Addicts for Happiness

Here is another nugget from one of my current favorite Dad-blogs – Fathers who Feel:

We’re all addicts for happiness, and for formulas to attain more of it. Sometimes being a parent looks like a big board game designed to demonstrate what a silly quest that is. The point here isn’t that there isn’t a lot of crazy joy on the journey. It’s just that nailing it down and making it repeatable is beyond elusive. Not that my little brain actually registers that and gives up trying.

Do be sure to wander over to his blog and check out the rest of this post, and some of his other writing…

Wired to Connect

I read an interview recently in which someone said “The brain is wired to connect with other people.” Now, the fact that we are social beings, that we crave the company of others and create our identity at least in part through our interaction with others is the sort of thing that is they teach in Sociology 101.

However, this line stuck out to me in part because of its context and in part because of its diction.

The interview was part of a series of interviews with leading progressive media makers, thinkers and activists and had a decidedly “new media” tone with an emphasis on new technology and social networks. In this context this idea takes on new contours than simply saying “we are social beings.” In addition, this context makes the speakers words – her way of saying this – particularly poignant. We are not just social beings, we are “wired” to “connect.”
Continue reading

MLK, Food, and Community Gardens

I just stumbled upon a great post over at Grist.org reflecting on Martin Luther King Jr. in terms of our food culture and food system. In many ways the post reminded me of some of the work I had done a few years ago, exploring the overlaps between Dr. King and conservation and community service for the Student Conservation Association (see those here and here). I agree with Tom Philpot, the author of the post, that a community garden is a great place to celebrate MLK day.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

“[There is an] emerging backlash against industrial food — a movement toward farmers markets, natural-foods supermarkets like Whole Foods, and other sources of fresh, unprocessed fare. But here, too, African Americans were largely marginalized. In cities across the country, “food deserts” persist: areas where almost no fresh food (much less local or organic fare) is available, forcing residents to either travel great distances to supermarkets or rely on overpriced processed fare from corner stores. Continue reading

The Fallacy of the First 100 Days

Is anyone else really sick of hearing about Obama’s first 100 days? Cable and network news pundits repeat the phrase like a mantra, meant to justify their incessant jabber. News websites and politics blogs have big banners across their site pointing people to their “First 100 Days” section. Conversations around the water cooler count out the days, and discuss what has been accomplished, or not.

As best as I can tell the whole 100 days phenomenon is little more than a constructed timeline, designed and implemented in large part by the media to keep people coming back for more. After record ratings, web hits, and sales during the news-heavy election season, the media needs something to lure people back. In this way, the rhetoric of the first 100 days has simply and slickly replaced the rhetoric of horserace politics that was featured there before.

Instead of routing you to their “Election Center,” websites point you to their “100 Days Page.” Instead of counting down to November 4th, they are counting down to April 30th. But wait, do weekends count? If not then then we are counting down until June 2nd. But wait, are we counting holidays?

And that’s the thing – 100 days is absolutely arbitrary. Continue reading

Information is Light

“People do awful things to each other. But it’s worse in places where everybody is kept in the dark. Information is light. Information, in itself, about anything, is light.”

~Veteran photographer, George Guthrie, a character in the Tom Stoppard play Night and Day (thanks to James Warren’s recent article in the Atlantic for pointing me to this quote.)