Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Appreciate nature's beauty: Total lunar eclipse tonight!

Tonight, a total lunar eclipse will be visible from much of the US (weather permitting). Unlike solar eclipses, these can be viewed and enjoyed with the naked eye. So look up!

Moon enters penumbra (slight shading) 8:06 PM (Eastern time)
Partial eclipse begins (moon enters umbra) 9:14 PM
Total eclipse begins (moon totally within umbra) 10:23 PM
Total eclipse ends (moon begins to leave umbra) 11:45 PM
Partial eclipse ends (moon leaves umbra) 12:54 AM
Moon leaves penumbra (slight shading gone) 2:02 AM

Lunar eclipses happen when the earth's shadow blocks the light of the sun from shining on the moon causing the moon to darken. For more information on eclipses and viewing conditions in your area, click here and here.

Eclipses are beautiful! So enjoy the show the heavens will put on, and be grateful for the small things.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Join the marrow registry

Have you every known anyone with leukemia? This cancer affects children and adults and can be cured with a bone marrow transplant. The National Marrow Donor Program maintains a list of people who might be willing to donate marrow if their tissue matches what a patient needs.

A person of any race, ethnicity or gender who is 18 to 60 years old and qualifies medically can become a volunteer potential marrow or blood stem cell donor. Please consider it. I did, and am on the list. People of color and multiracial people are especially needed. If you are interested, read some patient stories, read some donor stories, check the eligiblity requirements and donate the small sample of blood that is necessary to get on the list.

If you are pregnant, you can also donate your baby's umbilical cord blood. It too is life-saving.

If a patient is matched to you, you are under no obligation to donate. You may never be called, but without registering you will never know how much good you can do. You might even save a life.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Election Protection Coalition: 1-866-OUR-VOTE

The nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition was organized in response to the 2000 elections in which more than four million voters and potential voters were disenfranchised. If, on or before election day, you are someone you know has their voting rights violated, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE or visit to report the case to the Election Protection Coalition. If you are harassed or intimidated while voting or trying to vote, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. If there are irregularities at your polling place, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. If you have technical difficulties while voting or attempting to vote, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE. If you are denied the right to vote, call 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

In addition, volunteers are needed to work before, during and/or after Election Day. There is a special need for lawyers, law students, clergy and Spanish-speakers. Please consider donating time or donating money to make sure that what happened in 2000 does not happen again. Click here to volunteer.

Click the envelope below to e-mail this post to people you know. Spread the word. Let's ensure that the results of this election reflect what we the people want. VOTE!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Try A Lipstick Brush

Lipstick tubes are packed with extra lipstick so that the twisting mechanism works. Get at the extra below the rim (usually enough for 25 or more applications) by using a lipstick brush. You'll get 30% more out of each tube by not thowing away the extra.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Vote early, vote thoughtfully.

In many states, you can vote early, without a reason. Here in Georgia, early voting starts on Monday, October 25, while in other states (Arkansas, for instance) early voting is already going on. For information on your state's voting regulations, click here. This site contains information on traditional and in-person absentee voting and on early voting (which does not require a reason) for each state.

Check it out, and don't let a previously scheduled trip or unexpected emergency keep you from voting.

Give blood, give life.

Every two seconds, someone needs blood. You can help meet this need by donating a pint of your own. Blood donation only takes hour or so, and it's something most of us can spare. Your body will make more and you'll be able to donate again in 56 days. Blood drives happen everywhere, all the time. Contact local hospitals and blood banks for a drive in your area. Or for more information, including donation locations, call the Red Cross at 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit

Think of your family, think of your friends, think of yourself, then give. It's just an hour, just a pint and it just might save a life. Donate regularly.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Walk with a purpose

Many thanks my mother for schooling me on this one. She taught me to walk with a purpose. A few months ago, I realized that my favorite grocery store, library, bank and ice cream stand are all just a mile away. So now I walk when I visit them. It's good exercise and allows me to justify the ice cream. :)

Although I have to go to the store more often, I buy less since I have to carry it home. Plus, I can listen to my Twi tapes during the trip. I also enjoy meeting my neighbors while I walk.

Look around, you may be able to walk with a purpose. If not from home, perhaps from work on your lunch hour. It's a healthy way to save money, and it's better for the environment and better for you!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Online subscriptions to periodicals.

To reduce waste, consider reading your periodicals online. Many newspapers and magazines will support web subscriptions. Note that some specialty and trade journals allow you to donate the hard copy to someone who cannot afford it, while allowing you to retain online access. Make the switch and make fewer trips to the recycling bin.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Carter Center works to eradicate Guinea Worm

Guinea worm disease is a painful, crippling parasitic infection that has caused suffering around the world for millennia. Thankfully, it will soon be the next disease eradicated from the earth and the first to be overcome without a vaccine or treatment. You can support the Carter Center in their work to eliminate the last one percent of this awful disease.

Just $10 buys 200 portable, reusable pipe filters to enable people to filter their drinking water and help eliminate Guinea worm disease. Click here to donate now and support this work and the Carter Center's mission to "Wage Peace, Fight Disease, and Build Hope."

Imagine the difference you will make!

Test yourself for hidden bias

Most of us will admit to having at least some biases. However, you may have prejudices you don't even know about. Test yourself for hidden bias at This site is run by by the Southern Poverty Law Center. While you're there, check out their ideas for parenting and teaching, along with 101 ways to fight hate and 101 tools for tolerance. Let's use them, to treat each other with the dignity and respect we all deserve.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Freecycle Network

The worldwide Freecycle Network is a grassroots movement of people who give and get things for free in their home towns. Individuals and nonprofits join a local e-mail list and post descriptions of things they're giving away or seeking. Everything posted must be free. After contact is made, the freecyclers arrange a convenient time and place for pickup.

This is a free and easy way to get things you need, get rid of things you don't, and keep usable items out of landfills. At the time of this post, there are over 1,500 cities represented with over 500,000 people who freecycle. That's lots of good stuff that's up for grabs! Check out to join and get started!

Worldscopes - Stethoscope donation

Worldscopes is a project of the American Medical Association. They collect stethoscopes for distribution to medical schools, clinics and hospitals around the world. Medical professionals can donate new and lightly used stethoscopes. In addition, financial donations are accepted. Just $15 will purchase a stethoscope that will greatly assist physicians and health care workers as they care for their patients.

Perhaps you can organize a stethoscope drive at your hospital, medical school, office practice, or medical society. And remember, your equipment or financial donation may be tax deductible.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Encourage voting on November 2.

This in from a friend:

"Check around your neighborhood to see whether anybody needs a ride to the polling place in November. We have a lot of older people in our neighborhood; it turns out that one of them wasn't planning to vote because she wasn't sure how she'd get to the polls. Now, she's going with me. If your neighborhood has a lot of families with young children, perhaps what's needed is somebody to watch the kids while mom goes out to vote." Thanks Laurie!

We'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not to offer assistance to people who do not support your favorite candidate. This is a simple way encourage voting, and meet your neighbors. See you at the polls!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Cell phone recycling

Lots of us have them, old cell phones we no longer use. Don't trash them. Recycle them, and help your favorite charity (and maybe get a tax write-off) in the process. Salvageable phones will be fixed and given to victims of domestic violence or to various charities that will make use of them in their work.

Send phones to

Collective Good, Inc.
4508 Bibb Blvd., Suite B-10
Tucker, GA  30084

or visit the Wireless Foundation. Also check with domestic violence shelters in your area. They will reprogram donated cell phones to dial emergecy numbers. Your old phone could help save a life.

Even if you choose not to donate, it is important to recycle because mobile phone and other rechargeable batteries contain several toxic materials such as lead and mercury, that poison the environment. Rechargeable batteries can be dropped off for recycling at local electronics or cell phone stores.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Compare the platforms, decide who's best, then VOTE

It's easy to get caught up in all the sound-bites and media blitz that make up the 2004 presidential campaign. Get to the core of the matter by comparing the platforms for the two major parties.

To read them, click below. Both documents are PDF files and require Adobe Acrobat:

Democrat platform
Republican platform

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Reduce unwanted bulk mail

Tired of all the unwanted bulk mail? Put a stop to it! Add your name to the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference list and eliminate up to 80 percent of bulk mail. The service is free.

Just send a card with your name, address, and signature to:

Mail Preference Service
DMA, Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

"But I like bulk mail!" That's fine, just recycle it when you're done. Please let us know about the best recycling centers in your area. In Atlanta, I recommend Your Dekalb Farmers Market which recycles magazines, white paper, newspaper, plastics, glass, and aluminum.

Click to support free mammograms

The Breast Cancer Site was developed to raise money for mammograms for women who cannot afford them. Early detection saves lives. So visit the site and click the big pink button.

The advertisers donate money in exchange for increased visibility. Click here for more information on how it works. You may also want to support The Hunger Site, The Child Health Site, The Rainforest Site, and The Animal Rescue Site.

You are already on-line, so click now, click daily, help save a life.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Donate old glasses for Sight Night 2004

Through the Gift of Sight program, the Lions Club and Lenscrafters collect eyeglasses and sunglasses of all styles, sizes and colors for distribution in North America and abroad to those with vision problems.

To participate in the annual Sight Night drive by collecting glasses while trick-or-treating this Halloween, visit

Or if you prefer, just drop off your eyeglasses and sunglasses at any Lenscrafters or Lions Club.

All that, and your gift may be tax deductible. Now go round up those old Gazelles for donation. Halloween is right around the corner!

Leadership for a Changing World Awards

The Leadership for a Changing World awards have just been announced. Among the winners are Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, SisterLove, (both in Atlanta, and Boys, Girls, Adults Community Development Center (BGACDC) in Marvell, Arkansas.

Leadership for Change writes:

"Beatrice Clark Shelby [BGACDC] spreads hope and nurtures leadership in one of the most impoverished and isolated corners of the United States."

"Sandra Barnhill and Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers promote self-development, responsibility, and a better way of life for troubled families."

"SisterLove [Dazon Dixon Diallo] brings education, support, understanding – and love – to women of color caught up in the H.I.V./AIDS crisis."

It's nice to see this work get acknowledged. Their contributions are an inspiration. Congratulations to all the awardees, and thank you for the work that you do!

UPDATE (9/19/05): After my first visit to Sapelo Island last week, I am inspired and excited to include Carolyn Dowse and Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society (SICARS) who "work to preserve and revitalize the last viable Gullah/Geechee community in Georgia's Sea Islands." Thanks for the much needed work that you do!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Claim unclaimed money

There is great site that allows you to check for unclaimed money and other assets that may belong to you or your family. On my first visit there, I put in a family surname and found that the children of two of my deceased cousins have money waiting for them. I got in touch with them immediately to let them know.

To start your free search, visit the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, a nonprofit organization. You never know what you might find! And if you happen upon a windfall, there are many worthy organizations that would be happy to receive a donation.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Recycle your tennis shoes.

Whether you call them tennis shoes, runners, sneakers, or gym shoes, your old ones can be recycled. Just send old athletic shoes (any brand) to

Nike Recycling Center
c/o Reuse A Shoe
26755 SW 95th Avenue
Wilsonville, OR 97070

You old shoes will be ground up to make surfaces for tracks, basketball courts and the like for underserved communities. They won't end up in landfills (often in those same communities). For more information, visit Nike Reuse-A-Shoe.

Friday, October 08, 2004

MedShare International

Tomorrow morning, a group of us is going to MedShare International. We'll spend the morning sorting medical supplies for shipment to clinics and hospitals all over the world. It's a great organization since federal regulations compel hospitals in the United States to discard more than $6.25 billion worth of unused medical supplies. Most of that material (which is useful!) would end up in landfills. MedShare reclaims a portion of that to give to people who need and can use it.

"So what can I do?"
* join us on Saturday.
* join us for our next workday, December 11.
* notify a hospital or clinic of MedShare's services.
* send money. They're in the midst of a fundraising drive right now.

Unfortunately, there aren't many other organizations like MedShare around. Perhaps one of you is interested in starting one?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Working Assets - phone and credit card services

My AT&T phone bill just went up over $6. Without warning, they raised the charges on all their services. Ugh! So now I'm on the lookout for a less expensive local phone service.

I hear good things about Working Assets and they donate part of their profits to several nonprofit organizations. I know they provide long distance, but do they provide local service as well? Any thoughts?

If you need long distance, wireless, or credit card services, check out Working Assets. They allow you to help others as you help yourself.

Some recycling at WalMart - Update

This afternoon, a manager at the WalMart (I-20 and Panola) called in response to the recycling question I sent in. Evidently, they've tried newspaper recycling several times, but people fill the bins with trash. (Tsk. Tsk.)

The good news is that they accept plastic bags for recycling and they recycle their own cardboard (customers can't bring theirs in though). I got the impression that all the stores accept the bags. So bring your plastic bags to WalMart. I have a whole cabinet full of them and am glad to know where I can take them.

When he asked me if I knew of contacts for glass and plastic recycling, I referred him to the Dekalb County Farmer's Market, which is where I do all my recycling now.

To write your neighborhood WalMart, click here.

Some recycling at WalMart - Update

This afternoon, a manager at the WalMart (I-20 and Panola) called in
response to the recycling question I sent in. Evidently, they've tried
newspaper recycling several times, but people fill the bins with trash.
(Tsk. Tsk.)

The good news is that they accept plastic bags for recycling and they
recycle their own cardboard (customers can't bring theirs in though). I got
the impression that all the stores accept plastic bags. So bring your
plastic bags to WalMart. I have a whole cabinet full of them.

When he asked me if I knew of contacts for glass and plastic recycling, I
referred him to the href="">Dekalb County
Farmer's Market, which is where I do all my recycling now.

To write your neighborhood WalMart, click href="

Crisis in Sudan

Diaspora Professionals sponsored a great panel discussion last month on the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan. I learned a lot about Sudan's history and current situation, and about the Sudanese population in Atlanta. The frustration I felt regarding the enormity of the situation was a real impetus in my starting this blog. Kudos to Diaspora for putting this together!

A representative from CARE was in the audience and suggested that organization's website as a place to find information and donate money. Visit CARE at, and if you are interested, I'll send you the names of some organizations that work with Sudanese refugees in Atlanta. Donations of money and household items are often needed. And volunteers are needed to teach English, urban life skills, etc. Peace and blessings to my brothers and sisters in Sudan.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Recycling at Wal-Mart?

A friend and I were talking about Wal-Mart. She's trying hard to resist the temptation to shop there. I understand. Although it's an Arkansas company (and I'm from Arkansas), I just can't support them. Their labor practices are simply awful (

She suggested that the least they could do is have a recycling facility. I thought that was a great idea. So let's write them and request recycling at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. Here's the site: I figure it can't hurt, and it might just help. Let us know what you hear.