a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Archive for November, 2008

Monday, November 10th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

The artist, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada, believes the world needs more heroes, which is why he covered a Barcelona Beach with the likeness of Barack Obama. T.K.V. Krishnamacarya , the late Indian scholar and yoga teacher, also believes that you can overcome the obstacles in your own life by considering and modeling the lives of people you respect and admire.

Movie stars can be heroes, too. Always a slippery slope, the business of becoming, staying – and leaving -  stardom takes more than just talent. Yet, many have risen and are rising to the occassion, following not just fame, but their own hearts, heads and conscience.

Martial Artist and film action hero, Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in the recent release of JCVD, portraying the rise and fall of his career. The movie was filmed in Bangkok, where Mr. Van Damme adopted seven stray dogs by the film’s completion – some of them disabled. In fact, he prolonged his stay when one of the dogs had a heart attack, sleeping with him in the clinic every night to help give him the will to live. For another, he built a “wheelchair”. The dogs have been sent to his home in Brussels.

The movie includes a 6-minute monologue in which he reflectives openly and emotionally about his life, career, dreams and failures.

He emphasizes the change in himself and the importance of personal stability. In his next film, will move on to writing, directing and producing, as well as acting. As he reclaims his career he wants to be seen as “an action character hero instead of an action star.”

Good enough for me. See you in the theatre.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 247 user reviews.

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

As you already know, I have a thing for bumper stickers – I look for and read all of them.

I enjoyed a new one the other day. I didn’t get a photo this time, but here’s what it said:


Ouch. The truth can hurt…


Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 247 user reviews.

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Have you broken your bottled water habit yet? Recent numbers regarding bottled water sales indicate that many people are returning to the tap and/or the tap with filters. Tap water contaminant levels are usually more closely regulated, but I agree that filtering is the best bet for health and the environment. New reports show a “surprising array” of contaminants in many brands of bottled water, including those exceeding set standards by the companies themselves. If you are currently relying on bottled water for daily consumption, the monetary cost of any filter is quickly offset by making the switch and the cost to your health is, well, “priceless”.

I miss drinking fountains and still don’t understand why the movement to bring them back is not bigger. It seems that it will decrease litter, pollution, energy use, fuel costs and ensure that the safety of tap water is kept a priority. Most of the time, we want or need just a few gulps to quench our immediate thirst, something the drinking fountain does without waste – I often find discarded water bottles half full or more.

Since bottled water is such a big environmental and health issue, I don’t want to touch the soda industry. EEK – eco-disaster right there, turning a healthy necessity like water into a sugar/chemical-laden mess. It’s not news that it is the most acidic beverage you can drink, it leaches calcium from bones, dissolves the enamel on teeth, and, while diet sodas remove sugar and calories, adds a toxic level of chemicals like methanol. Even Fox News reported in 2007, “Soda May Seriously Harm Health”.

Go stainless steel portable for your water needs out and about. There need be no exceptions. Did you know that you can send an EMPTY water bottle of any kind through security with other carry-ons at the airport? You can then fill it at a fountain before getting airborne.

Break the bottled habit. This one’s a no-brainer. Your world and your health deserves it.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 204 user reviews.

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

By Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

From the looks of these images, much of the world loves Obama. It’s breathtakingly moving to see the joyous reaction of people from all over the planet. We are filled with more than admiration and hope. Many of us are filled with a need for heroes and a sense of “Expectation”, so confirms artist, Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada (as reported by Daniel E. Slotnik in the NY Times).

Last week, Mr. Rodriguez-Gerada, with the help of some 40 volunteers, completed artwork using hundreds of tons of gravel and sand and covering 2.5 acres of Barcelona beachfront – a portrait of Obama’s face. The Cuban-American from NYC, wanted to demonstrate not just support of the candidate (now Mr. President), but “to reflect on why the world needs heroes and show the nature of hope and heroism. You can see a rendition here on the artist’s site. The portrait will soon be visible on Google Earth.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 284 user reviews.

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

For the last seven days, people from all over the world have been casting an online vote for today’s election. Who does the world choose for the next president of the United States? So far, 87.2% of the voters from 212 countries, choose Barack Obama. Cast two votes today – one for your country and one for the world.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 273 user reviews.

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 226 user reviews.

THE TAO OF CHANGE [the way of a better world]

brought to you by The Change, a strategy and design agency with an agenda to change the world