Saturday, April 24, 2010

Backyard Treasures

Some flowers we picked from trees in the backyard...


A toad who came by for a visit...


(He was returned to his home in the yard after he said hello!)

A bottle George found behind the barn...


The New Jim Crow

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
I heard a snippet of a radio interview with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.It sounds like a fascinating book with an important argument. The brief clip I heard talked about the different penalties for cocaine versus crack-cocaine. A person has to hold 100 times the amount of cocaine to be sentenced in the same way as a person holding crack-cocaine. Recently, the Senate passed a bill to reduce the disparity to 18:1. Alexander argues that Whites are more likely to be arrested for cocaine possession, while African-Americans are more likely to be caught with crack-cocaine. As a result, African-Americans are more likely to be incarcerated. Having the status as a past felon disqualifies them to vote, and so the drug laws act as a "color blind" way to keep blacks from voting.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Everyday!

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Please remember to reduce, reuse, and recycle not just today but every day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Early Animal Rights Poem

Today, NPR reported on "The Mouse's Petition," what may be the first animal rights poem. Written in 1773 by Anna Lætitia Aikin, a lab assistant to Joseph Priestly, the poem is written from the point of view of one of the many mice in Priestly's tuberculosis lab.

For here forlorn and sad I sit,
Within the wiry grate;
And tremble at th' approaching morn,
Which brings impending fate.


The well-taught philosophic mind
To all compassion gives;
Casts round the world an equal eye,
And feels for all that lives.

If mind, as ancient sages taught,
A never dying flame,
Still shifts through matter's varying forms,
In every form the same,

Beware, lest in the worm you crush
A brother's soul you find;
And tremble lest thy luckless hand
Dislodge a kindred mind.

NPR Story
Entire Poem on University of Maryland website

Sunday, April 18, 2010

George's Wheels

Originally uploaded by aimeedars

George bought a scooter from Warren. He's been riding it around the driveway this evening. He says I can't drive it because I'd accidentally kill myself.

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