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Happy Independence Day!

4 Jul

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-may-10-2010/jack-rakove

Check out Revolutionaries by Jack Rakove!

 

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Reccommendation: Food Rules by Michael Pollan

7 Apr

First of all, I love the size, shape and design of this book. Seven inches tall by four wide, glossy cover, simple yet striking use of bright green in the great image of the peapod, title and binding. As an avid bedside reader, I appreciated this book’s compact readability for tired arms late at night.

Inside this lovely little volume, as the title would suggest, are 64 rules…about food.The basic goal of the text, as stated in the Introduction, is to simplify what we eat and how we eat. His food philosophy can be boiled down to:

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”

 

Pollan is critical of the relatively new field of nutrition science and giant food producers. He sees food as more than the sum of its component parts.  It is simply laid out, each rule listed in large print at the top of the page and a small paragraph expaining it fills the second half of the page.

It’s a quick read- but very helpful for the intelligent consumer of food. And, I think it’s  safe to say after reading this book you will find yourself eating more veggies, drinking less soft drinks, and even looking up your local farmer’s market! Hooray for real food!

Health Care Reform Bill

23 Mar

The recently passed House health care reform bill has generated a lot of buzz. This ‘buzz’, as observed on social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, seemed haphazard- and while not necessarily uninformed, half-informed at best. Hoping to form my own honest and more fully informed opinion, I set out to find out exactly what is actually in the bill. With all the hype, (positive and negative alike) it’s hard to get a straightforward account of the substance of the bill. I was hoping a quick Google search would do the trick, but I should have known better- more opinion and ceremony than actual substance filled the 29,100,000 Google hits for health care reform.

So, for the frustrated fact finder- here is what I found after a more informed search:

Slate.com is a great online magazine that covers the same broad range of topics as a traditional newspaper. I turn to Slate for straightforward, detailed- but easy to understand- news coverage. This article is from the Slate ‘Explainer’ series, which offers a breakdown of complicated issues in the news.

Health Care Reform FAQ

http://www.slate.com/id/2248560/

Another great piece can be found in the similar magazine, Salon.com

10 Things To Know About Health Care Reform

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/03/19/healthcare_facts_slideshow/slideshow.html

If anyone else has a similar article feel free to share! Information is power!

Democracy Now

22 Feb

Remember in the story of Goldilocks and the three bears how nothing was quite right- porridge too hot or cold, chairs and beds to hard or soft. Lately, I’ve felt that way about television news (this does not apply to radio- NPR is perfection). CNN is too much. Network news is bad timing. Jon Stewart is too sexy (and also not technically news, but I thought I’d include him). MSNBC is too much. Fox News is…ugh (and mostly also not news).

Without access to a radio (if only the train broadcast NPR as regularly as my ’95 Camry, Jeffry did on the way to school- NPR for the masses!!) I have had a severe shortage of news lately. My solution appeared in the form of a reccommendation from a friend to try Amy Goodman’s independent newscast Democracy Now, The War and Peace Report.

The program is broadcast daily at 9/8c and is published on the internet at http://www.democracynow.org or via podcast. It is also available on some public TV and radio stations. It is available in video or audio only formats.

Co-Anchors Juan Gonzalez and Amy Goodman

The main host, Amy Goodman is intelligent, down to earth and easy to listen to. Co-host Juan Gonzalez also does a good job- but it is clear Amy is team captain of the Democracy Now! news room.

The hour long show is set up in two main segments. The first ten minutes or so consist of  a rundown and brief overview of the days heasdlines. After that a few stories are covered in more depth.

Democracy Now! has the newsroom atmosphere of the traditional television newscast minus one key factor- corporate sponsorship. The content ofthe show does not lag due to the lack of funding, in fact this very detail is what sets Demcracy Now! apart. The show is independently produced and distrubuted and is done just as well if not better than corporate news organizations. Not beholden to any coroporate interests, the show is unbiased (if perhaps left-leaning, at least socially) and covers a wide range of topics- often including stories you won’t  see in conventional news sources.

Renegade. Revolutionary. Intelligent. In short, just right.

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