Wow! If there isn’t a camera that does what you want to do…then MAKE IT!!! check out The Battlefield Pinhole Camera

Check out:  The Battlefield Pinhole Camera.

Light leak on the third roll, but check out the cool print delivery! This makes me want to make one! With a few tweaks of course!

The battlefield is a revolutionary pinhole camera that simultaneously uses 3 rolls of 35mm film to capture an image split across all three rolls. This tut has lots of details and is somewhat technical, so we will jump between images, videos and text, using the best method (or methods) to illustrate each step. Try and keep up. This tutorial is brought to you by the nothing-is-impossible photographer Steven Monteau. Check his other photographic inventions on his Flickr stream and his bi-lingual blog. Just before diving into this huge tut, if want to learn more about pinhole cameras, I recommend reading the following books: The Pinhole Camera: A Practical How-To Book for Making Pinhole Cameras and Images and Pinhole Photography: From Historic Technique to Digital Application

The Concept

This is a breakdown of all the different elements that build the Battlefield. You can use this list as a companion to the actual instruction. It will help you understand what are the different functionalities that each part provides. It also opens a small window into the head of Steven.

The Main Body

The main Battlefield body which looks like, em … a naval destroyer is the enclosure that holds all the pieces together, as with any camera the body has to answer several functions. Firstly, it needs to have a place for the film cassette, then it needs a photographic chamber and lastly it needs to house the winding spool or spools.A Mechanism To Handle Roll Films.  “Traditional” pinholes this size usually carry photo-paper or sheet-film as what we computer age babies call sensor. The Battlefield, however, uses three rolls of film so it needs to have a winding spool and knob, a rewind lever lock mechanism and button and three (yes THREE) different rewind spools and knobs. The pinhole is the hole that lets the light through. It is a very small hole drilled in aluminum foil. If you don’t know what a pinhole is, check this article or read this great book: The Pinhole Camera: A Practical How-To Book for Making Pinhole Cameras.

Some people are "crazy-creative!"

The Shutter

As the exposure times are slow, the shutter can be a simple scotch tape. But it’s way cooler to make a nice sliding shutter. So indeed a sliding shutter it is. Lids The lids are what keep the entire Battlefield light-tight. The first back lid is an internal cover which is meant to avoid light leaks. It is also pressing on the film to keep it flat.  The second back lid is a big cover, made for closing the camera securely.

Tripod Mount

A nut (screw thread : 1/4″ 20tpi unc)

Building Materials

The main body is built from a cardboard calendar. It is pretty thick, if you don’t have a old calendar for that end, you can use heavy construction paper or foam board. Black is optimal for that. The thin material-like the mechanisms are built from plastic calling cards. Credit cards will work also. The wind & rewind spools are made from felt-tip pens. The knobs are made from marker-pen caps and bottle caps. You’ll also need some film – at least three rolls.


To cut, to drill, to mistreat materials you will need scissors, cutter (no saw) and an xacto knife. To fit the stuff together, use super glue to group the cardboard pieces and use Epoxy Glue (like araldite) to fix materials subject to constraints (especially the tripod mount & the knobs)  You’ll also need sandpaper, pins, nails, tracing paper, and some small odds and ends you’ll probably find in the office supply drawer.

So let’s Start The Construction!

Step 1 – Cut The Main Body and prepare the film cassette slot Step 2 – Delineate The Photographic Chamber Boundaries, prepare the winding spool Step 3 – Create an Anti-Rewind Mechanism.  A Mechanism for preventing the film from loosing tension. If it’s a bit difficult to understand why it’s useful and how it works now, jump to the end of the post to see how it works and come back here. Step 4 – Create Rewind Knobs For Each Film Roll tep 5 –Drill The Actual Pinhole. I used aluminum foil and a needle to do this, as this is the fastest way I found. Actually, The pinhole can be drilled randomly, it will work anyway, but it should have the perfect size for its focal length (distance between pinhole and film) in order to get sharp results, check this pinhole size calculator to get the exact hole size you need BUT ! It’s impossible to pierce so precisely, so you will have to pierce numerous holes randomly, and check which ones have the right size, by scanning them at the max. res. If you get curious during the process, well, you can preview the result. Just put some tracing paper in place of the film.

Use a box (or your hand) to darken the back, and voilà ! : Step 6 – Make a Cool Sliding Shutter Actually, this is kinda useless for this kind of pinhole, but it is so cool, that I will show you what I’ve done anyway ^^ : (check the video at the end of this post)… I’m sure you don’t need any advice to make a much simpler version. (hint – gaffer’s tape) Step 7 – Make The Back Lid Depending on the design of your pinhole making a back lid can be very simple, however, mine is complicated. If my camera body was rectangular, I would just have to make a slightly bigger box to close the whole thing, but, nooooooo, I had to make a battleship. Step 8 – Finish & Paint Apply a first coat of Primer, it helps smoothing out the surfaces, it also helps to avoid light leaks. far as painting goes, the only useful / functional paint is the matte black into the photographic chamber, it removes reflections and “eats any lights that accidentally goes into the chamber. The rest is for fun.

Use The Battlefield!!! Advance the film(s) / shoot / advance the films / shoot / adv…… Then, when the films end, allow the rewinding by pushing the rewind lever lock button

Battlefield Pinhole Camera – using 20 from Udi Tirosh on Vimeo.

Hot Air on Global Warming

Hot Air on Global Warming.

John Coleman, the weatherman at KUSI in San Diego, has by his own rough estimate performed more than a quarter million weathercasts. It is not a stretch to say that he is largely responsible for the shape of the modern weather report. As the first weatherman on ABC’s Good Morning America in the late ’70s and early ’80s, Coleman pioneered the use of the onscreen satellite technology and computer graphics that are now standard nearly everywhere. In 1982 Coleman used his spare time—and media mogul Frank Batten’s money—to launch the Weather Channel. The idea seemed quixotic then, and his tenure as president ended a year later after an acrimonious split with Batten. But time proved Coleman to be something of a genius—by the time NBC Universal bought it in 2008, it had 85 million viewers and a $3.5 billion price tag.


Those were the first two acts of Coleman’s career. On a Sunday night in early November 2007, he sat down at his home computer and started to write the 967 words that would launch the third. “It is the greatest scam in history,” he began. “I am amazed, appalled, and highly offended by it. Global Warming: It is a SCAM.”

What had set him off was a football game. The Eagles were playing the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, and as a gesture of environmental awareness—it was “Green Is Universal” week at NBC Universal—the studio lights were cut for portions of the pregame and halftime shows. Coleman, who had been growing increasingly skeptical about global warming for more than a decade, finally snapped. “I couldn’t take it anymore,” he told me. “I did a Howard Beale.”

Skepticism is, of course, the core value of scientific inquiry. But the essay that Coleman wrote, which was published on the website ICECAP, would have more properly been termed rejectionism. Coleman wasn’t arguing against the integrity of a particular conclusion based on careful original research. Instead, he went after the motives of the scientists. Climate researchers, he wrote, “look askance at the rest of us, certain of their superiority. They respect government and disrespect business, particularly big business. They are environmentalists above all else.”

The Drudge Report picked up Coleman’s essay, and within days its author was a cause célèbre on right-wing talk radio and cable television, beaming into Glenn Beck’s CNN show via satellite to elaborate on the scientists’ conspiracy. “They all have an agenda,” Coleman told Beck, “an environmental and political agenda that says, ‘Let’s pile on here, we’re all going to make a lot of money, we’re going to get research grants, we’re going to get awards, we’re going to become famous.’ ”

Soon Coleman was on the conference circuit, a newly minted member of the loose-knit confederation of professional skeptics. His interviews and speeches that have been posted to YouTube have, in some cases, been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Click the link above  (Hot air on global warming)  to read the next pages…

The Man On The Screen: Or…The Pedophile at the table next to you…

My husband and I were bantering about the ipad…. again…all the cool things it does and what’s going to happen with the stock etc., etc.,our usual conjecture..

the illustrious ipad...which I am salivating to buy...

tha handy dandy iphone....which changed my life....btw...

when we pulled up to The Whole Enchilada in Diamond Bar, CA I know, I know…Diamond Bar.. that should have been our first clue.) Now I’ve been told, but I didn’t listen… The saying is, NEVER , but NEVER, go to a restaurant where the name of the joint is a goofy play on words because It never ends well. You’re either quickly contributing to the sewer psi or you’re way to the local CVS to get some over-the-ounter concoction that could be used to tackle rotovirus (if it was packed in a wee-bit larger dose that is.) We chose TWE because the confines of this certified boring town have not afforded us anything palatable, challenging or just plain interesting. The Whole Enchilada is a virtual hotbed of authenticity (i lie), but comparied to El Torito…(just go with me here)…it is.

The Whole Enchilada. How many times have I said,

Basically it’s not as ‘huero” if you know what I mean. We wanted some semblance of real mexican food. This place ain’t exactly Tarahumara fare complete with tsguino, which I have been itching to try, but certainly good enough for our suburban corralled selves that night. We were fed up The Karaoke singing warbling denizens of El Torito, whom paraded their Evo’s and smeeevo’s and whale-tailed this and that, around for their ‘Snookie’s in half shirts, and eyelashes that seem to need cherry pickers to lift them once they chanced a flirty flutter in some Diamond Bar Bro’s face.

Their dangly mirrored earrings did not bother me not because of the style (they rather soothingly reminded me of the Solar Power facility out in Kramer Junciton as a matter of fact.)  Actually, they were so shiny that you could use ’em in the Sierra Madres to signal a fellow bandido that invaders were trekking too close to your pot farm! We were also tired of dodging boys in plugs and Testy trucks with lift kits high enough to help set the new tiles on my roof! I reasoned, If I got run over, would anyone know?

Anyhow when compared with El Torito, The Whole Enchilada just plain smacked of down home cooking! Not!!!…. but as I said, go with me. Remember I said ‘compared to’ that’s key. So Fan-Boy and Fan-Girl (myself and my partner in grime – Steve)… sit down with iphones out, and start checking out the stats on on our blogs. We check for email from clients and the friends that pursue them.

The lanky waiter that sat us takes our drink order and saunters off to seat another couple. I notice a bit of perfume, and then a man’s cologne as a sixy something couple is led to the booth right behind my husband. The smell of chips and the lemon slice that I am drizzling over it overwhelms me in my mad rush to expeditiously slather the chips with Tapatio and lemon I spill my coke, but not badly. It’s that kind of spill that is a gray area. I begin to salivate upon smelling the lemon and hot sauce…and even before I’m done as I think about the acidic pleasure I am about launch down my gullet. I look up from my voracious preparation at the sound of, “Honey…what am I going to eat? I mean you just killed all of the chips with acid and Tapatio!” Coming back to my regular table manners I remember that my husband does not like alot of salt, lemon OR Tapatio on his chips! Yes I was being selfish. I was hungry, talking, thinking, and well, just on ‘automatic pilot’ actually. “Sorry honey..I’ll call the waiter and get more, sorry.” While I am looking at my husband trying to explain my inappropriate food zealousness, I notice that the older man who was sat just behind Steve is staring at me. I mean really staring. Did he have a sensual penchant for the lemon drizzled atomic warhead flavored chips? Did he think that I was Gillian Anderson? Oh god please…I thought, not that again. He kept on staring. I looked away, then back again and yep…he was still there…staring. ‘Okay, this is weird, but I really want to enjoy my ‘close to real, sort of in a Diamond-Bar-huero-sort-of-way- food. I ignored this guy the stock power of Mecha Mook, for he had Laser Vision. He had real glowing eyes of doom. My hubby and I meandered through tons of different subject matter, we sort of approach conversations in a sort of free association way and nothing of off limits. It’s really fun, creative and never boring being with him. This time I tried to stay on the subject we were talking about but just couldn’t! Mecha Mook was done staring at me and was looking behind me creepily intent manner. We aren’t talking the type of looking that some people do. Looking to see who’s around, check out your surroundings, look to see or hear a smattering of what people are talking about in general. Some of us just look to take in our surroundings in general. Blasts of heat were coming form Mecha Mook’s eyes Now he had turned in his seat and was staring at the sides of two young girls’ heads.

Eye lasers baby, eye lasers!

I looked just beyond Steve at Mook’s wife and saw her bantering away about what sounded like some sort of “work issue” (this person said this and that person said that to supervisor so and so)… and Mook continuously nodded but continued to stare even craning his neck a bit to get a ‘better view’ of the girls, and later whatever was behind me. All the while I was listening to my husband, adding to our confab but stealing away small investigative glances at Mook and his wife. I knew something was askew and like a meerkat I was on task! I was gonna find out. I didn’t really know what I was looking for,  but I was collecting the data!   I was doing this because something was out of the ordinary and I am a gifted multi-tasker… (thanks ADD!!!! ) I finally fessed. ‘Honey..’ I recognize that guy behind you… WAIT!!! don’t look! …don’t turn around!!!…I am not sure if he’s been at the kids’ school…or if he lives on the street going up to our house…or what!…maybe I’ve just seen him in the grocery store…i’m not sure…but he was staring very intently at me when we first sat down and now at someone or something behind me.’ “Christina, you have probably seen him in one of the local grocery stores, or the bank…don’t worry about it.” “I don’t know, I know I’ve seen him somewhere…and here’s the weird thing, he just turned entirely to the side in his seat to stare of the two young girls in the booth across from he and his, I assume, wife.” “Oh, hell, maybe he’s one of those pedophile guys on that app that I downloaded on the iphone! Steve laughed,  half kidding but with a glint of a ‘what if’ situation playing on his face.   He was half expecting to be wrong. ‘Let’s see…wouldn’t that be weird if it was?…but i doubt it.’  he said. Steve pulled up the app and asked rme for his approximate age and general description

the app pictured. Though this is not the Mook, it

“He’s caucasian around 64 or 65 white hair, prominent chin, thin eyes and slightly droopy eyelids, hid eyes look blue. He doesn’t look especially nefarious, looks harmless really, so I really doubt he’s one of those guys.” Steve filters the app for our local area and spins the phone over to me. “Is this the guy? cuz you know I can’t turn around, it would be rude.” “Nope, not at all.” I begin to more closely describe his features. Another spin of the phone and my throat tightens, my eyes get wide and I know immediately, that I am staring right into a carbon copy of the face that is sitting right behind Steve! I want to scream “THAT’S HIM! OH MY GOD, THAT’S HIM!” but I say it quietly, quite expeditiously. and after the first word I am in control of my voice. I keep within a talking / whisper as I exclaim ‘THAT’S DEFINITELY HIM, RIGHT BEHIND YOU.’ Steve is believes me I can tell, but still doubts a bit too. It can be easy to mistake such a person as this due to his common face, his common eyes, but no, not that chin in conjunction with those eyes. The lids the irregularities of his face were noted and I knew in my gut that it was the same guy. “Does he have this prominent chin? these slanty eyes? this salt and pepper mustache ? says Steve. “Are you sure?” “YES, YES…” “Well then as soon as they finish and he gets up we should make the wait-staff aware. and yes. The restaurant has the right to refuse service to whomever they choose.” I wondered about the rights of someone who had done something as heinous as what Mook here did. Mook was and is “Headly, James E Headly to be exact. He was convicted of Lewd and lacivious acts wtih a child under fourteen years of age.

James R. Headley

Our app did not specify whether it was male or female that he molested, but that shouldn’t matter. When I say molested, I mean it in the most literal form of the word, “to bother.” James R. Headley was convicted of “Lewd or lascivious acts with a child under fourteen years of age.” I can construe that he probably did not rape his victim, but that leaves a multitude of other just as agregious acts that can fall under the lewd and lascivious category. Knowing this caused my stomach to turn. My mouth could no longer eat, my hands were shaking in anger, surprise and yes fear. Fear for the young girls that he had turned ninety degrees to stare at as they ate their albondigas soup and tortillas. They chatted about boyfriends and the android phone and he stared them down with lust as his lady friend (wife?) ignored his behavior which was at the very least rude to her. Did she know his past? Had she forgiven him? I can think of no possible innocuous situation that could land one in prison for these acts with a child. It’s reprehensible and knowing that any person man or woman would make these decisions to use his or her power, body and mind in the control and abuse of a child. And it’s very hard to sit near someone who has made these decisions to cause intentional, immense, mental, physical and life-long harm to a child. My husband called the waiter over and showed him the photo and listing on our phone via the App. Our waiter confirmed to my husband immediately that the man in the booth that had been sitting behind him was indeed the man on the screen. “YES! that’s the man! he’s a regular here! he always comes in!” “I can’t BELIEVE IT!” he continued. Clearly the waiter was a caring and responsive individual. I could see an anger beginning to run through his body. He began to move faster, talk faster. He said, “Oh my god, I’m sorry.” I told him..”It’s not your fault, it’s not the restaurant’s fault.” “I couldn’t eat my food, and I had a weird feeling about him, so we checked it out because he was just staring down all the women sitting in this area. You know not just glancing or even like a guy who was you know…enjoying looking a women in an innocent way, but in an angry, deep, staring uncomfortable way.” The waiter said he would tell the manager and they would decide what to do. Steve and I left and wondered what should be done.

While logic tells me that someone who has ‘paid their debt to society’ should be allowed to go out into society, I find it a hard pill to swallow. These people will forever combat the fear that they have generated in the society. To prey on anyone is agregious, unfogiving, but to target children is just worse. These are our protected spirits, our little loves. Our babies. The shunning attitudes that sex offenders encounter everywhere they go as their crime becomes known is just something they will have to deal with. That shunning, that anger, those reactions are a but one small consequence for the actions that were committed. I have children. We know the statistics about re-lapsing felons. By now we know that know that this Mr. Headley lives in our community. I was struck by how ‘average’ he looked. By looking at him I would not have pegged him as pedophile, which leads me to wonder how well our preconceived notions serve us. I was clued into this guys abnormal behavior, his movement, and that caused me to further scrutinize him. Finally I asked questions.

Since we had downloaded an app called “Offender Locater” by (available on the iphone and the ipad), we were able to recognize this man and have information at our fingertips about his past felonious behavior. Just think about how helpful this ap would be for children who walk home from school! Or who are at a newly independent age! I am all for giving our children the tools and resources to spot people who have a history of abuse and might pose a potential threat. Maybe educating our kids in self-defense isn’t enough. Maybe every kid should have an offender register at their fingertips. I am interested in hearing what you have to say about “The Man on the Screen” (The Pedophile at the table next to you.”) what would YOU do? Would you go back to the establishment if they decided that they would not bar him? Would you have confronted the man and shown him his data on the app? (My husband wanted to do this, but I thought it could’ve potentially started a fight)…Would you have simply moved your seat and not be bothered, thinking, ‘he paid his debt?’

I am an emotional thinker and a staunch believer in children’s rights and their welfare. Children should have protection in our society so that they can grow and become who and what they will be. That is one of our most important jobs in our society. This incident was traumatic for me. By the way... the person that James E. Headley was using his Mekarra Beam on was a small blonde fourteen-ish year old girl soccer player innocently having dinner with her family. Thanks for your comments. ~ Chrissylong.

BREWERY ART WALK – Doin’ it their way…

By Matt Mason
April 19, 2010
From Los Angeles Metblog.

I went to my first Brewery Artwalk yesterday, and was truly inspired. Seeing the tremendous variety of artwork, and interacting with the artists where they live and work, was mind-blowing.

And what an environment it is. Billed as the world’s largest art colony, the Brewery arts complex (former home of the Eastside and later Pabst breweries and the Edison Power Plant) felt like it could have been in Oregon, or upstate New York, anywhere but within the city of Los Angeles. The studios in the one-story buildings each had front “yards,” with plants, lawn furniture, interesting trinkets, and even a hot tub or two. Inside, while some of the studios had distinct living and working spaces (often the living spaces were the lofts upstairs), others had a more seamless flow between the two. It was fascinating to see how different each space was, reflecting the personalities of the artists. Some of those artists, by the way, were painfully shy, and it must have been weird for them to have strangers tromping through their combined homes/work spaces.

As might be expected, the artwork ranged from painting to photographs to jewelry, mixed media, video, and more. However, we found the prices to be surprisingly high, up to at least $ 9,500 (why do art prices so frequently end in multiples of $ 500?) Much of this art was not priced to sell, in my opinion, and, according to our observations, sell it didn’t. We only saw one item sold, an attractive and reasonably priced ($120 or less) lamp. I began thinking about the whole art vs. commerce tension. I can understand how many of these items must have taken scores of hours of painstaking work, and that the artists would not want to part with their babies for less than a sum that reflected all of that hard work. And perhaps many of these artists are selling commissioned pieces beyond the gaze of art tourists such as myself. But it seems to me that some of these artists could use a bit of marketing assistance (especially for those artists or their assistants who hid in the corner when potential buyers came through their studio doors).

This artist had a terrific PEZ collection. 3 Elvises on the right.
Likewise, I was pleasantly surprised that admission to the Artwalk was free. They could easily have charged a modest admission price of, say, $5 to $8, and still have attracted thousands of people. Moreover, we really lucked out on parking, which some say can be difficult. We showed up at after 1:30 p.m., and the parking staffers (who were pleasant and efficient) opened up some non-spots right inside the entrance to the neighboring UPS parking lot for us, so basically we got the third spot in. That also made for a quick and easy exit, and a very low-stress afternoon overall. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Speaking of cheese, the only knock I would give the Artwalk is the food. Inside the complex, there were basically two choices — the crowded Barbara’s restaurant, or the crowded food tent that was heavily biased towards meat items such as grilled hot dogs/sausages and beef ribs (and I am in no way intending to recall a certain verrrry long comments thread here from a few months ago). Whether or not one tries to take into account the demographics of who attends the Artwalk, it seems to me that more food options would make sense, and dollars.

So maybe next April, or next October, I’ll be back with my own snacks. But I’ll definitely be back.

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Parking ‘Tard or Not? You Make the Call
Park[ing] Day LA Coming September 18
Parking ‘Tards: City Employee Edition
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1 Comment
Jodi Kurland (jodi) on April 20th, 2010 @ 6:12 am

I love the Brewery Artwalk and often go twice a year. We only made it for a short time last Fall and didn’t manage to go this past weekend. I’m bummed, but will hopefully get there for the next one.

What’s the ideal body? Who says the media gets to tell us? A constellation of sociocultural factors that are making us sick.

We all know that gender roles in media affect people mentally, and consequently physically. During childhood and adolescence these media exposure events become part of a constellation of sociocultural factors that promote a thinness schema for girls and the muscularity schema for boys amongst other ideals.

Consider these facts about the development of body image which begins developing when we are just newborns. A child immediately begins to explore what his or her body feels like and can do. This process continues his whole life. A child’s body image is influenced by how people around her react to her body and how she looks. A pre-adolescent becomes increasingly aware of what society’s standards are for the “ideal body.”

It is long known that the media (television, movies, magazines, etc.) have, since World War II, increasingly held up a thinner and thinner body image, (and now ever more physically fit image) as the ideal body configuration for women. The ideal man is also presented as trim, but muscular.

the association of attractiveness and thinness was present in over 100 female characters appearing in 23 Walt Disney animated films (cel cartoons) produced over a 60-year period.

Thin female characters in television situation comedies were more likely than heavier female characters to be praised by male characters, and less likely to be insulted by male characters.

Since the 1980s magazines have increasingly depicted the male body in a state of objectified undress, such that a significant focus for the camera and viewer is raw, exposed (“chiseled” or “ripped”) muscularity. This might be the reason my oldest son was chomping at the bit at fourteen to gain permission to start working out. (He didn’t get that permission until he was sixteen, but at that juncture he jumped right into it, buying a gym membership and start working on a “six pack.”

Most working class adolescent girls are dissatisfied with their weight and shape. A study done by ‘Field, et., al in 1999, found that 70%  the girls stated that pictures in magazines influenced their conception of the “perfect” body shape, and over 45% indicated that those images motivated them to lose weight. Further, adolescent girls who were more frequent readers of women’s magazines were more likely to report being influenced to think about the perfect body, to be dissatisfied with their own body, to want to lose weight, and to diet.

Teen-age girls who viewed commercials depicting women who modeled the unrealistically thin (yet ideal by media standards), type of beauty, caused adolescent girls to feel less confident, more angry, and more dissatisfied with their weight and appearance. I wonder what the percentage is of girls that go on to form medical and psychological maladies like shyness, depression and others?

In a study on fifth graders, 10 year old girls and boys told researchers they were dissatisfied with their own bodies after watching a music video by Britney Spears or a clip from the TV show which showcased people thin “media ideal but uncommon in real life’ bodies.

In another recent study on media’s impact on adolescent body dissatisfaction, two researchers found that:

Teens who watched soaps and TV shows that emphasized the ideal body typed reported higher sense of body dissatisfaction. This was also true for girls who watched music videos. Reading magazines for teen girls or women also correlated with body dissatisfaction for girls.

Many children watch between two and four hours of television per day. The presence or absence of role models, how women and men, girls and boys are presented, and what activities they participate in on the screen powerfully affect how girls and boys view their role in the world. Studies looking at cartoons, regular television, and commercials show that although many changes have occurred and girls, in particular have a wider range of role models, for girls “how they look” is still more important than “what they do.”

In a 1997 study designed to study how children described the roles of cartoon characters, children (ages four to nine) “perceived most cartoon characters in stereotypical ways: boys were violent and active and girls were domestic, interested in boys, and concerned with appearances” (Thompson, 1997).

In another study, three weeks of Saturday morning toy commercials were analyzed. Within the sampling,
50% of the commercials aimed at girls spoke about physical attractiveness, while none of the commercials aimed at boys referenced appearance.
What are we teaching our young girls and boys?  Young males interacting with the toys or items being advertised, acted aggressively in 50% of the commercials aimed at them, while none of the girls behaved aggressively. Even voice-over for young male’s toys was overly presented with speed and aggression.

With regard to work roles depicted on television in a study doen by Sobiera in 1995, no boys had unpaid labor roles, while girls were mainly shown in traditional female jobs or roles of unpaid labor.

Dr. Nancy Signorielli, Professor of Communications at the University of Delaware examined the types of media most often viewed by adolescent girls: television, commercials, films, music videos, magazines and advertisements. While the study did find positive role models of women and girls using their intelligence and acting independently, the media presented an overwhelming message that girls and women should be more concerned with romance and dating (as it follows how they look and looks supposedly determine how successful they will be at their roles), while men focus on their strength, aggressiveness and occupations.

I would like to extrapolate out the conversation and ask you to consider the lasting effects of this ‘body image / gender moulding pre-occupation”. Can the high incidence in male and female dissatisfaction and deprssion be linked to these practices in our media or in a larger context, in our society?

Can we further say that physical maladies such as bulemia, anorexia and a host of anxiety disorders are a result of such seemingly unbalanced ideologies? I have to venture a ‘yes.’ Don’t forget about the boys.   Consider the boys who are twelve and thirteen and already asking for ‘muscle building supplements.’ or ‘chin up bars.’ All you have to do is visit any  MySpace profile pics for young boys and we see them flexing their muscles, which have yet to even finish developing!   Our society is sexualizing, under contextualizing / and gender moulding our children into very narrow roles causing them to see a narrow purpose that is connecting attractiveness with general personal worth.  These are dangerous times.  Kids are worried that they don’t fit in. Worried that they don’t measure up.  Some of them have acquired negative mental and physical manifestations of these anxieties and are killing themselves slowly or in a quick and deliberate way.

What can we do at a grass roots level? I invite discussion.


If Slaughterhouses had glass walls….EVERY BODY WOULD BE VEGETARIAN!!!!

Going Veggie can change the world. It can make us healthier, it can relieve suffering, it can even make a huge dent in slowing down global warming…

What to do...what to do.....ho hum...okay, let's get going!

For some of us, it’s an easy decision and lifestyle to adopt, and for some of us, we wish we could but for some reason we can’t and when we try… we get thwarted and we end up slopping a motherlode of “Redd Eye sweet relish” on a swollen juicy Nathan’s on a fluffy sesame seed bun. I’ve been there, and I also consider myself a former veggie.  My ‘Veggie Identity began right around 1988 and lasted right on up until 1991. I had broken free from my ‘amino acid -savory-meats-addiction. I became a non flesh eater and felt wonderful, and free.   Eventually I came back to meat like a battered lover.  I was  catapulted back into a bad symbiotic relationship. I needed the meat and the meat industry needed me. But my flash point incident slinging me back to my savory suffering wasn’t some juicy steak or In-n-out burger, ‘animal style’ It was a “Nathan’s Best” one of those lightly scorched colored ones that promises to plump and sweat with fat, (and yes a small percentage of indigenous nitrates).

Oozing, feel the snap of the casing of the hotdog in your mouth, or think of the lives that were lost to give you 3 minutes of gastric pleasure.

I couldn’t say no to that sunburned torpedo of  willy nilly fleshy matter, but it was more than that. I got off the health gravy train and back in bed with the helpless drooling flesh-o-philes mostly because people close to me were ‘feeding me nutritional propaganda.’  I was newly pregnant at the time and I was constantly warned about the supposed  “dangers of staying veggie while pregnant!”    Yes my first son, Garet, was proudly on the way and I craved  female input on all things neonatal. Anything from the standard, “which diaper type is best for baby?”  To,  “what feeding pattern should I adopt?”  or, how about “Should I pick up the baby every time it cries?” I was interested in all things relating to pregnancy health, happiness and of course maternal diet.

Some dubious advice offerers said, ‘You need to eat beef!  you need the high amounts of protein that chicken and beef give you!  All the while coyly nudging their left over plate of slow roasted BBQ toward me,  “Think of your baby!” “HOW CAN YOU POSSIBLY GET ENOUGH B12 FOR GOD’S SAKE.! or, HOW WILL YOU GET ENOUGH IRON AND  MAGNESIUM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BABIE’S BLOOD WITHOUT EATING BEEF?” …”And one of the most ill thought out prods was, “Look…this  is SLOW ROASTED…and I CAN’T POSSIBLY eat it all, but  you?  you’re eating for two!  You’ve got  THAT BABY’S HEALTH IN YOUR HANDS! Well, impervious woman of steel I am not.   But nor am I a shrinking violet.  I was mostly ‘advice challenged and not so willing to go out on a lonely limb of nutritional independence I didn’t want to  forge a new territory sans friends, their parties, their eating fests. I didn’t want to be the one with the Scarlett “V” on my Princess cut maternity sweater.     Suffice to say I was a bit spineless and totally awash with pregnancy confusion.  You see fending off Gale force female pressure with no basement to quickly duck away into, was a very tough gig.   Soon I would be  ‘restarted’ on a pattern of nonchalantly eating my mooing, furry and feathered friends.

My well-meaning but sadly mis-informed friends howled again and again “we just CARE for you!!!”

Whaaaa Whaaaaa, Would U pleeeeze...just do it for us? You're baby depends on it!

They bellowed painfully as their faces crunched up and eyebrows turned up in sadness. I began to think I was very wrong about my position without meat. It was a pseudo-warm-fuzzy guilt-laden blitzkrieg. In the end I didn’t have good information to help me resist their wails of impending disaster.

Since Al Gore hadn’t yet tweaked his nose a la Samantha Stevens style, and blinked the internet existence, I couldn’t simply surf The “INTERNETS” which we all know he invented. I couldn’t find out where the pregnant veggie women went to get their goods.  I also couldn’t drill down to the street level and even check out the neighborhood I was  to waddle through.

Suffice to say I had no way to substitute the ‘quick and dirty’ slab of animal meat for something wonderful healthy and tasty. Had I been able to do do all this back in the time of analog, I wouldn’t be dealing with my animal flesh habit right now.

Meet the truth / Meat the truth....How kicking the meat habit can help the environment in a big way.

I don’t consider myself ‘meat conflicted,’ incidentally, an ingenious little term, which by the way was thought up by my dear cousin Marcie, now has the esteemed etymological distinction of coining on Facebook last night. (We’ll see if Urban Dictionary picks this up by next week), and my suspicion is they do…

Unfortunately I consider myself  “relapsed.” It’s a renewed torture this minor animal flesh habit.  This sounds pretty gross but I hate to tell you people shoveling a piece of medium rare steak a piece of  Ikea flatware, or gnawing on the leg of Wilbur the pig, we’re all in this together.  Can ‘meat lust’ be like any other addiction?  I would return a vote of ‘yes.” Can Dr. Drew Pinsky build an MTV show on this addiction?  Not sure,  but my tendency is to say no.  Is it the most pervasive addiction?  Strangely enough… probably.  How many of us see the act of keeping animal meat in our diet as an unrelenting and purely human instinctual ‘need?’ Many of us think so. We can’t live with out it we say. Well I offer…maybe not.

Maybe we can actually ‘break the habit!’ This is the good news for the “meat conflicted.”  What if we can stop this ‘gastric meat lust’ and simply employ some logical strategies to help us lose this “taste?,”  No longer do we have to feel the dichotomy of,  hate for the animal processing industry, and the relenting and guilt we feel as we reach for a burger or a big fat drippy rib eye. Now we can look at our desire to eat animal meat as an addiction.  Every other ill in our society for which we cannot seem to control soon gets deemed an addiction anyway! So why not?…For every ‘addiction’ there are  plans consisting of  4, 5, 7 or 12 steps.  And when the plan doesn’t work,  sadly, some type of pill is usually dispensed to finish the job.   The addiction to meat CAN and should be corralled. Why not? there are tons of healthy people who really ‘get’ why going veggie is a good thing, There are people who have either lost their desire for meat or never developed it. For those of us former Wilbur-eaters, it will take a commitment, reminders, commaraderie and support.

Here are some ways to quell “meat lust” and live a happier, healthier life:

1) slowly cut the ounces of meat that you include in your diet by 1/2 oz each week. Add more fluids, and increase your regular serving of vegetables on your plate by 1/4. Decrease the meat and add veggies, nuts, flax, grains and root vegetables.

2) Add 2 oz of your favorite snack nut to your dessert or just have the snack nuts (watch the salt if you have to! – unsalted is usually available) as your after meal treat. Jazz up the nuts if you need to, add some cane sugar, but don’t dust them like a bad 70’s christmas tree.  the point is to slowly move away from the craving and introduce alternate proteins.

3) Utilize the many forms of soy! Soy is a joy. Cook with soy, use soy as an additive!  Soy’s come a long way.  Don’t hate on the soy. Make it your friend.

3) Research protein alternatives (It’s easy since Al Gore discovered the Intertet(s).  …Be diligent and add enough each day so as to keep up your specific recommended daily amount correct per your weight.  Especially if you are pregnant.  It’s really not that hard.  Thanks to Al, there are tons of websites that you can peruse for tips, even full on meal plans.

4) Inform yourself of the latest events in the political action against processors that run askew of general respect, health and humanity of animals.  Make your voice heard.  Have a vested interest in seeing the animal processing industry clean up it’s act.  Donate funds, your time or just plain talk, blog, or communicate about it.

5) Find friend and social networking groups that will encourage you. Veggies have risen and shirked their negative generalizations.  Advocate.  Renew your commitment to life and all living things each year.

6) Dine with people who support your convictions and respect you. Talk about the issues facing animals, people and nutrition.

7) Visit a slaughter house (if you are brave), and see firsthand why you are committing to a life without the contribution to cruelty.

Being a vegetarian is not trendy, cool or hip. Respecting living things THROUGH BEING A VEGETARIAN is cool and hip!

Let’s help each-other and let’s help animals.   Break the meat addiciton.  Implore animal processors to play by the rules (if we can’t initially shut the bad guys down), at least they can and should be accountable to ‘we the people.’  We are the consumers. We are the people who create the demand at the markets in the first place!