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Occupy Wall Street: Where Everybody Has A Say In Everything October 5, 2011

Posted by stuffmymomsends in Uncategorized.
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By Zoe Chace

At Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, where hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters are camped out, there’s a big meeting every night at 7:00.

The protesters call it the General Assembly, and it’s a meeting where every single person has a say in every single decision that gets made. For the protesters, this is a model society.

It’s a model where it takes a really long time to make a decision — like, say, whether to buy more sleeping bags for the group.

I visited the park for a General Assembly earlier this week. Here’s what I heard.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/10/05/141048592/occupy-wall-street-where-everybody-has-a-say-in-everything

 

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A Spy Camera, a Coffee Table and a Bus Stop August 7, 2011

Posted by chezanni in Community.
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by Margaret Aldrich

http://www.utne.com/The-Sweet-Pursuit/Spy-Camera-Coffee-Table-Bus-Stop.aspx

Public transportation and (welcome) social interaction don’t seem like natural companions, but Los Angeles designer and architect Julie Kim is making the bus stop a more neighborly place—and recording the results.

At a buzzing LA Metro bus stop in Koreatown this summer, Kim set up a coffee table in front of a bench for waiting patrons and covertly filmed what happened, reports GOOD. In minutes, the stylish, hand-built table—complete with a vase of flowers and a short stack of local newspapers—generated kinship and conversation between the diverse riders that gathered around it.

“The number and variety of people milling about—workers, kids, the elderly, of every ethnic group—surprised me,” Kim told GOOD. Watch a quick video of her experiment here:

 
Kim has more ideas for engaging the public at bus stops, like setting up exercise equipment. What other accoutrements could create meaningful interactions? Perhaps a minibar or a stack of meditation pillows, or how about a collection of secondhand musical instruments to get a bus stop hootenanny started…

Read more: http://www.utne.com/The-Sweet-Pursuit/Spy-Camera-Coffee-Table-Bus-Stop.aspx#ixzz1UOz8Kd5n

Hammock Coffee Table in the City from Distortion Productions on Vimeo.

Read more: http://www.utne.com/The-Sweet-Pursuit/Spy-Camera-Coffee-Table-Bus-Stop.aspx#ixzz1UOyqn873

Eleven lessons from Nelson Mandela August 6, 2011

Posted by chezanni in Heroes, Inspiration.
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Ode Magazine

In July we celebrated living legend Nelson Mandela’s birthday. Looking back on his 93 years, there are 11 lessons (from many) that I would like to share from his legacy which would help us make a small but positive mark in our society. Here they are:

1. Determination in fighting for the right thing. Nelson Mandela’s fought against apartheid for was a struggle of more than 50 years from 1943 when he joined ANC to 1994 when South Africa became independent and he became president. Of these years, 27 were in prison.

2. Never sell out on your beliefs. Nelson Mandela while still serving in prison had repeated offers from the apartheid regime to accept release for independence in small portion of South Africa called the Transkei, from where he hailed from. He simply turned them all down.

3. Be ready to change your tactics. In 1960 Nelson Mandela together with other leaders set up the military wing of ANC. After being released from prison in 1990, Mandela would eventually renounce all armed tactics and once again resort to peaceful negotiations. (more…)

Augustin Arreguin, Cable Guy Who Saved 7-Year-Old Boy, Honored By Time Warner, Red Cross August 6, 2011

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com

It was a “kind of surreal” week for Augustin Arreguin.

The San Antonio cable guy was about to make his next scheduled service call last Tuesday when he heard cries coming from the Winding Creek Apartment Homes pool area. Arreguin came running and found a boy desperately in need of help.

Fast forward to this past Friday, and Arreguin was honored by his employer, the city of San Antonio, and the American Red Cross for some quick thinking that saved seven-year-old Moses Pearsall’s life, mysanantonio.com reports.

“It’s been quite a few days,” the 30-year-old Time Warner cable installer and repairman said at the ceremony. “I can joke about being a hero, but seriously, I still feel like I’m just me.”

Arreguin’s CPR training as a adoptive parent gave him the courage to treat Pearsall until the paramedics arrived.

“His face was all blue. It was pretty bad,” Arreguin told KENS-5 following the incident. “All I could picture was my own son — he’s 6 and almost the same size — and that this was the worst thing that could happen.”

Arreguin’s fast thinking made all the difference for Pearsall, who doctors say has fully recovered without suffering any brain damage.

Mike Bennett, chief executive of the American Red Cross’ San Antonio Area Chapter, praised Arreguin’s confidence during a tense moment.

“I think everybody wants to help,” Bennet said, according to KSAT. “No one wants to just panic and run crazy from the scene, but most folks are very concerned that they’ll hurt the person, because they’re not sure what to do.”

Anna Chan, the ‘Lemon Lady,’ Feeds The Hungry On Her Own Dime May 29, 2011

Posted by chezanni in Community, Heroes, Inspiration.
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Anna Chan’s story is proof that one passing thought could have a lasting effect.

Less than three years ago, Anna found herself constantly searching for ways to calm her newborn daughter, Ava, who would often come down with intense bouts of colic.

“Ava would cry all the time,” said Anna, who works part-time as an office manager. “But I found out that she just loved her carseat. So I’d strap her in and drive around to help her fall asleep.”

During the drives around their Contra Costa County community in the Bay Area, Anna and Ava would pass hundreds of fruit trees standing in their neighbors’ yards. “There was fruit falling left and right,” Anna said. “And I thought of all the fruit that was just rotting, sitting there on the ground.”

Raised in Heyward, Calif., by a single mother, she recalled the days when she and her sister were hungry, finding themselves in food lines, eating only canned goods, and receiving donations from the Salvation Army. That was over 20 years ago, but it still resonated during those drives. (more…)

NFL Rookie Takes Disabled Teen to Dance May 29, 2011

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.

Chicago Bears rookie linebacker J.T. Thomas became the inspirational story of the lockout-dominated NFL offseason Monday, a few days after escorting a wheelchair-bound teen to her middle school dance.

The former West Virginia standout last month met 14-year-old Joslyn Levell, who uses a wheelchair. During that meeting, she told him that all of the boys she had asked to the dance turned her down.

Levell, who attends Suncrest Middle School in Morgantown — where the university is located — has spina bifida, a condition that prevents the spinal cord from developing properly.

“I hugged her and signed a few things and we talked for awhile and she cried a bit,” Thomas told NFL.com about meeting Levell. “I gave her a hug and told her everything would work itself out.” (more…)

In Panama, Movimiento Nueva Generacion Inspires Youths Living In Huerta Sandoval Santana May 29, 2011

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Published in the Huffington Post

In Panama, 17-year-old Dalys Perez lives in the Huerta Sandoval Santana, an area plagued by poverty, drugs and gang activity.

Because of familial hardships, Perez didn’t attend school for three of years. She says she was discouraged because, even though she considered herself to be living a good life, others would quickly judge her station by the area she lived.

But, she tells UNICEF, “Mr. Hector” changed all that.

“I didn’t go to school for a while because my mother was arrested…I became very depressed. It was then that Mr. Hector came to talk to me, that those things happen and I should not let it get me down.” (more…)

Colorado’s San Luis Valley Is A UFO Hotspot With A Specially Built UFO Watchtower May 25, 2011

Posted by chezanni in UFOs & Space Ships.
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The Huffington Post

Want to see some unexplained lights in the sky or slow moving cigar-shaped or saucer-shaped objects? Gas up the car and head out to the southwest section of Colorado.

The San Luis Valley of the Centennial State is reportedly a paranormal-rich area of the American landscape, with UFO sightings going back to the 1600s.

When Judy Messoline first moved here in 1995 to raise cattle, she became intrigued by the many UFO stories told to her by the locals. She eventually abandoned the ranch idea and in 2000, built a special UFO Watchtower, a rectangular metal platform standing 10 feet high above the ground where up to 60 people at a time can gather and swap tales of unexplained experiences. (more…)

Anne Thomas: Rebuilding life in Sendai May 25, 2011

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It has been well over a month since I have been in touch. Much has happened in that time, both in Japan and in my personal life. Of course, the world’s attention has mostly sifted away from the disasters here, but even so, there is a lot still going on.

This country has been slowly and steadily getting back on her feet. Progress is uneven, but it is happening everywhere. Extremely devastated areas are still struggling with clean up and rebuilding, but much effort has been made to get Sendai proper functioning as normally as possible. We still have ongoing daily earthquakes, huge cracks in the roads, shattered buildings and walls, and protective blue mats everywhere, but reconstruction work is evident wherever you look. Supermarkets are open normal hours now and are well stocked, although some items are still unavailable or rationed.

Almost everyone is intensely focused on remaking their lives. Those who were seriously hit have had to start almost from scratch, but even those who suffered little physical loss are trying to reassess their attitudes, values, and ways of being in the world. Almost everyone is caught up in a wave of discarding unneeded items, and rearranging material belongings to reflect the deep inner changes that this searing tragedy has brought about. A former student of mine, who now lives in Singapore, came to Sendai to help her parents. As she sorts through her family home, she keeps asking her mother, “Do you really need this anymore? Why not get rid of it? Why not start again fresh?” Another student has taken load after load of earthquake-broken or unneeded items to the dump. She was totally astonished to see the mountains of goods that people are getting rid of. But the rubbish place is well organized, typical for Japan. “TVs go over there, refrigerators on that pile, heavy dressers are down this row and on the left,” say the guards at the entrance. Yes, it is a time of peeling away, discarding, reassessing needs and wants.

But there is a lot of buying, too. Home centers, for example, are packed with people sorting through furniture, appliances, bedding, and carpets. There is not an “S” hook to be found in most hardware stores, as people are buying them by the fists-full to hang things in their newly arranged homes. Companies are all displaying messages that say: “We apologize to you for not being able to serve you for several weeks after the recent disaster. That was very inconvenient for you, so please allow us to give you a discount on our items.” Or they might say, “We have all suffered a great deal in the past few months. So, please refresh your feelings by the generous prices we are offering in our shops.” (more…)

Actively making peace May 15, 2011

Posted by chezanni in Inspiration.
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Mary Lou Kownacki is a sister of the Order of St. Benedict and the former director of Pax Christi. She’s been a peacemaker for a long, long time. One of her books on prayer is The Fire of Peace.

“Peacemaking,” she writes, “is not an optional commitment. It is a requirement of our faith. We are called to be peacemakers.”

I think a lot of us treat peacemaking as optional. We say to ourselves and others, “Oh, let’s get the environmental crisis [or whatever else you want to put there] handled, and then we’ll work on peace.” Just like the environment, peace only exists in one time: now.

Being committed to do our own small part for the environment is important because if I do my part, and you do yours, eventually the small parts we accomplish add up. The same is true of making peace. (more…)