Sunday, September 11, 2011

I am not afraid - What are you NOT afraid of?

I asked this question about 5 years ago. I thought it would be appropriate to re-post this today...

I sent this out in March via my eMail address, and got tons of responses. I thought I'd post it here, with the compiled list. I hope people add to it.

March 30, 2006

I AM NOT AFRAID


I was just thinking about how fear affects us, and how there are a lot of things in the world that I am supposed to be afraid of, but I'm not. I was thinking about how I make decisions based upon the fact I am not afraid - even if someone tells me I should be.

A student of mine was in a major bike accident last year. Two days ago, I saw him zipping his bike in and around rush-hour traffic with his helmet firmly strapped to his backpack. I called him moments later on his cell phone (I knew he'd be home) and told him how happy I was he was protecting the contents of his bag with his helmet. I was once also hit by a car while riding my bike. I do not own a bike helmet. I am not afraid to ride my bike without one. Among all the things I should be afraid of, that fear is perhaps the most reasonable.


The List as of

April 30, 2006


love
heights
walking at night in the woods
scary movies
riding my bike without a helmet
the middle east
homosexuals
heights
terrorists
the information technology age
airplanes/helicopters (although the noise they make scares the living daylights out of me.)
the dance floor
airports
therapy
showing my work
honesty
beets
being far from home
parenting
my son
death
life
risk
replying belated
being lost
brutal truths
awkward silences
solitude
heights/vertigo
speed
turbulence
lightning
spicy, sour, or bitter food
ugliness
snakes
aliens
aging
death/dead things
blood
needles
doctors/hospitals
childbirth
new technology/ideas/opinions
art!
Traveling alone
Change (not the money)
Being a single woman in a society that places more value on married couples and family
Starting new
Foreigners
the truth,
the present moment,
fundamental Christians,
growing old,
dying,
and being wrong.
using knives, forks and spoons that have fallen on the floor
straight people
eating new foods
crossing the street in the middle of the block
new ideas
My subconscious.
Aids
Strangers
Facing the music
Being broke
My health
Guilty people
rain
government
definitely riding my bike w/out a helmet
nuclear war
cancer
walking down an empty street at night
speaking in front of a large group of people
debt
DRIVING WITHOUT MY SEATBELT ON
DEAD
POLICE
DOGS
GETTING LOST SOMEWHERE FAR FROM HOME
SPEAKING LOUD
AIDS
CANCER
TECHNOLOGY
THINKING
METTING NEW PEOPLE
DARKENESS / WALKING AT NIGHT
TRAVELING
MISTAKES
BLOOD
HUMANITY
THE SEA
DESERT
germs
biking in traffic (WITH helmet)
ignoring norms/expectations/traditions
spiders
weird or new foods
becoming fat
Walking around Boston
Swimming
Sleeping with my door open
Airplanes
opening my mouth and letting whatever is there just fall out
the dark
a challenge
public speaking
bad weather
disabled people
True Love
riding without a seatbelt in a car
-- walking home alone late at night in nyc
-- eating foods that have passed their expiration date (as long as they don't taste/smell spoiled)
-- using a public restroom
-- further to the above, sitting on a toilet seat in a public restroom
-- going throughout life NEVER using that stupid antibacterial stuff for my hands
-- mice, rats, bugs, cockroaches, bees, worms, slugs, snakes, etc. etc. etc.
-- traveling alone anywhere in the world
a blank canvas
very deep water
dark caves
ideas I don't understand
fresh cougar tracks
being alone
electricity
delivering a lamb
admitting I am powerless over some things
affection
running alone at night.
germs.
bird flu
trans-atlantic plane crash
european budget airline plane crash
exploding double-decker bus
exploding trains
avalanches
falling rocks
language barriers
love
anthropomorphism
walking alone at night
perverts
kissing morning-breath lips
dirt
chainsaws
art that might fall apart
getting old
Iran
Iraq
immigrants
homosexuals
terrorists
spiders
snowstorms
thunderstorms
travelling
flying in airplanes
being alone at night (in a house)
the dark
the underneath of my bed
swimming in deep water
psychics
riding my bike alone at night
strangers
germs
my nipples showing through my shirt
my bra showing through my shirt
not shaving
new york city
moving/changing cities
mice
priests/the clergy
making the wrong choice
what's in my closet
what my grandparents think (of my choices)
what my parents think (of my choices)
what your parents think (of my choices)
marijuana
alcohol
monsters
aging
ghosts
relationships
I am not afraid of strangers
I am not afraid of the dark
I am not afraid of people of color
I am not afraid of men
I am not afraid of getting old
I am not afraid of snakes, or sharks or bees
I am not afraid of flying or driving in a car
I am not afraid of immigrants
I am not afraid of germs
I am not afraid of loving
snakes
plane crashes
tornados
dirt
god
the forest
the dark
Death/dying
Other cultures/religions
Snakes
Living in the city
Being alone
The future
Economic insecurity
Change
Black People
Provacative Thought and Conversation
Motorcycles
Powerful people
Tofu
dying in a plane crash
gutting animals
looking fat
having armpit stains
(also terrorsits, spiders and homeosexuals)
getting lost
speaking in public
having a family member/close friend die
rats, snakes and worms
driving a car
the sun
fumes
power tools
getting robbed
Life
making things with my hands
confrontation
getting rid of things
africa
culture-shock
snakes
walking home alone in the dark
people different than me
starting something new
body movement
being a single mom
public speaking
swimming in the ocean
driving fast
figuring out how to get someplace without map (i.e. getting lost)
Failing
Not afraid of chocolat or tofu,
long underwear or none,
showering with others,
dust in the house,
owning a ridiculous-looking car,
making sculpture in the way that suits me most and most of the world doesn't giveashit.
flying
heights
gaining weight
my father
dealing with horrible customers
meeting new people who might judge me
hipsters
mice
my boss
looking ugly
getting pregnant
the dentist
cavities
people disagreeing with me
climbing the tallest of tall trees or ladders that shouldn't be climbed
consuming expired eggs
snakes, NOT spiders
standing out in cheyenne wyoming
Poverty
Molten metal splash
radical thinkers
chocolate
making amends
going to therapy
crying
surfing waves (up to 4ft)
windsurfing
paddling outrigger canoe
speaking in public
groups
my family
my friends
helicopters circling my house all night
working on the 45th floor in one of the tallest buildings in Los Angeles
driving in boston
and when I really get honest- living
dogs
being happy
failure
relationships
friendship
vulnerability
water
honesty
doctors
silence
traveling through poor lands
hard work
getting dirty
being alone
sacrifice for worthy causes
of sustaining physical injury
I am not afraid of flying
riding a bike without a helmet (in the country -even tho I broke my collar bone)
homosexuals or lesbians or cross dressers, whatever
subways, MTAs, BARTS, etc.
avian flu
mad cow's disease
swimming in the ocean
roses
Rome
London
Paris
Tehran
mice
babies
lightning
fire
heights
the ocean
chain saw
h5n1
tree climbing with no rope
not having health insurance
god or a lack there of
debt
Global Warming 2000's / Global Cooling 1970's
the 2nd Amendment
Bird Flu, Mad Cow, Monkey Pox
going bankrupt
home birth
Democrats
Getting into a small airplane piloted by someone i hardly know
small spiders
new relationships
technology
the I.R.S.
my brother
eating too much cheese
mad cow disease
getting old
i'm not afraid of going to an interview with a black eye
love

Monday, August 08, 2011

Proposing Temporary Public Art in Boston

The City of Boston has a web page with a link to the application for proposals for temporary public art in Boston. Check it out here, and I will make a permanent link in the sidebar for future reference.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A great new project!

This is Joel Murphy and one of his collaborators who have made a new, low cost, pulse sensor that works with the popular open-source Arduino hardware/software platform. Very cool.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gwozdziec Painting


Here's the blog dedicated to the painting portion of the project, now underway in Poland.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A possible experiment to look for the connection between mirror neurons and communication via spoken language

This has been floating around in my brain for some time now, and I thought I would just plop it down here. Ever get annoyed by folks who travel to, say, Great Britain and come home with a "fake" accent? They sound so stupid and pretentious, don't they? But what if there were a neurological underpinning for their accent acquisition? What if they need to acquire the accent - meaning they need to acquire the motor coordination to make the sounds as if they were a Brit, so that their mirror neurons would fire similarly when listening to someone from the U.K.? I know, a far-fetched neurological idea from a sculptor. And I doubt that fMRI is up to it to look at such subtle differences in brain activity when speaking (or hearing) a word in British or American english.

But, if and when brain imaging resolution is high enough, you could set up to observe someone from the US, say, who is moving to the UK.

1) You would first do a control fMRI brain functioning with their native english, focusing on particular words that have very different sounds (and different mouth/vocal actions required to make the sounds) from British english (or Canadian - think of the word "about"). Also, you would record their speech - a specific statement that would be repeated during the latter portion of the study.

2) Then you would do a similar control (on a different subject, also moving to the UK?) with the British spoken word equivalents.

3) Then, six months to a year in, you would a) record the speech of the subject and compare it to changes from their first recording. b) do an fMRI of the same sounds, and see if there is a difference.

Something like that, anyway....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Gwozdziec Re!Konstrukcja


Here's an update from the field on the reconstruction of the Gwozdziec Synagogue roof structure for the Museum of the History of the Polish Jews being built in Warsaw.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Book List

Ok, so I have been fortunate these past few months to be able to sit and read a lot of good stuff. Starting today, I am going to begin to compile a Reading List in the sidebar. It may take me a little while to format it in the best possible way, so be patient. But I will try to include a little synopsis of each book, why it is relevant to me as a maker and educator, and how you can get the book.

Ok, please enjoy, and please give me some feedback as well!

Enough Said


Check out these awesome cards by my friend Alessandra Mondolfi! They're perfect for every possible emotion you might want to convey!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Whole Foods Debate

How do we simultaneously hold and support the values of a local food economy, and what that provides for our families, and supporting a neighborhood with a diverse socio-economic background? I, personally, cannot support the notion of an "affordable" grocery store at the location of the former Hi-Lo, as (without further elaboration) it goes against the very fabric of my being in terms of food safety, and social justice in the food realm. I understand that without the corporate food-agri monster, many folks would not have access to the kind of nutritious food that they now have. And I also understand that many folks cannot afford the local foodstuffs (with the appropriate salaries and benefits to the farmers). It's expensive.

Those against Whole Foods seem to be against it as a symbol of gentrification. Many would argue gentrification began in JP in the mid-seventies when a home now worth $600,000 could be purchased for less than $50,000. Many homes that turned over during that time period have seen better days. There is a single family home for sale on Spring Park Ave for $319,000 - with a 2 car garage! A steal! But the thing is, it has been unkempt for so long, it is practically a tear-down. Whomever buys that house will have to put tens of thousands of dollars into it to keep it from returning to the earth. That'll take someone with some serious $ in the bank (or serious time and skill) to pull it off. How does that kind of neglect in an economically depressed neighborhood contribute to an eventual gentrification because folks on the lower economic scale cannot afford to purchase and fix-up a home that is that far gone?

Complicated.....

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Why Is Whose Foods Blaming Whole Foods for Singlehandedly Gentrifying Jamaica Plain?

Why Is Whose Foods Blaming Whole Foods for Singlehandedly Gentrifying Jamaica Plain?
Here's some other folks' take on this.

Whose Food? Whole Foods? The JP Division.

OK, so this topic is beginning to irk me. Even though no one reads this, I thought I would jot down my thoughts. Two questions

1) What does "Whose Food?" really want?

2) What does the loss of Hi-Lo really mean?

OK, I can't tackle the first question, so let's start with the second.

I used to live directly next door to the Hi-Lo (I was on Perkins Street - my dining room window overlooked the alley). The loss of Hi-Lo will mean that no longer will juice from butchering animals be hosed into the alley. It will mean finding ripe avocados in JP will become a little harder - along with cilantro, too. It will mean the closest market to me will not have garlic grown in China. It will mean that the inexpensive foods that Hi-Lo sold will have to be purchased at a larger super market like the Stop & Shop (or is it Shaws?) in Jackson Square. It will mean that the empty Hyde Square storefronts will probably fill up again. It will mean the loss of a cultural icon and a community gathering place.

It will mean that the local latin markets will (and probably already have) see a big increase in traffic. It will mean a better market will fill a spot in the JPNDC building in Hyde Square.

I am friends with Dave and Christine from City Feed, and I know many of the folks who work for them. I support them - a local business that hires local folks, and support a local food economy. I like to get my garlic there, 'cause it is often from a Massachusetts farm. It is more expensive that the garlic from China. But I want to support a local business. I think City Feed has done a really great job building community, and spreading the word about local food, and local CSAs, and other local businesses. But guess what? Labor costs in Massachusetts are pretty high. Jobs are competitive. And so food costs more. Even the Harvest Co-op with their membership, which I must say I frequent, is expensive. And the produce is less than stellar. But they made a commitment to the highest quality food, and at a sort-of reasonable price. I also like the fact that it is small - I personally don't like big markets - Star, Stop & Shop, Shaws, or even Whole Foods. I don't need that many choices of pasta or canned tomatoes, or pre-made salads.

Now, folks from "Whose Food?" and I share the values of a local food economy. Corporate Agri-business is a terrible thing, and has done terrible things to our diet as a nation. In order to take back that control, I, like these folks, have made a commitment to purchasing the finest, most sustainably raised food I can. My family gets the majority of our food from CSAs & food clubs. We get veggie CSAs all year. We get all our meat and fish through local CSAs. We get raw, unpasturized milk from grass fed cows from a local farm in Foxboro. This milk cost $10 a gallon.

From the debate, I am hearing that Whose Food? wants a local business to come in to sell inexpensive food to the Latino community - but I doubt that would include $10 per gallon milk.

I find it hard to imagine the answer to the first question I posed: What does Whose Food? want? I don't think it is about food-justice, which I believe is a social justice issue, and one of the most important issues of our time. It feels more like a vendetta against Whole Foods. But where was Whose Food? when Hi-Lo was selling empty calories to their customers? Where was Whose Food? to calculate the carbon footprint of the garlic, queso fresco, and mangos (all conventionally grown) being shipped from across the world? Where was Whose Food? to advocate for a better working environment for the folks who worked at Hi-Lo? Why isn't Whose Food? picketing daily in front of the market in Jackson Square for different items to be put on their shelves at a demanded price? This feels like an opportunistic jab at Whole Foods that, frankly, has little to do with diversity.

Thursday, February 17, 2011