Saturday, August 30, 2014

Plant Some Shit (Ron Finley's TED Talk transcript)


I live in South Central. This is South Central: liquor stores, fast food, vacant lots.
0:28So the city planners, they get together and they figure they're going to change the name South Central to make it represent something else, so they change it to South Los Angeles, like this is going to fix what's really going wrong in the city. This is South Los Angeles. (Laughter) Liquor stores, fast food,vacant lots.
0:51Just like 26.5 million other Americans, I live in a food desert, South Central Los Angeles, home of the drive-thru and the drive-by. Funny thing is, the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.People are dying from curable diseases in South Central Los Angeles. For instance, the obesity rate in my neighborhood is five times higher than, say, Beverly Hills, which is probably eight, 10 miles away.
1:23I got tired of seeing this happening. And I was wondering, how would you feel if you had no access to healthy food, if every time you walk out your door you see the ill effects that the present food system has on your neighborhood? I see wheelchairs bought and sold like used cars. I see dialysis centers popping up like Starbucks. And I figured, this has to stop. So I figured that the problem is the solution.Food is the problem and food is the solution. Plus I got tired of driving 45 minutes round trip to get an apple that wasn't impregnated with pesticides.
2:07So what I did, I planted a food forest in front of my house. It was on a strip of land that we call a parkway. It's 150 feet by 10 feet. Thing is, it's owned by the city. But you have to maintain it. So I'm like, "Cool. I can do whatever the hell I want, since it's my responsibility and I gotta maintain it." And this is how I decided to maintain it.
2:34So me and my group, L.A. Green Grounds, we got together and we started planting my food forest, fruit trees, you know, the whole nine, vegetables. What we do, we're a pay-it-forward kind of group, where it's composed of gardeners from all walks of life, from all over the city, and it's completely volunteer,and everything we do is free. And the garden, it was beautiful.
2:57And then somebody complained. The city came down on me, and basically gave me a citation saying that I had to remove my garden, which this citation was turning into a warrant. And I'm like, "Come on, really? A warrant for planting food on a piece of land that you could care less about?" (Laughter) And I was like, "Cool. Bring it." Because this time it wasn't coming up. So L.A. Times got ahold of it. Steve Lopez did a story on it and talked to the councilman, and one of the Green Grounds members, they put up a petition on, and with 900 signatures, we were a success. We had a victory on our hands. My councilman even called in and said how they endorse and love what we're doing. I mean, come on, why wouldn't they? L.A. leads the United States in vacant lots that the city actually owns.They own 26 square miles of vacant lots. That's 20 Central Parks. That's enough space to plant 725 million tomato plants. Why in the hell would they not okay this? Growing one plant will give you 1,000, 10,000 seeds. When one dollar's worth of green beans will give you 75 dollars' worth of produce. It's my gospel, when I'm telling people, grow your own food. Growing your own food is like printing your own money.
4:38See, I have a legacy in South Central. I grew up there. I raised my sons there. And I refuse to be a part of this manufactured reality that was manufactured for me by some other people, and I'm manufacturing my own reality.
4:56See, I'm an artist. Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art. Just like a graffiti artist, where they beautify walls, me, I beautiful lawns, parkways. I use the garden, the soil, like it's a piece of cloth, and the plants and the trees, that's my embellishment for that cloth. You'd be surprised what the soil could do if you let it be your canvas. You just couldn't imagine how amazing a sunflower is and how it affects people.
5:34So what happened? I have witnessed my garden become a tool for the education, a tool for the transformation of my neighborhood. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. You'd be surprised how kids are affected by this. Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries.
6:16I remember this time, there was this mother and a daughter came, it was, like, 10:30 at night, and they were in my yard, and I came out and they looked so ashamed. So I'm like, man, it made me feel bad that they were there, and I told them, you know, you don't have to do this like this. This is on the street for a reason. It made me feel ashamed to see people that were this close to me that were hungry, and this only reinforced why I do this, and people asked me, "Fin, aren't you afraid people are going to steal your food?" And I'm like, "Hell no, I ain't afraid they're gonna steal it. That's why it's on the street.That's the whole idea. I want them to take it, but at the same time, I want them to take back their health."
7:03There's another time when I put a garden in this homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles. These are the guys, they helped me unload the truck. It was cool, and they just shared the stories about how this affected them and how they used to plant with their mother and their grandmother, and it was just cool to see how this changed them, if it was only for that one moment.
7:31So Green Grounds has gone on to plant maybe 20 gardens. We've had, like, 50 people come to our dig-ins and participate, and it's all volunteers. If kids grow kale, kids eat kale. (Laughter) If they grow tomatoes, they eat tomatoes. (Applause) But when none of this is presented to them, if they're not shown how food affects the mind and the body, they blindly eat whatever the hell you put in front of them.
8:04I see young people and they want to work, but they're in this thing where they're caught up -- I see kids of color and they're just on this track that's designed for them, that leads them to nowhere. So with gardening, I see an opportunity where we can train these kids to take over their communities, to have a sustainable life. And when we do this, who knows? We might produce the next George Washington Carver. but if we don't change the composition of the soil, we will never do this.
8:41Now this is one of my plans. This is what I want to do. I want to plant a whole block of gardens where people can share in the food in the same block. I want to take shipping containers and turn them into healthy cafes. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about no free shit, because free is not sustainable. The funny thing about sustainability, you have to sustain it. (Laughter) (Applause) What I'm talking about is putting people to work, and getting kids off the street, and letting them know the joy, the pride and the honor in growing your own food, opening farmer's markets.
9:25So what I want to do here, we gotta make this sexy. So I want us all to become ecolutionary renegades, gangstas, gangsta gardeners. We gotta flip the script on what a gangsta is. If you ain't a gardener, you ain't gangsta. Get gangsta with your shovel, okay? And let that be your weapon of choice.
9:56So basically, if you want to meet with me, you know, if you want to meet, don't call me if you want to sit around in cushy chairs and have meetings where you talk about doing some shit -- where you talk about doing some shit. If you want to meet with me, come to the garden with your shovel so we can plant some shit.
10:22Peace. Thank you.
10:25(Applause) Thank you. (Applause)
- Ron Finley

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Help a Teacher, help a student

(NC) As the school year begins, so does another season of raising money by bake sales, magazine drives and dance-a-thons. Did you know, however, that there's an alternative way to raise money and more efficiently – and it's one that may also touch your heart?
Crowdfunding is about raising money through Internet connections. It's been used for everything from financing independent movies, to start-up companies, to new mobile apps, to, believe it or not, potato salad., a young registered Canadian charity, helps connect deserving kindergarten to grade 12 classroom projects with interested donors through a crowdfunding website.
Certified teachers in Canada working in publicly-funded schools, submit proposals through the website. Their proposals describe how the classroom project will benefit students' learning and identify the resources required to achieve the outcome. Projects and resources could be anything from science equipment, art supplies, a trip to a special exhibit, or any other resource that enriches learning. 
Once the project is posted, teachers and project supporters use their own social networks (electronic or traditional) to encourage support for the concept. Small and large contributions are collected online until the project is fully-funded.
The concept is working. A special-needs kindergarten class in Edmonton raised enough money to build an indoor sensory room to allow students to run, jump and swing in a safe environment. A Grade 11/12 class in Neilburg, Saskatchewan secured funding for hands-on science equipment including digital scales, a model of the body system, and a cell model. A class in Fergus, Ontario had a modest request: the 20 students wanted to replace their broken, “Comfy Cozy” chair, a much loved place for reading. They did it through
Post a project yourself, or make a contribution on this popular website.

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday


TORONTO and CALGARYAug. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - shomi, a new subscription video-on-demand service, ups the ante in entertainment with the latest, most exclusive shows and selections personalized for you.  Available initially on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes, shomi will launch in beta first to Rogers and Shaw Internet or TV customers.  shomi will be available starting the first week of November at a suggested retail price of $8.99 per month.
shomi was created for entertainment lovers by entertainment lovers. It features prior seasons of the most popular shows on TV today, iconic series from the past, cult-classic and fan-favourite films, as well as a library of family-friendly kids programming.  With exclusive past-season streaming rights to titles – such as Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Shameless, 2 Broke GirlsVikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another DayChicago FireThe Strain, and American Horror Story – along with first-window premieres, it's more bang, less blah.  shomi combines a team of programming experts with algorithmic technology to help you pick what you actually want to watch – whether it's finding hidden gems, rediscovering old favourites, or remembering why you fell in love with a title in the first place. 
"We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. "They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy.  shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits."
"We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it," said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media.  "shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we're so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market."
shomi the numbers (and this is just at launch, with much more exciting content to come!):
  • 14,000 episodes and titles
  • 11,000 hours of TV shows
  • 1,200 movies
  • 340 TV series
  • 30% of content is Canadian, including TV shows and classic films
Enhanced features include trailers and factoids for movie titles to help customers make their selections, while a visually appealing interface delivers a theatrical experience.  With up to six profiles per account, shomi offers a great solution for the connected home, as customers can watch on two devices and their set top boxes – all at the same time.
Additional details about the product, programming, and distribution will be announced in the coming weeks.
shomi is a joint venture owned equally by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. shomi will operate as a standalone entity with its own management structure.
shomi Social Media
Like shomi at
Follow shomi on Twitter @shomicanada
Follow shomi on Instagram @shomicanada
Follow shomi on Google Plus +shomicanada
Subscribe to shomi on YouTube @shomicanada
About shomi
shomi is the only subscription video-on-demand service created for entertainment lovers by entertainment lovers, and makes getting video content nearly as enjoyable as watching it.  Curated by people who love popcorn and magic, shomi is a video entertainment concierge that offers recommendations from real people because no computer will ever "get" movies and TV like a human does.  Now shomi something good to watch.  shomi is a joint venture owned equally by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications.  

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dispelling 3 myths can lead to better care for your dog

(NC) – Your furry pal is your best friend in the world and there's nothing you wouldn't do for him or her. In fact, many Canadians go above and beyond for their dogs. A recent Western Financial Group study showed that six in 10 Canadians always buy their pet a birthday or Christmas present – and nearly one in three consider their dog to be a family member.
Our love for family pets can occasionally make us go a bit overboard. To stop that from happening and to give you a little extra peace of mind – so that you can focus on hanging out with your little friend, worry-free – the following will dispel three common myths that often get pet owners in a tizzy:
1. Fruit is bad for my dog Canadians are split on this issue with half for and half against feeding fruit, although it turns out that apples, watermelons, and various berries can actually be good for your dog. Always practice moderation to avoid stomach upsets and make sure you wash the fruit and remove all seeds. Large seeds and pits may be poisonous or lead to intestinal obstruction. Never give your dog grapes or raisins, as these foods can cause kidney damage and death in some dogs. Fruit should be fed with caution in pets with health issues like bladder problems and your best bet is to check with your veterinarian to see if this type of food is okay for your dog.
2. Bathing dogs is bad for their coats Dogs love going on adventures and that sometimes means they accumulate smells. Shampooing your dog occasionally when they are dirty will not cause skin problems. Four in 10 Canadians feel that bathing their pet once a month is okay, but there are a few considerations. You do need to be careful about using the right products for your pet's skin, so always use a pet-friendly shampoo. Baby shampoo can dry out the coat and cause dandruff. Pets with allergies can actually benefit from frequent bathing when recommended by their veterinarian.
3. Pet health care expenses are inevitable Much like you, animals are prone to all sorts of ailments, ranging from ear problems to arthritis and even cancer. With all of the advances in veterinary medicine, treating your pet for a condition like cancer can become a strain on the household budget if surgery or chemotherapy is involved. Pet parents have to make some very tough choices when choosing to spend thousands of dollars if needed. Did you know that pet insurance can alleviate much of this burden?
Fewer than two percent of Canadian pet owners have health insurance for them (according to NAPHIA, 2014), and 47 percent feel that it is too expensive. “Owners need to ask lots of questions when deciding if pet insurance is right for them,” says Dr. Bernie Pukay, veterinarian and chairman at Petsecure, a Canadian insurance provider. “You can ask your vet about possible conditions that affect a certain breed of dog and then go back to the insurance company to make sure you understand the coverage offered. No one should have to make a treatment decision based on money. Insurance provides peace of mind so we can make the best healthcare choices for our pets.”
We go to great pains to make sure our dog gets exercise, eats well, and has regular visits to the vet – so let's not sweat the small stuff.
More information about pet care is available at

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why Canadians increasingly embrace natural health products

(NC) Statistics Canada estimates that as many as seven in 10 Canadians use natural health products on a regular basis. These same statistics show a large number of us suffer from nutritional deficiencies because of an inadequate or inappropriate intake of food.
“Canadians are increasingly embracing natural health products to maintain their health and wellbeing,” says Helen Long, president of the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), an organization that this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary as Canada's largest trade association dedicated to natural health and organic products. “These products also help to effectively bridge the gap for those of us who cannot meet our nutritional needs from food alone.”
Many healthcare practitioners recommend natural health products for overall health and wellness and to bridge nutrient gaps. “Health is a life-long journey that includes healthy foods, exercise and natural health products and there is clear scientific evidence that these products work when taken as part of an integrative approach to health,” adds Long.
Natural health products authorized for sale in Canada are bound by strict regulations and testing to ensure safety and efficacy. When shopping for your supplements, always make sure to check the label and look for the eight-digit natural product number (NPN) on the label which is your confirmation that the product you are buying has been reviewed and approved by Health Canada.
Knowledgeable staff in your natural health food store can help you identify which products are right for you. More information is available online at

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday

Friday, August 22, 2014

Healthy Home Company

Healthy Home Company is a membership buying club that is focused on making the home a healthier place to raise a family. It is in a mother's nature to want the best for her family, and the premium line of products is just that... the very best in personal care, household and body health.

Healthy Home Company products are...formulated with organic, all-natural, and toxic-free ingredients, and sold to members at retail-competitive prices. Made in the USA, EcoCert, BPA Free, Non-GMO and Cruelty Free.

How do I make money with Healthy Home CompanyOnce you activate your membership, you may begin shopping at wholesale pricing - this is the best time to refer everyone you care about to join too! 

You will be rewarded for those who you refer to Healthy Home Company, and those who they refer, and so on; and not just once, but for as long as they remain members and purchase product.

10% to refer others to shop with us – based on what they buy and FOR AS LONG AS THEY BUY! Grocery Stores, Retailers and Online stores can’t beat that deal.

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday

Fran Drescher Cancer Schmancer Partners With The Healthy Home Company

The Healthy Home Company & Mom Bloggers Club have partnered with the Cancer Schmancer Foundation to help make your home a healthier place to raise your family! 

The Cancer Schmancer Foundation was founded by cancer survivor Fran DrescherThe foundation works to shift the nation's focus from just searching for a cure for cancer, to prevention and early detection of cancer in order to save lives.

Become a Member. Get wholesale pricing. Earn 10% commission. 

Be sure to get your Healthy Home Membership - $15 USD - shop online, have your EcoCert, ToxicFree, Organic and natural ingredient products delivered directly to you - 

PLUS tell your friends and get 10% on all their purchases just for referring them!

Detox your home!

Visit to join the movement by signing up for their email newsletter or contributing to the cause!

Don't forget to show your support by liking the Cancer Schmancer Facebook page!

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday

Tempered Glass iPhone 5 Case By Casetify WOW

Introducing the Premium Tempered Glass Screen Protector - First 1000 Customers who purchase an iPhone 5S/5/5C case at gets a free premium tempered glass. Go Here

....and watch it in action below. Whoah! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Detox Your Home

My business partner Kate Strickland does a great job explaining what Healthy Home Company is!

Did you know 90% of cancer is not only lifestyle related, but environmental!
And it turns out the home is the most toxic place where we spend the most time!
  • IN. What are you eating and what's eating you?
  • ON. What personal care items are you putting on your skin (the largest organ in the body!)
  • AROUND. What are you cleaning the house with?
Reduce your family's risk of cancer – a healthier, less toxic life is your right! What are you waiting for?

Have you ever been to an all-natural grocery store, organic store or vitamin shop? These stores sell safe, natural alternatives for personal care, health and wellness, household, skin care, and makeup. However, these stores are often expensive to shop at and inconveniently located. 

With almost 100 safe products, made from organic, EcoCert, ToxicFree™ and all natural ingredients, Healthy Home brings the store to your door. 

And most importantly we will pay you 10% to refer others to shop with us – based on what they buy and FOR AS LONG AS THEY BUY! Grocery Stores, Retailers and Online stores can’t beat that deal.

Become a MEMBER now. HERE.

If 10 percent is not enough then you can apply to become a healthy home professional representative and earn money nine different ways!

Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday

BOOM! Hilary Duff Joins Casetify Phone Tablet Photo Covers

You will love 
so democratic

with your best photos


Get yours here.

(funny story below)

I love Hilary Duff

Hilary Duff Helps Turn Social Images Into a Conversation With Casetify

Here's a true story for you

When they were filming 
down the road from my 
summer place 
in Ontario Canada

I snuck onto the set
and stole a 
orange FILM cone

as a souvenir
I felt so Bonnie and Clyde

and I wasn't alone 
but I won't snitch

You will love 
so democratic

with your best photos


Get yours here.


Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday
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