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The latest news, food for thought, recipes you’ll love, great advice on everything from raising kids to nurturing bees, plus videos designed to entertain, educate and enlighten. If you’d like to find out what’s on our mind – or let us know what’s on yours -- this is place to be.

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Freaky Friday

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Author: the Inkslinger

One thing you can always say about Nature… She’s never lacks for curveballs. Here’s a fresh handful of mystery (one of my favorite things) to keep our sense of wonder alive as we say so long to summer.

First up, the wake-up call of all time. I simply cannot fathom the size of the mug of coffee I’d need if this were me.

Question: if you did snooze that long, would you have nightmares like this this?

Finally, there’s nothing like a big scary space hole to get one’s holiday weekend off to a rip roaring start.

Happy Labor Day, kids…

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The Culture of Cancer

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Author: the Inkslinger

Last night the CBS Evening News ran a piece on Kris Carr, director of the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer and author of an accompanying book on cancer tips. Kris was diagnosed with a rare form of incurable cancer and since then has been defying the odds by not only surviving but flourishing. Hers is a genuine profile in true courage, and she’s a real inspiration on every level.

But I couldn’t help thinking that CBS missed the real story here, which is why is it that we now have what amounts to a cancer culture? Even forgetting for a moment the weird commercials for chemotherapy relief drugs on network TV or the whole oncology industry itself, we’re awash in survivors’ stories, how-to-beat-it books, motivational cancer speakers, and more. We’ve accepted freaky cancer rates and increasing incidences of once rare forms as normal and spun the whole idea off as a new market in which cancer is just business as usual.

The real question is: What’s causing all this cancer? Why have we come to have a cancer culture in the first place? What is it that's making so many of us so sick? Why has cancer touched so many lives that it’s able to spawn its own industry and a constant flood of news stories, it’s own markets and its own communities? When are journalists going to start asking about the cause instead of simply interviewing the tragic results?

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Notes From a Media Junkie

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Author: the Inkslinger

A couple of random media notes of possible interest…

The new season of Living with Ed premiered last weekend on HGTV. I missed the first season, so I’m kind of behind on the whole Ed concept, but the basic idea is we follow actor and hardcore enviro-dude Ed Begley, Jr. around as he leads a seriously green life. Where last season trailed him at home, this season apparently tags along as as he eco-audits celebrity pals and helps them go green. It’s more interesting than I thought it would be, and I am very amused by Ed’s exasperated wife who is less than enthused by but nonetheless tolerant of Ed’s deep green habits. It’s worth watching if you have HGTV. Years ago, when Seventh Gen was a catalog, and I was one of its customer service reps, and Ed was one of its customers, he and I had a nice long talk about what was then his radical green lifestyle. He’s a great guy who walks the talk. I bet he’s converted half of Hollywood …

Also found an interesting new website blog thing called the Daily Green. It’s one of those catch-all sites that covers all the green bases, but it’s got a nice look and a lot of the content is pretty interesting. (I like the weird weather climate crisis photo blog. A novel way to bring the point that something’s up banging home.) The site is from the Hearst Corporation, so I’m instinctively a little suspicious. (Can’t ever seem to quite bring myself to instantly and automatically trust the output of giant multinational corporations whatever that output might be). Still, on first glance, this one seems kosher. Time will tell…

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Farm owners Bill and Brian Rowell run Green Mountain Dairy and hosted the event

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‘It’s a challenge for our society to address environmental quality, as everyone has an impact. The public has been tremendously supportive of our farm, the dairy industry and the environment…’

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Climate Crisis Too Hot an Issue?

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Author: the Inkslinger

An interesting post from Peter Madden over at Gristmill has been making the rounds here via interoffice e-mail. It suggests that we might be paying too much attention to the issue of global warming. That there’s a danger we’re putting all the environmental concern we have to spare in that one proverbial basket at the expense of other issues like biodiversity, toxics, etc.

It’s a good question. Does the massive attention now (at last) being paid to the climate crisis negatively affect other environmentally issues by diverting too much money and will or by simply being such an overwhelming issue so remote from daily life that it just makes our eyes glaze and our brains tune out to environmental issues in general?

Madden calls the climate crisis an abstraction of the kind that tends not to stir the imagination and engender public support in the same way that, say, saving cute cuddly megafauna does. Because its effects are decades away and/or can’t be felt in some way on a personal level, he says environmentalists and policymakers may be making a political mistake by focusing on it to the frequent if not constant exclusion of all else.

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Dan: on the road

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WR - I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was at this farm! It's also so great that I have the kind of job that allows me to check this stuff out and keep us in the loop with what's going on around us! I took a ton of pictures (sorry, I know you wanted a video, but my camera is messed up at the moment) and got the tour, and met some interesting folks.

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Yesterday’s News

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Author: the Inkslinger

And now as public service of the Inspired Protagonist, we bring you yesterday’s news today. Because, well… I’m so completely behind the curve that from where I sit the curve appears on the very distant horizon only as the faintest suggestion of something not flat. And really, from here, even that could be an atmospheric trick. The reason for my lateness, as everyone who knows me knows, is a recent relocation to a new abode that has reduced my home office to rubble and triggered a week’s worth of connectivity problems that have left me wandering alone in the terrifying e-darkness. Still, better late than never with these tidbits I’ve been meaning to share…

US News and World Report had a good article earlier this month about avoiding bisphenol-A, the toxin currently number one with a bullet at the top of the toxicological charts. Good advice about keeping this bad boy out of your bloodstream.

A new study says that emerging “carbon markets” are unwittingly encouraging the clearcutting of virgin forests, an act which would release one official massive ton ‘o carbon into our beleagured atmosphere. Oops. Maybe we better rethink this one. (I still don’t get the whole let’s-trade-carbon-pollution credits thing. How about we just all agree not to make anymore rather than just treat what is a rather pressing situation like it was a couple of packs of baseball cards in a schoolyard?)

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Hollender Surfing at Montauk, Long Island

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Spent some time with Jeffrey this summer out on Long Island. Not a lot of good surf days. We went to Montauk, waves were up, and he surfed. Here is some footage.

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The Financial Dividends of Environmental Responsibility

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Every once in awhile an idea comes down the pike that has the potential to revolutionize the world. This one from Jim Rogers, the chairman and chief executive of Duke Energy, is just such a stroke of genius. Rogers suggests replacing the current electric regulatory system, which encourages electric utilities to generate more energy usage, with one that rewards power companies for increasing their customers' energy efficiency. This is exactly the kind of leadership we need from the business community. Three cheers for Jim Rogers, the chairman and chief executive of Duke Energy and for Tom Friedman for covering this important story!!

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Who needs a clock anyway?

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I always am amazed at the origins of words. I wonder if the ‘hands’ of a clock came from this ancient way of telling approximate time of day. This works particularly well around the Autumnal and Vernal equinoxes. This is when the Sun casts a more even glow on our part of the world.

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