August 2005

I know I am a little late to this story, but I recently found out about PandaCam at the National Zoo here in D.C.


I am pretty much obsessed with the every day activities of little Butterstick and his mama. Luckily they sleep a lot, so my obsession has not yet begun to effect my activities of daily living. Once Butterstick enters his toddler phase, no doubt that will change.

Believe it or not, not all stories about oil these days are in areas where the U.S. has troops. Chevron is being sued by a group of villagers in Nigeria who claim that the oil company is behind an attack on two of their villages in January 1999 which killed several villagers and burned the villages to the ground. For years Chevron has denied the claims.

Hard to prove you say? Yeah, about that. A new document has been found that shows a receipt for the attacks with the description: “Services carried out by Capt. [redacted] and 22 Soldiers whom left from Escravos/Madangho to [illegible] attacks from Opia village”. Way to go Chevron.

It seems that the villagers showed up at the Escravos Chevron facility near their villages on January 4, 1999, complaining about their drinking water and fishing supply being harmed by the oil production. Soldiers fired warning shots and told them not to return. Later that day, the villages were attacked and burned to the ground. Earthrights International is representing the villagers in their suit, which is scheduled to go to trial in the fall of 2006.

Note to multi-national oil corporations: when funding human rights abuse in Nigeria, go easy on the detailed receipts.

Thanks to the Montgomery County, MD Green Party blog for this story.

Six Feet Under ends tonight. As I sit here watching a documentary about it I am realizing just how much I love the show. I came to it late – missed the first three seasons – but now I know I have to go back and watch all the episodes I missed.

I have heard lots of people say the show is depressing, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. I feel like it holds up and validates all the tragic events we experience in life with just enough humor to remind us that it isn’t all bad. The characters have experiences that are relatable, except they get to react to the experiences in ways that most of us never get a chance to. It seems to be saying, “Bad shit happens to everyone especially when you least expect it. But you aren’t alone, and there sure aren’t any rules for dealing with it.”

I am sad it is over – but at least they didn’t just let it go on and on and on. The creators are dealing with its end as well as they dealt with it all along.

I am looking for up-to-date, state specific, internet usage information. Any information like which regions of each state are most online, what percentage of the population is online, what is the make up of the online population etc would be great.

Anyone out there know where I can find this info?

Posted earlier today on my blog at EchoDitto

It takes a lot to get someone like me to stop and read an email from the many mailing lists I’m on. Even if the subject line is interesting, my work moves at broadband speed and I usually just don’t have the time. But today, for the first time in a long time, I read an email from beginning to end. It was an email from Elizabeth Edwards expressing her support for Cindy Sheehan and her efforts to meet with President Bush in Texas.

What was remarkable about it was the fact that Mrs. Edwards drew parallels to her own son, Wade, who died in a car accident on April 4, 1996 — exactly eight years earlier than Casey Sheehan, who died on April 4, 2004. As someone who followed the 2004 presidential election closely, I know that the Edwards family are intensely private about Wade, his death and their grief. I saw John Edwards on more than one occasion decline to discuss his son in interviews in 2004, so this email really made me stop what I was doing and read.

Elizabeth was incredibly sincere and open as she talked about her son and she made Casey real for me in a way that hasn’t happened in the last few weeks Cindy has been in Crawford. There is a lot of significance in one mother putting aside her own need to grieve privately for her son in order to bring attention to another mother’s very public expression of grief for hers. I signed the petition provided at the end of the email, and I hope many others do as well.

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