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Stories and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems, written by a beginning farmer/gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Healthy Conversation

I just want to quickly share with you a conversation I had with my Environmental Club friend about healthy food on Facebook Chat. It gives me hope that not all teenagers are junk food addicts:

Patricia
oh, are you planning on bringing anything for the env club partay on Wednesday?
I wanted to bring cookies but we only have whole grain flour
and I don't know if everyone would like that

Me
I'm probably just going to buy some cookies and bring them
I like whole grain cookies :) if you put enough frosting on them or something they'd be good lol

Patricia
Yeah my mom's a health teacher so I'm used to whole grain but I don't know if everyone else likes it!

Me
lol yea we eat pretty healthy at my house
most people end up liking healthy foods once they try them...I think it's just a matter of getting used to them
most healthy foods taste better than gross stuff if you really savor them...the bad foods often make you feel bad after eating them, but healthy foods taste good and make you feel good

Patricia
amen
I agree 100%!!!

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Doesn't that give you hope?

My last Environmental Club meeting of high school is this Wednesday at lunch. It's getting close to the end now, with only two more weeks of high school. Perhaps then I'll finally have time to post blogs again. I'm going to begin training for a Wilderness Orientation that I'm attending in August for UC Santa Cruz. I need to start exercising in general, and with that I am going to try to eat even healthier--no candy and junk food and fewer bagels :-) Getting on board with those goals and having freedom once summer arrives will bring plenty of blog post topics. Get ready for it!

Green Gal

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"If you were to leave the world tomorrow, would you be content with your obituary?"
-- Unknown

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Native American Reservations

For my second semester senior year Economics project, I was to choose an economic issue of interest to myself and find eight articles from various angles. I had to write an introduction to the topic, write paragraph analyses of each article, and then come up with my own solution to the economic problem. I chose Native American Reservations as my topic. Here is the opening paragraph of my project:


Games of gambling and luck are nothing new to Native American people; their culture includes traditional games of chance, so it's not entirely arbitrary that Native American reservations often maintain casinos that otherwise would not be able to exist in certain states, like California, where gambling is illegal. Along with casinos, other industries such as golf courses, natural resource mining, and sports facilities have generated a much-needed income for many tribes and have improved conditions for the Native American people themselves, as well as boosted the economies of local communities. The Indian Gaming and Regulatory Act of 1988 paved the way for many tribes to get their economic grounding, but many tribes are still suffering. Tribes need effective means of obtaining income to become less dependent on United States federal aid, but what's the cost to tradition, safety and the environment? Who should receive the benefits of the tribal revenue? And should the tribes have to adhere to taxation by the U.S. government even though they are technically sovereign nations?

To see the rest of the project, visit my new Green Gal site at https://sites.google.com/site/greenbeangal/ or click here to see the document directly.

Green Gal

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Treasure this day and treasure yourself. Truly, neither will ever happen again.
-- Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ice Age Bay Area - KQED Quest

Imagine the San Francisco Bay Area during the most recent Ice Age at the end of the Pleistocene epoch: a lush, green valley that San Francisco Bay now fills; coasts that extend 12 feet farther into the sea than they currently do; abundant wildlife and megafaunal mammals, like mastodons, short-faced bears, camels, llamas, saber-tooth cats, and mammoths; new human inhabitants who are fortunate enough to happen upon this eden of life, but unfortunate enough to have to deal with the fierce short-faced bears and cats that are larger-than-life and deadly.I just watched an 11-minute segment from KQED Quest about the Bay Area during the Ice Age. It centered on these unique "rubbing rocks" along the Sonoma Coast. These boulders, the narrator says, tell an "ancient story." There is some polish on these rocks that was not created by wind, water or other geologic causes, and some of the polish is found 10-12 feet above the ground, indicating that it was made by something large. E. Breck Parkman, the Senior Archaeologist for California State Parks, believes it was made by Columbian mammoths during the late Pleistocene, rubbing their coats against the rocks after covering themselves in mud to remove ectoparasites from their body. After generations and generations of mammoths rubbing up against these rocks, the rocks became polished.

Then Douglas Long, Chief Curator of Natural Sciences at the Oakland Museum of California, spoke about the various animals that lived in the area thousands of years ago. I never knew that our state's fossil is the sabertooth cat (Smilodon californicus, below), which was an animal that lived during the last Ice Age.So what happened to these large mammals? Overkilling by the new humans? Global warming that devastating the natural environment of the Bay Area and removed the animal habitat? A combination of the two? Understanding the Pleistocene epoch, the program says, can inform our decisions regarding present-day global warming and how and what we protect as our climate changes. I highly recommend watching it here, or below.




QUEST on KQED Public Media.


Thanks for reading,
Green Gal

P.S. I have one more AP test this week and then I'll have a lot more time to post on here. Senior year is crazy, for sure!

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When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
-- John Muir

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dating Game: Neanderthals and Early Humans


"Be careful whom you call a Neanderthal. You may be one yourself. Or at least you may have Neanderthal ancestors.

That's the conclusion of a study being released Thursday that examined DNA extracted from Neanderthal bones more than 35,000 years old."

I read this article saying to myself, well duh, haven't they read Jean M. Auel's The Clan of the Cave Bear and the Earth's Children series? Her book includes relations between the neanderthals and modern man. If you haven't read that series, I highly recommend it!

Check out the NPR article on the subject here: "Hey Good Lookin': Early Humans Dug Neanderthals" by Joe Palca.

Notice that one of the geneticists mentioned in the article is now working at UC Santa Cruz. Yeah Santa Cruz!

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