Thursday, August 24, 2006

(Another) Word of the Day

vi·cis·si·tude (v-ss-td, -tyd)

A change or variation. The quality of being changeable; mutability. One of the sudden or unexpected changes or shifts often encountered in one's life, activities, or surroundings. Often used in the plural. See Synonyms at difficulty.

[Latin vicissitd, from vicissim, in turn, probably from vics, pl. of *vix, change. See weik-2 in Indo-European Roots.]

This was also used in the Utne editorial piece:
May your next seven years unfold in ways that surprise and amaze you. May you find ways to put your gifts to service. May you laugh and cry and dance with the vicissitudes of life.

Side note: What a lovely paragraph!

Word of the Day

ko·an (kän)

A puzzling, often paradoxical statement or story, used in Zen Buddhism as an aid to meditation and a means of gaining spiritual awakening.

[Japanese kan : k, public (from Middle Chinese kw) + an, matter.]

This was used in the editor's message in the September-October 2006 issue of Utne magazine:

While I bemoan the fact that the single-title publishing business model has become a koan - one that I, for one, have been unable to crack - I am deeply grateful that we have found such a compatible ally in Ogden.

Abortions at Sea

Women living in countries that outlaw abortions can now take advantage of top-notch Dutch medical care aboard the Women on Waves ship.

See, the catch is that the women are allowed to board this special ship, just like they would any other. But once this boat is floating in international waters, the anti-abortion laws in their home countries become a moot point.

This is a boon for oppressed women throughout Europe. Not only can they receive abortions, but ultrasounds, birth control and general gynecologic healthcare (such as pap smears and breast exams) are provided. (If you are American, think of the services provided by Planned Parenthood.)

According to its Web site, the nonprofit organization sees it this way:
Every 6 minutes somewhere in the world a woman dies needless as a result of illegal, unsafe abortion. In response to this violation of womens human rights and medical need, Women on Waves operates a mobile clinic on a ship that sails to countries where abortion is illegal. This is done at the invitation of local women's organizations. With the use of a ship, ultrasounds and early medical abortions can be provided safely, professionally and legally. Women on Waves aims to prevent unsafe abortions and empower women to exercise their human rights to physical and mental autonomy, by combining free healthcare services and sexual education with advocacy. Women on Waves is a non-profit organization.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Fort Lauderdale doggies: Unchained!

Yeah, I'm on an "All God's Creatures" kick today. Shoot me. But it was sparked when I read this news in Paw Prints, the Humane Society of Broward County's magazine:

Dogs in Fort Lauderdale and Oakland Park are wagging their taiils and thanking the mayors and city commissioners for passing an important ordinance. Taking effect this summer, the new law prohibits the long-term chaining of dogs...
We urge you to speak up for the animals and be sure to report any violations of this law to your local police department. Things to watch for include: tethering during extreme weather, availability of food and potable water, adequate shelter from the elements, periodic supervision, adequate space for exercise, and a fenced yard or sufficient enclosure to prevent the dog from escaping.

Mystery Loaf

Does meatloaf bore you? Tired of the same ol' seitan?

Go to the Mystery Loaf generator, where a new loaf recipe is posted every five minutes.

(Yes, you should feel a bit silly as the voice in your head reads these words! It's meant to be fun!)

It was created by a vegan woman named Jennifer in Washington state who posts what she packs in her son's lunch box each day on her blog called Vegan Lunch Box.

You'll never find yourself "loafing" in the kitchen again!

Gay Sheep?! sent this mass e-mail around today, and I thought it was worth sharing with you:

Just when you thought animal experimenters couldn't get any lower, along come new cruel and pointless "gay sheep" experiments.

That's right; Charles Roselli of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Frederick Stormshak of Oregon State University (OSU) are killing homosexual sheep and cutting open their brains in an attempt to find the hormone behind homosexual tendencies so that these tendencies can be changed.

And guess what? Roselli plans to "cure" humans of their homosexual tendencies next. Please click here to send a message to OHSU and OSU today asking them to stop experimenting on and killing gay sheep.

After you send a message, please do everything you can to help spread the word. There's an online form here that you can use to e-mail all your friends to ask them to write in.