"There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and 'best' was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating our own banks, losing its central direction and purpose...Some channel deepening seems called for." (Robert M. Pirsig "The Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" p. 16)


Daily Show correspondent Michael Che tries to find a safe place to report from.

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‘Columbusing’: when white people think they discovered something they didn’t

Want more examples of ‘Columbusing?’ watch the full video here.

(Source: College Humor)


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John Oliver’s takedown of the way the media covers climate change last night was fantastic.

THIS is why we love comedy.

Truth in comedy.

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Paul Ryan’s claim to have made a mistake will be granted because he is white and male. The errors of prominent (as well as rank and file) African-Americans for example, are never excused away or viewed as aberrations or outliers. No. When black folks are ‘inarticulate’ or ‘misspeak’ the white racial frame deems such moments as indications of incompetence, or proof that people of color are somehow ‘not qualified’ or as ‘intelligent’ as white people. The white gaze does not view black Americans as individuals. When a black person makes a mistake it becomes the focus of a ‘national conversation’ about the black community, one in which ‘black leaders’ are forced to publicly explain and condemn the actions of other black people. There is not an equivalent ritual for white people. White conservatives and the white community will not be forced to condemn Paul Ryan.

Chauncey DeVega (via thesmithian)

Plus he didn’t make no damn mistake. He meant that shit. :/

(via generalbriefing)

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Why Rivers No Longer Burn
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Millennials increasingly politically independent, but half lean Democratic

Half of Americans aged 18 to 33 are self-described political independents, but a similar proportion of so-called millennials acknowledged leaning towards the Democratic Party, a new survey suggests.

The percentage of respondents indicating an inclination to support the Democrats represents the highest share for any age group over the last decade, the Pew Research Center survey

In addition, young adults tend towards being increasingly single and churchless, researchers found. Almost two-thirds don’t classify themselves as “a religious person,” and only about 1 in 4 millennials is married. At that age, almost half of baby boomers were married.

Read more

(Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)


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Explore local energy data at http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/maps

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I just received an email regarding a possible commission for a wee double paddle canoe, and am super stoked! I’ve been wanting to find the time to build another (after the total success of this past summer’s prototype, pictured above), but it’s essentially impossible to find that time without having a commission. It’s such a great little boat that I’m thrilled to put more of them into the world— so lightweight and easy to carry, so tough and low-worry/low-maintenance (takes hammer blows without flinching), so much less plastic than the generic store bought types, so pretty, and so much fun to paddle! oh, I hope hope hope this commission goes through! Wish me luck!

*bonus: it would be for a gentleman in the SF Bay Area— he lives in Petaluma (gorgeous!), and commutes to San Francisco. That’s fun because I know and love some of the waters he’d be exploring.

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URBAN VS. SUBURBAN CARBON FOOTPRINTS:  Environmental Impacts of population density

Which U.S. municipal locations contribute the most to household greenhouse gas emissions (HCF), and how do population density and suburbanization affect these emissions? Confirming a growing body of work on the negative environmental impacts of suburban sprawl, Christopher Jones and Daniel Kammen of U.C. Berkeley recently published the results of research finding consistently lower HCF in urban core cities and higher carbon footprints in outlying suburbs. Suburbs alone account for about 50% of total U.S. HCF!

The authors also noted an interesting paradox, often left unexplained in such large-scale studies, about overall metropolitan size: while population density contributes to relatively low HCF in the central cities of large metropolitan areas, the more extensive suburbanization in these regions contributes to an overall net increase in HCF compared to smaller metropolitan areas. Differences in the size, composition, and location of household carbon footprints suggest the need for tailoring of greenhouse gas mitigation efforts to different populations. For those with a scientific interest in the intricacies of data, see the full article here.

For a series of fascinating interactive maps based on this research, see the CoolClimate Calculator. The maps start with the U.S. continental scale, but allow you to zoom into particulaer localities. Having grown up in the Los Angeles area, I included a map of average household carbon emissions (HCF), which corresponds neatly with another one (not shown here) of average household vehicle miles driven monthly. With all this data, you can find out how you compare to local averages and create a personalized climate action plan for you or your community. Check it out! 

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I hate Wal-mart.

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Potential of renewable energy from tidal power in Scotland greater than nuclear; one area could power half of Scotland: http://bit.ly/1jmQlPf

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Russell Brand Speaks Candidly About America’s Habit Of Creating Terrorists

Russell Brand is a walking sound bite generator, and I love him for it.

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Powell’s map of the West


Powell suggested that states should be formed around the watersheds. More info: http://ecopolitology.org/2010/11/18/what-the-american-west-would-look-like-if-powell-had-his-way/

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Just how dry is it in the California mountains? These photos truly says a thousand words. The implications of these two images are truly immense! The California/Nevada border has been superimposed on these images. Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake are the two dark spots in California on the east side of Sierra.

California is so fucked

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Total area of solar panels required to power the world [598x374]

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Did you know that you can make houses out of plastic bottles? By filling them with sand, and molding them together with mud or cement, the walls created are actually bullet proof, fire proof, and will maintain an comfortable indoor temperature of 64 degrees in the summer time.

And it’s not like there is any shortage on used plastic bottles out there. Here are some statistics from treehugger.com:

“The United States uses 129.6 Million plastic bottles per day which is 47.3 Billion plastic bottles per year. About 80% of those plastic bottles end up in a landfill!”

To build a two bedroom, 1200 square foot home, it takes about 14,000 bottles.

The United States throws away enough plastic bottles to build 9257 of these 2 bedroom houses per day! That’s just over 3.35 million homes, the same number of homeless people in America.

(via America Could End Homelessness in One Year by Doing This - The Mind Unleashed)

Wanna build something!!

Hell yes!

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