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Poet Nanao Sakai Memorial in Santa Fe

Dan Kuehn, author of Mongolian Cloud Houses (a book on yurts) just sent us an email about a memorial this Monday for Japanese poet Nanao Sakai in Santa Fe:
Nanao Sakaki died a year ago on Winter Solstice. Friends of Nanao will attend a one year memorial at Upaya Zen Center next Monday, December 21, 2009 at 5:30 p.m. Carol Merrill wrote: "If you can't make it... Well, he said it best:"
If you have time to chatter
Read books
If you have time to read
Walk into mountain, desert and ocean
If you have time to walk
Sing Songs and dance
If you have time to dance
Sit quietly, you Happy Lucky Idiot.

I'm a Culture Critic, Get Me Out of Here

James Walcott is a razor-sharp writer, as in this article in the December 09 issue of Vanity Fair on how reality shows have wrecked TV, titled "I'm a Culture Critic, Get Me Out of Here."
"…Younger reality stars may have more mobile faces, though in time they too will acquire the Noh masks of the celebrity undead. Their range of verbal expression runs mostly from chirpy to duh, as if their primpy little mouths were texting. The chatty, petty ricochet of reality TV — the he-said-that-you-said-that-she-said-that-I-said-that-she-said-that-your-fat-gas-can-no-longer-fit-through-the-door — eventually provokes a contrived climax, a "shocking ending" that is tipped off in promos for the show, teasers replayed so frequently that it's as if the TV screen had the hiccups."
"…In the voyeurism of Reality TV, the viewers passivity is kept intact, pampered and massaged and force-fed Chicken McNuggets of carefully edited snippets that permit him or her to sit in easy judgment and feel superior at watching familiar strangers make fools of themselves. Reality TV looks in only one direction: down."

Composting Toilet in Coastal Jungle of Brazil

Our author Johan van Lengen (The Barefoot Architect), his son Peter, and others, run TIBÁ (Bio-Architecture and Intuitive technology), a school for building in the eastern coastal jungle of Brazil. TIBÁ was recently invited to conduct a workshop on sanitation for four diferent local tribes: the Pankararu, the Kariri Xocó, the Tupinambá de Olivença and the Pataxó Hãhãhãe. In four days they built a bason - a composting toilet developed by Johan, as well as a prototype grey water system. This photo shows the chief of the Pankararu tribe studying the Brazilian version of The Barefoot Architect.
Ana Ruivo from TIBÁ wrote us: "The experience of sharing knowledge with these communities was really interesting and rich, and the best thing is that it´s only the beginning.…our goal is…to transmit a lot more of TIBÁ work in many more indigenous communities."
TIBÁ has wonderful workshops for people who want to combine learning about bio-architecture and green building with visiting Brazil.

Crispy Hippie Coffee

My friend Mike Durrie's daughter Jessica runs 2 very cool cafe/coffee roasteries in Princeton, NJ, Small World Coffee. When the local Whole Foods, which carries her coffee, asked for something "…new and exciting,' Jessica emailed Mike: "…the label for the Crispy Hippie…was designed with Lloyd Kahn, of Bolinas, in mind. My graphics guy asked me, 'what do you want this label to look like?' And the only image that popped into my mind was Lloyd skateboarding or surfing. So, I showed my graphics guy a photo of Lloyd and told him the story my dad told me of Lloyd getting a ticket or something for skateboarding up at Sea Ranch. So, anyway, Lloyd, I guess, is the Crispy Hippie! I hope he takes no offense."
Heck Jessica, I'm honored—tote-uh-lee… "…a high density bean that can take the extra heat." Yeah!
Sent us by Michael Mery

Why Didn't the Polar Bear eat the Husky?

"On a late October day on the Canadian tundra next to a gray, cold, but unfrozen Hudson Bay near tiny Churchill, Manitoba, a pack of large Husky dogs, the pride of hunter-trapper Brian LaDoon were comfortably lounging on a fresh bed of snow, each tethered by a long chain. Norbert Rosing, a naturalist and photographer was setting up his equipment to capture the scene. A wild polar bear is approaching the Husky who is signaling an invitation to play.…)" When you get to the following website, click on the right arrow to check out what happens!: http://www.nifplay.org/polar-husky.html
Sent us by Paul Wingate