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Waving lanterns at runaway trains.
I'm kind to children and small animals, and everyone else. My most recent accomplishment was saving a baby bird - the eggs were in a ground nest and all but one destroyed. Days after she hatched, she fell victim so some predator. I'm still heartbroken.
I made up for it by rescuing a baby possum just a few days ago. Because I couldn't reach wildlife rescue, I had to go to these meetings all day with the little critter under my jacket (to keep him warm).
I believe that before we build big new cars with octophonic stereos, and huge flat screen TVs (or, rather, have others build them for us), we should make sure everyone has basic food and shelter.
Then we can go wild.
I believe we have the greatest abundance ever, and we seem to be in a mad rush to destroy it all as fast as we can. I don't believe we're overpopulated - people are my favorite species, and as long as we devote so much of the world's most fertile soils to lawns, and burn away fossil fuels just for the sake of flaunting excess, I won't believe we couldn't feed everyone if we decided to do that.
For example, I lived in a house that required no heat even in snowy winters, just thanks to clever solar features like facing a bunch of windows south (and was still cool in the summer, thanks to an overhanging roof shading us from the higher summer sun). How hard is that? And that house, one of the most pleasant I've ever been in, was built four decades ago and designed to be inexpensive to build. So, ah, what's taking us so long to catch on?
It amazes me how much we consume just to be alienated from each other and generally unhappy, while others are forced to slave away (literally) to supply us and keep us alienated and unhappy. We could consume far less and enjoy life far more.
I think this life is all there is, and I'd like us all, as individuals and societies, to make the best of it, and be good to each other.
I think we're living in the greatest bounty humankind has ever experienced, despite this crazy mad rush to destroy it. I think we have an obligation to leave the world a better place than we found it, and that's how I live my life and why I'm going back to school.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
I've always hosted friends and travelers, stayed with people and hosted those I've befriended along the road. I'm often amazed at how quickly we make decisions on whether to trust someone or not. (I believe humans are basically altruistic... but also that you know a great deal about people within seconds of meeting them.)
I joined hospitalityclub.org a few years ago to keep the good karma flowing. And now, it's on to couchsurfers.
Reading, writing, harmonica and Ultimate frisbee. What more do you need?
Well, also, public health science and issues - like how we can finish eradicating polio (the sort of thing I'm studying). And heaps of other stuff, environmental and social and human rights.
Music, Movies, and Books
Books: The Gold Bug Variations, Gravity's Rainbow, Not on the Label, Dirt Music, Noam Chomsky, Water (Alice Outwater), Too Many People?, A Short History of Financial Euphoria, A Short History of Nearly Everything, Laurie Garret's books on epidemiology and public health... I'm being distracted by a bowl of fresh strawberries.
I'm on a bit of a Pogues kick right now. I like Joshua Radin, Tracy Chapman... and sometimes AC/DC and Pearl Jam. Tori Amos. Ghost of Tom Joad. Florence. Regina. Whatever. Sometimes I also like listening to the speeches of Martin Luther King when I need to feel inspired (wish I could speak like that) (but don't worry, I don't even try).
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Can't choose. Here's some things I've done or discussed recently:
Introduced a ten-year-old boy to the X-Twin remote control biplane.
Downloaded Glenn Gould's recordings of the Goldberg Variations. Was reminded of how much I liked Richard Powers' book, The Gold Bug Variations.
Downloaded some Polish band's version of Kalifornia Uber Alles.
Got to be Batman.
(Pushed my way off the bus to stop a woman from getting her purse snatched... discovering, to my delight, that everyone else, who'd been intently pretending they didn't notice woman-desperately-clinging-to-purse... with-large-man-windmill-punching-her in the head, had simply filed onto the bus. Discovered this when I heard bus leave, leaving me quite alone... very alone, given size of man now threatening to stab me.
Got purse back to owner. Man left.
Later, while we were watching a Batman animation, my friend said, “It would be so cool to be Batman.”
For just a few minutes there, I got to be Batman... except Batman would've given the bad guy a beat-down, and all I did was walk the woman back to the bus stop. So maybe I didn't get to be Batman.)
Discovered my great-uncle was, for a time, public enemy number one of the Third Reich, chased across half of Europe by the Gestapo (They never caught him - Go, Frederich!).
Performed a comedy routine talking about the Stonewall Riots. (And a less socially relevant one about trying to choose stuff at the office supply shop.)
Bought a Very Bright flashlight.
In-line skated all over Townsville. Decided inline skating is better in Paris.
Figured out how to train a gecko.
Countries I’ve Visited
Countries I’ve Lived In
Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, United States