Monday, July 30, 2007

What's Your Bacon Number?

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one "step" away from each person he or she knows and two "steps" away from each person who is known by one of the people he or she knows, then everyone is no more than six "steps" away from each person on Earth. Several studies, such as Milgram's small world experiment, have been conducted to empirically measure this connectedness. While the exact number of links between people differs depending on the population measured, it is generally found to be relatively small. Hence, six degrees of separation is somewhat synonymous with the idea of the "small world" phenomenon the assumption that almost anyone in the world can be linked to anyone else in the world by six or seven degrees.

A game developed in 1994 by three college friends at Albright College in Reading, PA, "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" is based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is the center of the entertainment universe, and that any actor or actress can be linked back to him, typically within six degrees (six connections). For example, Jack Nicholson was in "A Few Good Men" with Kevin Bacon. Michelle Pfeiffer was in "The Witches of Eastwick" with Jack Nicholson, who was in "A Few Good Men" with Kevin Bacon. And so on. The number of intervening movies is that actor or actresses' Bacon Number or degree number. Thus, in this example, Nicholson would have a Bacon Number of 1 and Michelle Pfeiffer a Bacon Number of 2.

Now we're no movie stars but my son and I came to the realization today that we along with millions of other people around the world now have a Bacon Number of 1 because Kevin Bacon was on LiveEarth and we watched him. Sure he wasn't on there long but long enough to give us our Bacon Numbers. Now if you're not convinced by that you can take this scientific test I took today and find out your Bacon Number. Mine is 7.

Beverly Flint can't get enough of,
Bernie Dipswitch,who thinks of carefree summers in Maine upon hearing the name
Enrique Gladhand, who thinks of carefree summers in Maine upon hearing the name
Bob Piltdown, who plays Pinochle every Wednesday with
Nadia Karthoum, who would love to have cheekbones just like
Katy Paolo, who once called into a radio show hosted by
Esperanza Alvarez, who is bitter about the financial success of
Kevin Bacon

Now somehow my son has a Bacon Number of 2 (obviously he has more connections than I do):

Jason Flint, spent a lazy weekend inner-tubing down the Rio Picante with
Penelope Fortuitous, who tossed back Bloody Marys at an out-of-the-way Soho dive bar with
Kevin Bacon

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Life Is Too Short

As we grow up we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will.

You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken.

You'll fight with your best friend.

You'll blame a new love for things an old one did.

You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love.

So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Life is too short to live with regret.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Mommy Brain 2

I really had good intentions when I got up this morning. For the first time in weeks I didn't have to get up to the very irritating buzz of my old alarm clock and I actually slept in. Full of energy (and a lot of other things, ha!) I was ready to accomplish all the things I'd been putting off the last couple of weeks.

Now like most busy moms I have lists. I have magnetic notepads all over the fridge designated for different things, i.e. grocery shopping, Target, DVD's to pick up, etc., and Post-It pads everywhere, even in my purse. I finally gave up on the idea of getting completely organized, thus the lists at least give me some feeling of keeping it together.

Now of course I never get everything on a list done. I've found it's almost impossible, especially when I'm limited on time and/or energy. When I'm tired I'm cranky so the lists get longer but at least I'm still feeling somewhat organized by writing everything down. However, I did get all the shopping done and have dinner readying on the stove now, then later tonight I'll sit down with my son and program our new phone (that may take considerable brain energy, so I think I'll take a nap first).

The one thing that never makes it the lists is housekeeping. It shouldn't be on a list I tell myself, because just looking around should give me a clue that it needs to be done. I'm a stickler for the kitchen and bathrooms always being clean, that's never a problem, and I'm so organized on the laundry (black basket for black clothes, white for white, etc.) that it never gets overwhelming. But cobwebs and dust bunnies? It's amazing how if I turn my head the other way and don't see them they simply don't exist. It's that simple, they just disappear like magic, my fairy godmother just whooshes them away with her wand! When is it truly time to clean house? When I start having an uncontrollable, what seems endless sneezing attack because - get this - I'm allergic to dust. Couldn't be allergic to chocolate or all things calories, oh no, not me. When the dust attacks it's time to clean. But I haven't sneezed all week so I guess the house is clean. Don't want to over-do it!

One thing I did accomplish today though - yes I replaced that irritating alarm clock. And the things I didn't get done today? I've already started another list.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mommy Brain

Research in neurology and psychology suggests motherhood has the potential to make women better at many tasks, including managing stress and multi-tasking. And research has proven that motherhood makes us smarter.

Oh yeah? Then why can I never find my keys, always go to the store and leave the shopping list on the kitchen counter, walk into a room and immediately forget why I went in there and do 10 things at one time and not remember doing any of them? I'm constantly forgetting if I've done something like pay the bills and half the time I can't even hear the words coming out of my own mouth.

One thing I've learned about motherhood: You have to have a sense of humor. My son is 15 and I become more warped the older he becomes. I've found I love zombie movies and know who Edge, Triple H and Big Show are. I can recite baseball stats like no other mom I know and when my son's playing basketball I'm the loudest cheerer in the crowd. Ketchup was once considered a condiment but now it has become a vegetable and ice cream is a dairy product.

And I do things I never thought I would. Like when he was very young and I enrolled him in a karate class and had to buy him a cup. We went hand in hand to the sporting goods store and bought him one and went home and I had him try it on. He was only about 5 and I didn't know how to explain to him how important that cup was, so I lifted him up on the bathroom counter and started banging away at that cup with a hammer. Bam, bam, bam for about 10 minutes. He giggled the whole time because I was like a maniac banging on that cup, my way of teaching him how protective that cup was.

I've also learned how strong I really am. I used to be very shy and put up with a lot of crap until I had my son. But not anymore! When he was about 3 I got a call from his nursery school teacher telling me I needed to see her when I picked him up because of his behavior. What behavior? Well, when I got there I learned they had run out of paper during a painting project so he painted half his face this really beautiful navy blue and they were concerned that something was wrong with him. Any other child I probably would have wondered about, but this was my son. I defended him for being creative enough to use his own canvas. Of course from that moment on we were both labeled as "strange," which I would argue with us being "unique."

To say motherhood has changed my life is an understatement. Sure I have many moments of "Mommy Brain," when I don't know what's up or down or if I'm coming or going, but it has been and continues to be the adventure of my life. Yes I get overwhelmed sometimes, but like all Super Moms I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Emotional Cooties

When I was little my Aunt Geneva used to tell us some kids had cooties. I don't know about the physically contagious ones she implied but I do think some people have emotionally contagious cooties.

You know the ones I'm talking about - the people in your life who go out of their way to treat you like crap. Family, acquaintances, strangers, co-workers, so-called friends. We all know at least one person who for one reason or another is unhappy in something in their own life but instead of fixing it goes out of their way to mistreat us and make us question our worth.

For instance, Randy. When I first met him 3 years ago he appeared to be the kind of guy I would like to know better. Tall and handsome with deep blue eyes and the sexiest, manliest voice I've ever heard, he was sweet, thoughtful, funny and a gentleman. We would meet at 7-11 every morning, swap stories about what was going on with life and our kids, joke and flirt and be on our way. It felt good to be around someone who shared my warped sense of humor and gift for gab and genuinely appreciated me, especially since I had split up with a boyfriend who didn't. Randy was divorced, his kids were grown, he owned a construction company and seemed to be a pretty emotionally stable guy. Ah, a grown-up! Well after several months I finally got up the nerve and asked him out. He said he had a girlfriend, which I should of figured, and I was fine with that and let it go. I thought at least we could be friends.

Well that was almost two years ago and he hasn't talked to me since. We run into each other in town all the time. When I run into people I know I always say "Hi" or wave, but he just ignored me and continues to do, like he did this morning. Like everyone else who knows me he knows I'm a nice person and he knows it hurts me when he does it. I try to avoid him as much as possible as I do anyone who treats me that way. Why bother setting yourself up for another bad encounter?

I honestly don't understand why people go out of their way to hurt others. I just don't see how that kind of behavior is constructive at all except in their own minds they feel superior. Personally they can keep it. I don't want or need anyone in my life who is going to treat me like I'm less than I am.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Children are amazing, they live in the moment with no regrets of yesterday and no worries about tomorrow. They are simply in the here and now. They don't give a thought to what other people think of them, whether they're fashionable, if they're attractive, will the bills get paid. The only moment that matters is the present.

To me the most beautiful sound is that of laughter. It has a musical melody all its own, genuine, sweet and dreamy. I love the way kids laugh, loud and sincere. I love the way they will repeat the same thing over and over again hoping to get a laugh every time. They are silly and care-free. They fly with capes made of sheets, dance with dolls, talk on paper cup phones, skip like stones on the water. They are astronauts and sea captains and super heroes. They appreciate silly things and even the smallest absurdity will have them in stitches.

Then as we age it seems we throw off that silly spirit a little at a time, being "grown-ups" as we are told to be. Life becomes serious. We have jobs to do and bills to pay and responsibilities. We become more aware of the outside world and worry about everything, especially things we have little or no control over. Society tells us to be adults and take everything seriously. No time to laugh and sing anymore as we become adults and the weight of the world is pressed onto our shoulders. We are to be responsible and serious at all times.

I work in the medical field, 40 hours a week as a medical transcriptionist. It's serious work and sometimes even after over 20 years it can still be emotional and depressing. On top of dealing with the issues that come from being part of a very dysfunctional family I used to watch the news at night trying to keep up with world. I became depressed, angry and resentful before I realized I was draining the joy out of my life and replacing it with the seriousness of the world.

It was this realization that made me want to change the direction of my life. I wasn't unhappy but I wasn't happy and it was hard to find joy in anything. That's when I started to dance again, playing the stereo full blast, rockin' to Aerosmith or Boston or whatever I could dance to. I stopped watching the news and started watching the silly buddy films my son watches. They are pure nonsense and fun and too often I've found myself gasping for air as I choke with laughter. Now I must warn you, I snort when I laugh and I laugh very loudly and I've been known to clear out a restaurant or two for laughing too loudly because I offended someone who thought it wasn't ladylike. Like I care!

Since giving myself permission to lighten up and enjoy life I feel better than I have in a long time. I still work full-time and am a responsible adult, but I take more time out to dance and play games with my son and enjoy the moment. I dressed up as the Sugar Plum Fairy for Halloween, pink wings and tiara and a tutu, the works, and once again could be a little dreaming princess again. I love outrageous people who live life to the fullest and I surround myself with them. I've also learned what a wickedly whacked person I am, and although sometimes I have to sacrifice my dignity it is freeing and emotionally uplifting to let go and let the grown-up world slip away as I dance in the rain, sing in the shower or slide down a Slip-N-Slide with a snow cone!

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Blog of the Day

Blog Awards Winner
Woot-Woot! I am so excited to have received this beautiful award today! Thank you so much to whoever nominated me and I am so happy my blog is enjoyed! XOXO

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Time of Discovery

You know, when you think about it the longest relationship we each have is the one we have with ourselves. Other people come and go, relationships begin and end, but we are always here. Society emphasizes romantic relationships and setting our needs aside for others. And sometimes we single people, especially women, are looked down on because we are not married or living with a romantic partner.

Most of the women I know are married and many of the ones who aren't become involved in one relationship after another, sometimes not taking the time between relationships to sort out what they really want or need, because they are afraid of being alone. Some of my married friends even admit they settled because they were pressured to get married and settled down because if they didn't they were considered rebellious and yes, even wild.

So I guess I'm a wild woman - and yes I'm enjoying my life. It's been 2 years since my last romantic relationship with a man I met before my divorce and was involved with for 7-1/2 years. Before that I was married for 6 years. In both relationships, as in romantic relationships before them, I gave so much and was left with a huge feeling of emptiness. As the oldest sister in my family I was always taught to give of myself, to give up my dreams and wishes, for my younger siblings and yes even my mother. I was always the head cheerleader, cheering them on as they pursued their dreams,I then carried that into my relationships, especially the last two, and so many things I was wishing to do were left on the back burner in order to have these relationships.

And yes sometimes it would be nice to have a man to spend time with and be romantic with because I adore them. But something truly amazing has happened the last 2 years - I found myself and realized I'm pretty groovy. It's been just me being Mom and Beverly, with the unconditional love of my son, who thinks I'm the greatest thing on 2 feet. I was sick for a while and learned how truly strong and determined I am while I recovered. I got through it and gave myself a pat on the back, because I was no longer the wallflower and emotional doormat I had been most of my life but Wonder Woman in training! I have a small group of very close, supportive friends, a great job, financial stability and a wonderful loving son. I've been free to pursue the things I've wanted to do - traveling, writing poetry and songs again, gourmet cooking, playing the guitar, reading more, learning more, finding more and living a more productive life than I ever dreamed possible because I no longer had to set me aside. It's been my time to shine and I do! I've learned what's really important in my life and thrown all the petty stuff away and I've created a me that I really love. And I've found that I really am a beautiful person with a loving soul and a huge heart, the kind of person I would want to have a relationship with, like a butterfly spreading its wings and learning to fly, fly, fly! No longer do I look in the mirror and see a frightened, insecure, shy little bug but a beautiful, confident masterpiece because I've found the inner beauty that only someone who truly loves us can see.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We got back late last night from our trip to Vegas and all in all had a wonderful time. My son announced it our best vacation yet!

Our first night we attended the TOURNAMENT OF KINGS at the Excalibur. A full 1-1/2 hour dinner show where you eat with no utensils (sorry, I just couldn't eat the cooked broccoli with my hands), the tournament was fun and exciting. The audience is divided by countries and each country is represented by a competitor in a number of games including a horse race, a jousting match and sword fighting. We sat in the middle as supporters of the rowdy and ornery Czar of Russia, and the show was amazing and the food excellent!

Whether you're a Star Trek fan or not you don't want to miss the STAR TREK EXPERIENCE at the Hilton. Tickets are good for the entire day and believe me, we spent most of Saturday there strolling through the amazing "History of the Future" exhibit, which displays Star Trek props, weaponry and spacecraft and an amazing historical and futuristic timeline that includes the Star Trek characters from all the shows. There are also souvenier photos you can purchase (my son was photographed in the ultra-cool Borg Regeneration Chamber) and two amazing rides: On the BORG Invasion 4D, as unsuspecting visitors tour a research facility, they are attacked by the BORG, who try to capture and assimilate them, and on the Klingon Encounter visitors are "accidentally" beamed onto the Starship Enterprise, just as it is being attacked by several Klingon warships. In an effort to escape, visitors hurry to a shuttle bay, where they board a 27-car shuttle and attempt to make their way home. My son and I both agreed this was the best and most fun experience of our trip and the number 1 reason we will be returning next spring.

Sunday evening was spent at the famous BELLAGIO FOUNTAIN. Using a dramatic combination of music, water and light, the Bellagio fountain was one of the highlights of our trip. The fountain plays every 15 minutes after 8:00 so we were there from 8:00 to 10:00. The range of movement across the lake is varied; some of the movement is continuous, responding to the smooth passages of music, while other water jets are rapidly pulsing, reaching heights as high as 240 feet. I sang along to my fave Elton John song, "Your Song," but there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd as everyone sang along with "I'm Proud to be an American." My son and I were both moved and struck with the beauty of the fountain.

Thumbs up also to HOUSE OF BLUES (co-founded by one of my faves, Dan Ackroyd) for a great mix of terrific music and excellent food (we recommend the Elwood with sweet potato fries and the Grilled Steak sandwich, oh yum!!), the KING TUT EXHIBIT at the Luxor, the LION SANCTUARY at MGM (the 2 lion cubs were both beautiful and adorable!) and the ADVENTUREDOME at Circus Circus, an indoor amusement park. If you love water rides and roller coasters it's not to be missed!

The big went to THE INDOOR GONDOLA RIDE AT THE VENETIAN. This was something we both wanted to do. Unfortunately it's impossible if you're limited on time. First you have to walk completely through the building to get to the first line to buy tickets then you go to another line to actually experience the ride, which it turns out just goes through the bottom floor and back. The ticket line was a good one hour wait as there were already about 80 people ahead of us and then the ride line was another two hour wait. Another disappointment was THE SIRENS OF TREASURE ISLAND show. In Greek mythology a siren was a sea nymph, half woman and half bird, who lured sailors to shipwreck along rocky coasts with her irresistible singing, before devouring them. There were several mythology buffs like myself present and most of them loudly voiced their objections to the show, where the "sirens" were dressed in bras and thongs and rope dancing (they didn't have poles). Let's just say, I'm no prude but I sure felt uncomfortable standing there with my 15 year old son. Needless to say a large part of the crowd didn't stay for the entire show.

We both agreed that next spring we will be returning to Vegas to see what we didn't have time for this trip and to revisit the faves we enjoyed so much this time around. And I have to say my son, who I love so much, was the perfect gentleman and as always the perfect date. The only other time I had been to Vegas was with my ex boyfriend and it was a disaster, so now my son and I have great memories of a great trip!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Viva Las Vegas!

Yes we're going on a mini-vacation! Look out Las Vegas! It's been a while since my son and I have gone anywhere so we're really looking forward to a few days off. Sometimes you just need to get away, you know?

Anyway, we're arriving in LV tomorrow morning about 8:30 and will be back Monday night. There's so much to see and do if your a non-gambler like me (sorry, I work too hard to blow it gambling). The Star Trek Experience at the Hilton is at the top of our list. Now neither one of us is a Trekkie but my brother goes there every time he's in LV and my son has been watching Star Trek all week to get prepared. I've been to a couple of Trekkie conventions with my brother so maybe will see some vulcans! Love the ears! The House of Blues has an evening dinner show on Friday and Saturday nights so we plan to hit that. You never know who's going to be playing. Doubt Ringo or Bruce Willis will be there but who knows? That would be so fab!

So we're on our way in the morning. Gotta pack, make our plans and get to bed early tonight. See ya later alligator!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Where the *)^@%*&(^! is Grace?

Ever hear that phrase "growing old with grace? It runs through my mind every time I color my hair.

Now I have long, straight dark hair, almost black. I don't get gray hair. Oh no, not me. I get white, curly hair. Now I know I should just accept it but when the light hits it its blinding. Honestly, I tell people to put on their shades before they look at me, yes it's that bad. My friend Sarah told me where she comes from they believe when your hair gets gray it's because you're aging but when it turns white it's because your children love you. A load of crap if you ask me, but if it's true then my son must love me a lot! Sarah also said that the hair is curly because it's like little hugs all over my head. I'm pretty sure she made that up.

Anyway, tonight I decided it was once again time to color my hair. All the women in my family have red hair - my mom, my sisters, all my nieces and most of my cousins - so of course I'm the rebellious one and always go brown. I'm really pale and I like the way it makes me look kind of sinister. First rinsing my hair, of course that's the easy part. Then shaking the color in the tube. No problem - I've mastered that step too. Applying it to my hair without making a mess - well let's just say most of it made its way to my head, along with the back of the sink, the faucet, the floor, the throw rug, the back of the toilet, the window sill. You name it and that's where it goes. At least I closed the door first. Then because I have so much hair (which is cool since everyone else in my family is going bald) I put a shower cap over it and keep it on for 20 minutes. Then jump in the shower and rinse it all out (of course it splattered all over the walls of the shower, at least the shower head moves so I can rinse it off). Then I'm exhausted.

OK, I know a lot of women color their hair. A lot of women go to a salon and have it done. But for some reason I have to be and do it at home. It's something I dread every time because I make such a mess. Is it vanity? Oh no! It's another why I help make the world better for the people around me because they don't have to worry about their retinas burning.

Between this ordeal, the side shifting down the stairs in the morning, the cracking of my knees when I sit down the first time in the morning I have to ask "Who's Grace and does anyone know her email?"

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Quiz: What Color is Your Psyche?

Your Psyche is Red

You are bright, bold, energetic, and intense. Your upbeat, zany energy inspires those who are down. Spontaneous and playful, you also have a courageous and fearless side. When you are too red you are angry, overprotective, and truly scary. When you don't have enough red you are depleted and lifeless.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rockin' Girl Blogger Award

My friend Linda, who doesn't own a blog but has managed to follow me through all mine sent me this "Rockin' Girl Blogger" Award with instructions to forward it to women bloggers I think rock. So here they are:

Rosei at Timeless Thoughts
Heidi at VirusHead
Susan at Friday's Child
Ginger at Ginger's Dish
Mellow Yellow

Congratulations ladies! I think you're the best!

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Morning Glory: Ode to Coffee

~ by me ~

You call to me sweetly before the sun rises
Before the birds sing
When all is quiet in the dawning day
Your warmth is sweet poetry to my soul
A lullaby in my heart
Awakening me from sleep
A cup of golden sunshine
Sweeter than honeysuckle
And more enchanting than a donut hole.
Decaf anyone
Oh no, not for me.
A little dab of sugar
A bit of cream
My day is promising
And all is right in the world.

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Coffee Wisdom and Prose

Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven. ~Jessi Lane Adams

Caffeine isn't a drug, it's a vitamin! ~Author Unknown

Way too much coffee. But if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever. ~David Letterman

Black as the devil, Hot as hell,
Pure as an angel, Sweet as love.
~Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord

Be a coffee-drinking individual - espresso yourself! ~Author Unknown

Man does not live by coffee alone. Have a danish. ~Author Unknown

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world. ~Author Unknown

Everybody should believe in something. I believe I'll have another coffee. ~Author Unknown

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
~Author Unknown

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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Live Earth: The Concerts For A Climate In Crisis

After what seemed a lifetime the Live Earth concerts were finally held today and I must say all and all well worth the wait. My son and I watched it on the Sundance Channel (of course) and rocked out! Of course some of our faves were there as great as ever - John Mayer, FooFighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, even Cat Stevens - and we heard some new faves like James Blunt, Blues Nation and K.T. Tunstall. We missed Madonna and unfortunately did see The Police (sorry, but I've just never been a fan).

Will Live Earth get the message out and start a revolution? Al Gore et al are certainly off to a good start. The concerts, many powered with renewable energy and featuring recyclable stages, were carried by 120 television networks around the world and streamed live on the Internet. By 0200 GMT some 150,000 persons had pledged to decrease their use of fossil fuels, according to the Live Earth website. Over 2 billion people worldwide tuned in and Live Earth has broken the record for most downloaded entertainment event ever with more than 9 million internet streams.

The proceeds from the Live Earth concerts will create the foundation for a new, multi-year global effort to combat the climate crisis led by the Alliance for Climate Protection and its Chair, former Vice President Al Gore. If Live Earth proves nothing else it shows Al Gore is someone to reckon with politically and there is still power in music and in our voices.

And, as Leonardo DiCaprio said, "Our actions from this day forward will help determine just what sort of future we pass on to our children and to their children. As we all face this together, we cannot afford to fail those future generations, or to fail ourselves. What once seemed like science fiction is now an inconvenient, if undeniable, truth."

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Live Earth Most Impressive Band: Nunatak

Nunatak (a Greenlandic word): An exposed summit of a ridge mountain or peak (not covered with snow) within an ice field or glacier.

Nunatak is the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station’s house band. The five person indie rock band is part of a science team investigating climate change and evolutional biology on the Antarctic Peninsula – a region where temperatures have risen by nearly 3°C during the last 50 years.

From April to October - the Antarctic winter - planes can’t fly in because of the cold – the frozen sea keeps ships out. Physically isolated from the rest of the world, the 22 wintering team share their talent and creativity with one another. But now Nunatak has been part of the planet’s coolest gig -- Live Earth.

Tris Thorne is a communications engineer and manages the satellite technology and IT that ensures that Rothera Research Station stays connected to the outside world. Matt Balmer is an electronics engineer with the physics and meteorology team. Alison Massey is a marine biologist who investigates how the rich marine life around the Antarctic Peninsula is responding to rapid climate change. Rob Webster is a meteorologist making meteorological observations that will help scientists world-wide understand climate change. Roger Stilwell is a field general assistant (polar guide) who uses his mountaineering skills to keep science field parties safe.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

50 Ways to Promote Peace

1. Be a media guerilla. Use e-mail, fax, photocopies, and newsletters to broadcast the message of peace. Spread empowering information.

2. Attend a peace rally. Check out United For Peace & Justice or to find out about marches for peace around the country.

3. Host a peace speaker at an event in your community or at your workplace.

4. Get to know your neighbors. It’s hard to reclaim peace without a sense of community.

5. Make friends with someone of another race, ethnicity, age, ability, or sexual orientation. Appreciating and embracing diversity helps to promote peace.

6. Take an adventure to neighborhoods of your town or country that are ethnically focused to appreciate diverse cultures. Cross-cultural understanding is key to building peace.

7. Travel to learn. Get first-hand experience in how things happen in other places and bring home questions about how you do things at home.

8. Drive with patience and tolerance. Keep the peace on our streets and highways.

9. Listen more. Really listen, without giving unsolicited advice. The validation of being heard is often more important than solving the problem.

10. Learn to say I’m sorry. Learn to mean it. Learn when to say it and use it. These two simple words can prevent violence and save relationships.

11. Be helpful. Random acts of kindness can create more peaceful communities.

12. Spend time with a youngster. This can often remind us of the meaning of a peaceful world.

13. Practice the art of patience. Be careful not to rush to judgment or action.

14. Start peace conversations. Talking peace, and listening, are critical for a vibrant democracy.

15. Involve yourself in community parent workshops and family groups that help parents protect, nurture, and support their children.

16. Peace begins at home. Monitor, nurture, support, and involve your children and family in keeping peace.

17. Explore your prejudices. Find out what’s behind them, how they started, & how they influence your thoughts and actions.

18. Write a peace song. Peace songs are great tools for organizing and inspiring people.

19. Use music, art, stories, and drama to explore themes of peace and nonviolence.

20. Broadcast a peace message using a peace flag, poster, badge, t-shirt, or bumper sticker.

21. If you own a gun, keep it unloaded and locked up. Store the bullets in a separate place and hide the key safely away from children.

22. Find your own inner peace. Set aside a few minutes or more each day of quiet, peaceful time.

23. Join a study circle. Self-education is a fast track to empowerment toward peace.

24. Attend an educational series on non-violence. Look up peace & justice organizations in your state at United For Peace & Justice and call them for information on educational series.

25. Stay tuned to what’s going on in the world through newsletters, periodicals, newspapers, radio, TV, and online.

26. Educate yourself about the violence threatening kids in your community and nationwide. Help bring safety and peace to kids at Children’s Defense Fund and End Abuse.

27. Learn another language. Being able to communicate in a foreign language helps you participate in diverse cultures.

28. Help bring peace to the environment by reducing your carbon load emissions. Learn what you can do at our global warming campaign site at

29. Learn how to fight fairly. Fight to resolve differences, not to win.

30. Register people to vote. One reason the political game’s gone sour is that too few of us play. Find out more at Rock The Vote or Project Vote Smart.

31. Become a volunteer on a peace project. Check out Peace Brigades International, Seeds of Peace, and the Peace Corps.

32. Volunteer at your local battered women’s shelter. Learn about the importance of non-violent conflict resolution.

33. Sign-up as a member of a peace organization like Global Exchange, United For Peace & Justice, or Peace Response.

34. Call a radio talk show. The good ones are often the town meetings of the airwaves.

35. Write letters and articles in support of peace and non-violence to the editors of your local media. Published, they can change minds, and even unpublished they can impact the media.

36. Sign a peace pledge. A good place to start is

37. Adopt a politician. Write a monthly letter to your Representative, Senator, or President on peace-related issues.

38. Take social action to support specific legislative peace initiatives. Try the Waging Peace site to get started.

39. Vote. Voting is your hard-earned right and your official voice. For information about the democratic voting process, visit the Federal Election Commission or the Center for Voting and Democracy.

40. Support organizations and/or campaigns that fight for basic human rights for all people. Social justice promotes peace. For a start, visit Global Exchange or Amnesty International.

41. Run for elective office. Be a voice for non-violent conflict resolution, reasoned sanity, and balance.

42. Learn about nuclear weapons from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Sign an appeal to end the nuclear threat. Visit the Nuclear Threat Reduction Campaign and

43. Take part in online advocacy for peace. Some good sites to get started are 20/20 Vision and The Interfaith Alliance.

44. Write to your own government; write to a foreign government. Let them know you care about what they do and hold them to the same standards for peaceful conflict resolution.

45. Call your City Council and attend the next meeting. It’s often through the strength of a group that changes are made and community is built.

46. Encourage peace projects for school classrooms. You can find some great ideas at and UNESCO.

47. Teach young people skills for non-violent conflict resolution. Learn about some great strategies from the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program or for teachers, classrooms, parents, and students.

48. Teach young people about peace. Let your behavior reflect the values you want them to espouse.

49. Support your community’s efforts to create jobs and training opportunities for kids that help them become productive, contributing adults.

50. Dig deep. Oftentimes, reaching peaceful resolution means understanding what’s at the root of a problem rather than what’s most apparent on the surface.

From the Ben and Jerry's website -- and you thought they just made great ice cream!

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Words of Wisdom: Life Quotes

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars. " ~Henry Van Dyke

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower." ~Hans Christian Anderson

"The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth." ~Chinese Proverb

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life." ~Albert Camus

"We should give meaning to life, not wait for life to give us meaning." ~Stacy

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Sunday, July 1, 2007

Quiz: Inside the Room of Your Soul

What Your Soul Really Looks Like

You are a warm hearted and open minded person. It's easy for you to forgive and forget. You are a grounded person, but you also leave room for imagination and dreams. Your feet may be on the ground, but you're head is in the clouds. You see yourself with pretty objective eyes. How you view yourself is almost exactly how other people view you. Your near future is likely to be filled with great successes and accomplishments. You just need to figure out how to get there. For you, love is all about caring and comfort. You couldn't fall in love with someone you didn't trust.

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