No doubt, Irwin’s death is a tragedy. Yet it is easy to see that in his work he courted death constantly. Some might even say in doing what he did, Steve Irwin must’ve had some sort of underlying death wish to fulfill. There are apt to be others that think by dying young Irwin got exactly what he deserved. After all, he chose to wrestle with crocodiles and swim with deadly ocean creatures. He should’ve had some consideration for his wife and young children and like the rest of us, taken a safe job behind a desk in an office somewhere. In today’s modern world, we’re taught to believe that our lives are some how much better off because we don’t wrestle creatures in the wild the way Irwin did. I guess Steve would want us to take a look at that belief and see if it measures up as an honest assessment.

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These are some thoughts I had after seeing the movie An Inconvenient Truth. While the content is very thought-provoking and may inspire viewers to make some life style changes, I keep thinking about Marshall McLuhan’s statement from decades past: “the medium is the message.” Accepting that premise, it seems—starting perhaps with Micheal Moore’s films—we are seeing the rise of edu-tainment films as a way to provide people in depth understanding of truly relevant contemporary affairs. Thirty years ago, the ‘medium’ for that would probably have been print: the newspapers and magazines. But lately we’ve been pretty much left to our own devices as citizens to research our own truths about pertinent matters, like what’s the worldwide impact of our standard of living, what’s in the stuff we eat on the fly, and so on. Perhaps this is a reason movies like An Inconvenient Truth end up drawing an enthusiastic audience. We are hungry for news that reaches past the pabulum that’s fed to us daily, like the highlights of life among the rich and famous.

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Seldom are people able to glimpse the true spirit of a city. I don’t mean in the sense of enthusiasm for a specific municipality, but rather spirit in the absolute meaning of the word: the soul lay bare. I feel fortunate in that I have seen glimpses of the work underway in New Orleans as it heals from Hurricane Katrina. And I believe what’s revealed in the process of taking in the view one year later is the city’s deepest essence. Whether a visitor or a citizen, one cannot help but be curious about how the raw areas that were smack in the corridor of peak destruction are faring after the passage of time. There, the scars of Katrina are readily evident.

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