Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Jenny O: That's What Girls Are Made Of

Female artists who couldn't catch a break, catch fire at SXSW Austin this week,
and Jenny O is smolderin': ember-warm, cheeky, elemental. Likely to get loose. (some word-play about "fan" goes here)

"Well, OK Honey" and its 1966 girl-band groove - You'll like it. And what's not to like? in its pony bounce.

But its freshness is its "secret-life-of-girls" frankness that seems to divulge that that's how girls really dance, and they do it in the woods and in neighborhood streets: smelly kittens in mocassins, parkas, and uncombed hair with fat bottoms and red knee socks.

"Well, OK Honey"'s the track chosen for mass consumption - others songs are smokier, plain, about love, home, food, bravery, and confusion - that's also how we dance.

Brian McNight said of Jenny O: "A night of unadulterated, gluten-free sexual healing." Steve Martin (I don't know why) It's like we're listening to Willie Nelson making love to a Staples singer."...I don't know why...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Head in the Sink:We are What We Sweep


A kitchen midden that hasn't been flung out the door. Appalling and charming the detritus and sloughings of our lives we scuff through duning up. Ours is mostly hair, I'm afraid, most of it mine, I'm really afraid, and the cat's - all we have of her, but I'm sure I didn't get it all, if that's a comfort, Gravelly bits - although we take off our shoes on the porch - the nibs of tulip poplar seeds that ballast them to spear into loam, And color: pink confetti of onion skin, orange rind, sunny yellow Yogi De-tox tea bag labels, a Mediterranean theme on my floor: cilantro, parsley, pine needs, honey.

Seeds Feed Us: PakistanSeedDrive is Grassroots Aid

The best solutions are the simple solutions. In Pakistan, earthquakes, cross-border fighting, and then a flood, swelling the Indus river and its tributaries the length of the country 100 miles across 900 miles to the Arabian Sea. When the water receded in August last year, 2,000 lives had been lost, livestock drowned, farmhouses, storehouses and infrastructure wrecked. Nothing to eat. Not only that: saved seed was lost, and no money and no place to buy this year's seed. Although devastated soil structure - fields are actually buried under alluvial silt that hardens to goo then brick, can only be overcome with time and sweat - is an immense and limiting factor, PakistanSeedDrive went to the root of one of Pakistan's agricultural problems by collecting and sending seeds. Give a man a fist - full of bean seeds.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Food Environment Maps: The USDA says, "Let's Eat!"

Food and Mapping make a healthy diet and the USDA's Food Environment Atlas - the barely year-old online tool, which measures a community’s food-choice landscape has just been supersized. The update was launch in February and increases its food environment factors like availability and type of restaurants and food stores, food prices, socioeconomic characteristics, and health outcomes from 90 to 168. The data is downloadable as Excel files, and are arranged alphabetically, first by state and then by county. State and county FIPS codes are provided. The county list is from the 2000 census.

These data are a trove generating nearly limitless question-posing and question-answering possibilities about community and environmental health, economic development, land and city planning, business placement, and education outreach.

Components measure change over time, and several indicators that will make the Atlas more useful in gauging residents’ food accessibility in rural communities - regions more likely than urban to suffer from obesity - nicely complementing First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign against childhood obesity.