Thursday, December 13, 2007

Is Reverend Billy the Grinch?

Here is a little holiday recommendation for all of you: WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY (WWJB)' is produced and based on a story by Morgan Spurlock (amongst others), who also brought us 'supersize me'. It is a very humorous, pretty weird documentary in which Rev. Billy (of the 'church of stop shopping) travels with his gospel choir all across America visiting shopping malls and Wal-greens stores during the Christmas shopping season preaching to 'stop shopping'. Whenever he appears with his friends (they all travel in a small bus powered by veggie oil) the security guards are very quickly at the scene.

This is a perfect movie to see - if possible - BEFORE you go out there to do your shopping. And, no... Reverend Billy is NOT the Grinch but just wants us to rethink.

If you can't make it to the movies I highly recommend to watch THE STORY OF STUFF a little short by Annie Leonard.

And for more great holiday and green advice and gift ideas make sure to check out Betsy Thagard's December Econotes.

But now I got to run, get my shopping done.....and will try NOT to sin!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A long walk on the beach

Here is for all of you who were wondering what happened to me and this blog. It took a while but now My Livingroom Safari is back - so stay tuned to see what I found on the beach...


Monday, April 02, 2007

Cinderella 2007: Beauty and the Bike

Yes, we did it! 65 miles on our royal horses, through our beautiful kingdom passing our luscious green fields, healthy cows, happy horses, wineries and windmills. Thousands of us are gliding along - the (very) occasional prince zooming past in a cloud of testosterone; was he maybe looking for someone's foot to fit in a teeny little bike shoe?

The 31st annual Cinderella Ride took place on Saturday 3/31/07. It is a woman and girls only ride organized by the Valley Spokesmen Bicycle Touring Club a fundraiser for women's organizations and a great way to enjoy the day riding in great company.

If you want to go next year - make sure to register fills up quickly!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Can you carbon neutralize your conscience?

Dealing in carbon offsets is a booming industry. So popular that it can get really confusing if you should decide to purchase a little peace of mind in order to make up for your emissions. A google search on "carbon offset" comes back with countless results. Organizations offering their "trusted" service to calculate your emissions, let you donate online, and in return invest in projects that contribute to the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere.

In a recent Carbon Free Newsletter a headline reads: not everyone is happy with carbon offsets - referring to the following article:
22nd February 2007

As an illustration of how emotive the issue of climate change is becoming a protest group called London Rising Tide occupied the head office of the Carbon Neutral Company (formerly Future Forests) on the day they had been invited to appear before the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Climate Change, which was being chaired by the Carbon Neutral Company.

The group claimed that. “Many people are now questioning whether offsetting allows some of us in the richer, developed world to carry on with our massively polluting lifestyles, instead of lowering our own emissions. Those who are buying offsets are often doing so with the best of intentions, but the fact remains that it’s a smokescreen that has to stop.”

In a press release they said. “If we compare the planet to a running bath, full almost to the brim with CO2, to offset CO2 emissions is like saying “I won’t turn off my tap. I’ll pay someone else £10 to pay someone else £2 to turn off their own tap.” The reality is that we need to turn off both, if we’re to have a chance of cutting CO2 emissions by 50% before 2016.”

Hmmmm...they do have a good point here!

We really should combine purchasing offsets (for those who can afford it) and do our personal best to reduce producing them in the first place.

If you are interested in purchasing offsets you may find this recently updated directory at Ecobusinesslinks very helpful. And for a good read on the subject check out this article: On Your Mark, Offset, Go! by Erica Gies in Gist

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Yes, I want to....knit with you...forever!!

Hunting down the most incredible craft creations, Maureen, the living room safari's very own craft expert came across the "knitted wedding". What a fun idea - so creative - I wonder what that cake tasted like. Here are just a few pictures but to see more you must check out the site which has many, many more crazy things you never imagined anyone would knit.

And if you are in the Bay Area this weekend, and want to check out the "knitterati", you should go to the Stitches Convention at the Santa Clara Convention Center. You might see Maureen there hunting down more treasures and tales on her knitting safari.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Duct tape - brilliant and nasty!

Probably the only thing I share with Dick Cheney is an interest for duct tape. It can be such a quick and cheap solution for otherwise pricy or irreparable problems. I am sure everyone has at least one good example for a situation when duct tape has saved them. It is holding together my little digital camera (the battery door keeps on falling off otherwise), my neighbor patched a few holes in his kayak with it (and now happily paddles in the waters of Tamales Bay), my cycling friend uses it to close her bikeshoe.... and, and, and...

I know it is made out of horrible stuff - nothing natural, organic about this. But
my 9 year old daughter loves duct tape, too. She has used it to make all kinds of stuff - she made a very neat bag - which got my husband to forward me an article from maclife that includes instructions about how to make a book bag out of duct tape by Niko Coucouvanis (see above).

A few months ago I spotted a neat little book at the Berkeley Library - but when I returned to check it out it had disappeared from their shelves - I couldn't even find it in their database, but thanks to the help of the librarian I found it again online.
It is by Ellie Schiedermayer: Got Tape? 25+quick and easy duct tape projects for the Whole Family! She decided to share her passion for duct tape by writing this book when she was a student at West High School in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. The book includes some awesome projectes such as: wallets, skirts, belts, sandals and much more...

So here is your homework: send me a picture of something you fixed/created with duct tape - come on! you can do it!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Our grandma is no longer calling us on the phone...

... because she now has:

You have probably heard of skype. An internet telephony network, that is absolutely free no matter where in the world you are, if you and the other participant are signed up with skype. The coolest thing however is that you can also see the person you are talking to if they have a webcam or a video camera hooked up to their computer. This is great if you have family far away and want to show off the kids once in a while.

It is really easy to install - our grandparents just did it. Things are still a bit blurry and of course a visit in person is always much nicer.

You can also call regular telephones from your skype account. Their international rate is very low ($0.021/minute) and full year of unlimited calls to any phone in the US and Canada is just US$14.95 till January 31st.
Quick - that's today!!