Thursday, March 11, 2010

'Drowning in Alzheimer's': Minorities Struggle With Dementia

This is a big deal for me. I can't imagine anything more painful than watching a person you love, mentally whither away to nothingness. It is actually one of my greatest fears. Alzheimer's disease and dementia are growing problems, especially for the elderly in minority populations. Early detection is key(meds work best early on) and the more time and money you have to care for a loved one, the better their quality of life is during their decline and regression. Minorities often don't know about prevention efforts or meds(or have the money to pay for them) and most minority families don't have the resources and time available to them to effectively cope with their loved ones' condition. Inequality, deals them yet another blow, and additionally, traditional minority cultural elder classifications make dealing with the situation even harder. 

Our elders helped to bring us into the world and they deserve better. Minorities act as the foundation of our collective history,  our multicultural workforce, and our emerging melded national soul. It is unthinkable, that in a time of need, we are simply willing to let fellow Americans suffer such a great dishonor. Speaking of equality is mute unless everyone is treated equally. We only dishonor ourselves as Americans by allowing this disparity to happen, and we tarnish our legacy and jeopardize our future by blindly standing by while large portions of our population are relegated to obscurity to quietly die a silent death, memories slowly fading from minds that helped shape our lives.

Eco News-Electric Clothes, Junk Art, And Tricky Recycling

Powering Up Electronics With Cotton Fabric? It's Happening.

Some day, if we survive long enough for it to happen, we will be harnessing renewable energy from every source we possibly can. Cornell University, in conjunction with universities in Bologna and Cagliari, Italy, are developing a cotton fabric laced with a multidisciplinary nanotechnology that will allow clothing to harness power from the sun and other light sources to be used to power electronic devices. Some time ago, I created a post about clothing that is being developed to capture the kinetic energy of body movement to the same end.  Follow the link to get more info on this emerging tech.

Junk Art: 10 Amazing Artists Using Recycled Materials

You all know I love recycling. These ten artists do just that, recycle things from the waste stream, to create their art. It is amazing what they have been able to come up with. Follow the link to check out the ten artists and some of their work.

Proper Waste Disposal: How To Recycle Those Trickier Items

'Granny D' Dead: Doris Haddock, Campaign Finance Reform Activist, Dies At 100

Many of you may not know who Granny D was. She was a NH resident who was known best as a champion for campaign finance reform. Granny D walked 3,200 miles, at 89, across the country, a decade ago to publicize the need for those reforms. She was a blogger, public speaker, and a subtle galvanizing activist. She also ran for the U.S. Senate against perpetual seat holder Repub Judd Gregg. She was a lovely lady and a fierce spirit for the people. She was a great source of energy and hope for progressives everywhere. She was someone I greatly admired, and I will miss her presence, but I can still feel spirit and hear her in my mind. She lives on in all the lives she touched, including mine. 

Listen to her speak here.

Take a look at photos of her walk here.

I would also recommend seeing the 2007 documentary film "Run Granny Run."

Queer News-Cuba Quietly Pays, A Prom Is Postponed, Post Publishes Photo Kiss

Cuba Pays For Sex Reassignment Surgery

Cuba began paying for the country’s transgender men and women to undergo gender reassignment surgery in 2008, though that fact was kept quiet until now. Mariela Castro, the daughter of President Raul Castro and niece of former leader Fidel Castro, told reporters a few days ago, that the country has been paying for the operations for the past two years. During Fidel Castro's reign, homosexuality and GLBT issues were outlined as a corrupt consequences of capitalism. Mariela Castro is cuba's leading GLBT rights advocate and now heads the National Centre for Sexual Education, in Cuba. 

Miss. School Prom Off After Lesbian’s Date Request

It looks like the elite, restricted country clubs of the past are coming back into style, at least the are in Mississippi. The Itawamba County school district decided Wednesday not to host a high school prom, after a lesbian student demanded she be afforded equal opportunity at the prom and be able to attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. The district policy requires that senior prom dates be of the opposite sex. The American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi had allowed the school district until Wednesday to change that policy and allow, the now 18 year old, Constance McMillen to take her girlfriend, who is also a student at the school, to the their prom, which is scheduled on April 2. Instead, the school board met and decided to be elitist, exclusionary assholes. They issued a statement announcing the district wouldn’t host the event at Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, "due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events." The school board attorney would not elaborate further.  District officials did say in their statement, "it is our hope that private citizens will organize an event for the juniors and seniors, however, at this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students." Read more of the story by following the link.

Post: 27 Drop Paper Over Front-Page Gay Kiss Photo

The Washington Post reported more than two dozen people have canceled their subscriptions to the paper after a photo of two men kissing ran on the front page. The photo was taken the first day GLBT couples could apply for marriage licenses in Washington, DC. Does a twenty-seven person subscription loss even show on a graph of subscriptions at the Washington Post? Do people still read news print? How quaint.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Underwater Skyscraper Is A Self-Sufficient City at Sea

Click on the link to see the Huffington Post's article. The drawings for these underwater concept cities are simply amazing! Enjoy!

Maldives To Fight Rising Sea Levels With Floating Islands

The tiny island nation of the Maldives is one of the few nations in the world being terribly proactive about climate change. The Maldives government is has gone carbon neutral and eco-education for their children is a staple of learning.  They have even built retaining walls around every island and are doing everything they can to protect the islands from the sea. The islands are under threat from rising sea levels caused by climate change and they know it. No part of the 1200 islands which make up the nation have is more than six feet above sea level. Is that scary or what? As sea-levels rise the entire nation will be under water. The government is even buying up land in nearby nations as a place to retreat to when the last Maldive island disappears. They have another plan now as well. Create floating mini islands! The Maldives government and Dutch Docklands/Dutch Watervalley just signed an agreement to develop several floating facilities for the island nation. Follow the link to learn more about the project and see more photos.

"Sizzle" Confronts "Global Warming" With Humor (VIDEO)

"Sizzle" takes an often somber and solemn subject, climate change, and approaches it with lighthearted comedy in the hopes of raising awareness among new audiences. Self-proclaimed as a blend of "mockumentary, documentary, and reality", "Sizzle" follows Randy Olson and his misfit crew as they embark on a quest to understand the truth behind global warming.  Huffington Post

Underwear You Could Sink Your Teeth Into!

AussieBum is making the worlds first banana underwear. Don't believe it? Watch the video ad and follow the link for the whole story. People always site better living through chemistry. AussieBum seems to beleve in better living via sex and nature. I think I'll take the sex and nature, thank you. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Important GLBTQ Issues Over The Last Few Weeks That I Want To Weigh In On

Anti-Gay Group’s Case Heads to Supreme Court

I'm probably going to get a bunch of flack about what I am about to say, but what I am about to say has to be said, in some ways, for our (GLBTQ people) own good and to protect one of our nations greatest rights, our freedom to speak freely. 

As much as I dislike Phelps, and his followers, and those that base them selves from a place of hate, according to our law Phelps has a right to speak. No matter how distasteful, misguided, ill informed, deranged, or sick his comments or beliefs are, he has a right to think and say those thoughts, as long as he does not threaten, assault, or immediately physically harm anyone, and as long  as he abides by all laws, while he is spewing his hateful rhetoric. To date, he and his followers have been very careful to do those things, most of the time, and when they crossed the line, law enforcement, and the courts have made sure those offenders were prosecuted for their infractions.

The same laws that protect Phelps, also protect the rest of us and allow us to voice our opinions and propagate our life view, and express our hopes and dreams for a future, without hate-mongers like Phelps. We can't pick and choose how to use laws based solely on political will and how fortuitous it is to bend a law to our own end. That is legally dangerous and puts us on a slippery slope and sets a dangerous precedent to have those same interpretations used against us at a later time. We should work to be better than he is. We should do the right thing, though it is harder to do. We need to fight his hate, not by silencing him, but by exposing him for what he really is, a scared, little man, with very little worth hearing at all.

Anti-Gay Law Takes Effect In Lithuania

On March 1st Lithuania’s "Law on the Protection of Minors Against the Detrimental Effects of Public Information" took effect. It outlines a complete ban on public information that promotes sexual relationships, "denigrates family values," or encourages a non-heterosexual concept of marriage and family. Specifically, it is targeting GLBTQ folk, those in polyamorous relationships. The European Union doesn't let member states restrict its citizens’ basic rights and Michael Cashman, co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, is working to get Lithuania in line. That could take a very long time to resolve, and unfortunately GLBTQ people aren't the most pressing matter for the European Union, making that job even harder. Sometimes I just want to bang my head against the wall. 

Article Link:

Bias incidents roil University of California 

Though I think we are becoming more tolerant as we become more diverse, and as more people have an equal standing, I think it would be an over simplification to think that intolerance will simply disappear, because of that. Each generation has the potential to wipe away more fear and be more informed, but not everyone within a generation chooses to let go of their prejudices and better themselves. Some listen to hateful elders, others cling to unhealthy role models, and others see hate and intolerance as a tool to fuel their own journey. 

The two most important things are to teach ourselves to respect and learn about each other and to make sure that those who choose to be bigots know that our system of justice will not tolerate actions which harm others. We are all connected and what effects one of us, touches us all. If someone doesn't believe that or doesn't want to be a part of that, they can live in their own bubble if they want to, but they need to remember their rights end where all others' rights begin.

Va. AG: Colleges Can’t Ban Gay Discrimination 

It wasn't surprising to me that Republican Governor Bob McDonnellof, who took office in VA, in January, removed protections based on sexual orientation from his anti-discrimination order, reversing the two previous Democratic governor's executive orders that gave a protected status to GLBTQ folk. I grew up in that state, and I will tell you it is anything but progressive. With that being said it is also not surprising that Virginia’s attorney general has just told the state’s public colleges that they don’t have the authority to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, saying only the Virginia General Assembly has that power. Equality and protections for GLBTQ people in VA comes and goes with the coming and going of progressives in the statehouse and the governors mansion. It's like watching a tennis match. Virginia, like much of the south and midwest, is always going to be a GLBTQ battleground, until someone has the guts to set things right on a national level, and establish national protection for for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people.

Transgender File Suit Against Guyana Cross-Dressing Ban

Members of Guyana’s Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination filed suit on Feb. 19. The Supreme Court there will now here the case against the nation’s ban on cross-dressing. I am hoping they can gain international support, beforehand, much like the international support  for GLBTQ people in Uganda, has shed light on the plight of GLBTQ people in that nation, and helped those opposed to discrimination in Uganda rally support. It is hard to know what will happen in either nation, as each is dealing with systemic homophobia, government sanctioned persecution, and extreme issues of intolerance and inequality along many fronts, not just in reference to GLBTQ issues. Even if Guyana strikes down this ban, GLBT people would still have to fight the laws which ban and severely penalize gay sex. Sometimes I just want to curl into a ball and scream.

Newly Appointed Russian Deputy Justice Minister Is A Homophobe

Surprise, surprise. Russia is getting pretty scary if you are GLBTQ. On top of the growing number of Russian officials that are definitely not friends of Dorthy, you can now add another. An anti-gay member of Russia’s upper chamber of Parliament, has now been given the appointment of deputy minister of justice. Apparently in Russia justice isn't blind, she's just a homopobe.

Washington DC And Mexico City Same Sex Weddings Begin

All I have to say on this one, is congratulations on sealing the deal! :)

Roy Ashburn, CA State Senator Says He's Gay After He Is Outed, Following a DUI Arrest

He is so voted off of our gay island paradise. All of his privileges as a gay man have been revoked, and all of his conversion prizes will be taken away. Just finished talking to the committee. I can understand him being the "R" word to a point, I can even understand him wanting to hide, so he could be happy. One thing I've never been able to understand is being a hypocrite or turning your back on who you are, all the while persecuting others like yourself, while hiding behind a facade. Shame and loneliness are two words I hope Roy Ashburn becomes very familiar with. What a horrid creature.

Article Link:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Just For Fun-Laws Still On The Books In The U.S.That Are Simply Ridiculous

This is just a lighthearted piece meant to give you a few laughs. Generally, laws like the ones in the photo article, had reasons to be on the books, but over time those reasons have been lost to the sands of time and fading memories, yet the laws still sit on the books, waiting to be used. Follow the link to take a look at them.

3D Sidewalk Art-Sure To Leave You Breathless

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I think art is part of our collective soul. Street art and graffiti art are two of my favorite types of modern art. Follow the link to take a look at some impressive sidewalk art. Feeding the mind and feeding the soul, are just as important as feeding the body.

Good Ways To Get Rid Of Your Stuff-Reduce, reuse, recycle!

We often give things to the local thrift store or to goodwill. You can also find new homes for unwanted things through, but I found this article had some ideas of how to find new owners for things, in people friendly ways, that I just didn't know about. Just spreading the word. Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Click the link below or the header to get to the article.