Omar Ahmad: Political change with pen and paper

I really like this TEDTalk and it's only 6 minutes long!
"You've take you passion and you've turned it into stewardship. You actually put action to the issues you care about. --Omar Ahmad"

(embedded video)

This advice of sending a letter is against most everything I've heard lately since snail mail takes weeks to go through the intense security (rather than seconds via email) But I do agree that a letter likely (literally) holds more weight. I like the idea of making it your goal to write to your elected officials monthly. I do think that if you keep in touch than you can better build relationships and relationships can help you get things done. The 4-step letter seems like a good guide that I look forward to trying too:

Parts of the Letter:
  1. Appreciation--flattery encourages people to listen
  2. Address the Issue--attack tactics and issues but not the person
  3. Exit Strategy--"if only you knew the info I do, then we would agree.."
  4. Solution--offer solution and offer to help
"A letter is one of the few times that we have honest communication.

And the final thoughts:
"A letter is one of the few times that we have honest communication."
Desire to Communicate + Stewardship = Powerful Dialogue


Happy Earth Day!

Timeline: 70 Years of Environmental Change
(This is a pretty cool timeline. And there is so much more we can do!)

The following pictures were taken at the house of a nun and a priest in Ciudad Juarez during my trip to Mexico. The nun painted the beautiful mural. (Maybe someone from INVST can remember their names?)

Prayer labyrinth in backyard

Pretty mural of the earth

Space Symposium

The annual Space Symposium happened last week. During my aerospace engineering days, I attended this symposium two different years. Each time I bashfully looked away as I walked by demonstrators telling about the militarization of space, the massive military budget, and the threat of nuclear weapons. Since then, I have "jumped ship" and joined the peace activists. I wanted to join the demonstration this year but I was too nervous at the thought of confronting former missile defense systems coworkers. I've opted for a little "slactivism" instead. I look forward to the day when the US spends its precious dollars on more worthwhile goals.

Here's a letter to the editor that didn't get published in either of the local papers by Bill Sulzmann, founder of the Colorado Springs chapter of Citizens for Peace in Space.

"A very significant event will happen next week in Colorado Springs, the 26th annual U.S. Space Symposium. It will like be reported as a feel good news story, a great boost to tourism and the promise of many more local Pentagon dollars. There are other layers to this story that deserve a second look. This is actually a huge celebration and marketing event for the giants of the military industrial complex, 8,000 attendees, 140 exhibitors at two exhibition halls. Everything is sold out, even the brand new Cyber War daylong sharing session The gathering will last for 4 days (April 12-15) and include a major exposure of local school children to the wares and propaganda of giant corporations such as Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin and a host of subcontractors as well.

This is the epitome of business as usual.. These are the major players who lobby for and then get the lions share of the $800 billion pentagon annual budget. There will be a lot of civilian space stuff on display also. It's the "spoon full of sugar that helps the medicine go
down". In this sense it is a rip off of bona fide space enthusiasts.

This event and others like it set the priorities for our future military policy. This is the continuation of a wrongheaded policy which is sending us off the cliff of overreach.

And all those Pentagon dollars coming our way will not lead to a better tax base for our local and state governments. Tax exemptions for local military bases take a big bite out of public revenue. This includes the thousands of"civilian" personnel who work in tax free government buildings at bases such as Peterson and Schriever.

The symposium bills itself as a look into a better future. It's just more of the same."

--Bill Sulzman


2010 Census

Last Day to mail it back before I come a knockin'! Fill it out. It really is impressively short and sweet.


Abraham Lincoln Photomosaic

(Note: this a totally useless, ridiculous and unnecessary post for 99.997% of you. Prolly more like 99.99997%)

My aunt mailed me this absolutely impossible puzzle. A black-and-white photomosaic of Abraham Lincoln. This post is for all of you that searched the internet for a high-res photo of the completed product. I finished the gosh-darn puzzle (and it was actually kinda fun to do too)

"Civil War photos create our 16th president"

(Note 2: If you want the full, full size (about 5MB) please email me via the contact form on the right column, on the bottom)


Killer photo-op discovered

"Early last week in Garden of the Gods Park, a European visitor, observed by a horde of Japanese tourists and one Austrian, scampered up one of the park’s photogenic red rocks known as Balanced Rock and partially wedged himself into the slot between the massive boulder and underlying monolith. Onlookers soon began to murmur in excitement.

'It totally looked like he was holding the rock up,' said one reveler.

'I wish I’d thought of that,' another proclaimed.

Phoned later for comment, park ranger Barney Woodman said, 'We've never seen anything quite like this before.'"

From The Colorado Springs Independent. I'd love to post a link to the real deal, but I guess they didn't post it on their website.