August 25, 2008


So there's this guy...

I had a wonderful day.

August 23, 2008

Coal-Dusted Water

The Clean Water Act, a law to regulate detrimental practices to bodies of water, was amended in 2002 to allow mine waste to “fill in streams for development and other purposes.” Now, the US Office of Surface Mining (which, apparently, exists) has proposed more changes to the Act. According to the New York Times, these new regulations would only serve to legalize mountaintop removal mining. Their article, Ravaging Appalachia, from last August, blasts politicians for continually attempting to condone this horrendous form of mining.

And apparently it’s not enough that hundreds of mountains have been obliterated. Now coal companies want to destroy streams. As per the article, 1200 miles of streams have been buried under mine debris, known as ‘spoil.’ To compare, that the same length as Florida’s entire coastline (Source ).

Having coal mines in such close proximity to streams and other water sources has many negative effects. Drinking water in West Virginia can be brown, and it is dangerous to drink, as shown in the trailer for the documentary, Burning the Future: Coal in America. West Virginia is a poor state, and people there cannot afford to buy something else to drink. These people are dying from coal mines without even going in one.
Photo credit: cindy47452 on Flickr

An Update!

It is summer, and I have been busy, as have you all.

So, what have I been doing? A quick update, glossing over the events:

I went to the Poconos. The Poconos are the Pennsylvania section of the Appalachians. Lovely mountains. All of my mother's family was there: the cousins, the aunts, the uncles, my grandma, and my mother and myself. We had a wonderful time driving each other insane, and I turned 16.

Yes, I am now of driving age. Watch out! Okay, so I'm nowhere near driving yet, but it would be legal.

Then, my father and I went off to California for a grand adventure.

We spent a week outside Los Angeles, staying with his best friend, which was quite lovely because we don't get to see her often, as she lives three thousand miles away.

We then drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, stopping on the way in San Simeon to see Hearst Castle, which was freaking RIDICULOUS. It's something that has to be seen in person to be believed.

In San Francisco, we visited some colleges (Ack! I'm too young...) which was vaguely interesting. Just before we had to leave for home, I got to meet up with @lindseak for some delicious cupcakes.

It was then off to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, an annual event in my life. We camp in a dormant field, sit around campfires, and listen to folk music with instruments such as banjos, washboards, and spoons. Yep.

We camp with an established group: the Lord Louis Mountbatten Memorial Campsite, in between the Flids and the Azzoles (in case anyone wants to find us...). We have pink flamingos.

It is my favorite time of the year. I made new friends; I became closer to the ones that I already had. I discovered new groups. I sold t-shirts.

After returning with multiple layers of dirt from fest, I discovered that my mother had moved our entire apartment north five floors. This was expected, but not quite at the rate that it had happened. My room is now a lovely shade of orange :)

I have cut out pork and shellfish from my diet, and am slowly separating meat and dairy in dishes. That part's a bit harder, but it's all entirely doable. I like keeping kosher, and perhaps there will be another, longer post on this.

And that was my summer. There is less than two weeks until school starts, and in that time I will finish up summer reading assignments and hang with friends as much as possible. However, I'm excited to get back into routine. I'm hoping to start up a couple new ones as well.

Goals for the new school year will be posted soon. Hope everyone has had a lovely, enjoyable summer.