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Marshall Rosenburg - Nonviolent Communication
  I think that if everyone in the world spent 20 minutes flipping through this book, humanity would take a giant leap forward in the evolution of its consciousness, making incredible progress, at every level, from personal fulfillment on up to global peace. It single-handedly (and effortlessly) changed the way I experience communication and relationships (of all kinds), and especially, the way I hear others, and what I say back. I don't even consciously practice the techniques; exposure to the basic ideas in this book is enough to just change the way you think. In a nutshell, he illustrates how most of the communication we've learned is based on domination and manipulation, even for the nicest of people; and he teaches you, instead, to think of everything in terms of peoples' needs. Once you look beneath the surface of so many emotions, at the underlying need that is not being met, everyone suddenly turns human; conflicts can actually be resolved, communication can flourish, progress can be made, growth can ensue. It's amazing. I could not give this book any higher recommendation. Even if you're a great communicator already and have no major conflicts in your life (I didn't), you'll be surprised at what this book opens your eyes to. I'd also recommend doing a YouTube search for Marshall Rosenberg. But see him speak in person, if you have the chance - he's an incredible speaker, and absolutely hilarious, to boot.

Gamelan Anak Swarasanti
  The Gamelan Orchestra that I play with. It's a Balinese musical tradition designed to alter consciousness and induce trance, and it's quite beautiful (and often groovy) to listen to.
    Also check out a few ridiculously amazing videos of other gamelan groups, here and here.

Santa Cruz Trash Orchestra
  Another music group I play with. Great people and loud, wonderful music.

Pacific Puzzle Works
  My friend Lee Krasnow's website, featuring his hand-made 3D wood puzzles of incredible complexity, beauty, and innovation. He's one of the best puzzlemakers & designers in the world. Check out this Youtube video of him showing off the Barcode Burr puzzle (a solid wooden box that disassembles in 128 moves), as well as other mind-blowing puzzle boxes, like the Clutch Box.

Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music
  A really cool site that maps you through the evolution of electronic music, with many dozens of genres and good samples of each. Really fun and interesting to browese.

Dennis Kucinich
  A House Rep from Cleveland, Ohio, a democratic presidential contender, and one of the only people in congress who I think I could really trust.

Guerilla Drive-In
  Every other friday night in Santa Cruz, lots of people gather with blankets, chairs, and good spirits in a field near a large, unused wall (usually the side of a warehouse or bridge) to guerilla-project subversive or thought-provoking movies and documentaries. Many of the best movies I've seen in years I first saw at the GDI - many of which I'd never even heard of. It's great fun, you meet lots of nice people, and it's free! (It's also often followed by a midnight mystery bike ride.) They've popped up in lots of other cities now, which is great to see. One more nice way to meet people that doesn't revolve around bars...

Free Skool (at wikipedia) (in Santa Cruz)
  The wiki article makes it sound like an official school, but it's not. You just grab the calendar and drop in for whatever classes you feel like. It's all free - the classes are taught by ordinary people, for ordinary people, and not for money. Classes include bike repair, spanish conversation skills, survival gourmet, trash orchestra / musical instrument building, knitting, baking, yoga, and all kinds of other stuff. They have it in a lot of other cities, too.

HyperHistory
  Ever wonder which empires ruled the earth, and when? Want to quickly piece together those fuzzy remnants of memories from world history, to deepen your understanding of the cultural history of our planet? Look no further. I think this is VERY cool.

beliefnet.org
  Easy access to basic (and in-depth, if you like) information about the world's many religions and spiritual practices. Especially fun is their Belief-O-Matic - punch in your beliefs and it will tell you what faiths might resonate best with you.

whatgoesaround.org
  Sick of getting (or giving) material gifts for the holidays? Consider this site; it lets you give "undirected" charity gift certificates as gifts; later, the gift receiver can go to the site and select the charity (from a list of many thousands) that they'd like to forward the funds on along to!

Ron English
  A very interesting and heroic man. He spent decades liberating billboards - fighting Camel advertisements [that targeted kids], McDonalds ads, and so on. He took it in a lot of other directions over the years, as well. If you find his work interesting, you should really check out the documentary about his life, POPaganda: The Art and Crimes of Ron English.

Coconut Revolution
  A must-see documentary. The fascinating story of a small pacific island called Bougainville, where the natives stood up against a mining company that was decimating their island - and won. The technology left by the miners, however, transformed their lives; and they transformed the technology to be ecologically sustainable, building small-scale hydroelectric power plants and running the trucks on coconut oil. An amazing and inspiring film!

automobile fuel economy
  quick access to the gas mileage & pollution statistics for every car on the road

how to reduce junk mail & stop telemarketing calls
  click to expand:

free 3D glasses
  (you can use these with MilkDrop, and/or Monkey)

tips for healthy eating
  a short and concise overview of how to eat wisely.

Gardening.Growing.How.To
  how to grow things that you can eat. it's fun and fulfulling.

The Card Games Website
  The rules for a bazillion card games. Great to review before doing any kind of traveling. Also check out the list of 2-player card games.


   

Computer/tech stuff
 
  AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
  a totally free, and vey well-written, anti-virus program. Rest assured, it's solid - they have lots of big corporate customers (who pay). But AVG provides their corporate anti-virus to individual home users FREE, fully-featured. I hate both McAfee and Symantec's products because they're bloatware - they eat tons of RAM and slow your system down. AVG Free is small and slick, though. It also auto-updates itself (like the others) so you don't have to worry about it. Even if McAfee and Symantec were free, I would hands-down choose AVG, and have for quite some time (and put it on many others' systems as well).

  WinThrottle
  this is a cool little utility that will keep your computer cooler (extending its lifespan) and lower your electric bill. When your CPU is sitting idle, it gradually starts throttling it back to run at a lower frequency, saving power and heat. The instant the CPU usage starts going up, it jumps back to full-speed - you would never know it's running, except for the systray icon with a little green "meter" that tells you how much it's throttling. You can fully customize the maximum throttle amount, the thresholds, and everything. Note that most laptops already do this when running on battery, so for those, winThrottle won't help much; but plugged-in laptops, and almost all desktops, will benefit greatly from it.

Some laptops also have loud, annoying fans that kick in when they're "thinking" too hard (and getting hot); winThrottle is absolutely priceless in this case! It makes my annoying Vaio laptop's fan kick on about 90% less.

  WallPaperChanger
  A great, and TOTALLY FREE, wallpaper randomizer. I use it to auto-randomize my wallpaper, using my photo collection, every 2 hours.

  NSIS - the Nullsoft Superpimp Installation System
  a totally free, totally tiny, installer creation program. The footprint is usually about 36 kb (compare to InstallShield's 2 MB or so). Does just about everything. A truly magnificient tool.

  DaFont.com
  a bazillion free fonts for Windows

  ojuice.net, scene.org, pouet.net
  news on the PC demoscene

  Pentium 4 Instruction Set Reference
  essential information for x86 assembly programming.



   

Friends' sites
 
  scheib.net
  an excellent friend of mine who has a very unique and likeable character. He is done being a Huge World Traveler for a bit, and is currently working at a game company called The Collective, somewhere in southern California. His site is highly recommended for a hearty browse. Lots of humor, as well as many great insights, artworks, and innovations; Do check it out.

  spondooliks.org
  the homepage of my good friend Alexander J. Southgate.

  sphear.org
  the homepage of my good friend Johan.

  skyviewproperties.homestead.com
  get away for a weekend at one of my awesome friend Alan's two beautiful houses: one in Santa Cruz (CA), the other in Sedona (AZ).


Free comics
  qwantz.com
toothpastefordinner.com


Humorous blogs
  'The Best Page in the Universe'


Other funny stuff
  End of the World (flash movie)
Science Made Stupid (8 pages explaining science)
badgerbadgerbadger (flash movie)
This Is You (short film)


   

Commercial plugs
 
  Uni-tel Long Distance
  Dirt-cheap long-distance; 3.9 cents a minute flat rate long distance service. Pretty rad. Note that there is a $2 monthly fee IF your long distance for the month is less than $15. And no, I'm not getting any kickbacks for plugging them... I just like the thought of my money going toward a company that doesn't rip you off or invade your privacy; doesn't send you 10 lbs. of junk mail per year, doesn't call you at home, etc. etc. (unlike MCI, Sprint and AT&T). As far as I know, these guys don't even advertise.

  Shutterfly
  A site that will print digital photos for you (into actual 4x6 photographs, or whatever). If you have a lot to print, it's a decent price (340 pictures for $99), and the quality is unbelievable. Also, the website is very well-made, and the service (printing & mailing your photos) is extremely fast.

  SolarHardware.com
  this guy is rad; he sells solar & wind equipment for almost cost. These are the lowest prices I've found anywhere. (Not that you should buy this stuff unless you have a crapload of spare time; buy green tags instead, it's far more cost- and time-efficient.)


Terrible stuff
 
  slaughtered
  breakdown of the animals killed for food in the U.S. in the year 2000 (the total is a gnarly 8.8 BILLION).

  pleasebekind.com
  a site elucidating why we (you?) should stop treating animals like dirt

  Anti-Bush Links
 

   

Help Make the World a Better Place
 
News and Information
nytimes.comThe New York Times - daily real news. (registration is required, but it is free). The focus of so many U.S. newspapers on trivial matters (celebrities, entertainment, fashion, consumerism) keeps us in the dark. Congressmembers' hands are tied by public opinion, and public opinion is determined largely by information from the news... so, by not keeping up with real (and international) events, we allow some pretty terrible things to happen.
news.google.comGoogle news - scoured continuously from hundreds of papers
news.bbc.co.ukBBC World News - daily world news
csmonitor.comThe Christian Science Monitor - very good, in-depth weekly stories about world events and their historical contexts.
michaelMoore.com,
gregPalast.com,
noam chomsky,
howardZinn.org,
michaelParenti.org
journalists/authors who dig up the dirt on the suit-wearing assholes that are destroying America.
utne.comThe Utne reader - an excellent bimonthly magazine for the progressive who wants to change the world in positive ways. One of my favorite subscriptions.
thisModernWorld.comThis Modern World, by Tom Tomorrow - a political cartoon strip with serious bite. Hilarious.

Environmental Stewardship
GreenTagsUSA.comA site where you can buy green tags (also known as Renewable Energy Credits), which are a way to directly subsidize clean, renewable electricity. You can even buy them online. $20 funds the production one Megawatt-hour (the average household consumes 10 a year), which eliminates 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions (greenhouse gases).
carbonfund.orgSimilar to buying green tags, these guys provide an annual "pass" that makes your car (or household) climate-benign for the year, by funding projects to remove the CO2 your car will burn each year. An average car is $50 (tax-deductible!) for the year. (...I used to recommend Terrapass, but carbonfund is better because 1) they have better prices (per ton CO2), 2) they're a nonprofit (which means you can deduct your donation), and 3) the types of sequestration they do are more effective and long-term than Terrapass's.)
nrdc.orgThe Natural Resources Defense Council - one of the most prominent and successful defenders of our environment, for over 30 years now. Give them money so they can sue evil.
saveOurEnvironment.orgmore information on pending environmental/energy legislation and how to contact those involved
ecopledge.comA site that works to urge large corporations to be more environmentally conscious, and needs our help in boycotting flagrantly eco-damaging companies. They even show you all their communications with these companies, so you can judge for yourself.
stonyfield.comA yogurt company to be proud of; they even cover their CO2 emissions. Lots of great, basic environmental info on their site. And their yogurt is yummy, too.
The Green Revolutionan article I wrote that covers renewable & sustainable energy sources and how I think we can (economically) make their widespread use a reality.

Humane Treatment of Living Things
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."   -Albert Einstein
PETA.orgPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or peta, representing 700,000 members trying to end animal cruelty and suffering. Check out their fact sheets, or their hundreds of online videos of factory farming, including the unforgettable Chew on This (2 minutes) and Meet Your Meat (10 minutes).
Honoring Godís Creation
(7 MB .pdf file)
The pamphlet formerly known as "What Would Jesus Eat Today?", this little gem is perhaps the most intelligent and compassionate literature I've ever encountered about the relationship between humans and [non-human] animals. It's written [amazingly well] by Christians, for Christians, but unless you're a strict atheist, it is likely to still be quite a palatable perusal of perspective. (click here for a non-graphical version)
The Veggie GuideMy 19-page primer on holistic nutrition, healthy eating, and vegetarianism. Ever wondered, if you don't eat meat, what do you eat? This guide addresses that (thoroughly), and gives you everything else you need to know about eating well without killing mammals, birds, or fish. [ view as html ] [ download Word document ]
FREE Vegetarian Starter Kits...are available online from PCRM, and by mail (but still free!) from Action for Animals; or order one (free) by phone: 888-VEG-FOOD. If you're at all interested, you might as well order one; you don't have to do anything with it, but you might learn something easy or helpful from it.
Recipes...for sites with thousands and thousands of great vegetarian recipes, check out the IVU, VegSource, or VegWeb. They're nicely categorized for quick searching, and are a great resource, even if you're not a vegetarian.
Vegetarian city guide [USA] or happycow.netTraveling soon? Look your destination city up on this site for a super-fast list of vegetarian restaurants, health food stores, yoga centers, and other natural/holistic stuff for while you're there!
Book: Becoming VegetarianDispel the mystery surrounding nutrition. This $12 book is extremely well-written; it goes into depth about nutrition, and, specifically, how to have a healthy vegetarian diet (with extra chapters on going vegan, too).
Book: The Student's Vegetarian CookbookThis book is chock full of simple, fast, cheap, healthy, EASY vegetarian meals. Absolutely essential for anyone making the transition who's not already a well-seasoned (haha) cook.
Documentary: The Witnessthis is a short, but very powerful, 45-minute documentary that will change the way you think about animals and the way humans use them. Every meat-eater or fur-wearer should see this movie; it is our responsibility to be aware of the truth, and what our actions really involve. Warning: it's heavy; be sure to watch it on a night when you're ready for it. Very little gruesome footage in this one, but still, a powerful message.
Action for Animalsan excellent resource site for vegetarians and vegans; especially good are their quotes page (very powerful, read a few) and their awesome array of vegetarian-related bumper stickers.

Money and Investment
to make a donation in appreciation for Geiss, MilkDrop, etc. Over the years, I've had a lot of users try to give me money for the visualization software I've written, but I've never accepted it. What a dope I've been; I could have been funneling that money to good charities all this time. Anyway, I've got it set up now. If this is why you've come to my site, then I'd be honored if, instead, you'd give it to one of the charities on my "give list". Please note that the site that hosts this service does not charge *any* percent or fee for what you give (100% goes to the charity), and keeps your contact information completely private.
Socially Responsible Mutual Funds Corporations are getting a bad name these days because they sometimes do bad things to keep profits growing, such as selling unhealthy products; targeting young people with advertising, and skewing their priorities in harmful ways; destroying the environment; factory farming (...costs less money); and so on. The irony is, many people disagree with these companies' anything-for-the-bottom-line policies... but might well own mutual funds that invest in their stock!

We have to realize that whenever we invest your money in a company, we're personally funding them, giving them capital to grow on; and we're also pressuring them to keep the profits rising, so that we'll get a return on our investment. But if we're not careful - and most of us aren't - we often end up funding things that we philosophically despise.

However, it's pretty easy to fix this one: invest in socially responsible mutual funds. These are like regular mutual funds, but they screen out certain types of companies. Which types varies from fund to fund; some common criteria include alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons manufacturing, the environment, animal testing, worker treatment, human rights, diversity, community investment, and so on. And because this is a $2.2 trillion industry, the fund managers use their weight to pressure companies into doing things more ethically, by talking with the companies and withholding their investment capital until the company makes certain changes. Money talks!

To see screening and performance data for a huge list of these funds, visit socialfunds.com, socialinvest.org, or responsibleinvesting.org, and feel better about what kind of investments you're funding in this world. And check out this really convenient chart (note: lower percentiles are *BETTER*).

Being Heard
ZIP TO ITType in your 5-digit zip code, and this will list the senators & representatives that represent you, plus their phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
Senate Directoryphone numbers, as well as e-mail, postal mail, and website addresses, for all 100 U.S. senators. You can also search current/pending legislation here.
House Directoryclick on 'House Member Information' to find contact info. for your local representative(s). You can also search current/pending legislation here.
Media GuideAn easy-to-access directory of media based in your local area (just type in your zip code), including newspapers, magazines, TV stations, and radio stations.



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