Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Greenest Town in America

This news item in Native Energy’s e-newsletter really grabbed me and I wanted to share it. On May 4, 2007, a tornado destroyed 95% of Greensburgh, Kansas and killed 11 people. In their efforts to rebuild, the residents of Greensburgh decided they were going to make their town the greenest in America.

They recently broke ground on the Greensburgh Wind Farm, which will generate enough energy to power 4,000 homes, which is more than enough electricity for every home, business, and municipal facility in this little town. The wind energy will displace fossil-based energy and reduce hundreds of thousands of tons of carbon pollution.

Very cool. Go Greensburgh!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Who Is Responsible for the Sound of Music Train Station Video?

I think the choreographed dance routine to the song “Do Re Mi”, which takes place at the Centraal Station in Antwerp, Belgium, is about the greatest thing since sliced bread. I love watching it and I never seem to get tired of it. I’ve already watched it at least a dozen times. It’s playing on my desktop right now, in fact!

But after about the twelfth time, I became intensely curious. Who is responsible for this really creative and original fete?

There are so many things I like about this video. First of all, there’s the wardrobe, or lack of one. All the dancers are wearing their own clothes, ranging from business suits to jeans, hoodies and sneakers. They truly look like 200 people who simply came to take a train and got caught up in the excitement and fun of it all, and oh by the way, they all just happened to know the steps! At one point, you see this fifties-ish guy with grey hair and a tan coat smiling and watching like he thinks it's really cool, and a few minutes later he's smack dab in the middle! And then there's this twenties-ish really tall guy in a dark suit who looks like he could be anybody's accountant in the very last row on the end and he's completely into it!

And I especially like the looks on their faces when the music starts. They’re all looking around like, “Where is this music coming from?” like they have no idea and are really surprised. They pull that off really well.

So I did some Googling and here’s what I found. According to Surfstation.com, the promotional stunt was put on by a Belgian television program, which was looking for someone to play the lead in a remake of “The Sound of Music”. The Huffington Post says it is a promotional stunt for a reality show.

Either way, HuffPo offers a great explanation for why I, and roughly a million other people, enjoy this video so much: “We’re in a global economic crisis, America’s fighting two wars, there’s genocide in Darfur, AIDs running rampant, and a pretty good shot that we could all be killed by bird flu in a year or two. We need this video.” Well that certainly explains a lot.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kanye West Doesn't Deserve an Ounce of Fame

Did anyone catch the MTV music awards last night, or if not, the news this morning about his actions at the awards?

He actually interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech of the MTV video of the year award, pulled the microphone out of her hands and said that Beyonce's video was awesome. In other words, that she deserved the award. Taylor didn't know what to say after that.

Kanye West is rude, arrogant, pretentious and doesn't deserve one ounce of fame. He deserves to be knocked down a few pegs. How sad that someone can be so uncaring and self-centered in this day and age.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Can We All Have a Moment of Silence Please?

We won't forget. For all the people who died on September 11th, 2001, for all the spouses who lost their other halves, for all the children who lost their parents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and for all the people who lost their bosses, friends, colleagues, buddies and team members. We know you haven't forgotten. We haven't forgotten either.

This moment of silence is for you and for the loved ones you lost.

May peace be with you.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

God Bless Tuesday’s Children

Hugo graduated high school last June and is now working in a restaurant with the hopes of becoming a chef. He’s following in his father’s footsteps, but unfortunately his father isn’t there to tell him how proud he is of his son. His father was a chef at Windows of the World on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center. He died on September 11th, 2001.

There are thousands Hugos. Thank God there is Tuesday’s Children. Tuesday’s Children is a nonprofit organization that helps families of 9/11 with parenting, mentoring, legal issues, career counseling, life management skills and health and wellness.

If you or someone you know lost a loved one on September 11th, you are invited to their annual anniversary luncheon. It’s passed the RSVP date, but I doubt they would turn away a new member from their fold:

Date: Sept. 11, 2009
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Merchants NY Café
Address: 90 Washington Street
Between Rector and Washington
New York, NY 10006
Phone: 212-363-6000
RSVP: sara@tuesdayschildren.org
Or danielle@tuesdayschildren.org

Out of sadness and pain comes something wonderful. If you would like to donate to Tuesday’s Children, go to http://www.tuesdayschildren.org.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Health Care Town Hall Meeting Rises to a Boil

Last night I attended one of those town hall meetings on health care that have been all over the news. There were about 5,000 people in attendance from Stamford, Greenwich, Westport, Wilton, Weston, Norwalk and Darien.

The tension was high. Dissension was high. People were screaming from the audience. Most of the comments were pretty stupid. One woman yelled, "equal opportunity health care is not a constitutional right!" Huh? Another one yelled, "I don't want to pay for abortions!" Again, huh? Wow, there's a lot of misconception and ignorance in the world.

First of all, I believe that equal opportunity health care IS a constitutional right. Let's remember that most of the rights we have today - like the right for women to vote and for integration, not segregation - came long after the original constitution was written.

Here are some other things I know:

FACT: A 36-year-old woman's insurance company wouldn't pay for her $6,000 weekly chemo treatments because the treatment was new and "not proven".

FACT: There have been numerous stories about people who needed bone marrow transplants and insurance companies refused to pay for the expensive procedure because "it wasn't proven". It took years of fighting to get insurance companies to pay for these. I wonder how many people died waiting.

FACT: I've been turned down by insurance companies. My husband has been turned down by an insurance company. Insurance companies should not be allowed to turn anyone down.

FACT: We ended up forfeiting our COBRA because the rates were raised so high that we couldn't afford them. Insurance companies should not be allowed to charge absorbitant rates.

FACT: We're already paying for schools in our taxes. I don't have any kids in the school system but yet I have to pay for it anyway.

FACT: My taxes go to pay for the highways and the roads. I work from home so I don't use those highways and roads as much as most other people but yet I'm still paying the same amount for those roads as everyone else. Why not pay for healthcare out of our taxes?

FACT: From the time we are first old enough to work (i.e., age 16), we start paying into social security, something that none of us uses until we reach retirement age, yet no one has ever complained about paying into that. Furthermore, some people never even reach retirement age and never get to use any of it. Most people never get to use all of it. But no one has any problem with that.

I believe that equal opportunity healthcare is a constitutional right for all Americans. I believe that any government run program that requires us to pay into it from our paychecks should be for documented Americans only (but I also feel there should be better ways and more opportunities for undocumented aliens to become documented). And anyone who thinks that a government run healthcare system is going to pay for free abortions for the poor is an idiot. Unless that person is raped and is an uninsured minor. Then I think it makes sense.

The only shout out in the crowd that I heard last night that makes any sense at all is this: let's not try to boil the ocean. Let's take small steps. Today, pass a law that says that insurance companies cannot deny anyone insurance and make it illegal for insurance companies to deny preexisting conditions or new forms of medicine. That would be a great start. From there, we should move on to make payments affordable.

Perhaps there are certain medical wellness processes that could be government run, such as child vaccinations, mammograms, pap smears, prostate cancer tests, eye exams, blood pressure screenings, etc. Things that we can all benefit from. I am not opposed to government run medical insurance that creates a level playing field for all who need care, and I am not opposed to paying for it out of my paycheck or my taxes. Let's find a workable program that meets the needs of everyone.

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.

Some People Are Sooooo Stupid

I can't believe what I just saw. I was pumping gas and along comes this guy about 60 with a frumpy hat who looks like he's had waaaay too much alcohol in his lifetime to even remember his own name. He walks through the gas station smoking a cigarette and then tosses his lit cigarette butt on the ground near the gas pumps.

This made me furious! I can't believe that we actually have people in this society that are that stupid! I started yelling at him but he didn't hear me. Or maybe he just didn't care.

And then, his next move was classic - it was 9:00 a.m. He walked directly into the liquor store to get more pickel juice.


Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.