I Still <3 NY

It’s been a tough week for NY. Luckily, the worst most of our Brooklyn and Manhattan friends experienced were power outages, and our Staten Island and Jersey Shore family live on high ground. Facebook was a great way for me to double-check on everyone and to keep updated on what wasn’t being reported by the news. But for every horrifying photo of entire Queens neighborhoods being wiped out by fire or subway stations flooded to the ceiling, there were photos like this, of neighbors helping neighbors:

from The Guardian

It’s that “we’re in this together” spirit that I particularly miss about living in the metro area. While a normal day in the City sees locals speed-walking and elbowing past each other, when disaster (or major inconvenience) strikes, suddenly everyone’s family. I lived in Brooklyn from 2000-2010, so obviously the event that remains most prevalent in my memory is 9-11. I was a sophomore in college and had literally just flown back from my grandfather’s funeral in Florida, so watching the towers fall from a rooftop in Brooklyn was almost more than I could handle. I still can’t look at photos/video from that day without feeling ill. I do remember some scattered instances of looting, but for the most part there was a sense of brotherhood. I don’t think I heard a discouraging word for at least a week.

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The Secret Rights of Plants

Oohoohoo! This is the kind of article an oft-guilt-tripped meat-eater like myself DREAMS of coming across, courtesy of NPR:

Recognizing The Right Of Plants To Evolve

October 26, 2012

According to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants such as chili peppers may be able to “hear” other plants.

If proposals calling for rights for animals are on the table, why not rights for other living things? Plants, for instance.

After all, plants can sometimes exhibit humanlike behavior. And we’re not just talking about the butterwort-flytrap hybrid in The Little Shop of Horrors. Some plants respond well to music. Some “smell” other plants. Still others seem to shrink away when touched.

Plants display remedial types of memory and possess “anoetic consciousness” — the ability of an organism to sense and to react to stimulation — writes Daniel Chamovitz in his 2012 book, What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses.

And, according to recent reports from a research team led by Australian biologist Monica Gagliano, some plants (such as chili peppers) may be able to “hear” other plants (such as sweet fennel). “We know that plants recognize what is growing next to them,” Gagliano says in the University of Western Australia’s University News. “There is chemical communication between them. Plants can warn other plants of a predator by releasing a chemical, and the warned plants can release chemicals to make themselves unpalatable to the predator.”

She says, “I think we might realize that plants are more sensitive than we think.”

Sensitive enough to deserve rights? Some people think so.

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Whatever Blows Your Skirt Up, Sandy

It’s a windy day in the North Country.

This is exactly how I look right now

In preparation for the impending doom of Hurricane Sandy, Butch and I managed to lazily pick up a couple of cans of soup and half-fill the tub with some water. Oh, and I did some emergency clothes-shopping in Watertown on Sunday after dropping off my shrines for next week’s art show. But seriously, based on our existing wood stove and survivalist neighbors, we didn’t work ourselves into too much of a tissy. I don’t mean to sound blasé about the “hurricane to end all hurricanes” but we’re smack dab in the middle of underground bunker country.

I know, every “homesteader” has this Pinned already

I mean, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see my neighbor, Robin, kill (re-kill?) a zombie with her bare hands. She is a lady you want on your side.

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Item! My Artwork to Appear in 64th Annual North Country Arts Council’s Fall Show

Having gone to art school and having a wonderful group of legitimate artist friends, I’ve attended my share of openings and shows (FYI – art show = free food). I’m an artistic person myself, but I tend to make more craft-related things, mostly shrines. And while I’ve made them for friends and family before (usually based on a personal interest of theirs), I’ve only occasionally thought about whether my work would be of interest to random people. I do remember going to last year’s NCAC Fall Art Show, noticing that there was a real lack of mixed media pieces, and vaguely thinking that I should submit mine when the show came around again. Then I received an email from NCAC reminding me that they were accepting artwork submissions for their fall show and I thought “what the heck.” Well, the jury liked what they saw – I’m in!

Here are the 5 pieces that will be on display (and for sale, hint hint):

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Green 101: Intro to Sustainability Week 8 – Measuring Sustainability Ethics and Culture

Drum roll, please: I completed Coursera’s Intro to Sustainability! It’s safe to say I’m pretty pleased with myself, especially considering that I didn’t have to take the course, and most definitely didn’t have to finish it. Sure, doing a little weekly summary here on the blog added a level of accountability to the whole thing, but considering the majority of my “readers” are people I don’t personally know, I could have easily just dropped out and never mentioned the course again. Oh, and I started doing better and better on the quizzes as the course went on – whether this was because I stopped caring how well I did, or whether I did better as cumulative knowledge grew…who knows! But I am glad for what I learned in the process.

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GRE(v)EN(ts): (Com)Post-Halloween November 10th with TILT


(Com)Post-Halloween is based on an annual event my Permaculture teacher, Claudia Joseph, hosts at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. This will be my first time hosting it through TILT and in this community, but based on what I’ve heard so far, the buzz is abuzz and I should expect a good turnout. I mean, kids get to smash pumpkins into pulp and parents get rid of the rotting Jack-o-lanterns from their front porches – everybody wins!


Green 101: Intro to Sustainability Week 7 – Environmental Economics and Policy

This second-to-last week of the course seemed a bit like a space filler, with basic, repetitive info that could have been combined with other weeks, past and future. Regardless, it made for a simple workload of homework! In short, I learned the different types of policies that are used toward reducing negative environmental impacts, and how those policies are influenced and how they succeed(ed) or fail(ed). It’s generally agreed that the best policies come about when governments, experts, industries and companies weigh all the costs and benefits before making decisions/enforcing mandates and regulations. And these costs and benefits need to include not only those in the monetary category, but social and environmental categories as well.

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