Our Nature…

Here is is an amazing peice about regeneration and hope in a post tsunami Thaliand. This touches again on the false premise that our sole natural instinct is to compete in the war of all against all. "I and thou" is a very common response to crisis. Disaster often means that the best in us has a chance to flourish as we act on our communal instincts.


Rebecca Solnit had a wonderful essay on the topic called The Uses of Disaster after Katrina published in Harper's.



Chevy let’s users tell the truth about SUV’s!

 I have been trying to prove a number of things to my bosses at inform lately. This is the first of a number of mini experiments I am doing to make concrete this new phase of the web…for lack of a better term – the web 2.0 era.

In this excercise I set out to prove that the blogosphere is intimately related to the national media. It is not very believable to a person who hears blog and thinks 'trivial, teenage, gossip' etc. ( My apologies to the many very untrivial teen bloggers out there!)

 So I started this blog and looked for something viral to participate in. This is what landed in my lap!

My Chevy Tahoe Ad.

Make your own here!

Gristmill has an open thread aggregating people's ads. So does the Sierra Club blog – Compass.

And of course, DKos.

Cnet catches on!

Love this one!

So a mere couple of days after starting my blog, a friendly soul leaves a comment telling me that Nightline wants someone to come on and talk about the whole uproar that ensued. I exchanged mail with the producer, but in the end they had already settled on this guy.

I figure that was a story worth bringing to my boss!

Now she's listening!

Here's the next proof

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh…A night of firsts!

Well, what a night! For so many reasons. I have been living in NYC for nearly 8 years. I moved here for the vital trad music scene. For a number of reasons I have never gone out to play St. Patty’s. My favorite thing about a sessiun the intimacy with other players, playing for and with each other. If I have to strain to hear the other players, well most of the joy is taken out of it.

But I had a opportunity to play with Deirdre Corrigan, a flute player that I used to play with at Fiddlesticks that happy summer when I had first met Dermot Grogan. Dermot and Deirdre had been close friends. I knew playing with her would bring Dermot back a bit for me. By the end of the night I was imagining him sitting next to me, being his usual enouraging self.


It was a first in another way. I have never played amplified before! Always shy about having the bodhran dominate a sessiun I’ve hesitated to mic myself. But midway through the night Deirdre and River we’re both asking me to get mic’ed! Can’t say how great that felt… it felt even better – when after being mic’ed – they both asked me to stay that way! In a world where the answer to the question, “What is the best way to play a bodhran?” is “With a pen knife,” this constitutes a gesture of goodwill and an acknowledgement that you do not in fact, suck – inspite of all the bad press bodhran players, often very deservedly, encounter.

I also got paid for the first time for playing bodhran! Totally unexpected! So gracious! I hesitate to mention it because maybe it solidifies the impression that I’m a downright rube but, getting paid for doing something I love this much seems not wrong — so much as very strange.

Fionn Ó Lochlainn showed up late looking every bit the rambler in his John Bull Topper. I’ve only played with him a few times. He reminds me so much of a very good friend of mine I end up staring at him. He’s a very sweet and supportive player.

River Alexander of the Mad Jazz Hatters was there as well. So much fun playing with him as he has a terrific range of musical sensibilities and communicates so well his intention when taking the lead. I -can’t wait- to go see him doing his thing.

So when we wrapped up we headed over to Cleopatra’s Needle for a late-night throwdown. Sinking into the brain-cleansing rythym, I realized that eight long years ago I ventured out shortly after arriving and headed straight to the first jazz session I could find. The first live music I saw in NYC was at Cleopatra’s Needle!

I sunk into my seat in a state of pure bliss. This is where I come from. My dad played jazz in the house all the time. I didn’t even hear irish trad until I was well over 25 years old! I get in trouble in irish sessions with some of the more hard core trad people for syncopating innapproriately…I catch myself bebopping when I should be de diddly duming…some players dig it, a few do not.

It was a St. Pat’s I’ll never forget. Thank you, Dive Bar players.