gandhiwarmer in DC!

Still feeling warm from this past Sunday!! It was another heartwarming success, hooray dear amigas of K1-D2! : ] See more pics and info here at  We also got a great write-up in NBC Washington, thank you! : ]


Wistfully seeking accountability and reliability in technology..

In the past four months, I’ve re-loaded my entire computer four times.  Three times before my hard drive crashed and then once restoring my files and programs after the said crash.  I would like to invoice apple for the time, sweat, and frustration involved in having to do this repeatedly.  Especially after calling the help line and they blithely say, oh you just have to reload your OS, as if it were like ordering a tall halfcaf latté.

Now that I should basically have a brand new computer, I have had at least five ‘while working’ crashes where my screen slowly drops black like an old movie curtain, and I am ordered to turn off my computer.  Once I restart my little beauty, which I do love, I then receive a request to send a ‘panic report’ to apple.  What happens to these mysterious reports? Are they actually read?  Is there a panic report checkpoint command post within the glossy white halls of apple? Is q-bert in there in a white suit hoovering all of these tasty, coded panic reports? I read them sometimes and they say oddly entertaining things like 887901 seconds since last panic report [like a desperate date], kernals trapped [into thin air in there?], or 01 hijacked 9999999087 [terrorism inside my lil laptop?].. Ack!

I think continuously of how people in the future will look back at our battle with technology and laugh at how hard we work[ed] to have these things in our lives.  We are the testing grounds and really put up with an awful lot.  I am certainly not a luddite, but more and more technology makes me crave my older instruments for value and pleasure for working and entertainment.  When i play my turntable, i set the needle down and it plays..  When i turn on my ipod, sometimes it plays and sometimes it doesn’t – sometimes it whirrs and clicks and sticks and I space out while I’m standing there waiting, forgetting what i was actually doing in the first place [not sexy].

I find that this happens a lot with technology and I think it actually creates ADD. Whether it be my dvd player, computer loading [if a slow connection online], or finicky software program – how often do I say forgivingly “it’s thinking” and wait for the spinny wheel to stop and to do thing I am waiting for!  My mind wanders to what I could be doing in the meantime and suddenly I have 3 things going where I wanted to focus on one!  Or, how many times have you cursed at your ‘itrip’ for the annoyance of finding a station that works properly?  Thankfully I have a cassette deck in my car so I can use the clackety tape adapter.  I realize this dates both myself & my car, everyone now simply has the line in jack, presto!  I think all levels of technology advancement can exist on the same plane, but I do think we far too accepting of electronics’ quirks and jerks. Question: if you bought a cooking pot or a car that required constant updates in order for it to function properly would you keep it, or even buy it in the first place?

Delightfully on the other hand, when you open a book – the page is there, reliably waiting for you to read it, sigh, how dreamy.  When you flick the gas on your stove it click, click, clicks and lights the burner ready to sauté your market treats.  Riding your bike, the pedals pleasingly turn and push you forward, instantly!  The immediacy and real time rewards of older innovations are more and more enticing as the herky jerkiness of cellphones, computers, and high tech electronics annoy/distract/sidetrack the enjoyment of process in work and entertainment life.

Anyone else with me here?  Sincerely yours- pencilgirl

ps – I think this is an industry wide issue and this is not solely directed at apple

lemons transformed into fun, healing lemonade

a wonderful story and great ignite video about jane the concussion slayer & the game SuperBetter which Jane McGonigal invented in order to recover from a serious concussion.  the game is now being used around the world for a variety of treatments including asthma, cancer, and social anxiety, inspiring!!

blankets for glaciers

in italy the most threatened glaciers [by global warming] are being covered in an insulated fabric to keep them from melting in the summertime.  this has proven to work tremendously – in previous uses the covered portions retained 60% whereas uncovered areas lost up to five feet.

i am attracted to giving human needs to non-humans and love the idea of making a blankie for a glacier. [and it being useful]  photo © SNappa2006 flickr

study on importance of time spent in nature

saw this on the planet green [one of my new cable stations btw, watch the british show, rich, fabulous & homeless] website.  the study tested people looking at technologically reproduced nature [tv] and actual time in real, live nature.  those watching nature on tv had the same heartrate as those staring at a blank wall, ha!  those that spent even 5 minutes in a city park felt the vital benefits. link here.

for your blank wall-like viewing pleasure, photo © by moi, new mexico enchanted forest

sniff, sniff, touching and eye-opening story about chicago’s new program aiding high school students

not only to graduate from high school, but to stay alive.  article in ny times by susan saulny.  students are paired with an advocate to call on for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round – 258 students were shot in chicago last year.  currently there are 210 students enrolled in the program, it has been so successful that it will be expanded to 1500 students next year.  thank you advocates and students in this great new program!

found this image by a Chicago ER Doc on flickr while looking for a relevant blog image

important article by nicholas kristof on conflict minerals

‘death by gadget’ in the nytimes discusses how are new, sleek, green only by envy gadgets are contributing to via being made of minerals which seem to be fueling slaughter and rape in the congo [ores which become tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold being sold by armed groups].  visit this site where you can sign a petition to ask the 21 top electronics companies to manufacture product sans these minerals and to find out more about this heartbreaking problem.  see the you tube video ‘conflict minerals 101’ here.

photo ©grassroots reconciliation group

introduction of the green products innovation institute

an extension of the “cradle to cradle” founded by william mcdonough in architecture to the product world, also based upon the LEED accreditation system.  this institute is founded in california, working to create the ‘world’s first sustainable economy’ in the state of ca. and spreading these practices throughout the global economy.  link to their site here.  i noticed one of their accredited products on aveda just the other eve.  related article in fast company here.  when can designers become GPII certified, or equivalent, as architects can LEED?