Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What?!! Grouchy Minneostans?!!

Courtesy of Mpls. Star- Tribune.
So what did you expect me to blog about today, other than the weather? For cripe's sake,  I'm a Minnesotan, and  another snowstorm is on its way to these parts in the next 24 hours. Sir Paul Douglas, our favorite meteorologist in the northland, reports as follows:

Many Minnesotans were already grouchy about last year's abbreviated summer, now this.

Here, let me cheer you up. A Blizzard Warning is posted just south of the Twin Cities Thursday. A plowable snowfall is expected, maybe as much as 2-4" in the metro, with heavier 6"+ amounts east of the St. Croix. An even bigger concern is 25-40 mph winds, capable of blowing/drifting, especially from Mankato and La Crosse to Eau Claire. If you plan on driving south/east of MSP Thursday into early Friday expect treacherous travel.

The Twin Cities metro is in a Winter Storm Warning, but latest guidance still keeps the heaviest snowfall amounts to our east. I suspect travel conditions will get worse as the day goes on tomorrow, with the worst conditions east of St. Paul Thursday night into early Friday.

By the way, I got caught out on the highway the other day in heavy snow. As usual someone was tailgating me on the exit ramp when my car started to slide back and forth. I credit mindfulness meditation for keeping me calm in this situation: I did not panic or over correct. I glanced in my rearview mirror and noted the tailgater had fallen back. My front right tire gained traction on the edge of the ramp, and I straightened my vehicle out. Despite poor visibility, I made it safely home.

Wouldn't you think by now that Minnesotans would know how to drive in poor weather conditions and would forgo the hazardous practice of tailgating a driver on icy pavement?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

"The wondrous diversity of mindfulness practitioners"

Image courtesy of YouTube via Huffington Post.
In her piece at the Huffington Post the other day addressing "the mindfulness revolution," Carolyn Grigoire is obviously annoyed by Time Magazine's recent cover using a "beautiful, white, blond woman" to represent mindfulness practitioners.

Grigoire writes:

2014 has been called the "year of mindful living," and talk of a mindful revolution seems to be everywhere from Davos to Silicon Valley. Most recently, mindfulness was the subject of a controversial cover of TIME Magazine.

TIME's "Mindful Revolution" cover in January stirred up debate among the online mindfulness community, in part for featuring a beautiful, white blonde woman meditating on the cover. As some commentators pointed out, this wasn't the first time that the magazine has portrayed mindfulness this way: Its last cover on the "science of meditation" also featured an image of a beautiful white model.

"It's one thing to feature a young, fertile white girl on the cover of TIME and promote it as 'mindfulness,'" wrote Joanna Piacenza, web manager of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, in a HuffPost Religion blog post. "It's another to do it twice over the course of a decade."

It's undeniable that there is a mindful revolution going on, and that more people than ever before are embracing the well-documented physical and mental health benefits of meditation. But unfortunately, a homogenous representation of mindfulness practices isn't uncommon in the media -- especially in the case of yoga, which is often depicted by a thin white woman with a "Gwyneth Paltrow body." But the image of the serene, young white woman closing her eyes and breathing deeply doesn't come close to telling the whole story of how mindfulness is beginning to transform lives.

Despite the often-exclusionary media representation of mindfulness, the "mindful revolution" is spreading everywhere.

Read more:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Democratic women in the Senate: "It's time to raise the minimum wage"

A letter from Elizabeth Warren on the importance of raising the minimum wage:


When I was in junior high, my daddy had a heart attack. The medical bills piled up, and we lost our family station wagon.

So my mother did what she had to do: She went to work answering the phones at Sears. The job paid only minimum wage, but it was enough to make sure we could keep our home.

If minimum wage had kept up with productivity gains since that time, it would be $22 an hour today. But it didn't – and today millions of hard-working moms and dads work full-time and still live in poverty.

No one should work full-time and live below the poverty line. That's why the Democratic women of the Senate have joined together to say it plain: It's time to raise the minimum wage. Please stand with us now, and urge Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

To me (and probably you), raising the minimum wage is a no-brainer. We know that if hard-working families have money in their pockets they will be able to help grow the economy.

Why should people work two or three jobs and still struggle to make ends meet? Why should people who work full-time have to count on food stamps to feed their families?

This is the answer: Raising the minimum wage would cut into the profits of those who have already made it, and they have an army of lawyers and an army of lobbyists to make certain that the system stays rigged in their favor.

Powerful interests might need to be dragged kicking and screaming to raise the minimum wage, but I'm going to keep fighting – and so are the rest of the Democratic women in the United States Senate.

Please stand with the Democratic women of the Senate now – and urge Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

When I was growing up, full-time work would keep your family out of poverty. Now, the game is rigged against working families.

Raising the minimum wage is one way we can start to level the playing field. Change like this is hard, and I can't guarantee the success of our efforts. But I know this: If you don't fight, you can't win. So let's fight.

Thank you for being a part of this,