Lu Guang (卢广), freelancer photographer

Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China.

This collection of photographs is stunning, and mind boggling.  Lu Guang recently won the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his documentary project “Pollution in China”  at the 30th annual awards ceremony of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund.  The event took place at the Asia Society in New York City on October 14, 2009.

Robert Genn’s “Painter’s Keys”

Canadian painter Robert Genn shares thoughts, quotations, and wisdom about art and creativity twice a week in his e-letter “Painter’s Keys”.  It never fails to inspire, or provoke thought.  It costs nothing, and contains no advertising or spam-like material!  I have been receiving this newsletter for several years and have found it to be of tremendous value in my artistic and creative journey.  Mr. Genn’s web site is a terrific resource for artists of all kinds, as well as an archive of all of the Painter’s Keys letters.the Painter's Keys Artist Community

“Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead” by Habeeb Salloum

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“Arab Cooking on a Saskatchewan Homestead: Recipes and Recollections”, by Habeeb Salloum

is one of the best books I’ve bought in ages. I have been reading this cookbook in my spare time, and as my bedtime reading! I am learning about a part of Canadian history that I knew sadly little about from my education. I am also learning much, much more. The book is sprinkled with Arab proverbs, and stories about the author’s family and growing up on the prairies.

The recipes are extremely easy to follow, very simple, and have been producing absolutely delicious food in our kitchen. The many photographs are helpful in showing what unfamiliar dishes should look like when one is finished cooking them! As an “infoholic” and book lover, I love the thorough index.

I am truly thankful to the author for this marvelous volume.

To read an excellent description and review of this book, go to CPRC Publishing (a university press). You’ll also find the author’s bio, a table of contents, and even a sample chapter. Available at Amazon,from the Cookbook Store and McNally Robinson.

Movie Review Sites (pre-screeing for kids)

Over the years, two sites, Screen it! and Kids In Mind, have been very helpful to me in previewing movies — without actually having to watch them myself — when deciding whether or not I think that I want my children to watch them.

The Screen It! site is a little difficult to find one’s way around, and one might assume that it’s an just advertising site (it’s just not attractive or well laid out!), but it is well worth one’s while to spend some time figuring out how to find the reviews. They offer detailed content listing in many categories for every movie they review. Each category is then assigned a rating that summarizes the quantity and degree of the content. Here’s a link to the page that describes just what they do, and how to use it. Here’s another link that will take you to the page where you can type in the title of the movie you’re interested in reading about. You can use the site for free, or buy a membership and get added benefits.

The Kids In Mind site is a quite different and compliments Screen It! very well. Beside the title of each movie, the site gives a rating from one to ten in three categories: Sex/Nudity, Violence/Gore, and Profanity. They explain objectively, in detailed list form (from the beginning of the movie to the end), why a film rates high or low in a specific category. They do not recommend ages for viewers, or comment on artistic merit, but rather leave that up to parents based the parents’ own value system.

I particularly value these sites because neither of them are associated with any religious or other organisations.

Rick Mercer challenges the “Traditional Values” crowd

This video from CBC Television’s “Rick Mercer Report” ran during the big same sex marriage debate in Canada — thankfully same sex couples now have the legal right to be married in Canada.

You can visit Rick Mercer’s web site and blog at: www.rickmercer.com/, his older address is here.

Chicken Nuggets: processed or home made?

Which would you choose?

NOTE:  This video is no longer available at Youtube, however, it is available right here at Shoutfile! 

Processed food is a huge problem in our “Western society” in my view; educating people, especially young people, is key to avoiding processed food. The demonstration performed by Jamie Oliver captured on this BBC video accomplishes this brilliantly!