Recently, I saw Respect: A Musical Journey of Women where excerpts of 60 songs, from “I Will Follow Him” to “These Boots are Made for Walking”  were sung by a cast of four women accompanied by a live band. The show chronicles the progress of women through the 20th century, against the backdrop of songs of each era.

While it is easy to celebrate women’s milestones– “We’ve come a long way baby”, we cannot ignore that in many ways progress has been stymied.  Promoting women as sex objects continues today — witness Britney Spears, the modern day Betty Boop / Marilyn Monroe. Today’s laws are a rollback on women’s protection —  from the numerous anti-choice regulations designed to prevent women from getting birth control pills or abortions to budget cuts  for programs assisting domestic violence / rape survivors.

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If you’ve ever wondered what could happen to Disney Princesses in today’s world, the two videos below are worth a peek:

After Ever After – DISNEY Parody — Jon Cozart, a.k.a. “Paint,” has uploaded a song called “After Ever After” where four Disney princesses are singing about their lives in the modern world — Ariel is swimming in pollution – Thanks to BP,  Jasmine’s Aladdin was taken by the CIA – My husband’s a mark for the War on Terror, Belle might go to jail on charges of bestiality and Pocahontas died of STDs – More English, French, and Spaniards came to greet us with guns and germs and steel…

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According to various sources, Mahatma Gandhi defined ‘Namaste’ as:

“I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides…; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

Encouraged by a friend of mine, I decided to pen the story of my love / hate relationship with chocolate. Growing up, I loved eating “brood met muisjes”, a common Dutch breakfast of bread with chocolate sprinkles…

Bread with chocolate sprinkles

Attribution:  http://www.deruijter.nl/media/9190/hagel_melk.png

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Sugar: sweet, addictive and poisonous to our health / the environment.  The documentary below illustrates that from its roots in the slave trade, to today’s exploitation of workers in the Dominican Republic and elsewhere, sugar can be called the “toxic crop of tears.”

Like the tobacco industry, “Big Sugar” tries to hide its links to obesity, diabetes,etc. through slick campaign ads, empty promises and tons of money aimed at politicians to stave off regulations.

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“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”

–Nineteenth century Nēhilawē (Cree) proverb

In a society where junk food, such as a twinkie is cheaper than a nutrient dense carrot, we can clearly see that our food system is broken.

In the video below, Michael Pollan explains why schools feed children ‘junk’…

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“There is no place on earth that’s changing faster – and no place where that change matters more – than Greenland”, wrote Bill McKibben in a Rolling Stone Magazine article. The Dark-Snow Project is the first-ever Greenland expedition relying on crowd-source funding; the project aims to answer the ‘burning question’: How much does wildfire and industrial soot darken the ice, increasing the melt rate? It’s unconscionable that scientists have to beg for funds to study such critical planetary issues. Please donate to the project if you can.

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Dolphin Awareness Image Source

On May 20, 2013, India banned dolphin shows declaring that exploitation of such animals was ‘morally unacceptable’.

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#1 New York Times best-selling author

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George Lakoff has retired as Distinguished Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley. He is now Director of the Center for the Neural Mind & Society (cnms.berkeley.edu).