Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mindfield

The guy who built this - The Mindfield - just rolled into town on his elaborately decorated motorcycle (see below) with tribute to many people including, Least Heat-Moon, who happens to live around these parts. It was a great end to a day, the last part of which was spent riding out to our friend's apple orchard and machine shop to get advice about our hand-cranked ice shaver (for snowcones, of course!).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sincerity

There is no real etymological evidence it seems, but I have read in several places that "sincere" derives from the Latin words "sine" (without) and "cera" (wax). Unscrupulous Roman stoneworkers, the story goes, would sometimes cut corners by applying a thick coating of shiny wax to marble rather than taking the time to polish or sculpt the stone properly. So widespread was this practice, that honest sculptors had to advertise their wares as being "sine cera" (without wax) to reassure their customers. "Sincere" eventually came to be used more generally to mean "honest" and "straightforward."

Monday, July 19, 2010

You already know that sitting is death...

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/phys-ed-the-men-who-stare-at-screens/
Watch little children who sit for no more than 15 minutes at a time... and then consider how much time adults sit - in cars, in front of computers, and watching TV's.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Frozen Spree

What is this beautiful monster?
Why it is a small part of the glorious, abandoned, and ill-fated Spreepark in Berlin...
Tell you more?
Well, the infamous Spreepark (or Kulturpark Plänterwald) was an entertainment park in the north of the Plänterwald in the Berlin district of Treptow-Köpenick (formerly East Berlin). The park opened in 1969 on a gigantic stretch of land covering an area of over 70 acres next to the river Spree. It was the only permanent entertainment park in the East Germany, and the only such park in all of Berlin - East or West - attracting millions of visitors per year. In the late 90's, the park faced large debts and shrinking numbers of visitors. Finally, in 2001, the directors declared the park insolvent. The park was declared bankrupt and has been closed since 2002.
The director of the park, Norbert Witte, together with his family and closest coworkers moved to Peru. Witte left taking with them six large attractions (Fliegender Teppich, Butterfly, Spider, Baby-Flug, Wild River and Jet Star) having convinced German authorities that they were being sent for repair. In Lima, Norbert Witte failed in his attempt to run a "Lunapark" and in 2004, he was sentenced to seven years in jail for attempting to smuggle 180 kg of cocaine (valued at about $22 million from Peru to Germany in the masts of - ironically - the "Flying Carpet Ride"). In October 2006, a Peruvian court sentenced Wittes' son, Marcel Witte, to 20 years for drug smuggling.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Little City Food Coast to Coast

Friends of friends on both coasts are growing food on small patches of city land with great results...
Little City Growers Coop in Providence, RI and Little City Gardens in San Francisco, CA.
We are re-inspired to make good use of the precious (though poor) land in our backyard!
Serious tilling, planning, shoveling, composting, and planting might have to wait for the next season though. For now, we are happy with our glorious sunflowers, midget tomato plants, mint, nasturtiums, and rosemary.