Ithaca Blog

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Friend's Cold

Our friend C. wrote on Facebook about her terrible head cold, and we might think this is a rather slight matter for someone to write about, except we have this same head cold, and know it is dire, and a great issue indeed, if you will pardon the pun.

It has lasted two weeks and shows no signs of abating. One tries to hurry and get better before Thanksgiving, when traveling to see family, but that might be like trying to fall asleep fast because you have to get up early. It doesn't work.

This cold has us thinking about the nature of mucus, because we have produced more of it lately than an elephant, and realize now that mucus is not finite.

If you can't write about a head cold to your innocent and unsuspecting friends, what malady can you? You can't just casually write about some real chronic disease you have. That's too serious. And no one wants to read about anything that involves, let's say, inside your pants. Forget that.

So, head colds it is for the Internet. We have been eating a lot of soup lately, and saltines. When shopping, we noticed a variety of saltines that is unsalted, which seems really wrong. It should have another name.

feel better -
Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Free CDs For You Today at Angry Mom Records/Small World Music

Here we are at Angry Mom Records/Small World Music, in the basement of Autumn Leaves Books, on the only day of the week when we staff the store ourselves. And we realize it has been a while since we publicized the place, in which we have keen interest.

So, as we have done before, we make this special offer to Ithaca Blog readers: come in today, and pick out not one, not three, but two free CDs for yourself from our extensive selection of used, bargain-priced CDs from the $5-and-less shelves. Totally free - like, no purchase necessary.

We know it's short notice, but we just thought about it. The offer is good today only, while Steve works. Tomorrow, with George and Lee, it would confuse them. You have til 8 p.m.; the rain is not so bad.

See you soon!
Steve Burke
for Small World Music & Ithaca NY Blog

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Chevron Spends $4 Billion For Shot at Hydro-Fracking

The Chevron Corporation has purchased the Atlas Energy company of Pennsylvania to obtain a stake in the natural gas fields of Pennsylvania and New York.

The deal is worth over $4 billion in stocks and cash.

The gas fields in Pennsylvania, New York, and elsewhere in the eastern U.S. have only recently become accessible, through a controversial process called hydro-fracking, which pumps toxic chemicals into the ground to free the gas.

Concerns for water safety have led to popular and political opposition to hydro-fracking, including calls for outright bans.

Chevron, ExxonMobil, and other corporations are spending billions for the chance to drill even though the price of natural gas, and the demand for it, are low.

Opponents to hydro-fracking say that citizen protest can add to the cost of operation, and derail potential profits. In Ithaca, the Shaleshock organization is a leading voice of opposition:

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Monday, November 08, 2010

Marathoners Run Fast

It was a beautiful day in the city yesterday for the running of the New York Marathon.

Nobody seems to mind that a lot of the city shuts down for the race. Most New Yorkers are running from something, and admire people who can run away from their problems, if just for a day.

The winner, Gebre Gebremariam, ran the course in 2:08:49. This is less than 5 minutes per mile, for 26 miles. He had to pull away from his nearest competitor in the final mile. This means he was still going fast.

This is also what it means. I go to the gym, but I can't run a 5-minute mile. So if Gebre Gebremariam and I were to race each other 26 miles, and he spotted me the first 25 miles, letting me sit in a beach chair with my feet up at the 25-mile mark until he showed up after running that distance, he would still kick my ass.

I'll go to the gym today anyway. Congratulations to all marathoners.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Kristallnacht Remembrance at Cornell, Sun. 7 Nov., 1:30 P.M.

Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, was a series of attacks against Jews in Nazi Germany and parts of Austria on November 8 - 9, 1938.

Virtually every synagogue in Germany was set on fire. Graves were uprooted. Homes were invaded and people beaten to death in the streets. Businesses were robbed and destroyed. 30,000 Jewish men were abducted and sent to concentration camps.

Today at 1:30 p.m., , Cornell hosts "Commemorating the Holocaust - Affiriming Community,"
in the auditorium in Sherman Hall, in the Veterinary School, on Tower Road.

President David Skorton will speak.

Cornell Plantations is the site of a sculpture by Andy Goldsworthy called "A Garden of Stone - A Holocaust Memorial." Goldsworthy uses natural and found materials to make site-specific sculptures. His work is known world-wide.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog

Friday, November 05, 2010

Land Grab By Gas Company

Chesapeake Energy Corporation announced a deal to buy mineral rights to half a million acres in the Appalachian basin, to drill for natural gas.

The purchase includes parts of Tompkins County.

The dangers of the drilling process called hydro-fracking have been publicized in the documentary film, "Gasland", and by a local grassroots group called Shaleshock.

The language of Chespeake's chief, Aubrey McClendon, is eerily telling about the company's huge financial resources (the purchase was for almost a billion dollars) and casual attitide towards environmental stewardship.

"We've been poking around and we saw something we liked and we bought it," he said.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca NY Blog