Previous month:
April 2008
Next month:
June 2008

Solar City

Solar Considering that Masdar City, is rising in the heart of oil territory, the fact that it is an "ectopian town," (energy saving) is rather interesting. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi has 50,000 residents in a 2+ mile area and is being touted as "a hub for academic and corporate research on non-polluting energy technologies".

When it's done, Masdar City will be "slightly smaller than the historic district of Venice, will have similar narrow pedestrian streets, but shaded by canopies made of photovoltaic panels. It will produce all of its own energy from sunlight ... Water will flow from a solar-powered seawater-desalination plant. Produce will come from nearby greenhouses, and all waste will be composted or otherwise recycled."

Masdar City is not the only place where this wonderful techonology is being applied but it may become the most successful. In Arizona, an ectopia called Arcosanti was started some 30 years ago, but is "still a work in progress" and surrounding suburban sprawl is beginning to encrouch.

Let's see if Masdar City can become the standard for clean living.

Read more: a first primer for how to get it together as a stable-state humanitarian society -- Ecotopia.

Mercury Retrograde on May 26, 2008

Here is a great overview of the retrograde Mercury this week from famed astrologer Felissa Rose:
Mercury goes retrograde on May 26, 2008 at 11:49 AM EDT in 21 degrees 32 minutes of Gemini.  It turns direct on June 19, 2008 at 10:32 AM EDT at 12 degrees 59 minutes of Gemini.

Mercury is the ruler of Gemini, sign of everyday information and communication. Individuals born under the sign of Gemini love to learn and share a varied assortment of data. Often they know a little bit about a lot of things.  While Mercury is retrograde people tend to internalize their thoughts and become more reflective.  Negatively this can lead to indecisiveness and worry among Gemini’s as well as members of the other 11 zodiac signs.

Reflection, meditation and calming oneself would be quite helpful now. Then appropriate decisions can be made without excessive activity in one’s think box.

While Mercury is retrograde mechanical things tend to break down more frequently. Along with communications Mercury rules wires and electrical equipment which are apt to go on the blink.  Best to put off those major technical and appliance purchases until Mercury is no longer retrograde.  This relates to cars as well.

Since this is part of vacation time, be prepared for travel delays. Gemini rules short trips and with the way the economy presently is people would be more inclined in that direction.  Take a map and don’t rely only on your GPS.

The next Mercury retrogrades will be on September 24 to October 15, 2008 and January 11 to February 1, 2009.
Related reading:
Mercury Retrograde: Your Survival Guide to Astrology's Most Precarious Time of Year
Mercury Retrograde

The Astronomer's Inn: Perfect Inn for Stargazing

Astron2 I am always thinking about vacation and I love to find a new place to explore. Well, here is a place that really seems unique. The Astronomers Inn just outside Benson, Arizona is a cozy hilltop bed & breakfast and home of the Vega-Bray Observatory. This inn offers guests a unique opportunity for observatory-quality stargazing of the beautiful southeastern Arizona skies. You can bring your own telescope and set up on the patio, or go inside and use the observatory’s equipment. You can join with others and participate in nightly astronomer-guided stargazing sessions, you can even buy time on the 20-inch f/10 Maksutov in the dome. Children are welcome and they promise they can keep them entertained.

When you've had enough stargazing you can take a small boat out on the lake or drive to one or several nearby ecotourist and historical sites. Give your kids an interesting story to tell for "what I did on my summer vacation."
NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe is considered to be the best handbook for the beginning astronomer. And this handy field guide covers the basics of observing: Astronomy Hacks: Tips and Tools for Observing the Night Sky.

Handwriting and the Election: What Graphology Says About the Candidates

Handwriting I just saw this interesting analysis on Yahoo. Virginie Monte says that, through her handwriting, Hillary Clinton is smart and forceful, John McCain is proud but has a volatile temper, and Barack Obama is a diplomat who deals well with different people and situations.

"Handwriting is a reflection of the inner personality. It shows a person's ego strength, how good they feel about themselves, their intellectual, communication and working styles," graphologist Sheila Lowe.

Graphology – the study of one’s handwriting, is very popular in sophisticated markets such as France where recruiters often ask for a handwriting analysis as part of the job consideration process.

In the U.S. handwriting analysis has it waves of interst. Consider the election cycle. "Each time there are elections, I get invited to TV shows, radio shows," Lowe said. "There is always somebody who wants to know something, even if they don't take graphology seriously." Just the signatures of the candidates are revelatory -- at least to the eye of an expert.

Republican John McCain's signature shows a proud, idealistic but impulsive, if not uncontrollable man, according to the experts. New York graphologist Roger Rubin agreed, and also saw a powerful ego at play in the senator from Arizona because of the unevenness of McCain’s signature. "The capital J is the largest letter, which shows his strong belief in his own ego. The size of 'John' overwhelms the size of 'McCain' -- this shows how distant he is from his family roots."

Obama's signature reveals similar traits. The vertical straight line of the B in Obama cuts through the large O -- which is nonetheless smaller than the B in Barack. "The very large B shows he also has a very strong sense of his own ego," Rubin said. "And he is crossing out his family name," he added, recalling that Obama's father left the family when the front-runner for the Democratic nomination was just a young boy.

Yet another graphologist had a different interpretation of the bisected O: "He draws that circle and a line through it, and it's really like he has two different worlds," said Paula Sassi. "I think it shows his black and white heritage." The fluidity of Obama's signature is a sign of high intelligence, while its illegibility shows he is protecting his privacy. The large letters in Obama's signature show that he is ambitious, self-confident and views himself as a leader.

Clinton's legible, balanced signature shows a woman of great intelligence. It's simplicity portrays a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" personality, said Lowe. Her straight-up-and-down writing indicates that she "thinks with her head, not with her heart," said Sassi. "But there is enough roundness in her writing to show that she cares about people," said Imberman. The fact that the second leg of the H and the second L in Hillary are higher than the first show ambition.

It is difficult, the experts say, to tell the sex of a person from their handwriting, or to discern if they are left- or right-handed. But, interestingly enough, Obama and McCain are lefties -- just like four out of five US presidents immediately before them: Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George Bush Sr and Bill Clinton.

Learn more:
Handwriting Analysis: Putting It to Work for You
Sex, Lies, and Handwriting: A Top Expert Reveals the Secrets Hidden in Your Handwriting

Cafe Diablo

casa diablo

Portland's Casa Diablo, wants even meat eating guys to consider going vegan. It is a noble purpose. But the way they go about it has some women up in arms. Owner Johnny explains: "My sole purpose in this universe is to save every possible creature from pain and suffering." But his idea of accomplishing this is to feature girls who dance starkers and food made with soy protein. Johnny thinks this is a great way to get more guys to go vegan.

"As a feminist, I'm not keen on the idea of using women's bodies to sell vegetarianism, and I'm not into the idea of using vegetarianism to sell women's bodies," says Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of Veganomicon, a cookbook.

And yet with every point there is a counter point -  A music combo called The Vegan Vixens is dedicated to getting more guys to give up meat, and claim the approach works. "We've gotten a lot of men eating vegetarian, if not vegan," says Sky Valencia, the group's founder.

No such luck for Johnny Diablo, though. He is selling his club, apparently because it's just not doing very well. BTW, just 2.3 percent of the U.S. population is vegetarian.

Above photos are screen shots of YouTube video.
Whether you want to bake dairy- and egg-free for health, ethical, or environmental reasons, The Joy of Vegan Baking:  The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets, lets you have your cake and eat it, too!
Eat, Drink & Be Vegan: Great Vegan Food for Special and Everyday Celebrations is full of vibrant, healthy, and delicious recipes.

Blog powered by Typepad