Saturday, April 30, 2011

so true... love

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, 
always with the same person."
--Mignon McLaughlin


If not for the cat,
and the scarcity of cheese
I would be content.

...and other lovely haikus

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Samaritan Experiment 3.0

This money was left here intentionally and specifically for your use.
What will you do with this unexpected bit of cash?
Will you pay a bill? ...or buy lunch? ...or a book?
Or will you help someone in need? a friend? it forward in some way?
In any case, I hope it changes your day for the better.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the conqueror

"When they start to wear your clothes
do their dreams become more like yours
who do they look like

when they start to use your language
do they say what you say
who are they in your words

when they start to use your money 
do they need the same things you need
or do the things change

when they are converted to your gods
do you know who they are praying to
do you know who is praying
for you not to be there"  
-W.S. Merwin

ws merwin

"I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can't
you can't you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don't write"
— W.S. Merwin (Opening the Hand)

Banksy srtikes again...

Brilliant new Banksy!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” —Mahatma Gandhi

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning." Albert Einstein

Monday, April 25, 2011

pale blue dot

Pale Blue Dot - Animation from Ehdubya on Vimeo.

I love Carl Sagan's voice. He reads an excerpt from his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot. His voice is poetry... this excerpt resonates with me more than ever.

Written and Narrated: Carl Sagan
Music: Hans Zimmer "You're So Cool"
Art and Animation: Adam Winnik (fantastic final thesis, Adam!)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy spring

Yesterday the twig was brown and bare;
To-day the glint of green is there;
Tomorrow will be leaflets spare;
I know no thing so wondrous fair,
No miracle so strangely rare.
I wonder what will next be there!
~L.H. Bailey

Friday, April 22, 2011

any last thoughts?

I was flying into Newark last month during a terrible wind storm. There were ground delays in Chicago, we knew about the storm in Newark, but all I cared about was not missing my international connection.

Upon our attempt to land, the plane was tossed and bounced around. Our first attempt at landing was pulled up, and our pilot said we were going to approach from a new direction. We circled a bit and tried to land again... more bouncing, more tossing... We pulled up again, more dramatically. On our third attempt to land, everyone was very quiet. The flight attendants looked concerned; some people were praying... and I thought, "I wish I had been a better mother." That was it. My only regret was that I should have been a better mother.

... we landed safely, and I ran to catch my connection to Barcelona.

And, yet, I still hold onto what I thought was my final thought, "I wish I had been a better mother."
Hopefully, what I've learned from that day is that when my 'real' final thought arrives I will be able to say, "I've done my best."

Ric Elias: 3 Things I Learned While My Plane Crashed
(click here if the video doesn't show below)

because water changes everything...

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

believe nothing

Believe nothing, 
no matter where you read it,
or who said it, 
no matter if I have said it, 
unless it agrees with your own reason 
and your own common sense.
- Buddha

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

I posted the other day that I am reading Kathryn Schultz's book, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. She also writes "The Wrong Stuff", a Slate series featuring interviews with people about how they  think and feel about being wrong.

I found her TED talk today:

I thought I was right to believe in the fiscal responsibility of the Central Asia Institute, and something else happened instead.
I thought I didn't have anything to say, and something else happened instead.

What did you think? What happened instead?

Fallor ergo sum

obvious to you. amazing to others

by Derek Sivers

Monday, April 18, 2011

being wrong

In her book, Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz, Ms. Schulz says,

     "A whole lot of us go through life assuming that we are basically right, basically all the time, about basically everything: about our political and intellectual convictions, our religious and moral beliefs, our assessment of other people, our memories, our grasp of facts. As absurd as it sounds when we stop to think about it, our steady state seems to be one of unconsciously assuming that we are very close to omniscient."

What does it mean to be wrong?

After the whole VegNews controversy, I've been thinking about what it means to be wrong. It had recently come to light that VegNews magazine has been using non-vegetarian stock photos of meat and passing them off as photos of vegan recipes. See the pictures below:
In their twitter response,  I never really found the apology I expected from VegNews for being wrong. 

As a culture, our reluctance to admit that we are wrong is a sad failing. As Ms. Schulz also says in her book,

     "As a culture, we haven't even mastered the basic skill of saying, 'I was wrong.' This is a startling deficiency, given the simplicity of the phrase, the ubiquity of error, and the tremendous public service that acknowledging it can provide. Instead what we have mastered are two alternatives to admitting our mistakes... The first involves a small but strategic addendum: 'I was wrong, BUT...' a blank we then fill in with wonderfully imaginative explanations for why we weren't so wrong after all. The second is even more telling: we say, 'mistakes were made'... all we really know how to do with our errors is not acknowledge them as our own."

But still, what does it mean to be wrong?

Perhaps, however embarrassing, disorienting, difficult, or humbling our mistakes might be, it is ultimately our wrongness, not our rightness, that can teach us who we are.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Alan Watts via South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

to survive & not survive, both at the same time

When I read that Clay Hunt committed suicide, I was drawn to re-reading the book "Every Man in This Village is a Liar" by Megan Stack. Clay Hunt was a marine corporal, a purple heart recipient, an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran and a veteran advocate. He lobbied for veterans on Capitol Hill, he told veterans they weren't alone, he performed humanitarian work, and he road-biked with wounded veterans.

Yet, on March 31st, Clay Hunt shot himself.

The passage I was searching to find in Megan Stack's book was this:
"As it turned out, the first thing I knew about war was also the truest, and maybe it's true for nations as for individuals: You can survive and not survive, both at the same time."
Clay Hunt (right) Oct. 2010 Ride to Recovery

"If I had one thing to say to my fellow veterans, it would be this: Continue to serve, even though we have taken off our uniforms," Hunt wrote in an online testimonial for Team Rubicon. "No matter how great or small your service is, it is desired and needed by the world we live in today."

My compassion for Clay Hunt explodes; I feel sick at the loss of such a thoughtful person. I try to wrap my political beliefs and hopes for peace, together with the reality of war and government bureaucracy. And I go back to Megan's book and read:

"You can overcome the things that are done to you, but you cannot escape the things that you have done.
      Here is the truth: It matters, what you do at war. It matters more than you ever want to know. Because countries, like people, have collective consciences and memories and souls, and the violence we deliver in the name of our nation is pooled like sickly tar at the bottom of who we are. The soldiers who don't die for us come home again. They bring with them the killers they became on our national behalf, and sit with their polluted memories and broken emotions in our homes and schools and temples. We may wish it were not so, but action amounts to identity. We become what we do.You can tell yourself all the stories you want, but you can't leave your actions over there. You can't build a wall and expect to live on the other side of memory. All of the poison seeps back into our soil."

We can survive and not survive, both at the same time.

traveling yoda

Fear is the path to the dark side. 
Fear leads to anger. 
Anger leads to hate. 
Hate leads to suffering.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Samaritan experiment 3.0 begins
I left an envelope at BSU (Boise State University) with $50 and a note. The note said:

This money was left here intentionally and specifically for your use.
What will you do with this unexpected bit of cash?
Will you pay a bill? ...or buy lunch? …or a book? …flowers? …some treat?
Or will you help someone in need? …help a friend?
…pay it forward in some way?
In any case, I hope it changes your day for the better.

I sat across the street for about an hour as people walked by, sat down, meandered around, waited for the bus... and no one picked it up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What do you love to do?

It feels like I am often asked, "...sooo, what do you do?"
I realize that most of the time it's just a conversation filler like, ", how are you?" These are things said by habit when we don't know what to say. But sometimes the "what do you do?" question feels like it is filled with judgements, comparisons, and assumptions.

Can what you do be summed up in a word or even in the length of an elevator ride?

My reply to "what do you do?" is, "I do my best, as much as possible."

Maybe we can start a new trend... be more conscious of our questions. Instead of asking someone, "what do you do?" try asking them, "what do you love to do?" And really listen to their answer. It may surprise you.

I love to read.
I love to create.
I love to dream.
I love to travel.

What do you love to do?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

change your words

Change your words, Change your message, Change the world
On a similar note... check out Simon Sinek's post, What Companies Can Learn From The Homeless

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

Do you present confident when you're scared? Do you present strong when you feel weak? Do you pretend to be things that you are not?
Being absolutely, truly yourself is freedom.
You can make change happen... be the very best of you.

We are extraordinary, different, wonderful people.

Samaritan Experiment 3.0

With a little saving and a little scrimping...
     a missed latte here or a bagged lunch there...
          I was able to save up $200.

What to do...
     What would you do with an unexpected bit of cash?
     Would the amount determine the outcome?

I decided to split the money into 5 $20's and 2 $50's and launch Samaritan Experiment 3.0

If you, unexpectedly, had an extra $20 or $50 today, what would you do?
     Would you pay a bill? ...or buy lunch? ...a book? ...some treat?
     Or would you help someone in need?
     Would the amount of money weigh in on the decision?
     Or does "unexpected/found" money follow a different set of financial rules compared to "earned" money?
Let's find out. Let's get started :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

 Watched people walk by this...
wanted to shout, "Hey, look! This is FOR YOU!"

Thinking about changing things up with the Samaritan Experiment.
Coming soon... Samaritan Experiment 3.0

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming — WOW — What a ride!” – Anonymous

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I've always liked the Kipling quote:
“If you can keep your wits about you while others are losing theirs and blaming you, the world will be yours.” –Rudyard Kipling
But I recently read this:
"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation." -Jean Kerr

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

You have to let your ideas and plans disappear like startled pigeons.
Because only the open-minded can look in completely new directions. 
And only then will serendipity be allowed to flourish.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 4th 1968

On April 4, 1968, at 6:01pm, while he was standing on a balcony at a Memphis hotel, Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot and fatally wounded; he was 39 years old. Only hours earlier King,the voice for racial and economic justice in America, ended his final speech with the words, "I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land."

The above statue of Martin Luther King stands above the west entrance to Westminster Abbey in London and was unveiled in July 1998.

Ai Weiwei

Ai Weiwei, one of China's most famous artists, is being held by Chinese authorities according to the Wall Street Journal.
Chinese authorities haven't acknowledged detaining Mr. Ai. According to the WSJ, Beijing police declined to comment.
Check out Ai Weiwei on TED:

We were just at the Tate in London... it was amazing.

Support Ai Weiwei and peaceful artists everywhere.

samaritan experiment

Finally getting around to leaving some Samaritan Envelopes around. It's been a long time. Hopefully they do some good :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

put on your cape...

Put on Your Cape, It's Time to Save the World from Jenny Shih on Vimeo.

Check out Jenny Shih : "I am your sidekick, your midwife, and your sous chef.
I will cheer you on, wipe your brow, and do the dishes.
I have a magic wand, 
and I’ve got your back."

around the world in 2000 photos

Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York, London - by Alex Profit

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Inner City 4th graders share their stories.
Two years ago, Judy Gelles was volunteering in an inner city public school. After several months of helping 4th graders with their reading skills, she felt the need to connect with them and their stories.

She asked each student the following three questions:
Whom do they live with?
What do they wish for?
What do they worry about?

The gray doors of the school became a blank slate for their words...