Guerrilla Money

Thanks to the Occupy movement, more people than ever are thinking and talking about monetary and banking reform. I would like to propose that monetary reform begins in the mind, and then in communities.

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All Hail the Legume

Respect to the Bean

I recently had a request for information about beans. I think actually it was more a request about how to cook dried beans than these sorts of facts! For details on soaking beans check out this recipe for refried beans. In the meantime let your mind be titillated with these bizarre bits about beans.

Legume family: Fabaceae (or Leguminosae). The third largest family among the flowering plants (after the orchid and daisy families), and second most important to the human diet, after the grasses.

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Seedy Saturday 2010

I have been wanting to go to Seedy Saturday for the past couple years, but somehow missed it each time. This year I was determined to get there, and so I rushed off after my last day of work. It was a sad morning as we got news of the earthquake in Chile and three of the ladies in the kitchen are from Chile. The hardest part for these ladies as they tried to take their mind off their families, was not knowing if they were alive as it was impossible to get communications through.

I got to Seedy Saturday shortly before it closed up, call me naive or just idealistic, but I had gotten the idea that Seedy Saturday was gonna be a bunch of people exchanging seeds for free, so I just assumed that the donation I was expected to give at the door would cover my costs and I gave generously. So generously I didn’t have any money left when I got in the building and realised that there really wasn’t much of an exchange going, and it was actually just a seed sale. I guess if I hadn’t come with this assumption I might have been more impressed. Fortunately I did discover a forum where seeds can be freely exchanged at the Environmental Youth Alliance booth, which also had some really cool stickers. The aforementioned forum is the Vancouver Plant and Seed Exchange Network.

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Egyptian Generosity

Ancient DoorwayI have had quite the exciting, travel-filled, and busy month which I will regal you all with presently. However, I have been thinking for the past few months that I need to talk about the generosity of the culture here. It really is quite remarkable the extent to which this generosity is a part of the everyday life of the people.

I wanted to make sure that I knew a little bit more about the culture before I talked about it, because I wasn’t sure how different my experience as a foreigner would be from the average Egyptian. Although my experience is certainly different as a foreigner, I don’t think that this takes away from the culture as a whole.

In Cairo, and probably some of the more touristy places where they are used to foreigners it is common for people to try and take advantage of the foreigner. So for the first month this was mostly my experience in Egypt. I had to make sure I knew how much things should cost so that I wasn’t charged extra for being a foreigner. And there are some touristy places, like the pyramids, or the Egyptian Museum where foreigners actually have a separate entrance price than Egyptians. I understand that these places take up-keep and that foreigners in general have much more money that Egyptians, so I understand why they have this policy, but it still meant that I had to be aware.

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