Sunday, 11 September 2011


If you follow me on blogger or youtube, then you know that I have recently been focusing on saving money. Recently I purchased 500lbs of bananas for $50! Today, as I was searching the web and thinking of ways in which I could save money, I came across this hilarious photo from google images. I wonder if any of you students or former students can resonate?

Monday, 29 August 2011

Tip for the Economic Crisis -Save BIG Money on Food

I hope you enjoy this video. By buying clearance bananas in bulk I was able to get over 70lbs of bananas for only $15. What are your tips for saving money?

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Next Christendom by Philip Jenkins

The following is an excerpt from the back cover of the book which I think provides a lucid "snapshot" and overview of the books contents:

     In this new and substantilly expanded second edition, Jenkins continues to study the emarkable expansin of Christianity in the global South, in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Among the major new topics covered are the growing schism between Northern and Southern churches over issues of gender and sexuality, immigrant and ethnic churches in Europe and North America, and changes in the Roman Catholic Church since the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Jenkins also analyzes the growing conflicts between Christians and Muslims around the world, particularly in Nigeria and the Sudan, but also within Europe itself.

     The first volume in a trilogy on the changing face of Christianity, this award-winning book will be welcomed by all of those who have come to recognize Philip Jenkins as one of our leading commentators on religion and world affairs. Youtube clip on The Next Christendom

Other books by Philip Jenkins:

The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia--and How It Died 

The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South 

Pedophiles and Priests: Anatomy of a Contemporary Crisis 

WHITEWASH by Joseph Keon

You hear so many contradictory things in this crazy world of ours. Some people make cow's milk out to be a quasi nutritional life-force, as important as oxygen or Oreos; a holy sacrament available for purchase. Others think it's the devil -still smooth but -finally- white for a change. So in light of these contradictions, it's good to look at the science. After all, maybe somebody's right.

I like WHITEWASH because Joseph Keon, in citing reputable sources like Lancet, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the American Journal of Epidemilology, and American Journal of Public Health is able to bring the science to the discussion table. Further,   I think that if the contradictions concerning dairy make you curious, like me, you'll also find this book useful. Youtube clip on WHITEWASH

Other Books by Joseph Keon include:

The Truth About Breast Cancer: A 7-Step Prevention Plan

The Truth About Breast Cancer (2nd) Second Edition 

Whole Health: The Guide to Wellness of Mind and Body

Thursday, 11 August 2011

We've Understood Nothing

We've understood nothing,
virtually nothing,
the brightest things in our experience,
the stars,
are barely seen
and what has been thought?
what has been dreamed?:
a whisper
a scribble;
the book is unwritten,
the fires unrealized,
zeal is undaunting,
and love unexplored;
our techna
our logos:
are mere wind-chimes
overpowered by hurricanes of potentiality
as the possibilities to move
to make
and be moral
love at first sight
a propensity to learn
and embarrassing acts of generosity
are confounded by notions of normalcy:
conformity to the majority;
at the center of this
school is so often
both prostitute and priest
exhorting and seducing us to accept
a kind of creative infancy,
an in-the-box
agreeable sense of inquiry,
a frighteningly narrow
definition of self-conscious intelligence;
yet aside from this pomp:
-these priggish mumblings of progress-
we've understood nothing,
virtually nothing.

Monday, 1 August 2011

I Love The Aspens

Have you seen the Aspens dance?
they're so beautiful:
12,000 silver-green lights
-souls in a sea of leaves;

I want to join them, be like them:
wind-moving, standing content
-peaceful in the mirrors they inhabit;
I love the aspens:

they have a will
to dance
to love
to laugh
to cry
to live and die:

people are like Aspens to me:
their neurons flash like silver-green stars -a galaxy of ideas;
their hands, as keen as leaves, clap making sounds throughout the forest;
moving music on the land:

I love the aspens,
I want to join them.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Unknowing: Naturalism, Supernaturalism, and the Multiverse

Where did the Universe come from?
Whereas in the past many believed that she was eternal, recent advances in cosmology suggest that the Universe expanded from a singularity, a point at which matter was infinitely compressed to an infinitesimal volume. This shift in understanding seems to have rendered previous views regarding the Universe's eternality implausible. Theists have capitalized on this shift by pointing to the necessity of a cause outside of the Universe (as they believe it is nonsensical to think she could be causeless without being eternal). Further, they have argued that God is the most reasonable explanation for her origination and that only a creative mind which transcends both space and time can adequately account for her complexity, order, and evolution.

Against this perspective is the mainstream secular justification for the apparent finiteness of the Universe. Eminent scholars, like Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku, espouse what some have termed Multiverse Theory which asserts there is not one but rather numerous (possibly infinite) Universes. The explanation of the Universe's origins is therefore attributed to other Universes, the existence of which is potentially eternal. Naturalistic conceptualizations of the Universe are thus legitimized through this account of her origination and the problem of finiteness is deconstructed. 

But in considering both perspectives it seems to me that no matter how eloquent, interesting, and complex these conceptions of the Universe are, both require a great deal of faith. (While some would argue otherwise, neither explanation of the Universe can (yet) be verified scientifically.) And while my own understanding is theistic (while seeing no contradiction between Multiverse Theory and my faith) I recognize the need to distinguish between knowing and believing. Moreover, it is a mistake, I think, to equate the admission of the unknown with weakness. In reality admitting a deficit of knowledge is not a shortcoming but rather a strength as it both humbles and humanizes us; a practice which has the undeniable ability to promote empathy, peace, and (foremost) love between those of starkly contrasting ideologies.

I have watched and listened to many debates between atheists, agnostics, and theists in the past few years. Many atheists  have, with virulent fervor, attacked the "implausibility" of theism while those of religious inclinations have become equally impassioned in defending their beliefs. Too often, however, the debate has become a match of disparagement in which combatants depreciate each other's intelligence and intellectual credibility. Such insults are unnecessary and promote factionalism rather than transparent discussion. Further, while these debates are important I say let love, the one thing which makes the Universe meaningful, be preeminent. An honest admission of the limitations of human knowledge and an effort to empathize with one's ideological adversaries will do no one any harm.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

My 3 Favorite "Wild Edible" Books

Here are some of the best wild edible books for the Pacific Northwest. The descriptions are from the back cover of each book. If you haven't, check out my youtube clip where I show you how you can gather high quality food from the forest :).

1. Wild Harvest: Edible Plants of the Northwest

For everyone from backpackers to backyard harvesters, Wild Harvest is a field guide to wild edibles with their seasons and cooking suggestions.

2. Northwestern Wild Berries

Wild Berries contains a simple key and nearly 100 magnificent color photographs to guide you quickly to berry identification. Additional notes on how early Indians valued berries and where and when to collect them make this book an indispensable tool.

3. Guide to Indian Herbs

This well-illustrated handbook describes 52 of the best-known herbs used by the Indians of North America. Each plant is identified by locale, sketch and photograph, and the uses to which each one was put are briefly described. Tonics, inhalants, poultices, laxatives, diuretics, sedatives - there was a plant for every need. Some of these tribal remedies passed - often in more sophisticated form - into the repertoire of the medical profession; many others have a secure place in the annals of folk medicine.

Other books on Wild Edibles

Monday, 23 May 2011

How to live to be 100: "Healthy at 100" by John Robbins

I recently finished reading Healthy at 100 by John  Robbins (for the video review click here).

      1.       Author Bio
John was born on October 26, 1947. He is the son of Irv Robbins and nephew of Burt Baskin the founders of the Baskin Robbins ice cream parlour. His father Irv Robbins hoped that he could pass on the company to John but John had different ideas. He noticed a breakdown in his family’s health, which he attributed to their diet rich in ice cream. John refused to carry on the ice cream business and has instead become a major advocate of a “plant based diet”. He is the author of the Pulitzer prize winning book Diet for a new America and several other publications.

        2.       Content of the Book
The book begins by examining four cultures known for their long lifespan: the Abkhasia of the Caucus; the Vilcamba of the Andes mountains in Ecuador; the Hunza of Pakistan; and the Okinawans of Japan. Robbin’s inquires as to why these cultures are living such long and healthy lives.

Throughout the book he uses these people groups along with numerous studies to reveal the importance that diet has over health. He notes that traditionally these societies have eaten a much higher amount of plants; much lower amount of meat; and virtually no processed food.
He also reveals a deep respect for the eldest persons in each society. Robbins further, looks into studies which have shown a correlation between health and love. One such study showed that divorce had as severe as an impact as smoking on one’s health.

John shows the importance that regular exercise has in promoting longevity. My favorite story, in this regard, is of Seikichi Uehara an Okinawan who at 96 years old “was featured in a New Years day boxing match and televised across Japan”. His opponent was a 39 year-old and former flyweight World Boxing Association champion. For over twenty minutes Seikichi dodged every punch thrown at him while at the same time not retaliating. After twenty some minutes had passed by and not a single hit had connected with the 96 year old, Seikichi finally offered a single blow which knocked the young opponent off his feet and won the match.

           3.       Judgement
The book was a great read. I appreciate John’s easy going writing style and the stand he takes against some of the negative aspects within western culture. I also loved how Robbins wove the four cultures examined at the beginning of his book into his whole analysis. 

Yet while John is generally careful not to idolize the people groups he examines, at a few points in the book it seems like he's doing just this. But aside from this and a few points at which I felt the information was quite basic I learned a lot from John and found "Healthy at 100" to be an enjoyable (at points quite entertaining) read.

Other Books by John Robbins: 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Grow Food on Every Inch of Your Property!

I mowed the lawn today and as I did a thousand questions, like incense, rose up from the sweet smell of grass and gasoline: "Why do I systematically cut blades of grass with a blade of steel? Why do I remove nutrients, pay for their disposal, and then purchase fertilizer to restore the nutritional deficit I've created? Why do I spend time, energy, and money to perform this seemingly meaningless task week-after-week, year-after-year? Why do I pollute to maintain such a strange version of perfection?" Thinking about these things I remembered a Youtube video I had come across. It was of this guy, John Kohler, who grew fruits and vegetables on every inch of his property. He apparently doesn't have any grass to cut:

As I thought about this man, my many questions were replaced with a new type of inquiry: "what would the world would look like if it were full of people like him?" I'd like to know what you think. Check out the Youtube video above and let me know: is this guy (John Kohler) "off his rocker" or is he practicing a profound degree of sanity?