Brain Dump: Where is My Staff?

End of an Era: Closed for Business
Image by fred1st via Flickr

What’s the opposite of writer’s block? Whatever the term, I have it. Maybe it’s the Lucy in the Cake Factory syndrome: the cherries can’t come fast enough. Stop! There are too many things to think about and write about and try to fit in the boxes of blog, book, newspaper, letter to editors, speaking events and emails. I need my imaginary staff of toadies to get busy! Maybe if I dump some of these tasty cakes off the conveyor belt and deposit them below, it will help. Nah. Probably not.

Loosen Up Parents And Let Your Children Play Outside  Researcher Peter Gray claims that almost 85% of children today have higher levels of anxiety and depression than children in the 1950s and this is the result of our busy lifestyle. Gray notes that since the 1950s, the amount of time that children play outside with their peers has decreased. At the same time, the number of depressed and anxious children has increased.

Slow Road Home Reading p 7-12   Some nine minutes of my Radio Readers recording (books for the sight impaired) at WVTF some years back, taken from the early pages of my first book, Slow Road Home. I think I still have the whole 6 hours of reading, but have only parsed the first 20-something pages into these short readings.

Secretary Chu: Sustainability is the new space race | Sustainable Business Oregon Oooh! This outta get some jockey shorts in a wad among certain conspiracy theorists. The very idea that our long term survivability (yes, theirs too) should get as much focus as poking a flag into the dust of the moon! It’s an outrage!

Billl Mckibben on tar sands action against the XL Keystone pipeline: [YouTube] “The biggest act of civil disobedience in the US this century.” Emphasis on civil. Does this action exert enough moral power to get Obama to do the right thing?

On Being: meaning, religion, ethics, and ideas on public radio and online. September 1, 2011  Sherry Turkle directs the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. Her book, Alone Together, created a catchword for anxiety about the alienating potential of technology. But that’s not really her message. We explore the real challenge she poses – that we can and must lead examined lives with our digital objects – actively shaping technology to human purposes.

On PhotographyKodak and the Rise of Amateur Photography | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’ll have the opportunity to speak about the role that photography has played in both my creative impulses as well as being a tool to archive the places, landscapes and living creatures that are elements in my “personal ecology” of relationships.

Pa., W.Va., Ohio vie for huge new Shell gas plant – San Jose Mercury News. That Appalachia is being considered for this massive investment is a guarantee that the Marcellus Shale will be worked until the very last drop of fossil energy is sucked from under the northeast, and with that, untold hundreds of millions of gallons of formerly-fresh water will infiltrate tens of thousands of acres. Millions of wells are held hostage to safe and well-regulated drilling practices. We can trust Shell. Sleep well.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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