about this site
About "Short Notes" The title comes from a column
I wrote while working at a small chain of weekly papers in the Adirondack mountains, some 20 plus years ago. As it suggests, my intent is to try to keep to the gist of a subject,
reserving more detailed entries to linked pages, either things created by others, or by me.
Subject matter can and will vary, and may occasionally be all over the place. There is a lot that interests me. More than likely, since I'm a serious kind of guy, you can expect the tone to be serious. What I'm getting at is that you aren't likely to find tabloid gossip fodder here [though may have a link in the right hand column that could sate the needs of someone else ~ give a look at the other sites referenced
]. I'm not without a sense of humor, so don't expect the tenor of the site to be completely gawd awful dull. I do want to keep you interested in content. Other Blogs I read
. They're all over the place politically and philosophically. While one might assume, based on my personal perspectives and points of view, that I stick to the left, I read many from the right as well as others off the charts. Evidence of thinking is my main criteria, not that the occasional addle-brained website doesn't ever get added. Diversity is good. Other Links
: What you see on the side are a sampling of those I have come across. They reflect subjects that have piqued my interest and about which I wish to share. I also maintain another blog Blogging about Links
where I provide an annotated selection of links related to a specific topic.
NOTE: First wrote this when I started this blog; modified slightly. Sems to make sense to periodically remind my readers [as well as myself] what keeps me coming back online.
Labels: philosophy, values, will brady
making social change
Some thoughts on making productive social change Affecting Social Change
is much more than mouthing slogans or sound bites. It can mean devoting hours - days - years - spending time with those who are reluctant and unwilling to hear the truths of others or to work at changing existing social policy or considering other ways of living. Yet making the fundamental changes in the values
that underlie oppressive social policies require interacting with those who oppose us. This must be done before we get to the voting booth, before we get to legislative committee hearings or public forums. We need to get our points across and to affect change in board rooms and private offices; in juvenile and adult corrections, mental health, the courts, in educational, cultural, legislative and personal spheres ~ where ever decisions affecting all our lives are made regularly and daily ~ and we need to do this now! We must infiltrate the meeting places
of adversaries and decision makers who oppose eliminating wrongs. We must insist upon and make impact by directly negotiating policy change, laws and directions for the future. Once there, being heard, we have to make our points clearly enough to be effective advocates for change. Now, affecting change doesn't necessarily make for chit chat or small talk at parties. You won't be making friends with those you meet and confront at policy plannings or while negotiating change, nor will your own friends necessarily want to know about the details of your efforts. Even if we cannot immediately make changes
to oppressive social policies or practices, our mere presence in some of these meeting places can prevent additional harmful policies from being implemented. Also ~ remember to stay in touch with others who know what you say to be true, and to refresh and replenish yourself from behind-the-scenes battles rather than burn yourself out. Stay healthy to battle successfully.
HISTORY: Written 11 November 1993 for a presentation at an Abuse Survivor's "Speakback" held in Waterbury, CT
Labels: commentary, philosophy, social change
blogger news items
The Courage Campaign pushes for marriage equality
. Having now been legally wed for a couple of years now, I fully support the initiatives elsewhere.
On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009- less than a week away- there will be critical votes on on LGBT equality in three states: Washington State, Maine, and Michigan. With so much attention devoted to other issues in the political realm, bloggers have banded together to ensure we don't forget the ones with a firm deadline next week.
For that reason, Courage Campaign staff have put together a summary of who, what, and how about these three campaigns. If you haven't heard of these campaigns, and/or haven't done anything yet to support them, please consider helping out. If you are a blogger please feel free to grab this content whole cloth and use it for your blog posts
Last year, as Obama and Democrats were winning across the country, we lost marriage equality in California. It was a bittersweet victory. Pitch in to make sure 2009 isn't a bittersweet year. Take action to support LGBT equality TODAY. Find out more about phone banks and getting supportive voters to the polls at The Courage Campaign
Absurd Inventions is the subject of a Planet Oddity entry
. Everything you never thought to ask for including a bulletproof bed [the "Quantum Sleeper
"]; piercings to hold eyeglasses to one's face [how's that for ick factor
?]; the "Fish and Flush" toilet [the fish get a panoramic view of the sitter's back
]; a hurricane proof house [a refurbished jumbo jet - the rationale being that the shape can already withstand high winds].
My hands down favorite, though, is "the human car wash
." According to the blurb on Planet Oddity,
Hospital patients [and prisoners, as well] need bathing and to speed up this process, may we suggest the Human Car Wash? The HCW eliminates slipping and falling because the washees are strapped into a hanging harness and merely need to stand or dangle in a fixed position while the conveyor belt moves them from station to station. First the wetting station, then the soapy spray station, next the rinsing station and at the end, no towels are needed because there’s a blow drying station!
Developed in 1969 during the cold war, the inventor suggests the Human Car Wash can be built into a mobile trailer “to cope with the mass bathing requirements after an atomic bomb”.
Yeah, there's a few things that might be said about violations of personal dignity and the like, but with a contraption like this, it may cut down on rapes in the prison shower.
All said and done, I'd guess that these inventors marvels are not really the most absurd inventions of all time.
Web Urbanist's Abandoned Wonders of the World
There really is no shortage of abandoned buildings in the world and they are exciting. They stoke the imagination of many an urban spelunker. Websites such as Infiltration
freely offer advice to any neophyte explorer of abandoned buildings, sometimes with disclaimers suggesting not to traipse on property not technically your own.
The batch of sites noted at Web Urbanist provides a glimpse of the many kinds of sites that get abandoned. Most curious to me is the
Chapel to Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY. Such famous persons as Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglas are among those buried there in everything from lawn crypts to family mausoleums. It seems strange, then, that the chapel at such an historically significant location would be abandoned to the elements, though it remains elegant even in its disrepair.
Of special interest to me is the Bethlehem Steel factory in Lackawanna, NY, located just south of Buffalo, I worked there for about a year as a laborer in the bricklayer's department. It would indeed be a treat to wander about that complex once more. The plant traversed the entire western edge of Lackawanna, and across a highway that separated that city from a most likely very polluted part of Lake Erie. At the north end were the coke ovens where we'd work on relining one oven just next to others that were operational. It was hot work.
I understand that much of that plant is no longer explorable and has, in fact, been demolished. In place of the old coke ovens are a small, and growing assortment of tall wind generator mills. Thankfully, people did manage to explore the plant before it was torn down.
At Nightmare Hall, blood pressure rises with a TV diet of "...apocalyptic and tin foil helmet conspiracy news."
This erstwhile blogger does no believe in conspiracies noting, aptly, that "...The powers that be are right in the sheeple's faces, but nobody seems to notice or care.
Arriving at a conclusion that TV can be toxic is nothing new, of course. My favorite film version of TV poisoning is the creepy Canadian produced 1983 social sci-fi flick Videodrome
written and directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Woods and singer Debbie Harry. The premise is that that Videodrome is the public "face" of a political ideology movement with unspecified but apparently violent goals. Sound familiar? I'll stop here.
Universal Studios announced, last Spring, they will do a remake of the film
Harking back to Nightmare Hall's recount, he references Druid Journal's 8 reasons why TV is evil
[It is Plato's Cave
"...now in Hi-Def
"] and check his other links to doing away with the one-eyed face-changing monster from your home and your life.
Labels: abandonded buildings, bloggers, equal rights, gay marriage, propaganda, steel mills, strange inventions, urban exploration, videodrome