Some cool home security images:
Image by Philip McMaster PeacePlusOne_!/
Earth Hour at the 3 Finger Club LOHHAS Lifestyle Lounge
Lights were out between 8:30 and 9:30 while we told stories and discussed our Lifestyle Of Health, Happiness And Sustainability (LOHHAS) using the 3 Finger "Peace Plus One" Sustainability Salute to remind us about Peace, Harmony and Balance between Society, Environment and Economy
People were the best jugglers of "Society, Environment, Economy" balls won "EARTH HOUR 60" T-Shirts WOW !/O!/
Photo Courtesy of the McMaster Institute for Sustainable Development in Commerce
all participants in the Earth Hour Discussion got a copy of "Letter to Maddie" featured below:
We Screwed Up
A Letter of Apology to My Granddaughter
By Chip Ward
[Note: I became politically active and committed on the day 20 years ago when I realized I could stand on the front porch of my house and point to three homes where children were in wheelchairs, to a home where a child had just died of leukemia, to another where a child was born missing a kidney, and yet another where a child suffered from spina bifida. All my parental alarms went off at once and I asked the obvious question: What’s going on here? Did I inadvertently move my three children into harm’s way when we settled in this high desert valley in Utah? A quest to find answers in Utah’s nuclear history and then seek solutions followed. Politics for me was never motivated by ideology. It was always about parenting.
Today my three kids are, thankfully, healthy adults. But now that grandchildren are being added to our family, my blood runs cold whenever I project out 50 years and imagine what their world will be like at middle age — assuming they get that far and that there is still a recognizable “world” to be part of. I wrote the following letter to my granddaughter, Madeline, who is almost four years old. Although she cannot read it today, I hope she will read it in a future that proves so much better than the one that is probable, and so terribly unfair. I’m sharing this letter with other parents and grandparents in the hope that it may move them to embrace their roles as citizens and commit to the hard work of making the planet viable, the economy equitable, and our culture democratic for the many Madelines to come.]
March 20, 2012
I address this letter to you, but please share it with Jack, Tasiah, and other grandchildren who are yet unborn. Also, with your children and theirs. My unconditional love for my children and grandchildren convinces me that, if I could live long enough to embrace my great-grandchildren, I would love them as deeply as I love you.
On behalf of my generation of grandparents to all of you, I want to apologize.
I am sorry we used up all the oil. It took a million years for those layers of carbon goo to form under the Earth’s crust and we used up most of it in a geological instant. No doubt there will be some left and perhaps you can get around the fact that what remains is already distant, dirty, and dangerous, but the low-hanging fruit will be long-gone by the time you are my age. We took it all.
There’s no excuse, really. We are gas-hogs, plain and simple. We got hooked on faster-bigger-more and charged right over the carrying capacity of the planet. Oil made it possible.
Machines are our slaves and coal, oil, and gas are their food. They helped us grow so much of our own food that we could overpopulate the Earth. We could ship stuff and travel all over the globe, and still have enough fuel left to drive home alone in trucks in time to watch Monday Night Football.
Rocket fuel, fertilizer, baby bottles, lawn chairs: we made everything and anything out of oil and could never get enough of it. We could have conserved more for you to use in your lifetime. Instead, we demonstrated the self-restraint of crack addicts. It’s been great having all that oil to play with and we built our entire world around that. Living without it will be tough. Sorry.
I hope we develop clean, renewable energy sources soon, or that you and your generation figure out how to do that quickly. In the meantime, sorry about the climate. We just didn’t realize our addiction to carbon would come with monster storms, epic droughts, Biblical floods, wildfire infernos, rising seas, migration, starvation, pestilence, civil war, failed states, police states, and resource wars.
I’m sure Henry Ford didn’t see that coming when he figured out how to mass-produce automobiles and sell them to Everyman. I know my parents didn’t see the downside of using so much gas and coal. The all-electric house and a car in the driveway was their American Dream. For my generation, owning a car became a birthright. Today, it would be hard for most of us to live without a car. I have no idea what you’ll do to get around or how you will heat your home. Oops!
We also pigged out on most of the fertile soil, the forests and their timber, and the oceans that teemed with fish before we scraped the seabed raw, dumped our poisonous wastes in the water, and turned it acid and barren. Hey, that ocean was an awesome place and it’s too bad you can’t know it like we did. There were bright coral reefs, vibrant runs of red salmon, ribbons of birds embroidering the shores, graceful shells, the solace and majesty of the wild sea…
…But then I never saw the vast herds of bison that roamed the American heartland, so I know it is hard to miss something you only saw in pictures. We took lots of photos.
We thought we were pretty smart because we walked a man on the moon. Our technology is indeed amazing. I was raised without computers, smart phones, and the World Wide Web, so I appreciate how our engineering prowess has enhanced our lives, but I also know it has a downside.
When I was a kid we worried that the Cold War would go nuclear. And it wasn’t until a river caught fire near Cleveland that we realized fouling your own nest isn’t so smart after all. Well, you know about the rest — the coal-fired power plants, acid rain, the hole in the ozone…
www.tomdispatch.com/images/managed/fear2.gifThere were plenty of signs we took a wrong turn but we kept on going. Dumb, stubborn, blind: Who knows why we couldn’t stop? Greed maybe — powerful corporations we couldn’t overcome. It won’t matter much to you who is to blame. You’ll be too busy coping in the diminished world we bequeath you.
One set of problems we pass on to you is not altogether our fault. It was handed down to us by our parents’ generation so hammered by cataclysmic world wars and economic hardship that they armed themselves to the teeth and saw enemies everywhere. Their paranoia was understandable, but they passed their fears on to us and we should have seen through them. I have lived through four major American wars in my 62 years, and by now defense and homeland security are powerful industries with a stranglehold on Congress and the economy. We knew that was a lousy deal, but trauma and terror darkened our imaginations and distorted our priorities. And, like you, we needed jobs.
Sorry we spent your inheritance on all that cheap bling and, especially, all those weapons of mass destruction. That was crazy and wasteful. I can’t explain it. I guess we’ve been confused for a long time now.
Oh, and sorry about the confusion. We called it advertising and it seemed like it would be easy enough to control. When I was a kid, commercials merely interrupted entertainment. Don’t know when the lines all blurred and the buy, buy, buy message became so ubiquitous and all-consuming. It just got outta hand and we couldn’t stop it, even when we realized we hated it and that it was taking us over. We turned away from one another, tuned in, and got lost.
I’m betting you can still download this note, copy it, share it, bust it up and remake it, and that you do so while plugged into some sort of electrical device you can’t live without — so maybe you don’t think that an apology for technology is needed and, if that’s the case, an apology is especially relevant. The tools we gave you are fine, but the apps are mostly bogus. We made an industry of silly distraction. When our spirits hungered, we fed them clay that filled but did not nourish them. If you still don’t know the difference, blame us because we started it.
And sorry about the chemicals. I mean the ones you were born with in your blood and bones that stay there — even though we don’t know what they’ll do to you). Who thought that the fire retardant that kept smokers from igniting their pillows and children’s clothes from bursting into flames would end up in umbilical cords and infants?
It just seemed like better living through chemistry at the time. Same with all the other chemicals you carry. We learned to accept cancer and I guess you will, too. I’m sure there will be better treatments for that in your lifetime than we have today. If you can afford them, that is. Turning healthcare over to predatory corporations was another bad move.
All in all, our chemical obsession was pretty reckless and we got into that same old pattern: just couldn’t give up all the neat stuff. Oh, we tried. We took the lead out of gasoline and banned DDT, but mostly we did too little, too late. I hope you’ve done better. Maybe it will help your generation to run out of oil, since so many of the toxic chemicals came from that. Anyway, we didn’t see it coming and we could have, should have. Our bad.
There are so many other things I wish I could change for you. We leave behind a noisy world. Silence is rare today, and unless some future catastrophe has left your numbers greatly diminished, your machines stilled, and your streets ghostly empty, it is likely that the last remnants of tranquility will be gone by the time you are my age.
And how about all those species, the abundant and wondrous creatures that are fading away forever as I write these words? I never saw a polar bear and I guess you can live without that, too, but when I think of the peep and chirp of frogs at night, the hum of bees busy on a flower bed, the trill of birds at dawn, and so many other splendorous pleasures that you may no longer have, I ache with regret. We should have done more to keep the planet whole and well, but we couldn’t get clear of the old ways of seeing, the ingrained habits, the way we hobble one another’s choices so that the best intentions never get realized.
Mostly I’m sorry about taking all the good water. When I was a child I could kneel down and drink from a brook or spring wherever we camped and played. We could still hike up to glaciers and ski down snow-capped mountains.
Clean, crisp, cold, fresh water is life’s most precious taste. A life-giving gift, all water is holy. I repeat: holy. We treated it, instead, as if it were merely useful. We wasted and tainted it and, again in a geological moment, sucked up aquifers that had taken 10,000 years to gather below ground. In my lifetime, glaciers are melting away, wells are running dry, dust storms are blowing, and rivers like the mighty Colorado are running dry before they reach the sea. I hate to think of what will be left for you. Sorry. So very, very sorry.
I’m sure there’s a boatload of other trouble we’re leaving you that I haven’t covered here. My purpose is not to offer a complete catalog of our follies and atrocities, but to do what we taught your parents to do when they were as little as you are today.
When you make a mistake, we told them, admit it, and then do better. If you do something wrong, own up and say you are sorry. After that, you can work on making amends.
I am trying to see a way out of the hardship and turmoil we are making for you. As I work to stop the madness, I will be mindful of how much harder your struggles will be as you deal with the challenges we leave you to face.
The best I can do to help you through the overheated future we are making is to love you now. I cannot change the past and my struggle to make a healthier future for you is uncertain, but today I can teach you, encourage you, and help you be as strong and smart and confident as you can be, so that whatever the future holds, whatever crises you face, you are as ready as possible. We will learn to laugh together, too, because love and laughter can pull you through the toughest times.
I know a better world is possible. We create that better world by reaching out to one another, listening, learning, and speaking from our hearts, face to face, neighbor to neighbor, one community after another, openly, inclusively, bravely. Democracy is not a gift to be practiced only when permitted. We empower ourselves. Our salvation is found in each other, together.
Across America this morning and all around the world, our better angels call to us, imploring us to rise up and be as resilient as our beloved, beautiful children and grandchildren, whose future we make today. We can do better. I promise.
Image by North Carolina National Guard
by Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Rojek
Defense Media Activity
5/4/2012 – FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. — Walking almost 90 miles, 36 Airmen completed the Air Advisor Memorial Ruck March from New York City to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., April 26-27.
The march, which started at One World Trade Center and ended at the Air Advisor Academy, was in remembrance of the deaths of nine U.S. air advisors in Afghanistan.
On the morning of April 27, 2011, an Afghan Air Force lieutenant colonel walked into the Afghan Air Command and Control Center at the Kabul Air Command Headquarters and, without warning or provocation, opened fire, killing eight active-duty U.S. Airmen and a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Those nine service members came from various bases and specialties, but were working together for a common mission: advising the Afghan military.
"It was a unique situation," said Lt. Col. J.D. Scott II, the march coordinator and chief of core knowledge at the Air Advisor Academy. "It didn’t happen for a particular base. It didn’t happen for a particular squadron or base or even for a particular (Air Force Specialty Code).
"Because of that, remembering their sacrifice may not have been captured as a whole," Scott continued. "The individual would have been honored at their base, but the mission of the entire of the team would not have been recognized."
Since all of the nine went through the Air Advisor Academy, Col. John Holm, the academy’s commandant, decided that would be the place to honor their sacrifice as a team, Scott said. Holm made plans to create a physical memorial, but a plethora of obstacles made it impossible to complete the memorial by the one year anniversary of the tragic event. One of the obstacles was funding.
Holm and his team came up with idea of a ruck march to both honor the fallen air advisors and act as a fundraiser to help build the physical memorial. Scott was put in charge of organizing the march and, in just two weeks, succeeded in gathering people from Dover AFB, Del., to Eielson AFB, Alaska, for the march. Each marcher knew at least one of the nine fallen air advisors in some way.
"Master Sgt. Tara Brown and Maj. Phil Ambard both lived three and four doors down from me in the dorms," said Tech. Sgt. Brian Christiansen, a photographer with the 145th Airlift Wing in Charlotte, N.C., who was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan at the same time as the air advisors. "Both were incredibly friendly people. And I met several of them (the morning of the shooting) as I walked into my building and opened the door and they walked out."
Those personal connections to the fallen service members and their families drew the 36 marchers together, Scott said.
"They were coming in from all over," he said. "That’s kind of representative of the nine that we lost. They came from all over the Air Force to serve a single mission as an air advisor. So the marchers that were honoring them came from all over the Air Force to remember them."
Each paid their own way to New York City to honor their fallen friends and show their families that they haven’t forgotten their loved one’s sacrifice. The event also drew in another 14 volunteers to help with everything from transportation to food to health and care coverage.
The marchers were broken up into four teams, each set to march three legs of 7.3 miles. During their leg, each marcher carried a ruck sack with a paver stone inside, each stone engraved with the name of a fallen air advisor and to be laid at the memorial on JB MDL.
Holm and his nine-person team kicked off the march at 9:11 a.m. April 26. However, rather than just start off near ground zero, the colonel wanted to do something more for his fallen comrades.
"We wanted to honor them by doing something significant, and to me starting at the top of the World Trade Center was it," Holm said. "We had those ruck sacks on the entire tour. It was all symbolic and important to us in our own personal, different ways. For me, it was probably the biggest single gesture we could do short of opening up (the academy’s) memorial ourselves."
The significance of the march touched a lot of people along the way, starting with the One World Trade Center steel workers, who gave the Airmen a standing ovation as they marched through the structure. Other people along their route also showed their appreciation by stopping to give hugs, encouragement, thanks and even money toward the memorial.
As they traveled by foot from New York to New Jersey, state and local police departments provided escort, each district calling the next to inform them of what the Airmen were doing, Holm said. The marchers were even given a chance to rest and eat at the fire departments in both Elizabeth, N.J., and Jersey City, N.J. It was a sign of support of both the Airmen marching and the fallen air advisors, he said.
When the fourth team finished their last leg, the marchers were 1.1 miles from the construction site of the Air Advisor Memorial on JB MDL. All 36 marchers gathered together in formation and made their way through the base gate. What met them there was surprise to all.
"Security forces closed down the road and gave us police escort in," Scott said. "There were numerous amounts of people from the front gate to the memorial lining the street on both sides, just cheering us on in.
"The fact that the base community just embraces us and cheered us in on those final steps, it’s very inspiring," he added.
It was an emotional moment for Christiansen as well. He was present at the base when the air advisors were killed and attended their dignified transfer ceremony. However, each person was laid to rest in different locations around the U.S., so he never got to have closure.
Christiansen said the real impact came when he saw the road signs leading to the installation. "That’s when it really started to hit in not that we’re all going to do this, but this is for real. We’ve done this for the families, we’ve done this for our fallen brothers and sister. It was pretty easy to get caught up in the emotion there.
"The ceremony of laying the bricks down was really powerful," he added. "It brought some serious closure."
For Chaplain Maj. Eric Boyer, who said the opening prayer for the stone laying ceremony, it was a bittersweet chance to pay tribute to two of the officers that he had a connection to.
"It makes me proud to know that their sacrifice will be honored and will be remembered," he said. "Every Air Advisor who comes through the academy here is going to recognize the price that has been paid by their predecessors."
Prior to entering military service, Boyer knew Lt. Col. Frank Bryant from their hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., where he served as Bryant’s wrestling coach.
Boyer also served as squadron chaplain for Maj. Jeffery Ausborn while at Joint Base San Antonio in 2011, but had already changed duty station’s to JB MDL when he got the word about Ausborn’s death. His biggest regret was not being able to preside over his funeral service.
"It meant a lot to me to be able to say something to honor his memory here, since I wasn’t able to speak at his memorial ceremony back at his home station," he said.
While the ruck march and stone-laying ceremony brought some closure for Christiansen and others, the construction of the memorial itself is still ongoing. However, between the pledges for the marchers, donations received during the march as well as T-shirt and brick sales, Holm estimated that the team has raised almost ,000 toward the memorial just through this one event.
"We have that feeling that we did the right thing just by honoring our comrades, regardless of what money we raised," Holm said. "That was a tremendous feeling."
The Air Advisor Memorial is scheduled to be unveiled July 27. For more information on the memorial, visit www.airadvisormemorial.org
Image by Ciorra Photography
The most popular Digital pioneers of HDR photography , Even though this type of photography has been around , Trey has brought world wide attention to it with his techniques and re introduced it at a massive level where it is considered another form of photography today . Some like it and some hate it .
First off , a complete gentleman , He directed us not just HDR info but as a photographer and how to capture the right image and other elements such as pointing out distractions and incorporating other key parts of locations into your frame .
This particular group was more than what NYC had expected , we were asked to be removed from public property by security 3x then police came to escort us . just so happened that we all collected at a building plaza since the side walk of cortland street was too small to accomadate us .
We continued south on broadway stopping at certain locations listening to his direction , Till we finally ended up in Battery Park to conclude our photo walk . We took a group photo at the end . And looked like they stopped for a bite to eat afterwards but I went to take advantage of the area before I went home .
On the negative , way too many people , Difficult to get near him at times because some would just not leave his side , I would say smaller groups would be more effective at different skill levels . I had so much to talk to him about but I guess I will wait for the next one .
Aside from everything , It was a great day and definitely worth your time if you can make the next one .