Citizens Speak Out About Police Brutality in St. Paul

I would like to offer a standing ovation and thunderous THANK YOU to the gentleman who filmed this video. The quality is good, he calmly narrated what he was seeing, and he remained focused on the victim – Eric Hightower – despite what looks like one of the crowd control cops trying to block the cameraman’s view with his body around the 3:50 mark.

THANK YOU to Angela Hulbert, who according to the Star Tribune article, posted the video to YouTube, called the mayor’s office, sent the video to Internal Affairs and spoke with IA Wednesday morning.

The on-lookers complied with police orders, but they didn’t do so quietly. When the crowd protests Zilge’s treatment of Hightower, we can hear the cop yell “He beat up a woman last night. Calm down.” Which even if true, dear readers, in no way justifies the kicking, hair-pulling and slamming of Eric’s head into the police car.

Look at how many patrols were called to the area. Look at how many white police officers are present. Note how few black officers are present.

This video shows police brutality and contains strong language.

The text on the video posted on YouTube reads:

A police officer’s conduct while taking a suspect into custody has sparked allegations of police brutality. The incident occurred Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn., when Officer Jesse Zilge spotted 30-year-old Eric Hightower, who police were searching for after he allegedly threatened to kill an acquaintance. Hightower is seen lying on the ground after Zilge sprayed him with a chemical irritant. At one point, Zilge kicks him in the chest. Later, Zilge and another officer slam a handcuffed Hightower onto a squad car and also appear to pull his hair. Zilge was placed on administrative leave after an investigation was launched.

I don’t want a cop who behaves this way to be trusted to work with the public or interpreting how to enforce laws. I hope they fire Officer Zilge and charge him with assault. I hope the city of St. Paul pays damages to Eric Hightower for this city-enabled abuse of one of its citizens.

Citizens Speak Out About Police Brutality in St. Paul

The Jellyfish Tragedy

This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger, written during the cold and long winter of December 2010.

Winsor Locks, CT

In a rarely-seen or photographed event, thousands of hapless jellyfish on their way to spawn were stranded and frozen along the shores of the Connecticut River last week. The gelatinous creatures are not uncommon, but usually go unnoticed because they are a cold water species. But the necessities of reproduction bring them together in great numbers this time of year, as they return to their traditional spawning grounds. A freakish combination of weather conditions allowed lucky and observant onlookers to enjoy this serendipitous spectacle.

High and Dry and Frozen © Ellen Bulger

“As a rule, we don’t even notice them.” explained Caleb Shoeworthy, whose family have fished these waters for shad for five generations. “The thing is, you just can’t see them in the river. They have no color. You could have half a dozen of them in that bucket and you’d swear there was nothing but water. Even the big ones are pretty much invisible.”

Continue reading “The Jellyfish Tragedy”

The Jellyfish Tragedy

6 O'Clock BS: Gluten-Free Pizza

Tonight I made gluten-free pizza! I used a Red Mill Mix, but it required yeast and mixing and other related baking shit, so I think it counts as fancy cooking.

First, the crust:

Pizza Mix, Olive Oil, Eggs, Yeast in warm water

The yeast had to sit for a few minutes, then I added the eggs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then the pizza flour mix was added in and mixed on medium for 1 to 2 minutes.

Continue reading “6 O'Clock BS: Gluten-Free Pizza”

6 O'Clock BS: Gluten-Free Pizza

6 O’Clock BS: Gluten-Free Pizza

Tonight I made gluten-free pizza! I used a Red Mill Mix, but it required yeast and mixing and other related baking shit, so I think it counts as fancy cooking.

First, the crust:

Pizza Mix, Olive Oil, Eggs, Yeast in warm water

The yeast had to sit for a few minutes, then I added the eggs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then the pizza flour mix was added in and mixed on medium for 1 to 2 minutes.

Continue reading “6 O’Clock BS: Gluten-Free Pizza”

6 O’Clock BS: Gluten-Free Pizza

6 O'Clock BS – I

I’d love to find myself in the middle of a flash mob someday! What a great vehicle for expression and a memorable way to show that you’ve organized people to make a statement*. Speaking of – if anyone has a link to video of the California Domestic Workers “Respect” flash mob that was supposed to have happened on 8/21/12 at the Sacramento State Capitol can you post it in the comments? I found the instructional video on YouTube, but a brief search on YT and Vimeo hasn’t yielded video of the actual flash mob.

This one’s a little older. It was put on to celebrate (okay, probably advertise) the 50th anniversary of West Side Story. Fun!

httpv://youtu.be/WTtYu1djG90

*Or no apparent statement or art for art’s sake.

6 O'Clock BS – I

6 O’Clock BS – I

I’d love to find myself in the middle of a flash mob someday! What a great vehicle for expression and a memorable way to show that you’ve organized people to make a statement*. Speaking of – if anyone has a link to video of the California Domestic Workers “Respect” flash mob that was supposed to have happened on 8/21/12 at the Sacramento State Capitol can you post it in the comments? I found the instructional video on YouTube, but a brief search on YT and Vimeo hasn’t yielded video of the actual flash mob.

This one’s a little older. It was put on to celebrate (okay, probably advertise) the 50th anniversary of West Side Story. Fun!

*Or no apparent statement or art for art’s sake.

6 O’Clock BS – I

Savoring Flavors: A Welcoming Toast to Atheism Plus

This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger.

One of the interesting things about being an aging human is how our flavor preferences can change. Senses are dull a bit, which is a bummer. But no dark cloud is without some silver lining. With muted taste buds some previously overwhelming foods become, as Ms. Goldilocks would put it, just right.

I’ve always craved bitter greens. Cooked or raw, you can’t feed me too much arugula. But until recently I’ve never been fond of bitter and sweet combinations in confections unless there was also an acid component.

Then I started drinking Sanbittèr, a non-alcoholic Campari made by Pellegrino. It came in tiny bottles, a serving size that even Michael Bloomberg would endorse. What’s more, the vivid red color of the stuff was like a stop sign in a glass. It provided such heavy sensory input that you didn’t require much at all. Drinking it was a crazy little contradictory ride. I loved it.

Inside the Carton of Red © Ellen Bulger

Despite the most adorable packaging in the world, Sanbittèr wasn’t popular in the states. It was less popular, even, than Marmite (another of my middle-aged flavor kicks). I had to go to Italian-import specialty stores to find Sanbittèr. Then not long ago, it vanished off the shelves. I couldn’t get my fun little treat any more.

At the same time, the parent company extended their successful Limonata line with grapefruit and blood orange sodas. Most domestic soda is all high-fructose corn syrup  and artificial flavoring. But get this, those crazy Italians use sugar and actual fruit!

Bitters Bottle Base © Ellen Bulger

But the swap of Sanbittèr for Aranciata Rossa echoes marketing trends where only best sellers are marketed. Harry Potter and Batman and pasty pouty vampires are available at every chain pharmacy and big box outlet. And you know there are a lot of people who don’t care fuck all about wizards or comic book crime fighters or teeny-bopper bloodsuckers. But because their interests are diverse, they become invisible to the marketers as there’s no one big homogenized target to hit. I want to take a stand at the grocery store and rip out the invasive Oreo-branded products that are expanding down the cookie aisle like the baked goods version of Phragmites grass. Screw it. I’ll bake my own cookies.

Empty Soldiers in the Morning © Ellen Bulger

In brick and mortar retail, try to find a copy of “Schizopolis” or, oh, anything by Fellini. And yes, we can find just about anything via internet. But you can’t Google something if you can’t even imagine it exists. It is a struggle to maintain the public memory of the possibilities of offbeat, bittersweet alternatives. No, no, no say I! I won’t drink the cultural Kool-aid. If you don’t have what I want, I’ll find it elsewhere, I’ll make it myself. And I might just team up with other people who crave Persian mint yogurt soda or homemade sumac syrup with seltzer. If I sit and sip shandy with these people, I’ll get insights about soda pop that Coke drinkers would never imagine.

So too with Atheism Plus. Diversity can be challenging and stressful. But those who resist it don’t realize how much they stand to gain by embracing it. It’s interesting. It’s exciting. It’s delicious.

And at the end of the day, we’re all thirsty.

Savoring Flavors: A Welcoming Toast to Atheism Plus

6 O'Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

You never know where your stuff is going to show up!

I received this email in my Flickr inbox recently:

Hi Brianne,

I love your photo of Foggy Blue Morning Dive! We used it on Adventure Awaits, a blog and storytelling site for Washington State Parks.

You’ll see your photo on one of our blog posts here of Go Discover: Scuba Diving: adventureawaits.com/2012/07/go-discover-scuba-diving/

Again, thanks so much for putting your photos in Creative Commons – we love profiling great captures of our parks.

Tee hee! I’m on a website for Washington State Parks promoting scuba diving. How fun!

Here’s the photo:

Foggy Blue Morning Dive

And being the awesome Creative Commons-respecting website they are, the photo links back to my Flickr account where I originally posted it. The only annoying thing is that while I’m now “Washington State Park Go Discover Scuba Diving” internet famous (got a whole 27 views on that there photo – w00t!), my little sister gets the photographer bragging rights. Damn it!

6 O'Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

6 O’Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

You never know where your stuff is going to show up!

I received this email in my Flickr inbox recently:

Hi Brianne,

I love your photo of Foggy Blue Morning Dive! We used it on Adventure Awaits, a blog and storytelling site for Washington State Parks.

You’ll see your photo on one of our blog posts here of Go Discover: Scuba Diving: adventureawaits.com/2012/07/go-discover-scuba-diving/

Again, thanks so much for putting your photos in Creative Commons – we love profiling great captures of our parks.

Tee hee! I’m on a website for Washington State Parks promoting scuba diving. How fun!

Here’s the photo:

Foggy Blue Morning Dive

And being the awesome Creative Commons-respecting website they are, the photo links back to my Flickr account where I originally posted it. The only annoying thing is that while I’m now “Washington State Park Go Discover Scuba Diving” internet famous (got a whole 27 views on that there photo – w00t!), my little sister gets the photographer bragging rights. Damn it!

6 O’Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

Cross-Country Connections: Wildlife

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Wildlife.

And this is a somewhat special Cross-Country Connection because it will be Erin’s last photograph contributed from Washington state. In a few days she’ll begin a literal cross-country drive with her husband that will land them in their new home in Washington D.C.! She’s landed an uber-sweet job at a museum out there, and there are some exciting career opportunities for her partner also. I’m really excited that I’ll have a place to stay for the Women In Secularism conference next year for her and her new job. Congrats, seestor!

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois: 

A white heron and turtles on Crab Orchard Lake

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota: 

A Mourning Cloak butterfly seen this weekend on Madeline Island, Wisconsin.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington: 

 Seen on US Rt. 20 in Skagit County in Washington State.  A whole herd of elk with a monster of a bull in the lead. It was an amazing send off from Washington state. This marks the last of my Cross Country Connections from Washington. The next two weeks will document the cross country move and then in three weeks will be my first entry from a whole new Washington, as we are moving to Washington DC!

Cross-Country Connections: Wildlife