Zen and the Art of Jim Henson

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 10/12/2014 - 10:18

Years ago, I taught an informal class where I gave a quick summary of the plot of Robert M. Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (which has never been made into a movie) and then made the case that Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal is in fact a movie adaptation of it. Since I know a number of people who have found Z&AMM too difficult to read, here is the breakdown:

Super Plant!

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 09/21/2014 - 11:49

It was the early summer of 1999. I had been living in the Stevens Square neighborhood of Minneapolis for a year, following graduation from Grinnell College. I was working part-time for Twin Cities Free-Net and spending the rest of my time absorbing the many opportunities the Twin Cities had to offer. I was volunteering with the neighborhood organization (SSCO), among other places.

Build me Up, Buttercup

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 03/15/2014 - 17:31

It was the first week of March, 2008.  I had taken the train from Fairfield to Boston for my first DrupalCon.  The weather was cold and rainy all week.  I was staying in a big, institutional hostel that felt very much like a YMCA.  They even provided flip-flops for the showers ... I'm guessing there had been a problem with athlete's foot!  It wasn't homey, but it was affordable.

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Flavor not Found in Ordinary Ground Turkey

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 10:01

When I lived in Fairfield, Iowa from 2006-2008, I had two options of veterinarians to bring my cat Simon to, and I chose the holistic one, only partly because he was closer to where I lived.  Simon had had a lot of trouble with bladder crystals living in the Twin Cities, and I knew it was from the processed food, and I wanted some help choosing something less processed.

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Picking up the Gantlet

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 11:02

(I originally wrote this article as a submission to PermacultureNews.org, but decided it would be better as a blog.)

I don't know about you, but I was really shaken by Peter Harper's insightful critique of permaculture last summer, “Permaculture: The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” It has caused me to rethink the way I approach my urban farm, at least for the coming year. Let me explain.