Monday, March 23, 2009

Gratitude is good for you...

Today's email brought a link from DailyGood on gratitude and its effect on the parasympathetic nerve system. Turns out it's good for you physically to think about things that you feel grateful for, that enrich your life. Good thoughts, good health. What a concept.

Read the whole thing here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Artists reinvent the world, sustainably...

I'm not doing much art myself right now, as I suffer through what is apparently the longest case of flu on record, but I wanted to share this article about artists in Detroit buying up abandoned houses and turning them into off-grid homes. I was talking about this sort of idea to my husband when I heard about houses in Cleveland going for $2000 on ebay. It's an interesting idea, and I think we'll see it spread. Housing is a huge part of normal living costs. If you can slice that down to nothing, and you make your living through galleries or the net, well, it makes a lot of sense.

Here's a teaser paragraph:
"Although it is small consolation in the face of overwhelming economic strife in Detroit and elsewhere as the foreclosure crisis continues, this story gave me a real feeling of hope and renewal. To me, this example and other corresponding cases – like the artist-driven re-imaginings of shopping malls and big box stores seems symbolic of an even larger cultural shift. The arts community isn't just moving into one downtrodden urban neighborhood; rather, they're taking on the ruins of the unsustainable. They're taking on big box stores, shopping malls, and grid-connected homes in the car capitol of North America. And they're not just creating new art. They're seizing the opportunity to turn old shells of buildings into independent, renewable energy-powered, 21st century-ready spaces."

Talk about recycle, reuse or make do! For the full story, go here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Friedman on moving to a sustainable culture

Today's email from Culture Change brought a column from Thomas L. Friedman, the nationally syndicated columnist. I guess if even the East Coast intellectuals are catching on, it must be true, eh? I liked the commentary that Culture Change had to make so I'm passing on the link for their reprint rather than the direct link to the column.

I particularly liked this paragraph:

Let’s today step out of the normal boundaries of analysis of our economic crisis and ask a radical question: What if the crisis of 2008 represents something much more fundamental than a deep recession? What if it’s telling us that the whole growth model we created over the last 50 years is simply unsustainable economically and ecologically and that 2008 was when we hit the wall — when Mother Nature and the market both said: “No more.”

Read the whole column here.