July 1st, 2009

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Change the World Wednesdays: Energy Efficient Lights

Small Footprints has started a series called "Change the World Wednesdays." This week's challenge is energy efficient lights.

BASIC:
Earlier this week, President Obama announced a plan to make lighting our homes and businesses more energy efficient (you can read about it HERE). So, let's do our part: Replace at least one incandescent bulb in your home with either a CFL or LED bulb.

ADVANCED:
OR ... if you've already replaced the bulbs in your home with energy efficient varieties, write a post about CFLs and LEDs and then ... contact five (5) new blogs (blogs which you've never visited before) and invite them to join the challenge by visiting your site.


We've already replaced many of our lights, where possible, with compact fluorescent lights. I am pleased to report that these are more resistant to magical interference, which means the lightbulbs in my office now last for several months instead of blowing out every 2-3 weeks like the incandescent ones did. I think the only places we aren't using CFLs are where they won't fit; we've got some old chandeliers and some tube fluorescent fixtures. But the ones that used regular incandescents are now CFLs. When we went to the annual meeting picnic for our electric co-op, they gave out free CFLs along with other swag.

I did try one LED light. It is a dark-activated nightlight. It was affordable and Earth-friendly. Unfortunately, it does a very poor job of actually lighting the bathroom so that people can see to use it at night without turning on the overhead. The green power light on the front of the freezer gives off more light. So I will probably not experiment further with LED lights.

Here are some resources about CFLs for further exploration:

Energy Star parameters
FAQ page for CFLs
Energy Efficient Lighting (compares CFL & LED)
The Best Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (compares CFLs to incandescents)
CFL Bulbs Have One Hitch: Toxic Mercury

I was going to contact 5 blogs, but my net connection is awful today, so I just did one:
WorldChanging
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Asalha Puja Day - Theravada Buddhist

Today's Common Tables post was:

Asalha Puja Day - Theravada Buddhist

Asalha Puja Day (pronounced "as-an-ha poo-jah) is also known as Dharma
Day. It is one of the most important festivals of the Theravada Buddhists.

Asalha Puja Day marks the beginning of the Buddha's teaching. It
commemorates the Buddha's first sermon in the Deer Park in Benares and
the founding of the Buddhist Sangha.
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Various Rates for Poetry

Star*Line is changing their rates paid for poetry. The new rate will qualify the magazine for semi-pro status, useful in market guides and some professional organizations.

Rates used to be: $3.00 for 10 lines or less, $5.00 for 11 to 50 lines, and $0.10 per line rounded to the nearest dollar for poems over 50 lines.

Rates are now: $0.03 per word, minimum payment of $3.00 per poem.

Someone mentioned that Horror Writers of America defined "professional rate" is $0.25 per line with a minimum payment of $5.00.

Duotrope's Digest defines rates as:
Token: less than $5 per poem
Semi-pro: $5-49 per poem
Pro: $50+ per poem

Also worth mentioning is that many semi-pro and pro markets do not pay poetry on a flat fee or per-word basis. They pay per line, which I think is a good idea.
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This Week on Gaiatribe

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Oh Look! They Said "Circus!"

... I'm waiting for someone else to make the "bread and circuses" connection.

Chris Hedges | The Corporate Media Circus: The Truth Alone Will Not Set You Free
Chris Hedges, Truthdig: "The ability of the corporate state to pacify the country by extending credit and providing cheap manufactured goods to the masses is gone. The pernicious idea that democracy lies in the choice between competing brands and the freedom to accumulate vast sums of personal wealth at the expense of others has collapsed. The conflation of freedom with the free market has been exposed as a sham. The travails of the poor are rapidly becoming the travails of the middle class, especially as unemployment insurance runs out and people get a taste of Bill Clinton's draconian welfare reform. And class warfare, once buried under the happy illusion that we were all going to enter an age of prosperity with unfettered capitalism, is returning with a vengeance."
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Torn World Seeks Contributors

I'm pleased to announce that one of my long-term projects is now accessible: Torn World is a shared-world fantasy and it has just opened for contributors. ellenmillion has written a post over on crowdfunding explains a little about the project and how you can get involved. There are opportunities for people to contribute art, writing, and other creative support. There are also various options for cyberfunded creativity/crowdfunding, so you can earn money (and perks) or give those things to people whose work you love.

So far, I've done a lot of behind-the-scenes work with ellenmillion on website beta-testing, story editing, and general idea-bouncing. This is her world at heart, and it's lovely of her to share it with us. I'm also part of the team developing the Torn Tongue language family, along with padparadscha and other folks. I've written a couple of poems that should appear onsite eventually. (Be patient, there is still a ton of stuff to upload, so it will roll out in phases.) Please drop by and take a look! The big publicity push is scheduled for January 1, 2010, when Torn World will be opened to the general public. Right now we're mainly looking for more writers, artists, and people who'd like to help with the administrative work.
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Poems Online!

Two of my poems are now online:

"Ansel's Army" appears in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #1. This new magazine focuses on heroic and high fantasy fiction and poetry, as the title suggests. My poem describes the start of a civil war over magical talent.

"Cloud on the Mountain" appears in Torn World. This venue is a shared world, and more of a massive database than a webzine per se. My poem demonstrates the Northern style of poetry and features one of the iconic Torn World animals: snow unicorns. (These are not your teenage daughter's unicorns...)