Saving America’s Wetlands: Will we ever learn our lesson?

Americans have learned a hard lesson this week. No, they probably haven’t. But they should have. Had America taken protective environmental measures, New Orleans might not be under water right now. I’m not talking about Kyoto.

I’m talking about America’s Wetlands. The campaign to save Coastal Louisiana has been going on for some time now, but it has largely been ignored. Ironically, the university where I teach joined the campaign just this semester. We were a little too late. Another great irony is that our recent energy bill allotted us 1 billion dollars for coastal restoration. It was a little too late.

Did we care that America’s Wetlands was the home of 79 threatened or endangered animal and plant species? Did we care that it was the winter habitat of 5 million birds? Did we care that America’s Wetlands housed 95% of all marine species in the Gulf of Mexico. I don’t know what kind of damage Katrina did to the coast because the media only seems to care about New Orleans. I imagine it’s not pretty. No, we should have cared for our environment, but we’re Americans.

We do care about money, so let’s talk figures. More than 30% of the nation’s oil goes through these wetlands, the home of the US Strategic Oil Reserve. The US owes 30% of its fisheries catch to America’s Wetlands. And yet, we’ve let twenty-four square miles of wetlands disappear every year, in addition to the 1,900 already lost…before Katrina. The No. 1 port system in the world (by tonnage) is now useless. I’m sure Shell will be laying off a good number of its 4,000 off-shore employess. And so much for the hopes of those businesses that hoped to grow 30-40% this year due to the 1 billion dollars for coastal restoration.

One thing I kept hearing from our coastal advocates was that we should pay now so that we wouldn’t have to pay later. Well, later is here. And the cost is astronomical.

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Steven Soderbergh
Your film will be 69% romantic, 19% comedy, 46% complex plot, and a $ 36 million budget.
Filmography: Sex Lies and Videotape, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Erin Brockovich, and various other homemade independent films. He may just want to follow you around for a few months and construct a film out of that. At least you’ll be surrounded by the best-looking people who will be cast as your friends. Then when he wins the Academy Award for your film, he won’t have to make anymore “Ocean’s” films.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 98% on action-romance

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You scored higher than 3% on humor

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You scored higher than 75% on complexity

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You scored higher than 65% on budget
Link: The Director Who Films Your Life Test written by bingomosquito on OkCupid Free Online Dating

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Christopher Walken for President?

Christopher Walken announces his intention to run for President of the United States:

“Our great country is in a terrible downward spiral. We’re outsourcing jobs, bankrupting social security, and losing lives at war. We need to focus on what’s important—paying attention to our children, our citizens, our future. We need to think about improving our failing educational system, making better use of our resources, and helping to promote a stable, safe, and tolerant global society. It’s time to be smart about our politics. It’s time to get America back on track.”

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Well, the hurricane missed us almost completely. We had some strong winds and some drizzle. It was pleasant, considering the 90+ weather for I don’t know how many weeks.

School started last week. It’s hard to believe this is my fifth year in the classroom. Eek. I’m finishing up a paper froma class I took this summer. I should be around more once that’s finished.

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From What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us: Why Happiness Eludes the Modern Woman by Danielle Crittenden.

She starts noticing the mothers all around her – especially young, attractive mothers – pushing strollers down the street, cooing at their babies in supermarkets, and loading up their shopping carts with enormous quantities of meat, vegetables, cans, jars, boxes of detergent, and packages of diapers, as she purchases a few meager items for her own dinner. All the horrors she once connected with babies – their noise and messiness, their garish plastic toys, their constant crying and demands that wear down and dull even the most strong-minded of women – are eclipsed by their previously underestimated virtues; their cuteness, their tiny shoes and mittens, their love and wonder, and, perhaps most enviable of all, the change of life they cause, pulling a woman out of herself and distracting her from her own familiar problems.

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37 week appointment

Well, I’m 37 weeks today, and ready for Kyrie to come as soon as she’d like to. My midwife came over for an appointment and checked my hemoglobin (I’m anemic…grr), blood pressure (it’s rising), and the baby. All is well with Kyrie. Her estimated weight is 6 lbs and her heartbeat was 142. Her head is still quite low (even a bit lower than last time), so we still are probably going to beat the due date. That’s my hope, anyway. I want to meet my daughter already!

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So I haven’t written many private entries since I made you all get accounts. I haven’t really blogged much at all. Oh well. I’m sure I’ll get into a blogging frenzy sometime and make it all worthwhile.

I went to St. Thomas ECUSA last night for their healing and eucharist service. After the service, I got into a discussion about receptionism with Fr. Errol. Somehow this led us to talk about another church in West Monroe. Fr. Errol asked me, “So why didn’t you join that church?” I replied, “It was a bit too…goofy? for me.” At that point, both Rev. Dale Farley (Lutheran minister here in town) and him started cracking up. After a few minutes, they stopped and said, “Inside joke.” Apparently they’ve been there too grin

Fr. Errol is pretty cool, and had we not committed where we are, I would have loved to join his church. Don’t get me wrong. His Anglo-Catholic wafer-dancing (or “Holy Spirit Etch-a-sketch” as one person called it) is just silly.

He also talks to the wafer and into the cup…which is weird. But he told me that the reason he does it is to emphasize that it’s the Word, not the minister that brings about the consecration. Okay, whatever, so he’s trying to be an evangelical magician.

Rev. Farley was cracking me up, making fun of wafer-dancing (even Fr. Errol was laughing) by acting like he was doing disappearing and reappearing acts with the wafer (as a magician might with a coin). sigh Silly magician-ministers.

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Yesterday Hollie threw me a great baby shower with yummy food and punch and lots of great pink gifts! It was a lot of fun. My baby clothing collection is growing and the dresser drawers seem to be shrinking as I stuff more into them.

In other news, we visited St. Thomas Episcopal today. It was a nice service. I think the priest is really anglo-catholic when it comes to communion. It’s kinda funny how he slows down and stares into the elements when he says “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood.” Kinda weird. Then he made the wafer dance all around over the cup. It looked like he was having fun. On a more serious note, though, I thought it was cool how when we came up to commune, he gave a blessing to Kyrie. I have never experienced that at any other church before.

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Diary of a Mad Black Woman

I was tricked. For weeks, I have been avoiding Diary of a Mad Black Woman because I figured it would be just another black comedy like Cookout. Oddly enough, it’s not. It’s a gospel stage play turned into a movie with a few elements of black comedy. I thought the “mad black woman” was the old lady on the cover. Instead, it’s Kimberly Elise, who stars in another gospel stage play turned into a movie, TD Jakes’s Woman, Thou Art Loosed.

I thought it was going to be a story about some crazy grandma. Instead, it’s a story about the redeeming power of Jesus. Very surprising. Like all gospel stage plays, it has many weaknesses. But it’s not what it looks like on the cover.

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The 40-year old virgin (spoilers)

Rachel and I went to see The 40-year old Virgin today. So, let me put all the usual disclaimers: 1) I am not recommending this movie. 2) It has a lot of nudity. 3) It has a lot of filthy talk.

That said, this movie glorifies abstinence until marriage probably better than any movie I’ve watched in a long time, maybe ever. It does it by contrast. The nudity and sex scenes are more graphic than most nudity (actually they use clips from porn movies) in mainline Rated R movies (as opposed to the B films). And all the while, you’re kind of wondering how it’s gonna end. You expect he’s just gonna sleep with the girl. All his friends are sex-fiends.

But in the end, one of the friends is excited about having a child. The 40 -year old virgin waits til marriage to have sex. And when he finally does have it, it’s like the greatest thing in the world (and they really build that up in a hippie musical type of way). And it’s great precisely because it’s in contrast to meaningless sexual relationships and porn.

My favorite line (paraphrased): “All this time I thought something was wrong with me because I hadn’t had sex, but now I realize I was just waiting for you.”

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