Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thinker


This was made with one rectangular piece of paper and a pair of scissors.

Let your brain turn this puzzle around for awhile. Solution at the link above.

Monday, November 28, 2011

CITIZEN ACTION!


ACTION ALERT!

Have you heard? The Senate is voting today on a bill that includes provisions to essentially turn America into a battlefield, where you and I can be locked up and held indefinitely without charge or trial.

Are you frightened by the brutal police response to OWS? Do you actually get teary-eyed when you think of Bradley Manning, the boy-next-door turned war crimes whistle blower (wikileaks), being held and tortured for this long? I do! I am!

Take a moment TODAY and sign the ACLU petition letter to your Senator to tell them NO! This has got to stop. There is a legal system in this country for a reason. If you can't lock them up within the law, we will not change the laws to give these prison planet psycho's more power!

Here's the ACLU article with more description. And here's the link to the petition.

And below in stars is what I added in my letter.


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Senator,

I strongly urge the Senate to oppose sections 1031 and 1032 in S.1253, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA).

*** You betray everything this country stands for if you vote this into law. What would our forefathers say? We didn't build this country and come this far to treat our citizens like criminals within our own borders. The LEGAL SYSTEM is there for a reason.

I hope you will stand on the right side of history. ***

If enacted, sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA would:

1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.


These provisions in the NDAA are inconsistent with fundamental American values embodied in the Constitution. I urge the Senate reject the NDAA and its indefinite detention provisions.
Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Avoid Frustrating Conversations with OWS Business Cards!

Just in time for the holidays! Are you sick of having dinner conversations with friends or family members who are opinionated and/or uninformed about Occupy Wall Street? Well these "business cards" are just the thing! When it becomes clear that calm conversations and reason won’t work, or that you are being talked at rather than listened to, give them this card so they can process the info on their own terms.

Version #1: Someone innocently, or condescendingly ask, “What is it about? What do they want? There is no purpose”? Hand them one of these!

Version #2: You find yourself with someone who starts spewing false facts and negative characterizations? Here’s your card!

Version #3: Think all they need is to have an honest look at why they are so personally threatened by OWS? Here’s a handy questionnaire to invite introspection.


Here's a link to the PDF so you can print multiple copies. DESIGNED TO BE PRINTED DOUBLE-SIDED. Odd pages= front. Even pages = back.

(And please, steal and remix for your own purposes! I tried to upload a word doc to google docs, and it screwed up my formatting. So PDF it is. If you want to edit, I'd say copy the text, go to Word, click on Tools > Labels > Options > Business card. Paste and play!)






Versions 2 & 3, front:



Back:

Friday, November 11, 2011

This 28-Year-Old's Startup Is Moving $350 Million And Wants To Completely Kill Credit Cards


Great Article. I like the cut of this guy's gib. Innovative is the operative word here. Innovative.


* * *
There's a tiny 12-person startup churning out of Des Moines, Iowa.

Dwolla was founded by 28-year-old Ben Milne; it's an innovative online payment system that sidesteps credit cards completely.

Milne has no finance background yet his little operation is moving between $30 and $50 million per month; it's on track to move more than $350 million in the next year.
Unlike PayPal, Dwolla doesn't take a percentage of the transaction. It only asks for $0.25 whether it's moving $1 or $1,000.

We interviewed Milne about how he is building a credit card killer and Square rival from the middle of the nation where VCs and press are scarce.

BI: We hear you're making credit card companies angry. How are you doing that?

Ben Milne: Ultimately we're trying to build the next Visa, not the next PayPal. We're building a human network based on how we think the future of payments will work. The current model needs to be blown up.

Dwolla started out of my old company. I owned a speaker manufacturing company and we sold everything directly through a website. I got really obsessed with interchange fees and how not to pay them. Every time a merchant gets paid with a credit card they have to give up a percentage. In my case, I was losing $55,000 a year to credit card companies. I felt like they were stealing from me -- I was getting paid and somebody was taking money out of my pocket.

So I thought, how do I get paid through a website without paying credit card fees? We pitched a bank, and amazingly enough they said, "We'll give it a shot."
That was three years ago, so we've been working on the project for a really long time. In December of last year we figured out how to legally do what we do.


Continue Reading.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Finally, Things That Make Sense




I am a girl scout, or was, and this image pretty much sums up my interests now as an adult!


and I see guys like this around Milwaukee all the time.





Glad to see that Girls and Boys Scouts are being run by hipsters now! Makes a lot of sense.

Maybe they could add badges like, "Front Row" when you manage to politely get to the front stage of a concert without spilling your beer. Or "Thai -namite" when you order your 100th Thai or Curry dish. Or "Vintage Vanguard" when you look down and realize: everything i'm wearing right now just happens to be home-made or used.

Koch brothers: secretive billionaires to launch vast database with 2012 in mind

So this is happening:


"The secretive oil billionaires the Koch brothers are close to launching a nationwide database connecting millions of Americans who share their anti-government and libertarian views, a move that will further enhance the tycoons' political influence and that could prove significant in next year's presidential election.

The voter file was set up by the Kochs 18 months ago with $2.5m of their seed money, and is being developed by a hand-picked team of the brothers' advisers. It has been given the name Themis, after the Greek goddess who imposes divine order on human affairs.

The database will bring together information from a plethora of right-wing groups, tea party organisations and conservative-leaning thinktanks. Each one has valuable data on their membership – including personal email addresses and phone numbers, as well as more general information useful to political campaign strategists such as occupation, income bracket and so on.

By pooling the information, the hope is to create a data resource that is far more potent than the sum of its parts. Themis will in effect become an electoral roll of right-wing America, allowing the Koch brothers to further enhance their power base in a way that is sympathetic to, but wholly independent of, the Republican party."

Keep Reading.


***


I had to google image search these dudes to know: what do the so-called Koch brothers look like?

And all I find is these two piles of cold mashed potatoes:



Can you imagine even talking to guys like this? Like sitting down and having dinner with these two zombies? Throw in dudes like Karl Rove, and ohmygod. F-ing gravy train. I couldn't handle it! Whether or not they were in the seat of power right now. I feel like I'm catching psoriasis just looking at this picture!
I really love street art in general, and whole-heartedly approve of hacking political signs to tell the truth, like this:



Wow, Voters we can Trust

Well, well, well. How do you like them apples? Big day today for the Good Guys. Ohio’s anti-union bill? Voted down. Mississippi’s anti-women’s rights amendment (a.k.a. defining personhood at conception)? Voted down. Arizona’s anti-immigration politician? Voted out.

We don’t have to wring our hands and worry that insane ideas will be passed into law and carried out as such. The people have common sense! The talking heads are wrong! Woo-hoo! There is still hope!

But as a side note, can you explain something to me, Republicans and Libertarians? Why do some people want “less government” and more “free markets” and then really support the opposite with the legislations they endorse? If it’s a free market, why can’t people join together in a union and make decisions as such? Why does government have to interfere? That’s more freedom, that’s less. If it’s less government you are after, why can’t people freely come in and out of our country? That’s not less, that’s more government interference. If you want the government out of our personal lives (like mandating healthcare), why can’t gay people marry and women make private decisions with their doctors? That’s not less, that’s a whole lot more. And as a dead serious question, just for Christians: how can you be a millionaire and be Christ-like? You can’t! “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Jesus supported the weak and needy. He didn’t use his resources to pad his lifestyle. If you’re not going above and beyond to be giving and charitable, you’re not Christ-like a.k.a. not Christian.

I really don’t get it. As a student of Rhetoric, I just can’t leap past these gaps in logic and move on, like it seems most do. All arguments breakdown after that point. The entire thing loses its validity.

That said, it seems today is a victorious day for reason! Enjoy this feeling while it lasts.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I Beg Your Pardon?

Internet Harvesting. Isn't it an interesting phenomenon?

Take this for example. Buzz Feed has a post entitled "32 Inexplicable Photos From Russia." It seems what they did was just take a bunch of pictures from a Russian photographers livejournal page, with the bare minimum for attribution. These photos are in fact unique - but I think it is because this individual is a great photographer, not necessarily because Russia is so different, as the subtext of this post is and which you see clearly demonstrated in the comment section where rampant US-centric racism runs wild. People are weird all over this damn planet! It's the POV, and all this photographer did was do an amazing job at framing weird moments.

So that being said, click the link above to browse through a great photo set.







um. um. um. what?

Friday, November 04, 2011




"the way I feel sometimes its too hard to sit still
things are so passionate times are so real
sometimes I try an chill mellow down blowing smoke
smile on my face but its really no joke
you feel it in the streets people breathe without hope"

...

"sit and come and relax riddle of the mac, its the patch
imma solider in the middle of iraq
well say about noonish commin out the whip
and lookin at me curious, a young Iraqi kid
carrying laundry, whats wrong G? hungry?
no, gimme oil or get fuck out my country"

Thursday, November 03, 2011

How Fear Drove World Rice Markets Insane

I heard this piece on NPR yesterday evening, and found it interesting. It's a different angle on the global food supply, and great insight into the crazy web we've built up.

**************************************************************************

Nothing is more basic and simple than food. Yet it comes to us courtesy of a long, complicated supply chain that spans the globe.

That chain delivers food cheaply — but it can break. Four years ago, it blew up in most spectacular fashion, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on rice for sustenance. That crash — the great rice crisis of 2008 — was a true disaster for some of the poorest people in Asia and West Africa.

And the most frightening thing about it is that no one can guarantee that it won't happen again — because the decisions that created it were all, somehow, perfectly reasonable.

Continue Reading and/or Listen to the Radio piece.



update: As a side note, here is a great link to information on how to grow your OWN rice! In a container! On your patio! As a burgeoning urban farmer, I really like this type of thing.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Everything I need to Know, I learned from BizKids



I came home from work today. I turned on the TV. It was still on PBS from watching Will Ferrell being honored for the Mark Twain prize on Monday night. I didn't touch the remote again because I was distracted by my computer, and before I knew it, I was watching this: BizKids.

It had some insightful money tips, and some inspiring stories! I think I need to catch this on TV more often.




http://bizkids.com/show