Friday, March 18, 2011

Worthy Causes

So micro-fundraising has seen a huge surge in popularity the last few years. I remember talking to Skinny about setting up a Kickstarter for some record label projects a few years back and it just seemed way to novel to get anybody interested. Now it's pretty normal, and that's a great thing.

The last few weeks I've been hipped to three different micro-fundraising projects that I think are worthy of your attention.

Apologies for the wonky video embedding:

Philly Rooted is working with UC Green and the Philadelphia Orchard Project to plant lots of fruit and nut trees along the West Philadelphia streetscape. In exchange for donations, you can get all kinds of gift certificates and coupons to local businesses.

Link: UC Green Kickstarter

Nic Esposito is my fiancee's business partner. Together with Nic, Erica and I have started two gardens in West Philadelphia - a community garden in the Woodlands Cemetery and a grower's co-op and community farm behind the 46th Street El station. Erica and Nic have conspired to become quite the big-wigs in the Philly gardening and sustainability scene the last few years.

Nic is writing a book, in which Erica and I are characters - he's self-publishing and he's asking for donations to finance the printing. In return he's offering various benefits - from a copy of the book to a storytelling salon at your house.

Link: Nic Esposito Kickstarter

Mariposa Co-Op - My neighborhood food Co-op is moving from it's teeny-tiny, members only location into a big space in what used to be a church, just down the block at 49th and Baltimore. The new Marioposa will be much more like a full-service supermarket offering lots of healthy, organic and/or local food options to a neighborhood underserved in all said commodities.

Link: Mariposa IndieGoGo Campaign

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Video Roundup

I'm playing in Vegas for a few days, and while I'm gestating on some ideas for long-form stuff in this space, here's a roundup of videos to amuse you b/w infuriate you:

A classic John Stewart "gotcha" on double-talking talking-heads. This one compares defense of high-paid bankers during the crisis points of the last few years to attacks on (relatively) low-paid teachers as fat cats.

If you wanna throw up in your mouth a little bit, go to the youtube page hosting this video and read the comments. Wonderful.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

State Properties

I'm kind of an American history buff, and I've been following the NYT series on the 150th anniversary of the war. Today marks the 150th anniversary of the other emancipation proclamation - the emancipation of Russia's 23 million serfs by Alexander II. This was somewhat of a political blow to the south, because they were able to point at Russia as being another major western society with a codified social order of servitude.

In recent years, I've been amazed at the way in which America has been unable to resolve some of the disputes over our nation's philosophical and political framework which have persisted since 1776. Although slavery is in the rearview mirror, the recent healthcare debate has sparked calls for "nullification" of Federal statutes by the states - an issue at the heart of the debates over states rights in the context of slavery. If the greatest catastrophe in the nation's history can't put that one to bed, who knows what can?