RochelLeah's RealLife

Friday, July 28, 2006

All that pacing doesn't have to be useless...

Some British cities may soon install footfall-powered generators in crowded pedestrian areas. Just think of the home and office possibilities... a version for parents pacing with their infants, trying to lull them to sleep... one for hospital emergency waiting rooms... dance clubs that power themselves...

NPR : Gives New Meaning to the Electric Slide...

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My new favorite wine

When Joshua and I were in Israel, we visited the Carmel Winery in Zichron Yaakov. Carmel has recently developed a new line of regional wines (Appellation Wines), of which we purchased two bottles. We waited quite a while before opening our precious stash. The first bottle we opened was the Carmel Appellation Merlot, 2003. It is awesome. I am not a red drinker... but I fell in love. The Merlot is juicy and I don't even know how else to describe it. It was awesome with beef kabobs, but we devoured the second half of the bottle (carefully stored with a Vacu-Vin) with a Robusto cheese during a recent memorable picnic (more on that later), and I think that might be an even better matching.

At this time, during which Israel needs our economic support (as well as other types), maybe you should seek out and purchase a bottle?

The best price I've found is at If you have some bizarre desire to pay more... there are a number of places selling it in the $30 range.

Carmel is also wowing reviewers with other new wines. The ones I still want to taste are the ecstatically reviewed Carmel Sha'al Late Harvest Gewurztraminer and the well-reviewed Carmel Limited Edition 2003, a red blend.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mother Jones Guilt

For reasons I don't entirely remember, I subscribed some time ago to Mother Jones magazine. My logic probably was influenced by a desire for vicarious social activism. Since I've been on break from school, I've actually started reading it. I can only do this about an article at a time, though, because every time I read Mother Jones I feel really depressed. And really angry. And really guilty.

The last issue (May/June) featured Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) on eating locally produced food. So I feel guilty about not being as careful about checking the origin of my produce and completely relying on the midwestern Kosher meat and poultry in my local California Trader Joes for Shabbat dinner. Then there was the two-page spread on how the rich get richer. Which, I would swear, raised my blood pressure about twenty points. That spread was followed up in the current issue (July/August) by another two-pager on why the poor get poorer. ("Bush has dedicated $750 million to “healthy marriages” by diverting funds from social services, mostly child care.") The same issue informed me about the ecological harm caused by gold mining (...but I like pretty things... whine, whine) as well as the ways in which infertility doctors are keeping healthy lesbian couples from conceiving (pissing me off entirely) and making decisions regarding accepting patients in order to raise and sustain their success statistics (pissing me off somewhat less).

On the one hand, I feel like I should be an informed person, live a more sustainable lifestyle (althought I really do try...), rail against the government, and volunteer for good causes. On the other hand... it's frankly overwhelming.