Musings on Being the Artist of Your Day

Category: Social Change (Page 1 of 5)

A Real Life Urban Hero

A few years ago I wrote an urban fantasy essay about being able to take our household plastic garbage to a central place – then a gizmo could restructure the plastics into everyday useable things. Could this happen in reality though?

There’s a lot more to melting down plastic that is best explained in an aritcle I found: “Why Can’t Plastics All Be Melted,” published by The There’s many issues involved and may include the issue that only plastics of the same type of resin should be melded together. . . but then I’m no expert!

Here is a modern day Unsung Hero I’ve come across, worth knowing about! She has figured out a way to make bricks from the plastics that usually go in the trash. She’s also was the winner of the Young Champions of the Earth Award in 2020 for Africa.

Don’t miss finding out about Nzambi Matee and her enterprise in 2 minutes and 26 seconds.

Urban fantasies can come true.

Day 10 – Heart Flow

Day 10 - Heart Flow

“Heart Flow,” Day 10 of Mary Gow’s One Hundred Hearts Project

I remember a good friend in high school whose family moved from Massachusetts to my home town, in the Deep South. She was like no other friend I had had. Back in those days of film photography she had a camera and developed her own film (it would be almost a decade before I was voraciously doing the same).

She had a sense of style and her family had a small sail boat. They lived near the big lake in town so they could go sailing often. One time, they took me with them. I had never been sailing and found the quietness of a boat skipping across the water enthrallinig.

It was quite different from going getting worms in the morning and going fishing in a paddle boat.

Once in a while, when talking about challenges like a big exam coming up, my sailing friend would quote her father and say “You’ve got to ease with the breeze, go with the flow.”

That phrase was so catchy I wrote it down. Not to mention it’s useful in these modern times and later to realize it’s a saying.

Going with the flow. . . how does that look in a pandemic?

Caring for oneself and others at the same time with a small act can make major differences.

I wish you and your family & friends some semblance of flow each and every day.

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
― Alan Wilson Watts

A Useful Alternative for Getting the News

Read Hundreds of Front Pages at

Read Hundreds of Front Pages at

Happy New Year!

And Happy News Year?

I hardly watched the news yesterday and I noticed how much calmer I felt. Maybe I was also affected by my runny nose and the desire to relax because my body said so. I had a rather anti-social New Year’s Eve and I loved it.

News watching has been a habit from childhood. My father would watch the ten o’clock news every single night and then go to sleep. Like clockwork.
Every morning he would read the newspaper. Like clockwork.

Newsweek, Time and Life magazines plus the daily newspaper, and watching the news were my predominant news sources growing up. That’s before the days of cell phones and the Internet.

My current habit is to surf the web a few minutes in the morning and see what’s in the headlines.

I remember sitting in on a news reporting class in the journalism department of a local community college. The professor said what’s news is what’s reported. And think about it, think about what gets reported because reporters want to go there.

Maybe that’s why famines don’t get as much coverage as a story about a baby seal biting a swimmer in San Francisco.

This concept has stuck with me and has made me more interested in finding news through bloggers and resources other than mainstream reporting services.

However, I have a desire this new year to cut back on watching the news.

Instead of spending that half hour being teased to stay tuned to hear the latest devastation and “breaking” news, including the most dramatic videos that might tantalize my eyeballs for 9 to 900 nanoseconds, I’m ready to begin a new habit.

I’m willing to try any number of experiments. This new year I’ll start with going regularly to a website I heard about in journalism class with Jon Rochmis at City College of San Francisco.

On this site you can read the front pages of hundreds of different newspapers (779 today)!

This is like finding a fresh water lake in the desert!

I am fascinated by the differences in foci of the various publications and what they choose to report.

Within five minutes of reading I can be more informed than five minutes of news watching. Here you can see what’s making headlines from Austin, Texas to Montevideo, Uruguay to Khartoum, Sudan!

The list of papers available at is here:

To really bliss out on newspaper headlines go to Today’s Front Pages at at:

Today, I just glanced at the front page of the Modesto Bee, and a new law going into effect January 1 2018 in California that prohibits the legality of any potential employer requiring the disclosure of what their wages were at a previous job. An applicant can provide it voluntarily though. Once a job offer has been made, however, the prospective employer is allowed to do a background check. (Wow, in just half a minute’s glance at this front page I learned something helpful!)

I’m excited about this new year and the challenge to shift the use of this thirty minute slot.

I’m eager to transform an old habit.

And I’m open and receptive to having a miraculous year.

I wish that for you too and may you find news that fuels your needs!

P.S. When viewing one front page (at you can scroll to the next one or go to the previous front page by using the prompts in the upper right corner.

Sayonara Salmon?

"Save Salmon," digital drawing by Mary Gow

“Save Salmon,” digital drawing by Mary Gow

It first appeared in the news about a month ago. I forwarded the article in the New York Times to a friend because we share a love for the same kind of fish.

Within two weeks of the article’s appearance, I got a write-up about concern for the plight of salmon from the creator of my daily workout, Dr. Al Sears. His article was titled Invasion of the Frankenfish.

William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, captured my attention when he spoke about “Frankenwheat” on the Dr. Oz show. He said wheat of Biblical times is totally different from the wheat we find today. The plant has been hybridized to create a much faster growing plant minus the same nutrition the original wheat offered.

My intention isn’t to write about wheat but rather to use it as an example of how the hybridization of it has created a new type of food yet it’s still referred to as “wheat,” but it’s now what it used to be.

Sadly, the plight of my favorite fish came to my attention in an opinion piece in the New York Times on December 1, 2015:

The first two paragraphs really summarize my concern:

In approving genetically engineered salmon as safe to eat and safe for the environment, the Food and Drug Administration rejected petitions from environmental and food safety groups asking that companies selling this salmon be required to label it as genetically engineered. Congress should overturn that decision. Consumers deserve to know what they are eating.

The salmon, made by AquaBounty Technologies of Maynard, Mass., has genes inserted that allow it to grow to market size twice as fast as wild salmon. The F.D.A.’s approval permits the engineered salmon to be raised only in land-based hatchery tanks in two facilities — one in Canada, where genes are injected into the eggs of Atlantic salmon, and a facility in Panama, where the fish are grown to market size. Each site has physical barriers to prevent the escape of eggs and fish.

Some stores are refusing to carry the genetically modified fish. Other stores will carry these new fish and they won’t be labeled.

I haven’t tasted this new breed of fish but I reckon I accidentally might at some point.

Hopefully this isn’t the year we say sayonara to real salmon.

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