Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to Build a Canoe the Old Way

As someone who really likes canoes, and who loves the beauty of wood, and who appreciates the skills it takes to build anything, I found this to be the most fascinating video I've seen in quite a while. It follows a native American (well, Canadian actually, but you get the idea) as he cuts down a birch tree to make a birch bark canoe. There is no narration and just a few subtitles to announce the various stages of construction, but the film lets you easily follow each step. I could not stop watching this quiet drama unfold. While his kids play with the dog and pretend to battle each other with wooden swords, Cesar uses no power tools or written instructions while he creates and assembles his canoe - only an axe, a hammer, a hand drill, a hand saw, and a few knives. He says very few words during the whole process, but works steadily as though it is the hundredth such canoe he has made. The video is an hour long, but worth every minute as the vessel took shape before my unbelieving eyes. Take the time to watch this, and let me know what you think.

How to Build a Canoe the Old Way

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What Would You Do With $1.4M?

So, President Obama received the Nobel Prize for Peace which includes a cash prize of approximately $1.4 million. Arguments aside about whether he should have received it or not, the fact remains that the Nobel Committee chose him to receive this honor and the associated purse. True, this is not the kind of money to reshape today's world, but perhaps it could be leveraged to reshape a part of the world.

My question is this: What should President Obama do with the $1.4 million?

Should he spend it to do the most good toward promoting peace? Or should he use it for some other purpose? Share your ideas in the comments below.