Friday, March 4, 2011

this week in information (3/04)

Every morning, I click through the Charity USA "click to give" tabs and aid all sorts of groups through that simple, painless, free action. This week, I noticed that there is a new tab and new charity available that you can help with an easy click and I figured it was a good excuse to remind people of the ease with which they can do good.
No, seriously, all you have to do is click. Advertisers do the rest, and they really do provide the funds to help the way it is described. Links to partners, sponsors and beneficiaries are available on the pages themselves.
Set up an e-mail reminder, mark it as a favorite, make it a bookmark, add it to your toolbar... Whatever it takes, get there and click to help!
the Animal Rescue Site: help animals and pet shelters
the Hunger Site: help end hunger and poverty
the Breast Cancer Site: fight breast cancer and provide mammograms
the Veterans Site: give meals for homeless veterans
the Child Health Site: help children and provide child health care
the Literary Site: fight illiteracy and support reading and education
the Rainforest Site: stop global warming and protect endangered animals

Here's a scary reminder about why it's so important to be up to date on your boosters and vaccines: because the whole world IS out to get you!!

This week in awesome sciencyness: A picture of the shuttle taken from the ISS, as the shadow of the ISS passes across the shuttle!

This week in Tree Lobster awesome: AVP.

Great quote for the week: ‎"Our Republic only works if people are informed." - Brian Trent, The Rogues Gallery

Finally, apparently, the Great Ice Storm of '91 was twenty years ago today. And apparently, if the trending on Facebook is any indication, it's a big freaking deal. Granted, it was a disaster, and it was an awesome reminder of how nature can be so beautiful and destructive at the same time. But it was also twenty freaking years ago. Way worse has happened to the world since then, even in this year alone...
Twenty years... I was eleven, then, in 1991. Sixth grade, it must have been. I remember waking up through the night wondering why Mom kept walking up and down the stairs with her plastic cup full of ice water, because that's what the ice pinging off the windows sounded like to my eleven-year-old half-asleep ears. I remember that we lost power, and tree limbs were still cracking and crashing to the ground in showers of ice when I went out to see if the neighbors had power -I made it about halfway across the street before turning back. Ice storms are scary. I remember that my father built a fire and hung wool blankets and we tried to stay in the house, but Mom's asthma made that impossible. The parents of one of my schoolmates took us in, though our cat had to spend the week in their basement. I remember that my mother and I were so strung out that at dinner one night we laughed until we cried about an inexplicable Muppets episode. I remember that I watched "The Abyss" for the first time that week. I remember that a huge tree in our neighbor's backyard that down in thirds and trashed our yard, next door, and the tree's owner's yard. Fences smashed, yards torn up, wires down... It totally crushed the pussy willow tree in our yard so we cut it all down and tried to dig out the stump, but come spring there were green shoots and within five years it was a bush as tall as the tree had ever been. In the end, though, spring came and 1991 faded into the past as just another bad winter in western New York.

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