There is a cool site called Democracy in Action that gathers on-line petition names. They have about 77,000 people right now that are either Californians who’ve pledged to vote ‘no recall,’ as I do, or out-of-state residents who state that the recall as it stands is an affront to democracy no matter where you live. I’d urge you to check out the site, and to use this link to sign the petition as my referral. Thanks for listening.

I’m about halfway through with A Short History of Nearly Everything, which is a bummer, because it’s a library book that’s due today. It is a fascinating look at the history of science, and it’s full of interesting things, like this: The same guy who invented Tetraethyl Lead as an anti-knock gasoline additive, also invented Freon. So two of the worst things ever to affect the atmosphere, lead and CFCs, are both the work of one man, Thomas Midgley, Jr.

Another interesting one? Madame Curie’s personal effects were exposed to so much radioactive material, that people put on leather lead lined gloves and aprons just to look at her cookbooks!

Have you tried these new microfiber cleaning cloths yet? If not, you should – everything they claim seems to be true – I got a couple last week, and you really can dust without chemicals and the dust jumps on them like a Swiffer&#153, or clean windows with nothing but water. I also got a waffle-looking Scotchbrite&#153 microfiber kitchen rag, and it even took the kitchen grease off the exhaust grille on our microwave stove hood without soap. It’s almost fun to clean with these things.

I learned a new word today, sprezzatura, courtesy of It’s an Italian word from the high renaissance that means, roughly, the art of making the difficult look easy. It also implies a certain spontaneity and nonchalance in the execution.

The Beatles certainly had sprezzatura, but you know those guys worked hard at what they did – John Lennon said something to the effect that they thought of themselves as craftsmen, going in to work every day to practice getting better at their craft. Or Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., who writes as if he’s speaking off the top of his head, but I know from an interview he did many years ago that for some of his more complicated novels, he actually graphed out all of the characters and events against a timeline on the back of rolls of wallpaper.

My personal mission statement begins with the overall mission, ‘To move easily through the world as a man of good conscience,’ and I love that image of just breezing on through it all. Sprezzatura!