How a hellish climate change meetup taught me to find my own way

J. R. and J. J.I met J. R. less than a year ago through The Great Michael Vine. J. R. shares my burden of saving the world. He is a lab rat and freelance journalist and writes for Scientific American and LiveScience. His book about the universe was published in 2009. Follow him on Twitter.com/JRMinkel.

Hello, Zepfanman.com readers!! Are you ready to rock?! ‘Cause I am. This is my first ever stint as a Guest Blogger, so big ups to J.J. for knowing quality when he sees it. If you like what you read here, check out my blog A Fistful of Science. Now let’s get down to it.

I’ve become increasingly interested over the past year in playing a more active role in my community. The big watershed for me was the death of Pops Minkel (my dad) in 2009. I realized how much of my grumpy attitude had come from him, and faced with the prospect of turning to “shit and dust,” as Michael Vine likes to say, I decided I wanted to spend my remaining days on Earth making as much of a difference as I could. I’ve since come to realize that being the change I want to see is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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East Coast Thanksgiving

I haven’t made the drive to Philadelphia in quite a while and this was my first trip along the Louisville-Philadelphia route. I crammed in a lot of driving, but couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Rachel and Liz in DC, as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to have dinner on Sunday with my dad’s side of the family; I want a Permanent Vacation.

Here are a few of the 37 photos from my Thanksgiving Flickr set:

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3 films I probably won’t get to see in theaters

Documentaries are starting to get more theater time, but there are three recent ones that I probably won’t get to see until they’re out on DVD: Creation, Outrage, and Crude.

Coincidentally, I had started on this post just before going to the free Kentucky Short Film & Video Showcase on Tuesday night. I met one of the Louisville Film Society directors and mentioned Outrage & Crude. He said that both had played in town within the past two months! I was impressed, so I’m definitely on their mailing list now.

Why won’t most of us see these films? I hate to say it, but Americans just don’t like to think when they’re watching movies, even if they’re fascinating (as I’m sure all three of these films are). For example (re Creation), “a new British film about Charles Darwin has failed to land a distribution deal in the States because his theories on human evolution are too controversial for religious American audiences, according to the film’s producer” (Daily Mail, Sep. 13). Promoters cater to the lowest common denominator, or literally the biggest bang (explosions and sex) for the buck. Simple as that!

What movies do you want to see that aren’t in wide release?