Mother Jones and Utne Reader have a fascinating story this week based on scientific research into possible genetic and physiological reasons behind right-wing leanings.
We are reminded of former congressman Jim Weaver's book, Two Kinds, in which he comes to a similar conclusion about hawks and doves based on his observations and research.
The remarkable performer Reggie Watts was reportedly spotted at the Oregon County Fair last weekend, quietly doing his thing along the path. In case you don't know who he is or what he looks like, here's his TED talk from a couple of years ago that got nearly 2.8 million views.
Asian carp, nutria and crayfish are a few of the nasty invasive species in Oregon that compete with native wildlife and cause trouble to local ecosystems. It just so happens that these invasive species are edible, and what better way to combat an ecological threat than to turn it into a delicious entre? You can do your part to save the environment at the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE)'s Invasive Species Cook-off: Eradication by Mastication. According to Tamara Mullen of the IAE:
The Cook-off was created to raise awareness and support to combat the problems caused by invasive species on our natural world and economy. It is an elegant (and quirky) event in a gorgeous setting, with a focus on educational outreach enriched by devouring delicious adventurous invasive cuisine presented by top culinary artists of the Pacific Northwest, and one from the Deep South too!
While the dinner doesn't take place until Sept. 28 in Salem, the early-bird price to dine is a $65 donation through July 30, so head on over to the event's website to stake your claim.
From the proper use of it's verus its to the Oxford comma debate, Weird Al Yankovic's parody of "Blurred Lines" makes the grammar geek in me ever so happy. I really liked Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" the first time I heard it, then I actually paid attention to the lyrics. Weird Al's version however I can sing along with (and yes, you can end a sentence with a preposition).
For anyone who watched the painful Germany vs. Brazil game yesterday, it was difficult to ignore Brazil's overly dramatic flops to the ground, made even more cringe-worthy when Germany scored goal after goal against them. And as a general commentary on how the sport is played as a whole, we present to you this video.
Although P.S., thumbs down for the casual depiction of unwanted ass-slapping.
Lane County has sent out its agenda for July 8, and for followers of the paid sick leave debate, there's an interesting item under the County Counsel's section, which calls for exempting county workers from Eugene's paid sick leave proposal.
B. FIRST READING AND SETTING THE SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ORDINANCE 14-04/ In the Matter of Exempting Lane County Government from Any City of Eugene Resolution, Ordinance, Rule, or Regulation That Mandates, Regulates, Orders, or Requires Any Terms or Conditions of Employment for Lane County Commissioners, Directors, Managers, Employees (Including Full-Time, Part-Time, Seasonal, Temporary, Represented and Non-Represented) Or Agents of Lane County. (Steve Dingle, County Counsel) (estimated 5 minutes)
The proposed ordinance mentions Eugene's sick leave policy specifically:
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners is aware that the City of Eugene has proposed to adopt an ordinance purporting to mandate that employers with employees that work within the city limits provide certain sick leave benefits and has not exempted other public entities; and
Although Eugene City Council doesn't have a work session scheduled until 7:30 pm Monday, July 21, the ordinance also calls the issue an "emergency" saying:
An emergency is hereby declared to exist and this ordinance, being enacted by the Board in the exercise of its police power for the purpose of meeting such emergency and for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, takes effect immediately.
This doesn't come as too much of a surprise as conservative members of the Lane County Commission have already criticized the sick leave proposal.
The county does have sick time for its employees, based on months of services.
For the full county ordinance and materials go here:
Word went out this week through the Oregon Country Fair family and elsewhere, that Stephen Gaskin had died. Google his name and find an extensive obit at the New York Times. Here's an interview from 2011.
Too late for this week's calendar but here's the info on a lecture put on by We Resist:
Solidarity July: "Solidarity with People of Color: Identifying and Disrupting Racism" We Resist, Sunday July 6th, 4pm, Growers Market, 454 Willamette St. FREE.
About the Workshop
This is the first in a series of workshops called SOLIDARITY JULY which will include workshops on racism, ableism, transphobia, and sexism. WE RESIST presents "Standing in Solidarity Against Racism"- a lecture style workshop designed for white folks who want to learn more about racism and better anti-racism practices in today's cultural climate. There will be time for a question and answer period.
This is a workshop for white people who want to actively work towards standing in solidarity with folks of color. We will discuss both the historical background of racism in the United States as well as ways to practice anti-racism as a white person in today's world. The workshop will provide an opportunity to connect with other allies to build a community of accountability, discuss questions and concerns, and practice the skills of being an effective tool in the struggle to dismantle racism. Facilitation, Audience and Peer Education
This workshop is being facilitated by a white person and is geared towards white identified folks who interested in continuing their anti-racism education and solidarity work with folks of color. Because this is a workshop about racism facilitated by a white person, We Resist wants to acknowledge that there are inherent limitations to the knowledge being presented. Additionally, We Resist wants to acknowledge that we are a young organization that has yet to do significant outreach towards communities of color in the area. Despite these facts, we believe in thoughtful, intentional, peer education on anti-oppression issues, and that white folks should be actively discussing and educating other white folks on anti-racism issues. Learn more about WE RESIST at facebook.com/weallresist
On June 20 the male members of the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that for-profit companies (aka Hobby Lobby) that are "closely held" are not required to provide birth control coverage for their employees if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote a scathing 35-page dissent that has gone viral. (Really, a SCOTUS decision going viral is kind of cool).
Ginsberg writes of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell: "In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs."
A Song a Day singer-songwriter Jonathan Mann, has put some of the words of Ginsberg's fiery dissent to music. It's strangely catchy.
"The court I fear/has ventured into a minefield of slut-shaming geezers and religious extremism/One thing's clear — the fight isn't over/We have to stand together for what we know is right …"
Here's a little video to start the week off right, with David Attenborough.
Lots of interesting comments can be found at the bottom of this video on living sustainably, and legally.
Here's the news, both good and bad: The bad news is that construction will temporarily close a portion of the Fern Ridge Path, but the good news is that it's in the name of Amazon Creek restoration.
Between Chambers and Garfield streets, the city of Eugene will take up its $975,000 project to stabilize the erosion on Amazon Creek's banks, as well as add more than 13,000 native plants to restore some nature to the area.
In the 1950s, the Army Corps of Engineers rerouted and paved much of the creek to mitigate flooding, but the result left Amazon Creek a shadow of its former self and stopped wildlife from using it as a corridor to travel.
Organizations like the Be Noble Foundation and the Long Tom Watershed Council are hopeful that the creek can someday be restored to its former corridor status and serve as habitat to local wildlife, from otters to cutthroat trout. To follow these efforts, see the LTWC's website.
Here's a rare video we ran across from some years ago. Was anybody there who can give us a date? Some of us remember them juggling flaming torches in the nude at the Midnight Show, but that was a long, long time ago, maybe in the 1980s.