Nothing on TV?: Thursday, June 6

Lee Camp, Moment of Clarity #238
Youtube description: Opening your eyes to the influences controlling our behaviors takes many steps. This is the first one. It’s perhaps the key to everything.

Breaking Free, Episode 1

http://breakingfree.tv/episode/tree-tops-to-roof-tops/

The World According to Monsanto
If you know nothing or next to nothing about Monsanto, this is the film to watch. It’s staggering.

Youtube description: There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic. It’s more powerful than bombs. It’s more powerful than guns. This is the best way to control the populations of the world. The story starts in the White House, where Monsanto often got its way by exerting disproportionate influence over policymakers via the “revolving door”. One example is Michael Taylor, who worked for Monsanto as an attorney before being appointed as deputy commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. While at the FDA, the authority that deals with all US food approvals, Taylor made crucial decisions that led to the approval of GE foods and crops. Then he returned to Monsanto, becoming the company’s vice president for public policy.

Thanks to these intimate links between Monsanto and government agencies, the US adopted GE foods and crops without proper testing, without consumer labeling and in spite of serious questions hanging over their safety. Not coincidentally, Monsanto supplies 90 percent of the GE seeds used by the US market. Monsanto’s long arm stretched so far that, in the early nineties, the US Food and Drugs Agency even ignored warnings of their own scientists, who were cautioning that GE crops could cause negative health effects. Other tactics the company uses to stifle concerns about their products include misleading advertising, bribery and concealing scientific evidence.

March Against Monsanto

Hubs and I went to the March Against Monsanto in downtown Boston yesterday. It was a decent turnout even tho the weather felt more like October. I hate this company and I hate that somehow they have managed to completely fool our government into thinking their products are necessary and safe. Really, the only things we can do at this point is grow our own food, buy organic, continue to demand labeling and banning these weirdo crops with things like pesticides spliced into their genes.

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The Fall, Hell on Earth and How to Remedy It

We have created a hell on Earth. Most of us remain blinded to its firey prison, but it’s here. Most of you reading this are probably only in the outer circle of hell, not the very center of the agony. You may have to work 8–10 hrs a day at a job you hate to pay your mortgage, but you have a house. You may worry that you won’t have enough to leave your kid when you die, but your kid eats three meals a day, has people to love it and people to teach it. You think your life doesn’t have much point, but you get enough joy in the few hours you get to spend with your friends and family to keep you ticking. You may medicate heavily with alcohol, pot or pharmaceuticals, but all in the name of unwinding, relaxing, kicking back. Yes, this is only the outside circle of hell.

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You Are What You Eat (Part II)

I was writing this whole descriptive post about this film Forks Over Knives, which is the main thing I want to share in this Part II, and I was getting really sick of the sound of my own writing. I’m going to let the trailor, a summary, and your intense curiosity about it drive your interest to watch it.

It is a documentary examining the overwhelming evidence that reveals something that might be astonishing to some: our skyrocketing rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes could be turned around with a wink. It documents the work of American physician Caldwell Esselstyn and Cornell professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell. Their many, many research findings and clinical studies all point to one fact: animal products (anything made with milk, meat, or eggs) eaten as more than 5% of your diet causes a sharp increase of your risk of getting cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Not only that, cancer patients, heart disease patients and diabetes patients are reversing their diseases by foregoing almost all animal products and switching to whole foods, plant based-diets. Oh, and they also have a lot more energy and are much healthier in all respects.

Cows milk, meat and eggs are killing us. (Oh, and sugar too but I already covered that in the last post.) All while the government massively subsidizes those industries and represses fun facts, like countries with the highest consumption of dairy products also happen to have the highest rates of osteoporosis. Headscratcher, right?

If you are in anyway concerned with your health, your family’s health, your children’s health or anyone because of diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, obesity, or anything related, please stream this on Netflix or rent from wherever you get movies, because it might literally save a life.

Enjoy! (At least watch the trailor, it’s like 2 minutes)

Just so it stays personal, I am currently trying to have as many veggie meals per week as I can get my husband to agree to (he’s awesome, he says “why should I care if there’s meat in there if it tastes good?”). I’ll keep you updated on the progress and maybe share some recipes.

The people make the Earthship

It’s been almost a week since I left the Earthship build, and I still haven’t fully physically recovered.

Now that may make me sound like a wimp, but those of you who were there and this was also you’re first time doing labor and construction 7 hours a day for a week, you know what I’m talking about.

For those of you who only know me from the build, I am generally more likely to be found in heels and a snappy outfit with some mascara on, not a bandana and a jog bra, covered with earth. I go to work and sit in front of a computer, real cushy-like. That’s my day job and how I spend most of my time. But I also love camping, the outdoors and new experiences. My husband and I just bought an inflatable kayak that is super sweet. We go for long walks and hikes and we bike. But. I had never really done manual labor. I had never consistently used tools for more than a few minutes at a time to fix an errant shelf in my house. I had never lifted a sledgehammer. I have rarely worked my body to exhaustion, even at the gym.

But I didn’t hesitate for one second to sign up for this build. I pretty much spazzed out and immediately filled out the form online when I found out one was happening 30 min from where I grew up and 45 min from where my parents now live. Vermont is a special place, and the fact that I could experience an Earthship build in my home state really excited me. My husband and I like to go camping every year as well, and the fact that we would camp at the work site, well that just sold it all the more.

Left: the site “before” complete with the biggest tarp I’ve ever seen; Middle: More than enough tires! Right: our campsite

Monday morning arrived and we rolled out of the woods to start work. We met our foreman (forewoman?), Tiffany, who seemed very competent and in charge yet chill and approachable. And then I spent the next several hours pounding tires.

By lunch I thought I was going to die.

Not pounding tires.

I went and laid face down in my tent and thought “I can’t do this for 5 days.” I went back after lunch and promptly found a much less physically demanding job to do—threading and twisting wired for the vaulted roofs. It was still tough, but pounding tires is in a league of it’s own. And it’s almost comical, as a female, to watch yourself pound dirt into tires and then have a guy come along and slam the shit out of them and realize you had done hardly anything. So. Better for us all if I stay away from the tire pounding.

Besides twisting wire, I also laid can walls, plastered the vaults, cut lath around electrical sockets, shoveled earth, carried earth, helped where I could, looked lost some of the time, sweat my boobs off, and just tried to absorb the experience.

swollen hands

Top: the sausages; Bottom: soaking the sausages when I got home

All week I had to challenge myself everyday to work through the pain from the day before and continue what I had committed to. And you know what body part took the worst of it, of all things? My hands. I had thought I should worry most about my back (most of my body parts are messed up from years of gymnastics, but my back is what I worry about the most), but it turns out it was my hands. They were so swollen by Friday that it looked like I had dirty little sausages attached to my palms. I tweaked some nerves in my wrist as well and I am still getting tinglies in my right thumb, pointer and middle fingers. Every afternoon the ache sets in in my joints and I’m beginning to wonder if I didn’t give myself some arthritis! (As a graphic designer and artist, I’m hoping for these effects to subside…soon!).

And then there was the challenge of overcoming my need for perfection. I really like to do things well and ask question after question until I fully understand that task at hand. I was so worried about screwing something up, which I said multiple times. Every single time I got a resounding reply that screw ups were normal—these kinds of houses and builds are meant for screwing up. You don’t hire a crew filled with volunteers that have never done this before if you are worried about things being perfect. That’s the beauty of an Earthship. It seems to be designed to take some error, yet still function beautifully. One of the crew told me he thinks that Earthships, once they are done, sort of take a while to settle into place. The little screw ups and errors and individual ways of doing things all mush together to make each Earthship have it’s own personality.

As I dealt with the physical pain and my own anxiety about “doing it right,” all the while there was amazing feeling that started the minute my husband and I showed up and started talking to others. It was a feeling of warmth and acceptance and generosity. It was friendliness and funnies and a shared sense that everyone there was finding their own path to help make this a better world.

On my last day there I kept running into the re-bar that was spanning the U I was working in. Seriously, I did it like ten times. And every time I would manage to get it in my head that it was there and avoid it, I would just as quickly forget, turn around and promptly slam into it again. The last time I smacked my face on it, right above my lip. I swore loudly for the 1ooth time and one of the crew looked at me like, really? again? And it hurt so much, and the tears sprang to my eyes. I had sunglasses on so no one could see and I just took a deep breath and kept working. At lunch break, I was up at our tent with my husband and told him about it. He could hear the waiver in my voice and asked if I still wanted to cry. I said Yeeeesssssss and the flood gates opened. I hadn’t seen a breakdown happening but when it did I knew (in hindsight) that of course it had been coming. As I cried about the pain in my face and the exhaustion and just being totally out of my element, a larger reason for the tears emerged in my mind. These were also happy tears, tears of relief, that I had found people that cared as much about where this world is going as I do. So many conversations that week revolved around the state of the world and what we can do to fix it, and uncovering truths, and working towards a better tomorrow, for all the humans yet to come. None of these people accept the status quo. None of them wanted to be traditional. None of them felt ineffectual against a ragingly corrupt system. All of them seemed so empowered and ready to do what they could. And they were already doing it. This trip was for many a first step towards breaking out of the “usual.” And I was crying for the relief of knowing there are more and more of us out there. More and more of us trying to do our part. Relief that my beliefs that humans AREN’T inherently evil is true. Relief that there are people out there who want to do the hard work. Relief that I could feel a comraderie with people I barely knew because we all have the same ideals.

Three of the five vaults are up!

I have never met so many awesome people in one place. I can honestly say I liked everyone that was on this build. I more than liked everyone. I was grateful for all the conversations I had, grateful for all the help that was given to me (when I asked and when I didn’t need to ask), grateful for the laughs and openness everyone shared. Grateful that everyone I talked to about it already knew what The Zeitgeist Movement was. Grateful for the down to earth attitudes and generosity and real discussions and sharing of truths. Grateful for real people. Doing real things. In this completely unreal world that has been created around us.

For that, I thank all of you that were (and still are!) there. In no particular order: Matt, Tara, Eric, Ulricha, Dana, Francis, Francis, Carl, Carl, Mi, Unaime, Brian, Theo, Stefan, Steve, Taylor, Steph, Lauren, Kieran, Rob, Elise, Chris, Angel, Dan, Donna-Marie, Jes, Ben, Matt, Mike, Kyle, Eric, Rory, Lou, Justin, Jacob, Tiffany, Shawn, the woman working with Shawn that whose name I never caught, the puppeteers, Phil, Brian, Constantine, and of course Ami, Chris and Mike. Some of you I may not have actually met, and some of you probably don’t remember my name, but I still thank you for being there and doing what you’re doing.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Teamwork!

What is happening and why it’s happening now

These short videos express EXACTLY how I feel and what I am trying to communicate in my blog. It’s religion, science, spirituality, humanity and love all wrapped up into what it means to be alive right now. If all is one and one is all, WE ARE  CREATORS AND WE SHAPE REALITY. It’s time we realized it. Enjoy!

TEDxO’Porto – Peter Joseph – Arriving at a Ressource-Based Economy

It is technically impossible for everyone to have their needs met in the current system. The economic game simply isn’t designed to allow everyone to live and prosper. It is a win-lose situation, regardless of the state of the world and what we are technically able to accomplish.

Please help share this one, and until it hits 15,000 times, then it will be included on the TED main official Youtube channel.

A day in the life of a Resource-Based Economy

Scenario 1: You wake up. You make your coffee. You read the paper. You see something that mentions Hawaii. You think “I’d love to go to Hawaii!” So you go online and you make a reservation. It doesn’t cost anything, but you have to make it in advance so that you get in the queue.

You go grab some eggs (from the farm down the street), and have some fresh oj from either your own oranges or the sky garden down the street. Now, it’s 9 am and you have a choice. You can: read, sunbathe, drink, work on those architectural plans for the park down the street, write in your blog, play your guitar, work on the farm next door, go help at an elderly facility, paint, be a project manager on the building site down the street, research quantum physics, teach, make clothes, do some chemistry, DO AND LEARN ANYTHING YOU WANT.

Scenario 2: It’s a beautiful day. You decide it’s a great day for sailing. You go down to the harbor to where they keep the boats. You sign out a boat for the day. It’s free. You return the boat when you’re done. This is known as shared resources and replaces the idea of ownership. Think about what a waste it is that we all own cars that sit in the driveway for hours a day, when someone else could be using it. Or your boat. Or your motorcycle or RV. Whatever. Let’s make these resources available to everyone, anytime of day.

There are a lot of companies based on this idea popping up now. Of course, there is a monetary fee involved right now, but it’s the same concept. Here are just a few: RelayRides, The Car Sharing Network, Airbnb. What these sites take take advantage of is a plethora of things, shared between neighbors who trust each other. So refreshing, right?

Scenario 3: You live in the city. You live in a place like in this picture. This is the 8 House in Copenhagen.  This is a building designed by Bjarke Ingels, who recently gave a TED talk on  “Hedonistic Sustainability.” This, and other buildings he’s designed, allow you to live in a city environment, with all the benefits of nature around you. And best of all, it’s completely sustainable. Beautiful architecture does not need to destroy our planet.

So you live in this amazing place, surrounded by your happy, friendly neighbors, who are all so happy because they and you no longer have to go to a job that means nothing to you and slave away just to make enough to live. Instead, you do work in a the field of your choice. Remember when you wanted to be a fireman when you were little? Remember how you always wanted to be a doctor? Remember how you thought it would be amazing to be an astronaut? In this sort of system, you are able to pursue anything you’ve ever wanted to, because nothing costs money. You are free to study and learn about anything you want, and the only thing keeping you from greatness is your own drive.

Scenario 4: You’re kind of a homebody. You don’t want to live in the super urban, science fiction-y looking cities. You want to experience the land and nature. So, you build an Earthship, which may look something like these pictures. Or totally different. Each Earthship is unique. But what they have in common is that they are entirely off-grid buildings.

They work entirely off solar, wind and geothermal. They are built out of discarded old tires, aluminum cans and glass bottles. They collect the rain water and it gets filtered and used throughout the entire house, eventually going to water your plants and then into a special septic system. You have a green house to grow you’re own food. And you never have to leave if you don’t want. (Personally, this is what I want to live in. There is an Earthship Academy, a three week course in how to build these, and I’m pushing for my husband to go!)

Scenario 5: You are a brilliant scientist, and you love to work, work, work. You are researching a vaccine for AIDS. Imagine going into your facility everyday, and knowing that money is not an object. If you need equipment, you put in an order for it. It gets shipped to you and there is no monetary transaction. If you need more space, you work on plans and propose them to your working group. If it’s agreed on and the central city systems database computer reviews the plans and they are in accordance with keeping the city, the people, and the planet healthy and sustained, you get the green light. Build away!

Scenario 6: You are an inventor. You are researching lighting sources. Right now, everyone is using LED lights. But you come up with something revolutionary that will change the face of lighting. You present your ideas to the technology working group in your area. They are astounded. They perform experiments, using the scientific method, to determine if this is legit. It is. They immediately input this information into the world wide systems database. It is reviewed by the computer program through a series of checks and balances that will let us know if it is safer, more efficient, and all around better for the planet and for the people. If it is, then it is incorporated into the production of light bulbs and the technology is updated. (Notice there is no concern about jobs, profit, or companies losing market shares because of a new technology in this scenario.)

Scenario 7: You have a family. A couple of kids. You want to love them and give them all the time in the world. You want to watch them grow and be involved in their lives. You want to encourage them and let them know you love them. You also want to spend time with your spouse, and your friends, and your extended family. Guess what? You can do all of that. Think about never having to work two or three jobs to support your family. Never having to work super late hours just to put food on the table or pay for your mortgage. You live in a nice place that has all the comforts you could ask and it doesn’t cost a cent. It is your right as a human to have shelter, and this right is recognized. You have all the fresh food and all the time in the world to prepare it. You are free to be with your loved ones and develop sustaining, loving relationships.

I could think of so many more scenarios, but so could you. Think about it. Really think about what this system would feel like, how it would feel to be in a world where you are as free as you can possibly be to do anything you want, AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T HURT ANYONE ELSE OR THE PLANET. Pretty simple rule, hmm? Yet seemingly so hard to accept.

If you read my posts, and you think this is a great idea but you don’t know how it can possibly be accomplished or what we can do to bring it about, I tell you: just tell someone about it. Tell someone about The Zeitgeist Movement. Tell them about The Venus Project.  Tell them about my blog. Have them watch Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (which is soon to be available on Netflix). The best and quickest way to action is to get people aware and to get them demanding change. Not everyone will have time or the will to promote this idea. But enough of us will, if enough of us know about it. One person can be the tipping point.