Saturday, March 29, 2008

is it ok that i used a digital camera during earth hour?

hope you're not planning anything electric tomorrow night, because its Earth Hour!! From 8-9 p.m. cites, towns, restaurants, businesses, and homes across the world are turning off the power- lights, computers, tvs, etc.

when i was living in senegal the power would often cut out for an hour or two in the evening. although it can be really annoying when your in the middle of doing research or writing emails home, these often turned into really enjoyable times to slow down, make some tea and enjoy a nice conversation with family or neighbors. here, in north america, we get to choose whether we participate in cutting the electricity. in addition to kindling conscience for our environmental impact during earth hour, its also an appropriate time to remember that for many people around the world, every hour is "earth hour" in the sense that many live without electricity all the time. i plan to spend my earth hour making like the senegalese- boiling some water on the gas stove, making tea and sharing stories with some good friends. hope you take the chance to slow down, connect and reflect as well!

Monday, March 24, 2008

easter bunchelicious!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

happy easter!
it just doesn't feel like easter until i smell paska baking in the oven. so i got up early this morning to get to work!
it turned out pretty well and tastes fabulous! it didn't rise as much as i hoped, but in hindsight i also don't think i put nearly enough dough in the pans. mum's recipe is supposed to be for 7 loaves, and if that is supposed to be 7 large loaves, it definely didn't rise enough to make that. but oh well, its still delicious! (thanks for your help on the phone with all my questions mom!) I'm going to serve the Paska at our easter brunch tomorrow, monday is a holiday in quebec!

Mum's Paska

- in a small bowl dissolve
1 1/2 TB yeast in 1/2 c water with 1 t. sugar
set aside to activate

- in a blender:
blend the juice and rind of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 orange, until finely chopped
- then add
8 eggs
3/4 c honey- or less
3/4 sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla

- in a sauce man scald (not quite boiling)
1/2 c milk (or milk replacement (i used unsweetened almond milk)
- remove from heat and add
1/2 c butter, softened

- in a bowl mix all the liquids (egg mixture, yeast, milk)
- slowly kneed in
8 c flour approx ( i used a mixture of kamut and spelt, this didn't rise quite as nicely as wheat, but its fine)

- the dough should still be quite sticky
- cover with a damb tea towl and place in a warm spot. let rise until double (1-1.5hrs)
- once double, you beat it down and shape into loaves (or braids!)
the loaves should take up about 1/3 the pan (oiled pans!). let it rise again until doubled.
- preheat the oven to 325.
once it has doubled in the pans place in oven to bake for about 20-25 minutes depending on the size of the loaf. it should be just turning golden on the top when they are done.
- Frost with a cream cheese or butter frosting with lemon and orange zest. Delicious!

these little bunnies wanted to wish you a happy easter too!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

so i've got loads of excuses why i haven't posted in 2 weeks: 35 hours of work at the Maison one week, and 2 looming papers that require a substantial amount of research and reading. ok so that was only 2. but i have been busy. here's what i have so far for my research paper for Ecological Anthropology. (be nice, i haven't proofed it yet. i've still got a long, 18-pages long, way to go before i get to that stage).

The Environmental Justice Movement in the United States arose during the later part of the 20th century. As the introduction of “Our Backyards: a quest for environmental justice” explains, EJ is committed answering several important questions: “ Do historically disadvantaged groups incur a disproportionate share of society’s environmental risks?” and “Do these risks result in significant and widespread health problems for racial minorities and the poor?” This paper will explore these questions using case studies of migrant farm workers in the United States. Before exploring these case studies, we briefly examine the background of environmental justice.
Bryant a scholar working in EJ (5) claims that that the book “Silent Spring” (1960) by Rachel Carlson was the major catalyst for the modern environmental movement. After this and several other important works were published (see Bryant 5), new environmental organizations cropped up across the United States, particular in college and university campuses. The importance of the movement nation wide is reflected in U.S. legislature passed in the 1970s such as the Clean Air Act, Clear Water Act, and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (Bryant 5). The environmental movement of the early 1960s and 1970s was primarily concerned with issues of preservation, conservations and environmental aesthetics (6).
The term “environmental justice” was first used in 1976 at a conference organized by students of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. The conferences was entitled “Working for Environmental and Economic Justice and Jobs.” The conference, attended by a diverse group of activists, scholars, union workers, and community leaders, was focused on understanding the interplay of environmental issues and economic and job growth.
Environmental Justice, as a movement, did not take root until two years later. Bryant cites the struggle of the black community in Warren country, North Carolina as the first articulation of a case of environmental injustice to the general public. This controversy started in 1978 when a company illegally sprayed 31,000 gallons of PCB (polychlorinated biphenyl) on the roadsides of fourteen different counties in North Carolina. The government became aware of the problem and considered options for shipping it to waste disposal facilities in another state; however, these options were too expensive. Instead the government decided to bury the contaminated soil in Warren County, a predominantly African American community. When the community learned of these plans, they organized. Much of the leadership in organizing was provided by Dollie Burwell a member of a local church and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (7).
Over 500 people were arrested at protests held at the Warren County dumpsite, drawing national attention. As Bryant explains, the “confrontation drew civil rights activists from all over the country to demonstrate non-violently against the disposal of contaminated soil in the predominantly black community” (7). The protests were not successful in halting the disposal of the hazardous PCB wastes in Warrant county, but as Bryant claims, the event “raised the consciousness of black Americans across the country to the potential health effects of hazardous waste disposal in their communities” (8). The case of Warren Country can be seen as merger of the civil rights movement and environmental movement as black activists across the country started to frame civil rights in terms of health risks, particularly environmental health risks.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

maybe i will be able to make a living doing what i love most!!

the Yoga Journal just released its 2008 Market Study .

here are some of the encouraging stats:
- The 2008 study indicates that 6.9% of U.S. adults, or 15.8 million people, practice yoga
- nearly 8%, or 18.3 million Americans, say they are very or extremely interested in yoga, triple the number from the 2004 study. - 4.1% of non-practitioners, or about 9.4 million people, say they will definitely try yoga within the next year.
- 52% are motivated to practice yoga to improve their overall health. In 2003, that number was 5.2%.
Yoga is no longer simply a singular pursuit but a lifestyle choice and an established part of our health and cultural landscape, says Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal. "People come to yoga and stick with it because they want to live healthier lives.

One significant trend to emerge from the study is the use of yoga as medical therapy. According to the study, 6.1%, or nearly 14 million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. In addition, nearly half (45%) of all adults agree that yoga would be a beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for a medical condition.

"Yoga as medicine represents the next great yoga wave," says Kaitlin Quistgaard, editor in chief of Yoga Journal. "In the next few years, we will be seeing a lot more yoga in health care settings and more yoga recommended by the medical community as new research shows that yoga is a valuable therapeutic tool for many health conditions."

Monday, March 03, 2008

i wish my life was more full of adventure, like my friend beth in burkina. then i could tell you fabulous stories about earth shines, chicken sacrifices and bats. but right not all i've got it a pile of midterms and a bad head cold. actually, by pile of mid-terms, i mean one midterm. i finished the other one today (it went moderately well) but the one left, sure feels like a messy huge messy pile- its a take home essay on one heck of a vague question: "How are sex and eating related in the cultural perception of environment? "
so it might sound pretty specific, but as we've talked about it quite a lot in the course, and many anthropologists consider there to be a universal association of food and sex, it is going to be a challenge constructing an essay on such a broad topic.
hopefully i'll be feeling fabulously intelligent and healthy tomorrow so i can crank it out in time.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

wonder how many blogs this as been posted on since it came out a month ago. its has 5.4 million views on youtube. pretty powerful propaganda- makes me, one of the most cynical unpatriotic americans out there, feel a bit, well patriotic.
this blog offers an interested comparison between barack's and hilary's videos. (thanks for the link dad!)
fete de la fin de la session