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Hoffer

“We have rudiments of reverence for the human body, but we consider as nothing the rape of the human mind.” —Eric Hoffer

That my friends is very true. Especially when it comes to to what some of us choose to do for a living or for fun for that matter (like watching the boob tube for hours on end).

Eric Hoffer, the author of this quote, was an American social writer and philosopher who published ten books, a newspaper column and truly lived his life. Born in the Bronx on July 25, 1902, the son of Knut and Elsa Hoffer, immigrants from Alsace, by five he could read in both German and English.

When he was age five, his mother fell down a flight of stairs with Eric in her arms. Hoffer went blind for unknown medical reasons two years later, but later in life he said he thought it might have been due to trauma.

“I lost my sight at the age of seven. Two years before, my mother and I fell down a flight of stairs. She did not recover and died in that second year after the fall. I lost my sight and for a time my memory”.

After his mother’s death he was raised by a live-in relative or servant, a German woman named Martha. His eyesight inexplicably returned when he was 15. Fearing he would again go blind, he seized upon the opportunity to read as much as he could. His eyesight remained, but Hoffer never abandoned his habit of voracious reading.

Hoffer was a young man when his father, a cabinetmaker, died.  Sensing that warm Los Angeles was the best place for a poor man, Hoffer took a bus there in 1920 and spent the next 10 years on Los Angeles’ skid row, reading, writing, and working odd jobs.

In 1931, he attempted suicide by means of drinking oxalic acid, but the attempt failed…he could not bring himself to swallow the poison. This experience inspired a new determination to live more adventurously. He left skid row and became a migrant worker. Following the harvests along the length of California, he collected library cards for each town near the fields where he worked and, living by preference, “between the books and the brothels.”

He ended up in the mountains, where he had gone in search of gold. He remained snowed in for the entire winter. While trapped, he read the “Essays” by Michel de Montaigne. Montaigne’s book left its mark on Hoffer and influence his life and future writings.

Hoffer lived in San Francisco by 1941 and became a longshoreman on the docks of The Embarcadero. It was there he felt at home and finally settled down. He continued reading voraciously and soon began to write while earning a living loading and unloading ships. He continued this work until he retired at age 65. Hoffer considered his best work to be “The True Believer“, a landmark explanation of fanaticism and mass movements.

In retirement Hoffer continued his robust life of the mind, thinking and writing alone, in an apartment near San Francisco’s waterfront, until his death at 80 years old.

Make sure whatever it is you do for a living, you are truly living.

-Cara

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General Motors are at it again, but this time they are loaning out their “green” Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell electric vehicles to the United States Post Office. I guess that way they’re not people’s personal automobiles, so possibly in GM’s mind, postal workers will not get so attached and protest the destruction of said electric cars. Well they will have no claim to them anyway.

GM better think this one over, I’ve heard some people who work for the postal service may be a bit sensitive, anxious, stressed and easily annoyed.

The chosen citizen test drivers are only allowed to have the car for three months. I guess that it the limit before attachment begins to set in by their test subjects.

The technology is interesting to the nerd in me.

I don’t trust them.

-Cara

begleys-natural-cleaners

I live slightly under a rock not having a TV with satellite, cable or any local stations broadcasting from it. Imagine my surprise when I came across Bagley’s Best products, by Ed Begley Jr. of course. I loved “Living with Ed“, when I had a TV, so much so it was one of the first blog entries I wrote about back in the day.

Bagley’s Best was started when a man named John Watts bumped into Ed Begley Jr. in Real Food Daily. It was this occurrence that created an eco Paul Newman like business, where most of the company’s profits got to charities, environmental causes and non-profits.

Live the life.

-Cara

I went to my YouTube channel CaraTV today and had a friend request from LivingGreenChannel.com.  It is there I heard about this new BMW Electric MINI E.

The BMW MINI will release an electric MINI Cooper line, some of which will be available as early as next year (2009). Up to 500 test drivers in the US (Southern California, New York City and New Jersey) will get the chance to take the MINI E for a spin. The MINI Cooper E will have the standard 150 mile range before needing to be recharged, and the car also uses a regenerative braking system that conserves power while driving in a metropolitan area. The standard recharging time is three hours using the quick charge kit MINI provides or when you’ve got the time you can plug it into any wall socket. The MINI goes from 0 to 62 in just over 8.5 seconds, and can reach 95 miles per hour, which is more speed than most need. The MINI Cooper E has no backseats, as the size of the battery created design constraints. They cost around $850 a month to lease.

mini-e

500 to lease only…remember the evil General Motors’ EV1 scandal…

Beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

-Cara

Ryuichi Ogino (OGI), according to his site…

Born and raised in Tokyo, Ogi relocated to the Bay Area and received a BFA in Illustration from the California College of Arts & Crafts (CCAC) in 2004 only to realize that his passion is not in illustrating.

His works are diverse and incorporate a variety of mediums (from handmade paper-clay toy figures, acrylic paints, wood, lined paper, and canvas, to digital renderings). To pin down his style would be to minimize its scope as it merges genres.

Now back in Japan, he exhibits internationally, moving between Tokyo and the West Coast. He has more recently shown his works at Project, Rean, Giant Robot, Receiver Gallery, Compound, White Walls, and Park Life.

I really like the close ups…I could live in that room…with a bit extra….

Art.

-Cara

reversegraffitiproject.com

What a really great concept of something large we do on a small scale while thinking, siting in a dirty diner, shower, or car…or is that just me again?

:)

-Cara

Lindsay Smith CEO and President Dan Joyce VP Sales and Marketing

Lindsay Smith CEO and President Dan Joyce VP Sales and Marketing

The first thing we will talk about is not something you would necessarily buy for yourself, but more for a public space. It is rubber sidewalks.

Rubbersidewalks are high-density paving tiles made with recycled California tire crumbed rubber combined with polyurethane binder and colorant, then molded with heat under compression. This produces a strong and durable part that meets all requirements of sidewalk-worthiness, including stable grade, non-vibration in compliance with ADA requirements, and high coefficient of friction for non-skid both dry and wet. Rubbersidewalks are available in various sizes and colors, and are reversible. Known life per face is minimum eight years. Actual life per face is not known but is expected to exceed 12 years.

Here are some reasons to use then,

  • Diverted over 1 million tires from landfills
  • Saved over 2,000 trees in cities’ urban forests
  • Removed 78,000 pounds of CO2 each year
  • Captured over 4 million gallons of water each year

What a cool idea…

Next, yes it is another bag, but these two ladies have a slightly different spin. Here is what they have to say about themselve,

We are proud to say that BaggyShirts is a sustainable enterprise, in that we:

  • Purchase recycled men’s shirts obtained from warehouses of surplus goods collected from charitable organizations – no petroleum-based materials.
  • Use the entire shirt – absolutely no waste.
  • Prevent clothing and tens of thousands of paper and plastic bags from going to the landfill each year.
  • Employ local artisans to fabricate bags at home, slashing carbon emissions by 80% to 90%. No overseas manufacturing.
  • Pay our fabricators a livable wage that is above average for the industry.
  • Operate with the least possible amount of negative environmental impact – we ship Internet orders in recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Donate a portion of our proceeds to organizations that work to stop global warming.

The cool thing is they were inspired to start this business after watching, An Inconvenient Truth! Sounds familar.

Last but not least, this is a shout out to Marine, as these recycled glasses are made from the bottom halves of Bordeaux bottles that were “rescued” on the way to the landfill. A beautifully etched branch design is accompanied by the phrase ‘Protect Our Earth’ in four languages: English, Spanish (Proteja Nuestra Tierra), Afrikaans/South African (Bewaar Ons A Arde) and French (Proteqez Notre Terre). They look beautiful.

Well, these were good ones. I hope you liked them as well.

Enjoy.

-Cara


Reason 91 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When food-safety inspectors in New York City make the rounds, they often come upon merchants selling just about anything: the meat of armadillos, iquanas, primates, turtles, frogs, and even rats. Some of the meat comes from endangered animals. Other cuts, if not intrinsically illegal, fail to derive from licensed inspected facilities and so put consumers at risk. The sellers of such contraband (most is imported) tend to be ignorant of U.S. laws, sometimes conveniently so. They don’t seem to comprehend the dangers to which they expose their customers and even the city as they raise the risk of outbreak. Over one recent 21-month period, a single inspector shuttered 138 city stores.

The Art of Greenwashing by Tom Fishburne

 

I learned a new word today, greenwash.

Permatopia.com definition of greenwash is,

the false claim of environmentalism by polluters, used as a noun and a verb. Most of the claims for environmental policies by governments and corporations are greenwash that distract from the goals of a sustainable civilization.

I heard the word on this super fresh site I found called gliving.tv.

Here is a little blurb about them, by them,

We started G Living to focus on the positive and creative side of green. We look for green solutions that are practical and easy enough for anyone to incorporate into their own lives. The solutions, ideas and products have to have the same (or a higher) standard than the traditional options everyone is used to.

You can look at it like this: G Living is not about just Green Living, it’s about smarter living. Here is the equation to figure out if something is “G”: it must have, The Green factor + Quality + Function + Design + Style + Price = “G”.

I like how they put that. They are located in Venice, California…just saying.

Anyway point is, I just sat through a 15 minute video [which NEVER happens] an interview by Sarah Backhouse, with the co-founder, Howard Brown, of the organic fashion line, Stewart+Brown [the other co-founder is his wife Karen Stewart] and really was into it. Watch it!!! You will hear terms like greenwashing and people power, you know you’ll love it. They are doing a cool/good thing, so do it up! I think the collections on their site are fresh.

I adore good fashion!

-Cara

——————————-

Wild salmon stocks in 20 Norwegian rivers have in recent years been wiped out by a parasite that first took hold in local aquaculture feedlots. Scotland’s river managers warned early in 2007 that one careless angler spreading the parasite could decimate Scotland’s wild salmon stocks as well. Pharmaceuticals and pesticides are typically added to all aquaculture pens to forestall disease and infection, sometimes doing neither and inadvertently causing environmental havoc.

What is a better time then the dawn of Spring to buy a new scarf? I don’t think there is a better time really. It is sale time in scarfland. We are not at the point quite yet for the super scarf sales, but close enough to start thinking of the perfect one.

Here are some super, fresh choices I found. Three of the scarves were discovered on BranchHome.com, and the last two I found were on OriginalGood.com. I can not review, nor endorse their quality and/or usefulness as I have yet to try any of them, but I like the look, how they were made, and from what. :)

Pieces of Scarf

Navy Modular Scarf

design:
Galya Rosenfeld

manufacture:
Handmade by Galya Rosenfeld, San Francisco, CA

materials:
Reclaimed ultrasuede (scraps from the upholstery industry)

dimensions:
59″ long x 3.75″ wide

about:
Galya Rosenfeld’s work sits on the lines between fashion, design, craft, and art. Ruled by mathematic formulas as much as creativity, her designs emerge from the place where whimsy meets pragmatic thought. Her pieces are individually crafted, often without the use of thread, patterns or other tools found in traditional tailoring.

Galya’s pieces have been accepted into the permanent collection of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

price:
$224.00

Brick HouseOther One

“Flow” Scarf

design:

Hiroko Kurihara

manufacture:

Handmade by Hiroko Kurihara Designs, Oakland and Berkeley, CA

materials:

100% virgin wool from Italy. Material is EU ecologically certified.

dimensions:

62″ long x 8″ – 10″ wide

about:

With each scarf that Hiroko Kurihara Designs sells, they donate a scarf made of recycled polar fleece to a local organization that serves those who are homeless or in transition. This act of giving requires no additional purchase: it’s simply responsible, ethical consumerism.
Hiroko Kurihara Designs’ creations are high quality, uniquely designed and handcrafted in their Oakland and Berkeley California studios from the finest European virgin wool that is EU ecologically certified. They guarantee their crafts(wo)manship and believe in local non-sweatshop manufacturing.
Enjoy the warmth and the style of this scarf and know you are tangibly giving much needed comfort to someone else.

price:

$128.00

scarfred one

Warm and Fuzzy Scarf

design:
Tibetan refugee artisans

manufacture:
Original Good Store

materials:
Recycled Silk and Wool

dimensions:
55 x 6 (in.)

about:

Helping Tibetan refugee artisans by providing new markets for their crafts, these wonderfully happy hand-knotted wool creations are sure to keep you warm. Not only are they handcrafted in Nepal, but they are Fair Trade certified. They are also dry clean only. :)

price:
$29.95

Stay warm!

-Cara

    ——————————-

    In the mid-1970s, chicken processors argued that in order to keep up with skyrocketing demand they should be allowed to merely rinse off fecal matter from bird carcasses rather than cut away affected parts. The government gave in to the processors’ request, and the rule stands to this day. A number of studies have since proved that rinsing carcasses, even up to 40 times, is ineffective at dislodging the filth. It’s something to know since the violent motion of factory de-feathering rubber fingers not only works to squirt feces out from the carcasses, it can push filth deep into the crevices of the birds’ skin.

    I thought it was time for another petition to save the world on TDAAIT, it has been awhile, plus this one comes with a video.

    Click here to go to the petition.

    Thank you SaveOurEnvironment.org.

    Take Action!!!

    -Cara
    ——————————-

    Two major studies have emerged recently that show the vegan lifestyle to be conducive to lower body weight. A Swedish study of 55,000 women and a British study of 65,000 men and women both found vegans to have lower BMIs (body mass index) and to suffer less often from obesity. Vegan food tends to be lower in calories by volume. And since plant-based fare is likely to contain abundant fiber, it satiates quicker.

    I am just going to cruise over this topic in this entry and supply you with links to learn more if you so choose. Freegans [According to Wikipedia, “Freeganism is an anti-consumerism lifestyle whereby people employ alternative living strategies based on “limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources…“] the new Vegans [According to Wikipedia, “Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle that seeks to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.“] are coming up again in conversation. I remember 10 years ago watching Geraldo or one of those shows about kids dumpster diving for meals, instead of giving into consumerism. They were all white and dressed as fashionable disasters. I am curious what happen to the original Freegans. Where are they now?

    I remember in Chicago, again 10 or 11 years ago, some of my friends who moved from Chicago to Cali were all into it. I myself think it’s crazy to associate freegans with vegans because as a vegan I wanted to eat healthy and not mess with animals…I certainly did not want to eat bacteria infested garbage, seeping with dog crap, heroin needles and a plethora of other nastiness that dwells in the bowels of the dumpsters of New York City.

    dump

    Besides not liking the association with vegans I am glad freegans exist. I don’t have the courage I guess…well not the courage, because if I had to dumpster dive for someone else, for some important reason or because I had no money, I would not be afraid to. I just REALLY prefer not too. I AM glad some people are willing to pick up the slack and kick ass for me and others who are not willing to go that extra mile. I think it’s awesome actually.

    One thing if I may I suggest to freegans is, you may not need to dumpster dive. When I was a kid my friends and I developed relationships with pizza places and such where at the end of the night [behind the place…by a dumpster. :)] they would give us the food they were going to throw out, or Ann Sathers in Chicago after 9pm, gave away their soup of the day to anyone who wanted it for free. If not, they would have just thrown it out [It is like what City Harvest does here in NYC. They develop relationships with all types of businesses and send trucks to pick up the excess food that would have been thrown out and wasted. They then use that food to feed our homeless. I guess that is why freeganism hasn’t seemed to really have caught on here…so far. Also, I bet California garbage looks better than some New York City fruit stand’s goods. ]. We did a whole bunch of stuff like that to get by back in the day, but I like fresh food and siting down at a table these days. I guess I’m getting old. :)

    I’m out.

    -Cara

    ——————————-

    Early in 2007, Consumer Reports tested 525 supermarket chickens from all across the U.S. and found only 17 percent free of both salmonella and campylobacter. Premium brands labeled “organic” or “raised free of antibiotics” actually harbored more salmonella than conventional ones. Most of the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, making food poisoning from eating poultry that much harder to treat. Some samples showed resistance to multiple classes of antibiotics.

    I’ve been going through the green change lately, reading about it, writing about it, living it, etc., but one of my favorite mediums has been neglected…television, tv, the boob tube…I love it…but using all that juice just to watch it, I thought, how can I give back? HGTV [Home & Garden Television] to the rescue. This informative channel is a favorite in our home, it is always on. One day an ad came on for “Living With Ed“. I remembered Ed Begley Jr. on St. Elsewhere from way back in the day. I remember hearing some gossip about him, people saying he was strange to work with or just strange or that there was something different about him…I don’t remember exactly what…but I was curious to check out his show. I set up the Tivo to record “Living With Ed“, and after a few months of procrastination, I finally watched an episode and loved it. In fact I just watched three episodes in a row earlier and guess what…by the end I had the great idea for today’s post. :P GENIUS!!!

     

    Rachelle and Ed Begley Jr.

     

    The show is awesome. It is Ed and his wife Rachelle, who seem to be people with passion for something good and are intelligent as well, which is fresh. Given the show is more what rich people of California can do to green their property by paying pricey specialists to come in their homes, then paying other people to install said updates, but in the process, we pleabians learn for free why compact halogen lights are better. It is a win/win situation…Right now I can’t afford a house much less solar panels and windmills, but it is a good way for people to learn about the options that are available and of course for people like me who will one day be drowning in riches, I will luckily already know what to do to be the greenest human I can be! :P That’s living…

    :)

    Cara

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