Short Takes: News From All Over: October 7, 2004

The Project for Public Spaces Ranks Nation’s Best and Worst Parks — And More
By Staff, Project for Public Spaces
Making Places, the Project for Public Spaces newsletter, invites you to participate in the movement to create more livable towns and cities, as the newsletter delivers the latest developments in placemaking from the U.S. and abroad. On the site, you can learn about six innovative public parks, such as Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon, a park that is integrated with the city’s transit system. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

By Steven Frank, Spamusement
Who would have thought that anything positive would come out of spam email? Their existence is almost justified by Spamusement, a regularly updated gallery of cartoons based on the subject lines of the most puzzling and infamous spam solicitations. The site proves that irreverence and creativity can redeem anything, pressing comic diamonds out of the coal of unwanted advertisements. — Brendan Themes

One Soul, One Vote
By Deepak Chopra, Dragonfly Media
Does the spiritual transcend the political? Rather than isolating you from crass worldly matters, says Deepak Chopra, spirituality helps attune you to the interconnectedness and timeless mystery of the universe, and voting is a unique expression of this consciousness. Rather than discounting your deeply held political beliefs, you should celebrate and exercise them, connecting yourself with the rest of the universe, political and apolitical. — Brendan Themes

I Will Evolve
By Staff, Sierra Club
If Charles Darwin took a look at the gas-guzzling luxury tanks that pass as today’s hot automobiles, he might conclude that humans were deliberately accelerating the forces of natural selection. In a country with more cars than people, where a Ford Explorer gets fewer miles to the gallon than a Ford Model T, we must either evolve beyond pollution and global warming or become as extinct as a disco full of Dodo birds. — Brendan Themes

On The Take
By James Westcott, Alternet
Naomi Klein, one of the greatest cultural scrutinizers in North America today, has now moved from writing great books such as the influential No Logo to making great documentaries. Klein’s documentary, The Take, focuses on worker-run factories in Argentina that are emerging in the wake of the nation’s financial crisis in 2001. These sorts of factories are often more profitable than those with traditional labor relations. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

Thorns in the Paw
By Staff, Clamor
In response to censorship, dismissals, media consolidation, and partisanship in the news media, Clamor magazine has asked a group of committed independent journalists to write about being an independent journalist under the Bush administration: what does it take to find stories, what’s been left out, and how their work can make an impact. Andrew Stelzer of Free Speech Radio News said he was happy to be in Portland, and not New York, on 9/11. In Portland, he saw, ‘a large and visible community that wasn’t fooled.’ When Bush came to town, 1500 people were there at the foot of the podium, protesting. — Elizabeth Dwoskin

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