Nearly a year has passed since the Tank made Ecuador a routine dateline, and the former reforestation project we worked at has announced some exciting developments.
Planet Drum, a non-profit based in San Francisco, has been reforesting the coastal ridges of Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador, and a site we worked on has been completed with more than 500 native trees. These species will help the hillsides fight the erosion that devastated Bahia de Caraquez during El Nino more than a decade ago.
They also have a steady flow of volunteers, and this guy still running the show in the field.
Orlando and the rest of Planet Drum are planting 4,000 trees this rainy season. 4,000! That’s manly — and womanly.
Feels good to have contributed; feels good to know they are continuing and improving. To read more, go here.
A great Sports Illustrated article about former NFL quarterback Jake Plummer included his moving quote from his eulogy of former teammate and deceased U.S. Army Ranger Pat Tillman.
“I was in the store the other day and I saw People magazine, and it had the cover of the 50 most beautiful people in the world, or America, and there was a picture of Pat,” Plummer said. “It was kind of ironic because I really looked and said, What is beauty? Is beauty a pretty face, a nice smile, flowing hair, nice skin? Not to me, it’s not. To me beauty is living life to higher standards, stronger morals and ethics and believing in them, whether people tell you you’re right or wrong. Beauty is not wasting a day. Beauty is noticing life’s little intricacies and taking time out of your busy day to really enjoy those little intricacies. Beauty is being real, being genuine, being pure with no facade — what you see is what you get. Beauty is expanding your mind, always seeking knowledge, not being content, always going after something and challenging yourself.”
When the Tank’s links include a connection to a conservative commentator — Robert Novak — who died 18 months ago, the time is ripe to update the list.
People might not click on them, but the Tank is proud to have included Wikileaks years before it reached the front pages and top stories of mainstream news. And Al Jazeera as U.S. cable companies were (and still are) denying the Qatar-based news organization from airing its English TV station on its programming packages.
It’s been a while since the Tank has clicked on them, and was saddened to see Cagle’s best political cartoons through MSNBC either gone or moved. Other casualties include alternative news sources such as Guerrilla News Network and Real News as well as a blog from talented foreign journalist Dahr Jamail.
The Tank was pleasantly surprised to see Owl Farm Blog from Hunter S. Thompson’s wife, Anita, still alive and well. As I listen to new sounds of Chris & Thomas, Bonnie “Prince” Billy and the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Anita posted some Gonzo journalism from its founder, HST:
“Music has always been a matter of energy for me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel.”
It’s ironic because when I’m not transcribing interviews for stories during the day, I’m listening to music. I’m with HST, it’s fuel. It was also ironic this evening. While I was checking out “Entertain Me or Else,” a blog from my friend Will A, also still alive and well, Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” played through my headphones. It was fitting because we got fuel from that tune in Duluth circa 2009.
Some other blogroll updates include John Rash, a Star Tribune editorial writer, who had this nice observation, “The CNN identity crisis could also be seen in recent appearances of its current star Anderson Cooper. In the course of two weeks, he got beaten up by Pee Wee Herman in a “Saturday Night Live” skit, then took real punches from pro-Mumbarak mobs in Egypt.”
Rash had this too, “USA Today has five foreign correspondents, according to American Journalism Review, and 27 entertainment reporters, according to a leaked staffing chart.”
Another new link is to “The Enlightenment of Gray,” a blog from college friend Blake Hendrickson. He resides in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and it’s certainly enlightening to get his non-ethnocentric comments.
Another final newbie is Basetrack, the Web site the Tank wrote about two weeks ago. It was from journalists embedded with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan before the U.S. government shut them down a few weeks ago. Although it’s stagnant now, I wouldn’t have known about the lack of success of drone attacks without their Facebook link to a Washington Post story.
The story, which brings up some noxious numbers, said 119 drone attacks, costing $1 million each have killed only two senior-level terrorists.
That’s scary, and with a diversified information list — err, blogroll — we now know such things.