Sign Your Name, Stop Human Trafficking

Stop the Traffik, an organization that fights human trafficking across the world, is collecting signatures to present to the UN in February urging them to do more to stop human trafficking. If they can collect one million signatures then they can get matching funds from outside donors and set up a fund to fight human trafficking.

It’s pretty simple. You don’t have to donate. You just have to give your voice and say that human trafficking is something that should have ended hundreds of years ago with the slave trade.

So visit their site and sign your name. (It’s a bit goofy, but a blue screen will come up on top of their web page where you can sign up.)

Busy Week at Start Seeing Art

Salon Stella Detail..Last week I was all excited to announce that Start Seeing Art had mapped 100 works of public art across the Twin Cities (if ‘across’ means primarily in St. Paul). But in the past week alone we’ve added 25 more works of art. Along the way we’ve identified some previously unknown artwork, explored local history and started branching out into Minneapolis (including work by John Grider, one of City Pages 2007 Artists of the Year).

Continue reading Busy Week at Start Seeing Art

Furnace Out in January

Our furnace went out last night. It was two degrees outside and 60 degrees in our living room when I went to bed. We brought Lexi upstairs to sleep with us.

This morning it’s one degree above zero outside and 50 degrees in our living room. The repair man can’t come until after 6:00 p.m.

Currently wearing three layers (Lexi has four) and eating breakfast with the heat of nine candles and the laptop. Trying to decide if we should build a fire, bake things, dance to They Might Be Giants, burn more candles and maybe run in place; Or if we should just pack it in and go somewhere.

Pros of leaving: While not all coffee shops have wifi, they all usually have heat.

Cons of leaving: Popsicle puppies.

Update: The heat is back on. 63 degrees never felt so good.

Start Seeing Art Hits 100

St. Paul Sculptural Complex by George SugarmanMy little side project, Start Seeing Art–which maps and identifies public art in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis–hit 100 yesterday. The site has now mapped 100 pieces of public artwork.

It’s been a fun little project. I’ve really enjoyed discovering local art and finding some of our own local artists. Folks like Alvin Carter, Seitu Jones, Craig David, Ta-coumba Aiken, Marilyn Lindstrom and others–their work is all over the Twin Cities. I think Craig David pretty much owns St. Paul’s West Side (the West Side Citizen’s Organization named him “West Sider of the Year”). I’ve mapped nine of his works, seven of which are on the West Side. And I know of a few others I haven’t covered yet.

It’s also painfully clear that I have a long way to go. I’ve focused on St. Paul because it’s closer and I know it better, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of public art in Minneapolis. And they’ve probably got a lot more public art than St. Paul.

Continue reading Start Seeing Art Hits 100

A Refrigerator Seems Silly When it’s Below Zero

It’s currently 11 degrees below zero. The expected high today is 2 degrees below zero. Wind chill could be -35 to -45.

So it struck me as odd this morning when I felt a rush of cold air from the fridge as I pulled out the milk and orange juice. It’s freezing outside. So we heat our homes. But then we need some things cold, so we use even more energy to refrigerate a box within that heated home. I could set my ice cream on the porch and do the same thing for free.

I understand all the ways a fridge is necessary and helpful, and I don’t have any better ideas. I’m just saying it’s kind of funny when you think about the contradictory efforts we go to for the sake of convenience.

Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07: Quotes

A couple weeks ago I headed out to Anaheim, Calif., for the Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07, a cause-oriented youth event that I did a lot of writing for. I’m not generally a fan of high-energy, emotional events, but I did appreciate some of the speakers. What follows are a few quotes I found especially poignant or interesting.

Continue reading Foursquare NextGen Summit ’07: Quotes

Twitter: Communicate 140 Bits at a Time

I’ve been playing with Twitter a lot the past week or so. What is Twitter? I don’t know–ask Wikipedia. Twitter is kind of like mini-blogging because you’re limited to 140 characters, but the updates are also broadcast all over the place–RSS, Facebook, blogs, cell phones, IM, etc. You follow other people’s tweets (yes, it has its own lingo–that’s how you know it’s cool) and a flow develops. It’s just another interesting medium to play around with.

So what’s the point? I don’t know.

It feels very much like every other Internet fad that comes along where nobody gets it at first but a few people dive in and love it and then those who didn’t get it start to get it and then as it starts to get big the people who loved it don’t love it so much anymore and they find something new to dive into and the whole process continues. It’s the circle of life–or tech trends anyway.

Continue reading Twitter: Communicate 140 Bits at a Time