Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Segal Enterprises, ahead of their time.

The Seattle Times writes that a Seattle firm is planning an office building that features a "passive cooling" blueprint --no air conditioning and windows that open.

If if can be done in L.A., why not in Seattle?

In 1985, Robert Segal, engineer, one time president of Holistic Health Association, psychologist and owner of Segal Enterprises, broke ground for his firm's smart building in Santa Monica, CA. All offices had windows, either on the periphery or onto the court yard. Innovative, healthful work environment, and that in Los Angeles, 20 years before Weber+Thompson come with their plans for south Lake Union office building.

99 dollar cents on the gallon sold

"Cut car trips, Bush says."
And I think, oh, yeah, all those people on the road, with empty gas tanks during 100°F, the gas stations have to refill.
In the news the other day: the oil companies make $0.99 on the gallon sold.
I asked Gary: Who makes that money, who, and what do they do with it?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

David Harnden-Warwick Chimpanzees and Politics

Today in Northwest Voices of The Seattle Times:
"Tempest vs. Teapot Dome"
George, Warren Harding called. He's embarrassed for you.
-David Harnden-Warwick, Bellingham.

Below you see the abstract of Harnden-Warwick's paper: Psychological Realism, Morality, and Chimpanzees

"The parsimonious consideration of research into food sharing among chimpanzees suggests that the type of social regulation found among our closest genetic relatives can best be understood as a form of morality. Morality is here defined from a naturalistic perspective as a system in which self-aware individuals interact through socially prescribed, psychologically realistic rules of conduct which provide these individuals with an awareness of how one ought to behave. The empirical markers of morality within chimpanzee communities and the traditional moral traits to which they correspond are (1) self-awareness/agency; (2) calculated reciprocity/obligation; (3) moralistic aggression/blame; and (4) consolation/empathy."

Document Type: Research article.
Affiliations: Emory University

Saturday, September 17, 2005


A woman goes to a car rental business. She needs a car for a week, just for herself. The clerk tells her they're all out of sedans. All she can offer the customer is an SUV. She can't get the huge gasoline guzzler for the price of the smaller car that isn't available.

What does the customer do?
A. She laughs out loud, saying: You're kidding me right?
B. She asks the clerk for the Yellow Pages, to look up another car rental business.
C. She takes a cab to another car rental business
D She walks out.
E. She drives off in a 9-seater.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Oprah in New Orleans

With her hair smoothed back in a ponytail —a suitable demure style for a visit to the devastated city of New Orleans— Ms. Winfrey showed once again that at heart she's a reporter, a journalist, and a good one. But more than that. true to her calling, she held hands, looked people in the eye as they related their stories of misery.

Any idea what it takes to do that? What it means to listen to people, to have physical contact while they lay their pain on you?

In front of Oprah Winfrey, Mayor C.Ray Nagin spilled his heart, turning away when what he had to say became too much, even for a man who had stood his ground, refusing to be evacuated while so many inhabitants of his city were forced to remain.

During the evening news a reporter, whose name I don't even know yet, made me miss the grand old men of journalism, who for the past decades reported on the calamities in the world, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings.
Oprah stepped forward to report on the reality of the situation in New Orleans and in Houston; people, worrying about their lost loved ones. And through her celebrity friends, Harpo's cameras permitted us images of whole families roaming the desolate streets, people not wanting to abandon their pets, people lying dead by the side of the road.
Dr. Mehmet Oz permitted us a view of the make-shift hospital in the airport, and returned after having disappeared behind a curtain —the morgue— to share his distress over people who were brought in there, to have a peaceful place to die.

Without name calling, Oprah stated America owes an apology to the people of New Orleans, and isn't she right on the dollar?

Friday, September 02, 2005

National Disgrace


On June 5, 2005 Deon Roberts wrote for CityBusiness about the budgetary cuts New Orleans would be facing in fiscal year 2006. And that the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding. The largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, according to Corps officials.

Now if that alone doesn't make you cringe, Roberts wrote what that would mean:

...major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.
Congress is setting the Corps budget.

As far as bucks that went somewhere else:
The House of Representatives wanted to cut the New Orleans district budget 21 percent to $272.4 million in 2006, down from $343.5 million in 2005. The House figure was about $20 million lower than the president's suggested $290.7 million budget.

Roberts wrote:
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans said that the Bush administration was not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority. Extremely shortsighted, Landrieu said. When the Corps of Engineers' budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.

Roberts went on:
One of the hardest-hit areas of the New Orleans district's budget is the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, which was created after the May 1995 flood to improve drainage in Jefferson, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes. SELA's budget is being drained from $36.5 million awarded in 2005 to $10.4 million suggested for 2006 by the House of Representatives and the president.

Construction generally has been on the decline for several years and focus has been on other projects in the Corps.

The district had identified $35 million in projects to build and improve levees, floodwalls and pumping stations in St. Bernard, Orleans, Jefferson and St. Charles parishes. Those projects were included in a Corps line item called Lake Pontchartrain, where funding was scheduled to be cut from $5.7 million this year to $2.9 million in 2006. Enough to pay salaries but little else.

Ouch, ouch, ouch!
And who are hurting now?

Today's Seattle Times' Headline:
Stricken coast asks: Where is the help? New Orleans officials call U.S. response "A National Disgrace".

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Author Donates to Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Fund


I've authored a book on grief. It may be focussed on infant death, many people have told me that what I wrote addressed their own personal grief, no matter the difference in age of the subject of their affection.

There's no time like the present.
So, while Paseo Press has a "special" offering Creative Acts of Healing: after a baby dies (list price $14.95) for $11.95 incl. postage and handling, I will donate $6 of each sold book to the Red Cross Hurricane Fund.

Same counts for Europe. For each book sold at publisher's special €12 (incl. porto) I will donate $6 to the Red Cross Hurricane Fund.

And if neither you, nor anybody in your circle needs a book on grief, check out the CDBaby.com site, where many musicians and spoken word artists are donating their profit to the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Fund.

Artists make Donations to Red Cross Hurricane Fund

Artists make Donations to Red Cross Hurricane Fund
Volunteers are outfitting trucks and drive to the Gulf to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Professionals are flocking to the area, putting in 36 hour days. And here I sit, in relative luxury, feeling powerless. There's got to be something I can do.

In 1953, after the great flood in Zeeland, the Netherlands, my father Jaap van Praag was one of hundreds of artists who donated their work for a lottery that would help the survivors. He and two colleagues entered work they made in response to the devastating flood.

This morning I received an email from vocalist Elizabeth Carpenter, it read:

Hi Music Friends ~
I'm donating all my CD sales on CDBaby.com to the American Red Cross for their disaster relief fund to help New Orleans. So, if you were thinking of stocking up on or giving as gifts either Emergency Love or The Blueweed Songs, all my profits will go towards this great organization. Many other CDBaby artists are doing the same - so check the home page for more music that can help The Big Easy.
Best Wishes~
Elizabeth Carpenter

I've been thinking for a while about making reproductions of some of my art work, in order to generate sales, but I haven't got that far yet. So what else can I do? Donate a painting when an umbrella organization places a call…