What's going on here?
The more I do good, the better I feel about myself. Truly, to benefit others is to benefit yourself. I hope this journal may inspire others who also yearn to do good. So join me on this journey, if you will, and think about the difference you can make in your own life.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Was it worth it? Absolutely. It made me happier each day to know I'd done my part. My favorite deeds were serving food to the homeless at House of Charity, organizing the Genocide Prevention Ritual, and of course my signature deed: picking up trash.
So am I giving up daily deeds? No way. This blog is done, but the deeds go on.
Thank you to those who gave me support this year!
To browse this blog, search using the LABELS menu in the right-hand column below. Check out the "essays", "poetry", and "prayers" labels for special features on Martin Luther King Day, Darfur, the Iran controversy, Obama's inauguration, and more.
ONE GOOD DEED: Get food without the bag, thus saving paper.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I got to go to the Thanksgiving of the family of my girlfriend R today. They are such an easygoing bunch! It was a nice change from the awkward tensions of my own family. I was deeply greatful that I could share the holiday with them.
ONE GOOD DEED: Bring apple cider for R's family.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
My girlfriend R was going through an emotional rough patch tonight. She was frustrated with herself, and it was difficult for her to communicate what she felt. I just listened and offered the best responses I could. It made me sad to see her in pain. I wanted to just fix all her problems for her, but I also knew that wouldn't help. All I could do is support her in her own struggles.
ONE GOOD DEED: Listen to and be there for R in a tough time.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
I love Thanksgiving. You just get to see people and enjoy food without all the pressure of giving and getting gifts. This year, my girlfriend R came to my family's Thanksgiving. Grandma and everybody were very welcoming of her.
I brought one of my favorite recipes: apple cider made by wrapping ingredients (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, orange peel, etc.) in a cheese cloth and letting them infuse the juice with spicy goodness.
ONE GOOD DEED: Bring apple cider for everybody at Thanksgiving.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
While at Wellstone I got in good with the teachers, and now they are starting to give me substitute teaching assignments. I'll do my second assignment next week. And I get paid!
ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at Wellstone International.
Monday, November 23, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Donate to the Children's Hospital.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Today too. Trash all the way.
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Bake R cookies while she's home with the flu.
Friday, November 13, 2009
On the other hand, the few advanced students I worked with in the Japanese class were outstanding. They wanted to learn, and brought enthusiasm and humor to the table. They even made me a goodbye card, which I was not expecting at all. I never thought I'd miss Anwatin, but I'm going to miss those Japanese students at least.
ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at Anwatin Middle School.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So the guy shows up for class today and... oops! looks like he needs to join some pair as a third wheel. I have to admit I wasn't actually planning on inviting him to join our pair. My partner did. Now that he did though, I don't regret it. And it feels like a good deed after all.
ONE GOOD DEED: Let the guy who nobody wants to partner with join our group.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I have also resolved to complete 365 days of good deeds and then discontinue publicly posting. I will continue the deeds but posting has become a bit of a chore. The web site will remain, though.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Support R at her show and invite my cousin R as well.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Everyone came in costume. R and I did our falcon and falconer duo again. We met another couple who were dressed as Luigi and Princess Peach. The Luigi guy had this big bushy mustache, and the main reason I started talking to them was so I could ask if his mustache was real! It was.
ONE GOOD DEED: Compliment "Luigi" on his fantastic natural mustache!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Recycle the junk mail other people threw on the floor.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Practice compassionate listening with R.
Friday, October 23, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer teach at Anwatin Middle School.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Introduce my student to his accidental namesake.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
When she showed me the project, I was blown away. It was both absurd and beautiful. She had carefully studied the stationary in a high school supplies closet and composed booklets and animations conveying the seemingly dry, boring contents of the closet. I don't know how she did it, but she made it come to life! A supplies closet--actually interesting! Who thinks to pay attention to supplies, much less the beauty of supplies? She had diagrams and illustrations and detailed text entries on everything from staplers to push pins. It was an absurdist dream, a real breath of fresh air.
I expressed how impressed I was. It seems like it shouldn't count as a good deed because I really was impressed, and I wasn't trying to do good. But her face lit up and I could tell it made her feel good to get such positive feedback.
ONE GOOD DEED: Gush over the creativity of R's art project.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash around campus after the exam.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
On the way back we visited my aunt and uncle, who live up there. Their daughter was just finishing up work and needed a lift home, so we volunteered to do it. It gave us a good opportunity to talk to E alone in the car.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my cousin E a ride home from work.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
When we got to Ely, we meandered around the town for a bit. R dashed into a nick nack shop and found a cute little porcelain bird. Later, after exploring the rest of the shop, she came back to buy it, only to find it was already sold! Who could have bought it?
ONE GOOD DEED: Buy a porcelain bird for R.
Friday, October 16, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at a food center for the homeless and chemically dependent.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The other volunteers today were doing community service for minor offenses. I talked to a number of folks and heard their hard-times stories of mistakes they made in the past. I particularly enjoyed listening to W, who served time as an accomplice to murder, and now volunteers as a way to give back to the community.
ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer at a food center for the homeless and chemically dependent.
My cousin R has been down on his luck for some time now. He helped me with my car engine a bit yesterday, so in return I treated him to dinner and then a movie he wanted to see. I was indifferent toward it but he was really excited. We saw It Might Get Loud, a rockumentary about three guitarists: Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), the Edge (U2), and Jack White (The White Stripes). It consisted largely of their dry, off-hand comments, mixed with a few stories of how they developed their unique sounds. There were a few interesting parts for me. As a writer, I could identify with some details of their creative process. For example, Jimmy Page mentioned how he knew there was a threshold to volume, so he focused on trying to get more sustain out of his guitar. It may seem like a tiny little detail that no one would notice or care that much about, but he cared and he put his heart and soul into it. I feel that way with much of my spiritual writing, pushing the boundaries of seemingly insignificant nuances that actually mean the world to you. So, long story short, I came away with a few nuggets to think about. My cousin, on the other hand, who is a musician himself, was totally blown away by the movie. Music buffs go see it.
By the way-- yes, my cousin R and my girlfriend R are two different people (just in case the pronouns weren't enough to tip you off!).
ONE GOOD DEED: Treat my cousin R to a movie.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Look past appearances to be courteous and kind to a stranger.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give and receive in a relaxed flow of mutual good deeds with R.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
But we made syrup together instead.
ONE GOOD DEED: Bond with my girlfriend's ex-lover instead of getting into a fight.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give all of myself over in a wonderful night with my girlfriend.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I decided to go for a casual night out with Rh, and snuck R's name into the first conversation-- to make clear that I was in a relationship and not looking to rekindle anything. After that, the night went smooth--just friends.
The good deed in the situation was finding a way to avoid hurting anybody's feelings. R, knowing that Rh just wanted to be friends, didn't have to feel threatened. Rh, knowing about R, got a clear message and didn't have to feel snubbed. And I feel comfortable now too.
Yikes, some good deeds are complicated.
ONE GOOD DEED: Find a way for both my current girlfriend and ex-girlfriend to be feel at ease with the current situation.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Help R get her car back to her parents' place.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
The book was Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give R the book I found in the rain.
Friday, October 2, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my uncle a ride home after his back surgery.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Clean up a litter--a novel--from the sidewalk.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Not exactly like the story of Cinderella and the glass slipper, but R fit the toe socks just the same.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give R a pair of toe socks.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Volunteer an audio essay to the Tribeways podcast.
Monday, September 28, 2009
That's when a guy near me asked if I was going to use my pass.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my transit pass to someone who could use it.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
My cousin R has a boy who's half-Jewish and will soon start Torah-Talmud school. When I unearthed an old set of wooden tile Hebrew alphabet letters I'd engraved years ago, I wondered if he might like them.
I also found a Japanese toy called a kendama, which consists of a ball on a string tied to hand-held stick with several plates and pegs. The goal is to get the ball to land on the plates and pegs.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give cousin R's boy a set of Hebrew alphabet tiles and a Japanese kendama.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Have a bouquet of flowers delivered to R at work.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Her bike tire had blown on the way to the Reserve Teacher Orientation in Northeast Minneapolis today, and she had to hail a cab to get there. I was happy to reply to her anxiously implore.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give a fellow prospective teacher a ride home from the orientation.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The double Oscar-winning Japanese movie Okuribito (Departures) will be showing for free at the Nolte Center in Minneapolis. Boy was my Japanophile friend psyched to hear it.
ONE GOOD DEED: Tell my friend P about the free showing of Okuribito.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash on the way home from shopping.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Help my second cousins learn to get along.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Become a member of Amnesty International to work toward their membership goal of one million, which number will be used to lobby for human rights in Congress.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash around Uptown and Loring Park.
Monday, September 14, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Become a volunteer at Wellstone International High School.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Help an old lady find the spoons at Savers.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my cousin magnets with Akira Kurosawa movie paintings on them.
Monday, September 7, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give away a turkey leg to a stranger.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give wine to the hosts of the party.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Buy Mountain Dew for my brother's birthday.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Buy dessert for my grandparents.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Let someone else use the outlet at the coffee shop instead of me.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Clean grandma's cupboard handles.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Say thank you to my uncle and grandma with a gift of cream puffs.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Let the next guy in line go before me at the DMV.
Monday, August 24, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Walk my relative through the online process to check-in and print out his boarding pass.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
On the way to my cousin's place, I got a flat tire on the freeway and he came to help me change it. Naturally, that night's dinner was on me.
ONE GOOD DEED: Buy sushi for my cousin.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Support my local meditation center with a donation.
Friday, August 21, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Help grandma make dinner.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash in the parking lots of Minnetonka.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash in downtown Minneapolis
Sunday, August 16, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash in Battle Creek Park.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Take my grandma out bowling.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Help my paraplegic uncle with his camera.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my friend in Tokyo all my Oak Leaves magazines.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Today I am visiting my Japanese teacher in Eniwa one last time before flying from New Chitose Airport tomorrow. I gave her a rare kind of melon called an ivory melon, which is only grown in my town and a handful of other places in Japan, and can only be found in this season.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my teacher an ivory melon from Obira.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my successor a computer for free.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Donate a book to the local library.
Monday, August 3, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Clean and beautify the apartment for the next person.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give M a signboard as a parting gift
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Recycle the camp's PET caps for charity--goes toward medicine for children in developing nations.
Friday, July 24, 2009
SIX DAYS OF GOOD DEEDS: Volunteer at an English camp.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give away parting gifts to my students.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash between bars while hitting the nightlife.
Monday, July 20, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Draw my friends' faces as a parting gift.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Collect PET bottle caps from a trash bin outside a convenience store.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Draw my friend's portrait.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Support the kindergarten by spending money at its summer fundraiser.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give English books to the kindergarten library as a parting gift.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Wendy writes: "I'm recommending people do a "give up coffee for one day for Ellie" (and donate their Starbucks money for that day) or "cook dinner for Ellie" (invite 10 friends over for a meal and everyone chip in $5 for an Ellie donation). Just little things. We're all about the budget philanthropy over at Spread Change! Anything you can do to help would be great!"
ONE GOOD DEED: Spread the word about a friend's fundraiser, and donate.
Monday, July 6, 2009
I have always found Israel's policy toward Palestinians loathesome, at least as much as the terrorist response it has inspired. Yet the question of U.S. censure of Israeli excess is a tricky one. Israel is our ally, it is a foothold in a region crucial to our energy needs, and it commands sympathy from many U.S. voters. Furthermore, it is doing nothing that we did not do in our nation's expansionist history. To do anything but support Israel would be a strategic blunder. To turn our back on them would be unthinkable--except for the tiny fact that it may be the right thing to do.
Realistically, due to the delicate nature of the situation, our president can only censure Israel in small ways. Perhaps this aid ship situation may be an opportunity to show America's growing disgust with Israeli aggression.
You can sign a petition requesting that the Obama administration demand the ship be released and its mission continued.
ONE GOOD DEED: Sign a petition for the release of the Gaza aid ship the Spirit of Humanity.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
With much pain and whining, I picked out the ones I didn't absolutely need. This ought to double the number of English-language books at the local library!
ONE GOOD DEED: Give books to the library.
Friday, July 3, 2009
The Congo Conflict Minerals Act is a senate bill that fights such trade. Among other things, it proposes that the US military publish a map of armed groups in mineral-rich areas of the Congo. This would make it easier for industries to avoid conflict minerals and trade only in those unstained by blood.
The bill includes the following measures:
· support for further investigations by the UN Group of Experts on Congo;
· mapping of which armed groups control key mines in eastern Congo;
· development of a U.S. government strategy to address conflict minerals;
· inclusion of information on the negative impact of mineral exploitation and trade on human rights in Congo in the annual human rights reports; and,
· guidance for companies to exercise due diligence. (quoted from here)
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
And what better way to acknowledge this tiny miracle than to clean up the area a little?
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up PET bottles near the seashore.
Celestia is a program that allows you to explore the universe in gorgeous detail. You can fly anywhere, at any speed and at any time in history. The cosmos is rendered according to highly accurate astronomical theory, and planets appear in high resolution. Imagery from Celestia has been used in movies such as the Day After Tomorrow and the Andromeda Strain. Best of all, it is available for download for your home PC, absolutely free.
Let's take a moment to unpack the historical significance of a program such as this...
There was an age when this sort of information was sacred. Access to it was kept secret. Astronomical numerology shows up in the Vedas, Mesopotamian texts, and the king lists of the Old Testament. These texts functioned in part to transmit the sacred knowledge required to decipher the motions of heavenly bodies. Later philosophers were awestruck by planetary motion, which they called the music of the spheres. Now, in the age of computers and the Internet, you can download it in a few seconds, poke around with your little mouse cursor, and go "huh." You don't even have to pay for it. No previous generation has ever had such an opportunity. What's more, if peak oil theorists are right about the impact of declining energy availability, future generations might not have this opportunity either. The Internet and personal computers may become too expensive for the average person, leaving our children to once again gaze up at the starry sky and wonder what makes it all go round.
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for Celestia, an educational astronomy program.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash near the kindergarten.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give Minnesota wild rice to a co-worker who'd never seen such a thing before.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Like many I am following the Iran election controversy. I don't doubt that the election could have been rigged, and my heart goes out to the protesters suffering and in some cases dying for what they believe in.
At the same time, I am noticing an extreme bias in certain US reporting. For example, the NY Times has been giving the story massive coverage. It has headlined multiple stories almost every day since the election results were reported (ten days!). This is far out of proportion to coverage we normally see of similar events in countries that are not so strategically critical to our foreign policy. It doesn't take a professional analyst to realize that there is a connection to America's current delicate, potentially explosive, stance toward nuclear Iran. Nor is it arcane that Iran is a key player in the theater of our wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And perhaps most importantly, it's no secret that the idea of democracy in a Muslim nation tugs at American heartstrings, and can be used to push our buttons.
It's natural that the media should prefer stories that interest the public, so some disproportion in coverage is to be expected. But what's going on right now is disproportionate enough to raise the question of agenda. It was not long ago that we were fed the "Saddam is genociding the Kurds" story, followed by the "our military isn't ready" story, and the "weapons of mass destruction" hoax. And let's not forget that during that same period our very own nation saw an election which was every bit as questionable as the current one in Iran.
Please note that just because the headlines hide an agenda, it doesn't mean they aren't true. Saddam was a bad guy, a really bad guy, and the Kurds did suffer. But those true facts were falsely used to pump us up for wars, actions with motivations other than "good vs. evil." In the same way, Ahmadinejad may be worth questioning. The election results may be worth questioning. And our moral outrage may be required. But we do not have to be dupes about it. If we keep our collective cool and look at this rationally, we'll be much more likely to make wise decisions in the future.
Please also note that the presence of agenda does not necessarily validate conspiracy theories! The public is quite capable of hypnotizing itself, through nothing more than "herd culture" behavior, without anyone directing the panic from behind a curtain. Presidents and other leaders may bear particular responsibility, but ultimately we can only point fingers at ourselves. It's up to us, the public, to grant or withhold assent.
It is particularly difficult to keep our cool when outrage is or appears to be justified. But even when such is justified, uncritical reactions never lead to a happy ending.
So, please, as you follow this story, don't let the headlines hypnotize you. We are only effective when we keep both our hearts and our heads in the game!
P.S. One way to take the brainwashing machine off spin cycle is to compare headlines with foreign newspapers. Check out BBC News, Moscow Times, China Daily, and the like. Look specifically for newspapers with different foreign policy agendas and views contrary to your own. Don't trust any one newspaper over another, but observe overall trends that emerge.
See the following post for the essay.
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for critical thinking in a time of public outrage.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Organize a farwell party for all the foreign teachers leaving soon.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
I have posted numerous times on the Darfur situation, and since then I've learned a fair amount about it. One thing I've learned is that US military intervention could very well prove counterproductive. The Save Darfur Coalition tends to include a military option within its purview of potential actions, so you have to be careful about what letters you support. This one bears no military language and pursues helpful and necessary goals.
By the way, please do not trust my judgments about the viability of military action. Read up, and make your own decisions.
ONE GOOD DEED: Send a letter asking to Obama to reveal his Darfur peace plan.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Get a neighbor to donate her PET bottle caps!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The caretaker of the shrine invited me to a special dinner table inside it, and taught me about its various sacred objects (showing me as much as could be shown without violating taboos).
ONE GOOD DEED: Support my local shrine by participating in its annual festival.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Give mushroom tea to a sick neighbor.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Talk to an old lady that always rides the same Thursday bus.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Invisible Children, which emerged from the above documentary film, educates people about the effects of war on children, and grants scholarships to children in Uganda without enough money to finish secondary school.
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for Invisible Children on Facebook.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
The Come Clean 4 Congo video contest aims to raise awareness for how electronics fuel the deadliest war in the world. Tin, tungsten, and tantalum are mined in the Congo, and those revenues directly fund a war that has claimed 5 million lives, forced children into military service, and inflicted hundreds of thousands of rapes.
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for the Congo.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Monday, June 1, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Today there was a festival in my town, and the brass band from Onishika Junior High played. One member, the trumpet player, is particularly good. Everyone is always amazed. But today he completely choked. Afterward, I saw he was almost ready to cry.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give my student a pep talk -- everyone makes mistakes.
Friday, May 29, 2009
On my way home from Rumoi I noticed an elderly lady from my town waiting at a bus stop. She's a rather eccentric one, wearing kimonos everyday rather than for special occasions, so she's hard to miss. She's also a devoted member of the community, always helping out in school and town events.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give an elderly lady a ride home.
Walking home from work, I happened upon a lone photograph lying in the side walk. It had writing on the back like it was meant for somebody. "Oh great, I'll deliver this and that'll be my good deed!" I thought. I picked up and what do you suppose it was? A picture of a fat, hairy condom-covered cock! The writing on the back was to some girl, commenting on how to use spermicidal jelly. "Yikes!" I thought. "Somebody really does not want this floating around." I tore it up, and that was my good deed.
ONE GOOD DEED: Get rid of someone's very embarrassing lost photo.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
...which is better than saying "regift it." Why do people look down on regifting? It's a great way to spread the love. If you get something you can't use, why not give it to someone who can? It's economical and redoubles the joy of giving.
ONE GOOD DEED: Give coffee cake and foot massager I got from my friend's wedding to a neighbor who wasn't able to go.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Support my student by attending her wedding reception and giving the traditional monetary gift.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
It's become clear that the Bashir regime is not committed to peace—and that peace is dependent on President Obama's leadership.
That's why 41,938 people have already signed our citizen open letter and sent it to President Obama, and why Darfuris from across the country will march in front of the White House Friday and call on the Obama administration to act.
If we can get to 50,000 signatures by midnight tonight, we'll bring copies of the letters with us to the White House. Don't delay!
In the last two weeks, the Sudanese government prevented Darfuri delegates from traveling to a peace conference in Ethiopia, and appointed a man wanted for war crimes in Darfur as the governor of South Kordofan, a critical border region between North and South Sudan.
And Bashir's regime has yet to make good on promises of unfettered access for humanitarian groups to provide clean water, sanitation and essential health care services.
But our movement is refusing to be silent. Actress and activist Mia Farrow stoically undertook a 12-day fast in support of the people of Darfur. Richard Branson, Peter Gabriel, Representatives Donald Payne and Ilena Ros-Lehtinen, and hundreds of people worldwide carried on when her health forced her to stop the fast.
On Tuesday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus announced they are joining the fast in support of the people of Darfur. And on Friday, Darfuris and Sudanese from across the United States will march in front of the White House and call for action.
These courageous actions are bringing awareness of the crisis to millions. Now, it's up to us to transform that awareness into a powerful message for the White House: we need bold action now.
Thank you for all that you do.
Save Darfur Coalition
P.S. For more about Mia Farrow and the committed Darfur activists and members of Congress joining her fast, click here.
Donate to Help Save Darfur
Help build the political pressure needed to end the crisis in Darfur by supporting the Save Darfur Coalition's crucial awareness and advocacy programs. Click here now to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation.
ONE GOOD DEED: Sign an open letter to the president to help Darfur.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for sustainable living on Facebook.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Search, drill, and rape the world's oil fields. Ignore environmental protesters, bribe the Nigerian government, and hire mercenaries against Iraqi insurgents. Oh, and you can the rig the livin' daylight out of elections, too! All from the comfort of your home PC browser.
Play Oligarchy! (and wake up to how this is really happening in our world)
This game was brought to you by Molleindustria, an Italian team devoted to delivering serious messages through games. "Don't hate the media, become the media."
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness for the peak oil crisis by promoting a related browser game.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Pick up trash in Dad's Woods.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
ONE GOOD DEED: Fill out a survey for a university student's project.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Nearly everything in our modern society is based on cheap energy provided by oil. The gasoline in your car, plastics in your computer, petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides in our fields-- the list goes on. The ramifications for society when oil production passes its peak will be vast, and we could face a long period of serious economic hardship. Extreme scenarios even predict wars, famines, and other symptoms of civilization in decline.
Peak Oil Awareness is a facebook group that is waking people up to this problem. Donations through it benefit the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO-USA).
There are many interesting presentations of the issue, including a documentary called A Crude Awakening and a podcast with expert James Kunstler. And while most discussions on the subject are depressing at best, a note of hope can be found in The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil.
ONE GOOD DEED: Raise awareness and donate money toward the problem of peak oil.