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kids as cops: Actors get into their roles in a 2008 Nibley Children's Theatre production of Pirates of Penzance. Click Arts&Life index for a link to this unusual theater group. / Photo courtesy of Bonnie Schenk-Darrington

Today's word on journalism

February 17, 2009

Why I miss my hate mail:

"It's an odd thing to admit, but in a perverse sort of way, I actually miss the wretched river, the rancid flow of puerile, nasty, sickeningly homophobic email I used to receive on a regular basis from the ultra-right and the Christian right and the Mormon right and the Bush-impaired whenever I would post a friendly, pointed column full of tangy liberal attitude. . . . . Oh, I miss all the lovely and positive email too, which outpaced the nasty stuff by a huge margin. But the hate mail was very special indeed, great fodder for live readings, for the reaction of horrified disbelief of anyone who saw it, for the charming reminder of just how ugly and violent and grammatically challenged the human animal can be."

--Mark Morford, columnist, SFGate.com (2/13/09)

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Expo moving Sundance toward a greener place

GREEN EXPO: Vendors present eco-friendly products at Sundance. / Photo by Ben Hansen

By Ben Hansen, special contributor

January 19, 2009 | When most people think about the Sundance film festival, they think about movies, parties and concerts. This year, these people will also start to think about how to lessen their negative impact on the environment.

The Alive! Expo Green Pavilion is a new pavilion at the festival that focuses on businesses specializing in green, organic or nature-friendly products. This event is a big change from the normal informative and gifting type events, with a fresh look at some great opportunities from a consumer perspective.

This expo is the brainchild of Sundance veterans Kim Shimmel and Patricia Towns. When asked about why the expo was created, Shimmel responded, "We try to help our small to mid-sized green companies try to break into the mainstream economy by getting them marketing collateral in the forms of celebrity branding and press so that they can compete. Maybe eventually all of us as consumers can have more of these green choices on the mainstream shelves."

Many vendors -- 37, said Shimmel -- participated. Some of the products represented are eco-friendly cosmetics, jewelry, foods, drinks, lotions and sunglasses. One of the highlights at this year's pavilion included the Easy Pha-max display, which focused its efforts this year on stressing the benefits of using wheat grass as a dietary supplement. This all-natural plant product is used in many countries as a medicinal herb, and has been confirmed to have blood sugar-lowering activities. Check out the benefits yourself at www.gotwheatgrass.com.

Making a difference is easier than you think. Per Shimmel, "Be more concerned about what you use. Ask yourself questions, such as, 'What I can reuse and what can I recycle?' I think twice -- I look to see if something is made from recycled products. It's the simple things that matter. We can take baby steps that add up if a lot of people do this together."

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