Tuesday, August 19, 2008

rise #13

Namaste (my favorite translation is ‘That which is of the Divine in me greets that which is of the Divine in you.’ – check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namaste),

Green tip: Want an electric car, convert yours

“The Amish have thought long and hard about tractors and decided that tractors would erode their community. They think tractors would lead to larger and larger farms: farms that would eventually need trucks. And as horses became less useful, members would face an even greater temptation to buy cars. Cars aren't evil - the Amish will travel in someone else's, if need be - but they help break down the fabric of social and economic life: suddenly people are living farther apart, and they have a big new expense to meet. Meanwhile, horses are cheaper, they create their own replacements, and they don't force you into dependence on oil supplies, or spare parts, or mechanics. And horses have some intangible value, too. … instead of the ear splitting diesel roar there was quiet enough to talk.” - Bill McKibben in Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age

Yummy recipe: mmmm dandelions, you might be amazed
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2008-04-01/Dandelion-Recipes.aspx (recipes are on pages 2 & 3)

Life tip: Life’s beauty is in its relationships. Make a new friend. Open up more to friends & family. Love more deeply. Take a chance on someone. Talk more. Hug more. Laugh more. Enjoy!

"Arguments are won intellectually; not love. Love is won with a dash of trust, a smidge of fear, and a pinch of letting go"

Interesting website/article:
http://www.mentalfloss.com/ ‘Where Knowledge Junkies Get Their Fix’

Pix this week are from Janelle (via Tim),

For next week, please send pictures from … surprise me.

Live. Love. Inspire.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

email address for submissions

if you'd like to send in pix, suggestions for topics or personal notes, please send an email to rosskelman@hotmail.com

thanks & have a beautiful & blissful day,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

rise #12

Hey all,

In the first issue of rise I requested that people send in positive items from their lives and so here’s a positive item from my buddy Ian; he’s just finished producing a pro-environment TV show and while I haven’t gotten a chance to see it yet, I’m sure it’ll suck you in:

Battleground Earth: Tommy Lee vs. Ludacris
SUNDAY NIGHTS @ 10:00pm on Planet Green

Congrats Ian!

Green tip: Ditch the disposable bottle; instead make it a point to re-use glass bottles, ceramic mugs, etc. – “Manufacturing the nearly 28 billion plastic bottles used to package water in the United States alone requires 17 million barrels of oil. Including the energy for hauling 1 billion bottles of water every two weeks from bottling plants to supermarkets or convenience stores for sale, sometimes covering hundreds of kilometers, and the energy needed for refrigeration, the U.S. bottled water industry consumes roughly 50 million barrels of oil per year. The good news is that people are beginning to see how climate-disruptive this industry is. Mayors of U.S. cities are realizing that they are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to buy bottled water for their employees--water that costs 1,000 times as much as the readily available tap water. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has banned the use of city funds to purchase bottled water in city buildings, on city property, and at any events sponsored by the city. Cities following a similar strategy include Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and St. Louis.” – Plan B 3.0 by Lester Brown

“Waste and pollution are to be avoided entirely. Pollution is a symbol of design failure.” - Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by McDonough and Braungart

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead

Yummy recipe: Get your omega 3’s while making your taste buds happy, for a slew of salmon recipes check out:

Life tip: Fear is usually due to worrying about the unknown. Figure out what you’re afraid of and then make a point to become accustomed to it, e.g. if you’re afraid of dogs, play with a friend’s puppy, if you’re afraid of public speaking, practice speaking in front of small groups. Start small & work your way up; eventually all fears can be overcome.

Interesting website/article: Have you ever wanted to see what a book would look like if everyone had a chance to write in it; check out

Pix this week are from Steve & yours truly,

For next week, please send pictures from travels to Africa.

One last notable item is that rise is now on the web @
http://rise-rk.blogspot.com/. Find old issues, send the link to friends & family, enjoy!


rise #11

Happy August,

I hope everyone had as great a July as I did! Also, I hope everyone’s looking forward to a healthy & happy August. May this month bring you all the goodness the world has to offer. And per reader feedback, I’ll now be including a recipe in each issue; healthy, delicious and simple to make. Enjoy!

Green tip: Eat well, get healthy, sustain the environment

  • Eat Organically Produced Food
    Organic agriculture strives toward being sustainable, meaning that which can be continued indefinitely, without depletion of resources beyond a rate that they could be renewed.

  • Eat Local, Seasonal Food
    Eating local, seasonal food supports local farms and saves the energy that would be used to refrigerate and transport food many miles.

  • Eat a Variety of Food
    The loss of genetic diversity—silent, rapid, inexorable—is leading us to a rendezvous with extinction, to the doorstep of hunger on a scale we refuse to imagine,” writes Kenny Ausubel in the book Seeds of Change: The Living Treasure. Organic farms grow a wide variety of plants to keep the soil healthy and preserve diversity. Industrial farms, on the other hand, monocrop, meaning they grow nothing but a few commodities.

  • Eat Low on the Food Chain
    Humans can eat both high and low on the food chain and be adequately nourished. Residues of persistent chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, dioxin, and many pesticides concentrate in animal fat.

  • Eat Whole Foods with Adequate Fiber
    Whole foods are nutritionally complex and complete. Refined foods have had much of their nutritional value and fiber removed.

  • Avoid Processed Food
    The average American eats 150 pounds of additives a year, much of which is sugar and salt. Three thousand additives are intentionally used in processed food. Many of these additives, such as hydrogenated oils, can cause health problems.

  • Reduce Packaging for Public Health and the Environment
    Chlorine and dioxin are just two chemical compounds that are released in the manufacture of many packaging materials. Toxic chemicals can also migrate to your food from packaging.

Yummy recipe: Black Bean Burgers

Life tip: Manifest peace – strive for peace within yourself, find peace with your past & future selves, work to bring peace to your relationships, contact your politicians to support peace between & within nations

Interesting website/article: Make peace

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel

“There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed” – Woodrow Wilson (trivia item: Woodrow Wilson is the only US President with a doctoral degree)

“None of us has gotten where we are solely by pulling ourselves up from our own bootstraps. We got here because somebody bent down and helped us.” – Thurgood Marshall

Thanks Dan, Heather, Lynn, Steph & Jess for the pix!

For next week, please send mountain pictures.

Love & light,

rise #10

Hey all,

Well we’ve finally reached the double-digit mark and I was hoping to get some feedback, e.g. what do you like/dislike, are there other sections you’d like, are there topics that you’d like discussed, have you made any changes in your life directly or indirectly due to rise, etc.

Life tip: Take some time to see life through eyes other than your own. Try to view life from a friend’s eyes. Or pick out a random person on the street and think to yourself what their childhood, present, and future could be like. Practice empathy. Take a look at an old house or apartment building and guess what it looked like 50 years ago and who lived there at the time. Think about your city or town and what life was like 200 years ago, 2000 years ago, 2 million years ago.

Cool website/article: Ever wanted to move to an island and build a sustainable world? Ever wanted to try the tribal life?

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours - it is an amazing journey - and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” – Bob Moawad

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” - Stephen Levine

Green tip: Green burials – once again become one with Mother Nature – even in death we can all benefit the environment, while saving loved ones money and giving them a beautiful setting to visit you in. Check out:

Thanks Brody, Rachel & Bieb for the pix!

For next week, please send animal pictures. And I’m getting a lot of pix sent in now, so I’m sorry for not posting all of them.

Hope this finds you healthy, happy & smiling!

rise #9

To my kith & kin,

Green tip: Plant trees! Trees clean the air, sequester carbon, provide flood control, prevent erosion & block the hot summer sun (deciduous trees on south & west sides of your house will provide shade & cooling during summer without blocking the sun during winter – for info on a related topic check out:

Life tip: When comparing yourself to people with more or less than you, look to those who have less and be thankful for what you have, and look at those with more and realize what is possible. Don’t be jealous. Don’t compete. Be yourself. Be happy.

“A wise man will make haste to forgive, because he knows the true value of time, and will not suffer it to pass away in unnecessary pain.” - Samuel Johnson

'Any fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction.' - Albert Einstein

Cool website/article: how big’s your (water) footprint?

Thanks to Julie & Lynn for the pix this week!

For next week, I’m looking for pictures of clouds.


rise #8


Green tip: Ditch the plastic bags; re-use old bags, use linen bags, contact your representatives & mayor about banning (or at least taxing) plastic bags in your city & state. For more info, check out

Cool website/article: $4/gallon gas, painful now, but this should lead to positive changes

Life tip: Give; what’s your American Dream?

“See cause Mr. when you're rattling on heaven’s gate
By then it is too late
Cause Mr. when you get there they don't ask what you saved
All they'll wanna know, Mr., is what you gave” – Ben Harper

“It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little.” - Sydney Smith

Per my request last week, the pix are from Hawaii & London.

For next week, please send along cool pictures of trees or leaves from your past.


rise #7

Guten tag,

In today’s issue, we have two green tips, both sent in by brilliant rise readers as follow ups to past green tips.

Green tip #1: Mac vs PC - when you buy a Mac, they email you a FedEx shipping label to mail in any old computer equipment for recycling and it's free shipping, just deposit it at a FedEx

Green tip #2: Composting tip - take some leftover PVC drainage tubing (most construction sites are happy to give you what's left over from their projects, so you're already recycling). Drill 3/8 inch holes every 6 – 12 inches or so all the way through the pipe (both sides). Lay some of the pipe every on the ground (about 9 inches apart) and then add additional tubes on top in rising criss-cross patterns. Now just build your compost pile on top of the pipes and make sure the ends aren't covered; the air that circulates through these pipes will speed up the decomposition and eliminates the need to turn the heap over with a rake or shovel. No fuss, no muss, fertility abounds. If you use pipes with a smaller diameter, then put the tubes somewhat closer together to get enough air into the pile.

Cool website/article: Strain your brain with a rebus or twenty (yes these can be addictive):
Difficult http://www.us.mensa.org/am/games/game_shell.cfm?showPage=unclerebus/unclerebus.cfm&gameName=Uncle%20Rebus note the clue in the bottom right corner of the puzzle
Life tip: You can’t make people love you or treat you a certain way. You’ll always have life partners, potential mates, friends & strangers treating you in ways that aren’t optimal from your perspective, so instead of getting upset or trying to change their behaviors, instead change what you can, yourself. Change your expectations, be thankful for what they do have to offer & meet new people who do give you what you need.

“Have a ripple effect”

With regards to the picture, consider how your life’s decisions have ripple effects.

Next issue I’d like to publish some sunrise pictures, so if you have any spectacular ones that you’ve taken, please send them along.


rise #6

Cheers mates,

I know everyone’s been anxious for issue #6 (yes, the suspense is killing me to), but alas life has gotten in the way the past 2 weeks, so I’m sorry for the delay.

Green tip: Recycle your old and broken electronics. TVs, computers, MP3 players, etc. all contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals that shouldn’t get into the primary waste stream, instead e-recycle them which will keep them out of landfills and will provide re-useable parts to produce new electronics. Check out
http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/hazwaste/recycle/ecycling/index.htm and follow the links for ‘Where you live’ or ‘Where Can I Donate or Recycle My Old Computer and Other Electronic Products?’

Cool website/article: Simplify your life – I promise that if you incorporate a mere 10 of the 72 items in the list, that you’ll be happier and less stressed

Life tip: Do you live to work or work to live? Two friends in the past week imparted to me that they work 15+ hour days everyday and don’t have time to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours a night. There’s nothing wrong with this if you love your work and consciously choose to make it the focal point of your life, but if instead it’s not how you want your life to be, then ask yourself why you’re leading that life. Perhaps you’re working to make more money in order to buy more ‘stuff’; if that’s the case, would you rather have more ‘stuff’ or more free time and a full life? Are you trying to ‘keep pace with the Jones’s’? If so consider why.
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy” – anon

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” - Marcus Aurelius

As for the pic, this is my attempt at being artistic; thanks go to Kerry & Lori for supplying the dock and the surrounding beauty.


rise #5


Hopefully everyone’s summer has begun with as much enjoyment & excitement as mine; in the last month I’ve gone on two camping trips, mountain biked on some of the best trails in the U.S., sat on an island beach (though it was in Connecticut), seen three concerts, met lots of new folks, had an infinite number of laughs and watched numerous beautiful sunsets. Yes, yes, it’s a rough life.

Green tip: Conserve water (also conserves money) – water tables worldwide are dropping quickly, which will lead to lower food harvests, droughts & desertification.
Do your part:

  • aerate faucets & showerheads
  • get a front-loading clothes washer (uses less water & energy and is gentler to clothing)
  • add a 1 or 2-liter plastic bottle (upright & filled with water) to your toilet tanks (will need that much less water to fill the tank after each flush)
  • repair leaks
  • cut 2 minutes from your shower time
  • flush less often (within reason use a yellow mellow policy)
Cool website/article:
http://www.greenshopper.com/ - great for ideas, but definitely shop around for a better deal once you know what you want

Life tip: As for the picture, I took this on 9/10/2001 at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, only to be awoken the next day by the forest rangers telling everyone the news of the morning’s events. So if you’re up for it, think about where you were on that fateful day and how it affected you, both at the time and ever since. Then think about how your life has changed in the 6+ years since and be thankful for any (and all) good twists & turns. And if you’re up for a bigger effort, consider your direction in life and figure out a plan to get to where you’ll find your true happiness.

“Follow your bliss” – Joseph Campbell

'Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.' – Anon.

'Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.' – Anon.

“Life’s a journey, not a destination” – Aerosmith

L’chaim (Hebrew for ‘to life’),

rise #4

Bon jour mes amis,

Since so many people are asking about the picture in the last issue, while I am now a semi-professional to professional unicycler, no, that is not me. On the bright side, I’m getting much better at not injuring myself. And for those not in the know, yes, I do have a unicycle.

Green tip: Nearly everything in the house can be cleaned with baking soda (scrubber), white vinegar (sanitizer), castile soap & water (this will save you a bunch of money and mean less toxins being brought into your house) – check out
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/8088/clngrn.html & http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/01/how_to_green_your_cleaning.php

Life tip: Expand yourself – learn a new skill/instrument/language, travel to a new land, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert try being the opposite for a week, volunteer – new skills improve your memory, hand/eye coordination, prevents alzheimer’s, make life interesting, etc. – check out

And if you enjoy learning about random items, try
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Randompage, which just chooses a random wikipedia page

“Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed.” – Corita Kent

Cool website/article: Want to up your car’s mpg by 25 – 75% (this is the part where you should be seeing dollar signs and hearing cash registers), check out the cnn.com story on hypermiling at
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/tech/2008/06/03/obrien.hypermiling.cnn, then learn the tricks of the trade at http://www.hypermiling.com/

As for the pix, the first is of some cool stairs at Machu Picchu (which I was at in November) and the second is proof that people can push past fear as a buddy (who hates heights) walks a 6 inch ledge above a 200 ft. vertical fall.

Happy June,

rise #3


On Saturday morning I woke up and had the crazy idea that Rise will have officially become a staple of world culture (insert laugh here) when I received a request for the newsletter from someone I’ve never met before; sure enough when I checked my email an hour later, there it was. So thank you to everyone who finds this as interesting as I do and is willing to share.

Green tip: Create a car journal – everyday write down how many miles were driven with your car and the purpose of the trip (it doesn’t matter if you were either the driver or passenger) and at the end of each month figure out the total number of miles and determine what percentage of the miles could have been accomplished with other means of transportation (e.g. public transport, bike, taxi, borrowing a friend’s car, renting a car, or check out the attached picture). Now for the good part, realize that the average American spends $7,500 – 9,000 (depending on the source) on their car each year (depreciation, taxes, financing, maintenance, tickets, gas, tolls, etc.). To find out the cost for your car, check out http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController. Now consider what eliminating your car and replacing it with alternate means of transport could save you. Call it fate, but here’s one of today’s top stories on cnn.com http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/05/27/lifestyle.change.irpt/index.html.

Life tip: happiness or sadness is your choice; events happen in life, whether you see them in a positive or negative light is up to you.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” - Buddha

'There are 2 wolves fighting in each man's heart. One is Love, the other is Hate. Which one wins? The one you feed the most.' - Old Cherokee proverb

Cool website/article: http://www.travelpod.com/traveler-iq try the game halfway down the page; it’ll give you the name of a city or country and you need to click on the map as quickly as possible and as close as possible to the destination


rise #2


Two quick housekeeping items:
  • I was alerted that in issue #1 I forgot to give a shout out to Germany, so that makes recipients in 6 countries

  • Numerous people asked why the newsletter is called ‘rise’, my thought was that it sounds cool and could be used in many contexts, e.g. rise up to your potential, rise up against hatred & oppression or even just a sunrise (a new beginning).
“You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise.” – Maya Angelou

Green tip: Become a vegetarian/‘flexitarian’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flexitarian). Changing to a vegetarian diet from one rich in red meat will save as much energy as changing your car from a Chevy Suburban to a Toyota Prius (not to mention the immense health benefits)

Life tip: Touch someone’s life everyday – call/email a loved one just to let them know you were thinking about them, volunteer, spend time with a friend who’s lonely, hug someone – remember that a small effort can have a big impact

Cool website/article: http://goodreads.com/ – connect with friends, share book recommendations

“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints” – Wilfred Peterson

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin

And for our first reader contribution (which is a minor, though exciting milestone), check out the attached pic that my buddy Andy took when he was in Rome.


rise #1

Hey all,

Many of you already receive my random hippie items from time to time, so I figured I’d start putting a little more structure to it. Therefore, I’m going to start sending a short “newsletter” twice a week with a few items. Each one will have a green tip, a life tip, a link to a cool website or article, and a quote. Definitely provide feedback as to ways to improve it (e.g. additional sections, longer/shorter, etc.) and also any personal items that you’d like included (e.g. stories you’ve written, upcoming performances you’re taking part in, interesting speakers coming to your town, or happy items like births/weddings/graduations, etc.). Also, pass along addresses of friends who’d be interested in receiving this. And let me know if you want to be removed from the distribution.

So for today’s installment:

Green tip: start a home vegetable garden – provides healthy, organic produce for just a couple cents; easy to do, fun for the family, good for the environment. Check out
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM819.pdf or http://www.thegardenhelper.com/fruitsveggies.html for more information

Life tip: laugh more! Laughter (even fake) has a plethora of physiological benefits (e.g. lower blood pressure, lower stress, boosts immune system, pumps serotonin & endorphins into your bloodstream, and it is even a cardiovascular workout). Check out
http://www.laughteryoga.org/ and http://www.worldlaughtertour.com/ for information and follow the ‘clubs’ link to find a laughter yoga club in your area.

Cool website/article:
http://www.delanceyplace.com/ - signup and you’ll get “eclectic little excerpts delivered to your email every day”

“Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” - Gandhi

Finally, just a demographic note that this is being sent out to kith & kin in California, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, India, Australia, China & South Korea.

Have a great week,
Ps check out the sweet pic of Stonehenge (attached)