Archive for January 30, 2021

About Paper Shredding

Unless you need to, do NOT shred paper before recycling.  Shredding shortens the length of the all-important fibers. Ex: a piece of computer paper can be recycled 6-8 times but only 0-1 time if shredded.

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Science? Love It!

I watched the federal government’s new Covid experts catch us up on what’s going on, followed by answering questions via Zoom. They gave straightforward facts and statistics and answered questions directly. There was no political spin, and when they gave their opinions, they made it clear that was their opinions, based on science.

It was informative and made me feel that we’re finally doing something to fight this pandemic. Science and direct answers make me feel so much safer and hopeful.

Our Vulnerable Vets

When we think about the poor and vulnerable in our society who need our help, veterans usually don’t enter our minds.  After all, they’ve proven how strong and self-sufficient they are by fighting for us in foreign lands, protecting American beliefs and interests.  The reality is, though, that not all return home to their families, communities, and jobs.

About one in seven homeless people has served his or her country in the military.  They tend to stay homeless almost two years longer than others and are 11% more likely to end up with a life-threatening disease while homeless. Another 1.5 million vets are living in poverty and poor living conditions, very close to becoming homeless.  In 2011, 1/3 of all vets aged 18 to 24 were without jobs. In fact, their unemployment rate is greater than for non-vets. More and more men and women are coming back home with mental and emotional health issues and brain injuries.  At least 70% of our returning warriors suffer from alcohol or other drug abuse problems.  Suicide rates for all vets are increasing.  In other words, many of these people return from active service to a life of illness and instability.

We can help our vulnerable vets by supporting programs offered by the V.A. and other governmental and private organizations.  We can also  continue to make it clear to them that they have not been forgotten, that we appreciate them and care about them—a simple “Thank you for your service” or “Welcome home” rather than ignoring them outside the grocery store goes a long way to re-including them in our human family.  Most importantly, we should work hard toward the day when vets no longer exist because war is a thing of the past.

I Did It!

Getting the appointment wasn’t easy, even though I fit into the current appropriate category. But the long on-hold time was worth it (I never make calls like this or to companies without a mound of work or activity in front of me.) I got my first Covid-19 vaccination (Moderna). The angels administering it–Kaiser nurses and helpers putting their own lives at risk– were warm, friendly, upbeat, and professional. I thank them all.

Doesn’t mean I’m going out partying. I know it doesn’t take full effect for two weeks and it’s only around 50% protection. I know the second shot will bring me up to only roughly 95% protection. And I know that the scientists haven’t figured out yet whether a vaccinated person may still carry and transmit the virus.

That means I’ll continue to wear my mask and keep my distance. If for no other reason than to protect my friends, family, and strangers I pass in the grocery store.

I look forward to the day when masks are no longer necessary and hugs become safe again.

What if We Did This?

I don’t remember where I heard today’s Thursday Thought, but it made me think about what a good thing it would be if everybody did this.

Every day, wish the good for others and do something about it.

Honor President Trump

Tomorrow President Trump leaves office and a new President is sworn in. Unfortunately, some people are planning to demonstrate, and others to riot, at Joe Biden’s inauguration. Their reason? To protest the leaving of their beloved leader, Donald J. Trump, so they can honor him.

Seems to me, though, that the best way to honor him and show him your support is in a positive way. Instead of violence at the inauguration, how about joining the celebration he’s planned just before flying off in Airforce 1? Join him at his gathering to thank him for what you feel he’s done for you and your country. Sing songs of praise for him. Let him feel your love. All this will make him feel very good. And it will make you feel good instead of being caught up in an angry, ulcer-producing mob protesting Joe Biden.

Think about it.

MLK: Some Interesting Facts

I just learned three things about Martin Luther King, Jr. that I didn’t know but found interesting. I knew that he wasn’t perfect–had some flaws, did some sinning–and that he was the leader that was needed during that part of the history of American social justice.  Here’s what I didn’t know:

  1. He was a champion for the environment. He did it not as a tree-hugger but as a believer in the interconnectedness of all life.
  2. He was a “democratic socialist” (not the same as a communist) long before Bernie Sanders came along.  He preached that we should form the economy in ways that meet people’s needs, not to make a few people richer.
  3. You could disagree with him, but he’d never throw a punch or get nasty.  Even when Malcolm X, another prominent civil rights leader of the time, derided him viciously and called him names.

You can read details about these three facts at CNN’s Three ways MLK speaks to our time.

As I said, he wasn’t really a saint.  But he was a saint I’d like to see come marching in now.

This company is making building tiles out of polluted air

A company in India is pulling carbon from car exhaust and other sources out of the air and making floor tiles. Fascinating! Here’s the start of the article. You can read the rest at Going Green.

India has the world’s worst air pollution. Home to 21 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities, its toxic air kills more than one million people each year.

That’s partly because the South Asian nation is the world’s second largest brick producer. Brick kilns — which account for 20% of black carbon emissions globally — make a significant contribution to its terrible air.

Indian architect Tejas Sidnal was shocked to discover the construction industry’s role in the pollution crisis. “That was a crazy eye opener,” he says. “As architects, we are responsible for so much air pollution. We can do better.”

Determined to make construction more sustainable and tackle India’s air pollution, Sidnal launched Carbon Craft Design in 2019. The startup takes black carbon extracted from polluted air and upcycles it to make stylish, handcrafted building tiles.


A Wise Change

The Persian poet Rumi wrote today’s Thursday Thought quote back in the 13th century. Even so, it’s very true today. By doing the second, we can achieve the first.

About Those Movies……

DID YOU SEE THAT?  The “good guy” is a murderer, the “heroine” can’t live without sex until the next commercial, and we’re supposed to cheer at the explosions and torture.  Such is common TV and movie fare.  Violence, cruelty, and lust not only sell, they also demean life, cheapening it and making it seem okay to hurt people.  Kids pick up on this and are formed by their perceptions. Our family refusing to watch these programs and movies is a step forward.  Taking yet another step, we can explain to our kids why our family doesn’t watch them, thus raising a more caring, sensitive next-generation.  One more step is to write letters to the theater, TV station, film-maker, and advertisers, reminding them that their profits depend on giving us what we want our family to see.  If I do that, and so do you, and our friends, and people they know ….  It’s the snowball-effect, possible even in a sunny city!