Check and balances: Michele Bachmann meet Greenpeace

Diesel Jeans Gobal Warming Ad

Not to sound too dour, but let’s face it – things aren’t looking good.

Throughout my Chicagoan childhood, I’ve experienced some rather intense Midwestern storms, yet this summer’s anomalies of basement floods and hiding from tornadoes in restaurant storage space has trumped them all. Tornados and floods dominated June and July’s newscasts, producing a fear among Chicago locals equivalent to the emotional up and downs of the current August newscasts regarding the shaky economy.

With tsunamis thundering up on Japan’s shores, record amounts of snow falling in New Zealand (North and South Islands) and dust storms dancing across Arizona and the American Southwest, I feel as though most of us can agree that weather patterns are changing. Everywhere.

And quickly.

On top of the environmental turntable, Obama’s approval rating has slumped to an all time low for his term at 40% and the Republicans may very well decide to nominate Michele Bachmann for the 2012 election, an individual flirting with actual insanity.  She was quoted in the August 15th New Yorker, “It was very helpful to join the prayer group. That’s when I gave my life over God, and it was a life-changing experience for me to recognize that I wanted him to be in control of my life rather than me being in control of my life.” Oh Great – someone who doesn’t want to exert control over the future of her life . . . exactly who I want running the White House controlling the future of our country.

Bachmann is willing to grant control in one area: the environment. Both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry refuse to acknowledge the reality of Global Warming and the results that will sprout if the world continues on the same path.  Bachmann states, “I guarantee you the EPA will have doors locked and lights turned off . . . It will be a new day and a new sheriff in Washington, D.C.”

So before we all head off to our private corners to wallow in self-pity about the idiots running for the most powerful position in the country and among the world, here’s to recognizing the under-appreciated and innovative efforts of those who are willing to  eloquently and creatively exert some CONTROL over changing the environmental crisis at hand.

Here are some of the most influential environmental ads today. Enjoy them and spread them.

Greenpeace Campaign

“White is the new green. Simply painting your roof white reflects the sun’s rays, which helps cool down the environment. in the fight against global warming, one degree cooler in our cities equates to three degrees cooler at the poles. Which means a better chance of survival for animals like the Polar Bear, whose home is melting at a rapid rate.”

Denver water campaign

Greenpeace Ocean Campaign

Greenpeace; Wasting paper - It kills more than trees.

Diesel Jeans

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“Unicorns are REAL. They’re just fat and grey and we call them Rhinos”

  Life’s more fun when you approach it like this.

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manic mondays or magic mondays

In case you need to be redirected into a happier week . . .

Buddhist temple in Chaing Mai, Thailand

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Naive Maturity

Bansky is one of my favorite artists – I love his simple but profound way of mysteriously communicating to the world through street art. Turning the ordinary into something extraordinary.  While some of his work speaks for itself, some if it remains more controversial as he sneaks through the night to challenge society on war, peace and love.

Girl with  Heart Balloon is one his trademarks, popping up in various locations throughout London.  In its simplicity it flirts with love, innocence, mistakes, and regret. Is the girl is naively chasing after a lost love that she has no hope of finding or is she instead deciding to release a love in order to grow up. Letting go in order to move on?

I think the latter.

Bansky and "Girl with Heart Balloon"

Enjoy some of Bansky’s other works, especially in a time of turmoil and violence in London and Everywhere.

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Aug 1, 2011

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Dear members of the United States congress . . .

“Contrary to Darwinian concepts of evolution, in higher organisms evolution favors the most cooperative.  Take honey bee colonies for example, where workers collaborate for the common good.  The human body works in much the same way.  There are over 100 trillion cells in the body that survive not by competing with each other for available food on the bloodstream, but by working cooperatively as a colony.  Yet humans as a species have yet to discover what bees know. Brute force and fierce competition are no longer the sole keys to survival.”

~Alberto Villoldo


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extraordinary ordinary mornings.

The sun rises every morning, but the sight always takes my breath away.

It was 7:30 am this past Saturday morning and I was lying in bed staring across the vast field of water that makes up Lake Michigan watching lightning bolts dance across the surface of the water to the music of thunder’s drum.  I love mornings. All of them, especially a rare treat such as this, in which I had a first class seat to one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles with nothing to do but lie in bed and enjoy the show.

There is a new documentary coming out called Life in a Day, where people all over the world filmed their lives for a full day on the same day; the result is a beautiful composition interweaving lives around the world into one day ( It seems to dissolve the cultural barriers and physical continental divides that lead us to refer to each other as simply “the other” rather than as people who at the root of all our differences share the same day and the same emotions, despite what each day brings.   I cannot wait to see it.

The New York Times Magazine showed six small clips from the film; the first one montages people around the world waking up and the comforts, realities, conditions, thoughts and emotions that accompany each beginning (  I couldn’t help but recall my own awakenings through my years and marvel at the fact that I can still recall the exact feelings I was experiencing at each of those moments.  And wondering why they still stick with me.

I find it fascinating that my first memory is a memory of waking up. I had just awoken from a nap in my crib, a mere tot of one and a half (ish) with my beloved yellow blanket clutched in my arms.  There was a babysitter downstairs and I remember I liked her – I also knew that my older sister was awake downstairs being a “big kid” and that I was missing out on the fun.  Down went the security bar of my crib (when I’m really motivated I can figure out anything) and I managed to climb (ahem fall) out of my crib to join the shenanigans downstairs. I had no intention on missing out on the party.

I remember Waking Up . . .

At 6:00 am on Saturday mornings to catch the “The Little Mermaid” cartoon.

To having my first sip of coffee during “The Little Mermaid,” declaring to my Dad that I thought the stuff was disgusting and scoffing at my Dad’s response, “one day you won’t be able to get enough of that stuff.”

So incredibly sick at age 10 with an 105 degree fever spurred on by a virus that left my left eye infected, my bones shaking, and a fear in my heart that I had never experienced before.

To the horn blowing at summer camp in Maine with the smell of fresh pine needles invigorating me out of my bunk.

To my friends’ snores on endless childhood sleepovers.

To the sun rising over Angkor Wat in Cambodia and wondering with all my might what it would be like to live in magical that city all those years ago and marveling at what the human race can create.

To my college roommate assuring me from across the room; no I am not blind, it is in fact snowing in mid-May.  Okay good just checking.

To pancakes. Enough said.

In tents with morning dew greeting my bare toes.

To espresso shots with my dad at 5:45 on weekday mornings as I studied for high-school exams and wrote college essays and my Dad shipped off to work.

On the floor of a park ranger’s hut in the Costa Rican rainforest.  I was shocked at how loud the rainforest is.  And that there were bull-frogs in the toilet bowl.

On the second day of college to the horror that I had somehow managed to leave my phone in a pile of shampoo overnight, leaving me with no connection to the outside world. Pure horror.

With my dog’s nose touching mine. Tails are wagging.

With so much stuff to do that I don’t think it’s possible to actually get it all done.  But at the end of the day, it doesn’t even matter.

With nothing to do and wondering what to do.

To Southern New Zealand winters, so cold that I can see my breath inside and the snow outside, and knowing that I am going to be this cold for weeks to come.

With my first hangover. Woof.

To total darkness in the depths of winter, knowing very well that I may not get to see the sun that day.

In straw fales on the beach in Samoa, only a mere couple of months before the tsunami came wiping them and many of the people working there off to sea. Forever.

On planes going from here to there and there to here.

On mountains; where the world can’t get to you but you feel as though you have access to the entire world.  Pure bliss.

To birthdays . . . hmmm what will the next year bring?

To Christmas mornings – hot chocolate, the smell of pine, a crackling fireplace and a comforting quietness that only comes one day a year.

To this past Christmas morning, when I woke up on the wicker couch in a Taiwan hotel lobby surrounded by nothing but the vast (but very beautiful) coastline and a population of people who didn’t know what the day meant to me or that it even existed.  I wonder how immigrants feel in America?  Soup for Christmas breakfast.

To the smell of salt water on the ocean.  Feelings of calm.

In the mountains of Tasmania after one of the most physically challenging days of my life and knowing that I’m about to do it all over again.

To the sounds of my house in Vietnam; first the roosters’ call, warning my self-conscious to prepare me for life, then getting gently roused out of bed by the rhythmic sweeping of the broom by the woman next door and the smell of pho in my window.

To the magic that only comes with the first snow of a season.

Jetlagged in Cambodia while running next to the sun rising over the Mekong River and locals taking their elephants for walks and knowing that I will never forget this.

Knowing that I’m about to jump out of a plane that day.

“Life in Day” transforms the ordinary into something extraordinary, and in truth, there really is nothing better than being able to start anew every 24 hours.

Good Morning!

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pooh bear and friends

How can you get very far,

If you don’t know Who You Are?

How can you do what you ought,

If you don’t know What You’ve Got?

And if you don’t know Which To Do

Of all the things in front of you,

Then what you’ll have when you are through

Is just a mess without a clue

Of all the best that can come true

If you know What and Which and Who.

– Pooh Bear (via Benjamin Hoff)

This is an excerpt from one of my favorite books, The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff.  A book full of wisdom from the most unlikely creatures.  Let go of your brain for the afternoon and embrace your Pooh. He’s full of surprises.

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Reexamine your “core values” Louis Vuitton


“A single journey can change the course of a life.”  This is the catch phrase accompanying Louis Vuitton’s “core values” ad campaign.


Angelina Jolie in Louis Vuitton's new ad.

Yes, this statement may be true.  But unfortunately for you Louis Vuitton I don’t think an epic mecca to your store to buy a $4,000 bag is going to dramatically transform my life – well except for making me broke.

Yet that is just the image you are trying to convey to the world’s malleable consumers by capitalizing on Cambodia’s exoticism.  Through this ad you are declaring that purchasing a Louis Vuitton bag will dramatically change lives  by uprooting people from their boring existences and transporting them into an exotic universe filled with movie stars and rainbows (not to mention its’ use as a handy, practical and fashionable accessory for your adventure down Cambodia’s Mekong River).  Try cashing in even a single bag and transforming the lives of Cambodians in a way that actually makes a matters.  Not hard to do in a country where 30% of the population lives on dollar a day.

Tsk Tsk Louis Vuitton.


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fly high.

“Disobey. Defy. Take your own time. Fly.”

Anne Clark


Skydiving 2006

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