Friday, September 23, 2011

Water, Growler, Beer: A Gleesome Threesome! ( #ctww )

This picture looks like Kris is watering our flowers with beer ... but no, let me explain:
Kris empties growler water
while Imp monitors the situation.
We are lucky to be within walking distance of Big Al's Brewing, so we can just stroll down there anytime with a "Growler" to get beer fresh from the spigot. A growler (a.k.a. beer jug) is a great investment since, for a only few bucks (...or less, if you keep your eyes open - they're often passed on at thrift stores or garage sales ...) you can have a container to use over and over for years getting good beer relatively cheap. PLUS you are saving resources - no bottles to recycle! - AND you get a little exercise walking to the taproom. How can you beat that?
Our one pro tip is to ALWAYS keep the growler clean. If you let it sit around after you've emptied it, nasty stuff will start growing and it's a pain to wash out. The simplest method is to fill the growler with water right after you empty it, and then go refill it within a week or two.
This leave us with the question of what to do with the water, which lead to this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge:

"This week pay close attention to the water which gets tossed down the drain and reduce it. For example, if you put ice in your drink, toss the ice in a planter rather than toss it in the drain. Is there a small amount of coffee left in the pot? Try freezing it for use in iced coffees or to flavor cake. How about the water left in a pot after steaming vegetables? Mrs. Green taught me to save that water & use it for making rice, pasta, etc. The idea, here, is to pay attention to those small amounts of water which usually get tossed down the drain and find more Eco-efficient uses for them ... and thereby reduce waste.
This is a good challenge - consisting of a lot of little challenges to our ingenuity. It is so darn easy to pour water down the drain - after all, the drains are right there in the kitchen! But most of the stuff that down down the kitchen sink drain could just as easily go into some other use, if we are clever enough to think of how.
Refilling at Big Al's:
The Circle is Complete!
I would really like to re-pipe the kitchen, but that's a long-term project. Meanwhile, we have a growler of water each week to pour onto our garden as a simple way to be efficient. I just hope our neighbors didn't see - if they thought we were pouring beer on our plants, they'd have figured we'd flipped for sure!
The other water-saving tips in the CTWW Challenge are equally good. I make coffee cubes all the time - they're quite useful. And when I bake, it always adds something to be re-using water that had been used in food boiling - at the very least, a little incidental nutriton, but also often a fuller flavor. Perhaps during the winter, when we don't need to water outside, I'll try cooking with the growler water!

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and the Middle East: a program on Sep 29 in Seattle (#peace)

Join us as Ambassador Thomas Graham Jr. reviews the issues associated with efforts over the years to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones in various regions of the world. These were accompanied by legal guarantees by the accepted nuclear weapon states -- the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia and China. These states agree that they will never use nuclear weapons against the parties to these zonal arrangements.

These arrangements have been seen for many years as an alternative to direct nuclear disarmament which has delivered little of the progress bargained for at the time of the signing of the Nuclear
Non-proliferation Treaty in 1968. Such zonal arrangements have been
established with varying degrees of completeness in Latin America,
Africa, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Mongolia, and Central Asia.
Thus, much of the world is already nuclear free.

The talk will explore the question, “What are the prospects for
establishing such a regime in the Middle East as called for by the world
community for decades?”

Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones and the Middle East

Co-Sponsored by the WSBA World Peace Through Law Section

September 29, 2011
Noon–1:30 p.m.

Foster Pepper PLLC – third floor conference room
1111 Third Ave.,
Seattle WA [map]

1.5 general CLE credits

Free for WPTL Section Members and law students
$25 for non-WPTL Section members  
Join the Section now to be eligible for this event free!

More information and online registration.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Understanding #Comics and Humanity Itself!

Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art" has been around since 1994, and is still ranked #1319 in Amazon's list of bestsellers.
I reread the work this week, and was struck with the extent to which this book about sequential art was actually about human perception. Certainly, it is mostly about comics, and if you do any sort of visual art, you probably need to read this seminal work. If you're one of the hundreds of millions of people who read comics (including webcomics), this book can help you understand how and why they work.

But it seems to me that the reason comics work the way they do has to do with the way humanity makes sense of the world through our limited perceptions. This is extremely useful information, whether you seek to persuade and educate others, or simply wish to have greater self-knowledge.
These issues are pretty old. Plato's analogy of the cave asks us to imagine a person who is chained in a cave and tries to understand the outside world by studying the shadows on the wall. All our perception of the world is funneled through some pretty narrow channels: at any particular time, we can see only a fraction of what is directly in our presence! Figuring out how the shadows on the cave turn into the reality we perceive is really interesting and really useful!
The book is also a fun read. Enjoy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vote for Small Footprints! (#green)

My bloggy friend Small Footprints (of the "Reduce Footprints" blog) needs you to vote for her article to win a contest! Simply click
HERE and vote for "Create Rather Than Recreate"
on or before 9/21/11

Now, you should of course cast an honest vote. If you prefer another entry, by all means, vote for that one. However, I think you'll like her article because it expresses the most important idea in enjoying vegan food: that you should CREATE food that tastes good (and is healthy) rather than try to RE-CREATE the taste of foods that aren't healthy. What a fine idea! I am not vegan but I enjoy vegan food; it can stand proudly with any meal so long as it is proud of what it is and not pretending to be what it is not.
I've known Small Footprints for several years as she's been running the Change The World Wednesday (#CTWW) challenge.  Every week, we have a different challenge to make this world a better place, mostly by making our lives less wasteful. This has been fun and practical - a great combination!
This week's CTWW challenge:
"Refrigerators use a lot of energy. We can minimize their impact by making sure they operate efficiently. So this week let's do a little refrigerator maintenance. Here you go:
Check that your refrigerator is level ... the door should automatically swing shut instead of staying open. Check the seal on the door ... try closing it on a piece of paper. If you can pull the paper out easily, it's time to replace the gaskets. Check the back of your refrigerator to be sure that it's clean ... vacuum coils if you have them to ensure that the compressor runs efficiently. How full is your refrigerator? Be sure that it isn't too full ... allow room for cool air to circulate which will keep everything at the right temperature.WE'RE CHANGING THE WORLD ... ONE CHALLENGE AT A TIME!"
I took the challenge and checked our fridge; it's both level and airtight. I'd cleaned the back with my shopvac a week or two ago, so I think we're good to go. Still, this is one of those maintenance things that creeps up on you. Time goes by and before you know it, it's time for another 6-months-maintenance. The rhythms of life that used to be determined by school and vacation are now set by spring and fall household maintenance.
That's o.k.

Avast Ye Swabbies! 'tis Talk Like A Pirate Day (#talkLikeApirate)

Aye, Talk Like A Pirate Day be September 19!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Tea Partier, The Libertarian and the Good Samaritan Meet At A Bar. (#letHimDie)

Luke 10: 25 - And, behold, a Young Republican stood up, and tempted Jesus, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luke 10: 26 - Jesus said unto him,
What is written in the law? how readest thou?

Luke 10: 27 - And the Young Republican answering said,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; (Deut. 6.5)
and thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (Lev. 19.18)

Luke 10: 28 - And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast answered right: do this, and thou shalt live.

Luke 10: 29 - But the lawyer, willing to justify his actions, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?

"Let Harry Potter Die!"
Luke 10: 30-35 - And Jesus answering said,
"A young man, about aged 30, made a rational calculation and decided to spend his money on supporting his family instead of buying health insurance, because he was young and healthy. But through no fault of his own, he fell among thieves, who beat him, stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him in a coma.
And by chance, there came down a certain Tea Partier that way; and when he saw him, he shouted "Let Him Die!", and passed by on the other side on the other side of the road, so he wouldn't get any blood on his shoes.
And likewise a follower of Ayn Rand came and looked on him, and took a few pictures for his blog post about how only the strong are worthy of life, and then passed by on the other side.
But a Liberal, as he journeyed, came where the man lay in a coma; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and bound up his wounds, applying antiseptics, and called 911, and got him to an E.R., where they swiftly ran up $25,000 in care for him (because the liberal Ronald Reagan had signed a bill mandating that E.R.s treat all comers). The hospital projected costs of $400,000 until he could survive on his own.
And on the morrow, when the Liberal departed, he said unto the hospital, Take care of this young man: and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee my share as a member of a community of taxpayers, because we are all in this crazy world together.
Luke 10: 36 - Then Jesus asked:
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves?
Luke 10: 37 - And the Young Republican said,He that showed mercy on him.
Then said Jesus unto him,
Go, and do thou likewise.

For further reading: