Recently in Miscellany Category
What a noble cause! And by my (in)action of not having any children, I have been a member all along. From VHEMT's About The Movement page:
VHEMT (pronounced vehement) is a movement not an organization. It's a movement advanced by people who care about life on planet Earth. We're not just a bunch of misanthropes and anti-social, Malthusian misfits, taking morbid delight whenever disaster strikes humans. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Voluntary human extinction is the humanitarian alternative to human disasters.
We don't carry on about how the human race has shown itself to be a greedy, amoral parasite on the once-healthy face of this planet. That type of negativity offers no solution to the inexorable horrors which human activity is causing.
Rather, The Movement presents an encouraging alternative to the callous exploitation and wholesale destruction of Earth's ecology.
As VHEMT Volunteers know, the hopeful alternative to the extinction of millions of species of plants and animals is the voluntary extinction of one species: Homo sapiens... us.
Each time another one of us decides to not add another one of us to the burgeoning billions already squatting on this ravaged planet, another ray of hope shines through the gloom.
When every human chooses to stop breeding, Earth's biosphere will be allowed to return to its former glory, and all remaining creatures will be free to live, die, evolve (if they believe in evolution), and will perhaps pass away, as so many of Nature's "experiments" have done throughout the eons.
It's going to take all of us going.
Nina Paley is a great cartoonist and the illustration on the page and leading this post was done by her. Check out her work. Paley's post which brought this to my attention follows:
Sometimes the greatest compliment comes in the form of being hated by the right people. So I was thrilled to discover this condemnation from the Forced-Birthers, who only took five years to notice my work exists. Five years, but so worth the wait.
The organization criticizing Paley is the insipid Generations For Life whose slogan is “The Youth Outreach of the Pro-Life Action League.” You should specifically check out the Paley cartoons which GFL describes as “horrific”. I think they (meaning Paley's cartoons) are spot on, entertaining and moving. And rather than seeing the humor the GFL poster goes on to opine:
What I don’t understand is why anyone who subscribes to the idea of voluntary extinction doesn’t just hurry things along and commit suicide.
How “christian“ of them.
Anyway, if you choose to join VHEMT, feel free to do so. They ask for no dues, no contributions. The statements on their web site are about as sane as they come. I'll leave you with this from their site:
Q: Are you really serious?
We're really vehement.
Many see humor in The Movement and think we can't be serious about voluntary human extinction, but in spite of the seriousness of both situation and movement, there's room for humor. In fact, without humor, Earth's condition gets unbearably depressing -- a little levity eases the gravity.
True, wildlife rapidly going extinct and 40,000 children dying each day are not laughing matters, but neither laughing nor bemoaning will change what's happening. We may as well have some fun as we work and play toward a better world.
Besides, returning Earth to its natural splendor and ending needless suffering of humanity are happy thoughts -- no sense moping around in gloom and doom.
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The Inland North
|What American accent do you have?|
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I took this web quiz (h/t Pharyngula), and interestingly it pegged me correctly, as I was born in Detroit, although I moved to California when I about six. My parents grew up in Detroit so I guess the influence stuck. Over the years people still occasionally ask me if I come from the mid-west or Chicago …
I do not however "call carbonated drinks 'pop'". Perish the thought!
How about you?
When he learned in 1995 that he had Alzheimer‘s disease, William Utermohlen, an American artist in London, responded in characteristic fashion.
“From that moment on, he began to try to understand it by painting himself,“� said his wife, Patricia Utermohlen, a professor of art history.
Mr. Utermohlen‘s self-portraits are being exhibited through Friday at the New York Academy of Medicine in Manhattan, by the Alzheimer‘s Association.
The paintings starkly reveal the artist‘s descent into dementia, as his world began to tilt, perspectives flattened and details melted away. His wife and his doctors said he seemed aware at times that technical flaws had crept into his work, but he could not figure out how to correct them.
My father died at about 4:20 AM, Tuesday morning, May 30th.
My dad was a proud man who loved his family and was committed to any work that he did. He had a special warmth that people felt and loved. He always acted with generosity, which I have tried to emulate.
He and my mother were married for almost fifty-nine years. They shared a love of each other that was deep, beautiful and apparent to everyone who saw them together.
As circumstances happened, I was the only family member present at the time my father died. It is a rare experience to witness this. He was in a coma and when the moment of death came, it did not occur in a dramatic way, but rather was almost imperceptible, with his already labored breathing simply coming to an end.
Danny was 80 years old and had been ill with diabetes and heart disease for many years. The last two months of his life were spent in a tragic manner; it is an indictment of the "managed care" medical system in this country. "Managed care" as my family (and I am sure many others) experienced it, means that the medical system is controlled by insurance companies that "manage" the cost of care of individuals. They don't consider what is best for the patient but rather assure that, according to their "guidelines", the lowest cost care that is justifiable by the guidelines is provided. During the last two months of his life, my father was transferred six times between five different medical facilites of varying quality. These transfers were driven not by what was best for my father, but by dictates of the insurance companies. Each time he was transferred, the medical staff at each facility treated his case as if he were being admitted for care for the first time. Records of his condition were not transferred with him for consultation by the staff at each facility. Medications were not administered correctly many times. During this time, my dad received food via a tube and on two different occasions, at two different facilities, he was administered a non-diabetic formula, until a family member questioned this and the was situation corrected.
Perhaps those of my generation and my parents generation have an unrealistic expectation of how the medical system should work and what we expected was certainly not what we experienced over the past two months. We worked hard during these past two months to fight the system to assure the best for my dad. There is no doubt that he was a sick man and that he was near the end of his life, but he should have been treated with more professionalism and dignity. In any case it was a heartbreaking way for my dad's life to end.
I will miss my father.
According to a LA Times article this morning Popular 'Ed Ruscha' Mural Abruptly Painted Over:
Without apparent warning, an iconic mural by artist Kent Twitchell depicting fellow artist Ed Ruscha was painted over Friday, a move Twitchell described as a shock and a violation of laws protecting works of art.
By Friday afternoon, "Ed Ruscha Monument" near the intersection of South Hill Street and Olympic Boulevard had been painted over, but it could not be determined who had ordered the painting or why.
The artist said he was alerted by conservationist Nathan Zakheim, who had been in the early stages of restoring the work and had gone by to see it Friday morning. "I went to get more pictures and take samples," Zakheim said, "and guess what: It was completely painted out."
Zakheim said the piece is nearly unrecoverable.
"Once it's painted over, it's almost impossible to get the paint off," said Zakheim, who has helped restore numerous Southern California murals. "The mural will have to be 80% repainted."
Twitchell's photo-realistic murals are all over LA, and this one was my favorite. (And its not the first one that has suffered such ignominy ... see the Times article for more.) I've driven out of my way when downtown many times to see it and once, many years ago spent a few hours photographing it. Reading of the mural's destruction this morning made me feel sick.
(Image credit from this site which has photos of many of Twitchell's murals.)
I'll post an update if anything comes up which explains why this happened.
I really had to read this twice to make sure it wasn't a joke.
From the NY Times Article, One Day, That Economy Ticket May Buy You a Place to Stand:
The airlines have come up with a new answer to an old question: How many passengers can be squeezed into economy class?
A lot more, it turns out, especially if an idea still in the early stage should catch on: standing-room-only "seats."Airbus has been quietly pitching the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none have agreed to it yet. Passengers in the standing section would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness, according to experts who have seen a proposal.
UPDATE: The Times has issued a correction that states that this idea was abandoned in 2003. Nevertheless, it is amazing that they ever considered it. And one never knows ...
"He" meaning me. Easter morning out here in the desert. Beautiful morning, but I was awoken by the booming and rat-a-tat-tat (a new sound for me) of Marines over the hill.
Is nothing sacred ?
From the New Yorker