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(Source: occupychi)

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(Source: occupychi)

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purityisobscurity:

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pmruiz:

I took this picture from the California L stop in Chicago. 

purityisobscurity:

Home

pmruiz:

I took this picture from the California L stop in Chicago. 

(via belchingbeauty)

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My mom and I helped put together these boxes of donations at her office — books & school supplies for GoDoGood Chicago, an initiative aimed at DOING GOOD deeds in our city.
(Notice the cute graduation cap-wearing smileys in the O’s of the signs!) The almost-visible note on The Amber Spyglass reads, “These were three of my favorite books. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I did! :)” 
The initiative’s main focus is education, so they’re rallying in donations of books and school supplies to promote Chicago kids’ success in school and life. ”We want to see kids graduate, contribute to our workforce, support their future families, maintain their health and, ultimately, build stronger communities." I’m a fan of these goals. I think education is the best way to improve the problems of the world.
Their website gives this message,

"Let’s rally together, Chicago, and start a social movement! Help us reach 100,000 GOOD deeds this summer."

…right now the counter is at 25,002.
My mom and I will be dropping off the GOODS next week. :)
               
Day 9/30

My mom and I helped put together these boxes of donations at her office — books & school supplies for GoDoGood Chicago, an initiative aimed at DOING GOOD deeds in our city.

(Notice the cute graduation cap-wearing smileys in the O’s of the signs!) The almost-visible note on The Amber Spyglass reads, “These were three of my favorite books. I hope you enjoy the series as much as I did! :)” 

The initiative’s main focus is education, so they’re rallying in donations of books and school supplies to promote Chicago kids’ success in school and life. We want to see kids graduate, contribute to our workforce, support their future families, maintain their health and, ultimately, build stronger communities." I’m a fan of these goals. I think education is the best way to improve the problems of the world.

Their website gives this message,

"Let’s rally together, Chicago, and start a social movement! Help us reach 100,000 GOOD deeds this summer."

…right now the counter is at 25,002.

My mom and I will be dropping off the GOODS next week. :)

               

Day 9/30

Link

bodywallet:

mindyourpsandqs:

Read a book, give a book!

“In Chicago, 86% of public school students come from low-income households.  As many of these families struggle to make ends meet, books and reading can often take the back seat to other more immediate needs.”

“With your support, Hyatt and We Give Books can help Chicago Public Schools enrich the lives of thousands of elementary students.  Through Hyatt’s Summer Reading Challenge, we can donate 15,000 new books to the 10 schools listed below - who will, in turn, place these books in the hands and homes of Chicago’s deserving children”

support

This is awesome. I just read one book in under 5 minutes — and the campaign is at 1,353 books read out of their 15,000 goal.

(via bodywallet)

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I chalk-bombed some city sidewalks with colorful hopscotches today.

My bestie helped me throw down this first one, the most multi-colored of the bunch. It’s in front of a church on Petersen & Francisco. She wrote the “Have Fun!”, and the sign beside the hopscotch reads “Jump for joy! (You don’t need to stay inside the box.)

The next one is by the Salvation Army on Devon & Leavitt. It reads, “If you can hopscotch from here to there, you’re in good shape for the day.

Hopscotch #3 is next to the Jewel on Broadway & Berwyn. Its sign is covered in hopscotch-ing pebbles & says, “This stone is your problem. Throw it into a box (compartmentalization), hop to it (step-by-step), pick it up (it isn’t so heavy), and keep going.

By the time I got around to hopscotch #4, I ran outta chalk — so the “Be a kid.” poster stands alone, inside some hearts, on the sidewalk, between a bus stop and the Mickey D’s on Clark & Bryn Mawr.

               

Day 6/30

Text

Chicago: city of 2.7mil, small as f#@&

At the red line on our way to Friday night fesivities, me and my two gal pals run into a boy one of em knows from her summer internship. Then we reconnect with old faces from high school, long unseen over our months at college. Some time after 1AM, back on the red line platform, we point out a stranger across the track from us and make up a life story for him. Two other kids sitting against a railing on the other side wave to us, and we exchange Hello’s.

Don’t you love Chicago?" one of em shouts across the way to us.
YEAH!" I screamed back.

Their train comes and the platform across from us empties out of its people, while our side fills up with more waiting passengers. One of them, standing ten feet to our right, looks familiar. “Katie!" my friend shouts — our old high school’s volleyball coach. The three of them reconnect and talk about life & volleyball while I stand to the side of the team (I never played any sports, though I was a four-year member of the mathletes). A screaming crowd walks up the station stairs and stands around us, obviously drunk and enjoyably belligerent — "Oh they’re probably Irish,” Katie joked.

When our train comes and all board on, the screaming does not end, and sure enough beneath their chants of “ANDALE! ANDALE!" their Irish accents are revealed. One of my friends does a mean Irish impersonation, and she charmed the Irish lasses in front of us with her convincing accent. The Irish gang got off at the next stop and two American boys sat down beside us. "Are you really from Ireland?" they ask, and my friend "from Dublin” keeps her accent & made-up back story going strong… until she starts to say, 

"My mother breast-fed me on Guinness,"

at which point we all burst into hysteric laughter. So we get to talking, where are you from and where do you go to school and how do you do and you and you too.

My other friend says she goes to school in Minnesota, and one of the guys asks where. “Macalester." His sister goes there too. What year is she? "Just finished first year,” no kidding, what’s her name? “Annie." Annie So-and-So? That’s my friend’s roommate next year, living together in the veggie co-op.

And on that note, our night ended in small world hilarity.

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30 good fortunes for random strangers all around Chicago.

The fortune cookies say things like, “What you do is meaningful,” and “Opportunities await your grasp,” and “You inspire others.” Pictured above are only a few of the locations I left them around — in a grocery store, in a park, in a gift shop — I also left a couple in elevators, dressing rooms, caf
és, & random benches. 

I made them by recycling some old manilla folders my mom had bulk of in her office, and traced the circles out from the base of a flower pot — talk about a green creation! (haha?) 
If you wanna make your own paper fortune cookies, I learned from this tutorial, & the picture below is also a helpful diagram.
How to Make Paper Fortune Cookies 
If you have ideas for what else the fortunes could say, and where else to leave them, please let me know! :)

               

Day 1/30 

Video

An informative and uplifting video (which references back to my blog post from last month) put together by the GreenPeace activists in Chicago who advocated for the Fisk and Crawford Coal Plants to “QUIT COAL”.

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Saturday 04 June 2011: SlutWalk Chicago

It all started when a police officer in Toronto suggested that if women stopped dressing like sluts, they wouldn’t get raped as much. The point of the SlutWalk (in cities worldwide) is to raise awareness about the realities of rape culture, and to speak out against this popular misconception that rape victims are asking for it.

"No means No! Yes means Yes! Wherever we go! However we dress!"

Though it would be easy to demonize this policeman because his ignorant (however well-intentioned) comment symbolizes a greater sentiment in our culture that sluts get raped, the point is to challenge this belief at large. “Sluts are all daughters,” as one sign read today in the march. Sluts are firstly taught to be “slutty” by the hyper-sexualized media all around them from a pre-pubescent age, and then they are subjected to criticisms, verbal abuse, and even blame for having a violent crime committed upon them. The act of being raped inflicts a disgusting array of emotions upon the victim, the least of which include rage, fear, and shame. No victim deserves to be further scrutinized by human beings who should, rather, support and seek understanding and enact positive change on the issue. And certainly no victim is “asking for it;” my short skirt is not an invitation. The “enemy” here is a culture which silently condones rape by not speaking out against it. Each SlutWalker today challenged this enemy head on.

"Hey-Hey! Ho-Ho! Sexual assault has got to go!"

I want to clarify what rape is, and is not.

It’s not rape…
    if you yell SURPRISE!
    if s(he) likes it!
    if it’s consensual!

Rape is a violent sexual crime that breaks the human spirit. Consensual sex is an intimate act which unites two human spirits.

"Gays! Straights! Blacks! Whites! All unite for womens’ rights!"

The SlutWalk Chicago facebook page offers this powerful statement as their mission: “We seek to combat a culture that teaches ‘don’t get raped,’ as opposed to ‘don’t rape.’" This distinction is the only way to successfully prevent rape. Rather than instill fear, instill responsibility.

My dream is for websites like this to no longer be considered entertainment. I don’t want the topic of rape to be something which people walk on eggshells around; I don’t think rape jokes should be forbidden; I simply want rape to be an issue which all people take seriously. I want human beings — their bodies and their boundaries — to be respected. I want an open dialogue, I want understanding, I want forgiveness, and I want a system of prevention that works.

The speaker from CAASE — Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation — gave a hope-inspiring speech to that same sentiment at SlutWalk today. From their website, its says, “CAASE has created and implemented the first curriculum in the country specifically designed to educate young men about the harms of prostitution: Empowering Young Men to End Sexual Exploitation.” He quoted a senior boy in a Chicago high school who made this analogy:

Rape is the scar on the face of American culture. It’s there, and no one talks about it. 

"MY BODY! MY RULES!"

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Seeing is believing. If you want your message to be heard, you have to put it out there for all to see; and if you’re not being heard enough, be louder.

Maybe it’s harder to see what’s in front of you when the air you’re surrounded by is filled with pollutants. Pictured above are the efforts of people who are determined to be heard, and whose messages are in your best interest to hear out and care about.

The first image above pictures a message sent out by eight Greenpeace activists in Chicago’s own Pilsen neighborhood. Painted last week on 25 May on a 450 foot smokestack, “QUIT COAL” is their proclamation to the Fisk Generating Station (as well as the Crawford Generating Station in the Little Village neighborhood), a coal-fired power plant not covered by current Clean Air Act emission standards.

On the day previous, 24 May, eight different Greenpeace activists rappelled off a bridge at the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. Their hanging bodies prevented a coal barge from passing.

All sixteen men and women were arrested.


The second photo is an advertisement for NRDC, a not-for-profit dedicated to safeguarding the earth’s natural systems. “Air pollution kills 60,000 people a year,” the ad states, ostensibly comparing air pollution to a fatal weapon in its bold and effective imagery that utilizes a building’s smokestack as the barrel of a gun.

The imagery is intense and provocative, but not so far off. According to crime statistics from the NationMaster website, roughly 100,000 people in the world are murdered by firearms annually; over 9,000 of those murders take place in the United States. And as it is recorded in a truth-telling study published by the ELPC on the Fisk and Crawford coal plants as mentioned above, the excess release of particulate matter into the atmosphere by coal plant emissions has extreme detrimental effects on the health of surrounding communities (human and natural). “The health- and environmental-related damages from these coal plants cost the public in excess of $127 million per year… The Illinois agreement sets January 1, 2019 – over 12 years after it was announced [and with 8 years’ leeway from now] – as the deadline for Midwest Generation to reduce its SO2 emissions.” The U.S. EPA estimates that by 2014, if these emissions are reduced and the coal plants begin to “QUIT COAL” so to speak, there would be 

• 14,000 to 36,000 less premature deaths, 

• 21,000 less cases of acute bronchitis, 

• 23,000 less nonfatal heart attacks, 

• 26,000 less hospital and ER visits, 

• 1.9 million less days when people miss work or school, 

• 240,000 less cases of aggravated asthma, and 

• 440,000 less cases of upper and lower respiratory symptoms. 


If seeing is believing, then certainly the act of doing is believing in something.

These recent uprisings by Greenpeace activists who, yes, may be a bit crazy to choose to get thrown in jail and, yes, may be a bit fanatical in affirming their fervent beliefs… are examples of direct non-violent action that, even modestly, make a difference in protecting the earth and the futures of all its inhabitants. And I’d like to argue that it’s better to be arrested for defending a just cause than for adding to the statistics of annual firearm homicides.

~

-For more on direct environmental activism, I recommend watching the controversial film by Derrick Jensen, END:CIV. On 1 May, in honor of May Day and to maximize its outreach, the movie was put online for the public’s free viewing pleasure.
-The NRDC’s website also features a page where you can Take Action Now on threatening environmental issues by signing your name and submitting letters which urge positive change to various officials.
-Greenpeace also offers the public a forum in which they can Take Action, by signing your name on a message to Edison International telling them to shut down Chicago’s Fisk and Crawford coal-fired power plants by 2013.

I’ll blog at a future date on what I think about these online “action” sites on which internet surfers can make a difference by writing their name and clicking a button.