunlight always, and that is the meaning - Jess Morton
17. This just in: men are selfish layabouts
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Prayers are to men as dolls are to children. They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them very seriously.
-Samuel Butler, poet (1612-1680)
1. Presidio North Shore/America's Cup Viewpoints field trip scheduled for April 28 has been POSTPONED to May 12, same time.]
April 28 is the date set for demolishing Doyle Drive. This means that the transit information given here is problematic. In addition, we have been told that the noise will be deafening.
California Native Plant Society field trip - free and open to the public
Presidio North Shore and America's Cup Viewpoints
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 12 noon to 3:00 pm - postponed to Saturday May 12
Leaders: Jake Sigg and Ruth Gravanis
Directions: Meet near the Golden Gate Bridge, at the #28 Muni bus stop just east of the tunnel that passes beneath the toll plaza.
2. Pacifica Land Trust fundraiser
Tuesday, April 24, 6 to 8 pm at the Salada Cafe, 220 Paloma Av in Pacifica
Pizza and salad, $20 per guest. RSVPs not required. Information: email@example.com
Pier Pressure: A Celebration
Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 7:00pm at the Firehouse
As part of the Fishing For Words poetry celebration, a night of readings, performances and live music by the Wander-Ins. http://www.pierpoetry.org/
3. Restore Hetch Hetchy - Muir's March Round-Up
This Wednesday! April 25, 2012, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
Sports Basement, 1590 Bryant Street
Come learn about Muir's March AND Get 10% off all Sports Basement purchases
Sports Basement will also contribute 10% of your total purschase to Restore Hetch Hetchy
rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Join the South San Francsco Weed Warriors on San Bruno Mountain
Friday April 27th and
Saturday April 28th
9am to 12pm
Come out Friday or Saturday - or both days! - and help with this critical stewardship work to restore native grasslands. The recent rains will make weeding so much easier.
• gloves provided
• wear long pants and layers
• wear sturdy shoes
• bring water!
Check out the San Bruno Mountain Watch website for all volunteer opportunities in our Stewardship Programs and Upcoming Events
Contact: San Bruno Mountain Watch (415) 467-6631
Or email leaders Chuck and Loretta
We focus on the removal of non-native & invasive plant species
Meeting location: behind the Mills Montessori School at 1400 Hillside Blvd in South San Francisco
View Google Map
5. Here's some longtime land stewards at Edgewood Natural Preserve celebrated in a New York Times blog:
And why do weed warriors do this week after week, year after year?
“No daintie flowre or herbe that growes on grownd,
No arborett with painted blossoms drest
And smelling sweete, but there it might be fownd
To bud out faire, and throwe her sweete smels al arownd.”
PLANNING AND CONSERVATION LEAGUE FILES SUIT CHALLENGING AB 900
Environmental Group Contends 2011 Law Sending Cases Directly to Courts of Appeal Violates California Constitution’s Separation of Powers
On Monday, PCL filed litigation in Superior Court (Alameda County) challenging the constitutionality of Assembly Bill 900 (Buchanan and Gordon). Under AB 900, judicial review of selected large-scale projects brought pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) must bypass the superior court and be brought directly in the courts of appeal; the appellate courts would have no choice but to clear their regular appellate dockets to act as trial courts in these special cases.
In its suit, PCL contends that this requirement violates the separation of powers between the legislature and courts, as defined in Article VI, Section 10 of the California Constitution, which provides that “The Supreme Court, courts of appeal, superior courts, and their judges have original jurisdiction in…proceedings for extraordinary relief in the nature of mandamus, certiorari, and prohibition.” AB 900 attempts to exclude the superior courts and Supreme Court from that constitutionally-granted jurisdiction.
“Under the California Constitution, in CEQA suits the courts alone are empowered to govern their dockets and decide which cases are so extraordinary as to bypass the superior court and burden the appellate courts to act as trial judges,” noted PCL’s attorney on the litigation Tony Rossmann. “By overstepping its authority, and requiring the courts of appeal to hear cases that have been selected by the political branches of government, the legislature has created an unlevel playing field for citizens, and disabled the courts from prioritizing cases on their merits.”
PCL’s challenge is limited to the legislature’s imposition on the courts as to where legal challenges must be filed; other portions of the bill are not a subject of this suit. In fact, PCL had expressed support for AB 900’s provisions aimed at expediting agencies’ preparation of the administrative record.
CEQA is perhaps California’s preeminent environmental law, and has helped safeguard the state’s lands, air, waters and communities for more than four decades. PCL is proud to have played a role in drafting and protecting this vital law, and felt it was imperative for us to stand up against the continuing assault on CEQA.
According to PCL’s Executive Director Bruce Reznik, “We tried unsuccessfully to correct this constitutional deficiency through action in this new legislative year, and have no choice but to turn to the courts. We remain committed to engage in a constructive dialogue with the legislature, Brown Administration and other stakeholders to identify where CEQA can be improved to maintain its aims of ensuring informed decision-making, protecting the public’s right of engagement, and promoting more environmentally sound projects.”
Eric Mills letter:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CALIFORNIA STATE FAIR
cc: Ex-officio members: Senators Darrell Steinberg and Doug LaMalfa; Assemblymember Roger Dickinson
The enclosed Letter to the Editor was sent to some 35 newspapers (dailies and weeklies) throughout the state, and is beginning to appear in print. The letter will also be distributed throughout the State Capitol.
Here's hoping you can bring about the necessary changes to improve the plight of animals at our State Fair.
At the VERY LEAST, the sale of novelty foods such as "Raccoon on a Stick" and "Beaver on a Stick" should be stopped. Again, the meat reportedly comes from cruel out-of-state fur farms. Such "farms" are illegal in California. It certainly seems inappropriate these products should then be sold at the State Fair. Not to mention the risk to public health. Raccoons are notorious carriers of rabies, roundworms, distemper, etc.
April 16, 2012
Letter to the Editor
THE CAPITOL WEEKLY
ANIMAL ABUSE AT OUR STATE FAIR
Remember the distraught pregnant cow and her unborn calf who were gunned down at the 2010 California State Fair? Sadly, the abusive "live birthing" exhibits will continue at the 2012 Fair, July 12-29.
State Fairs in Oregon, Colorado, Texas and elsewhere do not allow such exhibits, due to animal welfare concerns. Instead, they display mothers with their 8-to-10-week-old young. THAT's what people want to see, not the actual birthing process itself, which can be traumatic for all concerned. At CalEXPO, pregnant sows will again be imprisoned for three weeks in farrowing crates, unable to move, and forced to give birth on a metal grid, before gawking crowds, with nightly fireworks. Do this to a dog and go to jail
Hungry? The 2012 Fair will again offer "Raccoon and Beaver on a Stick" (meat from out-of-state fur farms--illegal in California). There'll also be live goldfish given away as prizes, and hermit crabs sold as pets--most will die an early death, or be flushed down the toilet. Only public outcry can stop these abuses.
The Fair Board meets on Friday, April 27, 12:30 p.m. in the Administration Building at CalEXPO, and the public is urged to attend. (See website for agenda.) Meanwhile, letters of concern can be sent to CalEXPO CEO & Genl. Mgr. Norbert Bartosik and the Fair Board at 2600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815; email - email@example.com, tel. 916/263-3010. All state legislators may be written c/o The State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Eric Mills, coordinator
ACTION FOR ANIMALS
(Busy guy, this Eric):
See enclosed commentary from today's SACRAMENTO BEE.
Please make a few comments, then make those calls and send those emails of support ASAP.
Time is of essence. The bill (SB 1221) will be heard this Tuesday morning, 9:30 a.m.
Sacramento Connect: Another View: Action needed to halt bear hunting with dogs - Viewpoints - The Sacramento Bee -- from via SacConnect.us
Another View: Action needed to halt bear hunting with dogs - Viewpoints - The Sacramento Bee -- from via SacConnect.us
8. Happy Earth Day! My name is Michael Starkey. I am the Chairman of the SAVE THE FROGS! Advisory Committee and have been helping spread SAVE THE FROGS’ message of amphibian conservation for the past two years. Today is not only Earth Day, it is also my 25th birthday! I'm asking my friends, family, and SAVE THE FROGS’ supporters for a special gift: help me finish my goal of raising $2,300 to fund our amphibian conservation efforts in Belize.
You can place a tax-deductible donation at: http://savethefrogs.com/donate-belize
Belize’s frogs are under serious threat from habitat destruction, infectious disease, pollution and pesticides. Last January I went to Belize, where I helped kickstart the country’s amphibian conservation activities. I will be returning to Belize in June 2012 to continue spreading SAVE THE FROGS' amphibian conservation message and implementing programs in the country. Please help turn my dream of saving Belize’s frogs into a reality!
With your assistance I will return to Belize this June to give more presentations and grow Belize's network of students, academics and biologists interested in amphibian conservation efforts. You can learn all about my last trip to Belize, as well as my future plans at:
As I am turning 25, please consider giving the gift of $25 to benefit my cause, but anything is greatly appreciated. We at SAVE THE FROGS! are working endlessly to bring greater consciousness to the effects we humans have on the planet, and inspire people to protect it!
Michael G. Starkey
SAVE THE FROGS! - Advisory Committee Chair, Ecologist
Giving a presentation to the students of Blue Creek School, Belize, about the importance of amphibians in the environment. I am eager to go back!
Thank you for your support! Together we can SAVE THE FROGS!
With the staff of the Belize Zoo
9. Saturn - from Astronomy April 2012 issue
Saturn puts on quite a show in April. The ringed planet lies opposite the Sun in our sky on the 15th, which means it rises at sunset and remains visible all night long. An outer planet also lies closest to Earth at opposition and so appears brightest; in Saturn's case, it peaks at magnitude 0.2. (JS: Magnitude 0 is brighter than a first-magnitude star.) That makes it nearly a full magnitude brighter than Spica, the luminary of the planet's host constellation, Virgo the Maiden. Spica lies 5 degrees southwest of Saturn all month. (JS: The magazine didn't point out the sky-spanning necklace composed of the arc of theBig Dipper's handle, then following the arc to Arcturus, then proceeding to Saturn and Spica. This is visible even in San Francisco on a non-cloudy night.)
(Rest of article is for those with small telescopes.)
The view of Saturn through a telescope impresses novices and seasoned observers alike. The planet's disk appears noticeably flattened, measuring 19" across the equator but only 17' from pole to pole at opposition. (Saturn's equatorial bulge arises from its gaseous nature and fast rotation.)
You should check Saturn's disk for any possible storm systems. Although they are quite rare, a large one captured observers' attentions last year. Even small instruments revealed it as a distinct white spot. It grew more elongated as it was buffeted by the saturnian atmosphere's high winds. (See next item to SEE Saturn's winds.)
But the true visual treat comes from viewing Saturn's ring system, which looks pretty as a picture even through a small scope. The rings span 43" on the 15th, more than double the planet's disk, and tilt 14 degrees to our line of sight. You should have little trouble spying the Cassini Division, a dark gap that separates the outer A ring from the broader and brighter B ring. Small telescopes also reveal a handful of Saturn's moons.
This beautifully composed space footage of Saturn and Jupiter will 100% give you chills
Trust us. Stop what you're doing, set aside two minutes of your time, full-screen this bad boy and just watch. Listen. Think about the fact that the "video" you see here was, in fact, carefully pieced together from thousands of individual photographs captured during NASA's Cassini and Voyager missions. Let the carefully selected mix of imagery, old and new, invade your retinas. Just watch.
This video, which is simply titled "Outer Space," was created by Hauge-based filmmaker Sander van den Berg. Van den Berg plumbed the depths of NASA's Cassini and Voyager image databases to find photographs that were taken in succession, allowing him to stitch them together into moving pictures. The result, as you can see, was nothing short of breathtaking. Ring gaps, moonlets, geysers, big red spots and littler red spots abound.
(JS: This is almost enough to assuage my anger and frustration in regard to the electronic age. Since words like awesome, awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, fantastic have been destroyed by overuse and trivializing I can't find an adjective to suit this experience. You see a full cycle of Saturn's rings tilted so you see them from above and from below. [I should know how long that takes, but I've forgotten; many years.] Saturnian satellites whiz around, Jupiter's clouds circulate, some east-west, others west-east, causing the Great Red Spot to whirl like a vortex. Thank you, NASA, and thank you, Mr van den Berg.)
10. The National Rifle Association
Arms and the man
Despite legislative victories, the NRA is under pressure
Apr 21st 2012 | ST LOUIS | from The Economist
“TAKE a sticker,” urges the woman from Ambush Firearms. “We are giving away two free guns every day to people wearing them.” What your correspondent would do with an semi-automatic rifle, let alone one that also comes in pink, was not obvious. Welcome to the annual convention of the National Rifle Association (NRA)—this year held in St Louis, Missouri. It is a yearly celebration of freedom, the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and, above all else, a festival of guns. Seven acres, to be precise, of guns and gear.
Americans like firearms. According to a report from the Congressional Research Service there were 294m guns in the country in 2007, up from 192m in 1994. More guns might be expected to mean more influence for the NRA, except that the number of households with guns has actually declined fairly consistently since 1973. The people who buy guns, it seems, are usually those who already own them. One probable cause of this decline is a shift to urban living. Moreover, safety-conscious Americans are increasingly aware that, statistically, a gun is a far greater risk to friends and family than it is of potential use in self-defence.
Nonetheless, some Americans hang on to their weapons because they enjoy hunting or target practice, or live in places with too many wild animals or too few policemen. The right to gun ownership is enshrined in the constitution and is regarded by many as an issue of civil liberty—something that Europeans struggle to understand. So even as outrage is sparked over shootings such as that of Trayvon Martin in Florida and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, there is little appetite for gun-control legislation.
Quite the opposite. Behind the march of pro-gun laws across America (such as “stand your ground” ordinances that allow for the use of force in self-defence, without any obligation to attempt to retreat first, now in effect in more than half the states) is the NRA and its lobbying arm, the mildly-named Institute for Legislative Action. The NRA’s influence on introducing legislation has been remarkable. The debate about guns is no longer over whether assault rifles ought to be banned, but over whether guns should be allowed in bars, churches and colleges.
The NRA also claims to be a potent force in elections; it says it defeated 19 of the 24 congressmen who were on its hit-list back in 1994. But a recent article in American Prospect disputes such assertions, arguing that the NRA’s impact is marginal these days because it spreads itself thinly and tends to support Republican incumbents.
Although the NRA is ostensibly an organisation seeking to protect the civil rights of its 4m members, critics such as the Violence Policy Centre (VPC), a gun-control group, contend that the level of funding from firearms manufacturers makes it, in effect, just a trade association for the gun industry. Some of the NRA’s fund-raising comes directly from gun sales. For example, Sturm, Ruger & Co., firearms manufacturers, donated $1 for each gun they sold last year and thereby collected $1.2m for the NRA’s lobbying arm.
Looking ahead, the NRA’s combative executive vice-president, Wayne LaPierre, says the NRA is “all in” for the fight to defeat Barack Obama. Mr Obama might be supposed to have done little to upset the NRA, having meekly signed legislation that allows guns to be brought into national parks and on to trains. But his quiet first term is, say many at the convention, actually part of a conspiracy to destroy the Second Amendment during his second term.
There are signs, though, that the NRA is growing out of touch with modern Americans and even with its own members—who, according to surveys, now tend to support restrictions such as mandatory background checks on buyers of weapons at gun shows. The future does not look bright, either. Despite attempts to attract women, most convention-goers in St Louis were white men over the age of 40—a segment of the population on the decline. The classified sections in NRA magazines such as American Rifleman feature, besides all the weaponry, advertisements for gardening equipment and Viagra.
11. For a Healthier Country, Overhaul Farm Subsidies
While health officials wage a costly war on obesity and diabetes, taxpayers are subsidizing foods that make us fatter. It's time to rewrite the farm bill
By The Editors Scientific American| April 19, 2012
Image: Piotr Powietrzynski/Getty Images
Some years ago two nutrition experts went grocery shopping. For a dollar, Adam Drewnow ski and S. E. Specter could purchase 1,200 calories of potato chips or cookies or just 250 calories worth of carrots. It was merely one example of how an unhealthy diet is cheaper than a healthy one. This price difference did not spring into existence by force of any natural laws but largely because of antiquated agricultural policies. Public money is working at cross-purposes: backing an overabundance of unhealthful calories that are flooding our supermarkets and restaurants, while also battling obesity and the myriad illnesses that go with it. It is time to align our farm policies with our health policies.
In past years farm subsidies have been a third rail of American politics—never to be touched. But their price tag, both direct and indirect, has now brought them back into the debate and created an imperative for change. Conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis are strongly correlated with excess poundage and run up medical bills of nearly $150 billion every year. The government has poured billions of dollars into dietary campaigns, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new MyPlate recommendation (half of daily food consumption should be fruits and vegetables) to programs aimed at providing more produce in schools and in military cafeterias.
Agricultural subsidies undercut those efforts by skewing the market in favor of unhealthful calories. Much of the food we have to choose from—and how much it costs—is determined by the 1,770-page, almost $300-billion Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (commonly known as the “farm bill”). This piece of legislation, up for renewal this year, covers everything from nutrition assistance programs to land conservation efforts. It also determines how much money gets paid out to agricultural operations in subsidies and crop insurance programs. Federal support for agriculture, begun in earnest during the Great Depression, was originally intended as a temporary lifeline to farmers, paying them extra when crop prices were low. Nearly eight decades later the benefits flow primarily to large commodity producers of corn and soy, which are as profitable as ever.
The current bill gives some $4.9 billion a year in automatic payments to growers of such commodity crops, thus driving down prices for corn, corn-based products and corn-fed meats. Cows that are raised on corn, rather than grass, make meat that is higher in calories and contains more omega-6 fatty acids and fewer omega-3 fatty acids—a dangerous ratio that has been linked to heart disease.
Cheap corn has also become a staple in highly processed foods, from sweetened breakfast cereals to soft drinks, that have been linked to an increase in the rate of type 2 diabetes, a condition that currently affects more than one in 12 American adults. Between 1985 and 2010 the price of beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup dropped 24 percent, and by 2006 American children consumed an extra 130 calories a day from these beverages. Over the same period the price of fresh fruits and vegetables rose 39 percent. For families on a budget, the price difference can be decisive in their food choices.
But fruits and vegetables do not have to be more expensive than a corn-laden chicken nugget or corn syrup–sweetened drink. One reason they are costly is that the current farm bill categorizes them as “specialty crops” that do not receive the same direct payments or crop insurance that commodity crops do.
With the government tightening its belt, some of those old subsidies finally look ready to fall. Many lawmakers across the political spectrum, including President Barack Obama and the leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, have recommended cutting direct commodity payments, which would save money and help us stay healthier.
There is no dearth of policy options. Research groups such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, N.J., recommend leveling the playing field by extending subsidies and insurance programs more widely to fruit and vegetable producers. The government can also use its own purchasing power, through school lunch programs and institutional buying decisions, to fill people’s plates with healthy choices. The imperative, however, is clear: any new farm bill should at the very least remove the current perverse incentives for people to eat unhealthily.
This article was published in print as "Fresh Fruit, Hold the Insulin."
(9/11, Statue of Liberty)
For The Time Of Necessary Decision
The mind of time is hard to read.
We can never predict what it will bring,
Nor even from all that is already gone
Can we say what form it finally takes;
For time gathers its moments secretly.
Often we only know it’s time to change
When a force has built inside the heart
That leaves us uneasy as we are.
Perhaps the work we do has lost its soul
Or the love where we once belonged
Calls nothing alive in us anymore.
We drift through this gray, increasing nowhere
Until we stand before a threshold we know
We have to cross to come alive once more.
May we have the courage to take the step
Into the unknown that beckons us;
Trust that a richer life awaits us there,
That we will lose nothing
But what has already died;
Feel the deeper knowing in us sure
Of all that is about to be born beyond
The pale frames where we stayed confined,
Not realizing how such vacant endurance
Was bleaching our soul’s desire.
~ John O’Donohue ~
(To Bless the Space Between Us)
PLANT MILKWEED TO CONSERVE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES!
Transplants available from Hedgerow Farms in Winters, CA.
The Xerces Society is pleased to announce that Hedgerow Farms of Winters, California, is now offering milkweed transplants that are ideal for planting in home gardens, as well as larger projects. Hedgerow Farms also produces milkweed seed for use in habitat enhancement and restoration projects. 10% of all plant sales will be donated to the Xerces Society.
Monarch butterflies in North America are in decline, and the loss of milkweed plants across their breeding range is believed to be a significant contributing factor.
Milkweeds are vital to the monarch's survival because they are the only plants the caterpillars eat as they grow and develop into adults. Each spring, western monarchs leave their overwintering sites on the California coast and fly inland in search of milkweed on which to lay their eggs.
You can help to conserve monarch butterflies and their migration by planting native milkweeds to provide essential breeding habitat for these beautiful creatures! In addition, milkweed nectar attracts a diverse range of pollinators including other butterflies, native bees, honey bees, and hummingbirds.
Hedgerow Farms has four species of milkweed available and ready for planting this spring:
Indian milkweed (Asclepias eriocarpa)
Narrowleaf milkweed (A. fascicularis)
Purple milkweed (A. cordifolia)
Showy milkweed (A. speciosa)
Full trays of 38 plants are sold for $95, and can be ordered as tray(s) of an individual species, or you can mix-and-match multiple species per tray (divided equally between two, three or four species per tray). Quantities less than 38 can be ordered for $2.50 per plant. Each plant cell is 4.5" deep and 2" wide at the top.
Plants can be picked up at the farm in Winters, or shipped via UPS. Shipping and handling costs will vary based on the quantity ordered.
To place an order, please contact Hedgerow Farms at 530-662-6847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about which species are suitable for planting in your area, please contact Brianna Borders, Plant Ecologist, at 855-232-6639 or email@example.com.
14. Northcoast Environmental Center's 2nd Congressional District Candidate Questionnaire on Environmental Issues
To help voters better understand the candidates’ positions on environmental issues, the Northcoast Environmental Center (NEC)—in collaboration with our member and associate member groups—assembled a questionnaire comprised of 20 questions covering a range of issues to present to the candidates. The questionnaire questions and responses may be reprinted in whole or in part, provided that full source credit is given to the NEC.
An excerpt was printed in the ECONEWS, NEC's bi-monthly publication, and the complete questionnaire. To read the candidates' views on climate change, wilderness, environmental law, community development, sustainable transportation, Klamath dam removal, port/rail, and many other issues, visit:
The NEC has worked for over 40 years to protect and restore the world-class natural resources of Northwestern California. Member and Associate Member groups include: the California Native Plant Society, Northcoast Chapter; North Group, Redwood Chapter of the Sierra Club; RedwoodRegion Audubon Society; Humboldt Baykeeper; Safe Alternatives for our Forest Environment (SAFE); Friends of Del Norte; and the Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC). Also participating in this questionnaire were Green Wheels (a project of the NEC), and Friends of the Eel River.
Give up the world; give up self; finally, give up God.
Find god in rhododendrons and rocks,
passers-by, your cat.
Pare your beliefs, your absolutes.
Make it simple; make it clean.
No carry-on luggage allowed.
Examine all you have
with a loving and critical eye, then
throw away some more.
Keep this and only this:
what your heart beats loudly for
what feels heavy and full in your gut.
There will only be one or two
things you will keep,
and they will fit lightly
in your pocket.
~ Sheri Hostetler ~
(A Cappella: Mennonite Voices in Poetry)
"Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." Pablo Picasso
There is sunlight
and that is
Called by birdsong,
Scorpio coils behind the western ridge.
Thick-tongued oaks and, scarlet-lipped,
the laurel sumac
rise above peers
to choir dawn down my closed eyes.
Yes, that is the meaning.
The hillsides transform.
Colors freed one by one
from the veering sun
open and close
on the hinging leaves,
on a caress of air
each separate child of that green
rainbow of chaparral.
Surely, that is the meaning.
The hills are not isolated
under this canvass of light
which elects no one hue
for the incarnations
entrusted to my path
among the pied lichens and rock.
That, too, must be the meaning.
this alloy of radiance
and splintered star,
the sun lies
in the orange wings of the wasp
tugging at the paralyzed
bulk of the spider,
hauling it burrow down
into the belly-black womb
where there is an illumination
more terrifying than any pure element
could ever realize.
And that is the meaning.
by Jess Morton
Endangered Habitats League newsletter Spring 2012
17. Couples and housework
The ironing lady
This just in: men are selfish layabouts
The Economist (excerpt)
He abhors a vacuum
THEY are regarded as chores by both sexes, but fall disproportionately on only one. The latest survey of time use in America suggests women still shoulder most of the housework, spending on average an hour a day scrubbing, hoovering and shopping, compared with barely 20 minutes for the unfairer sex.
...There is truth in the idea that chores go to the lower-paid partner. But cause and effect are unclear. Do women do more because of lower pay, or might their careers suffer from a disproportionate burden at home? Evidence that only men’s preferences seem to matter suggests the second explanation should not be swept under the carpet.
This newsletter is posted at http://naturenewssf.blogspot.com/ the same day it is emailed to recipients.