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“Back in July of 1975 we descended into a trough between some whales, and we just sat there in this boat really transfixed. As a whale rolled about on the surface I caught his eye and he looked straight at us and I saw understanding. I saw that the whale understood what we were trying to do, but the other thing I saw in that eye was pity, and not for himself or his kind, but for us. At that moment a harpoon went over our heads and slammed into the backside of one of the females in the pod, and she screamed and rolled on her side. It was like a woman screaming. I said “well, here we are destroying this incredibly intelligent, socially complex, beautiful creature.” and that’s when it occurred to me: we’re insane. As a species we’re insane, so quite frankly, I don’t really care what people think about what we do. They can criticize us all they want, but their opinions mean nothing to me.”

-Paul Watson, of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

The average are the most insane. Don’t get lost in normal.

-Cara

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I haven’t had a TV since April 2008, so I am not really up to date on what’s on. I have been on vacation surrounded by TVs for the last week and honestly I am really happy with my decision to give it up. Then just now on Animal Planet this show, “Whale Wars” came on. I can’t believe no one ever told me about it. It is amazing and makes me have hope in people. Good people doing good things on TV. I had no idea. Check out the Sea Shepard site to see what I am talking about.

Remember, every fight for good is important. Every time we do something good for someone else or for something else we are a step closer to the beauty we all deserve in this life. Finding this show amongst all the trash that pulls us down I am inspired, hopeful. Even in darkness you will always find some light.

We must fight to win. If you can donate please do to get Steve Irwin out and back to sea.  If you can’t donate money here is a link to help out in other ways.

We haven’t lost the war yet. Fight!

-Cara

Some Sauce

Some Sauce

I am not going repeat what I already wrote here. A quick synopsis, starting August 1st, 2010 I will publish a picture I take that day everyday for a year (well to be exact I will do this everyday until July 31st, 2011). This is the 26th of those photographs. Also, there is a Flickr collection called “The Awesome Leftovers” where I put the daily shots that didn’t make the cut.

Okay, I am back on track. I like these shots. Michelle, Joanna and I had just had dinner and I needed soy milk, so we hit up the Sunshine Mart by St Marks Place, because it is fun times!

Here are the extras, Yo Day 26.

-Cara

I went to go see this movie, “The Cove” last Thursday night at the Angelika Theater (if you happen to live in NYC). If not, go here to see if it is playing in a theater near you. You may also request it to show at your local theaters by clicking here.  It is an amazingly, awesome movie. I am not one to handle any animals being abused on screen, real or fake. I really can’t handle it, but this movie is something that people need to go see, and if I didn’t leave, you can handle it. I won’t go on and on, but if you can see it do.

We can all make some sort of difference everyday for good and in turn the world becomes a better place to exist in.

Do something that means something.

-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

When I was a kid growing up the “Save the Whales”  protesters were the stereotype for hippies and do gooders of the 70’s. In fact, before there was the term “green”, “save the whales” had that same feeling. The same type of people, just a different time This entry is a tribute to all those who have struggled and fought to save the whales!!!

Whale Call Incorporated are still fighting the good fight. Here are some petitions they list on their site.

Petitions

To support the efforts of Councilor Greg Best of Wyong Shire to protest Whaling
Target: The Japanese Embassy

To educate the Japanese public through the use of global Sister City relationships
Target: Mr. Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister, Japanese Government and Royal Family

Tell Australian PM to say NO to Japanese whaling in Australian Antarctic Territorial waters
Target: John Howard, Prime Minister, Australian Federal Government

The Mad Mermaids

The Mad Mermaids have their own thing going on…

Then there is Whales.org. Their mission is to be the global voice for the protection of whales, dolphins and their environment.

Save the whales.

-Cara

The Eco Zoo is pretty fresh. It has four animals that live in this tree zoo. Three are real and one is a mythological figure. It is done in one of my favorite mediums, Flash (Papervision 3D engine in Flash to be precise). Two of the animals in the zoo have gorgeous pop-up books, that teach us eco tips for a better world…well one did and the other talked about the actual animal… You can also grab the tree, climb it, and spin it. There are sun rings if you are at the right spot…I love details like that.  See for yourself!

Go Japan!

-Cara

Executions are known to have been carried out in the following countries in 2007:

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Korea (North), Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, USA, Viet Nam, Yemen.

Amnesty International remains concerned that executions may have taken place in Mongolia and Malaysia. However, due to the secretive nature of the use of the death penalty the organization was unable to obtain reliable information.

An appeal for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty

I am not a killer.

-Cara

It’s slow, yet mesmerizing and runs out of time for reasons I am not aware of, but I can’t get enough of it…Eco-Ego is its name, saving the world is its game.

Fun Japanese style.

-Cara

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In America today, only four companies slaughter 59 percent of all the hogs, only four companies slaughter over 83 percent of all the cattle, and only two companies slaughter nearly 60 percent of all the chickens. At the farm level, the trend over recent decades has been for many fewer operations to produce many more animals. In 1967, for example, there were over a million hog farms. By 1998, the number fell to 114,000. The trend has funneled many of America’s farmers into contract, or franchise-like, arrangements that strictly take choices about herd densities, feed, and veterinary care away from them. The changes have ushered in a polluted landscape, a host of new pathogens, and a hell on Earth for the animals.

I dedicate this entry to my Papa who’s Birthday it is today.

RAIN BARRELS!!!

Rain Barrel 1

When I was growing up in Miami my Nana and Papa always had rain barrels, buckets and other rain catching devices outside of their house. They were there to water plants and anything else you may have needed rainwater for. I always thought the water from the sky was purer, realer than from a hose or sink. That rain contained magic that eluded processed water. That’s why my Papa collected water from the sky, while neighbors used their sprinklers. My Papa, he has always been close to the earth and a bit magical.

I was thinking last night, after a day of driving in the rain, I have a million plants I need to water a week, I also have a fire escape, and rain, so what am I waiting for. I can save natural resources by watering my plants with rainwater and also infuse some of that magic into their lives. :D

Below I will list steps on how to build your own rain barrel system for people who live in a house and where to buy them as well. For now, I’m going to cut off the top to a couple of soda bottles and put them on my fire escape, until I come up with a better way. I want to see if I can use stuff I already have instead of buying more stuff. As I look out my windows right now it is a gorgeous, sunny day. Watch, it probably won’t rain for weeks! I will build my first system today. I already have an old, wooden box on the fire escape to use as my base.

Wood Box

I will update with more photos when done…

Southwest Florida Water Management District’s web site has a great how-to rain barrel your life section. There’s even a video. :)

Rain Barrel

Building your own rain barrel

Decide where to place the barrel — many people put them under a downspout for easy attachment. Also consider the distance to your plants, gardens and flowerbeds.

If you don’t have gutters, put the barrel under a valley in the roof that sheds a lot of water. Be sure to put a screen over the open barrel to keep out debris, small animals and insects. This will take a lot longer to fill, but may be more practical for your location.

Step 1. Clean the barrel

Use food-quality containers, not ones that held harsh chemicals. Rinse the inside of the barrel with vinegar or lemon juice [Thanks Sue] and 5 gallons of water to wash away food or juice remnants.

Step 2. Install a hose spigot

To install a 3/4″ hose spigot, drill a 15/16″ hole for the spigot threading just a few inches from the bottom of the barrel. This will provide a few inches of clearance for attaching a hose or filling a watering can and allow for debris to settle below the outlet to reduce clogging.

Step 3. Build a platform

Concrete cinder blocks provide a strong, stable and level platform for your rain barrel. If you use more than one layer of blocks, stack them in a crisscross pattern so they won’t tip over.

Step 4. Connect downspout to barrel

Position the barrel at its set height and measure where you need to cut or disconnect your downspout. Often you can disassemble the downspout at the gutter by taking out screws or drilling out rivets. If you do have to cut it off, use a fine-toothed hacksaw blade or tin snips.

A flexible downspout extender makes an easy transition from the downspout to your barrel lid and eliminates the need for exact measurement because it bends and stretches to the length you need.

Step 5. Cut barrel opening

Place the downspout connection in the barrel. If your barrel comes with a lid, or if it has a sealed top, you will need to cut a hole in it.

Overflows and multiple barrels

You may want to connect an overflow pipe or link multiple barrels together. An overflow pipe will carry excess water that would normally overflow the barrel to another part of the yard or into another rain barrel; this is a great way to reduce water around the foundation of your house during rain.

I also found a cool alternative to downspouts, Kusari Doi [rain chains]. In Japan, Kusari-Doi or “rain chains” have been used for hundreds of years, copper rain chains can be found on homes, gardens and temples throughout Japan.

Lily

According to ValesGreenhouse.com,

“Rain Chains replace the traditional downspout on a typical household gutter system. They are a unique decorative accent to your house, while maintaining the functionality of a traditional downspout. With rain chains, you can actually see the water as it clings to the chains, or funnels through the cups, as it makes its way to the ground. The look and sound of the cascading water is mesmerizing. Rain Chains have been in use in Japan for hundreds of years. The Japanese name for Rain Chain is Kusari Doi. The copper variety will gain a rustic and timeless verdigris patina colour as it ages. They are a perfect accent to any home, and they are an endless conversation piece. Let a vine climb up for the summer and be amazed when you see the ice on it in the winter.

Rain Chains are 8 feet in length and attach very easily from the hole where the downspout was. All you may need is a screwdriver. Each chain is provided with a hanging hook that adjusts to fit virtually any gutter hole.”

I think they look beautiful. There is even a site I found where you can build your own “Globe Link” Kusari Doi.

Globe

I love new projects.

-Cara

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The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 70 percent of the world’s commercial fish stocks are fully exploited, overfished, or collapsed. To supply surging world demand, fishers use rapacious techniques, such as sonar, driftnets, longlines, dredgers, and leviathan fish-packing vessels. In the case of longlining, 4.5 million hooks are launched daily. A third of the world’s harvested fish go to feed livestock or farmed fish. The ocean’s interconnected ecosystem simply cannot keep pace. Now, 90 percent of the coveted top predator fish are gone. Consequently, fishers have moved down the food web to species once considered “trash.” These species, of course, are the food source of the fish that were initially overfished. In 2006, a report published in the journal Science gave the world until 2048 for all wild commercial stocks to be wiped out. The world could be left to fish nothing but jellyfish and bait.

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