Saturday, May 30, 2015

"If we fail to act..."

"The damage that climate change is causing and that will get worse if we fail to act goes beyond the hundreds of thousands of lives, homes and businesses lost, ecosystems destroyed, species driven to extinction, infrastructure smashed and people inconvenienced."
David Suzuki, scientist, author, environmentalist

       The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average. Changes in the Arctic climate creates a ripple affect around the world like a stone thrown into a placid pond. Rising sea levels and altered weather patterns are occurring at an accelerated pace. Mainly, melting snow and ice expose a darker surface, increasing the amount of solar energy absorbed. March of 2015 was the warmest month of March in 136 years on record. The CO2 levels are now higher than they've ever been in 800,000 years.  Across our planet we continue to damage or destroy entire ecosystems.

 The following paragraph is an excerpt from an article written by Ilissa Ocko, climate scientist at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), who contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

"The warming of the Arctic may also render Greenland largely ice free. While Greenland's ice loss will likely reach the point of no return within this century, the full transition will take at least a few hundred years. The impacts of the Greenland ice melt is expected to raise sea levels by up to 20 feet. Half of the 10 largest cities in the world, including New York City, and one-third of the world's 30 largest cities are already threatened by this sea-level rise. Today, those cities are home to nearly 1.8 billion people. Other vulnerable American cities include Miami, Norfolk and Boston."

      If humans act responsibly by stabilizing birth rates, reducing our consumption and eliminating hydrocarbon energy we might be able to reverse the current warming we've created. If we fail to act now, we face an escalation of heating beyond our control. Carbon emissions are dominated by the US, China, Europe, and India. Primarily, sources of carbon emissions are coal, gas, oil, and cement manufacturing. All of these sources and more are preventing the carbon uptake by plant life, reduced further through deforestation and the increased acidity of our oceans. We are killing our planet or perhaps to be more brutally accurate- we are committing suicide. If we continue on our current path without making major changes we continue poisoning our own plant, food and water resources, our wildlife and ultimately ourselves.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

"The time will come."

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men." -- Leonardo Da Vinci

            Ending confined farming is a huge step forward for ensuring humane treatment of animals Recently, multinational retail corporation Walmart announced they were demanding associate meat suppliers and egg producers use antibiotics only when absolutely critical for disease prevention or essential treatment. The common practice of fattening up cows, pigs and other livestock are over in an industry that is finally being held accountable. Educated shoppers are insisting on information about where their food comes from. Conscientious consumers want to know what farm animals are ingesting and how they're being physically treated. Transparency when it comes to how things are grown is not only a matter of ethics but one of protecting our own health.
           Even if economics is the primary motivating factor for Walmart's humane leap forward, human beings and animals will benefit from the end of the horrifying practice of confined farming. Animals suffer tremendously stuffed into gestation crates and wire cages. They are subjected to castration and other forms of mutilation, often barbarically abused by workers before being slaughtered. The abuse has become so common there are controversial laws that may be enacted to prevent workers from video taping or speaking out against animal abusers on farms. Walmart stated in their announcement quite adamantly, "First, we expect that our suppliers will not tolerate animal abuse of any kind."
 According to one Consumer Affairs report Walmart stated its own market research study showed:

               77% of its shoppers said they will increase their trust in the industry.
              66 %  of those polled will increase their likelihood to shop at a retailer that improves the                               treatment of livestock.

Walmart supports the globally-recognized “Five Freedoms” as an aspiration for animal welfare in their supply chain. The "Five Freedoms" are as follows:
  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by providing ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  2. Freedom from Discomfort – by providing appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by ensuring prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
       Walmart will  be working with their own supply chain partners to implement all of the above practices consistent with the "Five Freedoms" of animal welfare. Consumers should demand that all food suppliers adhere to the same standards. Even people who consume meat demand animals be treated humanely. As a society we have to demand that animals will never be ruthlessly tortured.

         CEO and president of The Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle  announced the move by Walmart is “game-changing progress and signals to agribusiness that the era of confining farm animals is ending.”

  Ask questions. Check your own local grocery and supply stores to see how they are measuring up.



Friday, May 22, 2015

"You are the memory that lives in me."

"Wars can be prevented just as surely as they can be provoked, and we who fail to prevent them, must share the guilt for the dead."

                               Omar N. Bradley- US Army General, author (1893-1981)


            A LOVE THAT MOVES THE SUN   

                         We are One.
                          I am a part of you.
                         You are a part of me.

                         You are the heart of me who never returned.
                         Courageous and brave standing on a battleship
                         silently waving good-bye to everything and 
                         everyone you ever loved.

                         You are the haunting shadow of the past
                         who chose passion over quiet resistance,
                         who chose noble warrior over gentle stillness.

                          You are the memory that lives in me,
                          selflessly flying missions on the untamed wind,
                          mapping out the intricacies of our future freedom.
                          You are a part of me cut open, wounds bleeding
                          heart beating out of your chest with fear,
                          swallowing tears and moving forward into
                          the unknown darkness.

                          We are One.
                          I am a part of you.
                          You are a part of me.
                          We will never glimpse the beauty of the
                          Universe in each others eyes yet
                          every atom we share of our Truth and
                          our Legacy gives me the strength to fight for
                          Our peace.


                                                                                                 by Lisa More

Happy Birthday to my sister Laurie, love you!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

"Laugh and the whole world laughs with you..."

"There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do." -Amy Poehler  writer, comedian, actor.

                    You may be wondering why so many print, internet ads and TV commercials are featuring children, adults, celebrities and even beloved pets sporting bright red Rudolph the Reindeer-esque  face decorations. No, its not the latest Japanese fashion craze. Just as Billy Madison once reassured his best school buds " you ain't cool unless you pee your pants." this Thursday, "you ain't cool unless you wear the nose". The red clown nose. Red Nose Day, the U.K.’s #1 television fundraising event since it began in 1985, is coming to the States. Red Nose Day is a charity campaign to raise awareness and funds for children and young people living in poverty. It officially takes place in the US, May 21st, 2015.
               Do you like to laugh? Do you like to make other people laugh? Would you like to raise money benefiting millions of children here at home and around the world?  Then this good time, gag filled gig is for you. Make a pledge to share your engaging wit, sarcasm, practical jokes, parodies, puns and stand up to make a difference.  Red Nose Day will culminate with a three-hour TV marathon special on NBC. The show will bring together your favorite Hollywood movie and TV stars, comedians, and musicians for an evening of spectacular entertainment.
 It all starts at  8PM EST.
       Funds donated during the Red Nose Day campaign will be given to a variety of nonprofit organizations including Save the Children, The Boys & Girls Club of America, Oxfam and many more. These organizations have the power to transform children's lives and so do you.

To find out how to get your red nose, check the official Red Nose Day (#rednose) website below for all details

 A list of appearances, videos and contributors can be found here:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Where there is doubt, there is freedom."

"When I write, I don't allow the fear of consequences to interfere with the writing process. I have in the past paid for my commitment to the truth and the way I live my life. I am prepared to pay more if I have to." -Taslima Nasrin- author


            Ananta Bijoy Das was said to have received death threats from Islamist extremists shortly before his attack Tuesay, May 12th.  Das, a Bangladeshi science writer was leaving his home when  viciously hacked to death by assailants armed with machetes. The governments reaction in Bangladesh has been disturbingly indifferent. Citizens are furious and frustrated. Two young men were arrested for a previous hacking murder, seized by a crowd of onlookers instead of captured by  police. Speaking out in Bangladesh has become more dangerous but the increasingly angry population understands silence is even more treacherous. The courageous men murdered were only guilty of honesty, bravery and the integrity to express their own views.
          Das wrote blogs for Mukto-Mona, a progressive website written in Bengali and translated into English which allows freethinkers to contemplate science, humanism, rationalism and all subjects pertaining to human rights and freedom for the people of Bangladesh. Now the entire world is reading and listening. Mukto-Mona was once moderated by Bangladeshi-US citizen, Avijit Roy, himself tragically hacked to death in February of 2015.
             Bangladesh is officially secular (or attitudes of no particular religious or spiritual bias). But citizens and critics alike agree the government is blatantly ignoring the rise of blogger murders. The attacks are not being investigated properly or punished.
     Death threats against secular writers by hardline Islamists a few years ago, demanded a                   " blasphemy law " to stop bloggers they perceive to be anti-Islamic from expressing opinions about Islam. So far in addition to Das and Roy, in March of 2015 blogger, Washiqur Rahman, was hacked to death in the Bangladesh capitol of Dhaka.
       In an article for Aljazeera, director at Human Rights Watch  - Asia, Brad Adams stated:

       "This pattern of vicious attacks on secular and atheist writers not only silences the victims but also sends a chilling message to all in Bangladesh who espouse independent views on religious issues.
     The Bangladesh government needs to act swiftly to bring to justice those responsible for these brutal attacks, and to make clear public statements that attacking freedom of religion and expression will not be tolerated." 

For more information regarding protecting human rights and freedom campaigns around the world please check out the Human Rights Watch website


Saturday, May 9, 2015

"What a lovely day..."

"Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
                               T.S Eliot, The Waste Land

                  The best part about losing yourself in a gripping novel or temporarily escaping reality in cinema is that most characters and situations portrayed in a book or on the big screen are purely derived from incredibly creative imaginations. In the case of Mad Max: Fury Road, we can all be grateful it's a riveting tale of action adventure FICTION. There cannot be a more horrific premise for a movie than apocalyptic madness and mayhem. Directed by the amazing George Miller who has been at the helm of the entire Mad Max franchise, the theme plays upon our darkest fears of what "might" occur if  humankind continued barreling down a dry dusty path of unbridled greed and selfish ignorance like a frantic furious fireball nightmare. Survival is ALL in a violent dystopian hell on wheels wasteland. Mad Max: Fury Road opens on May 15th and features powerful performances from the kick-ass Charlize Theron and smokin' hot Tom Hardy. Not for the squeamish, Fury Road is Rated R for intense violence and disturbing images.
                 Another ethically themed wake up call was directed by the accomplished Andrew Niccol (In Time, Lord of War) and stars the brilliant Ethan Hawke as an American Air Force drone pilot who questions the morality of his missions, Good Kill opens in US theaters May 15th and features January Jones and Zoe Kravitz. Good Kill is Rated R. Check out the official trailer here.

May movies coming soon:
    Opening the 15th

Area 51 (Sci-Fi)

Time Lapse (Sci-Fi)

Pitch Perfect 2

May 22nd

Tomorrowland (Family)

Poltergeist (3D)

May 29th

San Andreas 3D 

Aloha (Romance)

 May 10th-  Happy Mothers Day to my beautiful sisters Leslie & Laurie. Happy Mothers Day to Lorraine, Patti, Marge, Angie, and Krissy. Happy Mothers Day to all women everywhere who have chosen to be mothers. Hopefully, you are honored, cherished, respected and loved by your families every single day.

 As a country, let us always remember that being a mother is a choice. Motherhood is a right which should always remain a choice for women in the United States and a choice, not a duty or forced requirement for ALL women around the world. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"Infinite possibilities...."

Limits are nonexistent.

The infinitely small is as large as the
infinitely big. Limits are nonexistent.
The infinitely large is as small as
the infinitely minute.
No eye can see their boundaries.

             -  Sengstan

Friday, May 1, 2015

"Hope breeds peace."

"Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”

                                                                                                         - Confucius

                       Dr. Fareed Zakaria earned a PhD from Harvard University, a B.A from Yale, is an international bestselling author of four books, including, The Future of Freedom, The Post-American World  and now available, In Defense of a Liberal Education.  Zakaria  has been the host of CNN's GPS (Global Public Square) since 2008 and contributes a weekly column to the Washington Post.  So why is the subject of a liberal arts education so important at this moment? Believe it or not, Governors in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina have announced they're refusing to spend taxpayer money on subsidizing liberal arts. Why are college Majors such as English, History, and Humanities suddenly under attack in the United States?  Why are numerous State officials implying that a student learning to write, speak, read and think for themselves "ain't " a priority for well being?
           Apparently, a few of our elected officials are against funding education, upholding women's rights, raising the minimum wage and deny climate change yet emphatically insist the United States be globally competitive in business, technology and science? Wait!? This is making my head and my heart ache.

      Science, math and technology require the ability to read, write and think creatively. True or false?  How do American college students learn critical thinking skills if we eliminate English, writing and especially reading?  Curiosity, a love of learning and being literate is 90% of my own education.   Aren't you surprised I can form sentences? After all, I attended Kent State and a community college in Florida. What the hell do I know? Who needs to read any way? Life is so much easier when children and teens shut up, close their eyes and do what they're told. Don't they grow up to be such wonderful, narrow minded, uncaring, robotic, perfectly compliant adults?

              In Defense of a Liberal Education,  Zakaria argues that a liberal education is America's greatest exercise in freedom. The human mind and spirit has a limitless desire to know and create.   The book is a powerful examination of the undeniable value of liberal arts studies in a well rounded education and the effects of underestimating those contributions for the  future of our society. Please view the brief clip above from Big Think