Earth Hour 2009

Look up to the sky on a clear night. What do you see? If you live in or near a big city, chances are your response is “not much”. Even 40 miles from Chicago, I can mostly see major constellations if I squint just right but not much else.

When we visit my dad, three hundred miles deep into the north woods of Wisconsin, the first thing I do after getting out of the truck is look up. The view is breathtaking. The difference between night and day, if you’ll excuse the pun.

It’s become an emotional ritual for me. My heart beats a little faster, my eyes tear up and I feel more alive (or a little less dead) inside. This is the sky I remember as a child, bright and full of wonders, and I’m afraid that the generations after mine are going to loose that sense of wonder because there’s nothing there for them to see.

There’s a story buried in there somewhere (and I’ll be working on it as soon as I finish this weekends edits) but that’s not what this is about. 

I was doing research on the effects of light pollution when I discovered Earth Hour. Simply put, on March 28th, 2009 at 8:30PM local time, people and cities around the world will switch off their lights for one hour. Paris. Los Angeles. Chicago. Atlanta. Dallas. San Francisco. Mexico City. Five hundred cities in seventy-five countries are participating.


Raising awareness about global warming and climbing change is a good thing. Make a statement. Flip off your lights for an hour, take your kids (or someone elses, with permission) and go stargazing.

RaceFail 09

RaceFail took place in January 2009. Some of it is documented on the feministSF wiki. I watched from the sidelines, sad to see people I like and respect at each others throats. In the aftermath, people have stopped blogging or deleted journals altogether. I imagine much wound-licking is going on and the long-term damage remains to be seen.

The fallout from RaceFail continues and will probably continue to be felt for months, if not longer. Hurt lingers and pain flares.

I’m not even sure what’s being argued about anymore. I didn’t know if I should keep my mouth shut or add to the fervor. In the end, I waited and read through what had already been said. There’s already been too much noise in the signal.

I’m a relative nobody; my words carry no literary weight behind them. Take them for what they are: heartfelt and sincere.

I don’t care if you’re a boy or girl, both or neither. I love you as a person.

I’m not going to treat you different if you’re black, white, yellow, red or green (but I’ll give you a hug if you’re feeling blue).

I care about your experiences, because they define you as a person. I won’t belittle them because I can’t relate to them. Please write about them, so that I can learn from your history.

I’m sorry sexism and racism exist. I wish I could make them go away but I can’t. I can influence those around me and hope that they do the same.

Inequal rights for equal folks

The California Supreme Court overturned a ruling against gay marriage this week. The fight wages on as supporters on both sides rally for the battle to make the ruling permanent. Obviously, there are plenty of heated discussions going on. Jed Hartman has a nice summary of what the ruling really means.

I summed up my feeling on the issue over on Chris McKitterick‘s journal yesterday:

I’ve never quite understood how it can be claimed that we (the United States) have separation between church and state, yet the concept of a legal union is inseparable from a religious ceremony in the minds of so many.

In my mind, any man or woman, in any combination, should be able to be legally “married” and obtain all legal benefits of such.

Religion should play absolutely no part in the legal process of marriage. Perhaps it’s my limited perspective, but the majority of those I see/hear/read about are protesting and complaining based on their personal religious views.

To me, it’s really that simple. There is absolutely no reason a person should be treated differently based on their ethnic group, gender, sexual preference, or social status. In short, people should be judged on their actions.