Tag Archives: community

Facebook app allows you to compare energy use with your neighbors

From Cyprus Mail (the island in the Mediterranean):

Find out how much electricity you consume compared to your friends, those in your neighbourhood, or even your district with Facebook application ‘Social Electricity’, which uses data from the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) to help people save energy.

 

I love this idea. I’ve always wanted to know how much my neighbor uses, but could you imagine the privacy implications? Opt-in is a must, but I do like bringing in the community element of being green.

What do you think?

 

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Sharing my joy of visiting the farmers market

Through the crowds and into the market a world awaits me. Exotic fruits, luscious vegetables, and peculiar personalities. An uncharted world for one raised on the supermarkets of America. I learn simple things like knowing to smell a melon or mush a peach (but only on top). It is a food education and the market is the classroom.

I forget the real world and act like a kid. I squeeze and smell, question and query, fondle and forage. Nobody yells or gets angry, it’s what you’re supposed to do. The farmer smiles like a proud father just waiting to tell a story. All I have to do is ask the right question, or in most cases the dumb one. How do I eat this?

The answers are always unique and deep. How to pick, prepare, cook, cut, eat, and enjoy.

Every week is a surprise for what I will find. This time it was jalapeño peppers. I thought I knew about them, until I found the pepper farmer. He offers a colloquial description of each variety and I go with the ones that are semi-hot but not really.  At home I cautiously sample one and his description was precise.

This is my food life. A weekly adventure where I dive into the world of food. I become a curious kid encouraged to learn and ask questions. My teachers are the farmers and their friends and family who have devoted their lives to growing food. When I buy their wares I’m supporting that devotion. Something I never felt at the supermarket. This way of life fills my belly and my heart. I am a part of a community. I am connected to the land, to my neighbors, and eating like a king.

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Do you know your baker?

Everyone needs a good baker in their life. Especially, if you live on the farmers market diet, and you’re a guy. For some reason, dudes need, not like, but NEED bread on a regular basis. Maybe it’s the higher muscle mass or something, but (most) girls simply don’t care about bread.

For me, it’s huge, and I have my own baker. His name is Gunther and every week at the market I meet his wife Dawn or their friend Eddie. I have a standing order with them, two croissants and a loaf of their finest, that I pick up every Saturday at my farmers market.

By the way, no one within 50 miles makes a better croissant (trust me, I’ve tried a lot of places). I asked Dawn about this and she told me that Gunther sticks to his European recipes. He likes to make things the right way. In this case, it means the croissant should be flaky and have a crunchy sour/bitterness to it.

She told me that, at first, nobody agreed with him because nobody makes it that way. Then, as he perfected the recipe and they all tried it, they were instantly fans. Me, too, and I think the whole market agrees as well. They sell out every week!

This is one of the best parts about regularly shopping at a farmers market. You get on a first-name basis with your farmers and bakers. You hear their stories and learn about their lives and families, and they learn about yours. It brings back that sense of community that most feel is slowly fading into the past.

It’s simply another benefit of living a low-carbon, farmers market lifestyle. And, if you’re ever in Orange County stop by the market or visit Dawn, Eddie, and Gunther at their shop, the Bread Gallery.

**P.S. — They also make the best sandwich for 50 miles, but that’s for another post

 

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*Enjoy Handplanes turns bodysurfing into art

*Enjoy handplanes set themselves apart in the bodysurfing industry by turning their creations into one-of-a-kind art. It is amazing, the creativity and beauty they put into these little planes, with everything from DIY craft to pure artist illustrations, simple coloring and classic lines.

Of course, one has to mention that all of these handplanes are made from recycled and reused material. They use old, trashed surfboards and environmentally responsible resin for glassing. Definitely a part of the Zero Waste mantra.

Take a look and you might just be tempted to buy one. You can also join the *Enjoy community by visiting their vibrant Facebook group.

 

**All these photos, and more, can be found on the *Enjoy Facebook Photos page

 

 

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Airbnb has biggest night ever – while guests stay on private islands, in castles, & on boats

Last Saturday Airbnb had a pretty amazing night:

 

Not long ago, we told you about the 10 million guest nights booked on our site. Little did we know that our community was just getting warmed up…After a few massive weeks of travel, plus a bit of excitement in London, we saw our biggest night in history take place last Saturday, August 4.

How big? Well, 60,000 people were staying on Airbnb that night. That’s five times the number of guests from August 4, 2011.

 

More than two-thirds of those travelers were from outside the U.S., coming from 174 countries. That’s pretty incredible.

The company put together a few graphics celebrating this feat:

 

 

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Get your Masters (Fine Arts) in Paris – low-residency creative writing program from NYU

This sounds like pure torture…

 

The MFA Writers Workshop in Paris constitutes an intimate creative apprenticeship that extends beyond traditional classroom walls.

Over two years, students and faculty convene regularly in Paris for five intensive ten-day residency periods (held biannually in January and July). While in residency in Paris, students participate in a vibrant community engaged in all aspects of the literary arts, including workshops, craft talks, lectures, individual conferences and manuscript consultations, as well as a diverse series of readings, special events and professional development panels. The city of Paris itself—with its storied literary history and rich cultural attractions—provides an ideal opportunity for students to learn the art and craft of writing, immerse themselves in the creative process, and live the writer’s life.

During the intervals between residencies, students pursue focused courses of study, completing reading and writing assignments under the close supervision of individual faculty members. These ongoing dialogues with faculty are tailored to specific student interests and needs; students are mentored by a different professor each term and work closely with four different writers during the two-year program.

Unlike the traditional MFA, the low-residency program offers both freedom and rigor, and provides a productive and inspiring balance between the intense and stimulating community of each residency and the sustained solitary work completed in the intervals between. Students are expected to complete substantial writing and reading assignments each term, regularly submitting packets of work in exchange for detailed feedback and critique. Graduating students leave the program with four new literary mentors and a portfolio of letters written by acclaimed writers in response to their work.

Tuition (per year): $23,000

Housing: up to the individual – “accommodations in Paris are available in a variety of different neighborhoods, configurations and price points. ”

 

Learn more: NYU Creative Writing - Announcing the New Low-Residency MFA Writers Workshop in Paris

 

 

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Modern world: Bookstores with cafés increase sales – those without decrease

As Independent Booksellers Week gets into full swing, the Booksellers Association has released figures to suggest outlets with cafés are likely to have higher sales than those without.

Figures based on a survey of 40 BA members reveal that bookshops with cafés saw a 3% growth in overall turnover in 2011, whereas those without experienced a decline in sales of 5.2%. Those bookshops with cafés also experienced a 2% hike in their book sales last year, in comparison to those without cafés which had a decrease in book sales of 4%.

“We want customers to celebrate their local bookshop and also we want consumers to vote with their feet and use their local bookshop or risk losing it.  Bookshops are social and cultural hubs and provide far more to communities than books and as such deserve and require strong action to preserve their unique role in British life.”

 

Source: The Bookseller - Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

 

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San Diego Surf Film Festival – beach clean-up and handplane demo

This weekend is the San Diego Surf Film Festival and if you’re attending, you might want to come to this community event.

On Saturday morning (8-10 AM) the festival is hosting a beach clean-up and handplane demo at La Jolla Shores.

There will be coffee, sweet treats, bodysurfing, and a give-away, in addition to the clean-up:

As a community driven event we’re inviting everyone to give a little back to the environment. Join us at La Jolla Shores for a beach clean up as part of the San Diego Surf Film Festival’s events!

The wonderful H2O Trash Patrol will be hosting with us and bringing buckets & trash pickers BUT if you have your own please BringYourOwnBucket!

Pannikin will be providing the coffee, there will be sweet treats from Healthy Creations, and we’ll be there with some Saturday stoke.

We’ll also be giving away four pairs of tickets to the film festival to the biggest trash collectors of the morning.

Look for the SDSFF and H2O Trash Patrol banners and a pop up tent set up on the grass near the north end of the La Jolla Shores parking lot.

The bodysurfing demo will be in association with *enjoy handplanes with all types of handplanes to try out.

Tony Hsieh: Delivering Happiness to Downtown Las Vegas

Beyond the casinos, past the clubs, over the glittering, multi-million dollar hotels that light up the Las Vegas Strip, beat the quiet drums of innovation and progress. Change is afoot.

Las Vegas is on the verge of a renaissance, thanks, in part, to the fantastical vision and persuasive passion of Zappos CEO and Delivering Happiness author, Tony Hsieh.

Credit Marc Burckhardt

What began as a relocation project, moving the online shoe and apparel shop headquarters from its Henderson location to downtown Las Vegas, has blossomed into a revitalization project, breathing new life into an area all too often described as seedy and run-down.

By the end of 2013, Zappos will take over downtown’s old City Hall building, which will receive a major renovation to accommodate 2,000 of its employees (the Henderson office is home to approximately 1,200), and several blocks of surrounding real estate have been procured to round out the “Zappos campus,” serving as a spark plug to the surrounding area.

It’s all part of Hsieh’s vision to make downtown Las Vegas a vital community — attracting families, urban dwellers, and business owners — to not only visit, but to live and thrive, with art galleries, yoga studios, coffee shops, book stores, sporting events and charter schools.

Hsieh is investing $350 million into the Downtown Project, with $200 million in real estate development, including residential, $50 million for small business investment, $50 million for education, and $50 million for start-up investments, in companies who are already in Las Vegas or are willing to relocate to downtown.

The start-up investment is a ripe opportunity for seedling companies looking for the right environment to get off the ground. Besides providing a lower cost of living, compared to many start-up hubs, the Downtown Project offers access to mentors, space and peers.

When I asked Zach Ware, who oversees campus, urban, and start-up development, about the strategy to attract start-ups and compete against fertile start-up grounds like Palo Alto, San Francisco and Seattle, he explained:

We’re less about comparisons and more about creating something new. Most cities have their fair share of incubation programs and other formal ways to accelerate learning and happiness. We see an opportunity to create a form of an incubator in an entire city, but without the formalities. So if you consider the elements that make up an incubator (proximity to mentors, proximity to others like you, access to capital and space) we think those things can be more organically scaled if they are a part of a city. 

Taking a cue from the edicts in Triumph of the City, the project aims to make downtown Las Vegas a great place to eat, meet, work, live, learn, and play.

After witnessing first-hand the kind of company Tony Hsieh has built with Zappos — during my recent headquarters tour, one senior woman commented, “Boy, would I have loved to work here when I was young” — I have no doubt the project will be a success. In fact, it’s the only Vegas bet I’ll make.

The state of media on the rez – American Indians in 2012

American Indians and Alaska Natives typically live in more rural and isolated locations of the United States, areas that generally have waited longer for internet broadband access. Many tribal lands still have only very limited connectivity.

As a result, many Native people have moved straight to mobile internet, accessing digital content through cellphones that do not require broadband connection.

Radio remains the most prevalent medium for this population and since 2009 new stations aimed at Native populations have gone on the air. Television also saw growth with the debut of a new Native station. Newspapers had a more mixed year.

The American Indian and Alaska Native population in the United States reached 5.2 million in 2010, or 1.7% of the total U.S. population. That is a growth of 1.1 million, or 26.7%, over the last 10 years, more than double the overall population growth of 9.7%, but still less than some other races.

Less than half of American Indians and Alaska Natives, 43%, have broadband access at home. The rate for the U.S. generally is 65%. The rate is also lower than rural Americans (50%) and other ethnicities (over two-thirds, 67%, of Asian Americans have broadband access at home as do 59% of African Americans and 49% of Hispanics).

via Pew’s – State of the News Media